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Jane Pow

Why isn't Jane Pow part of the '90s power-pop pantheon? If you've never heard them before (which you probably haven't), listen, and that's the question you'll find yourself asking as you scratch your head in befuddlement. Well actually, the head-scratching will probably only be limited to song breaks, 'cause when the music's playing you'll be tapping your feet, bobbing your head, snapping your fingers, etc., etc. Jane Pow appeared in late '80s Southampton, England, sporting a buoyant mod/garage sound that was a poppier version of the loud and rough two-and-a-half minute pop-punk riots of the classic Jam. They layered lots of other stuff on top of that template, though: some tongue-in-cheek cock rock posturing, some tweaky keyboard goofiness, some occasional sensitive acoustic stuff. Overall, the combination of sounds was consistently intriguing, the mood was upbeat (though laced with plenty of cheerful cynicism), the hooks were huge, and the melodies were absolutely golden. What more can you ask for?

In the late '80s and into the '90s, Jane Pow released a handful of singles on several English labels along with two sensational albums called Love It Be It! and State, both on a Brighton-based label called Target Records. In 1993, the great U.S. label Slumberland Records, America's keeper of the indie-pop flame, reissued both albums on a single CD. All three featured cuts originally came from Love It Be It!

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