Cheap Trick‘s “Surrender” is the greatest late-’70s pure power pop/new wave song ever. This from someone who also believes it’s possibly the “Secretariat’s 30-length Belmont Stakes victory” relative to any other song in any band’s career. This is a testament to the song’s strength as much as it is my lukewarm appreciation for anything else Cheap Trick has released.
Mr. Mod said this in the recent power pop song argument, which was funny to me, because I’d been thinking about examples of this in my own music appreciation and thought there might be a post in it. Consider this a new RTH Glossary term, which we’ll call One Song Awesome or the Cheap Trick Effect.
Examples, that is, of that one exception to the rule of personal taste. To be clear, I’m not talking about one-hit wonders: artists that really did only have one good or one successful song. I’m talking about substantial groups with a dedicated following who I really don’t like at all – except for one totally awesome track that kills. Everyone’s list would be different, of course. People might even have the same group on their lists, but not the same song (see Cheap Trick, “Surrender” vs. “I Want You to Want Me”).
Here are some of mine:
T. Rex: “20th Century Boy”
Stiff Little Fingers: “Suspect Device”
Motorhead: “Ace of Spades”
Bangles: “Going Down to Liverpool”
Portishead: “Glory Box”
What about you?