When Noel Coward famously referred to the potency of cheap music he defined the power of pop music for all time.And yet the freedom of imagination and play which pop enshrines has often given birth to at least as much innovation and genius as more serious and self-conscious genres – as demonstrated by artists as diverse as The Beach Boys, David Bowie and Prince.
Read more about pop...
5 things you have to know
Just what is Pop? Radio 2's Ken Bruce will put you straight...
5 albums you have to own
Ken's back with his pick of the the five Pop albums you should be listening to.
Key events in pop
Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The best pop album ever? According to some. The most famous? Possibly. The most lauded? Most certainly. Live Aid
A huge landmark moment in Pop in 1985. Bob Geldof organises ahuge pop concert, featuring hundreds of luminaries,to raise awareness of staving Africans. Pop with a message. Thriller
With 45 million worldwide sales powered by seven Top 10 US singles, seven Top 20 UK singles and eight Grammy Awards, Michael Jackson's Thriller is the best selling album of all time. The Charts Begin
The introduction of the Charts in 1952 became the foundation for judging a song's success - and has been ever since. The Beatles Audition
June 6th, 1962 - a great day for pop. The Beatles audition for George Martin at EMI's Abbey Road Studios. The sessions are taped and include the Lennon & McCartney songs "Love Me Do", "PS I Love You" and "Ask Me Why".
Key pop songwriters
| John Lennon & Paul McCartney|
The Undisputed Heavyweight Songwriters of modern song. No-one comes close. Discuss.
Hey Jude, performed by The Beatles
Love Me Do, performed by The Beatles
With A Little Help From My Friends, performed by The Beatles
| Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus|
The two blokes in ABBA, of course.Wrote a series of killer singles in the mid-70s, early 80s... "Dancing Queen", "Fernando", "Ring Ring" to name three. Clever melodies, sophisticated production - everyone a winner.
SOS, performed by ABBA
Dancing Queen, performed by ABBA
Knowing Me, Knowing You, performed by ABBA
| The Bee Gees|
Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb clocked up hits in five decadesbefore Maurice's untimely death earlier this year. Wrote dozens of hits for themselves, and others, with their soundtrack to the disco movie Saturday Night Fever - featuring "Stayin' Alive", "Night Fever", "Jive Talkin'", etc - perhaps the high point.
For Whom The Bell Tolls
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