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Oldies Music Glossary: "Europop"



ABBA's "Voulez-Vous" LP

source: pricegrabber.com
Definition: As you might imagine from its title, "Europop" describes a style of pop music with European origins and/or influences. And to Americans of the 60s and 70s, it meant just that. But to residents of the UK, it specifically meant pop songs recorded in other European languages -- Spanish, French, and Italian, mostly. And today, to most of the world it refers to the type of modern disco music that developed from the original Europop artists, filtered through the phenomenal success of Swedish supergroup ABBA, who did for Europop what the Elvis and The Beatles did for rock and roll.

The typical American Europop hit of the Sixties and Seventies did not need to be sung in a foreign language, although that was a touch often added; the main styles present in the music were European folk music or modern continental "Cabaret" song stylings, both of which were given a heavy pop production (ironic, since the original foreign-language songs that spawned the style were aiming for what they saw as an "American" sound).

The style was and is very romantic and dramatic, sung often with a female vocal (very few Europop instrumentals existed, and those that did were usually rearrangements of a foreign-language song). More prevalent in the earlier era, at least in America, were new hits that adopted the style for established bands, often for dramatic effect. As with easy listening music, no American styles are ever represented, even as influences, unless one counts the sometimes raucous, "hip" rhythm sections brought over from the original European pop styles of the 60s. In another ironic twist, the very hipness European countries tried to mimic became the new standard -- at least for a while -- in American pop. The rise of disco effectively killed the style; that is, until the ABBA-inspired style Eurodisco was born to replace it.

Also Known As: Easy Listening, Adult Contemporary
  1. "Fernando," ABBA
  2. "Those Were The Days," Mary Hopkin
  3. "Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus," Serge Gainsbourg
  4. "Puppet On A String," Sandie Shaw
  5. "Boom Bang-A-Bang," Lulu
  6. "Love Is Blue," Paul Mauriat
  7. "How Can I Be Sure," The Young Rascals
  8. "Little Green Bag," The George Baker Selection
  9. "Eres Tu," Mocedades
  10. "Early In The Morning," Vanity Fare
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