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Similarly Requested CDs
Bubblegum according to Buddah
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 03/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While Buddah's "Super K" production team of Jeff Katz and Jerry Kasenetz were certainly at the epicenter of what would be labeled "bubblegum music," this collection's pretense that they invented the genre is a bit grand. The Buddah sides chronicled here, ranging from 1967's "Little Bit O' Soul" through 1970's "The Rapper," are certainly at the heart of the genre, but by no means its earliest roots (nor, for that matter, necessarily it's highest chart). Earlier sides by The Monkees, as well as tracks like Keith's "Ain't Gonna Lie'," certainly anticipated the teen-aimed works of Super K, and contemporaneous releases like The Archies' "Sugar Sugar" had as much a hand in defining bubblegum as did Buddah.That said, what's here is a thoroughly enjoyable textbook on Buddah/Super K's work; sounds that were vital in defining the pop side of late-60s AM radio. While "serious" rock music was spinning further and further away from the teen audience, Super K (along with Boyce & Hart, Don Kirshner, and many others) jumped in to fill the void. The Buddah acts typically had actual band roots, but as radio players, quickly became studio entities. Their chart success was usually limited to one or a few stellar pieces of pop, and their hit career arc was typically only a couple of years long, if that.The short-lived rise and fall of Super K bands like The Lemon Pipers and 1910 Fruitgum Co. can be heard among these 14 tracks. The Pipers brilliant pseudo-psychedelic #1 "Green Tambourine" is followed by the chamber pop "Rice is Nice." The Ohio Express' insanely catchy "Yummy Yummy Yummy" is followed by the copycat (yet still catchy) "Chewy, Chewy" and the flaccid pop-funk "Mercy." The Fruitgum Co.'s 1968 highlights, "Simon Says" and "1, 2, 3 Red Light," were followed by one last gasp in 1969 ("Indian Giver"), but not before showing that repetition had set in and inspiration had left ("Goody Goody Gumdrops").As much as critics derided bubblegum as vacuous (just as they made the same comments about present day bands like N'Sync), collections of this sort show just how impossibly hard it is to write a simple, catchy 2'30" song. If it weren't, these bands would have had much longer runs. Several of the bands anthologized here are popularly one-hit wonders, though at least in the case of The Music Explosion there are other fine sides that never caught the ears of radio programmers. Others, like Kasenetz Katz Singing Orchestral Circus were necessarily one-off studio novelties. This is a good collection of Super K's high points, with informative liner notes from Stephen Kaplan and Arthur Marko. For a broader view of the bubblegum era, check our Varese Sarabande's three volume "Bubblegum Classics" set."
A Pretty Sweet Chew befor Losing it's Flavor!!
Barron Kaminski | Pacific Northwest | 01/07/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Best of the Bubblegum Years is a Fun, Tasty little Collection that celebrates that Guilt-Free Adolescent Pop Song Genre of the Late 60's & Early 70's. If you're looking for something deeper than Simply Rhymes, Catchy Melodies & Good Ole Juvenile Fun, You're looking in the wrong place. Like a Lot of Song Genres, Classifying A song as "Bubblegum" is Subjective, but basically can be thought of as upbeat, Simple, Assembly Line Pop Songs performed by Faceless Bands and geared primarily to the pre-teen set, usually with Sugar Coated Lyrics covering everything Sweet from Candy to Sugar to what else, Bubble Gum .
Quite a few of the bands themselves followed suit with names like 1910 Fruitgum Company,& The Lemon Pipers which are represented on this collection.
An alternative type of "Bubblegum" song takes the route of tackling themes & Issues(!)concerning their young audience.
The album starts out strong with the Classic Green Tambourine (The Lemon Pipers). I'm still not sure this fits in as Bubblegum but this Awesome tune's overall sound transports you right back into the 60's.
The Playful Simon Says (1910 Fruitgum Co.) follows although it doesn't follow the rules of the game all that closely. The Classic Yummy Yummy Yummy (Ohio Express)is next, and is probably 1 of the 2 Signature songs of the Genre...the other being Sugar Sugar (The Archies) which is NOTICEABLY ABSENT from the collection. Hidden beside the innocent lyrics of this song are the not so innocent double entendres, common to this genre as well. This is a good point to bring up that Ohio Express actually weighs in with 3 other songs on this collection, and 1910 Fruitgum Co. has 4 other songs included and THIS is one of the drawbacks. They certainly could have had a wider variety of bands on the disc, especially when some of the other songs by the same groups in this set are quite weak, like Down at Lulu's (Ohio Express)and Rice is Nice (The Lemon Pipers).
That said, The Next 4 songs are a SHEER SUGAR RUSH!- Little Bit of Soul (Music Explosion), 1, 2, 3, Redlight (1910 Fr.), Chewy Chewy (Ohio Express), and Indian Giver (1910 Fr..) For those not old enough to know, "Indian Giving", which was giving something to someone and then taking it back again, was a BIG issue to youngsters of that age set. This first half of the set was a Blast and Full of Bold Flavor.
Unfortunately, the 2nd half of the album loses it's Taste and becomes dull & bland. Songs like The Rapper, Mercy, Rice is Nice, Quick Joey Small & Down at Lulu's sound like Cookie Cutter, Manufactured Pop Songs but they are missing the 2 most important ingredients: Catchiness & Fun!
Two songs that redeem the 2nd half of the disc were both by the 1910 Fruitgum Company - Goody Goody Gum Drops (Almost TOO MUCH BUBBLEGUM!)and the album closer, Special Delivery!
So This Collection ends up just Like that Big, Fat Piece of Gum that starts out Powerfully Sweet but eventually becomes tasteless with the occassional taste of sugar.
BUT that Excellent First Bite is so "Tasty", It makes this collection well worth getting despite the weaker second Bite.
As mentioned previously, a Few other "Tasty" tracks from other artists replacing the filler tracks on this CD, could've brought it up from a 3 to a 4 or 5 (out of 5). Bottom Line - Listen to the first half - A Fun, Guilty Pleasure!