Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Bubble Gum Classics 2
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Rock, Soundtracks
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Another fine collection of familiar & obscure bubblegum
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 03/22/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"An excellent followup volume, carrying on the same quality of track selection, mastering and presentation that made Volume 1 such a good buy. Volume two continues with the mixture of well-known hit singles, lesser known one-hit-wonder followups, a few good tracks that scrathed the lower reaches of the top-100, and a few surprises.Big hits this time out include The Monkees "I'm a Believer", Crazy Elephant's "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'", Tommy James & The Shondells' "I Think We're Alone Now", White Plains' "My Baby Loves Lovin'", 1910 Fruitgum Company's "Simon Says", Tommy Roe's "Dizzy", Bobby Bloom's "Montego Bay", The Five Amerian's "Western Union", Bobby Sherman's "Easy Come, Easy Go", Lou Christie's "I'm Gonna Make You Mine", and The Flying Machine's "Smile a Little Smile For Me".The lineup of hits is a formidable listening experience, especially the one-hit wonders. The appearance and immediate disapperance of many of these acts capture a great slice of top-40 history: "groups" that were studio fabrications from top to bottom. In actuality, a lot of these "bands" were temporary aggregations and re-aggregations of the same people. The liner notes do a good job of fleshing out who some of the "unknown" performers are. I was really surprised to find out that the lead vocalist on Crazy Elephant's 1969 hit was Robert Spencer, who sang lead on the Cadillac's 1956 hit "Speedo". I also enjoyed finding out that the memorable string arrangement of Tommy Roe's "Dizzy" was written by space-age bachelor pad denizen Jimmie Haskell. It's also interesting to trace the threads of a songwriter such as Tony Romeo ("I'm Gonna Make You Mine" "Indian Lake" "I Think I Love You") through different musical acts.The variety of sounds - even in the somewhat limited sphere of "bubblegum" - is also surprising. Thinking of these all being played together on a single radio station points out how fragmented music radio has become. From the poppy rock 'n' roll of The Monkees and Tommy Roe to the soulful sounds of Crazy Elephant to the show tunes of Bobby Sherman to the faux Jamaican Pop of Bobby Bloom.Followup singles (that didn't quite cut it) include The Cuff Links "When Julie Comes Around" (backing up their #9 smash "Tracy"), with Ron "Archie Andrews" Dante handling lead vocals again. Edison Lighthouse's second single, "Its Up To You, Petula" doesn't even come close to capturing the magic of "Love Grows". Not too surprising, considering that the producer/writer and lead vocalist both left after the first hit. The followup is a pleasant enough piece of bubblegum, but not particularly memorable.The Kids From The Brady Bunch (featuring the actual vocals of four of the six performers from the TV show) make an appearance with a funky little tune called "Candy (Sugar Shoppe)." Double-tracked vocals from both Barry Williams and Maureen McCormick do much to obscure their mediocre vocal talents. Rare Breed, who appeared on volume one with their original version of "Come and Take a Ride in My Boat", turn up here with the original version of "Beg, Borrow and Steal" - later recorded as the debut single for fellow Kasnetz-Katz artist The Ohio Express. A polished garage sound with a mid-60s punk sound makes this a real winner. The Rock and Roll Dubble Bubble Trading Card Company of Philadelphia 19141 turns in "Bubble Gum Music", their bubble-gum version of Arthur Conley's "Sweet Soul Music". While Conley's ode reached (or surpassed) the same plateau of beat and soul that he was singing about, this one doesn't quite reach the same level as the classics of bubble gum. Nice try, though.Perhaps my favorite discovery on this disc is Shawn's "With Every Beat of My Heart", which went absolutely nowhere on the charts. Shawn was the 11-year-old daughter of a Capitol Records VP, and put out this cover of a Josie & The Pussycats single (talk about the root of a great trivia question!) on Kapp at the same time the Pussycat's version came out on Capitol. Neither charted, but this teenybopper love song from the pen of Danny Janssen (Partridge Family, Bobby Sherman) is a real winner.Overall, the compilers, Cary Mansfield and Bill Pitzonka, have once again demonstrated their Golden Ears in selecting tracks - an ability that is a rarity in the record industry these days. Bill Inglot's mastering is sharp, and though I sometimes yearn to hear these tracks compressed through an AM radio signal and squeezed through a buzzing car-dash monophonic speaker, it's quite an eductaion to hear how well some of these tracks were actually produced in the first place. My only complaint is that it seems as if the loudness is inconsistent from track-to-track. This may be purely subjective, as I haven't actually measured it.For anyone who lived through this golden age of AM pop radio, this disc is an instant walk down memory lane. For those who didn't, it's a great introduction."
Zub | Forks Twp., PA | 11/25/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Varese Vintage rolls out a second volume of tunes in this generous collection of hits and misses exemplifing the good fun bubblegum music of the era. While many so-called bubblegum compilations are heavy on the Buddah groups such as the 1910 Fruitgum Co. and Ohio Express, here a wider net is cast yielding a more diversified gathering of tunes but still loosely falling under the "bubblegum" umbrella. In amongst the major and familiar hits here are a number of lesser-known tunes that add interest beyond what's heard on the same old oldies playlists. Thrown in are a few total misses that illustrate how some record companies were willing to try to make a buck on just about anything that may have ridden the coattails of popular hits. Among the rarities found here are the Cuff Links' (actually Ron Dante overdubbed) "Tracy" followup, "When Julie Comes Around", a tune just missing the top 40 domestically but making top 10 in the U.K., Thee Prophets only chart appearance "Playgirl" and "Grooviest Girl In The World", a minor hit from The Fun And Games. Beyond the music itself, part of the fun here is discovering the amazing stories behind some of these tunes and the people who sang, wrote and produced them as detailed in the liner notes booklet. Production-wise the sound quality is very good overall with all tracks in stereo except 12,14,16,17 and 20. Interestingly, while the rare stereo version of Tommy James and the Shondells' "I Think We're Alone Now" is included here, "I'm Gonna Make You Mine" from Lou Christie is the mono single version. For bubblegum fans, this piece provides an interesting mix of hits and rarities representing some of the best of the genre as well as a few examples of "what were they thinking?" wanna-bes."