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Eric, Raspberries and Bubblegum Music.....


Muzza

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Can this be true?? Today Marilyn (Kiwi) and I were in a department store in our small town and found a 2xCD set called "The Ultimate Bubblegum Pop Collection". The first 2 songs on the 2nd CD are - "Lets Pretend - The Raspberries" and "Never gonna fall in love again - Eric Carmen".

Now we have not thought of our boys' (all of them) music as Bubblegum before. How about you??

The compiler - Ross Middlemass - says he views Bubblegum Pop as and I Quote - " irrespressible and upbeat with infectiously simple melodies, though on the downside the monosyllabic lyrics leave everything to the imagination."

Again what do you think???

The Set is produced by Rajon Music, Australia and New Zealand.

Among the other artists are:- The Cowsills, The Archies, Mungo Jerry, Lovin Spoonful, The Beach Boys, Electric Light Orchestra and The Brotherhood of Man.

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I agree - not bubblegum. Prototype of bubblegum - The Grass Roots - simple and pleasant melodies, steady but unimaginative beats, energetic, cheerful. "Temptation Eyes", "Sooner or Later", and "Two Divided By Love" are upbeat, fun songs. The Raspberies and Eric Carmen I consider to be Power Pop.

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Hmmm....I think way too many people place negative connotations on "bubblegum", as do many people similarly with "power pop".

I've seen all of the UK Tony Burrows-on-vocals soul-lite type of music classified as "bubblegum" (which, to me, is a close parallel to the latter-day, post-folk-rock Grass Roots), and I've seen music I would almost call metal classified as "power pop". Where, for example do Sweet fit? Does it vary from song to song? I've seen "Little Willy" on several bubblegum comps in the past - and ditto the Troggs' "Wild Thing". While the Ramones fit most peoples' definition of punk or perhaps just Beach Boys-with-loud-guitars, how about their recording of "Indian Giver"?

The Kasenetz-Katz artistes were about the only musicians that I recall who ever 'fessed up that they definitely were playing bubblegum music.

Why the need for this categorization in the first place? Just wondering.......because, ultimately, as Paulie sez above, it's more $$$$ for ec.......

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JohnO - I note on the cover of the set that Anything for you is listed and sung by Ronnie Bond. The Trogs as a group don't feature.

Looking at the lineup I suspect as you have noted that it seems to be more of a song by song selection rather than a group "identity".

And as you say the "categorisation" (kiwi spelling!!) seems to be a distraction to good music and great artists because if people get hung up on a music type they are in danger of missing some great singers and groups.

The Foundations, Lobo, Ohio Express and Pickettywitch are other contributors on the set.

Muzza

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I saw The Sweet live in New Zealand at an outdoor venue called the Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth. It is a natural amphitheatre with the stage set in the middle of a lake.

They were billed as heavy metal back then!!! :rolleyes: They were loud yes, but heavy metal???? Maybe glam-rock is a better description but then as JohnO suggests "Power Pop" maybe better.

In the end it doesn't matter to me what the catagory is - I just like the music.

Muzza

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Sweet were a group that once they were free Chinn-Chapman controlling them, went from the bubblegum of "Little Willie" to the hard rock of "Action" to the ELOish "Love is Like Oxygen". They experimented with various types of sounds.

By the time they released a live album around 1990, they had added a Four Tops song into thier set!

Jeff

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I don't place a negative connotation on bubblegum. I like bubblegum. The Ohio Express and the 1910 Fruitgum Co. singles are great records. But I definitely don't think anything the Raspberries or Eric (not too mention Mungo Jerry, Lovin Spoonful, The Beach Boys, Electric Light Orchestra) have ever done qualify for that label. Bubblegum has such a specific level of simplicity to it (not that that's a bad thing) that certainly doesn't apply to those artists.

Nor do I see power-pop as a negative term. To me that's always been a descriptive term for music that melds the songwriting style and harmonies of groups like the Beach Boys and Beatles with the heavier guitar and drums sounds of groups like the Who (nad that's a good thing).

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the only 'Berries song that comes close to being "Bubblegum" is "I Wanna Be With You"... and of EC's I'd put "Hey Deanie" as a contender, too, although they've got more depth than what usually constitutes a bubblegum song...

Bubblegum is basically the music that came in the wake of Saturday Morning Cartoons, TV shows & cereal-box records (i.e. Archies, Buggaloos, Banana Splits, & the whole Kasenetz-Katz crew)... bands like The Monkees & Paul Revere & The Raiders were above the order, but were, at times, labeled as such...

since glitter & glam took cues from this stuff, it's all a bit incestous... The 'Berries, like The Ramones, were smart enough to realize there was some inspiration to be gained from this stuff (what is "Loco-Motion" if not a bubblegum song???) and their music definitely has elements of bubblegum in it... cool

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Oh c'mon! Of course Raspberries and Carmen were considered bubblegum! Before the internet arrived everything was lumped into nice convenient (albiet very large) categories. Eric and company wouldn't have been considered rockers (in the vein of LedZep, Eagles, or AC/DC), they weren't 'easy listening', and they certainly weren't disco. The only other place for these Top40 hitmakers was 'bubblegum'. As far as I know the term "PowerPop" hadn't been invented yet. These days, thanks to the web, we can subdivide our musical tastes and lable them anything we want. But back then 'bubblegum' covered everything from Barry Manilow, to the Pipkins, to Three Dog Night, the Sweet, and Donny Osmond. I've spent the last 35 years being called a 'bubblegum' music lover. And until the rest of the world joins our blogs, and gets to know Eric's music better, that's how it's going to be remembered.

Dave

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Hey Dave. Donny Osmond is touring New Zealand at the moment. Has a concert in Wellington (about 2hrs drive south of where I live) and another in our biggest city Auckland (about 6 hrs drive North of here). Pity I cant go. Be interested to see what he's singing these days.

Muzza

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Dave, You're absolutely correct. Some great groups may have been called "bubblegum" but it's such a derogatory-sounding word that I've always taken violent offense at it. The word "bubblegum" is of the same ilk as the word "teenybopper," and I hate it.

IWBWY is NOT!!!!!!! "bubblegum" Pierson. Not even CLOSE! angry

PS The little angry face isn't directed at *you*--only at the thought. wink

smile --Darlene

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I don't know if any of you will remember hearing this song, but when I think of bubblegum music, it always comes to mind...maybe it's because all the little girls who came to our skating rink requested it ENDLESSLY ......"I'm A Barbie Girl" !! happy

I agree 100% with you, Dar. IWBWY isn't even close !

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IWBWY is NOT!!!!!!! "bubblegum" Pierson. Not even CLOSE! angry

PS The little angry face isn't directed at *you*--only at the thought. wink

smile --Darlene

well, i said it comes close... and i do think it does (if your idea of bubblegum includes punchy power pop songs with lyrics about teen romance)-- it does transcend it obviously, because of EC's songwriting (great bridge)... but from a production point of view, and it's chorus, it's definitely something that could be perceived as bubblegum & THAT'S A GOOD THING... Way much cooler than being perceived as Boogie rock smile
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"IWBWY is NOT!!!!!!! "bubblegum" Pierson. Not even CLOSE!

PS The little angry face isn't directed at *you*--only at the thought."

Cozmik - THIS is exactly what I was talking about in my earlier post about the negative connotations of "bubblegum" for some people.

And yes, some people DO consider EC & Raspberries bubblegum....and there ain't a damn thing we can do to change it, so why worry about it?

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"IWBWY is NOT!!!!!!! "bubblegum" Pierson. Not even CLOSE!

it's much closer to being bubblegum than being country rock, hard rock/heavy metal, progressive rock, folk rock, singer-songwriter rock, boogie rock, psychedelic rock, hippie rock, acid rock, jazz rock, fusion, be bop, polka...

by the way i never said it was "bubblegum," but is close (i.e. like the Monkees) smile

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fyi: to anyone who cares to understand & not be so offended by the term Bubblegum, there's a great book about the term & the music... Raspberries appear 5 times amongst the numerous essays & stories...

"Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth: The Dark History Of Prepubescent Pop, from the Banana Splits to Britney Spears" edited by Kim Cooper & David Smay

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