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Eric, Raspberries and Bubblegum Music.....


Muzza

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"Bubblegum" has several components, chiefly: lyrics, melody/arrangement, and artist persona. It's not a fixed weighting/formula which often makes the classification arguable.

And, it seems that the artist is often the most critical --those artists who are perpetually labelled as "bubblegum" find it very hard to escape that predetermined tag.

Anne

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Honestly....I don't think it's that easily defined...and that's obvious because what's "bubblegum" to one person isn't to another. I think everyone can pretty much agree that the Kasenetz-Katz roster of artists should be included...but, beyond that, I've seen Tommy James & The Shondells, Raspberries, Sweet, and many others lumped under that category, whom I would never consider as falling under it.

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Honestly....I don't think it's that easily defined...and that's obvious because what's "bubblegum" to one person isn't to another.

true... but like you said, the Kasenetz-Katz roster is indeed all bubblegum acts... bubblegum really is Ohio Express, 1910 Fruitgum Co, Archies, Banana Splits, Bugaloos... the TV bands who were manufactured as such, including The Monkees & Paul Revere & The Raiders are part of the picture too, but a lot of their music expanded beyond the realm/genre... the same goes for Tommy James & The Shondells...

and everyone should understand what kind of a stance a band like RASPBERRIES took in 1972 by releasing two albums: one with a scratch & sniff sticker & the other where they're wearing matching suits... It was almost "punk" in its attitude towards the major prevailing trends (i.e. country rock, prog rock, heavy metal, post Woodstock boogie & acid rock & folk rock)... it was like saying "F" off to the rock bands who don't want to write catchy 3 minute pop songs that sound good on AM radio... and who don't want to write songs about teenage angst... and who act like they're 20 years older than they actually are...

of course such a move backfired because a lot of idiots failed to take them seriously and hear that what they were doing was beyond catchy disposable pop, AND was indeed as important as Beatles '65, Beach Boys Today, & Who Sings My Generation...

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Paul Revere & The Raiders were actually a tough, R&B-oriented Pacific NW band from the early 60's, akin to The Wailers, Sonics, Frantics, Don & The Goodtimes, and others. They were NOT just manufactured for TV, ala The Monkees.....although they do owe most of their hit records to the machine that got ahold of them.

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True - their hit records were all written or selected by the guys who were involved in WTAI (Boyce-Hart, Mann-Weill).....they still, IMO, would have been a great band, albeit a cult one, like the Wailers or Sonics, though, had they not been selected for the WTAI gig. I don't equate them with The Monkees or Partridge Family.

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"but i think, musically, there's a lot of similarities between the Monkees & Paul Revere & The Raiders..."

Agree, but only if considering the hit singles of the 2 bands. Have you ever heard the live Raiders CD from the "Mojo Workout" double CD set? It was taped in '64, before the hit singles...and it really shows what that band was capable of live. These guys played their instruments, played them well, and were an ass-kicking white R&B band who, frankly, don't deserve the reputation that they got from being the house band on "Where The Action Is". My point is - no, they weren't really that similar to the Monkees, other than the rep they had with probably 95% of the public outside of Seattle, Oregon, etc. - which they got primarily from sharing the same songwriters and producers in the studio.

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"There was nothing even remotely 'bubblegum' about Tommy James und the Shondells."

Bob - While I agree with you 100%, I've also seen "Crimson & Clover", "Getting Together", and a couple other of their singles referred to as "bubblegum" in print.....which goes back to my point that, aside from Kasenetz-Katz acts and recordings, which seem to be unanimously considered "bubblegum", the term is quite fluid and varies among different people....

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ANY song could be put into a bubblegum style. I can also play "Pop Goes The Weasel" on the piano in a Mozartean style (that's about the level of my expertise as a pianist!), but that doesn't mean it's Mozart.

IWBWY is a world class, and the shallow, repetitive lyrics and style of bubblegum is in no way related to it. Anyone who thinks it's even close evidently never heard the slow version on VH1 Classic's "Hangin' With" segment...or is deaf.

smile --Darlene

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"ANY song could be put into a bubblegum style."

Absolutely agreed.

"IWBWY is a world class, and the shallow, repetitive lyrics and style of bubblegum is in no way related to it."

By YOUR definition of "bubblegum", yes! And by my definition also, yes! But somebody, somewhere

obviously disagrees, as they put it on a BG compilation. If your take on that is that they're wrong or stupid or deaf, then so be it. The point I keep trying to make is that everyone has their own definition of bubblegum, period. Denying it is ignoring reality, sorry.........well, actually, maybe we're just ignoring someone else's version of reality....

(I keep thinking back to a classical cellist I used to date in the 70's, who basically broke up with me because I was stupid enough to admit to liking rock & roll music....musical elitism at its worst.....and, once I got over my 2-3 week depression, it dawned on me that I shouldn't be that upset to be losing someone who was such a snob....)

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I'm sure you're happier now JohnO laugh

I've just played one of the discs from the compilation that started this thread and in the end irrespective of its title (accurate or not) there is a lot of fun and great music on it.

Well I'm enjoying it anyway. And to me that's what matters.

Muzza

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I totally agree that different people have different definitions of bubblegum and everything else as well. Different opinions are what makes the world go round. Pierson is *extremely* musically-savvy, and I respect *his* definition of bubblegum. The "deaf" comment wasn't directed at him either.

However, considering what kinds of decisions record execs and others in the biz routinely make, I would definitely consider some of *them* both deaf AND stupid.

smile --D

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IWBWY is a world class, and the shallow, repetitive lyrics and style of bubblegum is in no way related to it. Anyone who thinks it's even close evidently never heard the slow version on VH1 Classic's "Hangin' With" segment...or is deaf.

smile --Darlene

someone previously alluded to the lyrics of 1910 Fruitgum Co's "Indian Giver"-- and I would use that song as an example of a great bubblegum single and something that shows that the genre had more depth than everyone else here is giving it credit... AND i betcha it'd sound amazing done as a slow ballad...

also the "Tra La La" song by The Banana Splits is a great precursor to so many of our fave glam hits & Ramones songs.... i think too many here have a negative opinion on bubblegum... it's a little beyond "Sugar Sugar" & "Yummy Yummy Yummy" at times...

and i swear Bob Allen was being sarcastic w/ that quote about Tommy James... if songs like "Mony Mony," "I Think We're Alone Now," "One Two Three & I Fell," and "Mirage" don't fall into the bubblegum category than let's just say it all sounds like Metallica...

also there are a few more similarities to PR & Raiders & The Monkees, especially after their chart topping days faded... between 1968-1970 they cut some very decent sunshine pop tunes that were akin to stuff by Sagittarius & The Millennium...

FYI: here's the lyrical output...

exhibit a

Raspberries

"I Wanna Be With You"

If we were older

we wouldn't have to be worried tonight

Baby, Oh I wanna Be With you

so bad, I wanna be with you

oh baby, I wanna be with you

oh yeah, I wanna be with you

well tonight's the night

we always knew it would feel so right

so come on baby, i just wanna be with you

someday's a long time

and we've been waiting so long to be here

Baby, Oh I wanna Be With you

so bad, I wanna be with you

oh baby, I wanna be with you

oh yeah, I wanna be with you

well tonight's the night

we always knew it would feel so right

so come on baby, i just wanna be with you

Hold me tight

my love could live forever after tonight

if you believe in what we're doing is right close your eyes & be still

Baby, Oh I wanna Be With you

so bad, I wanna be with you

oh baby, I wanna be with you

oh yeah, I wanna be with you

well tonight's the night

we always knew it would feel so right

so come on baby, i just wanna be with you

Oh, I wanna Be With you

so bad, I wanna be with you

oh baby, I wanna be with you

oh yeah, I wanna be with you

exhibit B

1910 Fruitgum Co

"Indian Giver"

I can still remember

It wasn't long ago

Things you used to tell me

You said I had to know

Told me that you loved me

And that you always would

Then I said I loved you

You said that that was good

Girl, you made a promise

Said you'd never want me to go Oh no

Indian giver, Indian giver

You took your love away from me

Indian giver, Indian giver

Took back the love you gave to me

Baby, I was feeling

The way I want to feel

You had me believing

The love we had was real

Things we did together

You said they'd never end

Now until forever

Yeah, that was what you said

Girl, when I was down,

I knew you'd always be there Oh, yeah

Indian giver, Indian giver

You took your love away from me

Indian giver, Indian giver

Took back the love you gave to me

Indian giver, Indian giver

You took your love away from me

Indian giver, Indian giver

Took back the love you gave to me

smile

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  • 5 weeks later...

Pierson,

Some great points as usual. However in regards to recording a slow version of "Indian Giver" , in this day of "Political Correctness" a song with that title will never happen. I never hear the original version of "Indian Giver" on the radio I suspect for the same reason.BTW the Banana Splits "Tra La La" song is great. I believe there was a punk remake of that song in the late seventies. It may have been done by the Dickies.

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In my opinion, there were more beautiful tunes in the "bubble gum" genre than in some of the other rock veins, so that it is spoken of with derision is rediculous. I love Led Zeppelin, but ofcourse there was a self-seriousness and pretension that krept into many of these rock groups that was unbearable. I couldn't listen to Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. The 45 singles era was incredible, alot of it "bubble gum" ofcourse. It was exciting, there would be some incredible song that would arrive from some group you never heard of and it was like' who are these guys?", "Who the heck wrote that?".

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