Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bubblegum rubbish

Around 1969 or 1970 pop music fell over a cliff and became what we popularly know as bubblegum. The charts became full of really crap songs sung by talentless people and the real music - soul, blues, real rock and roll - ceased to have any significant place in the popular imagination, let alone the pop charts. Of course, alongside this bubblegum twaddle was progressive rock, which was not much better and became more and more pretentious and ridiculous. This was the era when my interest in pop music drained away and I lost the will to live music-wise. My interest didn't revive until punk came along at the end of the seventies.
The sheer awfulness of bubblegum came back to me today when I bought an LP at a boot sale and played it later. It's an Australian compilation called 20 Electrifying Hits from 1970 which is made even worse by including several fourth rate Aussie covers of third rate bubblegum hits. I've never heard many of these covers before and wouldn't wish to hear them again. Here are a few of them:
Tighter, Tighter - Alive & Kicking
Burning Bridges - Mike Curb Congregation
This Wheel's on Fire - Flake
Knock Knock Who's There - Liv Maessen
Melanie Makes me Smile - The Strangers
Big Yellow Taxi - The Neighbourhood
Yellow River - Autumn.
Youtube them if you dare (although Aussie readers may care to avoid this car crash of taste), but I think I should point out that most of the original tracks on the album are not much better, including dire records by Bobby Sherman, Eric Burdon and War, Shocking Blue, the Idle Race, Blood Sweat and Tears, Melanie, the New Seekers and Vanity Fare.


At 4:53 pm , Blogger Nick said...

Dave C queried why I included the tracks by the Idle Race and Blood Sweat and Tears among the poor bubblegum pop tracks on this LP as they recorded some half decent records at times. The tracks were a cover of In The Summertime by the Idle Race, which was unreleased in the UK but apparently made top ten in Argentina, and Hi-De-Ho by Blood Sweat and Tears, a track from their third album. Neither are very good.


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