(Buddha Records 74465 99799 2)

Andy Rating:

1. Simon Says
2. May I Take A Giant Step (Into Your Heart)

3. Please Me, Tease Me
4. Sweet Lovin'
5. (Play Our Song) Mr. Music Man
6. 1, 2, 3 Red Light
7. Candy
8. Liza
9. Indian Giver
10. Dee-Licious
11. 1910 Cotton Candy Castle
12. Bubble Gum World
13. Special Delivery
14. Goody Goody Gumdrops
15. The Train
16. Reflections From The Looking Glass

It's a new millenium (I think!) and the folks at Buddha are throwing Classic Bubblegum lovers a bone by releasing "Best Of" sets for the 1910 Fruitgum Co., Ohio Express and The Lemon Pipers. The bone has a bit of meat on it but only enough to leave us wanting more.

Clocking in at a mere 39 minutes and 37 seconds, the set is skimpy on the songs but does a good job at giving us solid numbers that have never appeared on a Fruitgum collection before. For me, having 1910 Cotton Candy Castle on CD is worth the price alone. Also including 5 songs from what is not so arguably the best bubblegum album ever, Goody Goody Gumdrops, leads me to believe that the full releases of all the albums on CD is forthcoming. I should mention that the CDs will most likely come in the form of "Twofers" -- two full albums on each CD. Never-the-less, the lineup here is effective as one great song leads to another and the party-killing Mighty Quinn, The Story Of Flipper, and Magic Windmill are forsaken for this onslaught of up-beat, danceable ditties.

The sound quality varies from song-to-song, the liner notes are very good, and although there could have been a few more songs (Pop Goes The Weasel, When We Get Married, No Good Annie, and Soul Struttin' come to mind) this is a great "starter" collection that will wet your appetite for more, more, more of that 1910 Fruitgum Co. bubblegum music.


* Andy Ratings:

1 Sun = Barely qualifies as Bubblegum; for collectors only.

2 Suns = Not a party starter, that's for sure!

3 Suns = On the edge of Bubblegum worthiness.

4 Suns = Bubble Blowin' Fun!

5 Suns = The Bubblegum Bomb! Get this now!