1910 FRUITGUM COMPANY
1,2,3 RED LIGHT (BDS 5022) 1968
1,2,3 Red Light (1:55) (S. Trimachi - B. Trimachi) *
The Song Song (2:30) (S. Dworkin - G. Willet)
Shirley Applegate (2:04) (M. Gutkowski - T. Gutkowski)
The Mighty Quinn (3:04) (B. Dylan)
Yummy, Yummy, Yummy (2:18) (J. Levine - A. Resnick)
9, 10 Let's Do It Again (2:05) (S. Trimachi - B. Trimachi) *
The Book (2:26) (F. Marcus)
Sister John (2:10) (M. Gutkowski - T. Gutkowski)
Take Away (2:22) (F. Marcus)
Lookin' Back (2:26) (P. Karwan)
Blue Eyes And Orange Skies (2:00) (M. Gutkowski - R. Oppenheimer - T. Gutkowski - P. Karwan)
A Super K Production
Produced By J. Katz, and J. Kasenetz
Except * By J. Katz, J. Kasenetz, S. Trimachi
After a relatively solid bubblegum effort with their first album, the 1910 Fruitgum try to stretch that elastic confection a bit with this, their second album. But this is a business, so first thing first. They get the bubblegum hit out of the way quickly with their latest kiddy game klassic, 1,2,3 Red Light. They follow that up with a bubblegum "answer" song, The Song Song. If the could whole self-reflective approach been dropped, this coulda been a good song like the later 1910 Cotton Candy Castle. Keep it simple in Bubblegum , they say. The progression from solid material to tried-and-true self-covering song to a real cover song (The Mighty Quinn) demonstrates the lack of original solid material. But Ė hey Ė itís the 60s and you have to put out a new album every few months so these "reach-for-the-filler" things happened. It would seem that the thing to do in a situation like this is to experiment a bit and really cut loose. Covering a Dylan tune does not speak to this nor does a cover of an Ohio Express song (Yummy, Yummy, Yummy). Someone was giving bad advice and the K&K production team was taking it. Even the playing on Quinn is horrible. The accompaniment is out of sync with the singer as if they were recording in separate rooms and given different starting times.
The Book starts off the second side with a thud. Boring filler like this needs to be well-buried and the medieval folk song, Sister John, is a nice attempt to stir things up but it fails in the execution (and itís a historical fact that they didnít even have bubblegum back then!) By now, I get the feeling that this album was recorded at gun-point.
There are some good moments though. Just the thought of grown men sitting in a studio recording Shirley Applegate makes me all giggly inside. Itís just the goofiest, cutest little adorable song ever. A definite guilty pleasure if ever there was one.
So, this whole album seems to consist of hastily written and played songs and one gets the impression that this group wasnít taking Bubblegum seriously. And nothing makes The Hulk madder than when someone doesnít take Bubblegum seriously!
Would the 1910 Fruitgum came back from this sub-par effort? Weíll see . . .
- Andrew Bergey