What Makes A Song Bubblegum?
Here are some good clues you are listening to a bubblegum song:
- Prefab group: The group members are faceless (not literally!) and nameless. Come on, wouldn't you want to remain anonymous?
- Double entendre lyrics like "I've got love in my tummy" or "Love me little chewy 'cause you do it so sweet" that are seemingly so indecipherable that even the brightest of the PMRC (Tipper Gore) would never figure out what they really mean.
- Mastication: Yummy, chewy, ooey, gooey, icky, sticky, sticky . . .
- A-political: No protest -- just testing pop, that's all. (Notable exceptions: Up In The Air by the Kasenetz-Katz Super Circus, Up Against The Wall by Ohio Express and A Summer Prayer For Peace by The Archies).
- No women allowed!: Were women excluded or were they just smart to stay out? The lone exception seems to be Kris Resnick, (co-writer of classics like Chewy, Chewy, Down At Lulu's and Down Tennessee by the Ohio Express and Run, Run, Run by The Third Rail) who would be the first and only lady of Bubblegum.
- Any songwriter who has the balls to put "Soul" in the title of a song that is as far removed from a soul song as one can get.
- People will complain about the "stickiness" of the song, but they won't leave the room.
- If bongos are introduced in a song after a guitar solo.
- Pronounced rhythm like a steam train or an Indian drum beat.
- Always under three minutes long. Always.
- Songwriting credits? Who needs songwriting credits?
- Did you like the experimental backwards taping of guitar solos a la The Beatles in Rain? Try whole songs! Check out Zig Zag by The Ohio Express and Pow Wow by 1910 Fruitgum Co.!
- Major percussive element: THE DOUBLE-CLAP, SINGLE-CLAP (Try it yourself now!).
- Lead singer required to pronounce "sure" as "show-wuh." Special consideration given for trying to rhyme "sure" with "more."
- Guitar solos? Rarely. Organ solos? Always!!!!
- You're asked to sing lead on a bubblegum song and you have to quickly come up with some lyrics. You simply sing "Do it." The producer says, "We need more. What else do you have?" And you sing, "Come on, do it." Now you're a lead singer of a bubblegum song!
- Did I say "Organ?" I meant Farfisa!
- Taunting on the playground is wrong but if you can remember those "nanny-nanny-poo-poos" when you grow up and become a bubblegum songwriter you will bully yourself right to the bank!
- Or, ignoring all the above, does it "feel" gummy?
together we can make it a Top 100 list!
And don't forget to open
Bubblegum: The New Pack
Where the spirit of bubblegum lives on!