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Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth: The Dark History of Prepubescent Pop, from the Banana Splits to Britney Spears

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The truth behind the pop music we love most.


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The truth behind the pop music we love most.

54 review for Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth: The Dark History of Prepubescent Pop, from the Banana Splits to Britney Spears

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kurt Basham

    Hmm. I wanted to like this book more, but I just couldn't. I had a number of problems with the book, not least of which is that the authors had a pretty squishy idea of what should be counted as bubblegum music. The Archies? Definitely. Partridge Family? I'd buy that. But Duran Duran? Paul Rever & The Raiders? Tommy James and the Shondells? Nah, I don't see that. The book is comprised of small pieces from over 40 contributing editors, and it shows. The writing style is wildly uneven, and because Hmm. I wanted to like this book more, but I just couldn't. I had a number of problems with the book, not least of which is that the authors had a pretty squishy idea of what should be counted as bubblegum music. The Archies? Definitely. Partridge Family? I'd buy that. But Duran Duran? Paul Rever & The Raiders? Tommy James and the Shondells? Nah, I don't see that. The book is comprised of small pieces from over 40 contributing editors, and it shows. The writing style is wildly uneven, and because so many folks are covering a lot of overlapping material, it tends to be repetitive in places as well.

  2. 5 out of 5

    W Davidson

    I refer to this book constantly - as there's so much information and fun stuff to read about. It also casts a wide net over the Bubblegum genre by taking in artists from all over the world. There's even a big article about Luv'! It really is fantastic, I just wish there was a full colour companion version with photos of all of the records. I refer to this book constantly - as there's so much information and fun stuff to read about. It also casts a wide net over the Bubblegum genre by taking in artists from all over the world. There's even a big article about Luv'! It really is fantastic, I just wish there was a full colour companion version with photos of all of the records.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kirk

    I was writing a story years back about a former bubblegum star who refused to hit the comeback trail. I couldn't have done it without this book. Besides teaching me everything I ever wanted to know about Tony DeFranco and the DeFranco Family (and then some), it's a fun book and doesn't condescend to the subject or the audience. I was writing a story years back about a former bubblegum star who refused to hit the comeback trail. I couldn't have done it without this book. Besides teaching me everything I ever wanted to know about Tony DeFranco and the DeFranco Family (and then some), it's a fun book and doesn't condescend to the subject or the audience.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tom Schulte

    A cast of contributors (from cartoonist Peter Bagge to the bizarre Partridge Family Temple to Greg Shaw) document the history of, and opine on, and celebrate the unknowns of bubblegum music. Pete Townsend once remarked, "some of the world's best music is bubblegum" and most of these contributors agree. Their overlapping and amorphous definitions of the genre cause the chronologically laid out volume to act as a history of pop music from the 60s to today with a focus on that music created with ma A cast of contributors (from cartoonist Peter Bagge to the bizarre Partridge Family Temple to Greg Shaw) document the history of, and opine on, and celebrate the unknowns of bubblegum music. Pete Townsend once remarked, "some of the world's best music is bubblegum" and most of these contributors agree. Their overlapping and amorphous definitions of the genre cause the chronologically laid out volume to act as a history of pop music from the 60s to today with a focus on that music created with marketing in mind. Entertaining and enlightening, this lively tome sheds light on the names behind the manufactured sounds, the true stories of the real people leading or trapped in the movement, and institutions that fostered its growth. As educational as it is fun, this excellent collection of essays and interviews is a must for any music fan. Audio for tmy interview with contributor Becky Ebenkamp is archived to #102 at https://archive.org/details/BrucePollockOnOutsightRadioHours.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Garrett Cash

    This is one of the best music books I've read. It takes a genre that is almost universally derided by critics and gives it the respect it deserves. I've always thought The Archies's "Sugar, Sugar" is one of the most brilliant songs of all time, and it turns out there's a lot more where that came from! I haven't learned as much from a music book in a long time, and it stayed entertaining too! The book is comprised of essays by different authors on an exhaustive variety of subjects surrounding the This is one of the best music books I've read. It takes a genre that is almost universally derided by critics and gives it the respect it deserves. I've always thought The Archies's "Sugar, Sugar" is one of the most brilliant songs of all time, and it turns out there's a lot more where that came from! I haven't learned as much from a music book in a long time, and it stayed entertaining too! The book is comprised of essays by different authors on an exhaustive variety of subjects surrounding the music. Artists, producers, interviews, merchandise/cereal records, international scene, influence on other genres, etc. It's everything a reasonable person could want on the subject, but it hooks you into its world so deeply that you end up wanting more by reading it! If you want to retain any hope of having an "alternative cred" cool card then I don't recommend reading this, because as soon as there's a lull in the discussion on Joy Division you'll end up saying "Who's heard The Archies's "Jingle Jangle" album? Jeff Barry sure did some incredible stuff...so did Kasenetz-Katz, and The Monkees are the bomb!" *promptly gets kicked out onto the street* "But guys! Joey Ramone loved all that stuff! And so did Lester Bangs!" *door shuts*

  6. 4 out of 5

    Eric Cecil

    If you have even a passing interest in bubblegum, read this. You'll learn something. If you have even a passing interest in bubblegum, read this. You'll learn something.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pug

    What a mean book! :( Of course, being a 90's girl, who lived through (and dove headfirst into) the heyday of two of the biggest boy bands in the world, and who is now an over-grown teeny-bopper who still loves the aforementioned boy bands of her youth, I snagged this book off the shelf with glee. I don't mind a little joshing on boy bands... Yeah, I can appreciate the absurdity of the situation, and how silly they and their fans can be. But one would think that this author, who, having written a t What a mean book! :( Of course, being a 90's girl, who lived through (and dove headfirst into) the heyday of two of the biggest boy bands in the world, and who is now an over-grown teeny-bopper who still loves the aforementioned boy bands of her youth, I snagged this book off the shelf with glee. I don't mind a little joshing on boy bands... Yeah, I can appreciate the absurdity of the situation, and how silly they and their fans can be. But one would think that this author, who, having written a thick and detailed book on pop music, would at least have something insightful and redeeming to say. That was not the case. Really??? She had nothing positive to say about the upbeat songs, the talent of the guys, the harmonies, the dancing? (And most importantly, their good looks? LoL) Nope, she was rude and insulting. But what can you expect from someone who was touting the songs of the Spice Girls, Britney, etc.? Didn't understand it then, still can't understand it now. Sigh.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gerald

    Fine compendia of essays about one of my favorite strands of pop music. The book gathers material from many authors covering artists, labels, recordings, song writers and more. There are pieces on related styles of music as well. As its' name suggests, Bubblegum is light hearted fare, and the pieces in this collection that most connected with me were those that reflected the spirit of the music. Recommended for music and pop culture enthusiasts. Fine compendia of essays about one of my favorite strands of pop music. The book gathers material from many authors covering artists, labels, recordings, song writers and more. There are pieces on related styles of music as well. As its' name suggests, Bubblegum is light hearted fare, and the pieces in this collection that most connected with me were those that reflected the spirit of the music. Recommended for music and pop culture enthusiasts.

  9. 5 out of 5

    R.D Francis

    I've read this book twice over the years. It's a stellar read about that wonderful time of post-Monkees pop music of the early 1970s. Great memories of AM radio abound. I've read this book twice over the years. It's a stellar read about that wonderful time of post-Monkees pop music of the early 1970s. Great memories of AM radio abound.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Soltes

    THIS is the book to read about the history of bubblegum music,pop music,groups made from the studio using groups like the Wrecking Crew to record albums,but mostly singles. It was primarily driven by producers,and record labels to cash in on happy teen pop music. There are also many bands simply forming and making these one hit wonders and releasing them to the world. Information about the likes of The Monkees,The Archies,Josie & The Pussycats,Crazy Elephant,The Ohio Express,the Banana Splits,To THIS is the book to read about the history of bubblegum music,pop music,groups made from the studio using groups like the Wrecking Crew to record albums,but mostly singles. It was primarily driven by producers,and record labels to cash in on happy teen pop music. There are also many bands simply forming and making these one hit wonders and releasing them to the world. Information about the likes of The Monkees,The Archies,Josie & The Pussycats,Crazy Elephant,The Ohio Express,the Banana Splits,Tommy James & The Shondells,Bobby Sherman,Kasenetz & Katz,Edison Lighthouse and more! Anything about appealing to pre-teens and teenagers! Wonderful!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ravachol

    If you're really really REALLY keen on bubblegum music, you probably already have this thing resting on the altar in your bubblegum basilica. (You weirdo). This book is congested with layers and layers of information, yet I feel like I've learned practically nothing. Probably because I skimmed over most of it. It's just way too in-depth on a genre, it turns out, I'm not actually all that interested in. Yeah bubblegum music is super cool, and without it we wouldn't have Tommy James or The Archies, If you're really really REALLY keen on bubblegum music, you probably already have this thing resting on the altar in your bubblegum basilica. (You weirdo). This book is congested with layers and layers of information, yet I feel like I've learned practically nothing. Probably because I skimmed over most of it. It's just way too in-depth on a genre, it turns out, I'm not actually all that interested in. Yeah bubblegum music is super cool, and without it we wouldn't have Tommy James or The Archies, or the Ramones! But I already knew that and, ultimately, that's all I needed to know. 91% REDUNDANT.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    This is sort of one of those books of articles that you can keep going back to when you're ready to learn more. It was just great to find a book that justified my love of bubblegum pop, and let me know that there are plenty of people out there who take it WAY more seriously than me! In addition, it's a great resource for learning about other bubblgum acts of the past. I highly recommend it for anyone who has ever been made to feel bad about loving The Partridge Family, the Archies, Sweet, the Ba This is sort of one of those books of articles that you can keep going back to when you're ready to learn more. It was just great to find a book that justified my love of bubblegum pop, and let me know that there are plenty of people out there who take it WAY more seriously than me! In addition, it's a great resource for learning about other bubblgum acts of the past. I highly recommend it for anyone who has ever been made to feel bad about loving The Partridge Family, the Archies, Sweet, the Bay City Rollers, Cleopatra, BSB, NSYNC, or Britney.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bianca

    i was writing a paper on bubblegum, so i read this book and a few others. this was by far the most helpful, and you can tell kim et al are writing from a perspective that is mildly ironic but serious when it really counts. they appreciate the music while understanding what it was made for and this is key. not many people would want to read this book because most don't know what bubblegum really is. maybe they should? or maybe it should just be our dirty little secret. i was writing a paper on bubblegum, so i read this book and a few others. this was by far the most helpful, and you can tell kim et al are writing from a perspective that is mildly ironic but serious when it really counts. they appreciate the music while understanding what it was made for and this is key. not many people would want to read this book because most don't know what bubblegum really is. maybe they should? or maybe it should just be our dirty little secret.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Fans of super happy pop music who are into collecting stuff from the Bubblegum era of music will really like this book. Talks about the Banana Splits and a lot of the late 60's early 70's one hit wonders of bubblegum pop. Shares some interesting stories about the songwriters and some pretty weird ones too. Fans of super happy pop music who are into collecting stuff from the Bubblegum era of music will really like this book. Talks about the Banana Splits and a lot of the late 60's early 70's one hit wonders of bubblegum pop. Shares some interesting stories about the songwriters and some pretty weird ones too.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Just got this via ILL and can't wait to bite in! God, I loved the Banana Splits! Later: Written by several different people, this book is repetitive, schizophrenic, self-contradictory, and uneven in quality of writing. That said, quite a bit of it is fun! I am now reading just the chapters that catch my interest. Wish it came with a CD. Just got this via ILL and can't wait to bite in! God, I loved the Banana Splits! Later: Written by several different people, this book is repetitive, schizophrenic, self-contradictory, and uneven in quality of writing. That said, quite a bit of it is fun! I am now reading just the chapters that catch my interest. Wish it came with a CD.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Garry

    Dual Purpose. Serves as a reference book for an otherwise overlooked musical genre. On the other hand it provides a look at the blatantly commercial, sometimes deceptive and occasionally cynical aspects of POP music.

  17. 5 out of 5

    BCPL Youth Services Librarian

    Click to see book in BCPL's online catalog Click to see book in BCPL's online catalog

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    It is, you know.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alice Bag

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mi Eun

  21. 4 out of 5

    Billy Wiggins

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lulus

  23. 4 out of 5

    librarygrl

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hilary

  25. 5 out of 5

    Beth

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sumiko

  27. 4 out of 5

    I.D.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Craig

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jmgrey

  30. 4 out of 5

    Louie

  31. 4 out of 5

    Ian!!!

  32. 5 out of 5

    Will Harris

  33. 4 out of 5

    Mary Ann Slovick

  34. 4 out of 5

    Amy Dermont

  35. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

  36. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

  37. 5 out of 5

    John-Christian

  38. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Wilder

  39. 4 out of 5

    Molly

  40. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  41. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  42. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Irwin

  43. 5 out of 5

    Ed McElvain

  44. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel

  45. 4 out of 5

    Hayden

  46. 4 out of 5

    Lesley

  47. 5 out of 5

    Craven Lovelace

  48. 5 out of 5

    Tosh

  49. 5 out of 5

    Steph Anne

  50. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Joshua

  51. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

  52. 4 out of 5

    captain america

  53. 5 out of 5

    Gwenn

  54. 5 out of 5

    Josh

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