Three Minute Treacle
So everybody listened to AM music and young people were about to endure probably the most vile, but thankfully short, episode in american popular music history - Bubblegum.
Sugar Sugar - The Archies
It was the fluffiest, most repetitive and noisome crap imaginable. It was an invented style cranked out in an assembly line process and aimed straight at ten to sixteen year olds. You see it was a marketing decision. Back then if you wanted music to play at home on your phonograph you basically had three choices of speeds, all records, and turntables allowed you to choose between them. Pubescent kids didn't have the cash to buy more expensive 33 1/3 albums from established bands but would go and buy a cheaper 45 with a song on each side, so these execrable bubblegum songs would be cranked out on 45s, lots of times just manufactured by studio musicians.
Yummy, Yummy, Yummy - Ohio Express
Truly simple, bouncy, childish music with those horrific melodies that make you wish you could wash your brain with bleach, these songs. I don't think for a second there was any groundswell of demand for them, rather they were forced on us all either as a vile social experiment or vicious pursuit of profit, probably both. The funny thing about these songs was that since youngish people were targeted the lyrics dripped with references to sugary food, I guess it worked. What compounded the agony was the tendency of pop/rock stations to do heavy rotation of their top 40 with these torture tunes liberally included, probably because some crook somewhere greased some palms to put them on the list.
Chewy Chewy - 1910 Fruitgum Company
To credit this contrived sludge as a a separate style a la acid, grunge, rockabilly or punk is wrong, oh so wrong in my opinion, and it's probably the only music you can say that about. It wasn't born from the ground up but forced into existence like a fat, constipated producer on the toilet. You can't really claim the "genre" left a legacy or influenced other styles, except perhaps later teeny idols mimicking the manipulative business aspect of the era, targeting the pimply crowd. I suppose one could make the case that it could be admired from afar as a case of successful hitmaking craft, but that would be damning it with faint praise anyway. The whole thing was constructed around the idea of selling records and churning the stuff out. Surf music, slightly older, was a brilliant gift to the world by comparison.
Fortunately the phenomena died a relatively quick death. The few bands that had actually formed to pump out this bilge were basically one hit wonders. The pubescents who got sucked into buying the 45s aged, bought drugs and started listened to the Dead. Society's mood changed and the taste for listening to chirpy nothingness over and over gratefully passed.
But of course, that void had to be filled. Then came Disco.
Bubble Gum Music - The Rock & Roll Dubble Bubble Trading Card Co. of Philadelphia - 19141