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by Jim Allen

March 15, 2014

The Bubblegum Revolution

by Jim Allen  |  March 15, 2014

The term "bubblegum music" gets thrown around loosely, but if you want to home in on real-deal bubblegum pop, you need to tighten your target. For the most part, the classic bubblegum sound popped up in the late '60s and stuck around until the early '70s. The pace was peppy, the choruses catchy, and the lyrics as simple and (literally) sugary as possible; confectionary themes are at the center of some of the greatest bubblegum tunes of all time ("Yummy Yummy Yummy," "Sugar, Sugar," "Chewy Chewy"). The trick to concocting the classics of the genre was to keep things on a level that kids could appreciate while working up a tune irresistible to any age group. Intriguingly, some of the most successful bubblegum groups didn't actually exist -- their hits were created by crafty conglomerations of producers, songwriters and session players. But regardless of the identities of the 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Archies, et al, the songs they made famous are the aural equivalent of a mountain made of cotton candy. Here are the style's sticky staples, plus a few unexpected interpretations from curious corners.

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