There’s definitely no lack of compilation albums promoting gooey goodies from the late 1960s and early 1970s, but this particular collection, which I picked up at the Dollar Store, is what I’ve been spinning the refried beans out of the past few days.
Like the music itself, Bubble Gum Hits (Universal Music Enterprises) is short and sweet, as it features only 10 songs and punches in at under 30 minutes in length.
To give you an example of what tooth-decaying delicacies await you, there’s the majestic groove of “Sugar Sugar” by the Archies, the DeFranco Family’s sinfully blissful “Heartbeat (It’s A Lovebeat)” and the horny garage punk sneer of “Yummy Yummy Yummy” from the Ohio Express.
Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods also check in with their sad tale of a solider killed in battle and the effect it had on his girlfriend via “Billy Don’t Be A Hero,” which marches onward to the panoramic tone of military drumming and bellowing trumpets. The song’s timing was perfect, as it was released just as the Vietnam nightmare was drawing to a close — although Mitch Murray and Peter Callandar, the writers behind the sonic tragedy, say it was about the Civil War.
The Osmond Brothers let loose with a double dosage of soul power on “One Bad Apple,” while Tommy Roe’s melodiously merry “Dizzy” and the equally cheery “Tracy” are other pleasure points presented on the record.
Every single cut on Bubble Gum Hits is dangerously addictive, which is why they assaulted the airwaves with such a force at the hour they were issued, and if you ask me they sound as catchy and clever now as they did back then.