The word bubblegum sends a cringe through the soul of many a music fan. Then again some collectors cultivate it, celebrate it and catalog it. In any case it seems to have infiltrated every decade of music since the 60's. I can't say I support the current incarnation but I have a soft spot for bubblegum psych. The following two records are a good example of not taking your music too seriously and still not feeling too guilty about it.

The Klowns - Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey
In all truth The Klowns weren't really a band. They were one of the many creations of Jeff Berry the notable 60's bubblegum producer responsible for hits by the
Monkees, The Archies, and Neil Diamond. The Klowns served an outlet for his stable of songwriters from his Steed Label. The songs themselves vary but there are certainly a host of gems in amongst the throwaway, it is bubblegum so they are all essentially fluf but good fluf. Interestingly enough the lead singer of The Klowns was Barry Bostwick who as an actor later went on to play Brad in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The project fizzled quickly but the songs like "Yellow Sunglasses," "Love Is The Answer" and "Movin" remain as a fun take on the explosion of psychedelic pop.

[MP3] The Klowns - Yellow Sunglasses
[MP3] The Klowns - Love Is The Answer

The Monkees - Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.
This marks the Monkees foray into the arena of psychedelic pop and while not really a great psych record, it is one of their better offerings. Some great bubbly pop
songs with fun use of swirling effects and oddly enough some of the first appearances of the Moog Synthesizer on a rock record. This was not a Jeff Berry production, but it did prove to be a more cohesive Monkees record than most. It boasts some nice originals by the band and the classic cover of Harry Nilsson's "Cuddly Toy." Oh, and hearing the Monkees rail against the status quo on "Pleasant Valley Sunday" has to be one of the great musical ironies of all time.

[MP3] The Monkees - Daily Nightly
[MP3] The Monkees - Pleasant Valley Sunday

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posted by dissensous at 9:54:00 PM


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