Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Ultimate Guidebook

I would like to introduce you, readers, to my bible. And, with its help introduce many great bubblegum artists and phenomena. I bought this book about two years ago to satisfy my enormous curiosity towards bubblegum music. The book is called Bubblegum Music Is the Naked Truth. The Dark History of Prepubescent Pop, from the Banana Splits to Britney Spears (Feral House, 2001), edited by Kim Cooper and David Smay.

Well, yeah, Britney Spears being mentioned in the book title is somewhat unappealing. However, the writers of this book surely couldn't know what was going to happen in the near future. Don't worry! This book is mostly about considerably older stuff than just late 90s and the 00s.

Bubblegum Music Is the Naked Truth is exhausting even for a bubblegum maniac like me. It is 300 pages long – and believe me, the pages are large and the font small. There are lots of black and white photos and pictures but they are mostly very small. The book, with its numerous writers, goes to great lengths describing, reviewing, criticizing, and, of course, admiring and advertising dozens and hundreds of bubblegum hitmakers and bubblegum-related things.

The book contains loads of detailed descriptions of obscure and well-known bubblegum acts, real bands and the imaginary ones, too. Just browsing the book is entertaining and every time you find yourself amazed of the incredibly detailed work that doesn't leave one rock unturned. There are articles about artists, record labels, related genres, the international aspects of bubblegum, people reminiscing about the subject, bubblegum merchandise... This book deals with even the most questionable, money-thirsty, x-rated aspects of bubblegum music.

I went crazy reading this book.. It is well-written and interesting and really not just about bubblegum music but also lots of other things that have something to do with bubblegum. Although sometimes things don't even seem to have a relation to bubblegum and are more like descriptions of obscure and/or great 60s/70s pop records or something similar. It seems that a lot of things are somehow connected to the bubblegum scene..

So, what is the essence of bubblegum music? It varies, of course, especially through different time periods. In its original meaning bubblegum music is music made for children in the purpose of selling records, breakfast cereals, toys, anything, but bubblegum music is at its best also so catchy and well-written music that it appeals to children as well as adults. A real bubblegum song is something happy that plays in your head all day – and the next day too. A piece of cheerfulness stuck in you head... Things could be worse, don't you think?

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