Sunday, January 17, 2016

Retro Tribute CDs, Part 2: Right To Chews: Bubblegum Classics Revisited

Last week, I took a look at a 1995 CD release called Saturday Morning Cartoons’ Greatest Hits, which featured alternative artists doing their versions of the theme songs from some classic animated series. This week, let’s review another cool album, this one focused on the bubblegum pop genre. Right To Chews: Bubblegum Classics Revisited, released by (the late, lamented) Not Lame Records in 2002, is a groovy disc that features indie artists covering songs from bands that run the gamut from well known acts like The Jackson 5 & The Osmonds to one hit wonders like White Plains & Daniel Boone. Its 25 tracks worth of stellar AM radio pop goodness from the late 60s & early-mid 70s, with those hummable tunes & “can’t get it out of your head” choruses. The record kicks off with The Rubinoos version of “Bubblegum Music” originally recorded by the Rock & Roll Dubble Bubble Trading Card Company of Philadelphia. It’s a rallying cry for the rest of the album, detailing the joys of listening to the bubblegum genre.

The rest of the disc features more well-remembered hits like The Flying Machine’s “Smile A Little Smile For Me” faithfully rendered by Chris Von Sniedern, and the catchy “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” ably re-done by the band Beagle. Some of the covers punch up the original tune, like Teen Machine’s rocking take on The Ohio Express hit “Yummy Yummy Yummy,” and Doug Powell’s power-popped up version of The Partridge Family’s “I Woke Up In Love This Morning.” There are also some more obscure tracks from the period on the album, including Linus of Hollywood’s excellent reading of The Banana Splits’ tune “I Enjoy Being A Boy (In Love With You)” and Superstone’s romp through The Archies’ B-side “Melody Hill.” I also really dig Tammy & The Lords of Misrule’s version of The Sweet’s “Wig Wam Bam,” The Mitch Easter Sound’s awesome cover of Crazy Elephant’s “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin,” Cliff Hillis jamming on Tommy Roe's "Dizzy," and Marykate O’Neil’s romp through Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Get Down.”

Most of the acts featured on the disc are from the power pop genre, and they infuse these tunes with their own special brand of pop/rock energy. These artists are clearly bubblegum fans, and the disc is so well-done that I think you’ll find yourself re-playing it for a long while after your first spin. Hopefully, you'll also be inspired to check out some of the original music by the artists featured on the compilation. Sadly, this album is long out of print, but with a bit of searching on the internet, you should be able to hunt down a copy, or at least listen to some of the tracks. If you do find a copy of the disc, make sure to read the excellent liner notes included with the CD. By the way, the cover is an homage to Herb Alpert’s classic 1960s album Whipped Cream & Other Delights. This may not be the greatest tribute album ever released, but it's certainly one of the most fun. Here are links to Einstein's Sister's take on "My Baby Loves Lovin" Hillis with his cover of "Dizzy" and Beagle’s version of “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)”, from the album.

Here’s the track list from the CD:
1. Bubblegum Music - The Rubinoos
2. Yummy, Yummy, Yummy - Teen Machine
3. Smile A Little Smile For Me - Chris Von Sneidern
4. Goodie Good Ice Cream Man - The Andersons!
5. I Want You Back - Sparkle*Jets U.K.
6. Dizzy - Cliff Hillis
7. Gimme Gimme Good Lovin' - The Mitch Easter Sound!
8. I Enjoy Being A Boy (In Love With You) - Linus Of Hollywood
9. Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) - Beagle
10. Goody Goody Gumdrops - Receiver
11. I Woke Up In Love This Morning - Doug Powell
12. Time To Change - Michael Carpenter
13. Goin' Home - Stingray Green
14. Feelin' So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y. D.O.O.) - The Lolas
15. 1,2,3, Red Light - Joyride
16. Saturday Night - The Oranges
17. My Baby Loves Lovin' - Einstein's Sister
18. Little Bit 'O Soul - Walter Clevenger & The Dairy Kings
19. Get Down - Marykate O'Neil
20. May I Take A Giant Step (Into Your Heart) - Jim Laspesa & Michael Quercio
21. Down By The Lazy River - Wonderboy
22. Beautiful Sunday - The Popdudes
23. Superman - The Beatifics
24. Wig-Wam Bam - Tammy & The Lords Of Misrule
25. Melody Hill - Superstone

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