It is far and few that I strongly recommend a Pop record achievement from my own country but, here is one of those rare instances when I strongly do; it is nothing short of a mini-masterpiece, the one time collaboration between famous Tarantino "Death Proof" movie soundtrack recording star, April March (in her world known cover of Swingin' Mademoiselle Ye Ye queen France Gall's Serge Gainsbourg-penned "Laisse Tomber les Filles" : "Chick Habit" that was even used later for a national Renault French car advertising campaign)... and French Indie Avant-rock band, Aquaserge, from the southern provincial town of Toulouse, up to here an excellent Robert Wyatt-era Soft Machine influenced combo. Excellent... which in itself is a rare instance among the French indie rock and pop scene enough to mention!
Under the influence of the success of The Monkees TV series and records, the powers that be discovered that cartoon musicians couldn't mutiny and demand creative control, as the talented simian foursome had done shortly after their breakthrough success.
Most famous, of course, are The Archies, as they had the biggest hit ("Sugar Sugar"), but here are a few neglected relics of a higher quality.
Josie & The Pussycats was a groundbreaking cartoon, in that not only were Josie and her band all females, but even more so that character Valerie Brown was black. The voice heard on the records was none other than Patrice Holloway (sister of Brenda), and the excellent "With Every Beat Of My Heart' is a tasty concoction of bubblegum soul with a slight country flavor.
The Hardy Boys, teenage sleuths who first became heroes in print in the 1920's, have had several revivals through the years. These Hardy Boys became cartoon characters in 1969, combining their inquisitive nature musical talent into a series that updated the themes with lessons of drug abuse, cigarettes, and the importance of seat belts. Just like Josie & The Pussycats, they were an integrated group as well.
An actual group was put together to tour and record tracks for the soundtrack, and among the lighter weight numbers we find this excellent bubblegum freakbeat track that takes the 'Foxy Lady' into entirely different territory.Check out the still (below) of The Hardy Boys doin' their thang in a real groovy scene.
Spike Priggen (AKA "Cookie" of Bedazzled.tv and Scopitones.com) will be DeeJaying at Sidecar on 5th Avenue in Brooklyn every other Thursday starting January 10th. I'll be "spinning" everything from Freakbeat to Dub, up to and including Glam, Bubblegum, Pop-Psych, Sunshine Pop, Garage Rock, Girl Groups, British Invasion, Punk, New Wave, Northern Soul, Ska, Funk, Soundtracks & other great musics of the 60's, 70's, 80's and beyond. Also expect to see some obscure Mod Retro Video action, courtesy of Bedazzled.tv on the monitors. Link to FaceBook Event page.
Before The Jaggerz hit it big signin' to Kama Sutra with "The Rapper" (a perennial Bubble-gum classic!) for their second LP in 1970, they were a more than competent Blue Eyed Soul band startin' as "the Jaggers" in '65 and had something of a "Northern Soul" sound on their first underrated and unbeknownst to most album on Gamble records : "Introducing the Jaggerz"; here's a song from that album recorded in 1968 on this rare TV clip performing LIVE their debut single : "(That's Why) Baby I Love You" written and sung by Billy Maybray, on the Terry McGovern Show shot in Pittsburgh, PA.
"The Flower Pot Men were a British pop group created in 1967 as a result of the single "Let's Go to San Francisco", recorded by session musicians, becoming a major UK Top 20 and Continental Europe hit in the autumn of 1967. The group's sound was characterised by rich, three-part vocal harmonies." Link.
Check out more Bubblegum Music on the Bedazzled Video Hour and a Half 2008: "Bubblegum Music A- Z"