All right, go ahead, be snobs, just like you were in the Sixties. But if you’re gonna listen to Talking Heads, you might as well know that they cite bubblegum as one of their biggest influences and used to do the 1910 Fruitgum Co.’s ‘1, 2, 3, Red Light’ onstage, just like Wilson Picket had the good taste to cover ‘Sugar, Sugar,’ a rock and roll classic to which something like the Grateful Dead’s ‘Dark Star’ can’t hold a candle.
Bubblegum music, in fact, rested (or more accurately perked) squarely in the mainstream of the rock and roll tradition [and] could be described as the basic sound of rock and roll–minus the rage, fear, violence and anomie that runs from Johnny Burnette to Sid Vicious. 1-2-3-4, as Dee Dee Ramone would say. Ladle on a bit of Beach Boys here and there, keep the ball rolling but let it bounce. No lobs or straight shots in the other team’s face. A calculated innocence, perhaps, but the wonderful irony was that it worked.
— Lester Bangs The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll
To give you an idea of their pricing policy, Sandwich’s Pilgrim’s Hospice once charged £5 for a scratched-to-buggery Band on the Run (it didn’t even have the poster!); needless to say, I’ve never bought anything there despite having visited several times. All that changed yesterday with this excellent compendium of late 60s, tooth-rotting, sunshine pop.