From Library Journal
Dedicated to the late music critic Lester Bangs and recently deceased punk legend Joey Ramone, this wonderfully quirky title leaves no stone unturned in its coverage of bubblegum music. Cooper, publisher of underground culture 'zine Scram, and Smay, a Scram contributor, lay out this music's long and winding parameters, concentrating on the "classic" years (defined as 1967-72). More than 30 contributors offer essays on forgotten artists whose songs are still played on oldies radio stations: the Archies, the Cowsills, and 1910 Fruitgum Company, among others. The book excels at showing the human side of these mostly forgotten artists and their producers. Also included are pieces on bubblegum progeny of the 1980s and 1990s, including Britney Spears. And there's more: surveys of the media as it relates to the music, the international scene, and various bubblegum artifacts (remember cereal box records?). An excellent "Recommended Listening" section and a useful index round out the volume. Full of illustrations of classic album covers and artist photos (regrettably in washed-out black and white), this quirky and entertaining book is recommended as a reference for all comprehensive music collections. University libraries should also purchase for popular music studies collections. David M. Turkalo, Suffolk Univ. Law Sch. Lib., Boston
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Into the flaccid world of mainstream pop-music culture ride editors Cooper and Smay and the other contributors to this expose of the scaly underside of . . . bubblegum music, which the coeditors call "rock . . . revamped into . . . nursery rhymes [with] a backbeat that even the klutziest infant can't miss." Coyly merchandising carnality to preteens and young teens is bubblegum's stock-in-trade, and the many ways it has been done are this book's subjects. They are treated piecemeal, in scores of articles on particular bands, record labels, and bubblegum spin-offs on TV, radio, and the silver screen. KISS--face paint, overtaxed amps, and all--is one of the targeted bands, and its Dressed to Kill
album is characterized as "the most inarguable bubblemetal mixture ever," whose lyrical content renders "sex through the eyes and fantasies of a 13-year-old." The Cowsills, the Ohio Express, and the Backstreet Boys are treated, too, of course, though no mention is made of the psychedelic bubblegummers, Bubblepuppy. Insightful and highly readable popular-culture chronicling. Mike TribbyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved