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Sugar: We love bubblegum here, as you know--and Foxbase has posted six compilations of obscure "sunshine pop" that is almost 100 percent pure refined sugar. You probably don't need six zip files full of the stuff--but if you dig it, it's good to have in overdose proportions. Here's a sample: the Sugar Bears' sublime "You Are the One." This was an actual Hot 100 hit (chart peak: #51, May 13, 1972) available on actual vinyl, although lots of people--myself included--cut if off the back of a Post Sugar Crisp cereal box. As was often the case in the bubblegum era, the group featured people who were happy to be making a living as musicians and didn't trouble themselves with artistic pretentions: The Sugar Bears included Mike Settle, onetime member of the First Edition with Kenny Rogers, Baker Knight, who wrote such hits as "Lonesome Town" and "Never Be Anyone Else" for Rick Nelson, "The Wonder of You" for Elvis, and "Don't the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time" for country star Mickey Gilley, as well a pre-stardom Kim Carnes.
(It looks like the Sugar Bears have slipped out of print--imagine that!--so if you're looking to buy "You Are the One," eBay is your best option.)
Soda: If you've been watching TV (especially, but not exclusively, sports on TV), you have probably seen a new Dr. Pepper commercial touting its supposed 23 flavors. And if you've seen it, you've heard another pop tune converted to a jingle--the Vapors' "Turning Japanese," heard in the ad as "Turning 23." I intended to blog about this last week--until I discovered that "Turning Japanese" wasn't in my library. But it is now, thanks to Kelly over at Looking at Them, who posted it along with other songs from the soundtrack of the 80s flick Sixteen Candles. Better get there quickly before the tracks disappear. (One wonders if the people at Dr. Pepper or their ad agency realize that "turning Japanese" is an obscure euphemism for excessive masturbation, and when taken as such, is also racist. I'm guessing not.)
Sweet: The inimitable Locust St. is up to the 1976 installment of 100 years in 10 jumps. That's my favorite year, of course--and I was fascinated by both the commentary and the tunes, those familiar to me and those unfamiliar, too--especially "You to Me Are Everything" by the Real Thing. By 1976, soul and R&B were being subsumed by disco, but before disco became first formulaic and then robotic, there were a number of gorgeous records that straddled the genres, and 30 years later, they're the ones worth remembering.