Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Detailed Twang readers, I’m in need of some help with a small, potentially made-up sub-genre of 1970s rock and roll. I unoriginally call it “bubbleglam”. Others might call it hard-rockin’ bubblegum, or even power pop. Me, I’ve never been much into power pop, and I don’t know anything much about the glam era outside of the “heavy hitters”. Yet when I hear songs like the two I’m posting for you today, I wonder if there just might be a whole rich set of treasure just waiting for someone to turn me onto it. I need you to please tell me if there is.

See, these two songs by FRIENDS and the WHIZZ KIDDS were discovered by me on mp3 blogs during the past couple of years. Totally love 'em. I want to hear more songs like them: hard-driving, harmony-laden, hook-heavy songs with guitars out front. I can just picture the white man’s afros and leisure suits on the guys in these bands, and it’s an image I’m liking. The FRIENDS song is a real mystery. I can’t remember at all where I got it from, and I’m wondering if it’s an original. I researched it last night and found that other bands have covered the song (even INXS!), leading me to believe that the “FRIENDS” themselves were covering it. If so, they made the thing their own – you know how you can sorta tell when something’s a cover, even when you’ve never heard its precedent? This is one of those songs – totally rollicking, hand-clapping good times.

I got the WHIZZ KIDDS track from the excellent Crud Crud mp3 blog a while back. He says it’s from 1977, though it has more of a ’73 feel to me. Then again, what do I know? I’m the one asking you for help, right? “Sweet Honey” is one of several smile-conjuring songs that, in the course of listing a woman’s positive attributes, mentions her skills as a cook (see The O’Jays’ “She Used Ta Be My Girl”). It’s very pre-feminism, but I’m sure these fellas were just being true to themselves. Good cookin’ is good cookin’.

Anyway, now that you’ve clicked on the buttons below and are playing (and perhaps downloading) these songs, can you please let me know of other obscurities that I might enjoy that sound similar to them? Are there entire compilations of this stuff? Or is there no ridiculous sub-genre of "bubbleglam" to wrap my downloading, 45-buying and CD-buying skills around?

Play Friends “Gonna Have A Good Time Tonight”

Play Whizz Kidds “Sweet Honey”

Download FRIENDS – “Gonna Have a Good Time Tonight”
Download WHIZZ KIDDS – “Sweet Honey”


Anonymous said...

You may enjoy this compilation that was released in November on the Numero Group label :

V/A - Titan - it's all Pop! 2xCD

***From 1978-1981 the Titan label issued only eight records, but over the years their tiny catalog has crawled to the top of power-pop want lists worldwide and appeared on scads of bootleg cassettes, building a legacy to rival LA’s Bomp or New York’s Ork. Located in fly-over country, Titan was forced to start their own scene, import their own skinny ties, and scour Missouri for their own talent. Their midwest AM bubble gum roots are apparent in the likes of GARY CHARLSTON, THE SECRETS, ARLIS, GEMS, MILLIONAIRE AT MIDNIGHT, THE BOYS, JP McCLAIN & THE INTRUDERS, BOBBY SKY, and SCOTT McCARL, but Titan was clearly influenced by the glam-punk spit being hocked from the 100 Club stage. 30 years since they meekly flopped out their first 7-inch single, Kansas City’s Titan Records finally returns to record bins everywhere in a deluxe two-disc retrospective with comprehensive 40-page booklet.

Anonymous said...

"Gonna have a good time" is an Easybeats song! Another fine Vanda/Young number, from around 1968 I think.

One version was used in the film "The Lost Boys" . . .

MS69 said...

Anonymous said...


I second the excellent Robin Wills blog. I'd hunt down "Good Time Fanny" by Angel, the Dog Rose single, the Shakane single, the Cardinal Point single and the bootleg comp "Glam Sandwich and Electro Flares" as well. There's probably a ton of this stuff out there that's waiting to be discovered.

Happy New Year.


Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of MUD, the band that Chinn/Chappman produced along with Sweet...their best songs, like "Rocket" and "Dynamite", are like a more 50s influenced take on Sweet's best material. They padded out their albums with shitty covers of 50s standards, but their singles are great.
I also like Roy Wood and Wizzard; their albums are hit-and-miss, but their singles are great; "Angel Fingers" and "Ball Park Incident" are great, and Wood had the most idiotic look going.

Anonymous said...

uh yeah, i think this stuff has been collected for years as junk shop glam. Sorry chappie, not an original one by you.