Thursday, March 27, 2014

I remember the "prog-rock" period of the early '70s.
And how it created a lot of musical lunkheads who equated anything that wasn't a 9-minute abstract-sounding track to that of "bubblegum music".

I remember reading a review of an America album in a college newspaper in which the reviewer slammed the group for being "just another 'AM rock' band", as if anything top-40 or pop was automatically synonymous with bubblegum or even children's records.  With that kind of reasoning even Frank Sinatra would fit into the "bubblegum" category (simply for performing straight-ahead pop songs).

Music analysis is way more intricate and multifaceted than simply pigeonholing meritability as being based solely on how abstract something seems.  A 9-minute track can just as easily be a succession of repetitive two-chord instrumental riffs that drag on indefinitely and go nowhere.  But which may sound impressive to the musically uneducated.

Although, essentially, there's nothing wrong with a 9-minute track---so long as it has substance and the music itself actually goes somewhere.



  1. Anyone who has had any real success as an artist falls into the "Bubblegum" category, and I've never quite understood why that is such a bad thing. As my friend Bobby Vee once said to me "Pop music is just an abbreviation of Popular music".

    1. Well, there IS kind of an egomania to recording acts like Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd and the like. Of course I still like a lot of their recordings just the same.
      The ideal nostalgia program (automation-style satellite radio?) would comprise a little bit of everything from Buddy Holly to The Grass Roots to Aretha Franklin to Emerson Lake and Palmer to Bobby Darin to...
      well, you get the picture.
      Everyone had something to contribute, just with a different mindset and set of priorities. One should just be musically open-minded.