Bubblegum Rock

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Bubblegum Rock

Bubblegum rock emerged in the late 1960s as a commercial response to demographic changes in the rock music industry. With major rock artists such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones maturing after 1967 toward more adult styles, both musically and lyrically, as they and their audiences grew up, they left behind a major segment of the rock music marketplace: the pre-teen crowd. The music industry rushed to capitalize on this younger market by assembling studio musicians to record novelty songs with catchy hooks and sing-along lyrics and packaging them as real "bands." The approach worked, resulting in a string of hits including, among many others, "Yummy Yummy Yummy" by Ohio Express, "Simon Says" by 1910 Fruitgum Company, and "Sugar Sugar" by the Archies. The genre peaked in 1969, but the tradition continued into the 1990s with such groups as Hanson that appealed to the pre-teen market.

—Timothy Berg

Further Reading:

Miller, Jim, editor. The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll. New York, Rolling Stone Press, 1980.

Various Artists. Bubblegum Classics, Vol. 1-5. Varese Sarabande, 1995.