Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

“A Bubble Called You”: No Offense, Philly

Just an hour or so up the interstate from Baltimore resides a prominent metropolitan area that was once the “Rodney Dangerfield” of East Coast cities:  Philadelphia.   Somehow in the course of looking for bowling songs, I chanced upon this curious piece of sunshine pop – “A Bubble Called You by the Alan Copeland Conspiracy – that casts a rain cloud over Baltimore’s big neighbor to the north:

“A Bubble Called You”      Alan Copeland Conspiracy    1967

“A Bubble Called You” would lead off the second side of Copeland’s 1967 ABC album of the same name (one that includes a cover of The Everly Brothers’ “Bowling Green,” hence the ten-pin connection).  Despite its status as the album’s title track, “A Bubble Called You” would remain, surprisingly enough, under house arrest during its lifetime and not enjoy single release.

Bubble Called YouCopeland, in a playful bid to stoke controversy that might potentially boost sales, would subtitle the album, All Things Considered, I’d Rather Be Here Than in Philadelphia.

Its indignation sufficiently stoked, the City of Brotherly Love would strike back years later with a concerted campaign to bring about “an end to Philadelphia’s dark ages and Chinese Wall ugliness, an end to a city thinking with an inferiority complex” — as we shall see in tomorrow’s post

By the way, before we leave Baltimore behind, I would like to thank another music scholar, Joe Vaccarino – author of Baltimore Sounds – for his generosity of spirit.  Joe’s additions to the “Baltimore in Song” list filled an important chronological gap that has resulted in an impressive 17-year continuous streak between the years 1995-2012.  Thanks also to Geoffrey Himes, whose knowledge of numerous other song titles that reference Baltimore place & street names, sets the stage for a future piece on Mobtown “Honorable Mentions.”

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