Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

“Sweets for My Sweet”: Unattributed Artist

Imagine browsing through a bunch of old records and finding a cover whose only text was a title – “Bubble Rock is Here to Stay” – and an encircled statement that whimsically declared, “There is no artiste on this albumthe songs are the stars.”

Bubble Rock - 1972

Only when you pull the vinyl out of its sleeve does the album actually give an artist attribution:  Jonathan King.   I knew from endless youthful readings of Nicholas Schaffner‘s The Beatles Forever that Jonathan King was a “pop-star-turned-pundit” who was one of the lone voices of opposition to the Beatles’ groundbreaking 1966 album, Revolver, dismissing much of it as “pseudo-intellectual rubbish.”  The previous year, King had had a big international hit with “Everybody’s Gone to the Moon.”

With 1972’s Bubble Rock Is Here to Stay, it would appear that King has attempted to recast classic pop and rock tunes in new and fresh settings, as indicated on the liner notes

The multi-million sellers – as never heard before.  Fabulous old wines in beautiful new bottles!  Would you believe ‘Rock Around the Clock Waltz‘?  Would you imagine ‘Twist and Shout‘ with a string quartet?  Have you heard ‘It’s My Party‘ gay and heavy?  ‘The Wanderer‘ rocking with violin and mouth organ?  ‘Have I the Right?‘ guitar freakout and ‘The Night Has a Thousand Eyes‘ rock and roll?  ‘Reflections‘ squashed into the ‘Whole Lotta Love‘ bass riff?  ‘It’s Over” as a whispered instrumental; ‘Sweets for My Sweets‘ – pounding drums, fuzz bass and swinging violins; ‘Rain and Tears‘ (the European giant) with organ and mandolin.

Sweets for My Sweets” – the album track with the most commercial potential – is a Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman composition (yet another example of early rock’s Latin influences) originally made famous in 1961 by The Drifters:

Sweets for My Sweet

[PssstClick on the triangle above to play “Sweets for My Sweet” by unattributed artist]

Promotional ad

BillboardSep. 9, 1972

Do not read unless you own “This Is Reggae

Released on King’s own UK Records, which was active between 1972-76.  LP cover laminated with “Clarifoil” made by British Celanese Ltd.

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Love the Flub:

Musical Bloopers!

Sometimes a mistake left in the mix can lend a refreshing human-ness to the listening experience – as on “Sweets for My Sweet,” where the fuzz bassist flubs the note near the fade out (around the 1:53 mark) but does a decent job of covering his mistake.  Other fun moments of imperfection in pop recording history include –

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I’m Gonna Love You Too” by Buddy Holly & the Crickets:  you can actually hear, er, crickets chirping at the very end of the song (briefly around the 2:09 mark).

45 picture sleeve

Germany

Wendy” by The Beach Boys:  during an instrumental break you can hear someone cough (at the 1:19 mark).

45 picture sleeve

The Netherlands

He’s a Doll” by The Honeys:  you don’t need a music degree to hear the flubbed drum break (at the 1:00 mark) that immediately follows the first chorus – would you be stunned to discover that the culprit is none other than legendary session drummer, Hal Blaine?

single release

US

Why Can’t We Be Friends” by War:  the fluffed note in the keyboard intro (0:02) is so obvious and so easily re-doable — and yet they decided to keep it.  Fascinating.

45 picture sleeve

Italy

While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by The Beatles:  during the instrumental coda near the end of the song, bassist Paul overshoots the note by two frets (at the 4:23 mark) but disguises the flubbed note in such a way that most probably have no idea it’s there.

45 picture sleeve

Japan

With Your Love” by The Jefferson Starship:  toward the end of this upbeat ballad (around the 2:37 mark), bassist Pete Sears defies convention by playing a G against an F Major 7 chord – a “mistake” that I would sorely miss should the band unwisely decide to correct through some sort of digital trickery.

Included on special edition 8-song EP

Canada

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LINK to Advertising +/- Marketing in Popular Music

LINK to Fuzz Bass

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