Hard to Find 45s, Vol. 11: Sugar Pop Classics

Various Artists

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Hard to Find 45s, Vol. 11: Sugar Pop Classics Review

by Steve Leggett

The 19 singles collected on this set of 1960s sugar pop classics weren’t exactly bubblegum -- each of these sides has at least a thin veneer of adult emotion attached to it -- but they weren’t too far up the confection ladder, either. They weren’t heavy or experimental recordings, and they weren’t out to change minds or the world. But they sure were bright and insistent -- ear worms, if you will, the kinds of things you heard on the radio while you were waiting for the song you really wanted to hear, and once they got stuck in your ear, they were in there for a good long time, whether you liked it or not. This set is full of pesky, big-production ear worms like “Nice to Be with You” by Gallery (really Detroit native Jim Gold), “My Baby Needs Lovin’” by White Plains (one of lead singer Tony Burrows’ many bands -- he was also the singer for Edison Lighthouse, Brotherhood of Man, the Flower Pot Men, the Pipkins, and the First Class, among others), “Montego Bay” by Bobby Bloom (who wrote the song with Jeff Barry), “Girl Watcher” by the O’Kaysions (a North Carolina country and gospel group that went secular and R&B with this single), the effortlessly pretty “Mr. Dieingly Sad” by the Critters, and “Baby Take Me in Your Arms” by Jefferson (who was actually Geoff Turton of the Rockin’ Berries). One has to be in the mood for this stuff, but there are times when a little sugar is exactly what the world needs. There’s a big-sized dose here.

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