Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Salt Water Taffy (1968) Sunshine Bubblegum @320

This New York-based bubblegum group -- led by songwriter/producer Rod McBrien -- recorded their lone album for Buddah Records in 1968. Titled after their local New York hit "Finders Keepers" (which bubbled under Billboard's Hot 100 nationally at number 105 in May 1968), the album featured a vocal harmony sound that was supposed to be similar to what a white version of the 5th Dimension would sound like, according to McBrien. Several of the tracks were penned by McBrien and his songwriting partner, former Valrays saxophonist Johnny Giametta, while others included covers from the Anders & Poncia catalog ("Whence I Make Thee Mine") and one tune by the Mann/Weil team ("You Baby"). Lead vocals on the title track were actually handled by Tommy West (whose real name is Tommy Piccardo), who sang the one-off minor hit as a favor (West later penned hits for the Partridge Family, produced Jim Croce, and partnered with Terry Cashmen as the Buchanan Brothers). The song featured a chirpy chorus of taunting children and a vocal arrangement in the Jay & the Techniques vein. Additional songs featured Janie Brannan (whose husband penned the goofy liner notes) and Kathy Weisberg, recent transplants to New York who fell into the gig as Salt Water Taffy girls. A follow-up single with similar playground children chanting, "Sticks and Stones," failed to catch on, as did two additional singles pulled from the album. In 1970, the group transferred over to United for one single -- another Anders & Poncia cover, "Summertime Girl" -- which failed to chart, and shortly thereafter the Salt Water Taffy broke up.


 This record is a real gem in sixties pop music. And if you are a lover of sixties pop you can't resist these songs. Related to the 5th Dimension it is far more of a bubblegum pop feel here in the songs. The edition is full of 22 songs and i haven't found anything about a 22 track edition
(but i haven't search a lot because i was a little bit lazy). Track 13 and 14 are bonus tracks on the Rev-Ola CD from 2009. They are here, too. All in all a wonderful pop album and it had deserved
more attention than a no. 105 on Billboard charts. So, genug geschwätzt ! Enough said! I hope you like it like i do.

Three cheers
                    Frank

320

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