Vanilla Pop: Sweet Sounds from Frankie Avalon to ABBA
Vanilla Pop. The words connote a sound that is alternately sweet yet refreshing, smooth yet effervescent–the sound of “Love Letters in the Sand,” “Venus,” “Sealed with a Kiss,” “Rhythm of the Rain,” “A Summer Song,” and “Knowing Me, Knowing You.” Vanilla Pop, an impressionistic history of a musical form that pervaded popular culture roughly from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s, explains what gives this music its character: extreme studio processing, high-register vocals, flowing melodies, ethereal sound effects. Here is a definitive history and appreciation of a pop music in danger of being forgotten, a gallant attempt to challenge fashionable misconceptions and refocus the world’s pop sensibility to the sounds, as well as the visionary men and women, traversing the vanilla extreme.
First published USA February 2005
Chapter 13: ABBA's Vanilla Ice
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