The Andy Kim Collector's Page


Some Andy Kim Record Reviews

How'd We Ever
How'd We Ever Get This Way was Andy's debut album on Steed Records, produced by his friend and partner-in-crime, Jeff Barry. The pair were to take the bubblegum world by storm soon with The Archies, and Andy's album is an early indicator of what the Barry/Kim team could do. The material ranges from innocuous, harmless/innocent-sounding pop ditties like the title track, "Ordinary Kind of Girl", "Circus" to complete weirdness like the last track, the "big" production number,"Resurrection". On "Shoot 'em Up, Baby" Andy Kim manages to make a song about guns (or drugs) sound like perfect teen-pop radio fodder. "Love That Little Woman", with its catchy hand-clapping and loose atmosphere, is a good example of something that should have been a hit. But on "Resurrection", he comes up with a totally depressive "gloom and doom" song about a suicidal shut-in. An ominous string arrangement and a test-tone oscillator noise make this very memorable, though the song's not exactly a lot of fun. (review by ZMOQ)

There's no doubt Andy Kim's Steed albums sound very "sixties" with the various rhythms, cover tune selections and topics explored. These albums also prove without question that Andy Kim and Jeff Barry were the prince and king of the bubblegum genre. "Sunday Thunder", from the How'd We Ever Get This Way album, reminds me of the Monkees' "Pleasant Valley Sunday" with the arrangement and instrumentation. "Just Like Your Shadow" has a horn arrangement reminiscent of "Solitary Man." You can surely tell that Jeff Barry had a hand in the producing of these tunes especially when you get to "Do You Feel It Too." If you take out Andy's vocals on that one and substitute Ron Dante's vocals, you have an Archies song that's just as candy-coated and wonderful as "Sugar Sugar." If you listen carefully to "You Got Style" you can hear the same rhythm guitar and bass line as "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You." "Resurrection" is a total departure from everything else. It's almost as though it's by a different artist altogether. Could Andy have been influenced by the psychedelic songs of that era or possibly the Beatles Sgt. Pepper album? (review by Michael Gmyrek)

Rainbow Ride
Andy Kim shows himself to be quite the chameleon on Rainbow Ride. The title track sounds a lot like The Monkees' "Last Train to Clarksville" crossed with a Bo Diddley hambone beat. Despite its slightly sinister-sounding intro, "Rainbow Ride" is a terrific pop song, with a very admirable (for now) anti-drug message. If you thought the rest of the album sounds like that, you're in for quite a shock. Andy moves all over the map on this album, from cynical pseudo-Dylan ("Nobody's Ever Going Anywhere") to Steppenwolf-lite ("Please Be True"), to psychedelic music with outerworldly "phased" vocals ("Baby While You're Young"), to laid-back folkie singalongs ("I Wonder If I Care As Much") to his own patented brand of bubblegum (everything else). There really isn't a bad track on Rainbow Ride, once you get over the shock of the acid-rock guitars on Side 1 (I should have guessed it by looking at the back cover- a pop art collage with a cartoon Andy looking like a character in the "Yellow Submarine" movie. Definitely an album of its time). Side 2 is a little closer to the type of music that we normally associate with Andy Kim and Jeff Barry, notably "Mr. Music Man" and the mellow "Spanish Harlem"-styled "To Be Continued". It is a lovely way to close the album! (review by ZMOQ)

I like it! You could tell without a doubt that Andy and Jeff Barry were influenced by the Beatles on this one!!! "Baby While You're Young" sounds like a typical arrangement off the Sgt. Pepper album with the electric guitars and "psychedelic" effects on the vocals. Even the 5 Andys on the back album cover look like something Peter Max would draw back in the 60's and are very reminiscent of the Beatles cartoon characters on "Yellow Submarine". The distorted guitar effects on "I Want You" sound like something from the Beatles' "A Day In The Life". There is a nice diversity of musical styles on this album ranging from rock on "Rainbow Ride" to a Spanish-style ditty on "To Be Continued". You can even hear Bob Dylan's influence on "Nobody's Ever Going Anywhere". The only style that is not so prevalent on this album is the bubblegum pop that Andy was cranking out at the time and was a trademark of his other '60's albums. All in all this album showcases Andy's versatility as a singer/songwriter and clearly represents the musical styles that were typical of the late 60's. (review by Michael Gmyrek)

Baby I Love You
Baby, I Love You was the last of the Andy Kim Steed catalog albums (not including "hits" packages). The title track, "Baby I Love You" was the biggest hit (#9, gold single) of the Steed era, but I'm fairly indifferent to Andy's covers of Ronettes songs. I really think that many of his album tracks and less-successful singles stand up as better music, now that I'm hearing them for the first time, 30 years after their release. Some it of is reminiscent of post-fame Monkees albums.. Somehow, as I listen to "Walkin My La De Da" (what's a "la de da"? A dog?), thoughts of "Shorty Blackwell" come to mind. The album contains several covers, of which I like the rock n' roll-styled "If I Were A Carpenter" best. Jeff Barry decided that he wanted to be Phil Spector on this go 'round, hence the Spector-clone production of "Baby, I Love You" and "So Good Together". Lyrically, this album plays it safer than the previous ones, with nothing quite as strange as "Resurrection", or controversial as "Shoot 'em Up Baby" or "Rainbow Ride". (review by ZMOQ)

On Andy Kim's Baby I Love You album, "Let's Get Married" has a very typical 60's rhythm that one would hear in some songs of that time like "Hang On Sloopy" or the middle section of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling." "This Is The Girl" is another example of a song that would have made a great Archies cover tune. I Like Andy's covers of "If I Were A Carpenter" and "By The Time I Get To Phoenix." "This Guy's In Love With You", however, sounds very corny especially with his recitation of the lyrics over his singing of the lyrics. It is quite interesting nevertheless. All-in-all the albums satisfied my sweet tooth for some candy-coated gems by that masterful bubblegum songwriting team of Kim & Barry (or is it Barry & Kim?) (review by Michael Gmyrek)

Greatest Hits
Note: (Pictured is the Dunhill re-release. That's the only one I can get my hands on) Andy Kim just doesn't get the recognition he deserves. His records on the Steed label are all out of print, and only 3 of these songs are in-print on CD (in Holland, not in the US). He doesn't get played on oldies radio like he should, after all, 5 of these songs were U.S. Top 40 hits. So you definitely have to do some serious searching and make sure that you have a turntable ready to enjoy these lost ear-candy gems. Most people would be familiar with "Be My Baby" and "Baby, I Love You", at least by the Ronettes, not by Andy. But those are the least-interesting songs on this album- Andy's own compositions with Jeff Barry are so much better. I'm particularly fond of "Rainbow Ride" and "How'd We Ever Get This Way". Also good is the psychedelic soul-lite "It's Your Life" (sounding somewhat like the Isley Brothers' "It's Your Thing") with some pretty mean (for bubblegum music) lead guitar. And for ballads, the wistful "I Wish I Were" (with an excellent middle 8) and "A Friend In the City" pull on the ol' heartstrings. The songs on Andy Kim's Greatest Hits are consistently well-produced, hooky and tuneful- that guy definitely has talent, an excellent sense of pop songwriting chops, and should have been a contender. If you'll notice, over half of these songs were non-LP singles, making this even more valuable to the collector. If I could come up with ideas for improvement, I'd like to see the songs resequenced in chronological order (showing "Be My Baby" to be quite a regression from the excellent "It's Your Life" and "I Wish I Were" singles) and "Tricia Tell Your Daddy" should be in mono, not rechanneled stereo. Otherwise this is the real deal- the real "Greatest Hits" album by Andy Kim. Accept no substitutes.

 Andy Kim's Greatest Hits on Steed/Dunhill
(requires .MP3 player)

Andy on Uni
Andy Kim's album on Uni, titled Andy Kim (Uni 73137), is actually rather good. Andy had stepped beyond bubblegum with a collection of sincere pop/rock songs- a pretty credible foray into the then-popular "meaningful singer/songwriter" genre. Several are reminisces about his childhood ("The Fancies of a Child", "Michael"), one speaks of spiritual self-doubt ("Who Has The Answers?"), one has a Middle Eastern flavor, with lyrics that might be tongue-in-cheek ("All In the Name of Steinem"). Andy's musical development seemed to mirror Neil's, and Andy Kim sounds fairly close to what a Neil Diamond record would sound like, circa 1973 if Neil had stayed with guitars instead of plunking out songs about philosophical seagulls on the piano. The single, "Love The Poor Boy" has a catchy little hook of "Love the poor boy/ make it right/ make it right/ make it right" (echoes of "Walk on Water"). Even the foot-tapping instrumental backing style sounds pretty familiar, along with bouncy female background choruses and the album is jam-packed with always-good soaring pop orchestrations by one Lee Holdridge. There were no real "hits" on the album, so it needs to win you over just on the music, played "blind". I'm finding this pretty enjoyable. Andy Kim is unfortunately long out-of-print, but worth looking for.

 Cool audio clips of Andy Kim UNI 73137
(requires .MP3 player)

Andy on Cap.
Andy Kim (ST-11318) on Capitol. Review forthcoming.

AM Top 20
My first introduction to Andy Kim was his song, "Rock Me Gently" being included on Time/Life's "Sounds of the Seventies" series. This particular title, called AM Top Twenty, is a hodgepodge of one-hit wonders and tacky, trashy, kitsch classics that will guarantee to have you rolling your eyes and groaning even while you secretly bop to such great memories as "Chevy Van" by Sammy Johns, "Afternoon Delight" by Starland Vocal Band, "Hooked On A Feeling" by Blue Swede (you get the idea) and others of that ilk. I'd highly recommend this title (it's really a lot of tacky fun), as well as the remainder of the "Sounds of the Seventies" series as the perfect time machine to take you back to those wonderful, bygone 70's. The sound mastering is excellent, and all of the titles in the series are annotated with good liner notes and photos. Make sure you hunt for the 20-22 track versions of this series. There is another series of the same name with only 12 tracks per disc- a poor substitute.

GR.Hits CD
In the U.S., it's difficult to find Andy Kim on CD. At best, we can locate one song "Rock Me Gently" on several "various artists" discs, but not much else. Luckily, there is an import CD from Holland called Baby, I Love You: Greatest Hits on Capitol/EMI Electrola. It's not exactly a "greatest hits" album- it's more like a re-issue of Andy's 1974 Capitol album (which includes the smash #1 hit "Rock Me Gently") Andy Kim (ST-11318) plus a few extra tracks. It's probably the only place to get "Baby, I Love You" and "Shoot 'em Up Baby" and Andy's early hit cover of the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" on CD, but there's actually more singles on Steed that didn't appear on this disc. The earlier tracks were sung in a breathy, teen-dream tenor (perhaps the record company speeded-up the tapes to appeal to teen girls). Andy's later material shows more of his own style. Z's rant: It's shameful that Andy's catalog hasn't seen a decent reissue in the States yet. We can get the Zombies' Odyssey and Oracle, and we can get Tommy James' Christian of the World on CD, but guess what we can't get: a comprehensive collection of Andy Kim, from his Steed days thru his "Baron Longfellow" period with liner notes, photos and a full discography ...yet. Where the heck is Rhino Records when you need them?


Selected Andy Kim U.S. Album Discography

How'd We Ever Get This Way? STEED ST-37001
Side 1: How'd We Ever Get This Way/ Shoot 'em Up Baby/ Sunday Thunder/ Ordinary Kind Of Girl/ Just Like Your Shadow/ Pretty Thing
Side 2: Love That Little Woman/ Do You Feel It Too?/ You Got Style/ You Girl/ Circus/ Resurrection

Rainbow Ride STEED ST-37002

Side 1: Rainbow Ride/ Please Be True/ Nobody's Ever Going Anywhere/ Baby While You're Young/ I Found Her/ I Want You
Side 2: Mr. Music Man/ Foundation Of My Soul/ I Wonder If I Care As Much/ Wonderful You/ Gee Girl/ To Be Continued

Baby, I Love You STEED ST-37004

Side 1: Baby, I Love You/ Walkin' My La De Da/ If I Were A Carpenter/ Let's Get Married/ By The Time I Get To Phoenix/ I'll Be Loving You
Side 2: So Good Together/ I Got To Know/ This Is The Girl/ Didn't Have To Tell Her/ This Guy's In Love
With You/

Andy Kim's Greatest Hits STEED ST-37008

Side 1: Be My Baby/ Baby, I Love You/ How'd We Ever Get This Way/ Shoot 'em Up Baby/ Rainbow Ride/ A Friend In The City
Side 2: I Been Moved/ So Good Together/ I Wish I Were/ It's Your Life/ Tricia Tell Your Daddy

Andy Kim UNI 73137

Side 1: Prologue/ Who Has The Answers?/ Shady Hollow Dreamer/ The Fancies Of A Child/ Michael/ Oh, What A Day!
Side 2: Love The Poor Boy/ Sunshine/ All In The Name Of Steinem/ So Good To Have You Here/ A Love Song (Just For Strings)

Andy Kim CAPITOL ST-11318

Side 1: Rock Me Gently/ Good Good Mornin'/ Hang Up Those Rock 'n Roll Shoes/ Songs I Can Sing Ya/ And I Will Sing You To Sleep
Side 2: Fire Baby, I'm On Fire/ Here Comes The Mornin'/ You Are My Everything/ Sunshine/ Rock Me Gently (Part II)

Baby I Love You: Greatest Hits CAPITOL/EMI ELECTROLA 7243 8 38258 2 0

Baby, I Love You/ Rock Me Gently/ Shoot 'em Up, Baby/ Be My Baby/ Mary Ann/ Oh, Pretty Woman/ Baby You're All I Got/ Good Good Mornin'/ Hang Up Those Rock 'n Roll Shoes/ Songs I Can Sing Ya/ And I Will Sing You To Sleep/ Fire Baby, I'm On Fire/ Here Comes The Mornin'/ You Are My Everything/ Sunshine/ Rock Me Gently (Part II)


More Extremely Cool Andy Kim Stuff

Andy Kim Live at OldiesFest 2002

Concert review by Michael Gmyrek

I saw Andy Kim live for the very first time yesterday as part of an "Oldiesfest" concert. He's currently touring with The Kingsman, The Grass Roots and Gary Puckett. Gary Puckett was supposed to be the headliner, but in my personal opinion, Andy was the headliner.

He came on stage wearing a black suit, white shirt and a black tie. He looked more like an orchestra conductor rather than a pop star. He launched immediately into "Baby, I Love You." He looked fit and trim and sounded almost exactly as he did on his albums. I was amazed at how well his vocal abilities fared over the years. He did many of his hits from the late 60's and early 70's including "Baby How'd We Ever Get This Way," "So Good Together," and "Be My Baby." He told the audience he was apprehensive at doing a remake of the old Ronettes hit because, as he put it, remakes seldom live up to the original hit. But he said he was pleasantly surprised when his version of "Be My Baby" sold over a million copies. Things slowed down a bit when he performed the contemplative "I Wish I Were" which Andy said was about a lost love. The true angst of the song really came through in the live version - but it was somewhat ruined at the end by a jolly little jazz riff played by a saxophone player which had me puzzled. It sounded way out of place. The conclusion of the song would have been much more satisfying to me if the sax was left out.

Andy was quite personable and showed his humorous side when he related the story of his tune "Sugar Sugar." He said that some "enterprising" individuals recently came up with the idea of putting on a touring kids show featuring live singers portraying The Archies characters. Andy said he wanted to see if it would work so he asked for volunteers from the audience to play the parts of Betty, Veronica, Reggie and Jughead. Andy said he would play Archie. Well, it turned out to be quite hilarious as they all sang "Sugar Sugar". By the last chorus, Andy had the entire audience clapping and singing along.

Andy told the story of how he tried to get his career back on track towards the mid-seventies. He called up several agents and one of them recommended that Andy go to Los Angeles to jump start his stagnant career. Andy said he wasn't familiar with LA so an agent's assistant agreed to show Andy around. Andy said before long he felt himself falling for her and decided to write a song for her. The song was "Rock Me Gently" and the rest is history.

Andy said many years ago he took an extended sabbatical from writing and performing in order to take a close look at his life and decide if he wanted to continue doing this. He said last year, after much soul-searching, he made the decision to hit the road again and do what he loves doing best. He said that was one of the best decisions he ever made. His love and enthusiasm for performing really showed last night. I would highly recommend seeing him. Although he was sandwiched between other acts, Andy alone was well worth the price of admission (do I sound a little biased?)

Buffalo, New York (June 8, 2002)  'The Concert - Andy Kim'

Review by Diane Safir, freelance journalist

Andy Kim. Photo by D SafirThe expression "everything old is new again" was exemplified June 8th at the concert at Shea's Performing Arts Theater in Buffalo, New York. Music from the sixties and seventies continues to gain popularity and after watching this performance it was very evident to see why.

From beginning to end the crowd was treated to a rock n' roll buffet. Elvis impersonator Terry Buchwald kicked off the evening with a rocking montage of Elvis songs. Classic renditions were belted out by The Kingsmen ("Louie Louie"), The Grass Roots,("Temptation Eyes", "Midnight Confession"), Gary Puckett ("Young Girl", "Woman Woman") and the legendary Mitch Ryder,("Devil With A Blue Dress On"). These popular hits had the crowd clapping, stomping, and shouting out for more.

However, without a doubt the highlight of the evening was the performance of Andy Kim. Known to his legion of fans as simply "the voice", Andy possesses a voice as strong and beautiful today as it was in the late 60's, when his career blossomed. That career began when a young Canadian teenager with a burning desire to perform followed his dream to the distant shores of New York City. Today that passion still holds sway as his music enveloped the audience with an array of emotion from the heartbreaking "I Wish I Were"  to the classic anthem to bubblegum music "Sugar Sugar".

The seven song set opened with his gold record "Baby I Love You" followed by the boy-aches-for-girl, rendition of "So Good Together". Andy's rapport with the audience was exhibited when four participants were chosen to offer up their own version of "Sugar Sugar". While there were no Ron Dante's in the bunch, the crowd enthusiastically applauded their effort.

Andy KimAndy's suave, debonair appearance enticed numerous women to the front of the stage where their cameras immortalized the moment.

Although normally a very private person, Andy divulged a glimpse of what inspired his six million seller hit "Rock Me Gently". It was during the afterglow of a one night dalliance with a quintessential California girl that the inspiration to pen this world famous classic came to him.

Only time constraints prevented Andy from performing such audience pleasing hits as "Rainbow Ride", Shoot Em Up Baby" and "I've Been Moved". Gary Puckett did find a way to maximize Andy's stage time by bringing him back for a show-stopping duet of Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman".

From the late 60's to the early 80's, Andy was responsible for creating and performing a multitude of hits. Once the music scene changed he chose a self-imposed hiatus. One can only be thankful that this talented and gifted singer/songwriter decided to take to the stage once again.

If anyone has the opportunity to see these artists in person they won't be disappointed. The oldies shows are not only a showcase for some remarkable talents but also rekindle memories of an innocent time.

Long Live the oldies!!

bubblegum music
Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth

At last, a book about bubblegum music for adults, by adults! If you were a young teen sometime between 1965 and 1979, you'll love this! Bubblegum Music Is the Naked Truth contains a series of essays on the biggest names of bubblegum music: The Archies, The Monkees, The Partridge Family, Bay City Rollers, Tommy James, and a whole slew of long-forgotten names. They even manage to make a case that Kiss was more bubblegum than heavy-metal. Both Andy Kim and Neil Diamond figure heavily into the bubblegum scene, and this book explains the hows and whys. Andy gets several mentions in the context of his work with The Archies, The Monkees, Jeff Barry and Steed Records. There's 13 pages devoted to Jeff Barry, including an interview. The essays look at those gone-but-not-forgotten days with a mixture of affection, wry humor and a full understanding of historical context. The writers manage to be smart, without being smart-assed. They love Toni Wine (The Archies), and revere Neil Diamond as the purveyor of masterful gooey gum and describe, in fascinating detail, the dark, sometimes morbid and frightening themes of albums by The Cowsills (II x II) and The Poppy Family (Which Way You Goin' Billy?)

None of the photos are in color, but the pictures of toys, records, teen magazines and memorabilia are priceless. Buy this book! It's hard to come by this amount of information on this subject in one place. It's a hoot, and there's always something interesting and entertaining to read in it.

Bubblegum Music Is the Naked Truth
Published 2001, Feral House
Edited by Kim Cooper and David Smay
ISBN 0-922915-69-5


Andy Kim Collectables from Around the World

AK-steed
US Steed stock 45 w/sleeve
"How'd We Ever Get This Way/Are You Ever Going Home"
(non-LP "B" side)
AK-so good  together]
US Steed picture sleeve
"So Good Together/I Got to Know"

AK-friend in the city
US Steed picture sleeve
"A Friend In the City/You"
(non-LP "B" side)
AK-fire baby
US Capitol picture sleeve
"Fire, Baby I'm On Fire/Here Comes the Mornin'"


"Be My Baby" 45- Japan

Baron Longfellow LP - Canada

Prisoner By Design LP  - Canada
Unofficial Andy Kim CD

Barron [sic] Longfellow LP- West Germany
Unofficial Andy Kim CD

Links

  • Mars Talent Agency Current Andy Kim concert and booking information
  • Mark Chadbourne has an excellent series of pages about Jeff Barry. Andy Kim's story heavily interlocks with the Jeff Barry story. Check out these pages!

  • The History of Andy Kim and the Archies

  • The History of Andy Kim and Jeff Barry

  • Andy Kim Discography
  • Related Pages:
    The Andy Kim/Neil Diamond Connection



    These articles are Copyright 1999-2002, K.F. Louie, unless otherwise indicated. May not be reproduced without the written permission of the author.

    OldiesFest 2002 review is Copyright 2002, Michael Gmyrek.

    'The Concert- Andy Kim' review and photos are Copyright 2002, Diane Safir. Used with permission from the author.

    Questions, or comments about Andy Kim can be sent to me at:
    ZMOQ

    The "Thank You" List:
    Mike Gmyrek, for providing more amazing Neil/Andy similarities and writing reviews of several Andy Kim albums.

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