The Story Of Chu-Bops
By Donnie Thompson

Right: Chu-Bops front cover

Have you ever thought of Judas Priest or Blue Oyster Cult and thought of bubblegum?

If you collected Chu-Bops, you probably have. What exactly are Chu-Bops some of you may be asking? Chu-Bops were packs of record-shaped bubblegum that came housed in a small 3X3 inch replica album cover.

Chu-Bops were introduced in 1980 by the Amural Products Company. The first series they produced, consisted of eight different rock and soul album covers by assorted artists including The Knack, Pat Benatar, Rush, The Spinners and Abba. Each miniature album had a song lyric (usually the biggest hit) printed on the back side. They also had a detachable flap that was an order form for mail order offers.

Some contained an offer for a collectors display album to hold your Chu-Bops collection. Other flaps had order forms for joining the artist’s fan club, and some in the later series had a one dollar coupon for the CBS various artists LP “In Harmony.” Some of the later series also replaced the lyrics with the artist’s bio. The mini-albums came wrapped in shrink. If you were careful, you could extract the pink record-shaped gum by cutting a slit in the side of the plastic, which would leave the shrink intact just like your real records.

Right: Chu-Bops back cover

Nine series were produced between 1980 and 1983. Series six was all Elvis Presley albums. Series eight was all Beatles, and series nine was all Rolling Stones. The Beatles series had the song lyrics printed on the back but did not include the detachable flap. (And no, the “Yesterday And Today” did not have the “Butcher” cover).

The Chu-Bops were sold in their own counter display box as a point of purchase item at record emporiums. The price was quite affordable for teens that still had just a little bit of change left after spending their allowance on their on a new LP. Those were the days... (when I could blow bubbles and not have them get stuck to my beard).

The above article is from MELODY HILL issue #12, used with kind permission by the author and by Circle Sky Records. To find out more about this fab record store in Atlanta, visit: www.circleskyrecords.com

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