Paper Bubble — “Being Human Being”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 2, 2022


626) Paper Bubble — “Being Human Being”

How could such a “bouncy, singalong” and “happy-go-lucky” song (Richie Unterberger — who did not meant it as a compliment!, not have been a ’69 UK hit? Well, it wasn’t released as a single! David Wells says the song bears “a pronounced similarity to early Kaleidoscope [see #154, 336, 552], with strong melodic hooks, florid arrangements and poetic lyrics”. (liner notes to the CD comp Paper Bubble Behind the Scenery: The Complete Paper Bubble) Another Planet Music (publishing) says that it is “a classic piece of English whimsy, jaunty upbeat life affirming”. ( That is not puffery — it’s the truth!Steve Burniston adds that when the album “gets a bit too barefoot-in-the-park on Being Human Being, the band’s skilled delivery throughout helps compensate.” (

Wells says of PB’s album Scenery [from which today’s song is drawn] that the “elegiac, post-psychedelic baroque pop soundscapes were tailor made for Paper Bubble’s honeyed vocal harmonies and melodic ambitions.” (liner notes to Paper Bubble Behind the Scenery: The Complete Paper Bubble) Unterberger calls it “somewhat precious British folk-pop-rock”! ( And Burniston adds that “[d]espite some impressive songs . . . fine vocals and most of the future Strawbs backing them, the album sunk on release.” ( Lee Connolly ponders the album’s marketing:

Scenery hit the streets in March 1970, issued . . . in both mono and stereo and inexplicably in two different coloured shades of blue. Who knows? It may just have been a printing error but as time goes by you’d like to imagine it was a marketing wheeze well ahead of its time to get fans to buy two copies. What Decca did resist however was the release of a single from the LP thus making radio play a rather difficult promotional outlet for the release. The LP did not otherwise appear to make a mark on the world.

liner notes to the CD comp Paper Bubble Behind the Scenery: The Complete Paper Bubble

As to PB’s history, listen to Jazz, Rock, Soul:

Paper Bubble began with a musical partnership between two singing guitarists from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, Terry Brake and Brian Crane. They eventually added bassist Neil Mitchell and hit the local folk circuit. In nearby Oswestry, they supported the Strawbs, an up-and-coming act whose co-founders, singing guitarists Dave Cousins and Tony Hooper, offered the trio a publishing deal with Strawberry Music. In 1969, Paper Bubble signed with Deram, the underground division of Decca. Cousins and Hooper produced their album and offered musical backing with three hired hands: bassist John Ford and drummer Richard Hudson (then of Velvet Opera) and keyboardist Rick Wakeman. Paper Bubble released Scenery in March 1970 on Deram. It features 11 Brake/Crane originals . . . . Deram issued no singles from Scenery. Mitchell left mere months after its release. Meanwhile, Hooper and Cousins — wanting the Scenery ambience for their own band — enlisted Wakeman, Hudson and Ford as official Strawbs.

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