Beelzebubs

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This article is about Beelzebubs (singing group). For Bubs (internet cartoon character), see List of Homestar Runner characters.
For other uses, see Beelzebub (disambiguation).
Beelzebubs
Beelzebubs HK International A Cappella Festival 2012.jpg
Beelzebubs performing at the Hong Kong International A Cappella Festival 2012.
Background information
Also known as The Bubs
Origin Medford, Massachusetts, United States
Genres Collegiate a cappella
Years active 1962–present
Labels Collegiate
Website Official website

The Beelzebubs, frequently referred to as "The Bubs", is an all-male a cappella group from Tufts University that performs a mix of pop, rock, R&B, and other types of music while spreading their motto of "Fun through Song." They have toured in Europe, Asia, South America, and North America, and they competed in NBC's The Sing-Off in December 2009, finishing in second place.

The group is best known for providing song arrangements and background vocals for the fictional all-male a cappella glee club "The Dalton Academy Warblers" on the American TV series Glee, although the Bubs do not play club members on screen. Singles by the Warblers, with series stars Darren Criss and Chris Colfer performing lead vocals, have collectively sold over 1.3 million copies through March 2011.[1] Due to their popularity, a full soundtrack album of the Warblers songs was released April 19, 2011 as Glee: The Music Presents the Warblers.

History[edit]

The Beelzebubs were originally named "Jumbo's Disciples" after the Tufts University mascot, but quickly shed this name and adopted the name "Beelzebubs", a reference from the epic poem Paradise Lost by John Milton. They were first seen at the Tufts annual Winter Sing in December 1962, and by May 1964 they had already performed with the Boston Pops and recorded their first album.[2]

As the Bubs' reputation grew, so did their repertoire. During the 1970s, they began adding popular music to the barbershop, doo-wop, gospel, and jazz standards so commonly associated with a cappella. The group flourished due to a successful and active alumni association, which helped them stay strong in a time when many other student organizations at Tufts suffered. Each year the Bubs' performance schedule has grown; at this point, the group has over 80 gigs per year. High demand for the group's talent has led to a substantial increase in the number of performances and subsequent increase in travel. The Bubs have toured in Europe (England, France, the Netherlands, Greece, and Turkey), Asia (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, and Singapore), South America (Argentina and Brazil), and North America (Mexico, Canada, and the United States including Hawaii and Alaska). They’ve performed for many high-profile personalities such as Presidents Clinton and Obama, Sen. Hillary Clinton, and Gov. Bill Richardson. In 1999, the group made an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman and performed at Fenway Park for the crowd at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

In the past 20 years the Bubs have been pioneers in contemporary collegiate a cappella introducing numerous musical and production advancements to the genre. The 1991 album Foster St. abandoned a more traditional methodology and introduced a new style of arranging to capture the driving force of contemporary popular music – especially with the addition of vocal percussion (all but unheard of in collegiate a cappella to that point). Over a decade later, the Bubs continue to innovate and their 2003 album Code Red wowed audiences with its sophisticated level of production and left listeners openly wondering if the recording truly consisted only of voices (which it did). Two years later, the Bubs' CD Shedding swept the CARA awards for collegiate male a cappella winning best album, best soloist, best arrangement, and best song. Currently, the Bubs have recorded 26 studio and 3 live albums, and have won numerous awards for performance and recording.

The Sing-Off[edit]

The Beelzebubs were one of eight vocal groups featured on the NBC television program The Sing-Off, which aired in December 2009. The Bubs were selected amongst hundreds of groups to compete. Having survived cuts by the judges in each of the first three shows, the Beelzebubs appeared in the finals on December 21, 2009, finishing second to Nota from Puerto Rico. The competition's prize was $100,000 and a recording contract with Epic Records/Sony Music, and was determined by viewer voting.

According to The New York Times[3]

The Beelzebubs ... used the superstar-medley round to spring a surprise. Their choice of superstars was The Who, but they did not begin their number with any of the obvious rockers from that group's repertory; instead they served up a slow, haunting "Behind Blue Eyes."

Performances and results[edit]

Episode/Theme Song choice Original artist Result
Premiere "Magical Mystery Tour" The Beatles Advanced
Big Hits "Right Round" Flo Rida Advanced
Guilty Pleasures "Come Sail Away" Styx Advanced
Superstar Medley Various The Who Advanced
Judges' choice "Sweet Caroline" Neil Diamond Runner-up

The Bubs Foundation[edit]

The Beelzebubs are also proud of their continuing commitment to give back to the community through the Bubs Foundation. The Bubs Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization founded in 1991 by Beelzebubs alumni to "awaken in young people a passion for expression and learning through music".[4] The organization consists of alumni and friends of the Beelzebubs dedicated to the Bubs Foundation mission to raise money for the music programs of Boston-area public schools. So far the Foundation has donated over $50,000 in grants to 60 area music programs.[5]

Glee[edit]

The Bubs provided arrangement and background vocals for ten a cappella covers in the second season of the TV series Glee, all of which were released as singles, starting with Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream", with lead vocals by Darren Criss, which aired in the episode "Never Been Kissed" on November 9, 2010. The single had sales of 214,000 copies in its first week, the most of any Glee single in the show's history, and reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100;[6] it has since been certified a gold record in the US.[7] Additional covers include Train's "Hey, Soul Sister", Destiny's Child's "Bills, Bills, Bills", Robin Thicke's "When I Get You Alone", "Animal", P!nk's "Raise Your Glass", and Maroon 5's "Misery". The ten covers, plus two others recorded with the Bubs that did not appear on the show, were included on an album, Glee: The Music Presents the Warblers, which was released on April 19, 2011, and debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200, selling 86,000 copies in its first week.[8] A thirteenth song on the album by the Warblers did not involve the Bubs: "Blackbird" by The Beatles was covered by Chris Colfer with other background vocalists.[9] The last cover to air during the season was Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know", which was broadcast during the episode "Born This Way", which first aired on April 26, 2011, and is included on the Warblers album.

Other Appearances[edit]

The Bubs were featured on the MTV show My Super Sweet 16.[10]

In late April 2009, the Bubs released their newest CD, entitled Play The Game, to much critical acclaim. The Bubs previous release (April 27, 2007) was their highly acclaimed and award-winning twenty-fifth studio album, titled Pandaemonium. Tracks from this album have been selected for Best of Collegiate A Cappella, Sing 4: Good Medicine,[11] and Voices Only 2008. The album also received a perfect score from the Recorded A cappella Review Board.[12] Like Shedding before it, Pandaemonium also swept the four all-male categories of the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award, including Best Album, Best Song, Best Solo and Best Arrangement.[13]

With over 280 members around the world, The Beelzebubs celebrate their 50-year anniversary in 2013.

Notable members[edit]

Awards[edit]

Awards
Year Presenter Award Result
2012 Contemporary a cappella Recording Awards of CASA Best All-Male Collegiate Album Won, "Battle"
Best All-Male Collegiate song Won, "Kings and Queens"
Best All-Male Collegiate arrangement Runner-up (tie), Alexander Koutzoukis, "Kings and Queens"
2010 Contemporary a cappella Recording Awards of CASA Best All-Male Collegiate Album Won, "Play the Game"
Best All-Male Collegiate arrangement Won, Alexander Koutzoukis, "All the Love in the World"
Best All-Male Collegiate song Won, "Who Are You"
A cappella Community Awards of CASA Favorite Male Collegiate Group Won
Favorite Collegiate Album Won, "Play the Game"
Favorite Vocal Percussionist Runner-up, Alexander Koutzoukis
Favorite Medley Runner-up, "The Who Medley"
2008 Contemporary a cappella Recording Awards of CASA Best All-Male Collegiate Album Won, "Pandaemonium"
Best All-Male Collegiate arrangement Won, Ed Boyer, "Digging in the Dirt"
Best All-Male Collegiate song Won (Tie), "Magical Mystery Tour"
Best All-Male Collegiate Soloist Won, Andrew Savini, "When I Get You Alone"
2006 Contemporary a cappella Recording Awards of CASA Best All-Male Collegiate Album Won, "Shedding"
Best All-Male Collegiate arrangement Won, Travis Marshall, "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"
Best All-Male Collegiate song Won, "Let's Get It Started"
Best All-Male Collegiate Soloist Won, Andrew Savini, "Epiphany"
A cappella Community Awards of CASA Favorite Male Group in the Nation Won[17]
2005 A cappella Community Awards of CASA Favorite Male Group in the Nation Won
2004 Contemporary a cappella Recording Awards of CASA Best All-Male Collegiate Album Runner-up, "Code Red"
Best All-Male Collegiate arrangement Runner-up, Ed Boyer, "Hot in Herre"
Best All-Male Collegiate song Nominated, "Take Me Home"
2002 Contemporary a cappella Recording Awards of CASA Best All-Male Collegiate Album Runner-up, "Next"
Best All-Male Collegiate arrangement Won, Ed Boyer, "Bills, Bills, Bills"
Best All-Male Collegiate Soloist Nominated, Isaac Brody, “Disco Inferno”
2000 Contemporary a cappella Recording Awards of CASA Best All-Male Collegiate Album Won, "Infinity"
Best All-Male Collegiate song Won, "That’s the Way"
1998 Contemporary a cappella Recording Awards of CASA Best All-Male Collegiate arrangement Nominated, Danny Lichtenfield, "I am the Walrus"
Best All-Male Collegiate song Won, "Sledgehammer" from Id
1997 Contemporary a cappella Recording Awards of CASA Best All-Male Collegiate arrangement Runner-up, Todd Herzog, "Shape of my Heart" from Drift
Best All-Male Collegiate song Runner-up, "With or Without You"
1996 Contemporary a cappella Recording Awards of CASA Best All-Male Collegiate Album Won, “Gilding”
Best All-Male Collegiate arrangement Won, Danny Lichtenfield "Blood of Eden"
1995 Contemporary a cappella Recording Awards of CASA Best All-Male Collegiate arrangement Won, Todd Herzog, "Hey You"
Best All-Male Collegiate song Runner-up, "Hey You"
Best All-Male Collegiate Soloist Runner-up, Matt Trowbridge, “The Water is Wide"
1994 Contemporary a cappella Recording Awards of CASA Best All-Male Collegiate Album Won, "Vince"
Best All-Male Collegiate arrangement Runner-up, Gardner & Herzog, "Sympathy for the Devil"
Best All-Male Collegiate song Won, "Mercy Street"
Best All-Male Collegiate Soloist Won, Todd Herzog
1992 Contemporary a cappella Recording Awards of CASA Best All-Male Collegiate Album Won, "Foster Street"
Best All-Male Collegiate arrangement Won, Deke Sharon, "Comfortably Numb/Brain Damage"
Best All-Male Collegiate song Won, "Rio"
Best All-Male Collegiate Soloist Won, Todd Herzog

Albums[edit]

  • Brothers in Song (1964)
  • Sing On (1965)
  • Signin' In (1966)
  • Something Old, Something New (1968)
  • The White Album (1972)
  • The Blue Album (1974)
  • Ballou Hall (1977)
  • Pub (1979)
  • Therapy (1981)
  • Score (1983)
  • Clue (1985)
  • Lost (1987)
  • Fourteen (1989)
  • BWI I (1990)
  • Foster Street (1991)
  • BWI II (1992)
  • Vince (1993)
  • House (1994)
  • Gilding (1995)
  • Drift (1996)
  • Id (1997)
  • Jade (1998)
  • Infinity (1999)
  • Next (2001)
  • Punch (2002)
  • Code Red (2003)
  • Shedding (2005)
  • Pandæmonium (2007)
  • Play The Game (2009)
  • Glee: The Music Presents the Warblers (2011)
  • BATTLE (2011)

References[edit]

External links[edit]