The Archies – Sugar Sugar

25th October 1969 · 1960s, 1969, Music

The Archies defined the term ‘bubblegum pop’ with this made-up song by a made-up group that made The Monkees sound like Genesis. It still sounds great.

The Sixties was never really ‘my’ musical decade, though it was the one when I bought my first few singles. This was the second or third of them in the autumn of 1969 – a song that defines the term ‘bubblegum pop.’

The Archies weren’t a real band. They were an animated family in an American cartoon series popular with children and the fake group was created by Donnie Kirshner who previously put together The Monkees.

Despite the group having never performed together outside the studio session, their song sold more that year than the Beatles, Stones, Elvis and Jackson 5, and topped the UK chart for eight weeks.

Sugar Sugar was written by songwriting couple Andy Kim and Jeff Barry, who also wrote most of Phil Spector’s biggest hits (Da Doo Ron Ron, Be My Baby, Baby I Love You, Then He Kissed Me), as well as Leader Of The Pack, River Deep Mountain High, and produced several Monkees hits – and also discovered Neil Diamond.

Lou Reed once said he wished he had written Sugar Sugar, which has been covered by a diverse array of artists including Wilson Pickett, Bob Marley, Olivia Newton-John, Tom Jones and Ike & Tina Turner… though sadly not by The Velvet Underground themselves.

Prizes if you knew the name of The Archies’ singer (Ron Dante) or keyboard player (Ron Frangipane) – and if you can name The Archies’ previous single (Bang Shang A Lang) or next one (Jingle Jangle). I know I couldn’t.