A-side label of original 1969 U.S. vinyl release
|Single by The Archies|
|from the album Everything's Archie|
|Released||May 24, 1969 (Calendar label); Rereleased July 1969 (Kirshner label)|
|Label||Calendar, Kirshner, RCA Records|
|Songwriter(s)||Andy Kim, Jeff Barry|
|The Archies singles chronology|
"Sugar, Sugar" is a song written by Jeff Barry and Andy Kim. It was originally recorded by the cartoon band the Archies. This version reached No. 1 in the US on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1969 and remained there for four weeks. It was also No.1 on the UK Singles chart in that same year for eight weeks. The song became a hit again in 1970 when rhythm and blues and soul singer Wilson Pickett took it back onto the charts with his own version.
The Archies version
Produced by Jeff Barry, the Archies' "Sugar, Sugar" was originally released on the album Everything's Archie. The album was the product of a group of studio musicians managed by Don Kirshner. Ron Dante's lead vocals were accompanied by those of Toni Wine and Andy Kim. Together they provided the voices of the Archies using multitracking. The song was initially released in late May 1969 on the Calendar label (the same label as with the two previous Archies singles), achieving moderate chart success in the early summer in some radio markets. When the song was re-released in mid-July 1969 on the Kirshner label, it attained massive success nationwide by the late summer/early fall.
Upon the song's initial release, Kirshner had promotion men play it for radio station personnel without revealing the group's name, as the Archies' previous single, "Feelin' So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y-D.O.O)", had only reached No. 53 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In an article published in The Washington Times, lead vocalist Ron Dante recounts that the label was removed from the record, taken to a top radio station in San Francisco, where the DJ was told: “Just play it! It’s a mystery group”.
After topping the RPM 100 national singles chart in Canada on September 13, 1969 (where it spent three weeks), the single went on to spend four weeks at the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 from September 20 through October 11. It spent a total of 22 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100 and was the 1969 US number-one single of the year. The song was classified by the RIAA as a gold record in August 1969, meaning it had sold one million units (the gold threshold was later lowered to 500,000). It ranked #81 on Billboard's "Hot 100 60th Anniversary" chart.
The single also spent eight weeks at the top of the UK singles chart and peaked at #1 on the South African Singles Chart. On February 5, 2006, "Sugar, Sugar" was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, as co-writer Andy Kim is originally from Montreal, Quebec.
Although official music recording sales certifications were not introduced in the United Kingdom until the British Phonographic Industry was formed in 1973, Disc introduced an initiative in 1959 to present a gold record to singles that had sold over one million units. The awards relied on record companies correctly compiling and supplying sales information, and "Sugar, Sugar" was erroneously awarded a gold disc in January 1970 despite having sold approximately 945,000 copies, as RCA Records had informed Disc that one million copies had been shipped, but not all were sold. Nevertheless, following the introduction of music downloads in 2004, "Sugar, Sugar" passed the one-million sales mark.
The song was featured in The Wonder Years episode "Double Double Date", and was later used in a fantasy sequence in The Simpsons episode "Boy-Scoutz 'n the Hood", in which Homer dances alongside giant ice cream cones and lollipops on a desert island. "Sugar, Sugar" has also been featured in several films, such as Now and Then (1995), A Very Brady Sequel (1996), The Sandlot 2 (2005) and Bee Movie (2007).
Charts and certifications
The studio musicians on the Archies song are:
- Ron Frangipane – keyboards
- Gary Chester – drums
- Joe Mack AKA Joey Macho – bass
- Dave Appell – guitar
- Sal DiTroia – guitar
- Ray Stevens – handclaps
- Toni Wine – vocals
- Ron Dante – vocals
Wilson Pickett version
|Single by Wilson Pickett|
|from the album Right On|
|B-side||"Cole, Cooke & Redding"|
|Songwriter(s)||Andy Kim, Jeff Barry|
|Producer(s)||Dave Crawford, Jerry Wexler, Rick Hall, Tom Dowd|
|Wilson Pickett singles chronology|
In 1970, American singer Wilson Pickett recorded a cover version of "Sugar, Sugar" in his Criteria Studios sessions. Pickett's rendition of the song was produced by Dave Crawford, Jerry Wexler, Rick Hall and Tom Dowd. The track was released by Atlantic Records as the second single from Pickett's tenth studio album, Right On.
Pickett's cover of "Sugar, Sugar" peaked at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also reached No. 4 on the R&B chart. The parent album Right On reached No. 197 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Pickett's recording was later used in the 1997 film The Ice Storm.
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||25|
|Billboard R&B Chart||4|
- Wilson Pickett – vocals
- Eddie Hinton, Jim O'Rourke, Jimmy Johnson – guitar
- David Hood, Harold Cowart – bass
- Barry Beckett, Billy Carter – keyboards
- Roger Hawkins, Tubby Zeigler – drums
The song has been covered by various artists:
- 1969: The Sands
- 1969: Bob Marley & The Wailers
- 1970: Tom Jones on the album Tom
- 1975: Gladys Knight & The Pips in the album A Little Knight Music
- 1977: Ike & Tina Turner on the album Delilah's Power
- 1980: Sarah Dash on the album Oo-La-La Sarah Dash
- 1994: Duke Baysee this version features rap verses.
- 1995: Mary Lou Lord featuring Semisonic on the album Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits
- 2005: Nitty covered this song under the title "Nasty girl" on the album Player's Paradise
- 2010: Inner Circle covered this song was titled "Candy Girl" featuring Flo Rida, on the album State of da World, a remake of this version was also covered by Ashleigh Murray, Asha Bromfield, Hayley Law and Madelaine Petsch, cast of the television series Riverdale, was released as a single in 2017.
- 2012: Olivia Newton-John on the soundtrack for A Few Best Men
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Search Artist: Archies
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- [dead link]
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10. Sugar Sugar – The Archies [#12]
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