Sugar Baby Love

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"Sugar Baby Love"
Single by The Rubettes
from the album Wear It's 'At
B-side "You Could Have Told Me"
Released January 1974
Recorded 1973
Genre Bubblegum pop,[1] glam rock[2]
Label Polydor
Writer(s) Wayne Bickerton, Tony Waddington
Producer(s) Wayne Bickerton
The Rubettes singles chronology
"Sugar Baby Love"
(1974)
"Tonight"
(1974)

"Sugar Baby Love", recorded in autumn 1973[3] and released in January 1974, is a bubblegum pop song, and the debut single of the Rubettes. Written by Wayne Bickerton and Tony Waddington and produced by Bickerton, engineered by John Mackswith at Lansdowne Recording Studios, and with lead vocals by Paul Da Vinci, "Sugar Baby Love" was the band's one and only number one single in the UK Singles Chart, spending four weeks at the top of the chart in May 1974.[4]

Recording details[edit]

Bickerton and Waddington had been writing songs together since they were both members of the Pete Best Four in Liverpool in the early 1960s. Their biggest success had been writing "Nothing but a Heartache", a US hit for The Flirtations in 1968. In the early 1970s, they came up with the idea for a rock 'n' roll musical.[5] They co-wrote and produced a demonstration recording of "Sugar Baby Love", originally intending to submit it for the Eurovision Song Contest but instead offering it to Showaddywaddy and Carl Wayne, who both turned it down.[6] They then offered it to the demo musicians, provided that they would become an actual group. With the exception of the recording's lead singer, Paul Da Vinci, who had signed a solo recording contract with another company, the other musicians agreed and became The Rubettes.[7] "Sugar Baby Love" became a UK No. 1 hit in 1974, also reaching No. 37 and No. 30 on the US Billboard Hot 100[8] and Cashbox[9] charts, respectively. It also reached No. 1 in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium and Australia,[10] and No. 2 in South Africa.

Bickerton said:

"We had Paul DaVinci singing in that incredibly high falsetto voice and then a vocal group sings 'Bop-shu-waddy' over and over for about 3 minutes. Gerry Shury, who did the string arrangements, said, 'This is not going to work: you can't have a vocal group singing 'Bop-shu-waddy' non stop.' A lot of people said the same thing to us and the more determined I became to release it. The record was dormant for 6 or 7 weeks and then we got a break on Top of the Pops and it took off like a rocket and sold 6 million copies worldwide. Gerry said to me, 'I'm keeping my mouth shut and will concentrate on conducting the strings.'"[11]

Later uses[12][edit]

  • On re-recordings of the song by The Rubettes Alan Williams sang instead of Paul da Vinci his falsetto part. Many compilation albums include this "updated" version.
  • The song was covered by Bulgarian vocal quartet Tonica in 1974. The cover, titled "Svetlina (Light)", was the B-side to Tonica's first single.
  • It was covered by the Norwegian Jahn Teigen, and appeared amongst others on the album series called Treff-serien (The Meeting Series) in 1974.
  • The song was covered in Czech by Karel Gott titled "Nic než láska tvá (Nothing but Your Love)" in 1974.
  • The song was covered in Japanese by Wink in 1988 and Yoko Ishida in 2001, the latter for the anime series A Little Snow Fairy Sugar; an English version by Ishida also appeared as a bonus track on the US version of her CD Sweets.
  • The song was used in the beginning of the 1994 Australian movie, Muriel's Wedding.
  • The song was also used in the beginning of the 2005 Irish film, Breakfast on Pluto.
  • In 2006, the song was used in the French-based AIDES campaign for safe sex aimed at homosexuals. The 3-minute video, directed by Wilfrid Brimo, was awarded a Silver Lion prize at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in June 2006.[13]
  • It is also used as the opening theme for the Greek satirical TV show, Radio Arvyla since 2008.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jorge Farah (2013-05-28). "Beatific Visions of Pop: "Sugar Baby Love" by The Rubettes | Every -ist and Every -ism". Jorgefarah.com. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  3. ^ "Biographies | Alan Williams | John Richardson | Mick Clarke | Tony Thorpe | Bill Hurd | Peter Arneson". Rubettes. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 300–1. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  5. ^ [1] Archived 11 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Bruce Eder. "Wayne Bickerton | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  7. ^ Paul Da Vinci, biography by Mark Deming, Allmusic.com. Retrieved 25 August 2014
  8. ^ "Archive". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ "Song artist 727 - The Rubettes". Tsort.info. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  11. ^ John Kutner and Spencer Leigh, 1000 UK Number One Hits, Omnibus Press, 2005, ISBN 978-1-84449-283-1
  12. ^ "Cover versions of Sugar Baby Love by The Rubettes". SecondHandSongs.com. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  13. ^ [3] Archived 8 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Waterloo" by ABBA
UK number-one single
18 May 1974
Succeeded by
"The Streak" by Ray Stevens