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"
ReleasedJanuary 1974
GenreBubblegum pop,[1] glam rock,[2] doo-wop
Producer(s)Wayne Bickerton
The Rubettes singles chronology
"Sugar Baby Love"

"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", recorded October 1973 with "Tonight", "Juke Box Jive" and "Sugar Candy Kisses" (which became a hit for Mac and Katie Kissoon).[6] They originally intended to submit it for the Eurovision Song Contest but instead offered it to Showaddywaddy and Carl Wayne, who both turned it down.[7]

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 Penny Farthing Records. Surprisingly, only John Richardson, who played drums and spoke the "please take my advice," Alan Williams, who sang in the chorus backing vocal group and Pete Arnesen who played piano [8] would sign up and later become a member of The Rubettes.[9]

"Sugar Baby Love" became a UK No. 1 hit in 1974, also reaching No. 37 and No. 30 on the US Billboard Hot 100[10] and Cashbox[11] charts, respectively. It also reached No. 1 in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Austria and Belgium,[12] and No. 2 in Australia, South Africa and Italy.

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.'"[13]

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly singles charts[edit]

Chart (1974) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[14] 2
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[15] 1
UK Singles Chart (The Official Charts Company)[16] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1974) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[17][18] 21

Wink version[edit]

"Sugar Baby Love"
Wink - Sugar Baby Love.jpg
Single by Wink
from the album Moonlight Serenade
B-side"Kaze no Prelude"
ReleasedApril 27, 1988 (1988-04-27)
Lyricist(s)Joe Lemon
Producer(s)Haruo Mizuhashi
Wink singles chronology
"Sugar Baby Love"
Music video
"Sugar Baby Love" on YouTube

"Sugar Baby Love" was covered by Japanese idol duo Wink as their debut single, released on April 27, 1988 by Polystar. The Japanese lyrics were written by Yukinojo Mori, under the pseudonym "Joe Lemon". "Sugar Baby Love" was used as the theme song of the Fuji TV drama series Netsuppoi no! (熱っぽいの!, It's Hot!), which starred Yoko Minamino. The B-side, "Kaze no Prelude", was used as an image song in the drama series.[19]

The single peaked at No. 20 on Oricon's singles chart and sold over 61,000 copies.[20][21]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics are written by Joe Lemon; all music is arranged by Shirō Sagisu.

1."Sugar Baby Love"3:51
2."Kaze no Prelude" (Kaze no Pureryūdo (風の前奏曲(プレリュード), "Wind Prelude"))Akira Mitake4:44

Chart performance[edit]

Charts (1988) Peak
Japanese Oricon Singles Chart[20] 20

Other cover versions[edit]

  • 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 Josef Laufer titled "Šumař Pépi" 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 French by Dutch singer Dave, with the title "Trop beau", in 1974.
  • The song was first covered in European Spanish by J. Santana (previously known as Abel), titled as "Dulce Niña, Amor", in 1974 on his two-song vinyl single Carolina / Dulce Niña, Amor. Likewise, it was also covered in European Spanish by Dave, this time with the title "Sugar Baby Love", in 1975 on his two-song single Dave canta en español: Sugar Baby Love / La Misma Canción.
  • The song was covered in American Spanish by the Mexican band Grupo Salvaje, titled as "Azucarado", in 1976 on their LP album Salvaje.
  • The song was covered in German by Mon Thys in 1974.
  • The song was covered in Japanese by Candies on their album Namida no Kisetsu (Season of Tears) in 1974.
  • The song was covered by Bulgarian vocal quartet Tonica in 1975. The cover, titled "Svetlina (Light)", was the B-side to Tonica's first single.
  • The song was used in the beginning of the 1994 Australian movie, Muriel's Wedding.
  • The song was covered in Portuguese by Sandy & Junior in 1995, titled as "Doce como mel". It was the 13th track on the album Você é D+!.
  • The Wink version was covered by Yoko Ishida in 2001 as the opening theme of the anime series A Little Snow Fairy Sugar. Ishida also covered the English version as a bonus track on the U.S. release of her album Sweets.
  • The song was covered in Cantonese by Gigi Leung, on the Cantonese version of the Japanese anime series A Little Snow Fairy Sugar, in 2003.
  • The song was also used in the beginning of the 2005 Irish film, Breakfast on Pluto.
  • It is also used as the opening theme for the Greek satirical TV show, Radio Arvyla since 2008.
  • The song's hook was used in The Auteurs' 1999 song sharing the band's name "The Rubettes".[22]


  1. ^ Jorge Farah (28 May 2013). "Beatific Visions of Pop: "Sugar Baby Love" by The Rubettes | Every -ist and Every -ism". Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Gold Weekender 8-11 April 2011 at Great Yarmouth Vauxhall Holiday Park". Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Biographies | Alan Williams | John Richardson | Mick Clarke | Tony Thorpe | Bill Hurd | Peter Arneson". Rubettes. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 300–1. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  5. ^ "". Archived from the original on 11 November 2009.
  6. ^ Rowett, Alan (1994). The Rubettes Story (First ed.). London: Alan Williams Entertainment Ltd. p. 27. ISBN 0952377209.
  7. ^ Bruce Eder. "Wayne Bickerton | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  8. ^ The Rubettes Story author Alan Rowett 1994
  9. ^ Paul Da Vinci, biography by Mark Deming, Retrieved 25 August 2014
  10. ^ "Archive". Billboard. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  11. ^ "". Archived from the original on 18 January 2017.
  12. ^ "Song artist 727 - The Rubettes". Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  13. ^ John Kutner and Spencer Leigh, 1000 UK Number One Hits, Omnibus Press, 2005, ISBN 978-1-84449-283-1
  14. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 261. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Rubettes" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  16. ^ "Official Charts > The Rubettes". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  17. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 426. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  18. ^ "National Top 100 Singles for 1974". Kent Music Report. 30 December 1974. Retrieved 15 January 2022 – via Imgur.
  19. ^ "Sugar Baby Love | WINK ウインク". Disk Union. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  20. ^ a b "Sugar Baby Love | Wink". Oricon. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  21. ^ "Wink(シングル)". Yamachan Land (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  22. ^ "Cover versions of Sugar Baby Love by The Rubettes". Retrieved 10 October 2016.

External links[edit]