Sugar Daddy (Thompson Twins song)

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"Sugar Daddy"
Single by Thompson Twins
from the album Big Trash
B-side "Monkey Man"
Released 21 September 1989
Format 7" Single, 12" single, CD Single
Genre Pop rock
Length 3:30
Label Warner Bros.
Songwriter(s) Alannah Currie, Tom Bailey
Producer(s) Alannah Currie, Tom Bailey
Thompson Twins singles chronology
"In the Name of Love '88"
"Sugar Daddy"
"Bombers In The Sky"

"In the Name of Love '88"
"Sugar Daddy"
"Bombers In The Sky"

"Sugar Daddy" is a song by British pop group Thompson Twins, released in 1989 as the lead single from their seventh studio album Big Trash. It was written and produced by Alannah Currie and Tom Bailey. The single's B-Side, "Monkey Man", was exclusive to this single.


After the Close to the Bone album from 1987, which was not the big commercial success hoped for, the Thompson Twins signed a new recording contract with Warner Bros. Records. The label happily funded the duo to make an album that they really wanted to make, rather than another standard commercialised, corporate release. "Sugar Daddy" was the leading single from the album. The single only peaked at #97 in the UK, spending just 1 week on the chart.[1] The single fared better in America where it peaked at #28 on the US Billboard Hot 100.[2] This would be the duo's last appearance on the US Billboard singles chart.[3] It lasted for 12 weeks on this chart.[4] The song also peaked at #2 on the US Dance Music/Club Play Singles Chart.[3] In Canada, it peaked at #38 on the RPM Singles Chart.[5][6]

During 1989, the duo appeared on the Canadian Category A specialty channel MuchMusic, to promote the new album and single. Tom Bailey described the song; "The song, although its quite a sugary song, the message is quite disturbing. It's about sexual manipulation, you know? Affection traded for power, and as with all those sort of power-gain relationships, there's always a sugar coating, so that's why the song is so sugary but the message so bizarre."[7]

Upon release, Hal Leonard Music Inc published a piano, vocal and guitar sheet music for the "Sugar Daddy" song.[8]

Music video[edit]

The single had two promotional music videos to support it: one video using the album version of the song and another using the Sweet N' Low Mix.

On the MuchMusic appearance, Alannah Currie spoke about some of the unused features of the video. "The video was funny. I wanted to be the angel of death in it, with a black guitar and wings, but I kept getting stuck up there and screaming to get down, so we had to lose some of those shots. And then they built this enormous 12 foot skirt, I wanted to have these men coming out from under my skirt, and they edited that down to make it a bit more acceptable. I wanted to be the original hell's angel, it didn't quite come off. I always get disappointed by our videos."[7]


7" Single
  1. "Sugar Daddy" - 3:30
  2. "Monkey Man" - 3:34
12" Single
  1. "Sugar Daddy (12" Remix)" - 5:40
  2. "Sugar Daddy (Sugar House Mix)" - 7:30
  3. "Sugar Daddy (Sugar House Dub)" - 5:40
12" Single (America only)
  1. "Sugar Daddy (Sweet N' Low Mix)" - 5:40
  2. "Sugar Daddy (Big Daddy's Dub)" - 5:14
  3. "Sugar Daddy (7" Remix)" - 3:37
  4. "Sugar Daddy (Velvet Rail Mix)" - 7:30
  5. "Sugar Daddy (Velvet Rail Dub)" - 5:47
  6. "Monkey Man" - 3:33
CD Single
  1. "Sugar Daddy" - 3:30
  2. "Sugar Daddy (12 Remix)" - 5:40
  3. "Sugar Daddy (Sugar House Mix)" - 7:30
CD Single (America only)
  1. "Sugar Daddy (Velvet Rail Mix)" - 7:44
  2. "Sugar Daddy (Velvet Rail Edit)" - 4:10
  3. "Monkey Man" - 3:36
  4. "Sugar Daddy (Sweet N' Low Mix)" - 5:40
  5. "Sugar Daddy (7" Remix)" - 3:39
CD Single (American promo)
  1. "Sugar Daddy (LP Version)" - 3:30
  2. "Sugar Daddy (7" Remix)" - 3:37
  3. "Sugar Daddy (Velvet Rail Mix)" - 7:30
  4. "Sugar Daddy (Sweet N' Low Mix)" - 5:40

Critical reception[edit]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic reviewed the Big Trash album, and spoke of the song, stating "Big Trash" was a successful attempt to add a stronger rhythmic sensibility to The Thompson Twins' sound, but the album failed to produce any hit bigger than the number 28 "Sugar Daddy," although there were several other strong numbers on the record." Erlewine also highlighted the song as an album standout by labeling it an AMG Pick Track.[9]

In late October 1989, Australian daily newspaper The Age for Melbourne reviewed the album, and noted "Sugar Daddy" is a pleasant single, though not as amusing as the observant title track."[10]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
Canadian Singles Chart[6] 38
Japanese Singles Chart[11] 24
UK Singles Chart[1] 97
U.S. Modern Rock Tracks Chart[12] 16
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[12] 28
U.S. Dance/Club Play Singles Chart[12] 2
U.S. Hot Dance Music Sales Chart[12] 28


  • Remix Engineer – Goh Hotoda
  • Editedor, Producer, Additional Production, Remixer – Shep Pettibone
  • Editor – Tony Shimkin
  • Engineer, Mixer – Keith Fernley
  • Mixer – Phil Thornalley
  • Producer, Writer, Vocals – Alannah Currie, Tom Bailey
  • Artwork Design – Satori
  • Front Cover Artwork – Tilby
  • Photography – Holt


  1. ^ a b "the-thompson-twins | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-06-04. 
  2. ^ "Big Trash - Thompson Twins | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  3. ^ a b Artist Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Thompson Twins | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  4. ^ "Thompson Twins - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  5. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  6. ^ a b "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  7. ^ a b "Thompson Twins (1989) on Canada's music station, "Much Music"". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  8. ^ "Sheet Music Sugar Daddy Thompson Twins 130: Everything Else". 2014-02-12. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  9. ^ The Thompson Twins. "Big Trash - Thompson Twins | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  10. ^,6348429&dq=big+trash+thompson+twins&hl=en
  11. ^ "J-WAVE WEBSITE : TOKIO HOT100". Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Thompson Twins - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-06-04.