Assembled by Warner Special Products for Cornerstone Promotions, Inc., Sugar & Spice compiles 34 hits from the '60s on two CDs. The running time is 90 minutes, which means that another hour would have fit onto the discs, but there are still plenty of major '60s records included. Every track save one made the Top 40 (the exception, ironically, being the Cryan' Shames' leadoff title tune, which only got to number 49 on Billboard's Hot 100); 29 reached the Top Ten; and 15 topped the charts. In addition to drawing from the Warner vault, the compilers have licensed material from all of the other major labels and some minor ones as well. So, the '60s pop music fan listening to the album will hear one familiar number after another. That listener will also hear a jumble, however, as the tracks are sequenced more or less randomly, abruptly going from one musical style to another and sometimes jumping back and forth as many as seven years from one song to the next. That might be less of a problem in another decade than it is for the '60s, when pop music changed mightily, with the sound of 1960-1963 (before the Beatles) differing greatly from that of 1964 on. A disc jockey on an oldies station charged with programming these same tracks would have sequenced them in a far more rational and enjoyable way. But then, the running order is typical of the lack of care taken with the package in general. There are no notes, the album cover is a cheesy illustration of a drive-in restaurant, and the sources of the tracks are sometimes suspect. Specifically, in a handful of cases (Aretha Franklin's "Respect," the Foundations' "Build Me Up Buttercup," the Music Explosion's "Little Bit o' Soul," Jewel Akens' "The Birds and the Bees") the sound is monophonic, even though stereo versions are available. This is an album that features a lot of enjoyable '60s pop, and it will satisfy the purchaser who is not very discerning and doesn't have to pay much for it.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann