The Archies

Sugar Sugar

Song Review by

In spite of (or, more likely, because of) the momentous cultural turning points which stretched across 1969 -- among them, Woodstock, Vietnam, the moon landing, and the beginning of the Nixon presidency -- the biggest-selling pop single of the year was not the product of a generational torch bearer like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, or Bob Dylan. In fact, it wasn't even the work of a real band at all. With the Archies' "Sugar, Sugar," pop music moved 180 degrees away from the overtly political, consciousness-expanding aesthetic which emerged during the Summer of Love toward a calculated simplicity and innocence not heard since the years prior to the British Invasion. For better or worse, "Sugar, Sugar" and the countless bubblegum records which came before and after didn't reflect their times, but rejected them -- escapist fare at its purest and most palatable. Conceived by producer Don Kirshner following his firing by another pre-fab (albeit flesh-and-blood) group, the Monkees, and inspired by the long-running Archie comic book line and subsequent animated series, the cartoon band was in reality a group of session musicians including vocalists Ron Dante, Ellie Greenwich, Andy Kim, and Toni Wine; Kim co-authored "Sugar, Sugar" with Jeff Barry, Greenwich's husband and longtime songwriting partner. The song is the very essence of simplicity, a classically constructed pop record with an undeniably infectious melody and charmingly inane puppy-love lyrics; nothing revelatory and nothing earth-shattering, which is precisely the point -- as the "bubblegum" appellation suggests, it's total ear candy, and lord knows it struck a chord, selling over six million copies. What "Sugar, Sugar" offers is a complete escape from reality, sticky-sweet feel-good music so blatantly commercial and artificial it wasn't even attributed to three-dimensional performers -- coming at a time when counterculture credibility meant seemingly everything, it would be almost tempting to call the Archies revolutionary if that didn't defeat the entire purpose of what they were all about.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Billboard Top Rock & Roll Hits: 1969 1969
Various Artists
Rhino 2:48
Classic Rock: 1969 - The Beat Goes On 1989
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:48
History of Rock: The 60s, Pt. 2 1990
Various Artists
Collectables 2:49
History of Rock: The Rockin' 60's - WCBS FM 101 1991
Various Artists
2:49
Billboard Top Rock 'n' Roll Hits: 1968-1972 1993
Various Artists
Rhino 2:48
Preppy Deluxe [1991 26 Tracks] 1994
Various Artists
Ripete Records 3:35
Chart Busters [Laserlight] 1994
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 2:46
No Image 1994
Various Artists
Delta Distribution
Greatest Hits [Prime Cuts] 1995 St. Clair / Prime Cuts 2:49
Now & Then [Original Soundtrack] 1995
Original Soundtrack
Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 2:45
No Image 1995
Various Artists
La Mejor Musica
Sixties Groovy Hits [1996] 1996
Various Artists
St. Clair / Boxsets 2:48
Bubblegum Classics, Vol. 3 1996
Various Artists
Varèse Vintage / Varese 2:47
Golden Oldies NonStop Party Mix 1996
Various Artists
ZYX Music 1:33
Very Brady Sequel 1996
Original Soundtrack
EMI Angel / Angel Records
Sixties Generation: 1969 1997
Various Artists
St. Clair / Retro Music 2:48
Sugar Sugar [Wisebuy] 1997 DJ Specialist 2:47
Global Rock, Vol. 7: From London to L.A. 1997
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Excelsior Recordings
Best of the 60's [Beacon] 1998
Various Artists
Beacon Records
From the Earth to the Moon [Original TV Soundtrack] 1998
Original TV Soundtrack
Playtone Records / Sony Music Distribution 2:46
#1 Hits: The 60's Decade, Vol. 2 1998
Various Artists
St. Clair / Number 1 Hits 2:49
Beat Goes On [Rivie're] 1998
Various Artists
Riviere International Records 2:48
Chart Toppers: Dance Hits of the 60s 1998 Priority Records 2:48
No Image 1998
Original Soundtrack
Warner Music 2:44
Jukebox Hits of 1969, Vol. 1 1999
Various Artists
DJ Specialist 2:50
60's Decade #1 Hits 1999
Various Artists
St. Clair / Boxsets 2:46
The Very Best of the Archies [Cleopatra] 1999 Cleopatra 4:53
Best of the Best: 60's Pop & Rock, Vol. 1 1999
Various Artists
Primary Colors 2:47
The Archies [Compilation] 1999 RKO / Unique Records 2:34
Good Times: The 60's 1999
Various Artists
Intercontinental Records 2:50
Hits of the '60s [Legacy Entertainment] 2000
Various Artists
Legacy 2:50
The Very Best of the Archies [Import] 2000 Import 2:48
Sixties Generation: 1968-1969 2000
Various Artists
Boxsets 2:48
1969 Classic Rock 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:50
25 All-Time Greatest Bubblegum Hits: The Ultimate Bubblegum Collection 2000
Various Artists
Varèse Vintage / Varese 2:44
Forever Gold: The 60's Groovy Hits 2000
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:48
60s Party Pack, 2nd Edition 2000
Various Artists
Legacy 2:48
Loucos Anos [DVD] 2000
Various Artists
Atracao
60's Time Tunnel, Vol. 3 2001
Various Artists
Legacy 2:49
Forever Gold: 60's Decade 2001
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:50
Party Time, Vol. 5 2001
Various Artists
SPG 2:44
The Sixties Groovy Hits [2002] 2002
Various Artists
Deuce Boxed Sets 2:48
Absolutely the Best of the Sixties 2002
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 2:46
Definitive 60's, Vol. 2 2002
Various Artists
B.R. 2:48
Bubble Gum Hits 2002
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:45
Then: Totally Oldies, Vol. 4 2002
Various Artists
Varèse Sarabande / Varese 2:46
Sugar, Sugar... [Repertoire] 2002 Repertoire 2:49
Sensational Sixties, Vol. 1 2002
Various Artists
Prestige Elite Records 2:50
The Hit Box, Vol. 2 2002
Various Artists
United Multi Consign 2:49
History of Rock Box 2003
Various Artists
Collectables 2:49
Rock N Roll Reunion 1969 2003
Various Artists
Madacy 2:50
Hit Box 2, Vol. 1 2003
Various Artists
United Multi License 2:49
Box of Rock 2003
Various Artists
Import 2:49
I Love Pop Music 2003
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:48
One Hit Wonders: Who Hit #1 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:49
Gold Collection: Radio Gold 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:49
Happy Days of the 60s [2-CD] 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 2:48
The Very Best of the Archies [Master Classics] 2004 Master Classics 4:55
I Love Rock & Roll, Vol. 16 2004
Various Artists
Collectables 2:45
The Best of the Archies 2004 Liquid 8 2:42
The Best of 60's Decade 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:48
A Trip Down Memory Lane 2005
Various Artists
Liquid 8 2:44
Smash Hits of the 60's 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:50
60's Groovy Hits 2005
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:49
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Legacy 2:49
Pop Jr 2005
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 2:48
Pop Goes the 60's 2005
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:46
Ultimate 60's Collection [Fuel 2000] 2005
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 2:46
1960's Happy Days [2005 #2] 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 2:49
World of Rock'n Roll, Vol. 3 2005
Various Artists
ZYX Music 2:49
Pop Classics [K-Tel] 2006
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:49
The Sixties: Bubblegum Gold 2006
Various Artists
American Beat Records 2:45
#1 Hits of the Summer 2006
Various Artists
Collectables 2:46
Hits of the 60s [2006] 2006
Various Artists
Ground Floor 2:49
The Ant Bully: Music Inspired by the Motion Picture 2006
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Bulletproof 2:44
The World of 60's Oldies 2007
Various Artists
The World Of / ZYX Music 2:49
Top Of The Pops 1969 2007
Various Artists
EMI 2:48
Sugar, Sugar: 60s Pop 2007
Various Artists
Sony BMG 2:46
The Greatest Hits [Cleopatra] 2008 Cleopatra
Made in the 70's 2008
Various Artists
ZYX Music 2:48
Top of the Pops: One Hit Wonders 2009
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Gold 2:47
Original Hits: 60s Pop 2010
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 2:48
Greatest Ever! Bubblegum Pop: The Definitive Collection 2013
Various Artists
Greatest Ever 2:50
Greatest Ever! Party Anthems 2013
Various Artists
Greatest Ever 2:49
The Ultimate Collection: Party Classics 2013
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection 2:49
Ultimate Collection: 60s Classics [2014] 2014
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection / Union Square Music / Universal 2:50
Sugar, Sugar: The Complete Albums Collection 2016 Cleopatra 2:44
12 Best of 60's Rock 'n' Roll
Various Artists
Madacy
16 Best of 60's Rock 'n' Roll
Various Artists
Madacy
No Image Onyx Classics 2:47
60 #1 Pop Hits
Various Artists
AAO Music / United Audio Entertainment 2:49
60s Party Hits
Various Artists
Euro Trend 2:48
Box of Rock [Disc 10]
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd. 2:49
No Image
Various Artists
Seven Days
Global Rock, Vol. 7-9: From London to L.A.
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group
Hits of the 60s [Delta]
Various Artists
Delta Music Group 2:48
Massive Hits!: Number 1s
Various Artists
EMI 2:47
New Year's Eve Party!
Various Artists
Metro 2:47
Sixties Collection, Vol. 3
Various Artists
Going For A Song 2:49
Super Oldie Hits, Vol. 2: Die Grössten Hits der 50er, 60er und 70er
Various Artists
Sony Music Entertainment 2:47
The 60's Collection
Various Artists
Going For A Song 2:49
The Broons Family Album
Various Artists
EMI 2:48
The Rebirth of the Sixties
Various Artists
Music Brokers 2:47
The Ultimate Collection: Number 1s
Various Artists
Union Square Music 2:50