Saturday, 5 February 2011

68: Archies, “Sugar Sugar” (no.1, 1969)

(And yes, I suspect we’re due a Kids from Glee cover version any moment now.) There is a genre of pop specifically targeted at the sweet tooth of hypoglycaemics such as myself: see also Stephen “Tin Tin” Duffy’s “Icing on the Cake” and Mandy Moore’s still shamefully underrated “Candy” (a song that, had Britney recorded it, we’d all now regard as a pop classic along the lines of “Baby One More Time”). Urban legend insists this spin-off from the animated TV sitcom The Archie Show (based on Bob Montana’s Archie comics; Archie’s the one on lead guitar, if that helps) was originally offered to the Monkees by impresario Don Kirshner; Monkee Michael Nesmith - enraged by the song’s (to these ears, magnificent) childishness, the polar opposite of the new “mature” sound he’d been seeking - reportedly put his fist through a wall in response. So it went to the Archies, an entirely fictional act over which Kirshner could have complete creative control. Upon its initial release, “Sugar Sugar” was issued on cardboard records fans could cut out from the back of cereal boxes - a distribution method that sounds a good deal more charming than heading to Spotify. By the way: any kids watching the above clip, this is how you play the guitar.

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