Thursday, July 23, 2009

pour a little sugar on it

The Archies, of course, were the saccharine comic-book-creation-made-flesh of Bubblegum Svengali, Don Kirshner; the evil impresario who also played his hand so well in the cynical manufacure of The Monkees. Devised originally in late 1967, there was so much of a liberal sprinkling of sugar on this one that even Kellog's were soon queuing up at the door, cheque in hand.

Written by producer, Jeff Barry and newly appointed staff writer, Andy Kim, and released on the Calendar imprint initially, the 45 - also available on the LP, "Everything's Archi
e" - was subsequently one of the biggest selling singles for media giant, RCA of all time.
Archie Andrews: guitar;
Reggie Mantle: guitar;
Jughead Jones: drums;

Betty Cooper: tambourine;

Veronica Lodge: keyboards.

Jeff Barry;
Ron Dante;
Ellie Greenwich;
Toni Wine.

A Man with the Golden Ear production.

The Chilton cover was culled from those solo sessions reco
rded at Ardent Studios, Memphis in 1970, directly after the collapse of The Box Tops. Lacking cohesion in totality, the projected debut solo vehicle was ultimately shelved. Raucous and deliriously lacking in any attempt for mass appeal, I would easily have revelled in a whole LP's worth of this shit like a pig in muck. Not least because "Sugar, Sugar" may just be one of the finest songs ever written. Sadly, the rest of the material chewed over here comes nowhere close. Think on what might have been.

As Beer N. Hockey recently opined, who wouldn't have fucked Veronica ? Spoiled sugarbabe or not.

THE ARCHIES: SUGAR, SUGAR from "Sugar, Sugar b/w Melody Hill" 45 (Calendar) 1969 (US)

ALEX CHILTON: SUGAR SUGAR / I GOT A FEELING (Heavy Medley) from "1970" CD (Ardent) 1996 (US)


Blank Stares and Cricketclaps said...

You've gone fizzy pop bananas, you been on the Iron-Bru?

Never heard the Chilton take, sounds similar to the 'Sherbert' stuff, was it actually recorded in 1970? If so, he reeled it in a bit for the first couple of Big Star LP's...

Denier said...

Huge Archies fan growing up! But I was more of a Bettie fan.

Talk about your Rock & Roll Swindle, how about a pop group put together from the pages of a comic book? McLaren couldn't have done it better.

ib said...

Well. I've always had a sweet tooth. The cheaper the better, too; plenty of gelatin and E Numbers.

Creamola Foam was manufactured in Scotland. Glasgow, I believe. Like liquid, effervescing sherbet if you've never had the pleasure.

Yes, the Chilton cover was definitely recorded in 1970 but never released until the '90's. It sounds like the pharmaceutical were already an integral part of the act, pre Big Star, and it is definitely close in feel to those later Chilton sans Bell solo projects.

ib said...


Betty was okay too. Definitely. I've always preferred brunettes though.

You're spot on regarding The Archies being a proto McLaren concoction. In fact, the Bay City Rollers paid homage to the Archies "Bang Shang A Lang" on "Rollin'". They had the look down pretty much too; if only they'd sounded more like the Ramones. Manager, Tam Paton was a real creepy bastard too. His utilizing Don Kirshner as a role model has much darker undertones, however.

Denier said...

I'm with you on the Brunette thing!

Don Kirshner had a TV concert series that used to run late Friday nights here in the days before punk, think it was called Midnight Special. It was also pretty cheesy, a song or two by 4-5 different bands each week. That's really the association I make when I hear the name.

Denier said...

One other thing: it's a bit of old news now, but Warden's World was reviewed over at Ask & Ye Shall Receive. Follow this link:

I thought it was pretty unfair, so I struck back a little, perhaps overreacting to some criticism, but that led to a whole new round of give and take. So it goes...

ib said...

I don't think there was truly a Don Kirshner counterpart in the UK; nobody with the same commercial clout.Mickie Most doesn't cut it, even with his TV Talent Show tie-ins, and the closest we had was Glam Star Marc Bolan who featured the Damned and a slew of punksters over the short TV run of "Marc". "So It Goes", indeed.

Right. I'm off to read that review...

ib said...

Meow! Sound like a real mean-spirited bunch of twenty-something motherf@cking queens. Why read when one can wax lyrical over a nice graphic template and swap inanities with one's friends ?

Denier said...

I've seen clips of that Bolan show with the Damned. He really embraced New Wave/Punk Rock right out of the gate, unlike a lot of established stars who couldn't/wouldn't make the connection to the early days of rock and roll. Makes me appreciate Bolan even more than he wasn't threatened by the new upstarts.

As far as the review, what miffed me was people commenting without reading the stuff. Nothing lower than that. Like going to a film and walking out because you didn't like the opening title sequence!

I'm afraid by leaving a comment you will incur the wrath of their little mutual admiration society. I'm afraid their taste in music is bollocks, so they wouldn't get half of the stuff you post. Their loss, is the best way I can put it.

Denier said...

Thought you'd be interested in this bit of news from today's N.Y. Times: Yellow Submarine Illustrator Dead at 75. Link below...

ib said...

Perhaps. Let 'em break a fingernail or two on their brushed aluminum keyboards, if they so desire.

Thanks for the Times link.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Let's see...Marc Bolan was God (ask Jesse Hector); Sonja's favourite song not performed by Abba or the Rude Kids is Sugar, Sugar; Don Kirshner featured the New York Dolls on his show and may just have changed my life (and quite a few others') forever by doing so. What with this century's computer animation and all the taped music that gets passed off as a concert these days you would think we would be drowning in Archies the way we are drowning in crap cartoons at the movies.

Your driver said...

when they were new, and quite the underground sensation, someone asked the Talking Heads about their influences. They said, "We only listen to bubblegum music and disco." I think that was a healthy reaction to much of the estupid "heaviness" that dominated the '70's. Please, fucking please, I don't want to hear any songs about the nature of the cosmos.

Löst Jimmy said...

Creamola Foam now you're talking whole misspent childhood was spent strung out on those crystals of reknown.


Have a good weekend brother

ib said...


I had no idea Kirshner introduced the Dolls to a famished audience. The Gorillas, eh ? Now there's a meaty germ for a post. Bolan was something special, no doubt about it, despite the surfeit of conceit and calories in equal measure.


A nice quote from Talking Heads, although I have to confess that, with the exception of Psycho Killer and some of their early live stuff and demos, I have never been much of a fan. I liked Tom Tom Club, though.

I also have to confess I like that Prog shit a good deal more than I did when my ears were younger and my figure a good deal leaner. There must be a direct correlation between body mass index and one's propensity to sit through moog jams.

By the way, as a native of New Jersey I was hoping you might shed some light on that Monkees post and West Orange and the Watchung Mountains. The tune was playing in my head when I sat down in the morning to put something together. Until I delved a bit farther, I had always assumed "Pleasant Valley Sunday" was somehow California based.

ib said...

Löst Jimmy:

I heard there was a campaign running on the web somewhere to resurrect Creamola Foam. A company down south apparently bought over the recipe for a subsidiary product, but the one for Creamola Foam was outrageously ditched and lost.

Until an old tin is found with trace amounts of the mix in it, it is unlikely they will ever be able to duplicate the mix; something to do with run of the mill sherbet ingredients losing their fizz.

Enjoy the weekend and keep clear of The Factory, if possible.

Brushback said...

Re: Chilton, this isn't totally "Sherbert"-ish (not quite as drug ridden!); and Chilton actually did have some harder songs back in those days, check out "I Can Dig It" and so forth.

ib said...

Well. yes. But it doesn't quite the mustard, so far as I can tell.

Smacky, in a very Beatlesy (Blackberry) way, yes... but lacking the yip and amphetamine snarl of "Sugar, Sugar".

I would argue that this is the finest "1970" moment long after the cows came home and fell into a drug induced stupor. Or hit the ditch.

Matt said...

'Sugar, Sugar' was the #1 song, my birthweek. Just thought you oughta know...

ib said...

A fine week then, all in all, brother. I can think of no better a song to usher one in.