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Sugar, Sugar

"Sugar, Sugar"
Single by The Archies
from the album Everything's Archie
A-side "Sugar, Sugar"
B-side "Melody Hill"
Released May 1969 (Calendar label); Re-released July 1969 (Kirshner label)
Format 7"
Recorded 1969
Genre Bubblegum pop
Length 2:48
Label Calendar, Kirshner, RCA
Writer(s) Andy Kim, Jeff Barry
Producer(s) Jeff Barry
The Archies singles chronology
"Feelin' So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y.-D.O.O.)"
"Sugar, Sugar"
"Jingle Jangle"
Audio sample

"Sugar, Sugar" is a pop song written by Jeff Barry and Andy Kim. It was originally recorded by the Archies, a bubble gum pop band formed by a group of fictional teenagers in the television cartoon series The Archie Show. It reached number one in the US on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1969 and stayed there for four weeks. It was also number one on the UK Singles chart in that same year for eight weeks. The song became a hit again in 1970 when R&B and soul singer Wilson Pickett took it back onto the charts.


  • The Archies version 1
    • Background 1.1
    • Reception 1.2
    • Chart performance 1.3
    • All-time charts 1.4
    • Personnel 1.5
  • Wilson Pickett version 2
    • Background 2.1
    • Reception 2.2
    • Chart performance 2.3
    • Personnel 2.4
  • Other versions 3
    • Sampling 3.1
  • References 4
  • External links 5

The Archies version


"Sugar, Sugar" by the Archies was produced by Jeff Barry, and the song was originally released on the album Everything's Archie. The album is the product of a group of studio musicians managed by Don Kirshner. Ron Dante's lead vocals were accompanied by those of Toni Wine (who sang the line "I'm gonna make your life so sweet"), and Andy Kim. Together they provided the voices of the Archies using multitracking.

The song was initially released in late May 1969, on the Calendar label (the same label as the two previous Archies singles), achieving moderate chart success in the early summer in some radio markets, and was re-released mid-July 1969, on the Kirshner label, whereby it then attained massive success nationwide by late summer/early fall.

Upon its initial release, Kirshner had promotion men play it for radio station execs without telling them the name of the group (due to the disappointing chart performance of the Archies' previous single, "Feelin' So Good (S.k.o.o.b.y-D.o.o.)", which only went to number 53 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts). Only after most of the DJs liked the song were they told that it was performed by a cartoon group. The Archies' hit wound up as one of the biggest (and most unexpected) number-one hits of the year, one of the biggest bubblegum hits of all time, in America thanks partly to association with the hit CBS-TV Saturday morning cartoon series.

"Sugar, Sugar" is also considered to be the most produced recording ever after the breakfast cereal company Post Cereal placed millions of the records on the back of their Super Sugar Crisp cereal boxes.[1]

In 2014, "Sugar, Sugar" was used in the documentary Fed Up during a montage demonstrating the correlation between the large qualities of sugar in processed foods and obesity in the United States.

The song is said to have been earlier offered to The Monkees, although songwriter Jeff Barry denies this.[2] Don Kirshner has said that Mike Nesmith put his fist through the wall of the Beverly Hills Hotel refusing to do "Sugar, Sugar".[3] However, the first incident took place in early 1967, whereas "Sugar, Sugar" was written in early 1969. Monkees archival expert Andrew Sandoval has suggested that the band may instead actually have been offered a tune called "Sugar Man", but with the passage of time the parties involved simply mis-remembered it as being "Sugar, Sugar", in large part because it made a better anecdote. Peter Tork claimed in an interview that the band were offered the song "Sugar, Sugar", despite Jeff Barry's denial of this.


The Archies' "Sugar, Sugar" was the 1969 number-one single of the year. A week after topping the RPM 100 national singles chart in Canada on September 13, 1969 (where it spent three weeks), it went on to spend four weeks at the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 from September 20 and eight weeks at the top of the UK singles chart. In total, it spent 22 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100. The song lists at number 73 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of All Time.[4] It also peaked at one in the South African Singles Chart.[5] On February 5, 2006, "Sugar, Sugar" was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, as co-writer Andy Kim is originally from Montreal, Quebec.

In the United States, "Sugar, Sugar" was classified by the RIAA as a gold record in August 1969,[6] meaning it sold 1 million units (the gold threshold was later lowered to 500,000).[7] The single also topped the 1969 Billboard Year-End chart.[8] "Sugar, Sugar" is listed as the 73rd top hit of all-time in Billboards 55th year anniversary edition. [9]

Although official music recording sales certifications were not introduced in the United Kingdom until the British Phonographic Industry was formed in 1973, Disc introduced an initiative in 1959 to present a gold record to singles that sold over one million units.[10] The awards relied on record companies correctly compiling and supplying sales information, and "Sugar, Sugar" was erroneously awarded a gold disc in January 1970 having sold approximately 945,000 copies; the RCA informed Disc that one million copies had been shipped, however not all were sold.[10][11] Nevertheless, following the introduction of music downloads in 2004, "Sugar, Sugar" passed the one-million sales mark.[12]

Chart performance

Chart (1969) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[13] 5
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[14] 1
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[15] 1
Canada (RPM 100 Singles)[16] 1
Denmark (Tracklisten) 2
France (SNEP)[17] 14
Germany (Official German Charts)[18] 1
Ireland (IRMA)[19] 1
Italy (FIMI)[20] 12
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[21] 3
Norway (VG-lista)[22] 1
Spain (AFYVE)[23] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[24] 2
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[25] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[26] 1

All-time charts

Chart (1958–2013) Position
US Billboard Hot 100[27] 73


The studio musicians on the Archies song are:

  • Ron Frangipane - keyboard
  • Chuck Rainey - bass
  • Gary Chester - drums
  • Dave Appell - guitar
  • Harry Amanatian - guitar
  • Ray Stevens - handclaps
Preceded by
"Laughing" by The Guess Who
Canadian RPM number-one single
September 13, 1969 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
"Jean" by Oliver
Preceded by
"Honky Tonk Women" by The Rolling Stones
US Billboard Hot 100 number one single
September 20, 1969 (four weeks)
Succeeded by
"I Can't Get Next to You" by The Temptations
Preceded by
"I'll Never Fall In Love Again" by Bobbie Gentry
UK number one single
October 25, 1969 (eight weeks)
Succeeded by
"Two Little Boys" by Rolf Harris

Wilson Pickett version

"Sugar, Sugar"
Single by Wilson Pickett
from the album Right On
A-side "Sugar, Sugar"
B-side "Cole, Cooke & Redding"
Released 1970
Format 7"
Recorded 1969
Genre R&B/Soul
Length 3:00
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) Andy Kim, Jeff Barry
Producer(s) Dave Crawford, Jerry Wexler, Rick Hall, Tom Dowd
Wilson Pickett singles chronology
"You Keep Me Hangin' On"
"Sugar, Sugar"
"She Said Yes"


In 1970, R&B and soul singer Wilson Pickett recorded a cover version of "Sugar, Sugar" in his Criteria Studios sessions. Pickett's rendition of the song was produced by Dave Crawford, Jerry Wexler, Rick Hall, and Tom Dowd. The track was released by Atlantic Records as the second single from his tenth studio album Right On.


Wilson Pickett's cover of "Sugar, Sugar" peaked at number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also reached number 4 on the R&B chart. The parent album Right On reached number 197 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. The Wilson Pickett recording of "Sugar, Sugar" was later used in the 1994 film The Ice Storm.

Chart performance

Chart (1970) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 25
Billboard R&B Chart 4


Other versions

  • Tommy Roe covered the song, which has been included in many of his greatest hits compilations.
  • In 1969, the song was covered by German female singer Marion Maerz. Her version featured German lyrics by Michael Holm.
  • The late singer-songwriter Alex Chilton recorded a cover of the song during the 1970s, which was later included on the 2011 compilation Free Again: The "1970" Sessions.
  • In 1970, Willie Henderson and the Soul Explosions recorded the song on their "The Funky Chicken" LP.
  • In 1970, Bob Marley & The Wailers recorded the song for the Randy's Label.
  • In 1971, British producer and singer Jonathan King recorded a rock version of the song that went to number 12 on the UK singles chart under the name Sakkarin.
  • Gladys Knight & The Pips recorded a cover of the song, which was included on the 1975 compilation A Little Knight Music.
  • First-wave Los Angeles punk rock band the Germs included a version of "Sugar, Sugar" on their album Germicide, as taken from their first live concert in 1977.
  • In 1981, the song was covered by Dutch group Stars on 45 as part of their medley "Stars on 45", which went to number 1 in the US in June of that year.
  • In 1994, a reggae/rap cover was released by British artist Duke Baysee, reaching number 30 in the UK in September of that year. This version was used in the soundtrack of the 1995 Pierce Brosnan TV movie Night Watch.
  • In 1995, alternative band Semisonic covered the song with Mary Lou Lord for the compilation Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits.
  • In 2007, a Spanish cover by Mexican boy band Magneto was included on their album, La Historia de Magneto.
  • In 2009, celebrity chef Buddy Valastro started using the song as the opening theme to his TLC reality show Cake Boss; Valastro and his bakery staff lip-synch to a recording originally by The Nerds (2009–11), and currently by Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights.
  • In 2011, American musical-drama Glee (TV series) originally planned for the song to be used in the episode,Pot o' Gold, with Sugar Motta,portrayed by Vanessa Lengies, providing vocals. It was then deleted for unknown reasons.
  • In the sixth episode of the second season of the BBC America TV show Orphan Black, it is sung by Helena, one of the clones portrayed by Tatiana Maslany.
  • In 2012, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees covered this song on his Remember album.


  • In the 1970s, the song's melody and some of the lyrics were used in the reggae song "Sugar, Sugar" by Big Youth and Junior Byles, which was included on the 2001 compilation Natty Universal Dread 1973–1979.
  • In 1991, the chorus of the song was sampled for the house music song "Sugar, Sugar" by DJ Les and the Kool Kat.
  • In 1999, Australian electronica group The Avalanches sampled the melody for their song "Slow Walking" for their EP Undersea Community.
  • In 2004, pop rap artist Nitty sampled the song in "Nasty Girl", which also contains interpolations of "Sugar, Sugar".
  • In 2005, the song was sampled in a house/electro version by Beatfactory featuring Massiv4.


  1. ^ "Photograph of cereal pack". Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  2. ^ Cooper, Kim; Smay, David, eds. (2001). Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth: The Dark History of Prepubescent Pop, From the Banana Splits to Britney Spears. Feral House. p. 77.  
  3. ^ Kirshner interview on "Popular Song: Soundtrack of the Century episode Modern Pop"; Ron Dante also clarifies this on a DVD called "Archie's Funhouse," a three-disc set that features Ron Dante in a bonus segment.
  4. ^ "Hot 100 55th Anniversary: The All-Time Top 100 Songs".  
  5. ^ Brian Currin. "South African Singles Chart". Retrieved 2010-12-27. 
  6. ^ "Gold & Platinum: Searchable database".  
    Search Artist: Archies
  7. ^ Grein, Paul (May 14, 1989). "New Golden Rule: 500,000 Sales Mark for All Singles".  
  8. ^ "Year End Charts - Year-end Singles - The Billboard Hot 100". Archived from the original on 2007-11-11. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  9. ^ Bronson, Fred (2 August 2012). "Hot 100 55th Anniversary: The All-Time Top 100 Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Smith, Alan. "UK First Charts & Silver Discs".  
  11. ^ "Stats and Facts: Million Sellers".  
  12. ^ "Digital generation pushes the oldies into the million-sellers club".  
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ " – The Archies – Sugar Sugar" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  15. ^ "sugar sugar - the archies". VRT (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 July 2013.  Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 1
  16. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 42, No. 22, August 10, 1969". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  17. ^ " – The Archies – Sugar Sugar" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  18. ^ " – The Archies – Sugar Sugar". GfK Entertainment.
  19. ^ "Chart Track: Week 39, 1969". Irish Singles Chart.
  20. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1979". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Creative Commons. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
    10. Sugar Sugar - The Archies [#12]
  21. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – The Archies search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  22. ^ " – The Archies – Sugar Sugar". VG-lista.
  23. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 1969). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE.  
  24. ^ " – The Archies – Sugar Sugar". Swiss Singles Chart.
  25. ^ UK Singles Chart (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  26. ^ "The Archies awards".  
  27. ^ Bronson, Fred (2 August 2012). "Hot 100 55th Anniversary: The All-Time Top 100 Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  • The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, fifth edition. ISBN 978-0823076772. Billboard Books. 2003

External links

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