Sugar, Sugar

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"Sugar, Sugar"
The archies sugar sugar 1969 US vinyl.jpg
A-side label of original 1969 U.S. vinyl release
Single by The Archies
from the album Everything's Archie
B-side"Melody Hill"
ReleasedMay 24, 1969 (Calendar label); Rereleased July 1969 (Kirshner label)
GenreBubblegum pop[1]
LabelCalendar, Kirshner, RCA Records
Songwriter(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
Music video
"Sugar Sugar" on YouTube

"Sugar, Sugar" is a song written by Jeff Barry and Andy Kim. It was originally recorded by the virtual band the Archies. This version reached number one in the US on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1969 and remained 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 rhythm and blues and soul singer Wilson Pickett took it back onto the charts.

The Archies version[edit]


"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 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, when it then attained massive success nationwide by late summer/early fall.[citation needed]

Upon its initial release, Kirshner had promotion men play it for radio station executives 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.[citation needed]

Several sources have stated the song had originally been offered to The Monkees, although songwriters Barry and Kim deny this.[2] 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 fist incident took place in early 1967 and "Sugar, Sugar" was written in early 1969.


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. It spent a total of 22 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100 and was the 1969 US number-one single of the year. It was classified by the RIAA as a gold record in August 1969,[4] meaning it sold 1 million units (the gold threshold was later lowered to 500,000).[5] It is ranked at number 78 on Billboard's Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Singles.[6]

It also spent eight weeks at the top of the UK singles chart and peaked at #1 in the South African Singles Chart.[7] On February 5, 2006, "Sugar, Sugar" was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame; co-writer Andy Kim is originally from Montreal, Quebec.[8]

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.[9] 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; RCA Records informed Disc that one million copies had been shipped, however not all were sold.[9][10] Nevertheless, following the introduction of music downloads in 2004, "Sugar, Sugar" passed the one-million sales mark.[11]

The song was featured in a fantasy sequence in The Simpsons episode Boy-Scoutz 'n the Hood where Homer is dancing alongside giant ice cream cones and lollipops on a desert island[12] and it was also used in Jerry Seinfield's Bee Movie.[13]

Chart performance[edit]

All-time charts[edit]

Chart Position
US Billboard Hot 100[36] 81


The studio musicians on the Archies song are:

  • Ron Frangipane – keyboards
  • Gary Chester – drums
  • Joe Mack AKA Joey Macho – bass
  • Dave Appell – guitar
  • Sal DiTroia – guitar
  • Andy Kim – guitar
  • Ray Stevens – handclaps

Wilson Pickett version[edit]

"Sugar, Sugar"
Single by Wilson Pickett
from the album Right On
B-side"Cole, Cooke & Redding"
Songwriter(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, American 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 1997 film The Ice Storm.

Chart performance[edit]

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


Cover versions[edit]

The song has been covered by various artists including:

1969: Bob Marley & The Wailers[37]

1970: Tom Jones on the album Tom[37]

1975: Gladys Knight & The Pips in the album A Little Knight Music[37]

1977: Ike & Tina Turner on the album Delilah's Power[37]

1980: Sarah Dash on the album Oo-La-La Sarah Dash[37]

2012: Olivia Newton-John on the soundtrack for A Few Best Men[37]


  1. ^ "Sugar Sugar: The Birth of Bubblegum Pop – Various Artists – Songs, Reviews, Credits – AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  2. ^ Cooper, Kim (2001). Smay, David (ed.). Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth: The Dark History of Prepubescent Pop, From the Banana Splits to Britney Spears. Feral House. p. 77. ISBN 0-922915-69-5.
  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. ^ "Gold & Platinum: Searchable database". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on June 26, 2007. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
    Search Artist: Archies
  5. ^ Grein, Paul (May 14, 1989). "New Golden Rule: 500,000 Sales Mark for All Singles". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
  6. ^ "Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Singles". Billboard. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  7. ^ Brian Currin. "South African Singles Chart". Retrieved December 27, 2010.
  8. ^ Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved from:
  9. ^ a b Smith, Alan. "UK First Charts & Silver Discs". Dave McAleer's website. Archived from the original on September 2, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
  10. ^ "Stats and Facts: Million Sellers". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on April 16, 2008. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
  11. ^ "Digital generation pushes the oldies into the million-sellers club". Music Week. September 6, 2010.
  12. ^
  13. ^ [1] IMDb. Bee Movie (2007) - Soundtracks.
  14. ^ [2][dead link]
  15. ^ " – The Archies – Sugar Sugar" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  16. ^ "sugar sugar – the archies". VRT (in Dutch). Archived from the original on April 9, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2013. Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 1
  17. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 42, No. 22, August 10, 1969". Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved June 1, 2013.
  18. ^ " – The Archies – Sugar Sugar" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  19. ^ " – The Archies Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  20. ^ "Chart Track: Week 39, 1969". Irish Singles Chart.
  21. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1979". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Creative Commons. Retrieved June 1, 2013.
    10. Sugar Sugar – The Archies [#12]
  22. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – The Archies" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  23. ^ " – The Archies – Sugar Sugar". VG-lista.
  24. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  25. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 1969). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  26. ^ " – The Archies – Sugar Sugar". Swiss Singles Chart.
  27. ^ UK Singles Chart (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  28. ^ "The Archies Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  29. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 18.
  30. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles, October 4, 1969". Archived from the original on December 24, 2018. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
  31. ^ "RPM Top Singles of 1969". Library and Archives Canada. RPM. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  32. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1969". Retrieved September 2, 2018.
  33. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1969/Top 100 Songs of 1969". Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  34. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1969/Top 100 Songs of 1969". Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  35. ^ Archived January 25, 2019, at the Wayback Machine Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 27, 1969
  36. ^ "Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Singles". Billboard. November 12, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  37. ^ a b c d e f "Cover versions of Sugar, Sugar written by Andy Kim, Jeff Barry". SecondHandSongs.

External links[edit]