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Sugar, Sugar - Greatest Hits

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Album Review

Allegedly the seventh release on Wisebuy Records, "licensed from Celebritty Lisencing [sic]," the levels are all over the place song to song and in the first 30 seconds of "Over and Over" (a neat swipe of the "Little Bit o' Soul" riff that ironically, soulfully out-testifies the original), somebody sets a Big Gulp down on the vinyl he's mastering from. Oh, if this best-of CD got any hotter it'd torch your ass. It's also a solid demonstration of what made this prefab act resonant and unjustly ignored. "Easy Guy" puts the lie to the Archies' mindless "baby baby sugar sugar" reputation: he got stabbed in the heart first time out ("Don't even take me for a fool/I've attended every school"), he doesn't trust easily, he's laying out the rules to his new girl. OK, maybe singer Ron Dante had trouble keeping a straight face for "Little Green Jacket," that sartorial seduction key that apparently fits in his pocket, unless that's the "Coppertone tan" completing the effect. Speaking of odd, on "Don't Touch My Guitar" he's got that guitar he never stops talking about (or playing), except this one time he mentions a fish tank, which one suspects they just threw in to make the rhyme come out. Listen further and you'll meet "Waldo P. Emerson Jones," who's probably really Hiram Steiner from Bensonhurst, who bought a Harley and "wormed his way backstage" at Woodstock or said he did and is now getting way too close to somebody else's girlfriend. Or was, in the summer of 1970 when "Waldo P. Emerson Jones" saw the light of day. Smart money says he went back to Bensonhurst and Hiram Steiner and is now divorced and remarried, two boys and twin girls, nearing retirement as a Junior Vice President for Client Services. If he's lucky he'll hear "Jingle Jangle" one more time before he dies.


Formed: 1968 in Riverdale

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Most '60s bubblegum groups were faceless studio concoctions, made up of hired professionals and given nominal group identities after the fact. The Archies made no pretense of being a real band in the first place -- their music, including the smash hit "Sugar, Sugar," was "performed" by the animated TV cartoon characters spun off from Archie comics. In reality, of course, they were a studio concoction made up of hired professionals (most notably lead singer Ron Dante), but in this case, they weren't...
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Sugar, Sugar - Greatest Hits, The Archies
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