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Sugar, Sugar: The Complete Albums Collection

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The Archies 7/29/2016

Review

The Archies were perhaps the most popular animated band in the late '60s, with a cartoon that aired every Saturday morning and one chart-topping single, "Sugar, Sugar." With songs written by big shots like Jeff Barry and Andy Kim, the smooth vocals of Ron Dante, and a cadre of talented studio musicians helping guide the way, the Archies weren't only popular, they made a lot of good records too. While most of the albums are probably easy to find in thrift stores around the U.S., Goldentone did people who want all the albums in one handy place a favor with the release of 2016's Sugar, Sugar: The Complete Albums Collection. Housed in a heavy-duty box with the original album covers reproduced, there are none of the skips and smells associated with beat-up old albums. Just great bubblegum mixed with the occasional weird moment and even, as the decade wore on, a little bit of social commentary. Released in 1968, The Archies is the purest expression of the simple, fun sound Jeff Barry was aiming for, with songs about teen love, dancing, grooving, and having a good time. The following year's Everything's Archie contains "Sugar, Sugar," plus "Feelin' So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y.-D.O.O.)," a hard-to-type song, but one that is almost the equal of their big hit in the hooks department. It's also where Barry and company really capture the balance of silly pop and insistent soul that drove the group's best songs that came after. Also arriving in 1969, Jingle Jangle is the strongest-sounding album of the bunch, with some gnarly distorted guitar, a real rhythmic punch, and great songs like "She's Putting Me Through Changes," the title track, and "Get on the Line." This album is where Ron Dante really comes into his own as a vocalist; he puts lots of soul into some really silly lyrics. Sunshine was released in 1970, and it suffers by comparison to the preceding Jingle Jangle. Featuring stilted songs about ecology and religion, it had no real hits, and the tough sound is cast aside in favor of an ultra-clipped, inoffensive approach. That album marked the end of Jeff Barry's involvement with the project, and Dante took over for 1971's This Is Love. The album features lots of good bubblegum, especially the title track, some almost country ballads, and more care given to the arrangements, not to mention the songs themselves. The increased effort didn't yield any hits, and no more albums were released under the Archies' name. While the packaging and sound could have been better -- a little remastering would have gone a long way -- the set is still a vital document of one of the most important bands of the '60s. Well, maybe not exactly important, but almost always fun and that's pretty important in its own way. ~ Tim Sendra
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Archie's Theme (Everything's Archie) The Archies 1:37
  3. 2 Boys and Girls The Archies 2:13
  4. 3 Time for Love The Archies 2:18
  5. 4 You Make Me Wanna Dance The Archies 2:26
  6. 5 La Dee Doo Down Down The Archies 2:11
  7. 6 Truck Driver The Archies 2:53
  8. 7 Catchin' Up on Fun The Archies 2:14
  9. 8 I'm in Love The Archies 2:23
  10. 9 Seventeen Ain't Young The Archies 2:17
  11. 10 Ride, Ride, Ride The Archies 2:11
  12. 11 Hide and Seek The Archies 2:28
  13. 12 Bang-Shang-A-Lang The Archies 2:31
  14. 1 Feelin' So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y. D.O.O.) The Archies 3:9
  15. 2 Melody Hill The Archies 2:23
  16. 3 Rock & Roll Music The Archies 2:32
  17. 4 Kissin' The Archies 2:26
  18. 5 Don't Touch My Guitar The Archies 2:15
  19. 6 Circle of Blue The Archies 2:17
  20. 7 Sugar, Sugar The Archies 2:44
  21. 8 You Little Angel, You The Archies 2:37
  22. 9 Bicycles, Roller Skates & You The Archies 2:33
  23. 10 Hot Dog The Archies 2:18
  24. 11 Inside Out - Upside Down The Archies 2:13
  25. 12 Love Light The Archies 2:29
  26. 1 Jingle Jangle The Archies 2:41
  27. 2 Everything's Alright The Archies 2:16
  28. 3 She's Putting Me Thru Changes The Archies 2:16
  29. 4 Justine The Archies 2:14
  30. 5 Whoopee Tie Ai A The Archies 2:10
  31. 6 Nursery Rhyme The Archies 2:32
  32. 7 Get on the Line The Archies 2:31
  33. 8 You Know I Love You The Archies 2:14
  34. 9 Senorita Rita The Archies 2:27
  35. 10 Look Before You Leap The Archies 2:14
  36. 11 Sugar and Spice The Archies 2:3
  37. 12 Archie's Party The Archies 2:11
  38. 1 Sunshine The Archies 3:18
  39. 2 Who's Gonna Love Me The Archies 1:50
  40. 3 Mr. Factory The Archies 2:32
  41. 4 Love and Rock 'n' Roll Music The Archies 2:18
  42. 5 Over and Over The Archies 2:19
  43. 6 Waldo P. Emerson Jones The Archies 2:36
  44. 7 A Summer Prayer for Peace The Archies 2:48
  45. 8 Dance The Archies 2:19
  46. 9 Comes the Sun The Archies 2:24
  47. 10 Suddenly Susan The Archies 2:17
  48. 11 One Big Family The Archies 1:53
  49. 12 It's the Summertime The Archies 2:49
  50. 1 This Is Love The Archies 2:27
  51. 2 Don't Need No Bad Girl The Archies 2:21
  52. 3 Should Anybody Ask The Archies 2:1
  53. 4 Easy Guy The Archies 2:37
  54. 5 Maybe I'm Wrong The Archies 2:7
  55. 6 What Goes on The Archies 3:53
  56. 7 Carousel Man The Archies 2:20
  57. 8 Hold on to Lovin' The Archies 2:30
  58. 9 This Is the Night The Archies 3:5
  59. 10 Little Green Jacket The Archies 2:47
  60. 11 Together We Two The Archies 2:34
  61. 12 Throw a Little Love My Way The Archies 2:31

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