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The Archies



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 technically faceless. The Archies were created by promoter Don Kirshner, who was coming off a major success as the creator of the Monkees. In late 1967, Kirshner was hired as music supervisor for CBS' new Saturday morning cartoon The Archie Show, which was to feature a new original song every week. He immediately brought on producer Jeff Barry, who with Ellie Greenwich had formed one of the preeminent songwriting teams of the girl-group era (Greenwich also sang on several Archies records). Kirshner's original choice for lead singer was Kenny Karen, but Barry brought in Ron Dante, an experienced session singer who'd fronted the Detergents' novelty parody "Leader of the Laundromat"; Dante had met Barry at a Neil Diamond session, and had previously cut promos for Kirshner. Dante won the job, and Barry hired Jeannie Thomas as the group's female vocalist. When the TV show debuted, it was a hit, and the first Archies single, "Bang Shang-a-Lang," nearly made the Top 20 in late 1968. Shortly thereafter, Barry hired songwriter/backing vocalist Andy Kim, and replaced Thomas with Toni Wine. Barry and Kim co-wrote "Sugar, Sugar," which became a breakout smash in 1969; it topped the charts for four weeks, sold over three million copies in the U.S. alone, and wound up as Billboard's number one song of the year. Meanwhile, the TV show was expanded to a full hour, and Dante enjoyed a simultaneous Top Ten hit during "Sugar, Sugar"'s run, thanks to his lead vocal on the Cufflinks' "Tracy." The follow-up, "Jingle Jangle," reached the Top Ten, but from there the Archies' chart success tailed off quickly. Their last Top 40 hit came in the spring of 1970 with "Who's Your Baby?"; the same year, Donna Marie replaced Toni Wine. However, by the end of 1970 Barry left the Archies to pursue other projects, and stories detailing the group's breakup named their primary personnel for the first time. Their final Barry-produced single was released in early 1971, although "A Summer Prayer for Peace" became a hit in South Africa later that summer. Ron Dante embarked on a short-lived solo career before moving into record production, and found substantial success as Barry Manilow's producer throughout the '70s; he also returned to singing on commercial jingles. Andy Kim went on to score a substantial solo hit in 1974 with "Rock Me Gently." In 2008, Ron Dante revived the Archies name, brought in two vocalists to play Betty and Veronica (Danielle van Zyl and Kelly-Lynn), and released The Archies Christmas Party album on the Fuel 2000 label. Right around that time, Dante, who by now owned the rights to the original recordings, oversaw the reissue on CD of all the band's original albums. In 2016, Goldenlane Records reissued all five Archies albums under the title Sugar, Sugar: The Complete Albums Collection. ~ Steve Huey
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
  2.   Sugar Sugar
  3.   Jingle Jangle
  4.   Bang Shang-A-Lang
  5.   7
  6.   Dance
  7.   You Know I Love You
  8.   3
  9.   Hide and Seek
  10.   Ride, Ride, Ride
  11.   La Dee Doo Down Down
  12.   Whoopee Tie Ai
  13.   Truck Driver
  14.   Look Before You Leap
  15.   Sunshine
  16.   Everything's Alright
  17.   Waldo P. Emerson Jones
  18.   Archies Christmas Party
  19.   Who's Gonna Love Me
  20.   This Is Love
  21.   Plum Crazy
  22.   17 Ain't Young
  23.   Truck Driver Mono
  24.   12
  25.   9
  26.   5
  27.   4
  28.   2
  29.   Feelin' So Good Inside out, Upside Down
  30.   I'm in Love
  31.   Archie's Theme (Everything's Archie)
  32.   Suddenly Susan
  33.   Archie's Party
  34.   Senorita Rita
  35.   Kissin'
  36.   Melody Hill
  37.   Inside Out, Upside Down
  38.   Who's Your Baby
  39.   Feelin' So Good
  40.   Sugar and Spice
  41.   Little Green Jacket
  42.   Maybe I'm Wrong
  43.   Should Anybody Ask
  44.   You Make Me Wanna Dance
  45.   You Little Angel You
  46.   Justine
  47.   Hot Dog
  48.   Over and Over
  49.   Temptation Eyes
  50.   Jingle Jingle
  51.   Love Is Living In You
  52.   Rock N' Roll Music
  53.   Nursery Rhyme
  54.   11
  55.   Don't Need No Bad Girl
  56.   Waldo P. Emerson
  57.   Let's Live For Today
  58.   8
  59.   1
  60.   Christmas in Riverdale
  61.   Catchin' Up on Fun
  62.   Boys and Girls
  63.   You Little Angel
  64.   Satisfaction/Sugar Sugar by Effcee
  65.   One Big Family
  66.   Comes the Sun
  67.   Mr. Factory
  68.   Feelin' Do Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y. -D.O.O.)
  69.   Whoopee Tie Ai A
  70.   Love and Rock 'N Roll Music
  71.   Time for Love
  72.   Don't Touch My Guitar
  73.   Get on the Line
  74.   Hold on to Lovin'
  75.   Easy Guy
  76.   What Goes On
  77.   Everything's Archie (Archie's Theme)
  78.   Bicycles, Roller Skates and You
  79.   She's Putting Me Through Changes
  80.   Seventeen Ain't Young
  81.   6
  82.   10
  83.   Together We Two
  84.   A Summer Prayer for Peace
  85.   She's Putting Me Thru Changes
  86.   Love Light
  87.   This Is the Night
  88.   Throw a Little Love My Way
  89.   Everything's All Right
  90.   Circle of Blue
  91.   Strangers In the Morning
  92.   It's the Summertime
  93.   Carousel Man
  94.   Hot Dogs
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