The Archies – Sugar Sugar

First Hit #1: September 20, 1969

The story goes that Don Kirshner, tired of the Monkees and their uppity demands to do such outrageous things like “play their own instruments” and “pick the songs they record” (the nerve!) decided to make an animated group, where ego couldn’t enter into the equation because they’re all session musicians behind cartoons. I don’t know how accurate the story is, but the Archies are definitely animated, and their song is so sickly sweet that I could see one of those groups with that pesky integrity turning it down for being a bit too much like, well, inhaling sugar. It’s not a very deep song, just a silly (and kind of weird, in some areas) song about how sweet someone is. Good for a cartoon, perhaps less good for humans.

From the above paragraph you might think I hate Sugar Sugar. Really, I don’t, the song might be aural junk food, but I like regular junk food as well, and the sickly sweet sounds of Sugar Sugar can be pretty fun in the right contexts. It might be nutritionally empty, but that doesn’t mean you can’t listen to it and enjoy it, it’s a sweet, innocent pop song for kids, perfect for connecting to Archie comics. It does its intended mission well, and it’s kind of fun and silly. It’s just that it’s not even attempting to hide that fact, and I can’t help but think it’s a bit more empty than it should be.

Since we’re talking about Archie, it’s interesting to note that the otherwise pretty conservative comic – perhaps because it likes to reuse old stories, and as a result is filled with weird anachronisms most of the time – has been unexpectedly progressive and had a couple men get married. This is a good thing, and if even old fuddy duddy Archie Comics can accept gay marriage there’s hope for the rest of the world. What is not a good thing is that it appears that the giant heads of Archie, Betty and Veronica are going to eat the wedding party:

Run away Kevin and husband whose name I don’t know! Don’t look at the horror behind you!

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