Album Mini-review: The Archies — Sugar, Sugar: The Complete Albums Collection
File next to: Bay City Rollers, 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Jackson 5
After his experience with The Monkees, pop impresario Don Kirshner made the calculated decision that his next project would be one in which the artists couldn’t rebel. Thus was born The Archies, a cartoon group that only existed on television. Well, that’s not completely true: a real-life studio collective including Jeff Barry, Andy Kim and Ron Dante were – to varying degrees – responsible for five studio LPs. Most people remember “Sugar, Sugar,” and some will recall “Archie’s Theme (Everything’s Archie),” but the remaining 48 songs are largely forgotten. A new 5CD set brings them back. The bubblegum songwriting and playing is surprisingly strong; there’s even a garage-rock vibe to some deep cuts. Things get a bit less interesting toward the end, but this music is better and weightier than you might expect. Some care with mastering would have helped, but the discs are perfectly listenable.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.