The Archies are a garage band founded by Archie Andrews, Reggie Mantle, and Jughead Jones, a group of fictional adolescent characters of the Archie universe, in the context of the animated TV series, The Archie Show. The group is also known for their real world success, through a virtual band.
The fictional band's music was recorded by session musicians featuring Ron Dante on vocals and released as a series of singles and albums. Their most successful song, "Sugar, Sugar", became one of the biggest hits of the bubblegum pop genre that flourished from 1968 to 1972.
Fictional lineup[edit source | edit]Edit
Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge later also joined the group. Every member sings vocals, with Jughead handling the bass voice on a few tracks. Though their singing voices were soft and appropriate for pop vocals, their speaking voices are much different. The roles the teens played in the fictional band were:
- Archie: lead vocals / lead guitar
- Reggie: bass guitar / backing vocals
- Jughead: drums
- Betty: tambourine
- Veronica: organ
- Hot Dog: mascot / conductor
The Archies are sometimes jokingly compared to The Doors, as they also had no bass player. However, there is some controversy as to whether Reggie played bass or not. In most drawings, his guitar looks identical to Archie's, making him the band's second (or co-lead) guitarist. However, a number of drawings (including the one above) clearly show Reggie's instrument to have four tuning keys, the most common bass design. Six-string bass guitars do exist, however, and the Archies' recordings regularly featured a bass player. In more than one comic strip, Reggie is described as playing bass (however, this is not necessarily canon, as storylines and hobbies/activities in the Archie world change from story to story). Finally, in the liner notes for 2008's The Archies Christmas Album, Reggie is listed as the bass guitarist.
One distribution mode for the Archies' music was cereal boxes: a cardboard record was embossed directly into the back of a box such that the record could be cut out and played on a turntable (although their music was also available on standard issue LPs and 45s). Though the group no longer appears in animation, they are still frequently used in stories published by Archie Comics.
Other cartoon groups[edit source | edit]Edit
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, animated series often featured musical groups that were fictional or sometimes based on real life musicians. This dates at least as far back as 1965 with The Beatles, but the Archies helped popularize the concept. Most of these groups played bubblegum pop. Several were also teenage detectives, influenced by Scooby Doo. These groups included The Groovie Goolies, The Hardy Boys, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids, The Banana Splits (actually live action with actors in animal costumes and dubbed speaking voices), The Cattanooga Cats, The Chan Clan, and The Neptunes. Animated versions of The Jackson 5ive, the Osmond Brothers, the Partridge Family, and The Brady Bunch also existed. Archie Comics' own creation Josie and the Pussycats was successful both as an animated series and as a comic book (and later a live action motion picture), but The Bingoes and The Madhouse Glads lacked its popularity and never appeared in animation. Two modern examples of the "cartoon rock group" could include the British band, Gorillaz—a musical project created in 1998 by British musician Damon Albarn and British cartoonist Jamie Hewlett, and Dethklok, a fictional death metal band created byBrendon Small.
Production[edit source | edit]Edit
A set of studio musicians were assembled by Don Kirshner in 1968 to perform various songs. The most famous is "Sugar, Sugar", written by Jeff Barry and Andy Kim, which went to #1 on the pop chart in 1969, sold over six million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. In Billboard's Hot 100, it was ranked as the number one song of that year, the only time a fictional band has ever claimed Billboard's annual Hot 100 top spot. Other Top 40 songs recorded by The Archies include "Who's Your Baby?" (U.S. #40), "Bang-Shang-A-Lang" (U.S. #22), and "Jingle Jangle" (U.S. #10). "Jingle Jangle" also sold over one million copies, garnering a second gold disc award.
Male vocals for the fictional Archies group were provided by The Cuff Links' lead singer Ron Dante and female duet vocals were provided by Toni Wine. Wine, who was only paid for the recording session and quit the group when the song became a huge hit, was succeeded in 1970 by Donna Marie, who in turn was replaced on the final recordings by Merle Miller. The only Archies song not to feature Ron Dante on lead was 1971's "Love Is Living In You", sung by Richie Adams. The last single, released 1972, was "Strangers in the Morning"; its B-side song was "Plum Crazy".
Jeff Barry, Andy Kim, Ellie Greenwich, Susan Morse, Joey Levine, Maeretha Stewart, Bobby Bloom and Lesley Miller contributed background vocals at various times, with Barry contributing his trademark bass voice (portrayed as being sung by Jughead in the cartoon) on cuts such as "Jingle Jangle", "Rock 'n' Roll Music", "A Summer Prayer For Peace" (which hit number one in South Africa and Scandinavia in 1971), and "You Little Angel, You". Musicians on Archies records included guitarist Hugh McCracken, bassists Chuck Rainey and Joey Macho, keyboard player Ron Frangipane, and drummers Buddy Saltzman and Gary Chester.
The Archies' records were initially released on the Calendar Records label, but the name was shortly thereafter changed to Kirshner Records.
The sound engineer was Fred Weinberg, who was Jeff Barry's and Andy Kim's favorite, and who also recorded Barry's and Kim's other hits "Be My Baby", "Baby I Love You", and "Rock Me Gently". Fred Weinberg is an award-winning composer and producer in his own right. However, the music for The U.S. of Archie TV show which aired in 1974, was produced by Jackie Mills, a Hollywood producer, who also producedBobby Sherman and the Brady Kids. The vocalist for these shows was Tom McKenzie, who also sang on some Groovie Goolie segments, and was a regular member of the popular singing group, the Doodletown Pipers.
Although the verses of Jingle Jangle are supposedly sung by either Betty or Veronica (the only two female members of the fictional group), in reality, it was not performed by any female vocalist, rather it was Dante using a falsetto voice.
Discography[edit source | edit]Edit
Music from the show was not only released on LP, but also sometimes on the backs of cereal boxes. (Note: There are also many songs which were released only as part of broadcasts of their numerous TV series—not on singles or albums.[volume & issue needed] The style of music from series to series tended to evolve as popular music tastes changed.)
Albums[edit source | edit]Edit
- The Archies (1968)
- Archie's Theme (Everything's Archie) / Boys & Girls / Time for Love / You Make Me Wanna Dance / Hey La Dee Do Down Down / Truck Driver / Catching Up on Fun / I'm in Love / Seventeen Ain't Young / Ride, Ride, Ride / Hide & Seek / Bang-Shang-A-Lang
- Everything's Archie (1969)
- Feelin' So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y.-D.O.O.) / Melody Hill / Rock 'n' Roll Music / Kissin' / Don't Touch My Guitar / Circle of Blue / Sugar, Sugar / You Little Angel, You / Bicycles, Roller Skates and You / Hot Dog / Inside Out - Upside Down / Love Light
- Jingle Jangle (1969)
- Jingle Jangle / Everything's Alright / She's Putting Me Thru Changes / Justine / Whoopee Tie Ai A / Nursery Rhyme / Get on the Line / You Know I Love You / Senorita Rita / Look Before You Leap / Sugar and Spice / Archie's Party
- Sunshine (1970)
- Sunshine / Who's Gonna Love Me / Mr. Factory / Love and Rock and Roll Music / Over and Over / Waldo P. Emerson Jones / A Summer Prayer for Peace / Dance Dance Dance / Comes the Sun / Suddenly Susan / One Big Family / It's the Summertime
- The Archies Greatest Hits (1970)
- Sugar, Sugar / Jingle Jangle / Get on the Line / Sunshine / Bang-Shang-A-Lang / Who's Your Baby? / Feelin' So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y. D.O.O.) / Over and Over / Seventeen Ain't Young / Waldo P. Emerson Jones / Everything's Alright
- This Is Love (1971)
- This is Love / Don't Need No Bad Girl / Should Anybody Ask / Easy Guy / Maybe I'm Wrong / What Goes On / Carousel Man / Hold On to Lovin' / This is the Night / Little Green Jacket / Together We Two / Throw a Little Love My Way
- The Archies Christmas Album (2008)
- Here Comes Santa Claus / Up on the Housetop / Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree / Holly Jolly Christmas / Jingle Bell Rock / I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus / Run Rudolph Run / Santa Claus is Coming to Town / Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas / Sleigh Ride / Archies Christmas Party / Christmas in Riverdale
- The Archies (1977 RCA Special Products DVL 2-0221 / Laurie House LH-8016)
- A: Archie's Theme (Everything's Archie) / Sugar, Sugar / Sunshine / Bicycles, Roller Skates and You / Ride, Ride, Ride
- B: Jingle Jangle / Don't Touch My Guitar / Kissin' / Who's Your Baby? / Everything's Alright
- C: Sugar and Spice / Archie's Party / You Make Me Wanna Dance / Feelin' So Good ( S.K.O.O.B.Y.D.O.O.) / Rock & Roll Music
- D: Bang-Shang-A-Lang / Boys and Girls / Senorita Rita / Seventeen Ain't Young / Waldo P. Emerson Jones
Singles[edit source | edit]Edit
- "Bang-Shang-a-Lang" (Jeff Barry) / "Truck Driver" (1968)
- "Feelin' so Good (S.k.o.o.b.y-D.o.o.)" (Jeff Barry, Andy Kim) / "Love Light" (1968)
- "Sugar, Sugar" (Jeff Barry, Andy Kim) / "Melody Hill" (1969)
- "Jingle Jangle" (Jeff Barry, Andy Kim) / "Justine" (1969)
- "Who's Your Baby?" (Jeff Barry, Andy Kim) / "Senorita Rita" (1970)
- "Sunshine" (Jeff Barry, Bobby Bloom) / "Over and Over" (1970)
- "Together We Are Two" (Jeff Barry, Andy Kim) / "Everything's Alright" (1971)
- "This Is Love" (Ritchie Adams, Robert Levine) / "Throw a Little Love My Way" (1971)
- "A Summer Prayer for Peace" (Jeff Barry) / "Maybe I'm Wrong" (1971)
- "Love Is Living In You" (Philip Cody, Robert Levine) / "Hold on to Lovin'" (1971)
- "Strangers in the Morning" (Howard Greenfield, Ron Dante) / "Plum Crazy" (1972)