But offstage, a vicious love triangle and Jughead's eating disorder threatened to tear the band apart...
July 25, 2007 10:11 AM   Subscribe

Hailing from wholesome Riverdale, USA, The Archies were a fresh-faced gang of teens who rocketed to the top of the pops. Listen to their first album on ArchieComics.com now! [Via Comics Should Be Good!]
posted by Alvy Ampersand (28 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Toppling unsavoury R&B combo the Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Woman" from the Billboard charts, "Sugar, Sugar"▶ became The Archies' biggest hit, often▶ covered▶, perhaps best by Wilson Pickett♫ .

Always on the cutting edge, The Archies tackled topics like environmentalism and urban decay in songs like "Mr. Factory"▶ and "Ballad of 51st Street Park"▶. Watch more Giant Jukebox hits here!

Bonus Tracks:
The Archies singing "Sugar Sugar", Live!▶ (Well, actually Ron Dante, singer, Manilow producer, and publisher of the Paris Review)
The Archies cover The Sex Pistols!▶
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:15 AM on July 25, 2007

My wife is a high school teacher in a rough, predominantly Black and Latino area of the Bronx. Some of her remedial students reading abilities improved when they read comics, so she'd buy some for them sometimes. Their favorite? The Archies. I guess they like it for the same reason I did as a kid, cause it was a sweet fantasy of teenage life*. I still pick up an Archie comic on occasion, just cause it's reassuring to know it's still there.

(and 'Bang-Shang-A-Lang' is a great song. and Ronnie Dante (born Carmine Granito on Staten Island, was a neighbor of George Plimpton and briefly served as publisher of the Paris Review)

*oddly there's a wealthy area in the North Bronx called Riverdale. Weird coincidence.
posted by jonmc at 10:20 AM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

A cancer on the music industry.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 10:28 AM on July 25, 2007

Henry, the way that is usually phrased is "your favorite band sucks!"

Try to get it right next time, we abhor grouches who can't follow the rules!
posted by HuronBob at 10:31 AM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

I approve of using the right arrow for video and musical note for mp3. That's a pretty cool naming scheme.
posted by rolypolyman at 10:42 AM on July 25, 2007

Obligatory YouTube link to The Riverdales.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:49 AM on July 25, 2007

Further reading: This book is great. It explodes a lot of dusty old cultural myths.
posted by jonmc at 10:52 AM on July 25, 2007

Archie and the gang recently got a new look in the comics.
posted by Flood at 10:53 AM on July 25, 2007

What, no Unicode TV screen?

"Bang Shang-a-Lang" is nice; probably like most people, I'd most known them for "Sugar Sugar." "Everything's Archie," on the other hand, is completely skippable.
posted by Tuwa at 10:57 AM on July 25, 2007

When the Monkees started pushing back on their puppet masters and started taking control of their sound, Don Kirshner created the Archies as a band that was guaranteed to not get big heads. Unless of course they chose to draw them with big heads.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 10:59 AM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

American Idol.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:01 AM on July 25, 2007

I've always loved them Archie women...along with Josie and the Pussycats. They had hips and big fat cartoon lips.
posted by doctorschlock at 11:03 AM on July 25, 2007

along with Josie and the Pussycats. They had hips and big fat cartoon lips.

I dug em, too. Some men fanatsize about women dressed as French Maids. I'd be totally turned on by a cute girl dressed as Josie.
posted by jonmc at 11:05 AM on July 25, 2007

Last year the Onion AV Club asked "Has anyone ever hated teenagers with the gusto of the writers and artists at Archie Comics?" in a piece that traces Archie gang's trendhopping decade by decade. Worth it for the mohawked punk rock Jughead alone ("Back off nerd!").
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:07 AM on July 25, 2007

Also, the singing voice of Valerie (the black Pussycat) was Patrice Holloway, sister oF brenda Holloway who sang the classic 'Every Little Bit Hurts.'
posted by jonmc at 11:07 AM on July 25, 2007

Hm, I don't know about the new look - when I was reading them in the 80s/90s I loved to look at their retro fifties clothes. Although I seem to remember them being all over the place, era-wise, even within the same book. Now I want to go dig up all my old ones (I had dozens) but I think my mother may have thrown them out when I moved out...
posted by frobozz at 11:07 AM on July 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

I moved from Hells Kitchen up to Riverdale a little over a year ago, and even the little foreign owned bodega in the neighborhood carries the Archie comics monthly. One of these days I'll have to ask how many copies they sell.
posted by JaredSeth at 11:22 AM on July 25, 2007

The Josie movie soundtrack album is fantastic. Vocals by the chick out of Letters To Cleo.
posted by cillit bang at 11:26 AM on July 25, 2007

I generally don't bother at all with "hating" music, and in fact I have a considerable amount of fascination with, and respect for, the craft of writing impeccably catchy pop songs.

Fortunately, though, there's no governor whatsoever on my capacity for loathing shit animation.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:39 AM on July 25, 2007

I'll admit it. I'm the reason EMusic canceled the unlimited downloading plans. They realized that no one needs to download six different albums by the Archies. Especially when 2 of them are greatest hits albums.
posted by Gary at 11:42 AM on July 25, 2007

They even have the old radio shows from the 40s on their site. Neato!
posted by wheelieman at 3:56 PM on July 25, 2007

I always liked the B-side of "Sugar, Sugar", a song called "Jam Up and Jelly Tight." The Tommy Roe version is available (and I have it :-) but the Archie's version, sadly, seems unavailable.
posted by srt19170 at 4:13 PM on July 25, 2007

When I was a kid I understood that "Riverdale" actually refers to Riverdale, Illinois, which was just a little west of my hometown of Hammond, Indiana. Riverdale, Dolton, Harvey- I mean, you really cannot image a more wholesome setting for the Archies.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 5:28 PM on July 25, 2007

I'm afraid I once made a member of my family spend obscene amounts of money on those Archies albums when they were out-of-print collectors' items in the mid-'80s. Cthulhu, take me now...
posted by mykescipark at 8:02 PM on July 25, 2007

All of these articles and links and everything make the comics seem an awful lot more shallow and hollow than I remembered them.

I had so many. And then I grew up and met Veronica Lodge. But the not-so-bad, old Veronica Lodge, not this new Paris-Hilton-esque little-dog-carrying Veronica Lodge. They are breaking Archie. Goddammnit.
posted by blacklite at 3:02 AM on July 26, 2007

The thing that finally stopped my Archies obsession when I was a young teenager was finally noticing that every single sentence ended with an exclamation mark! Except if it was a question?
posted by h00py at 4:24 AM on July 27, 2007

finally finally!
posted by h00py at 4:24 AM on July 27, 2007

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