Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Archies - Sushine (1970)

The Archies' fourth album, Sunshine, was released in 1970, and was a big departure from the sound of their previous three albums. It was at this point that the group seemed to take on a "dual personality." One side of the group was maturing, producing more adult sounding material. The other side of the group was still producing younger sounding material for the CBS Saturday morning TV show. This was the first album that did not reflect all the music that was being featured on the show.
While the Kirshner logo was featured on the cover, albums were pressed with both the orange Kirshner and Calendar labels. One can only assume that RCA wanted to use up its left-over stock of Calendar labels. The Calendar label appeared mostly on the thinner flexible LPs, while the Kirshner label appeared on the thicker, more ridgid LPs.

The back cover did not include any promotional compositions describing the group or the album content as did the three previous albums. Instead, it showed miniature album covers of the three previous albums that were still available, including the new cover art for the Sugar, Sugar album, previously titled Everything's Archie. The album peaked on the Billboard album charts at #137. While still impressive for a studio group, it was their lowest charted album yet.
 Curiously, the album did not include their previous single, Who's Your Baby?, which had been released after the release of the Jingle Jangle album. This single would not be available on an album until their next release, Greatest Hits.
Sunshine was the initial single release from the album, backed by Over And Over. The song was promoted heavily on the show "Archie's Funhouse", appearing in at least four episodes. The song was slightly edited for the 45 release, and was edited further for the show. The single peaked at #57 on the Billboard Hot 100 during it's 7 week stay.
Another song from the album, A Summer Prayer For Peace, was released in the U.S. later in 1971 after becoming a big #1 smash hit in South Africa. The song, both beautiful and haunting, unfortunately did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. It was backed by Maybe I'm Wrong, a song from their later This Is Love LP.
Songs on this album included: Sunshine, Who's Gonna Love Me, Mr. Factory, Love And Rock 'n Roll Music, Over And Over, Waldo P. Emerson Jones, A Summer Prayer For Peace, Dance, Comes The Sun, Suddenly Susan, One Big Family and It's The Summertime. Songs colored red were featured on the show "Archie's Funhouse." The others were not featured at all. Most fans agree that Comes The Sun would have been a Top 40 giant if released as a single.
01 - Sunshine
02 - Who's Gonna Love Me
03 - Mr. Factory
04 - Love And Rock'n Roll Music
05 - Over And Over
06 - Waldo P. Emerson Jones
07 - A Summer Prayer For Peace
08 - Dance
09 - Comes The Sun
10 - Suddenly Susan
11 - One Big Family
12 - It's The Summertime
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