|"Sugar Baby Love"|
|Single by The Rubettes|
|from the album Wear It's 'At|
|B-side||"You Could Have Told Me"|
|Genre||Bubblegum pop, glam rock|
|Songwriter(s)||Wayne Bickerton, Tony Waddington|
|The Rubettes singles chronology|
"Sugar Baby Love", recorded in autumn 1973and released in January 1974, is a bubblegum pop song, and the debut single of The Rubettes. Written by Wayne Bickerton and Tony Waddington and produced by Bickerton, engineered by John Mackswith at Lansdowne Recording Studios, and with lead vocals by Paul Da Vinci, "Sugar Baby Love" was the band's one and only number one single in the UK Singles Chart, spending four weeks at the top of the chart in May 1974.
Bickerton and Waddington had been writing songs together since they were both members of the Pete Best Four in Liverpool in the early 1960s. Their biggest success had been writing "Nothing but a Heartache", a US hit for The Flirtations in 1968.
In the early 1970s, they came up with the idea for a rock 'n' roll musical.They co-wrote and produced a demonstration recording of "Sugar Baby Love", recorded October 1973 with "Tonight", "Juke Box Jive" and "Sugar Candy Kisses" (which became a hit for Mac and Katie Kissoon). They originally intended to submit it for the Eurovision Song Contest but instead offered it to Showaddywaddy and Carl Wayne, who both turned it down.
They then offered it to the demo musicians, provided that they would become an actual group. With the exception of the recording's lead singer, Paul Da Vinci, who had signed a solo recording contract with Penny Farthing Records. Surprisingly, only John Richardson, who played drums and spoke the "please take my advice," Alan Williams, who sang in the chorus backing vocal group and Pete Arnesen who played pianowould sign up and later become a member of The Rubettes.
"Sugar Baby Love" became a UK No. 1 hit in 1974, also reaching No. 37 and No. 30 on the US Billboard Hot 100and Cashbox charts, respectively. It also reached No. 1 in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Austria and Belgium, and No. 2 in Australia, South Africa and Italy.
"We had Paul DaVinci singing in that incredibly high falsetto voice and then a vocal group sings 'Bop-shu-waddy' over and over for about 3 minutes. Gerry Shury, who did the string arrangements, said, 'This is not going to work: you can't have a vocal group singing 'Bop-shu-waddy' non-stop.' A lot of people said the same thing to us and the more determined I became to release it. The record was dormant for 6 or 7 weeks and then we got a break on Top of the Pops and it took off like a rocket and sold 6 million copies worldwide. Gerry said to me, 'I'm keeping my mouth shut and will concentrate on conducting the strings.'"
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||2|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||1|
|UK Singles Chart (The Official Charts Company)||1|
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||21|
The Rubettes were an English pop band put together by musician John Richardson in 1974 after the release of "Sugar Baby Love", a recording assembled of studio session musicians in 1973 by the songwriting team of Wayne Bickerton, then the head of A&R at Polydor Records, and his co-songwriter, Tony Waddington, after their doo-wop and 1950s American pop-influenced songs had been rejected by a number of existing acts. Waddington paired the group with manager John Morris, the husband of singer Clodagh Rodgers and under his guidance, the band duly emerged at the tail end of the glam rock movement, wearing trademark white suits and cloth caps on stage. Their first release, "Sugar Baby Love" was an instant hit remaining at number one in the United Kingdom for four weeks in May 1974, while reaching number 37 on the US chart that August, and remains their best-known record. Subsequent releases were to be less successful, but the band continued to tour well into the 2000s with two line-ups in existence.
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