Not the Archies, but the Archies team (Jeff Barry and Andy Kim) at the peak of their musical creativity, with a two-fer reish of dreamboat vocalist/co-writer Kim’s first two albums for their indie Steed Records. After nearly a decade as producer and songwriter for hire for some of the most savvy guys in the business, Jeff Barry found himself with the muscle to bring projects to completion on his own. With these two albums, you’ve got the sound of pop’s finest craftsmen delighting in the formal structures of late sixties pop and forging two dozen lovely little moments. “HWEGTW” is more traditional Brill Building romanticism, with Barry’s trademark eclectic arrangements brimming with handclaps, steel drum and hushed, layered vocals. On “Rainbow Ride,” the pair are mildly psychedelicized, offering frenetic, organ-fueled rockers (“Please Be true”). Love You-era Stonesy rambles (“Nobody’s Ever Going Anywhere”) and with the gorgeous “Foundation of My Soul,” a reminder that, no matter what the hippie critics said, in the magical world of Kim and Barry, love, and pop, are not at all disposable.
This press release just in:
ANDY KIM, CO-WRITER OF “SUGAR SUGAR,” IS SWEET ON COLLECTORS’ CHOICE MUSIC
Four albums by last of the Brill Building artists (How’d We Ever Get This Way/Rainbow Ride and Baby I Love You/Andy Kim) to be reissued on two CDs on July 18
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Andy Kim has sold millions of records, but most people are under the impression he sold mere hundreds of thousands. The reason is simple. Although Kim had many hits under his own name (“How’d We Ever Get This Way,” “Baby I Love You,” “Rock Me Gently” and “So Good Together,” to name a few), he co-wrote (with Jeff Barry) the Archies’ mega-hit “Sugar Sugar,” which sold 6 million 45 RPM units. Ron Dante provided the magic voice. Yet the fans never saw the scaffolding behind the scenes. The Archies, after all, consisted of Archie, Jughead, Reggie, Betty and Veronica, right?
Collectors’ Choice Music on July 18 will re-release four Andy Kim LPs via two loaded CDs: How’d We Ever Get This Way mates with Rainbow Ride to document Kim’s 1968-69 output, while Baby I Love You is conjoined with the eponymous Andy Kim. All albums except for Andy Kim (which was on Uni Records) were originally released on Steed Records, which was founded in 1967 by songwriter/producer Barry as a division of Jeff Barry Enterprises. Distribution was through Dot Records. It was another era, to be sure.
Andy Kim, the man with the magic pipes, was born Andre Youakim in Montreal and at age 16 arrived in New York, where he played a song for his Brill Building hero Jeff Barry. Thus began one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, which in turn led to Kim’s hit singles and albums for Steed, which are widely regarded as the last, glorious gasp of the Brill Building sound.