Oops!!! I didn’t mean to have such a long gap between Parts 69 and 70 of this occasional series. It’s been three months……
According to wiki, Sugar were named in a waffle house restaurant in Athens, Georgia when Bob Mould spotted a sugar packet on the table where he and the other two band members were sitting.
It’s a hard one to believe, but there is no doubting that the band came together not long after Bob Mould had been dropped by a record label that was disappointed with the critical and commercial failure of his two solo albums released after the break-up of Hüsker Dü. He subsequently linked up with David Barbe and Malcolm Travis to form a new alt-rock power-pop influenced trio.
Success came quite quickly. Their first shows were in 1992, and they were soon signed to Ryodisc in their home country and to Creation Records in the UK. It was the latter who got the first new material release, a single on CD and 12″ vinyl, in August 1992:-
mp3: Sugar – Changes
The single, released on CD and 12″, didn’t chart, but had received a couple of good write-ups in the UK music papers, some of whose writers were delighted to see Bob Mould making a comeback as the cult of Hüsker Dü hadn’t really dissipated.
A few weeks later, the debut album Copper Blue was released. The positive critical response was near-universal, and no publication was more excited than the NME which later named it ‘Album of the Year’ for 1992.
Copper Blue did go Top 10 in the UK, but was only in the charts for seven weeks. The NME accolade didn’t do much for sales, but there was a revival sales-wise when a later single, If I Can’t Change Your Mind, reached the top 30 in January 1993 (another example of how good a year that actually was for music).
The hit single had actually been previously released, in a different form, as one of the three other tracks on Changes:–
mp3: Sugar – Needle Hits E
mp3: Sugar – If I Can’t Change Your Mind (solo mix)
mp3: Sugar – Try Again
All told, it made for a very enjoyable debut. The sticker on my CD cover tells me I paid £3.99 for it…..we really were getting ripped-off price wise thirty-plus years ago.