Really Grooving: The Music of Archie Comics

With the latest tale of Archie mixing with music on it’s way to shelves, Editor-in-chief and somebody who badly wants to live in Riverdale, Jack Cinnamond decides to take a short look at the musical adventures and references in Archie’s universe. 

I’ve always had something with the high school teenager known as Archie Andrews and his ragtag group of friends, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and Reggie. Archie represents clean, family-friendly entertainment in form of weekly comics and numerous television shows, Archie and his Riverdale pals all showcase what the American lifestyle should be, I mean, things in the sixties were cleaner in America on the surface than nowadays, today the entire world is messed up and there isn’t any standard Archie Comics people can read but that’s just the reason why I love Archie Comics, I’m not here to talk about the state of America or even comic books but the music within the world of Archie.

archies 001.jpg
A is for Archies!

So music in Archie is as irrelevant as some may figure, it’s very current. In 1968, The Archie Comedy Hour began airing on television bringing a new version of Archie & co. to fans. Along with the television show, a new premise was explored.

Archie and his friends started a band called The Archies, a band that played current pop and bubblegum pop to much regard. Long before The Archies began making music, Archie Comics‘ introduced a new group of musicians in comic book form, Josie & The Pussycats, who would later arrive on television with a Hanna-Barbera animated series in 1970.

Not only with The Archies playing music, they were hits.Most notably, the song “Sugar, Sugar” became a bubblegum pop hit throughout the late sixties, early seventies. The song became the U.S Number One and stayed on top for four weeks becoming The Archies‘ first gold record.

Can you believe that? In 2016 you think an animated group could actually get a Number One record (apart from Gorillaz, of course)? Well, in 1969 that’s what happened. As I said at the start, Archie was an American kid and the country loved him.

The comics and TV series continued to run with a boost of healthy musical references such as The Archies being compared to The Doors (due to not having a bass player, however this was “disproved” with The Archies Christmas Album (Fuel, 2008) when it was confirmed that Reggie was the bassist) and even this retro-futuristic beauty from the very early 70s.

“That doesn’t sound like fun! Nobody’s really grooving!”

In the last few years, Archie has been explored more with crossovers. From Archie vs. Predator, Archie vs. Sharknado and many many more, writers have been able to place Archie Andrews and his friends in different scenarios with other famous folks. So heck, why shouldn’t they try it with some bands? Okay…

In 2012, starting with Archie Comics #627 when a magical spell goes wrong evil demons arrive into Riverdale and attempt to cause a ruckus, but all is fine and dandy because Archie and friends have back-up in form of the classic rock band KISS. For four issues, Archie Meets KISS actually happens and it’s a bloody good time!

In 2013, Archie Meets Glee actually became a thing and once again for four issues, Archie intertwined with the world of the music television phenomenon Glee.

But more up-to-date, announced this week was a new Archie crossover within music for a single issue. This October, Archie Meets Ramones will hit shelves. The Archies lose a Battle of The Bands contest and look for inspiration, so they travel back in time to dirty. gritty 1970s New York City and meet the punk icons the Ramones.

While I heavily dislike the Ramones (it’s well documented), I’m looking forward to seeing the punk outfit hang out with The Archies. Hopefully we’ll get a collaboration?

Portion of Archie Meets Ramones standard cover by Gisele Lagace, cover one of four variants.

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