Does anyone remember Sugar? Well, of course, someone does. But nearly 20 years on, do enough people properly remember the early-90s alt-rock band formed and fronted by Bob Mould?
Joining singer/guitarist Mould’s first group since Hüsker Dü were bassist David Barbe (Mercyland) and drummer Malcolm Travis (Human Sexual Reponse). The trio released its debut, Copper Blue, in September 1992, and I quickly became addicted to Sugar’s jangly power-pop (as did NME, who named it Album of the Year). But having just Copper Blue sitting on my shelf wasn’t enough, so I’d also search the CD stores on my college campus for the band’s singles (both domestic and import), so I could keep riding that Sugar high.
“Helpless” was a #5 Billboard Rock hit for Sugar, though interestingly, nothing else from Copper Blue charted in its successful wake. “If I Can’t Change Your Mind” and “A Good Idea” were better singles in my estimation, but since I can’t find a decent clip to imbed for the latter, we’ll go with the former’s music video for today’s Flashback. (Also, a friend of mine back then used to sing it as, “You fucking change your mind when no one will,” which I still find amusing.)
Anyone know if that’s Eddie Cibrian in the “If I Can’t Change Your Mind” clip (seen in the thumbnail image below)? Sure looks like a younger version of his often shirtless self.
Copper Blue was followed up by the Beaster EP the following spring, which showcased a heavier sound. (A sonic interpretation of how one feels upon ingesting too much Sugar, perhaps?) The band’s also-stellar sophomore album, File Under: Easy Listening, was released in the fall of 1994, with an odds-and-sods collection, Besides, arriving the next summer (subsuming those singles I’d collected). By 1996, Sugar had had their fix, calling it quits.
This week, Bob Mould released his autobiography, See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody. which details his life in punk rock, the drug and alcohol addiction that proved the unraveling of Hüsker Dü, coming to terms with being gay (he came out at 33), his solo work, the formation of Sugar (yay!), and so much more. Mould has lived quite the life, even writing scripts for professional wrestling bouts for a couple of years. Read the first chapter via The Daily Swarm.