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Sugar – Copper Blue (1992)

November 14, 2018

[Album 618/1001]

It may have been intentional, it may have been inadvertent.

Either way, I believe these lads have successfully demonstrated the 3 essential ingredients of Alternative Rock:

1. Sugar – Melodies matter, hooks certainly help

2. Copper – But the songs also need some edge, some distortion

3. Blue – And the best ones have some emotional depth

Individually, it doesn’t work.

Even with 2 outta 3, it may not be ‘bad’ per se, but it’s not the ideal mix.

However, when all 3 ingredients are combined (in varying proportions, depending on the tune), good alternative rock things happen:




And there is no shortage of good alternative happenings here (often reminding me of eventual Collective Soul/Matthew Sweet/Goo Goo Dolls recordings).

That optimal Sugar + Copper + Blue combo can be observed, perhaps most visibly during:

The Act We Act‘s chorusSugar_-_Copper_Blue

A Good Idea‘s outro + abrupt ending

Changes lyrics (“I’m accustomed to your deception, Comes the rule with no exception”)

The Helpless intro…and there’s likely a feature in each track that combines all 3 ingredients without over-mixing.

And those features sound deelish to me!


Verbalize the Positive

Cheers to J for reminding me about this group!

From → 1990s

  1. All those bands, including Sugar, sound like they were influenced by Mould’s Husker Du.

    • Which makes me quite interested to explore some Husker Du!

      • There’s one Husker Du album on the list, I think?

      • There is – and I’m listening to Warehouse as I type!

      • IMO it’s a slightly odd choice for the book – Mould’s stuff is mostly very good, and sounds more like Copper Blue than his earlier work. But I don’t think the other songwriter, drummer Grant Hart, had quite enough good material for a double. I like Zen Arcade and New Day Rising better.

      • Perhaps it’s on the list for the significance rather than the strength of the actual recording?

      • I imagine it was their highest selling record.

  2. Yaaaaaaaaaassssss! Love this record

  3. jprobichaud permalink

    Haha. Love this album. And the Venn diagram works mate!

    • Cheers JP – I was surprised that this was new-to-me, it was right up my street!

      • jprobichaud permalink

        Sugar’s second album was quite good as well. Definitely worth checking out.

      • That’s a trio of recommendations for that one from a trio of reliable sources, sold!

  4. Bob Mould is a genius songwriter, Sugar is totally under rated indie rock act so it’s bloody great they have one album in that book list but…

    • They’re 1 for 1 so far for me!
      And I’m currently listening to Husker Du’s Warehouse, at first glance, it looks like it’s right where it belongs on the 1001 list as well

      • Oh, they’re great band too but if you would like to know? My fave album by them is Candy Apple Grey which i did wrote a blog post about last year, i think it was then? but i can dig it up if you really wanna look?

        BTW i should get back into your quizzes, hey? Anyway happy listening 🙂

      • Candy Apple Grey sounds promising – thanks William!

  5. Man, this album is a cracker. Loads of great songs and moments within great songs.

    Beaster is worth digging into, too. It’s heavier, but those key ingredients are still there.

    • I don’t mind heavy!
      And J – I have you to thank for reminding me to check this one out. I remember your 1984 draft interview referenced these folks, I thought it might be up my street – and ’twas!

      • They were a great band, Geoff… Bob mould rarely puts a foot wrong.

  6. The boy showed me a Venn diagram in his maths homework tonight, so I showed him creative uses of the concept, right here at 1001. Cheers!

  7. Plus it has my favourite song about drowning your g/f.

    • Which would definitely put those lyrics in the ‘blue’ category – and we can only assume that was the lego imagery they had in mind when they wrote it!

  8. Listening To Records permalink

    Sugar was fantastic. I believe Copper Blue and Beaster were recorded simultaneously and divided into separate albums after. Their other album, File Under Easy Listening is very good too, if a tad less inspired than the first 2.
    For my money the best album Mould ever recorded is his first solo album, Workbook. Highly recommended.

  9. I’ll check out the singles from the album. What is this group’s biggest hit?

  10. Awesome. I used to see an album of theirs floating around but somehow I don’t think it was this one. It was more green… anyway, I don’t know much about them. Must investigate further!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 380 albums in 3 years! | 1001albumsin10years
  2. 1992 | 1001albumsin10years

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