The Sugar Bears

Band members                             Related acts

- Kim Carnes (aka Honey Bear) - vocals

- Mike Settle (aka Sugar Bear) - vocals




- Kim Carnes (solo efforts)

- The First Edition (Mike Settle)

- Mike Settle (solo efforts)





Genre: pop

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Presenting the Sugar Bears

Company: Big Tree

Catalog: BTS-2009

Year: 1972

Country/State: --

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 4329

Price: $75.00


Its kind of funny how people complain about how sophisticated marketing has become and how it's almost criminal that companies target kids at such an early age.  Where have they been for the last fifty years.  This stuff's been going on for ages - witness The Sugar Bears.  



Released by the Ampex-associated Big Tree label, 1972's 'Presenting the Sugar Bears" was apparently envisioned as a way to increase sales of Post's Super Sugar Crisps cereal among pre-teens.  Musically the set's probably best known for giving studio vocalist and songwriter Kim Carnes one of her first breaks.  While in retrospect she's probably not all that thrilled with her participation, Carnes served as the voice for 'Honey Bear', while fellow songwriter and ex-First Edition member Mike Settle provided the voice of namesake 'Sugar Bear'.  Produced by Jimmy Bowen, on the surface this would seem to be nothing short of an aural disaster, but the fact of the matter is that the album's surprisingly good.  Boasting material from Carnes, Settle and Baker Knight (the guy who wrote Ricky Nelson's 'Lonely Town' and 'The Wonder of You' for Elvis Presley), songs such as 'Happiness Train', 'All of My Life' and 'Kinda Friendly Things' were full of uplifting lyrics, catchy melodies and surprisingly enthusiastic performances.  Sure, its more 'product' than 'art', but I'd have to say it's easily one of the top-5 bubblegum albums.   Personal favorites: Carnes' sweet 'Feather Balloon' and the single 'You Are the One' b/w 'Someone Like You' (Big Tree catalog number BT-122).  Big Tree also tapped the LP for a second single:

- 1972's 'Happiness Train' b/w 'Right On' (Big Tree catalog number BT-143)

"Presenting the Sugar Bears" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Happiness Train   (Michael McGinnis) - 2:06
2.) All of My Life   (Kim Carnes) - 1:59
3.) Right On   (Baker Knight) - 2:36
4.) Feather Balloon   (Kim Carnes) - 2:28
5.) Kinda Friendly Things   (Mike Settle) - 2:32
6.) Love You've Been A Long Time Coming   (Mitch Murray)  - 2:57

(side 2)
1.) You Are The One  (Baker Knight) - 3:05
2.) The Two of Us Together   (Mike Settle) - 2:15
3.) It's A Good Day   (Kim Carnes) - 2:11
4.) Someone Like You   (Mike Settle) - 2:43
5.) Anyone But You   (Baker Knight) - 3:02


There was also a non-LP follow-on single:


- 1972's 'Some Kind Of a Summer' b/w 'Put Some Love Into It (Big Tree catalog number 151)


Strange, I was still cartoon fodder age in 1972, but have absolutely no recollection of the cartoon, though I do remember the advertising campaign.  Speaking of which, as part of an advertising campaign Post released a cardboard six track EP on select boxes of cereal.  



For anyone curious, YouTube has a couple of Sugar Bear cartoon segments online.  In hindsight it's funny to see how unsophisticated this stuff was:


This has absolutely nothing to do with music, but in looking for an image of the Sugar Bears cereal EP, I stumbled across a website devoted to documenting cereal boxes. Truly amazing !!!