No Sugar Tonight In My Coffee

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Song: No Sugar Tonight (1970)

Artist: The Guess Who

Album: American Woman

Writer: Randy Bachman

No Sugar Tonight was released as a B-side for the Guess Who’s single, American Woman, perhaps their best-known song. The single hit number one on the week of May 9, 1970, becoming their biggest hit. Originally, however, No Sugar Tonight was meant to be released with another song.

Randy Bachman, later of Bachman Turner Overdrive, tells the story of the song’s creation in Bachman’s Vinyl Tap Stories:

In early 1969, after playing a gig in San Francisco, I was in Berkeley, California, and had just bought a bunch of vinyl records….I was taking these records back to my rental care when I saw three guys in black leather jackets walking towards me on the same side of the street. I was a little intimidated…They looked like guys from a biker gang, three rough tough street guys and me, the long Canadian….They were walking shoulder to shoulder and coming straight towards me…I nonchalantly crossed over to the other side of the street…they did the same, still bearing down on me. I could feel a confrontation coming.

Suddenly this battered little brown car pulls up in front of them…This little woman steps out and starts yelling at one of these tough guys. The other two scatter…She’s ragging on this one guy who doesn’t appear so tough now as he’s standing there being chewed out by a tiny woman…he looks embarrassed…

“You’re nothing but a no good bum!” she’s yelling. “You left me at home with the kids again. You’re supposed to be looking for a job and here you are with your buddies checking out the girls.”

So he sheepishly goes around to the passenger-side door. Finally she says to him as he’s getting in the car, “And baby, when you get home you ain’t gettin’ no sugar tonight.

Bachman reveals that the band’s producer, Jack Richardson, originally had the idea to combine Bachman’s song “No Sugar Tonight” with “New Mother Nature,” written by lead singer and keyboardist Burton Cummings. When it came time to release the single, however, Richardson chose to make No Sugar Tonight the B-side of American Woman.

Other hits by the Guess Who are These Eyes (1969), Undun (1969), Laughing (1969), No Time (1970), and Hand Me Down World (1970).

Listen to No Sugar Tonight by The Guess Who

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