Attention…

My attention span is very short today, maybe my mind is tired from all the different music. I have found it difficult to read for a week or so. I guess this is how I have always been. Well I guess I should just go home from the library and write, listen to music, arrange beats or watch kid’s in the hall. I have just finished the first disk of the second series. Then I am thinking maybe the young ones, the adam and joe show or the it crowd…. The mind doth indeed continue to boggle…

Sweet…

Sweet never took themselves too seriously, which is maybe why they’ve never been given their due in the history books. While their 70’s glam-rock rivals like Bolan and Bowie became international superstars, Sweet’s British chart career expired around 1978. But in the rest of Europe, the band were on of our hottest pop exports of the decade. To fans in Germany and Scandinavia, they were as big as the Stones, Queen or the Who and they outsold all three of them when it came to singles.

No doubt about it, the three-minute single was Sweet’s forte throughout their career, from their beginnings as a gentle pop band in 1968 through their bubblegum and glam-rock peak, to the metallic rockers of their later years.

That’s what makes this collection so special. For the first time, it brings together their hits from three different labels, previously keep apart on album by the intricacies of record company politics. From the singalong “Funny Funny” in 1971 to the final Top ten blast of “Love is Like Oxygen” in 1978, all of their classic singles are here, to prove that few artists mapped out the changing face of 70s pop so aptly.

The casual listener remembers Sweet for those epic ‘Top Of The Pops’ appearances at the height of glam, when the group donned everything from lipstick to indian headdress in the quest for publicity. The image kept changing, they’d be cute teenyboppers for one single, camp poseurs for the next, and then leather-clad hard rockers.

None of that was in the air in 1968, when the Sweet Shop shortened their name and issued a single called “Slow Motion” on Fontana. Vocalist Brian Connolly, drummer Mick Tucker and bassist Steve Preist were originally joined by guitarist Frank Torpy, though when Sweet switched labels from Fontana to Parlophone in 1969, Mick Stewart took over on guitar.

Neither line-up set the charts alight, but their producer at Fontana, Phil Wainman, recommended them to Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, who agreed to take complete creative control over their career. They signed the band – with Andy Scott now having replaced Mark Stewart – to RCA, and then crafted them a cheery pop anthem called “Funny Funny”, which duly reached the Top 20 in the spring of 1971. The equally infectious “Co-Co” reached No. 2 a few weeks later, and subsequent hits like “Alexander Graham Bell”, “Poppa Joe” and the amusingly titled “Little Willy” cemented Sweet’s place as one of Britain’s top pop bands.

That wasn’t enough for Connolly, Scott, Preist and Tucker, who wanted more input into their music, Hence the heavier sound of “Wig-Wag Bam” and especially the epic “Blockbuster!”, based around the same Yardbirds riff that appeared on David Bowie’s simultaneous ‘The Jean Genie’, to Bowie’s embarrassment.

“Blockbuster!” topped the British charts, and for the next year Sweet spanned the pop and rock markets, attracting hard rock fans with their guitar riffs and pre-teenagers with their irresistible hooks.

It was ironic that the majestic “Turn It Down”, which perfected their new sound, proved to be their least successful single since 1970, but “Fox On The Run” and “Action” in 1975 showed little sign of decay.

By now utterly confident in their own abilities, Sweet set out to conquer America and the Far East, on a headlining tour of arenas. But their ambition had its cost, as their absence from Britain for much of 1976 kept their singles out of the Top 30. By the time they realised what was happening, they – and most of their contemporaries – had been swept aside by the furore surrounding punk.

“Love Is Like Oxygen” restored their fortunes in classic style in 1978, by which time Sweet’s albums were dominated by hard rock tunes. If they’d survived intact into the 80s, they’d have been perfect for the Kerrang! generation, but instead Brian Connolly quit the band at the end of that year. And attempt to entice Ronnie Dio to take his place failed, and thereafter attention was forever divided between Connolly’s solo activities and the efforts of the remaining trio to stay afloat. By the 80s, there were two rival sets of Sweet on the road, one fronted by Connolly, the other by Andy Scott.

What the world wanted, of course, was the original line-up, immortalised on this collection of 70’s hits. Now belatedly recognised as forefathers of metal and even punk, Sweet have at last escaped the ‘teenybop’ tag they were given nearly 25 years ago. As this album proves, sometimes an image is only skin deep.

1.   The Ballroom Blitz
2.   Blockbuster!
3.   Teenage Rampage
4.   Wig-Wam Bam
5.   Funny Funny
6.   Action
7.   Fox On The Run
8.   Hell Raiser
9.   The Six Teens
10. Alexander Graham Bell
11. Call Me
12. Stairway To The Stairs
13. Love Is Like Oxygen
14. The Lies In Your Eyes
15. Lost Angels
16. Turn It Down
17. Burning
18. Fever Of Love
19. Sixties Man
20. Poppa Joe
21. Co-Co
22. Little Willy

… Note from me… this is all exactly what was written on the inside of an actual real cd case…

Overweight mensturating lesbians…

Two overweight mensturating lesbians were sat in the kitchen one morning looking lovingly into each others eyes. Outside through the window the sun was shining brightly over the trees and the birds were chirping happily to one another. Then all of a sudden the toast popped out of the toaster. One overweight menstuarting lesbian shouted really really really really really really loudly to the other overweight mesturating lesbian “I WANTED TO USE THE TOASTER FIRST YOU FUCKING CUNT!”. And thus the joke was finished and breakfast was very tense that morning, and was to be so for a few more mornings to come afterwards…