The Sweet – Live In Berlin – May 16, 1976 – West German Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
The Sweet this weekend. One of those bands who made a seemingly magical transformation from bubblegum to Glam and whose global popularity became the result.
The Sweet (also known as Sweet) were a British glam rock band that rose to worldwide fame in the 1970s. Their best known line-up consisted of lead vocalist Brian Connolly, bass player Steve Priest, guitarist Andy Scott, and drummer Mick Tucker. The group was originally called Sweetshop.
The band was formed in London in 1968 and achieved their first hit, “Funny Funny”, in 1971 after teaming up with songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman and record producer Phil Wainman. During 1971 and 1972, their musical style followed a marked progression from the Archies-like bubblegum style of “Funny Funny” to a Who-influenced hard rock style supplemented by a striking use of high-pitched backing vocals.
The band first achieved success in the UK charts, with thirteen Top 20 hits during the 1970s alone, with “Block Buster!” (1973) topping the chart, followed by three consecutive number two hits in “Hell Raiser” (1973), “The Ballroom Blitz” (1973) and “Teenage Rampage” (1974). The band turned to a more hard rock style with their mid-career singles, like 1974’s “Turn It Down”. “Fox on the Run” (1975) also reached number two on the UK charts. These results were topped in West Germany and other countries on the European mainland. They also achieved success and popularity in the US with the top ten hits “Little Willy”, “The Ballroom Blitz”, “Fox on the Run” and “Love is Like Oxygen”.
Sweet had their last international success in 1978 with “Love Is Like Oxygen”. Connolly left the group in 1979 to start a solo career and the remaining members continued as a trio until disbanding in 1981. From the mid-1980s, Scott, Connolly and Priest each played with their own versions of Sweet at different times. Connolly died in 1997 and Tucker in 2002. The two surviving members are still active in their respective versions of the band; Scott’s is based in the UK and Priest’s in the US.
As a reminder of what The Sweet were like during their peak, riding the wave of Glam into Hard-Rock and proto-Metal, here is a concert recorded in Berlin on May 16, 1976 for West German Radio.
I think it’s safe to crank this one up a bit – the walls could use a good shaking right about now.