The Sweet (also known as Sweet) are 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.
Links to Peel
Peel seemed to like some of the band's material. In a review of songs in 1974, published in Sounds on 4th January 1975, he was disappointed that the band's Turn It Down single did not do well in the charts (it reached number 41). He also mentioned that their other singles Teenage Rampage and The Six Teens (both top ten hits) were records worth having which will still sound good ten years time. When the band released their "Action" single in 1975, Peel described on the Singles Reviews article of Sounds, published on 12th July 1975, that it was a far finer single that may do less well (it peaked at number 15).
Despite very few playlists from the early-mid 70's era on this site, it doesn't seem Peel played much of the group, although there is evidence from a Sounds article published on 20th July 1974 (reprinted in the Olivetti Chronicles) that he did play a Sweet track on his BBC Radio One show sometime in July 1974.
- July 1974: unknown track
- Where It's At: Burn On The Flame (LP - Strung Up) RCA
Top of the Pops
- 05 January 1984 (TOTP): Blockbuster (clip from 01/02/73)