Clockwise from top left: Steve Priest, Brian Connolly, Mick Tucker, and Andy Scott.
"And the man at the back said
Everyone attack and it turned into a ballroom blitz
And the girl in the corner said
Boy, I wanna warn ya, it'll turn into a ballroom blitz"
—Sweet, "Ballroom Blitz"
One of the most popular Glam Rock
groups of The '70s
, and one of the few to cross the Pond and achieve success in the United States, Sweet was a British band consisting of Brian Connolly (lead vocals), Andy Scott (lead guitar, backing vocals), Steve Priest (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Mick Tucker (drums, backing vocals).
Originally called Sweetshop (they shortened their name to avoid confusion with a similarly-named band), the group quickly developed a devoted following and acquired a recording contract that partnered them with the then-unknown songwriting/production team of Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn, who ended up composing most of the group's most memorable hits.
Initially, Chapman and Chinn pursued a bubblegum pop style comparable to The Archies
or the Bay City Rollers, but this didn't sit well with the group, whose self-written B-sides and album tracks showcased their Hard Rock
leanings. Eventually, the production team recognised where Sweet's talents lay, and took to composing tough-sounding Glam Rock
tunes which combined bubblegum melodies with fuzz guitar, thunderous drums and extremely high-pitched vocal harmonies.
Further hits followed, but the band eventually grew tired of the Executive Meddling
imposed upon them and parted ways with Chapman and Chinn. Although singles like "Action", "Fox On the Run" and "Love Is Like Oxygen" proved that they could score hits with their own songwriting, they were unable to sustain their success after Brian Connolly decided to call it quits in 1978, and they disintegrated soon after.
Although they're probably less well-remembered than contemporaries such as T. Rex
and Slade, they're noteworthy as one of the first rock and roll groups to combine the melodic and commercial components of pop with their hard rocking glam attack. In essence, Sweet was the first Hair Metal
band, prefiguring that style by nearly a decade.
As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki
"I'm reaching out for something, troping nothing's all I ever do":
- Ballroom Blitz: The Trope Namer.
- Bi the Way: "AC/DC" is about the narrator's bisexual girlfriend, who has "some other woman as well as me."
- Big Applesauce: "New York Connection"
- California: "California Nights," "Santa Monica Sunshine"
- Cover Version: The Who's "My Generation"
- Glam Rock: Along with Slade, they're one of the codifiers of the heavier style of glam rock, which was a major influence on subsequent Hair Metal groups.
- Glass-Shattering Sound: One of their trademarks was all four members singing remarkably high harmonies.
- Heroic RROD: In the mid-1970s, Brian Connolly got into a fight and sustained injuries to his throat. While his voice did recover, he was never quite able to sing with the same strength or purity again.
- Live Album: Strung Up, Live in Denmark 1976, Live at the Rainbow 1973.
- The Man Behind the Man: Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn. They subsequently fulfilled a similar role for groups like Mud, Smokie, Racey and Suzi Quatro.
- New-Age Retro Hippie: "Sixties Man"
- Rock Star Song: "Nouveau Rockstar"
- Spell My Name with a "The": According to their page on The Other Wiki, their name is simply "Sweet", but even official releases sometimes call them "The Sweet".
- Tipis And Totem Poles: "Wig Wam Bam"
- Trope Maker: For Hair Metal. Most of the popular hair bands cited their melodicism and vocal harmonies as an influence on their own music, including Poison, Guns N' Roses and especially Def Leppard.
- White-Dwarf Starlet: "Dorian Gray"