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!"
Steve: Uh huh.
Brian: Alright fellas, LET'S GO!
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.
"I'm reaching out for something, troping nothing's all I ever do":
- Ballroom Blitz: The Trope Namer.
- The Band Minus the Face: They kept going as a Rock Trio after Brian Connolly left, but the three albums they recorded all bombed and they called it quits after that.
- Big Applesauce: "New York Connection"
- Crossed with Dance Sensation: "Big Apple Waltz"
- Bo Diddley Beat: "Ballroom Blitz" rattles along on one for much of its length.
- California: "California Nights," "Santa Monica Sunshine"
- Colbert Bump: While a popular group from The '70s, they're experiencing a surge in popularity with the Guardians of the Galaxy film sequel using "Fox on the Run" in their second trailer as well as in the actual movie.
- Cover Version: The Who's "My Generation"
- Epic Rocking: The unedited "Love is Like Oxygen" (6:57).
- 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.
- Hair Metal: Considered one of the Ur Examples. "Love Is Like Oxygen", past the disco keyboards, is incredibly similar to what was being done by bands like KISS and Poison ten years later, with reverberating drums, high vocals and heavy guitars on top of a "dance" beat.
- 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"
- Song Style Shift: The full version of "Love is Like Oxygen". The band drops out midsong and it turns into an acoustic guitar/keyboard duet that starts out soft but gradually gets more intense, until the electric guitar, bass and drums all join in and finish things up. Then the electric guitar fires up the familiar Epic Riff and we go back into the original chorus, then to top things off, they go into a disco rhythm for the fade out.
- 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.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: "Little Willy" ends with one.
- White-Dwarf Starlet: "Dorian Gray"