Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sweet-Desolation Boulevard, 1974

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This is the American version of this release so it actually contains half of the UK release of the same name plus half of the Sweet fanny Adams album. Sweet had different sounds through their career, but I think their strongest was between 73-76. Even here it is a blend of different sounds rolled together. There is smooth harmonizing and catchy choruses all over the place, but there are also odd pace changes and some strained vocals that also work. The tracks "Ballroom blitz" and "Fox on the run" are the two hits here and you have probably heard the various cover versions of them as well. Yet it's really some of other tracks on the album where the band lay down what should be their legacy. "Set me free" is so awesome even now as it just flies through, but still manages to be smooth as silk. The "6-teens" is so powerful because it puts so much weight on the vocals and lyrics and they carry the load easily. The album is often called glam, but it's really a mixture of styles. You can here some 60's British pop, some early 70's bubblegum pop, hard rock and then some odd stuff through in just to make it interesting. I think too many people remember this band for their hits and don't delve further into their back catalog. I know Motley Crue and Def Leppard liked these guys a lot and I guarantee the Ramones heard Sweet because you can hear the influence. As with all of the albums I am reviewing this week I listened to this on vinyl. I picked up my copy back in 1992 at a yard sale for like a dollar and I was floored by it. I am still finding things about this album to enjoy.

9 Comments:

Blogger Andre du Plessis said...

Interesting, never heard of these guys until my brother bought one of their collection albums. Now I am the one mostly listening to it. I was always looking for the version of Ballroom Blitz that they sang which I heard once on the radio and forgotten about it until now. Then I heard Hellraiser which I always heard the first time done by Raven, but didn't know it was a cover. I love the laxadaisical feel of Papa Joe as well. And other good songs I never knew that was made by them...

"Are you ready Steve..."

11:43 PM  
Blogger captain corky said...

Another good review. After reading your post I kind of wish I had my albums and a record player here in Kentucky. It's been a long time since I listened to an album on a record player.

5:02 AM  
Blogger The Mule said...

I remember Ballroom Blitz and Fox on the Run from AM radio back in the 70s when I was first getting curious about this "rock" thing. I don't own a proper Sweet album, but I have an awesome Greatest Hits LP. Good band!

7:40 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

The running order on my copy doesn't include either Ballroom Blitz or Hellraiser. Just looking at the (gatefold!) sleeve now and the only titles I recognise are Fox On The Run and My Generation - a cover of the Who classic. I'm not really familiar with this album but I'll try to give it a few plays after reading your review.

9:17 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

Man, a dollar???

Holy crap what a find.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous AuntJackie said...

I love this! Yes, Fox on the Run is a cool song too... Sweet!

4:02 PM  
Blogger John Mutford said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:51 PM  
Blogger John Mutford said...

I thought product placement started in the 80s. But looks like Honda may have gotten an ad on the Sweet cover. Ahead of the times?

5:05 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

One of my favorites of all time. Our favorite of 1974, in fact!

10:39 AM  

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