The Sweet Anthology

Release Date: April 28, 2009
Compilation Produced by: David McLees
Format: CD



Matt Rowe


It doesn’t surprise me to hear how different people enjoyed the music of Sweet, who delivered a run through various styles that would have endeared anyone at anytime.  The band crafted quite a string of hits that had ultra Pop appeal back in the ‘70s.  Pick a song from their body of work and you’ll hear a style that can point backward to phenomenon like Bolin’s T.Rex, or David Bowie during his hi-glam period.  But they could rock as hard as anyone as Disc Two of this 2CD compilation will underscore.  Interestingly, pointing forward, some of the material seems ahead of its time when stacked next to the music of The Scissor Sisters.  Think not?  Give the Jamaican flavoured “Poppa Joe” a listen and you tell me. 

The opening track on the first disc has a strong Ohio Express sound, a bubble-gum sound that was chart heavy back in the late ‘60s.  “Funny Funny” is, as the booklet states, an Archies-like track that reveals the band’s ability to churn out solid, satisfying music that reflects the time in which it was recorded.  Much of the music that Sweet recorded were written by the song factory team of Mike Chapman/Nicky Chinn.  This generated classic Sweet tunes (found on this collection) like “Little Willy,” “Wig-Wam Bam,” the very well known “Ballroom Blitz,” “The Six Teens,” and “A.C.D.C.”  Many of these songs were monstrous hits in their native UK, however some entered US charts but not climbing very high.  This changed with the US hit of “Little Willy.”  The rest was, as they say, memorably historical.  The band followed that mega-hit with “Ballroom Blitz,” and the band written “Fox on the Run.”  After this short US run, the band returned with a few more high-charting singles, “Action” and “Love is Like Oxygen” from subsequent albums but as finicky as bored US audiences usually go, the momentum was eventually lost and the band was left to creating music for the true fans.

But what music that was.  True fans continued to buy up the endearing and very listenable music that Sweet produced.  From the familiar music as heard on “Action,” a Top20 track from Give Us a Wink! (1976), to the Bowie soul-shift nod of “Funk it Up (David's Song)” from Off the Record (1977), to  “Sixties Man” from VI (1980), the second disc aptly covers the back of the band's career.  You'll definitely remember “Sweet FA,” as well as a few other obvious tracks.

The compilation is augmented by a 20-page booklet that offers not only plenty of pictures but also a complete track-list with credits, and a 10-page historical essay by Ben Edmonds.

This excellent 32-track collection of Sweet music is long overdue respect due a band that worked hard over their career.  If you're a Sweet fan, this set is grand.  With many remembered charting singles and album tracks, a B-side cut bonus (“Cover Girl”), and the album cut (rather than the shorter single version) of “Love is Like Oxygen” (“Cover Girl” is the B-side of the “Love is Like Oxygen” 7” 45 release), Action: The Sweet Anthology is a loving spoonful not only for fans of the ‘70s Pop/Rock glam period, but also for the serious Sweet fan, who understood the historical and musical impact of the band.









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212 Frech

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