Glam rock band The Sweet: biography and interesting facts
The British band Sweet have come a long way from bubblegum pop, through glam rock and finally to hard rock. They were at the top of the hit parade, survived the breakup, and were eventually "cloned" altogether. Let's tell how it happened.
Sweet was formed in 1968 by drummer Mick Tucker and vocalist Brian Connolly. The two met when they were members of the Wainwright's Gentlemen, which, by the way, nurtured more than one famous rock band: it previously consisted of Ian Gillan and Roger Glover, who later became part of the legendary Deep Purple.
The two friends decided to leave and form their own musical group, which also included Steve Priest and Frank Torpey. The quartet called themselves "The Sweetshop" and began performing in London's pubs. Already at this initial stage, the group managed to gain popularity enough to be noticed by Fontana Records. A contract was signed and the band shortened the name to "The Sweet".
However, this was not the beginning of a pleasant streak for Sweet: their first single, "Slow Motion", was not successful, and Fontana quickly became disillusioned with their choice and terminated the contract. Frank Torpey also decided to leave the group, which was barely on its feet.
We can only be glad that this did not stop anyone. Mick Stewart replaced Torpey and Parlophone Records replaced Fontana and work continued with three more light pop tracks, but these songs again failed to chart. Stewart also left, his place was taken by Andy Scott, who by that time already had authority in the musical circle. And again a new contract, this time with RCA Records. In addition, Sweet signed another very important contract with the duo of authors Nikki Chin and Mike Chapman.
The first single that the new team created, "Funny Funny", became a hit and got to 13th place in the UK chart. Things went well, but it was too early to relax.
Several more successful singles followed, and Sweet felt confident enough to release their first album, which was called Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be. The album flopped, and the papers branded Sweet a "singles' band". In addition to everything, Chinn and Chapman began to invite third-party, so-called "session" musicians to record songs. The members of the group needed to act decisively.
The musicians themselves were not satisfied with the established reputation of the group singing pop music. When they recorded their singles, they put a hard rock style song on the second side, which was exactly what they really wanted. And what is most interesting: these B-sides made a much bigger impression on the listeners than those soft pop songs that Chinn and Chapman wrote for Sweet. The latter had no choice but to change their style and write songs "harder". Things went up again, and finally, in 1973, the song “Block Buster!” Is released, which gets to the top of the charts in Britain and many other European countries and even Australia. More than 25 million records have been sold worldwide. Success has finally arrived!
Their next single "Teenage Rampage" takes the group back to the top of the charts. Sweet go on tour in the US, where they collect rave reviews not only from fans, but even from members of The Who. They even had a joint concert scheduled, but just before that, Connolly, the vocalist, is attacked by hooligans and gets injured in the neck.
Upon returning from the tour, the guys decide to finally break with bubblegum music, as well as with the duo of Chinn and Chapman. Now they write their own songs. Their first independent work "Fox On The Run" is on the 2nd place in the charts in Europe, it is so fond of other musicians that it was covered by bands such as Scorpions and Def Lepard.
The end of the good times
The 70s were Sweet's heyday. Their songs hit the hit lists, the 75th world tour took place, but by the end of the decade the picture began to change.
The decline in popularity was slow, the process of disintegration was also not fast. First, Connolly left the group, who decided to start a solo career. For a while, Sweet performed as part of three musicians, but without the same success. This led to the group disbanding in 1982 shortly before releasing their Identity Crisis album.
After the breakup, something interesting happened to the band. In the beginning, as often happens, one of the former members of the group wanted to turn back the clock and bring the group back to life. The initiator of the project was Connolly, he even appeared at an autograph session with Tucker and Priest, but later began to take other musicians into his group. So The New Sweet was organized, which performed old hits, it was 1984.
But just a year later, in the 85th, Andy Scott and Mick Tucker decided to revive the group. And they also began performing under the name Sweet. Then Tucker left the group, the name was changed to "Andy Scott's Sweet" on this occasion.
Then followed the sad time of death. In 1997, Connolly died, ending his version of the band. Tucker passed away in 2002.
For a while there was only one version of Sweet again in the world, but in 2008 the cloning was repeated again, and Steve Priest assembled his version of the group. This version of the band performed successfully in the US until 2020, when Priest died. And thus, only the clone of Andy Scott remained in the world, which exists to this day.