The Sweet (1968-1982, 1985-present): a Hard Rock band from London, UK.
ften shortened to just Sweet, The Sweet are a British glam rock band who rose to prominence in the 1970s. Their best-known line-up consisted of Brian Connolly (vocals), Steve Priest (bass), Andy Scott (guitar) and Mick Tucker (drums).
The Sweet's origins can be traced back to British soul band Wainwright's Gentlemen around 1962 and were initially known as Unit 4 with the founding members Chris Wright (vocals), Jan Frewer (bass), with Jim Searle and Alfred Fripp both on guitars. Phil Kenton joined on drums when the band changed its name to Wainwright's Gentlemen (due to there being another band known as "Unit 4"). Managed by Frewer's father, the band performed in the Hayes, Harrow and Wembley area. By 1964 the group was also playing in London, including at the Saint Germain Club on Poland Street. When the 'Gentlemen' eventually broke up, in 1968, Connolly and Tucker who had joined later in the band's exploits now formed a new band, calling themselves The Sweetshop, but just weeks before their debut release an unrelated artist released a single under the name "Sweetshop", so the band abbreviated their moniker to The Sweet.
After their formation in in London in 1968 The Sweet achieved their first hit, Funny Funny, in 1971 after teaming up with songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman and record producer Phil Wainman. During 1971 and 1972, their musical style followed a marked progression from the Archies-like bubblegum style as seen in Funny Funny to a The Who-influenced hard rock style supplemented by the of high-pitched backing vocals.
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The band first achieved success in the UK chart, with thirteen Top 20 hits during the 1970s alone, with Block Buster! (1973) topping the chart, followed by three consecutive number two hits in Hell Raiser (1973), The Ballroom Blitz (1973; later redone by Krokus) and Teenage Rampage (1974). The band turned to a more hard rock style with their mid-career singles, like 1974's Turn It Down. Fox on the Run (1975) also reached number two on the UK chart. These results were topped in West Germany and other countries within Europe. They also achieved success and popularity in the US with the top ten hits Little Willy, The Ballroom Blitz, Fox on the Run and Love is Like Oxygen.
That last hit single, Love is Like Oxygen, proved to be The Sweet's last international success in 1978. Connolly left in 1979 to start a solo career and the remaining members continued as a trio until disbanding in 1981. From the mid-1980s, Scott, Connolly and Priest each played with their own versions of Sweet at different times, most notably "Andy Scott's Sweet".
Connolly died in 1997, Tucker followed in 2002, and Priest in 2020. Scott is still active with his version of the band and for purposes of Diskery his act has been merged into this article. His act features the membership of himself with Paul Manzi (lead vocals/bass/occasional backing vocals/keyboards/guitar) and Bruce Bisland (drums/backing vocals/occasional lead vocals). Sweet have sold over 35 million albums worldwide.
The Sweet have gone through a large number of members but the core of the band membership has remained fairly consistent throughout their discography of Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be (1971), Sweet Fanny Adams (1974), Desolation Boulevard (1974), Give Us a Wink (1976), Off the Record (1977), Level Headed (1978), Cut Above the Rest (1979), Waters Edge (titled Sweet VI with a different cover in the US) (1980), Identity Crisis (1982), A (1992; by Andy Scott's Sweet), The Answer (1995; by Andy Scott's Sweet), Sweetlife (2002; by Andy Scott's Sweet), New York Connection (2012; by Andy Scott's Sweet) and Isolation Boulevard (2020; by Andy Scott's Sweet).
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Dashboard for The Sweet