Sunday, February 22, 2009

Music Mondays; Pick and Mix your Sweets!

The recession is starting to take a firmer grip here in the UK but even so we Brits can usually find something to keep us amused. In the news last week was story that a bag of pick “n” mix sweets from the now defunct Woolworths was for sale on Ebay and sold for a phenomenal £14,500. Of course collectibles, antiques and memorabilia can provide a good financial return but I’m not convinced that a bag of pick “n” mix will actually be a sound long term investment! However, as the proceeds are being donated to a charity, The Retail Trust, I’m optimistic that the purchaser will cough up the money in the name of a good cause and will scoff the sweets before they turn mouldy. Then it will be money well spent!

Anyhow, all these thoughts about sweets got me thinking of one my favourite glam rock groups and indeed one of my favourite groups of all time; The Sweet.

Whilst other girls were cooing over David Cassidy and Donny Osmond I was fascinated by The Sweet and especially Brian Connolly, the lead singer with the long blonde locks and Steve Priest the guitarist with the effeminate looks and mascara. For me they knocked the socks of other Glam Rock groups like Slade, The Glitterband, Wizard and even T Rex. Musically, it could be suggested that they were really only surpassed by Queen but whatever your opinion there’s no doubt that Brian Connolly with his melodic voice and good looks was The Face of Glam Rock. Even I, as a young girl, thought other groups looked novel but a little silly in their sequinned suits and big hats yet Brian, Steve, Andy and Mick always managed to look sexy, almost arty, in their tight pants and make up.

Most girls don’t get to meet their heroes. However, I was very lucky, to meet Brian Connolly, albeit briefly, backstage after The Sweet performed at my university back in the mid eighties. It wasn’t really The Sweet then, just Brian and a backing group. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe they were in fact called “New Sweet." Had I not been with a group of girlfriends, I don’t think I would have gone backstage because that’s really not my style but its been a nice memory because Brian’s health was deteriorating rapidly from the effects of alcoholism. In fact the previous year he’d survived 14 heart attacks in one night but when I saw him he still had his looks and his voice although he didn’t seem to be “all there.” I remember my friends and I talking afterwards and remarking up on his fazed appearance; I guess it must have been the alcohol taking effect. Later I saw him in a documentary in the 90s and it was mortifying to see what alcohol had done to his body and looks. Such a waste of a huge talent.

The Sweet have continued in various guises over the years with assorted band members but to my mind when Brian died prematurely from liver and heart failure in 1997 aged just 51 and his band mate Mick Tucker died in 2002 from leukaemia that was the end of the real Sweet. It’s a pity that they never held it together to explore their musical avenues because as someone who followed them from just a very small girl on my neighbours TV set performing bubble pop songs like Wig Wam Bam and Funny Funny, through to their classic heavier sound of Block Buster and Teenage Rampage and finally to their self penned work of Lettres D’Amour and Love is Like Oxygen I like to think they could have gone onto greater things had not fate dealt them several heavy blows.

Anyhow, it’s time for some pick “n” mix! Being a huge Sweet fan I couldn’t decide which song to post so here’s 3 for you to make your own choice!

The first is a favourite of mine, Co Co, from their early days, the second is Ballroom Blitz from the height of their Glam Rock days. I just love that opening….

“Are you ready Steve?.... Uh huh….Andy?.....Yeah…. Mick?.... Okay…. Well alright fellas…… Lets gooooo…….”

And the last is Love is Like Oxygen. In this song you can really hear their heavy yet harmonious sound. Just Fab.

Hey, and if you're greedy for your sweets like me – you can always play all three!

CO CO




Oh, I just love that voice! So sensual! (And gimme Brian's top!)

BALLROOM BLITZ




Oh Blimey, someone pass me my flares and sequins!

LOVE IS LIKE OXYGEN



What can I say? I've definately got some Sweet memories...

Ps. If you're interested; whilst checking my facts I discovered Sweet Bits, a blog by Andy Scott and the current members of Sweet. I think I might pop in from time to time.....

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.




11 comments:

  1. I like the Sweet.

    My first exposure to them was in the early 70's with song called "Little Willy". I didn't quite get the jist of it at such a young age, but I started gettig it when I was older.

    "Ballroom Blitz" was okay, but the band Krokus did a nice cover of it.

    The only song that gets played on commercial radio here is "Love is Like Oxygen".

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  2. Hey Mrs T!

    Hope you're having a great Monday! :) Thanks for sharing one of your fave bands of all time. To be honest, this is the first time I've heard of them. My hubby however was crooning to their song when I played all their vids. Apparently he's a big fan as well! :) Excellent choice, he says!

    Anyways, it is definitely a shame to see great talent wasted by the use of alcohol or drugs. It is the downfall that plagues people with fame and fortune.. All those from the old days, like Elvis and Johnny Cash and even stars today are struggling with the same problem.

    Well, at least they left some of their legacy to be shared with us on MM! :)

    Take care, Mrs T! :)

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  3. ROCKIN` Mrs T !!!

    Roller skating around here in this blog .... when is the snowball???

    Super pick ((smile))

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  4. Hi Jane

    Although I wasn't really much of a Sweet fan, I did love the pop chart in those days and remember singing along to Love is Like Oxygen. Shame I can't blast it out in the office!

    I'm getting hooked on your daily reports. Really enjoyed The Floating Shopper. Always a fab read!

    See you soon. Lynda.

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  5. Oh my... I am happy for you to have meet Brain. Thanks for sharing your memories and these songs! The greatest never die, as the fans always keep them alive! Thanks to you I now know of them. :)

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  6. I can't say I've heard of them, but I am definitely going to say they rock! :) I only wished I could've known them sooner, I liked the Sweet! :) Happy Monday! :)

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  7. Georgie,

    I can't believe the only song played on commercial radio there is Love is Like Oxygen! Not even Block Buster? My goodness that song is an all time glam rock classic!

    Ballroom blitz probably wasn't the strongest of their big tunes but I just love that intro; sounds so much better on a decent recording too.

    I'll check out that cover version!

    Shemah,

    You're making me feel old! Boo Hoo!
    Seriously, you must check out their other stuff. They were just soo good!

    Yes, it's a pity that many singers get drawn into the rock "n" roll lifestyle and then don't achieve what they should do. I guess when you have all that fame, money and glory it's easy to fall into temptation.. and no doubt there's plenty of people only to encourage them (especially with drug usage) for their own purpose.

    Oh well, as you say they have a legacy and I guess I'll still be listening when I'm old and grey. (If I haven't fallen over in my glam rock platforms and killed myself before then!)

    Thanks for calling by!

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  8. Speedy!

    I thought you'd like Sweet. Cos I don't think you've played anything I haven't liked yet so we must have vaguely similar tastes (or maybe it's a generational thing!)

    The snow is gone now Speedy - Guess we will just have to throw chicken nuggets instead!

    Lynda,

    Tut, tut. Were you dribbling over Donny? Outrageous!

    Glad you're enjoying my blog - I get a lot of pleasure writing this gibberish but it makes me even happier to know a few folks like it too. There's plenty more left in my madcap brain, unfortunately just not enough time in the day to get it all out! ( Actually that may be a good thing.....)

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  9. Laura,

    Ah..that's the pleasure of MM! Finding something new and tasting it!

    I enjoyed writing about the Sweet -every week I think I'll quickly write a post and then end up surfing You Tube for hours! Ah...the memories!

    Ane,

    No, not you too who hasn't heard of the Sweet! I'm feeling older by the minute...

    You are spot on - The Sweet rocked!!

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  10. I thought I commented here.... Did you delete me or am I losing my mind? :) Nice paint job here too. A bit of housekeeping huh? The colors compliment each other.

    I don't remember these songs by Sweet but I remember Little Willy! I'm still not sure I really understand the lyrics to that song though. Thanks for the post. I kinda like the Oxygen song. It's growing on me.

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  11. Nothing came through Mr I - Perhaps it was a Blogger blip, I can't imagine you are losing your mind:) Even with little 'ol me testing you with my wit...!

    I can't belive that Mr I, the music buff, doesn't remember these songs! Seriously Mr I you must get their greatest hits- make sure you get a CD with Block Buster, Fox on the run, Teenage Rampage, Hellraiser and Ballroom Blitz on then you'll know it's a greatest hits collection....

    You remember Little Willy though? Any significant reason??

    Ps..I forgot to thank you for my Simon Le Bon treat - it was the shock! That song was pretty good and the video was enticely surreal.(Have I spelt that right?)

    I spotted a lovely frilly shirt....

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I am always delighted to receive comments!