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Hell-raising glam rock band who made such Sweet music; Do you remember? # Friday nostalgia.

THE SWEET was one of the leading bands of the hell-raising glam rock music era, a potent mixture of long hair, fluorescent jump suits and platform boots who scored Top 10 hits with tracks including Fox On The Run, Blockbuster and Hell Raiser.

The band, fronted by blond-haired Brian Connolly, and including Mick Tucker, Andy Scott and Steve Priest, formed in 1968 as Sweetshop and went on to become The Sweet, one of Britain's most successful bands of the '70s. The foursome started by signing to RCA, then on advice from producer Phil Wainman, teamed up with songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, who were respons-ible for much of the highest-selling, but possibly lowest-credibility British pop of the 1970s.

Funny, Funny (1971) was the breakthrough the band had been looking for and went to number 13 in the UK charts.

Over the next four years they recorded a string of pop tunes, like Co Co, Alexander Graham Bell, Poppa Joe, Little Willy, Wig-Wam Bam, Blockbuster, Hell Raiser, Ballroom Blitz and Teenage Ram-page - all of which charted respec t ab

y.

A controversial single, Turn It Down, was banned by BBC in 1974 and did not even go Top 40 in the UK.

Having made their reputation as a bubble gum, glitter-pop band, they started looking for something fresh to do, went off to the studio and returned with Sweet Fanny Adams.Without assistance from Chinn & Chapman the album charted at No 27and flopped after two weeks.

But it helped to establish their new image and prepared the ground for future work.

Desolation Boulevard fol-lowed Sweet F.A. after only eight months but contained a new confidence.

Fox On The Run from that album climbed to No 2 in the charts.

The band cracked the top 10 again in 1978 when Love Is Like Oxygen got to No 9.

One of their 1970s hits, Ballroom Blitz, featured in the 1992 movie Wayne's World, giving the band a resurgence in popu

ar i y.

The way of life led by the band members, involving, above all, excessive amounts of alcohol, took its toll, particularly on Connolly, who died of liver failure in 1997.

Drummer Mick Tucker died of leukaemia in February last year aged 54.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 16, 2003
Words:386
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