Great Songs By Artists I Know Very Little About

And between the holidays, impending snowstorm, and my ongoing manic fury of getting everything done I need to get done before my big move, I don’t have time to find out more. But they’re good tunes, and I thought some of you all might enjoy them too.

It’s It’s…The Sweet Mix
My knowledge of Sweet begins with “Ballroom Blitz” and ends with “Fox On The Run,” so I can’t tell you any of the other songs that make up this six-minute medley. It’s catchy though, and very disco-y, were they always like that? I assumed they were more a light-glam rock thing. Maybe I’ll pick up some Sweet while I’m in Japan. I don’t know why, but they strike me as the kind of act that would be big in Japan. Maybe it’s the wacky skintight outfits. In every picture of them I’ve seen they’ve always come off as a hybrid of glam rock and the Power Rangers.

I’m The One (Dance Version)
Don’t Lose Control (Dance Version)
Material is one of Bill Laswell’s many side-projects. They started out as an entirely inaccessible “no wave” act (spoiler: I fucking hate “no wave” bullshit), but by 1982 they shifted their sound radically, and instead embraced a strong disco/funk sound. I assume this was around the time he started working with Herbie Hancock on the immortal “Rockit” but like I said, I’m way too busy/tired to do some proper research tonight. They sound like it though, as both of them (especially “Don’t Lose Control” have a heavy funk/electro sound to them that sounds very similar to Hancock’s stuff of that era. “Don’t Lose Control” even has superfluous vocoder! So it’s the best shit ever.

Seriously, if you like leftfield disco or early electronic music, check out One Down. It’ll blow you away. It even features a very early appearance by Whitney Houston!

Everyone have a splendid Thanksgiving (if you’re American, otherwise…um…enjoy your Thursday) and I’ll see next week with hopefully some posts of substance.

4 Responses to “Great Songs By Artists I Know Very Little About”

  1. Eric Schulz says:

    LOVE The Sweet! Here’s a little about them: they started as a VERY bubblegum band with songs like Wig Wam Bam, then started evolving with the help of Mike Chapman’s songwriting (Blondie) and had hits like Little Willy. They hit their peak with the Blockbuster/Action/Fox on the Run era, and had their las hit with the AMAZING Love is like Oxygen (and if you ever find the full album version, get it! The single edit DESTROYED the song!) I think three of the five original members have passed on…and be wary of the MANY re-recorded hits that various members released in the 90′s-today…

  2. Con Z says:

    It’s, It’s…The Sweet Mix comprises of:
    Teenage Rampage
    Ballroom Blitz
    Fox On The Run

    Not as many tracks as you might think.

    Sweet were/are very big in Japan – the reissues of the albums all did well, but are now deleted. If you can find them, try Desolation Boulevard and Sweet FA – both really good ‘glammy’ albums.
    Back in the day, when they were in the UK charts, they were called the Glam Dustmen, because although they had the clothes and make-up, they looked like they should have ordinary jobs.

  3. serpico009 says:

    I looked this up, these date to 1982 which is only a year before Rockit. Good luck with the move.

  4. Chris says:

    I remember Sweet very well in the early 70s. They were part of the Chapman & Chinn stable of acts, along with Suzi Quatro and Racey. Chapman went on to produce Blondie albums, most notably Parallel Lines. C&C totally controlled their acts. Sweet really wanted to be a heavy metal band and eventually broke free to make a heavy metal album but it vanished. They are still touring, mostly in Germany, and I bet they are still playing the Chapman & Chinn stuff.

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