Sunday, 3 March 2019

Sweet - Strung Up (1975)


  

Released November 1975

After two highly credible riff-heavy rock albums in "Sweet Fanny Adams" and "Desolation Boulevard", both from 1974, Sweet split from glam rock hit single composers Chinn and Chapman and, unfortunately for them, their gradual decline started here. This was a strange release, to be honest - a double album (expanded now on CD) that featured a two year-old live concert recording from 1973 at the height of their glam rock success, and a compilation of singles, album tracks from their previous two albums and some of the self-penned 'b' sides they always insisted upon. Unsurprisingly, it wasn't a good seller. Having said that, its still a great listen in retrospect.

TRACK LISTING

CD 1 - Live from 1973

1. Hell Raiser
2. Burning/Someone Else Will
3. Rock 'n' Roll Disgrace
4. Need A Lot Of Loving
5. The Ballroom Blitz
6. Done Me Wrong All Right
7. You're Not Wrong For Loving Me
8. The Man With The Golden Arm
9. Teenage Rampage
10. Blockbuster                                                      

CD 2 - Singles, 'b' sides and album tracks

1. Action
2. Fox On The Run
3. The Lies In Your Eyes
4. Fever Of Love
5. Set Me Free
6. Miss Demeanour
7. The Ballroom Blitz
8. Teenage Rampage
9. Burn On The Flame
10. Solid Gold Brass
11. The Six Teens
12. I Wanna Be Committed
13. Blockbuster
14. Hell Raiser                                      

CD 1 is the live material from London's Rainbow in December 1973. While the sound is little "iffy", it is certainly still listenable and has a real live atmosphere about it, capturing a band who always were a great live act, much better than they were ever given credit for, a bit like Slade in that respect. The way the band attack some of their slightly ordinary 'b' Sides like "Burning", "Rock 'n' Roll Disgrace" and "Need A Lot Of Loving" is impressive to listen to. The turn them into different tracks. There is also the decidedly risqué "Someone Else Will", as well as the crowd pleasers. An oddity is the folk-rocky "You're Not Wrong For Loving Me", which sounds like the sort of thing Mott The Hoople tried on their 1971 "Wildlife" album.

I have to say there was something rather punky about Sweet, three years ahead. The pace doesn't let up here. Fair play to them. Solid stuff.

CD 2 obviously has its share of glam rock classics - "Blockbuster", "Hell Raiser", "The Ballroom Blitz"  and "Teenage Rampage". Plus there are some Sweet rock hits like "Action", "Fox On The Run" and "The Lies In Your Eyes". The rocking "Solid Gold Brass" and "Set Me Free" show them finding their "serious" rock side and "Miss Demeanour" and the T. Rex-ish "I Wanna Be Committed" are, firstly, an impressive 'b' side, and, secondly, a previously unreleased Chinn/Chapman song.

B-

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