Desolation Boulevard

Desolation Boulevard

Sweet’s third album (their second American release) is a glitter-boot stomp of feathered tresses, glacier-sized choruses, and power-chord bubblegum that’s pretty much inescapable for any self-respecting fan of rock ’n’ roll. Because the band’s glammy exterior often overshadowed any lyrical depth (the band were hardly taken seriously by critics in those days), there’s some real insight into teen angst that went unnoticed, particularly on “I Wanna Be Committed” and “The Six-Teens.” There’s also heady polyamory (“A.C.D.C”), tunes begging to go faster and louder (“Set Me Free”), and a semi-pretty, midtempo rocker that’s as tough as any alloy (“Solid Gold Brass”). This version of the 1974 album varies from its U.K. counterpart; it includes previously released U.K.-only songs and omits others. But it contains two of the band’s biggest hits: the high school rallying call “Fox on the Run” and the timeless party rager “Ballroom Blitz.” Every song here is an anthem, so it’s no wonder that in the following years it was a go-to for so many young punks (The Ramones, The Damned, The Runaways) and pop-metal chart-toppers (Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Poison).

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