The Best of Sweet
A Sweet best-of collection is tough, because more than half of everything the band released during their seven-album heyday in the '70s could’ve made it onto this set. The team of Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn are well-represented here—and should be, since they both produced and wrote some of the band’s earliest and biggest hits, from the handclap-filled bubblegum-smackers (“Little Willy,” “Wig-Wam Bam”) to the glitter-booted stomps (“Ballroom Blitz,” “Teenage Rampage”) to that wistful little anthem of pubescent carnal tension (“The 6-Teens”). Yet this comp also shows that the wham-glam quartet still produced hits after distancing themselves from Chapman-Chinn, sometimes in a huge way (the ubiquitous FM classics “Fox on the Run” and 1978’s “Love Is Like Oxygen,” which was the band’s last Top 10 song). Sweet had mastered the art of being subversive enough to shock parents and teachers while staying pop enough to make all of England sing along. That was true pretty much until punk rock came along late in 1976. Even then, Sweet were a major influence on many punks, though most denied it at the time.