To young kids in the 70s – watching them camp it up on Top Of The Pops and devouring the froth delivered by fan mags such as Disco 45 and Popswop – it must have seemed as if being in The Sweet must have been the best job in the world. The truth, however, as told here by Dave Thompson, was starkly different.
The writing team of Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman gave the band chart success, but they weren’t allowed to even play backing on the early singles, though all the members contributed vocals. Eventually, the band won the right to play – and write – their own songs, but then struggled to decide which direction to take with their newfound freedom. For every blunder, another hit record pulled them back from the brink, and this pattern continued until 1979, when singer Brian Connolly’s alcoholism effectively ended the band. He died in 1998, while drummer Mick Tucker succumbed to leukaemia in 2002.
Thompson interviewed all four band members (speaking to Connolly and Tucker in the mid- 80s for an RC article that was never completed) and many others involved in their story; it makes compelling, if depressing reading.