The MARK’S VINTAGE VINYL page features something from Mark’s collection of recordings from over the years. Most of it is on vinyl – hence the name – though there will be a few entries from his CDs (remember those?).
Desolation Boulevard, by Sweet
- Third album by British glam rock band Sweet (also known as The Sweet), released in 1974 in the UK and 1975 in the U.S.
- Glam rock became a style in the early 70s – not really a genre, performers were known for their outrageous costumes, make-up and hairstyles. The artists frequently had an androgynous appearance, and often they were full of glitter (hence the name “glitter rock” used interchangeably with “glam rock”). Sweet embraced the look from the beginning of the movement, in 1971.
- Sweet’s sound in their earliest years was bubblegum pop. Later, their music had more of a hard rock sound. Desolation Boulevard has a little of both, as the US version has songs originally released in the UK in 1973 and 1974. Most notably, Sweet signature songs Ballroom Blitz and Fox On the Run were on this album – they charted in the U.S. in 1975 and 1976 respectively (they both peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100), while in the UK, they both reached #2, in 1973 and 1975 respectively.
- Ballroom Blitz was inspired by a concert that the band performed in early 1973, when they were driven from the stage by a barrage of bottles thrown at them. It’s a classic fun song from the era – it won’t win any awards for songwriting or performance, but all the cool kids knew the lyrics in the mid 70s.
- Fox On the Run still gets much airplay on retro rock stations. The song was included on the trailer for the film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, in 2016, and because of the exposure, it hit #1 on the iTunes Rock Chart that year.
- I liked Sweet’s music because it was catchy and silly. Watch the video to Ballroom Blitz. Apparently, I am still a cool kid – I still know all of the lyrics!