Although they were often dismissed as a fluffy singles group in their day, Sweet crafted a handful of strong albums in the mid-'70s that sported some surprisingly muscular hard rock. A fine example of this trend is Sweet Fanny Adams. Although this album got little exposure in America on its own, over half of this album's contents ended up on the American edition of Desolation Boulevard. Sweet Fanny Adams' tone is set with the opening track, "Set Me Free," a fiery rocker that blends ultrahigh vocal harmonies to a furious succession of guitar riffs that jack the song up a level of speed metal frenzy. Other hard-rocking highlights include "No You Don't," a Queen-styled putdown of an unkind lover that was later covered by Pat Benatar, and "Into the Night," a complex track that pits mid-tempo verse against lighting-fast choruses over a surprisingly funky drumbeat that was later sampled by the Beastie Boys. However, the album's heavy metal masterpiece is the title track, a seedy portrait of juvenile delinquency whose brutal lyrics anticipate the grim imagery of punk rock. The song's vivid lyrics are effectively brought to life by a blinding succession of speed metal guitar riffs that are fleshed out by the kind of spacy synthesizer work that later graced "Fox on the Run." The remainder of the album doesn't always jell (there is a cover of "Peppermint Twist" that doesn't really fit in with the rest of the hard rock tunes), but Sweet Fanny Adams remains a solid release full of tight performances and scorching riffs. Anyone with an interest in Sweet beyond the hit singles should check this album out.
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AllMusic Review by Donald A. Guarisco