Sweet

Ballroom Blitz

Composed by Mike Chapman / Nicky Chinn

Song Review by

At the apex of the glam rock era, Sweet hit Top Ten in the summer of 1975 with "Ballroom Blitz." It's a frenetic slice of pop: choirboy vocals (à la Queen) kick against firecracker drums, dueling guitars, and an overall mood that screams Rocky Horror Picture Show. If it wasn't punk, well, then it was certainly prescient. Penned by the songwriting team of Nicky Chinn and Michael Chapman (they churned out hits like "Fox on the Run," "No You Don't," and "A.C.D.C" for the band), they plied a sound known as British bubblegum and stuck to a formula: keep it sticky sweet, throw in a couple of double entendres, and add some drama with abrupt time changes and vocal histrionic shades of T. Rex and David Bowie. They incorporated some heavy metal elements, like buzz saw guitars, as well. Sweet may have been so successful because they had the unlikely ability to deliver dross like "Ballroom Blitz" with a wink. The public embraced the watered-down glam, leaving its artier originators to cult status, but, critically, Sweet was mostly reviled. As the '80s found a new generation of musicians reclaiming the music of their youth, Sweet found a place among lovers of kitsch and just plain good songwriting; the hits were reprised by new wave disco DJs, college radio programmers, and college rock bands who pegged "Ballroom Blitz" as their own so-called nugget. In 1985, "Ballroom Blitz" reappeared as part of the "Sweet Mix," a disco medley of hits. In 2000, the song was used to great effect in a French film about a group of girlfriends in the '70s, La Vie Ne Me Fait Pas Peur; though they didn't speak English, the girls knew two words: ballroom blitz.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Sweet Fanny Adams 1974 Sony BMG 4:03
Strung Up 1975 RCA
Golden Greats 1983 RCA
Starke Zeiten 1988 BMG 4:02
Live at the Marquee 1986 1989 Angel Air Records 4:17
Rock of the 70's, Vol. 1 1992
Various Artists
EMI-Capitol Special Markets / CEMA Special Markets 4:01
The Best of Sweet [Capitol 1993] 1993 Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol 4:03
Gold 20 Superhits 1993 Ariola
Blockbuster 1994 RCA / Alex 4:05
Ballroom Blitz 1973 1994 Castle Music Ltd.
Greatest Hits Live 1994 Aim Records 4:23
Rock & Roll Disgrace 1994 Receiver 3:52
Fetenhits: Real Classics 1995
Various Artists
Polygram / Polystar 4:01
Live Breakdown 1995 Receiver 3:58
Party Time, Vol. 2: Ultimate Party Album 1996
Various Artists
SPG
Bordello of Blood [Original Soundtrack] 1996
Original Soundtrack
Polygram 4:02
I Love Rock & Roll: Hits of the '70s, Vol. 3 1996
Various Artists
Priority Records 4:03
Glitter 'n' Glitz, Vol. 2 1996
Various Artists
Sounds Direct
The Best of Sweet [Prime Cuts] 1997 Excelsior Recordings
No Image 1997 Awesome Inc. 3:57
Slam Jams, Vol. 1 1997
Various Artists
Tommy Boy 3:54
Power Chords, Vol. 2 1997
Various Artists
Hip-O
Golden Hits [Intercontinental] 1997 Intercontinental Records 4:00
The Best of Sweet [Camden] 1997 RCA Camden 4:04
Greatest Hits from the 70's 1997
Various Artists
Prime Cuts 4:00
Let's Go 1997 Emporio 3:44
Hit Songs from the 70's [Deuce] 1997
Various Artists
Deuce 4:00
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Excelsior Recordings
Masters 1998 Eagle Records 4:01
Sports Rock, Vol. 1 1998
Various Artists
Network 4:02
The  Best of Sweet [Cema] 1998 Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol 4:04
The Best Glam Rock Album in the World Ever 1998
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:01
Ballroom Blitz & More Sweet Hits 1998 BMG
Sweet Originals: The Best 37 Glamrock Songs Ever 1998 BMG International 4:04
100% Rock [RCA] 1998
Various Artists
Disky / Disky Communications / Target Records
Hard Rock [Delta] 1998
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 4:02
Blockbuster Alternate Takes 1999 Cleopatra 3:44
The Greatest Hits of the 70s [Platinum 2003 #1] 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 4:04
Glam Bam, Thank You Ma'am 1999
Various Artists
Buddah 4:01
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Phantom Import Distribution
Pop Complete 1999
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Into the Mix, Vol. 3 1999
Various Artists
Hypnotic / Cleopatra 4:37
Live at the Rainbow 1973: The Complete Concert 1999 RCA
Guitar Rock [Time-Life Box Set] 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:03
Ballroom Blitz: Live in Berlin 1976 1999 Rockbeat Records 3:58
Guitar Rock: Power Rock 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:03
Rockin' 70's, Vol. 2 [Madacy] 1999
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 4:03
It's the '70s Again, Vol. 3 2000
Various Artists
Legacy 3:47
Party Time [SPG] 2000
Various Artists
SPG 3:56
Hard Rock to Metal 2000
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 4:02
Teenage Rampage 2000 Essential Records 3:53
Gothic Industrial: The Remixed Collection 2000
Various Artists
Cleopatra 4:38
Wrestling Slams & Jams 2000
Various Artists
EMI-Capitol Special Markets 4:03
Most Famous Hits 2000 Arcade Music
Absolutely the Best of the 70's: 20 Big Hits 2001
Various Artists
Varese 4:02
Glam Hit Box 2001 Big Eye Music 4:40
Totally Sensational 70's: 1973-1976 2001
Various Artists
EMI 4:03
Party Power Pack, Vol. 5 2001
Various Artists
Pol 4:00
A Year in Your Life: 1975, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Definitive 4:03
2 Originals of Sweet: Live at the Marquee/A 2002 SPV 4:17
Greatest Hits 2002 BMG 4:03
Dock Rock 2002
Various Artists
BMG International 4:03
Stairway to the Stars: Live and Rare 2002 Castle Music Ltd. 3:44
Comprehensive School Classics 2002
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 2:59
Forever Gold: Gold Collection: Party Favorites 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 4:13
Friends Reunited: 42 Classroom Classics from the 80's 2003
Various Artists
Universal International 4:01
Daddy Day Care 2003
Original Soundtrack
Columbia 4:02
Absolutely the Best of Classic Rock 2003
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 / Varese 4:02
No Image 2003 Tragic Life / Trilogie
World's Best Ever Beer Songs 2004 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Absolute Party Collection 2003
Various Artists
Eva 4:01
Glitz, Blitz & Hitz 2004 Wienerworld
The Very Best of the Sweet [BMG International] 2004 Paradiso 4:04
Super 70's, Vol 2: The Return 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:02
A Tribute to the Darkness 2004
Various Artists
Anagram 4:39
BBQ Rock 2004
Various Artists
Konfit 4:02
Lost & Found in the Seventies 2004
Various Artists
Liberty / Capitol 4:02
Simply the Best 70's Album 2004
Various Artists
WEA/Warner
Great Men of Rock and Roll 2004
Various Artists
Collectables 4:03
Best of Glam Rock 2004
Various Artists
Hunter Records
No Image 2004
Various Artists
Hypnotic 4:37
Very Best of Sweet [Sony/BMG] 2005 Sony BMG 4:03
Ballroom Blitz 2005 X5 Music Group 4:00
The Best of Classic Rock 2005
Various Artists
Fuel 2000 4:02
Glam Greats, Vol. 2 2005
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 4:02
Sweetlive 2005 Delta Distribution / Lasel
Rock Beakout Years: 1975 2005 Madacy 4:04
Absolute Very Best of the World's Best Ever Beer Songs [CD] 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Golden Legends: 70's Legends 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 3:42
Classic Rock Hits 2006
Various Artists
Varèse Sarabande / Fuel 2000 / Varese 4:02
Greatest Hits [Netherlands] 2006 Remember Records
Floorfillers: The Ultimate Party Album 2006
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Retro Pop 2006
Various Artists
Brentwood Records 4:03
Sensational 70's [Weton] 2006
Various Artists
Weton
This Is Rock Anthems [Cleopatra] 2006
Various Artists
Dead Line Music / Cleopatra 4:37
Sweet Chronology: Anthology 2006 Friday 3:45
Sweet-Mix 2006 BMG
Hits of the 70s [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:43
70's Collection 2007
Various Artists
Flashback Records
Definitive Collection 2007 Powerst
The Sound of the 70s [Warner] 2007
Various Artists
Warner Music 4:20
Sensational 70s [EMI Gold] 2007
Various Artists
EMI 4:02
Blockbuster! The Best of Sweet 2007 Music Club Deluxe 4:04
Absolute Radio Hits 2007
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 4:03
World's Best Dad [2007] 2007
Various Artists
Bmg Tv 4:03
No Image 2008
Various Artists
sbc
The Original Glam Rock Album 2008
Various Artists
EMI 4:03
World's Best Dad Gift Set 2008
Various Artists
Sony BMG 4:03
Hit Collection 2008 Sony BMG 4:03
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Eva
SWR 1 Sommer Rock 2008
Various Artists
EMM 4:01
Ultimate Collection 100 Hits: Rock 2008
Various Artists
Union Square Music 4:02
Collections 2008 Sony BMG 4:03
Jackie: The Album, Vol. 2 2008
Various Artists
Virgin 4:02
The World's Best Ever Beer Songs: 10th Anniversary 2008
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:59
Top of the Pops: Seventies 2009
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution
Action: The Sweet Anthology 2009 Shout! Factory 4:03
The Pop Years: 1972-1973 2009
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 4:01
Live in Denmark 1976 2009 ZYX Music 4:00
Ballroom Blitz: The Anthology 2009 Cleopatra 4:02
101 Running Songs, Lap 2 2010
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:01
BBC Radio 2's Pick of the Pops 2011
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:02
The Ultimate Collection: Running Songs 100 Hits 2011
Various Artists
Ultimate 4:13
Greatest Ever! Rock Guitars 2012
Various Artists
Greatest Ever 4:01
Pure... Guitar Legends 2012
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:03
The Boys Are Back in Town 2012 2012
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 4:01
Party Rock 2012
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:21
No Image 2013
Oh Yes We Can Love: The History of Glam Rock 2013
Various Artists
Universal 4:02
Fox on the Run: Rare Studio Tracks 2013 Cleopatra 3:58
The Party Mix: '70s Classics 2014
Various Artists
Crimson
100 Hits: Supreme 70s 2014
Various Artists
100 Hits 4:03
Hits 2014 Angel Air Records 3:50
Sweet Action! The Ultimate Story 2015 RCA 4:01
No Image 2017 Sony Music
100% Rock Guitar Anthems [Mood Media]
Various Artists
Mood Media Entertainment 4:02
No Image
Various Artists
3:57
3cd Box Phantom Records (England)
Andy Scott's Sweet: Hannover Sessions Pseudonym Records
Are You Ready?: Sweet Live Varèse Sarabande 5:07
Baking Songs
Various Artists
Crimson
Best Fox
CAPS: Campus and Pub Songs
Various Artists
Mood Media Entertainment 4:02
Dailies Fever
Various Artists
BMG
Greatest Ever 70s Rock
Various Artists
Greatest Ever
Greatest Ever! Dad Rock
Various Artists
Greatest Ever
Jackie Pin-Ups
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 4:02
Jackie: The 70's Annual
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 4:02
No Image Fox
Live: Are You Ready Varèse Fontana 5:06
Molly: Do Yourself a Favor [Original TV Soundtrack]
Original TV Soundtrack
Liberation 4:01
Only the Best Fox
Party Soul
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:21
Party Time
Various Artists
SPG
Road Trip: 60 Essential Driving Songs
Various Artists
Union Square Music 4:01
Simply Road Trip
Various Artists
Simply
Simply Seventies
Various Artists
Simply
Superstar Seventies!
Various Artists
Sony Music
Top of the Pops: 1970-1974
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 4:00
No Image Triple Treasures
Ultimate... Guitar Legends
Various Artists
Legacy / Sony Music
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