The Very Best of the Sweet [BMG International]

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The Best of the Sweet on BMG International is a fine 18-track collection of material the group recorded for RCA between 1970 and 1973. Included is the worldwide blockbuster "Ballroom Blitz" along with a raft of great bubblegum and glam rockers, most written and produced by the team of Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn. The collection is basically split into two sections, with the first eight songs being tough, razor-sharp rockers along the lines of "Ballroom Blitz." Best among these are the howling "Blockbuster," "Hell Raiser," and the group-penned "Done Me Wrong All Right." Most of their self-written songs during this period were clunkers compared to the Chinn-Chapman tunes, but this one was a treat. The rest of the disc is devoted to the lighter, cuter side of the band, and includes some of the best bubblegum and pop tunes of the early '70s. Chief among these are "Little Willy," "Wig Wam Bam," "Funny Funny," and "Alexander Graham Bell," brilliant combinations of propulsive rhythms, silly lyrics, and sharp, sharp hooks one and all. Also included are two great songs from this early era that don't fit into either mold, the darkly hummable, almost folky bubblegum ballad "Tom Tom Turnaround" and the glittering country-rocker "Santa Monica Sunshine." You don't get a complete picture of the band from this collection, as it leaves off everything from Desolation Boulevard, but it is still one of the better Sweet collections on the market. If you buy this and Desolation Boulevard, you should have just about all the Sweet you need. [This collection was also released on Camden with a different cover.]

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