1970s Bands: The Sweet – Blockbuster and Ballroom Blitz.
Above Photo: The Sweet in the early 1970s.
1970s glam band The Sweet get a couple of mentions in my ’70s-’80s band and music memoir, Bombed Out!
As an 11 year old, I quite liked their singles Blockbuster and Ballroom Blitz (although I was less keen on Teenage Rampage), and they were a popular and influential UK band back in the early 1970s.
What I didn’t know at the time was they were a very competent rock band who’d been straight-jacketed into the Teenage Pop market by their management, which was something they all came to resent and fight against over time.
For example, they used to do heavier rock B sides of records with poppy A sides, and at one gig they refused to play any of their hits, played only album tracks and B sides which they liked, and were accordingly bottled offstage in Kilmarnock, Scotland in 1973.
When I read that I warmed to them even more, but they most definitely have a place in the Glam Pantheon of early Bombed Out! music, and I have added two You Tube links below with further comments on each track.
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The first song is Blockbuster. Released in 1973, the intro guitar riff has an incredible similarity to the start of David Bowie’s intro to Gene Genie. The video also contains some great ‘Top of the Pops dancing’.
The second video is Ballroom Blitz, which gets a mention early in Bombed Out! This single was also released in 1973 and when I heard it recently I was reminded of a Punk band called The Damned, who used to do a superb live version of this, but inappropriately renamed “Great Big Tits”.