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17-01-2018 21:50
In response to Cyrille Regis, BBC 2 repeat the Adrian Chiles documentary, Whites v Blacks, How Football Changed A Nation, unbelievable true story, worth watching

17-01-2018 18:44
Review of the rather splendid `Hornal` album is in the works too.

17-01-2018 01:57
Dave and Jeff's best of 2017 wrap-up's just around the corner too.. computer work

17-01-2018 01:56
There is a three-part article coming up for E.L.O (Eldorado, A New World Record and Out Of The Blue). Look out for it soon.

16-01-2018 08:52
Stoke fans have my commiserations.Und
er Lambert the Villa played some of the most boring, unimaginative football I`ve ever had the misfortune to witness.Relegation
?,yes I`d say so.

16-01-2018 00:59
Stoke City condemned 2 relegation. Who is the new manager? Paul Lambert.

15-01-2018 22:09
Agreed Reyno about Clyde Best, further back is the story of Walter Tull which is quite heartbreaking, links to Northampton and lived in Rushden.

15-01-2018 22:05
Big loss is Cyrille, only short time at Wolves, but I was at the Peterborough game where he scored the last minute winner, Cyrille and Laurie C, what a team.

15-01-2018 22:05
I think many people forget guys like West Ham's Clyde Best whenever the subject of the impact of black footballers in the English game crops up. He was just as good as the West Brom trio years b4

15-01-2018 19:13
Cyrille was part of the ground breaking so called 'three degrees' who did so much to break down racial barriers in Football back in the late 70's.R.I.P

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Articles Home » 1978 Articles » Sweet - 1978 Level Headed
Sweet - 1978 Level Headed

ALBUM: Level Headed
LABEL: Polydor
YEAR: 1978
CD REISSUE: 1991, Repertoire, REP 4234-WP * 2001, One Way Records, 31954 * 2005, Lemon Records, CD LEM 59


LINEUP: Brian Connolly - lead & background vocals * Andy Scott - guitar, synthesizer, lead & background vocals * Mick Tucker - drums, percussion, background vocals * Steve Priest - bass, synthesizer, lead & background vocals

Additional Musicians: Geoff Westley - keyboards, string arrangements * Ronnie Asprey - brass * Richard Harvey - winds * Stevie Lange - vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 California Nights * 02 Silverbird * 03 Dream On * 04 Fountain * 05 Love Is Like Oxygen * 06 Anthem No. 1 * 07 Strong Love * 08 Lettres D'Amour * 09 Anthem No.II * 10 Air On 'A' Tape Loop


Following 1977's 'Off The Record', change was in the air for Sweet and 'Level Headed' was indeed a radical departure from their wham-bam glam rock past. According to interviews the group was 'tired' of the driving hard rock pop they were famous for and wanted to mix it up a bit, bringing in keyboardist and arranger Geoff Westley and flirting with baroque prog rock and softening their sound. Released in January 1978, Sweet on paper seemed poised to reclaim commercial status they hadn't seen since dropping the songwriting hit machine Chinn/Chapman 'Ballroom Blitz' days. This was glaringly evident in America where the band, management and labels were prone to dropping the proverbial ball, including inexplicably passing on a large tour the year previous with Aerosmith and a mish-mash of overlapped albums and singles, not to mention imports that confused buyers, not to mention frustrating the band who believed they should have been way ahead of the game at this point or at least as big as their legendary rivals Queen.

The Songs
For many fans, 'Level Headed' was a sign Sweet were slowly sliding down Crap Mountain but it's certainly not as bad as that, in fact three quarters of the set is quite good. There were two versions of the album with different track listings and art but I prefer the Stateside release with its superior cover and cool gatefold sleeve which always impressed the heck out of me as a pimply teen and while 'California Nights' might have been a little too Eagles for some, it resonated with programmers in the States, giving the band a surprise minor hit. Follow-up 'Silverbird' is a fairly typical Sweet rocker, nothing to write home about but from here 'Level Headed' becomes a Queen meets Yes extravaganza unlike anything heard before. Andy Scott's 'Dream On' is high on syrup with heavy orchestration that resembles KISS' 'Beth' although is not nearly as enduring. 'Fountain', again with Scott on lead is an acoustic driven prog rocker with a dazzling harpsichord finale, but nothing compared to the albums cornerstone and biggest hit 'Love Is like Oxygen'. The first time I heard this masterpiece played as an import on the radio, it was climbing the British charts and for good reason. I was floored; killer hooks paired with a devastatingly gorgeous prog intermezzo it was everything I've ever wanted in a song. An edited radio version was released on 45 in the U.S. although the only reason to own it back then was for the non-LP single 'Cover Girl' which has since appeared as a bonus track on the Repertoire reissue several years ago. On to side two and serious ELO/Queen-ish pomposity with 'Anthem No. 1 (Lady of the Lake)' as well as half-ass disco with 'Strong Love' which is so incredibly awful I wonder why they bothered? Back on track with the catchy 'Lettres D'Amour' which features guest vocals from Mutt Langes' wife at the time Stevie Lange who would appear a year later in GD faves Night. 'Anthem No. II' reprises the earlier track as an instrumental utilizing a full-blown string quartet while 'Air On 'A' Tape Loop' sounds like a neo-prog version of Pink Floyd and is serious fun.

In Summary
Of course with Sweet there was always a dark cloud on the horizon and this time there was no avoiding the storm. Brian Connolly's substance abuse was wreaking havoc on what should have been a successful U.S. tour. A major set of dates with Bob Seger found Connolly unprepared and falling about on stage and further unruly shows with Rainbow, Foghat, Alice Cooper and Cheap Trick forced the group to make the most significant decision of their career; firing Brian and moving forward as a three-piece. Sweet was never the same again.

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#1 | sabace on May 09 2012 14:52:31
I would'nt be a sweet expert but I have the DESOLATION BOULEVARD and SWEET FANNY ADAMS lps and I love them both . My fave release is the HARD CENTERS compilation chock full of classic tracks .
#2 | Eric on May 10 2012 01:54:07
We'll get to both 'Sweet Fanny Adams' and 'Desolation Boulevard' as well as 'Give Us A Wink' in due time.
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Articles Cloud
Tangier - 1985 Tangier, Boulevard - 1990 Into The Street, Q5 - 1986 When The Mirror Cracks, Samson - 1999 Past Present And Future [Compilation], Clarks, The - 2001 Live 2001, Slaves To Fashion - 2011 Artistic Differences, Haywire - 1987 Don, Fake ID - 1997 Dreaming Ezekiel, Deep Purple - 1984 Perfect Strangers, Buster Brown - 1984 Loud And Clear, Helix - 1983 No Rest For The Wicked, Bliss Band - 1978 Dinner With Raoul, Klaatu - 1977 Hope, W.A.S.P - 2009 Babylon, Friction - 1990 Baby Talk
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