The Sweet's 10 greatest songs, ranked

1 February 2024, 15:52

The Sweet's best songs
The Sweet's best songs. Picture: Getty/Sweet

By Tom Eames

No one did catchy rock quite like The Sweet.

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The Sweet were one of the most successful glam rock bands of the 1970s, scoring a string of hit singles that combined catchy pop melodies with hard rock riffs and high-pitched vocals.

Led by the flamboyant Brian Connolly on vocals and flanked by Steve Priest, Andy Scott and Mick Tucker, they were one of the pioneers of glam rock, and one of the few British acts of the era to find repeated success in the States.

Here we look at the best songs by The Sweet, from their bubblegum pop beginnings to their mature and experimental later years. Whether you prefer the anthemic 'Ballroom Blitz', the infectious 'Fox on the Run', or the epic 'Love is Like Oxygen', you will find something to satisfy your sweet tooth in this list.

  1. Co-Co

    Sweet - Co-Co - Disco 11.09.1971 (OFFICIAL)

    ‘Co-Co’ was released in 1971 from their debut album Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be. Written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, it was their second single to chart in the UK, reaching No. 2.

    The song is a catchy and upbeat bubblegum pop tune, and was inspired by a pet monkey that Chinn and Chapman saw at a zoo.

  2. Hell Raiser

    Sweet - Hell Raiser - Disco 23.06.1973 (OFFICIAL)

    'Hell Raiser' was written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, reaching number two on the UK Singles Chart, and number one in Finland, Germany, and Switzerland.

    The catchy and energetic rock anthem describes a woman who Brian can't keep up with due to her rebellious nature and somewhat evil spirit.

  3. Wig Wam Bam

    Sweet - Wig Wam Bam - Top Of The Pops/Disco 1972 (OFFICIAL)

    'Wig Wam Bam' was released in September 1972, reaching number four in the UK. It was the band's first hit that featured more of their own musical style, rather than the bubblegum pop sound of their previous singles.

    The song is inspired by the Native American culture and features references to wigwams, tomahawks, and war paint.

    It also influenced many other bands, and was rather similar to the future international hit 'Mickey' by Toni Basil.

  4. Little Willy

    Sweet - Little Willy - Top Of The Pops/Disco 1972 (OFFICIAL)

    Only The Sweet could get away with doing a song called 'Little Willy' and make it good.

    'Little Willy' was written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, and is about a rebellious young man who refuses to go home, despite his friends and family urging him to do so. He prefers to stay out and have fun, dancing and partying all night long.

    The song was a huge success for The Sweet, reaching number 4 in the UK Singles Chart and number 3 in the US Billboard Hot 100.

  5. Teenage Rampage

    Sweet - Teenage Rampage - Musikladen, 20.02.1974

    'Teenage Rampage' was inspired by the growing youth culture and rebellion in Britain at the time, and the lyrics express the frustration and anger of the teenagers who feel ignored and oppressed by the older generation.

    The song was a huge success, reaching number 2 in the UK and number 1 in Germany and Denmark. It also became an anthem for the glam rock movement.

    The song somewhat influenced the punk rock genre, which emerged in the late 1970s as a more radical form of youth rebellion.

  6. Action

    Sweet - Action - Promo Clip (OFFICIAL)

    ‘Action’ is a hard rock song released in 1975. The song was written and produced by all four band members.

    It expresses the band’s frustration with their treatment by the music industry and the media, as well as their desire for more creative control and recognition. The song features a hidden backwards vocal that says “You kiss my arse”.

    The song has been covered by several artists, including Def Leppard, who released their version as a single in 1994 and charted at No. 14 in the UK.

  7. Love is Like Oxygen

    Sweet - Love Is Like Oxygen - Disco 20.03.1978 (OFFICIAL)

    ‘Love is Like Oxygen’ was the first single from their album Level Headed in 1978. The song was co-written by the band’s guitarist Andy Scott and Trevor Griffin, a former musician who became a roadie and sound engineer for The Sweet.

    The song marked a departure from the band’s previous style, which was more guitar-driven and featured high vocal harmonies. ‘Love is Like Oxygen’ incorporated elements of disco, progressive rock, and classical music.

  8. Fox on the Run

    Sweet - Fox On The Run - Promo Clip (OFFICIAL)

    'Fox on the Run' was released in 1975, and was their first self-written single. The song was originally recorded in 1974 for the European version of their album Desolation Boulevard, but the band later re-recorded and produced a more pop-oriented version for the single release.

    The song is about one of the band's groupies, who was deliberately left unnamed. The title refers to the slang term 'fox' for an attractive woman, and the lyrics describe the band's pursuit of her.

    It was featured in the trailer for the 2017 film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which boosted its popularity and sales.

  9. Blockbuster

    Sweet - Blockbuster - Top Of The Pops 25.01.1973 (OFFICIAL)

    "We just haven't got a clue, what to do!"

    ‘Blockbuster’ was released in 1973, and was the band’s only UK number one hit.

    The song is famous for its catchy riff, which is very similar to that of David Bowie’s ‘The Jean Genie’, released a few months earlier. Both songs were inspired by the blues legend Muddy Waters, and the similarity was a coincidence, according to the artists.

    It reflects the band’s image of being outrageous, rebellious, and fun-loving. The lyrics tell the story of a man who is pursued by the police for an unknown crime, and who tries to escape by changing his appearance and hiding in different places.

  10. The Ballroom Blitz

    Sweet - The Ballroom Blitz - Promo Clip (OFFICIAL)

    "Are you ready Steve? Andy? Mick? Alright fellas, let's goooo!"

    'Ballroom Blitz' was released in 1973, and was written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. The song was inspired by an incident when the band was booed and pelted with bottles by an unruly crowd at a concert in Scotland.

    The song describes the chaotic scene at the ballroom, where people are dancing, fighting, screaming, and fainting. The song was a huge success, reaching the top of the charts in Canada and Australia, and the top five in the UK and the US.

    It is considered one of the best examples of glam rock, and captures the energy, excitement, and rebellion of the 1970s.