SWEET – New York Groove Plus (2015)
The SWEET are great. The mere mention of the of these seminal glam hard rockers’ name brings a joyous smile immediately to the face. Hits such as ‘Ballroom Blitz’, ‘Blockbuster’, ‘Hellraiser’, ‘Fox On The Run’ and ‘Love Is Like Oxygen’ were all UK Top Ten hits that made Sweet into a household name, going on to sell 55 million copies worldwide and notching up 34 Number 1 smashes along the way.
“New York Groove Plus” finds Sweet doing songs from others, and what great versions they deliver.
Sadly original Sweet singer Brian Connelly and drummer Mick Tucker are no longer with us. Bassist Steve Priest leads his own version of the Sweet over in the States but the real money is on guitarist / songwriter Andy Scott who with his band Sweet are still a popular draw on the European circuit.
The talented Tony O’Hara is sharing vocals and keyboard duties with Pete Lincoln on bass and Bruce Bisland on drums.
The band who made ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, the album that influenced Motley Crue so much they almost copied it note for note throughout their career, made this album full of covers in 2012 and it was originally released under the moniker of ‘New York Connection’, but went unnoticed due the lack of promotion.
Now is being reissued as “New York Groove Plus” bolstered with three extra tracks plus informative sleeve notes from Rock journalist Malcolm Dome.
And I am glad they did it!
With this album Sweet have injected the magic of fun into songs that you would have heard before in one shape or form.
They have their own little twist and slipped in little hints of their own hits along the way and other current pop hits of today… Confused? Don’t be… Get on your stomping boots and enjoy the ride.
Sweet have captured the sound that Def Leppard have been trying to do for these past two decades. They tried in Songs from the Sparkle Lounge and failed miserably.
Sweet does not, and they Rock. This album has the stompness of the seventies but is brought up to date with a crisp bouncy production. The music is non stop rock ‘n roll party all the way.
Russ Ballard penned hit (for Ace Frehley of Kiss) ‘New York Groove’ is redone and executed perfectly but intertwined with Jay-Z’s and Alicia Keys ‘Empire State Of Mind’… Keep on reading folks… It gets better.
The cover of Black Keys ‘Gold On The Ceiling’ is another stomper romper followed by the unexpected twist of the cover of punk band Electric Frankenstein’s ‘All Moving Faster’.
The title track ‘New York Connection’ is a Sweet original originally on the B-side to ‘Wig Wam Bam’ but clinically brought up to date.
The Gold medal award must go to the unbelievable take on Dead Or Alive’s smash hit ‘You Spin Me Round’ – oh yes, right round like a hit record baby, right round, round, round. It will leave your head spinning.
They even do a Ramones take one moment with ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ before getting you to dance ‘On Broadway’.
The three extra tracks now added are a new mix of ‘It’s All Moving Faster’ (PDQ Mix, more catchy than the original), a live kicking version of ‘You Spin Me Round’ recorded at the Sweden Rock Festival, and a cheerful acoustic version of ‘New York Groove’.
Sweet’s “New York Groove Plus” is a really pleasant surprise. It’s fun, party-ready, oomph brimmed and as effective as unpretentious.
You’ll be having a Ballroom Blitz around your house with this Blockbuster (pun intended).
Great fun and all the songs have the Sweet treatment which works great in all cases. It may even win them a few new fans for the more mainstream tunes they have given the Sweet twist to.
I hope this release brings Sweet young listeners who will discover what a seminal band they are.
1. New York Groove
2. Gold On The Ceiling
3. It’s All Moving Faster
4. New York Connection
5. Shapes Of Things
6. You Spin Me Right Round (Like A Record)
7. Because The Night
8. Sweet Jane
9. Blitzkrieg Bop
10. On Broadway
11. Join Together
12. It’s All Moving Faster (PDQ Mix)
13. You Spin Me Right Round (live at Sweden Rock 2013)
14. New York Groove (acoustic)
Andy Scott – guitars, vocals
Tony O’Hara – keyboards, vocals
Pete Lincoln – bass, vocals
Bruce Bisland – drums
BUY IT !