Monday, April 8, 2013

Tout Sweet

We here at OWARI love the band Sweet. I don't know if that comes up often enough to be established, but it's true. So it should come as no surprise that I take a keen interest in the fact that Sweet had some pretty big hits to go along with being a great band (glam and otherwise).

In fact, Sweet hit the Top 20 (not just the Top 40) a total of 5 times. Even a casual fan could probably rattle off four of those songs with ease. "Little Willy" made it all the way to #3 on the BILLBOARD chart in 1973, and both "Ballroom Blitz" and "Fox on the Run" got as high as #5 in 1975. In 1978, with a much different sound, "Love Is Like Oxygen" ascended to #8. All of those songs still get airplay to this day.

But what was Sweet's fifth hit? The answer is either after the cut, or just ahead, depending on how you read this blog.

"Action" is a cool song, but it's...not one you immediately think of when it comes to Sweet, is it? You might conjure up "Wig-Wam Bam", "Block Buster!" or "Teenage Rampage" instead. While all of those songs were big hits in the U.K., only "Block Buster!" charted in the U.S. at a paltry #73. "Action", on the other hand, made it to #20 on the U.S. charts - comparable to its #15 showing in the U.K.

What gives with the "Action" love? Based on the dates, it looks like the single was issued in the U.S. on the heels of the consecutive releases of "Ballroom Blitz" and "Fox on the Run". Taking that into consideration, I would imagine "Action" got considerable rotation on the radio and lots of sales to fans eager for more. It looks like the tune fizzled out earlier than the bands prior songs, and peaked much lower. Doesn't mean it's bad, but it doesn't appear to have lived up to expectations.

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