Sweet - 'Live At The Marquee 1986'

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Sweet - 'Live At The Marquee 1986'

The 1986 version of The Sweet is the one of most interest to serious Hard Rock fans.

The Sweet were a throwaway Glam-pop outfit weren't they? Well no actually they weren't and cover versions of the band's best moments by eclectic acts such as Saxon, Krokus, Lillian Axe, Girl, Def Leppard and Vince Neil (amongst many, many others) have proved that countless times over. However 1986 saw any lingering doubts over the Rock credentials of The Sweet banished for good, with original drummer Mick Tucker and long-time guitarist Andy Scott gathering a new line-up around them.

This updated version consisted of musicians with links to Iron Maiden, Uriah Heep and Grand Prix, for a three date residency at the legendary and soon to be closed for good Marquee club in London. It was an inspired move, with Phil Lanzon (Heep/Grand Prix) on keyboards, Maiden's first singer Paul Mario Day on vocals and drummer Mal McNulty combining with Tucker and Scott to head into almost, but not quite, Heavy Metal territory. Classics such as 'Action', 'Sweet FA', 'Set Me Free', 'Ballroom Blitz' and 'Fox On The Run' suddenly received such a hefty kick up the jacksie that they sounded like heavy rock monsters, Day and Scott especially revelling in this more aggressive setting. A huge, fun, dumb cover of ELP's 'Fanfare For The Common Man' proved such a rip-roaring success that the current line-up of The Sweet still play it to this day, but it is the stunningly catchy, yet punchy 'Love Is Like Oxygen' which makes the strongest lasting mark.



A pair of never before released tracks from the same show, 'AC-DC' and 'Burn On The Flame', which while not quite up to the same excellent recording quality as the main set, still add to this version of the release in fine fashion. However in truth 'Live At The Marquee 1986' needs little more than the energy, power and indeed cracking songs it contains to recommend it.

Not the one they are most famous for, but there's a strong argument on this evidence to suggest that the 1986 version of The Sweet, having traded in silver shoulder pads for stripy spandex trousers, is the one of most interest to serious Hard Rock fans. Grab a listen to this release for proof, you won't regret it!

Steven Reid

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