November 20, 2010 – 3:54 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

A Nice Surprise [OLD 37-1, 1CD]

Radio sessions, alternate mixes and unreleased tracks. Very good soundboard.

Obtained as a CD-R copy from a New York record store, whose printing and trimming of the artwork left a great deal to be desired. The disc is a combination of British and Swedish radio sessions, non-LP rarities, alternate mixes, and unreleased studio recordings made for an ill-fated reunion of the classic Brian Connolly/Andy Scott/Steve Priest/Mick Tucker line-up. Sadly, the late Mr. Connolly’s mental and physical health were not up to the task. He was an alcoholic, with worsening neurological problems, which, outwardly, appeared similar to Parkinson’s Syndrome, even if the causes were different. - Philip Cohen

According to the wikipedia, between March and May 1978, Sweet extensively toured the US. The tour included a disastrous date in Birmingham, Alabama at which visiting Capitol Records executives in the audience were to see Brian Connolly give a drunken and incoherent performance that terminated early in the set with his collapse on stage leaving the rest of the group to play on without him.

In spite of what the name may indicate, the group’s journey to rock immortality has not been easy or smooth. Even with the initial bubblegum hits like Funny Funny, Co-Co and Poppa Joe; and later hard rockers such as Block Buster!, Hell Raiser and The Ballroom Blitz, there was vocalist Brian Connolly’s health problems and his departure from the group (Connolly later died in 1978 1997) and the eventual splitting of the group into the European Andy Scott’s Sweet and the American Steve Priest’s Sweet. As such, bittersweet might be a more apt description.

And for those with a Sweet tooth, it’s thanks to Phil for sharing the tracks.

Note: A longtime music fan, Philip Cohen was a contributor to the now-defunct ICE Magazine and compiled the boxsets for The Yardbirds, The Small Faces, Humble Pie and Nice.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Rare BBC tracks
Track 01. Paperback Writer (3.8MB)
Track 02. Chop Chop (3.6MB)

Live for Swedish radio
Track 03. Funny Funny (4.2MB)
Track 04. Rock Medley - Summertime Blues/Lucille/New Orleans (5.4MB)
Track 05. Baby What You Want Me To Do (4.4MB)
Track 06. Great Balls Of Fire (2.6MB)

Rare BBC tracks
Track 07. Mr. Business Man (4.4MB)
Track 08. Alexander Graham Bell (4.6MB)
Track 09. The Juicer (4.6MB)

Track 10. You’re Not Wrong For Lovin’ Me (live) (3.6MB)
Track 11. Ballroom Blitz Mix (US promo maxi single) (5.2MB)
12. Own Up Take A Look At Yourself (B-side Teenage Rampage) - Omitted*
Track 13. The Six Teens (live) (7.8MB)
Track 14. Action (live) (4.8MB)
Track 15. The Lies In Your Eyes (live) (5.4MB)
Track 16. Fever Of Love (Japanese version - different intro) (6.7MB)
17. Why Don’t You Do It To Me (B-side Stairway To The Stars) - Omitted*
18. That Girl (unp “Cut Above The Rest track - Brian on vocals)- Omitted*
19. Why Don’t You (B-side from Call Me) - Omitted*
20. Oh Yeah (B-side Sixties Man) - Omitted*
Track 21. Action (re-recording) (5.1MB)
Track 22. Action (re-recording) (5.3MB)
Track 23. Ballroom Blitz (re-recording) (6.6MB)

* At some point each of them appeared on CD, on either the German “Repertoire” and “BMG” labels or on the Dutch “Pseudonym” label.

Click on the link to order Sweet albums.


  2. Brian Connolly left the group in 1978, but didn’t die until the 1990’s.

    By Philip Cohen on Nov 20, 2010

  3. ACTION!!WOW!!

    By RI Mike on Nov 20, 2010

  4. wow. there’s no finer bit of rock n’ roll than Ballroom Blitz..IMHO.

    Very surprised to hear them with Brian Matthew, the legendary BBC voice. They would seem to be from two very slightly different time periods..obviously, there must be an overlap. :)

    By Scott Brookman on Nov 21, 2010

  5. Thank You BigO! This Sweet are supeeer!!! It´s my jean-age!

    By Josef (Czech republic) on Nov 21, 2010

  6. thanks

    By JALTHEIMPALER on Nov 21, 2010

  7. Tragic end to it all!

    By HappyJap on Nov 24, 2010

  8. I never heard anything by this band so I figure this is a good time to start. Thanks for the share.

    By Matt on Dec 11, 2010

  9. Interesting post. By 1978, all four members of the Sweet were coming under pressure and challenge from both the forces of Rock and Roll and their own private lives. Philip is partially right but you have to take Brian Connollys life in context. As early as 1976, Brian wanted to leave the Sweet. His vtwo daughters had been born to wife Marilyn. The innocent days of Top Of The Pops had changed and The Sweet had become heavier. The success with his voice became his downfall as Brian struggled to sing as well as the studio albums live after 1976. Smoking didnt help and because of the bands lifetyle Connolly fell out more and more with the others. This was a seasoned professional who had started with The Troop and Wainrights Gentlemen. As mentioned things went wrong on a date on the USA Level Headed Tour. Up all night, Connolly was simply stuffed on stage. Things settled down and the tour finished. All should of been well and moving forward. However. A big however, was that when the band started the Cut Above The Rest recording dates, Connolly wouldnt cooperate with the compositions, even with Mick Tucker his friend. Over Christmas 1978/79, Connolly parted company with the band HE had started and registered at UK companies house. He wasnt too drunk to record Give us a wink, Off the Record or Level Headed. Surviving test tracks from the Cut Above The Rest Seesions featuring Brinan Connolly show he was able to sing big time. In his own words after he left THE Sweet, there was aperiod of adjustment from being a star to just being ordinary. Thats when Connolly really started to drink and he had a heart attack in the early 80’s, probably a stroke. This is what caused his health problems. By 1986, Connolly never touched alcohol. But the damage was done. Brian is no longer with us but in life we can only do what we can do. Brian loved his fans and despite his disability in latter years tried as hard as he could. In 1988, with the reunion, Connollys health meant live performances would not of been visually strong. Everyone knew that and the band once again went seperate ways. Brian was human like everyone else. After nearly 40 years, I am just grateful he sang for us, as I also remember the late Mick Tucker, who also died shortly after of Cancer. All the best to fans everywhere and to the memory of these two Sweet members

    By David Hunt on Feb 4, 2015

  10. track 20 Oh Yeah is a stereo version on this collection. the version on the remaster of waters edge is mono.

    By Randy Bunnett on Sep 26, 2015

  11. Thank you David for a good interesting informative post about how Brian and Sweet parted company. Brian was truly a tragic figure - the alcohol truly destroyed him.

    I remember seeing a video of the band’s reunion in 1989… it was just the 4 of them talking about preparing to work together again and you could see and tell from the way Andy, Mick and Steve spoke that they felt awkward because they just knew it wasn’t going to work since the damage to Brian was too heavy - I think even they were shocked just how far gone Brian was. True to form, Brian battled on to the end performing as best as he could but by that final year of his life… seeing him struggle to speak and walk was just utterly painful.

    Thankfully he and Sweet will always be remembered for what they were in their heyday - a great pop/rock band who did some wonderful stuff.

    By Bruce Skywater on Sep 27, 2015

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