The album listed here is the “American” version of Desolation Boulevard. But this is the version I am most familiar with anyway.
What a great album this is! There is not one clunker on here. I can’t say the same about the European version
This American version is a mixture of singles, album cuts, and b-sides. It is really a “best-of” collection of Sweet music from the era. I was not aware of these things in 1982.
One thing you can tell from the label is that Chinn/Chapman wrote all the songs on Side 1 and the band wrote all the songs on Side 2. If you are keeping track, Side 1 ends with “I wanna be committed.”
This album should be played very loud.
I have to thank my friend Joe for turning me onto this record. In fact, he turned me on to a lot of great records. And I mean vinyl records here folks.
All in all, I highly recommend this album as a time capsule of the mid 70’s. Read the track descriptions to see why.
Sweet — Desolation Boulevard: Track-by-track review
1. “Ballroom Blitz”
Very famous intro to this song. You’ve heard it a thousand times. Haven’t you? It sets you up for what Sweet is all about. Chugging/grinding guitars, high pitched vocals, lots of reverb (at times), and an air of party mayhem. Maybe even a little dangerous.
Strangely, this was written by Chinn/Chapman. The same guys who wrote Sweets bubblegum pop songs. I suppose that is measure of a good songwriter(s). You can write in any genre.
The electric guitar owns this song. Great for air guitar.
“Ballroom Blitz” is is good for lovers of country music by levite (0)
2. “The 6-Teens”
“where were you in 68?”
Oh my god! This AWESOME song! It starts out with a multitrack guitar prelude that states the main theme. Then it quiets down to an acoustic guitar backing for the initial vocal. In between lines a highly compressed and in your face electric guitar riff.
Then the band kicks in for the second verse.
“They were just 16 and their love a teenage dream.”
Have you ever been 16 and in love? The intensity of that feeling is life shattering, life altering, life affirming. Everything disappears except you and your love, and in this case the music you share.
Then a voice of reality.
“But life, goes on. You know it ain’t easy. You’ve just gotta be strong if you’re one of the 6teens.”
Then repeated with heavier emphasis from vocalist and band. And then a ascending up to the stratosphere…
“cause you’re all, allll, alllll, allllllllll.” then quiet.
“part of the 6teens.”
Repeat of the intro music with a variation and a mini solo. Back into the lyrics and this time about struggling to make your mark. Missing your chance at fame. Taking the flowers from your hair. Too bad, too late.
But, don’t give up. Keep trying. Keep chasing your dream because life isn’t worth living without dreams.
That’s what this song mean to me.
Also, the 6 teens were friends/groupies of the band who supported them. Are the names real people?
“The 6-Teens” is a song of reality. life might be funning at times but in all of this your head must stayed up by levite (0)
3. “No You Don’t”
Maybe most people are familiar with the Pat Benatar version of this song. Her version is very similar but kind of bumps it up a notch.
However, I don’t think they changed the key so imagine a man instead of a classically trained soprano singing it. Throat shredding!
As much as I like this song, it suffers from a mid 70’s arrangement. But it makes you all the more ready for the next song!
Ah, an ode to a bisexual woman. Mostly girls, but men, now and then. “She’s got some other lover as well as me.”
Great slide guitar solo in this song!
And how does he scream that high! Amazing.
“A.C.D.C.” is talking to woman or man that are not trust worthy when it comes to love.have one and forget all by levite (0)
5. “I Wanna Be Committed”
Great rocker. Bubblegum rock turned on its ear. All the elements of sugary pop twisted into distortion and a tale of insanity and mental institutions. Bizarre in its own way.
6. “Sweet F.A.”
Now this song is HEAVY. Not in a Led Zeppelin sort of way but maybe. Punkers meet Led Zeppelin meets Elton John I guess.
And with a line like “if she don’t spread I’m gonna bust her head” some really misogynist content. Don’t worry, by the end he says “its all a bluff.”
Must be played louder than is sane. The guitars sound like a bunch of motorcycles.
And the biggest treat of all? A long guitar FREAK OUT at the end.
7. “Fox On The Run”
This is the pop version of this song. There exists a heavier version that is longer and I won’t say is better, but just as good. This one has the synthesizer intro.
8. “Set Me Free”
This might be the closest to filler for this album. But it only sounds that way because it is so similar to the rest.
But, has some great harmonies and great guitar parts. As this whole album does.
9. “Into The Night”
Just a little riffing on life here. You know, here is what I do, this is how it feels. But there is a little remorse for things lost. He was on top but now it’s all gone.
More great guitar sounds.
10. “Solid Gold Brass”
This one is a departure. A real effort to show how skillful they could be. It’s almost jazzy. Or as jazzy as a glam rock band could be. Has an awesome jazzy, not distorted, guitar solo. Great riffs throughout.
Let me take this last moment to complement the bass playing and drumming. Very well done throughout. Tasty.
Desolation Boulevard by Sweet
“No You Don’t”
“I Wanna Be Committed”
“Fox On The Run”
“Set Me Free”
“Into The Night”
“Solid Gold Brass”