SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell… reviews new cd’s from Sweet, Butterscotch and Robin George

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SWEET ‘New York Groove Plus’

Are you ready Bruce? Pete? Andy? Tony? lets go!! OK, so that’s not quite the same as it once was but Andy Scott has kept the flame burning all these years and let me tell you he’s done a bloody good job. This is a thumpingly good album right from the kick off. Knowing in this market dominated by Cowell clones, airplay for a new Sweet album aint gonna happen he’s astutely ‘Sweetified’ some classics and come up with a gem. ‘New York Groove’, ‘Because The Night’ ‘Join Together’ are just some of the highlights. And yes all the ‘classic’ Sweet ingredients are there, the layered harmonies, sawing guitar riffs and driving drum beats that made them such a great band. In fact listening to the ‘new’ version of ‘New York Connection’ (the original b side of Wig Wam Bam) you are transported back to those heady days of the 70’s. But this is no retro album its Sweet in 2015 doing what they do best rocking hard. I hope this release brings them new fans who will discover what a seminal band they are. I can feel Brian and Mick looking down and nodding their heads and their feet in approval. Rock on Andy and Co, I wish we had a (happy) ballroom to blitz!! And now if this was a radio link I guess i’d be saying from one sweet to another (groan!)……….

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BUTTERSCOTCH ‘Don’t You Know Its Butterscotch’

Is it really 45 years almost to the day I received a promo single of ‘Don’t You Know’? yes it is and I don’t know where the time has gone! Released in May 1970 this slice of sunshine pop hit the top twenty and once heard stuck in your head all day. Butterscotch was the brainchild of talented songwriters Arnold, Martin and Morrow (AMMO) who had written for everyone from Elvis to Edison Lighthouse. Much like Edison Lighthouse, White Plains etc Butterscotch were a studio concoction originally. Never released before this CD contains all their recorded material, they never bettered DYK and didn’t trouble the charts again but if you like ‘Sunshine pop, harmony ala Harmony Grass style there is much to enjoy ‘Surprise Surprise’ and ‘Sunday Wont be Sunday Any More’ being two highlights. And as aforementioned you’ll be humming DYK for the rest of the day!

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ROBIN GEORGE ‘Dangerous Music ii’

Following on from the album Dangerous Music, comes the never released til now part 2. Robin had a worldwide hit from that first album in 1985 in the shape of ‘Heartline’, a track I have played many many times on my radio shows and a personal favourite. A fan of Little Feat (great band) Robin has a great pedigree playing with amongst others. Phil Lynott, Robert Plant, Roy Wood and Diamond Head. Dangerous Music 11 is clearly an Eighties production, I can imagine some of the tracks playing in scenes from Miami Vice, glossy synth pop overladen with Robins guitar work. Despite some high quality writing there sadly isn’t a track as immediate as ‘Heartline’. Overall its a good listen, best in a convertible heading down a freeway I suspect. And that side of the pond I think is his natural market. However good to see its release after 30 years!

All the above are Angel Air releases. For more information go to www.angelair.co.uk

Til next time bye for now and have a great Easter…  Colincolin-head



 

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