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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Rock > Music Compilation > Sweet - Glitz, Hitz & Blitz (MVD/Creem DVD)

Sweet – Glitz, Blitz and Hitz (Creem Magazine)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C+     Main Program: B



Sweet was a British band that found itself in the twilight zone between Glam Rock (for which they were early pioneers) and Pop, also quite influenced by The Beatles.  The result was a one-of-a-kind band that had a choppy commercial and artistic history, yet also managed to produce some memorable records.  Songs like Little Willy, Ballroom Blitz, Fox On The Run and Love Is Like Oxygen.  Glitz, Blitz and Hitz is a very entertaining new documentary about the story behind the band that is far more compelling than expected.


In the United States, they began on Bell Records (soon to become Arista), but found their greatest success as they were distributed by Capitol, but the documentary is British, so it has all their work as released by RCA, then much later Polydor (so there is no US/UK analog to follow.  With that said, it is told in chronological order and is far better than what you would usually see on VH-1.  It features interviews with producers, writers, the surviving members of the band, and others involved with their great run.  The songs include:


1)     Slow Motion

2)     Funny, Funny

3)     Co-Co

4)     Poppa Joe

5)     Little Willy

6)     Wig Wam Bam

7)     Blockbuster!

8)     Hell Raiser

9)     Ballroom Blitz

10)  Teenage Rampage

11)  The Six Teens

12)  Turn It Down

13)  Fox On The Run

14)  Action

15)  Love Is Like Oxygen


Also included are early 16mm-shot music videos that were among the earliest and most interesting, though they are not redubbed with the hits in good stereo sound, but they are better than you would expect.  There are even concert and videotape clips.  It is too easy to forget how much fun Pop Music once was as major label have muddied up everything with shallow would-be talent and very badly produced, engineered and very forgettable.


Many of these songs that were not hits in the U.S. still got airplay on some stations and odds are you might recognize them.  Either way, though the style is dated, how far is a band like Sweet from a still-celebrated band like Queen or respected artist like David Bowie?  They are closer than you’d think.  That is why if you are serious about Rock and are not getting enough of this kind, or you just want a really good program to watch, you should seriously get Glitz, Blitz and Hitz (2003).


The full frame image originates on analog PAL video, but it is consistent, only limited otherwise by the varying quality of past footage.  This includes posters, and stills, including album and single covers.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has some Pro Logic surround information, though the lack of fidelity on some of the hits is noticeable.  Extras include a British-only discography of singles and albums, and nice-if-brief biography write-ups on the four band members.


Ballroom Blitz was made popular again by its use in the Mike Myers/Dana Carvey franchise, following the formula use of music from the 1970s in mainstream films since the 1980s of trivializing and mocking music of the time.  In some cases, it is funny and we are talking oldies from hell, but like Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, that and the other music of The Sweet deserves some long overdue reconsideration and a smart DVD like this is a great place to start.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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