Set me free from this isolation boulevard…
I think we’ve all shouted those sentiments over the last months — perhaps not so lucidly and perhaps not so glambuoyantly!
SWEET’s “Set Me Free” has never been released as a single before… but it arrives just in time! The song will be out Friday 5th March 2021.
The number has been re-recorded for the band’s current album “Isolation Boulevard” — which features lockdown re-recordings of the original songs that appeared on the U.S. edition of the band’s sensational 1975 album “Desolation Boulevard”.
Desolation Boulevard (original cover below) was the third studio album from the famous British band.
THE SWEET are perhaps the genuine founding fathers of what we typically summarize as “glam rock.” The band are the direct progenitors of bands like Def Leppard, Cheap Trick, and Quiet Riot.
They originally released Desolation Boulevard in the UK in November 1974, although two notably different versions of the album were released: one by RCA Records in Europe and one, later, by Capitol Records in the United States.
Three original Sweet members have since passed: vocalist Brian Connolly (1997) drummer Mick Tucker (2002) and more recently bassist Steve Priest (2020) — leaving Andy Scott (guitars) as the only living member of Sweet’s classical lineup and credited with writing the new single.
The band now features: Andy Scott (lead guitar, vocals) Lee Small (bass, vocals), Bruce Bisland (drums, vocals), Paul Manzi (lead vocals), and Steve Mann (guitar, keyboards).
“Isolation Boulevard” features all the Sweet’s classic hit singles and was recorded with the new line-up during UK lockdowns between September and October 2020.
The latest single “Set Me Free” is taken from the new album. Although it is one of the most covered songs in the band’s repertoire, this marks the first time that The Sweet have released it as an official single. Fans will know it’s the opening track from “Sweet Fanny Adams” (1974). Over the years, the song’s been covered by Saxon, Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe, and Steve Stevens (Billy Idol).
The song itself is a smash of crushed chords, a stampede of pounding drums, and a skirmish of bass lines that pushes the restless pandemonium of vocals into rock ‘n’ roll chaos. In other words, this is a thunder-weight, sure-footed and vivaciously uncontainable slice of bopping rock… lively & irrepressible. We wouldn’t want it any other way!
Speaking about recording the album, Andy Scott said that it presented a “myriad technical problems...”
“It’s impossible for everyone to play at the same time, so all parts are performed the “old” way and then data transferred back to base camp where the magical digital stuff takes over.”
“Sweet would usually record all together in the studio with a performance rather than individually but the pandemic dictated the ways and means. The result is a mind-blowing set of tracks, all the hits and a barrage of heavy-duty glam rock.”