Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Lonely Fever

Sweet : Love Is Like Oxygen

By January 1978, when they released Level Headed, Sweet were a band that had lost their identity. No longer were they the British brats of the vanished glam rock era and they were far too old and sophisticated to be punks.  They were a ship lost at sea. Nobody would have even noticed except for the fact that there are seven brilliant minutes on this 40 minute album. The seven minutes of "Love Is Like Oxygen". For that reason, I was one of those who bought this unintentionally comic effort.

I had scribbled down the chorus on a piece of paper that my father had found. He thought I had written: 

Love is like oxygen 
You get too much, you get too high 
Not enough and you're gonna die 
Love gets you high 

He wanted me to know that these lines were absolutely true and he wanted to make sure I was alright. I was fine. It was Sweet that was in trouble.

Just listen to "California Night", the second single from the album. It sounds like a classic Led Zeppelin song at the beginning, and you're thinking it's not original but it's not bad. Then come this wretched chorus that sounds like something the Brady Bunch would have sung on their variety special:

Everybody's dancing, California nights
Summer in the city, California nights
Boogie through to morning, California nights
California never go away, I'm here to stay

It gets worse. "Strong Love" is the disco song with the band harmonizing on the line "You are the love of my liiiiiife".

 Maybe the whole thing is one big 1970's joke, anticipating Spinal Tap. Why didn't Spinal Tap ever "go disco"? Probably because they couldn't have come up with a line as bad as "With my heart going boom, boom /Your love is driving me to ruin ".

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