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Sweet / Are You Ready? The RCA Era / seven-LP vinyl box set

Are You Ready – The RCA Era is a new seven-LP vinyl box set that collects the RCA studio albums of British Glam Rock band Sweet along with bonus tracks and an unreleased live album.

All the albums within are pressed on 180g vinyl and come in ‘completely restored’ artwork. The five studio long-players within are Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be (1971), Sweet Fanny Adams (1974), Desolation Boulevard (1974) Give Us A Wink (1976), and Off The Record (1977). All of them offer at least one or two bonus tracks per side (non-album A-sides and B-sides) with the exception of Give Us A Wink which is consistent with the original UK track listing.

The unreleased bonus album is a double: The Rainbow – Live in the UK 1973, a concert that features the best of the band’s output up to that point, culminating in the double-header of Ballroom Blitz and Blockbuster.

Are You Ready? The RCA Era also comes with a full-sized poster and is released on 14 April 2017. The £75 price tag (at the time of writing) seems decent enough.

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Sweet

ARE YOU READY? THE RCA ERA - 7LP VINYL BOX

Shop Price gbp Stock
Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 78.61
Amazon de 6LP coloured vinyl box 73.76
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 92.88
Amazon fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 87.86
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 72.47
Amazon es 6LP coloured vinyl box 111.9
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 133.8
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 89.99
FNAC fr 6LP coloured vinyl box 152.95
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Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be (1971)

Side 1
1. Co-Co
2. Chop Chop
3. Reflections
4. Honeysuckle Love
5. Santa Monica Sunshine
6. Daydream
7. Alexander Graham Bell*
8. Poppa Joe*

Side 2
1. Funny Funny
2. Tom Tom Turnaround
3. Jeanie
4. Sunny Sleeps Late
5. Spotlight
6. Done Me Wrong All Right
7. Little Willy*
8. Wig Wam Bam*

*bonus tracks

Sweet Fanny Adams (1974)

Side 3
1. Set Me Free
2. Heartbreak Today
3. No You Don’t
4. Rebel Rouser
5. Peppermint Twist
6. Teenage Rampage*

Side 4
1. Sweet F.A.
2. Restless
3. Into the Night
4. AC-DC
5. Own Up, Take A Look At Yourself*

*bonus tracks

Desolation Boulevard (1974)

Side 5
1. The Six Teens
2. Solid Gold Brass
3. Turn It Down
4. Medussa
5. Lady Starlight
6. Someone Else Will*
7. Miss Demeanor*

Side 6
1. Man With The Golden Arm
2. Fox on the Run
3. Breakdown
4. My Generation
5. I Wanna Be Comitted*
6. Burn on the Flame*

*bonus tracks

Give Us A Wink (1976)

Side 7
1. The Lies in Your Eyes
2. Cockroach
3. Keep It In
4. 4th of July

Side 8
1. Action
2. Yesterday’s Rain
3. White Mice
4. Healer

Off The Record (1977)

Side 9
1. Fever of Love
2. Lost Angels
3. Midnight To Daylight
4. Windy City
5. A Distinct Lack Of Ancient*

Side 10
1. Live For Today
2. She Gimme Lovin’
3. Laura Lee
4. Hard Times
5. Funk It Up
6. Why Don’t You Do It To Me*
7. Stairway to the Stars*

*bonus tracks

The Rainbow – Live in the UK 1973

Side 11
1. The Stripper (Intro)
2. Hell Raiser
3. Burning/Someone Else Will
4. Rock’n Roll Disgrace
5. Wig Wam Bam

Side 12
1. Need A Lot Of Loving
2. Done Me Wrong All Right
3. You’re Not Wrong for Loving Me

Side 13
1. The Man with the Golden Arm
2. Little Willy
3. Teenage Rampage

Side 14
1. Rock’n Roll Medley
2. Ballroom Blitz
3. Blockbuster

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38 responses to Sweet / Are You Ready? The RCA Era / seven-LP vinyl box set

  1. Chris Squires says:

    Nice set, not quite up to Slade standards, but decent enough.

    Interesting that they have stuck bonus tracks onto each LP rather than a separate B-sides and extras LP.

  2. adam shaw says:

    Im a Sweet fan but will not be buying this.
    They should have kept to the original track listings as these seem to be the last cd versions put onto vinyl .
    On Amazon UK theres a picture of the box track listing that is totaly different , showing that it includes Strung Up and Level Headed ?

  3. Metal Mickey says:

    Wig Wam Bam and Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be were my first ever single & album purchases, so I’ll always have a soft spot for The Sweet. I’m sure they’d be taken a lot more seriously these days if they’d have been from Boston and dressed in denim, but they had a brilliant “imperial phase”, though management shenanigans (IIRC) sadly meant they didn’t release a proper album while they were having all those hits…

    Vinyl’s no use to me so I’m not in the market for this, but nice to see the band getting a bit of attention (including the use of Fox On The Run in the Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer, and maybe in the movie too)…

    … but blimey, that artwork!

  4. Jeremy says:

    Am I correct in assuming the only versions of Hell Raiser, Blockbuster and Ballroom Blitz (three of their biggest hits) included in this box set are live versions on the new 2LP “The Rainbow” album? Seems odd that they would include other singles and B-sides as “bonus tracks” on some of the vinyl LPs, but omit the studio versions of these singles…

  5. Kevin Barrett says:

    Excellent release imo, will be in for this, one of the best bands of the glamour rock era, I grew up with this lot. Cover illustration not fantastic though. Still, that beside, great news!

  6. Francesco Cavaliere says:

    The Rainbow show is not exactly ‘unreleased’, unless I’m much mistaken it was out in the early 90s on Dojo (I’ve got it somewhere) and I’m sure I’ve seen import versions too.

  7. H. Gerber says:

    Cover art is terrible!!

  8. Philip Cohen says:

    The inclusion of “Strung Up”(as originally released) would have been a much better idea. Then we would have gotten the 2nd version(the hit version) of “Fox On The Run”, and the stereo versions of 7 songs from the Rainbow concert.The UK “Desolation Boulevard” album has an earlier, longer, slightly slower arrangement of “Fox on The Run”.
    It should be explained that two recordings were made of the Rainbow concert; a 16-track tape and a direct to mono soundboard tape. When the 16-track tape was played back in the studio, the track which should have contained Mick Tucker’s snare drum was blank, so the late Mr.Tucker dubbed in the snare drum perfectly, but,alas only for the 7 songs that the group was intending to include on “Strung Up”. For the other songs, the only tape with the snare drum is the mono soundboard tape. whenever RCA,BMG or Sony present the concert in its entirety, they present it entirely in mono. (the “Dojo” label CD was a combination of stereo & mono tracks) The most recent release of “Strung Up”(a UK 2-CD expanded version) presented the concert entirely in mono, poorly mastered, and with a jarring(Left & Right) total sound drop out on one song. You’ll undoubtedly get that drop out on the new vinyl release of the concert.

  9. eddy says:

    In 1999 bmg/rca/sony released live at the Rainbow 1973 , the complete concert on cd. (cat no 74321 69859 2) so not really unreleased’. I also got more than 15 other releases of that concert on vinyl and cd but except the 1999 cd release, none of them ( including the dojo release franseco caveliere is talking about) had the the complete concert. The earlier release had names like rock concert, live in england, ballroom blitz live 1973, blockbusters live on stage, live, sweet live, rockin the Rainbow, sweet live hell raiser,sweet live little willy.

    • Francesco Cavaliere says:

      I’d be interested to know what songs are missing, the RCA CD is still listed on Amazon with ‘The Complete Concert’ on the front of the booklet and has the same tracklisting as the Dojo CD (which has a different running order and lacks the opening ‘Intro’, at least as a separate track, I don’t remember and haven’t played it to see if it’s on there ).

      • eddy says:

        Francesco Cavaliere the dojo cd live 1973 is running 62 minutes and 59 seconds the bmg/rca complete concert runs 72 minutes 52. so except the different running order on the dojo release it is missing about 10 minutes. It might have all tracks but not complete ones.

        • Francesco Cavaliere says:

          Thanks Eddy, I’ll have to re-visit it and see what obvious edits I can spot! Annoyed I didn’t get the RCA edition now :(

  10. baward says:

    Philip Cohen, eddy & Francesco Cavaliere, thanks for that info! It’s what I like about this blog, a source of epic quantities of trivia! ;-)

    I only found out the other week on the official Sweet Youtube channel (i.e. Andy Scott’s Sweet) that Brian Connolly didn’t sing at all on the choruses of ‘Love Is Like Oxygen’, only the verses, and Andy thought that Brian did an excellent job.

  11. Dean says:

    So basically the cover artist isn’t very good at noses?

    Sweet were fun in their day. They were a very different band live, quite heavy, and plenty of swearing. There’s a documentary on Youtube about the final shows of Brian Connolly – a gut wrenching watch.

    • bob says:

      Yes I saw that documentary in the 90’s on channel 4, absolutely tragic and difficult to watch, but unmissable nonetheless.

  12. Ausmonty says:

    Does anybody know if the “Give us a wink” cover, is die cut like the original was?

  13. Klaus says:

    Information for those not interested in vinyl: On Amazon Germany you can currently pre-order so-called “New Extended Versions” of “Sweet Fanny Adams”, “Desolation Boulevard” and “Give Us A Wink”, to be released at August 25th.
    At this moment no further information on these is given, so i can’t say if these will be identical to the 2005 versions, which are more or less hard to find for a reasonable price currently.
    For the NEV’s Amazon currently charges EUR 8,99 (about GBP 7,75) with pre-order price guarantee.
    Hopefully the other 2 RCA albums “Funny Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be” and “Off The Record” are to follow soon.

    • eddy says:

      funny how sweet co-co can be has been rereleased for the last time (so far) on cd in 2015 on cherry red records glam cdd 153. So i don’t think it will be re release again, on cd for some years. It’s a 2 disc with disc 1 having 9 bonus tracks mostly single and b sides and the track be with you soon disc 2 has the pre funny funny tracks slow motion, it’s lonely out there, lollipop man,time, all you’ll ever get from me, the juicer, get on the line and mr mcgallagher. It can together with the cd’s level headed, cut above the rest, waters edge and identity crisis still be ordered from cherry red records.

  14. ChristopherM says:

    I’m another long-term fan that won’t be buying this, if only because I still own the original (analogue mastered) vinyl albums and singles. However, I would like to see this done properly and I therefore share some of the concerns raised above…

    Chris Squires and Adam Shaw are correct that the bonus tracks would be better housed on separate LPs. Back in the day, the sequence of an album’s tracks would have been carefully selected to give a complete listening experience over two sides. A listener wouldn’t tend to put a random 7″ on the player between sides one and two. Also, “Sweet Fanny Adams” in particular was specifically intended to be a non-singles album, and so adding Teenage Rampage frustrates the original concept – and probably compromises the sound quality by cramming too much playing time onto one side.

    Philip Cohen is right to bemoan the loss of the original Strung Up album, for all the reasons he gives. I would add that the “Strung Up” version of “Solid Gold Brass” contains the extra guitar track that Andy Scott had intended (Sweet later complained in an interview that RCA had cut and pressed the UK “Desolation Boulevard” album during a break in recording, before it had been finished). Also “Strung Up” contains the full-length version of “I Wanna Be Committed” rather than the curtailed version that has cropped up on various CDs (I wonder which version will be added to “Desolation Boulevard”…).

    Ausmonty is justified in raising concerns about the “Give Us A Wink” sleeve, given that the slipcase claims “Completely Restored Artwork”. Either the image of that sleeve is a digital mock-up or the die-cut areas have been printed flat. Also the record shouldn’t slide out the side of the sleeve. Instead, you should need to lift the illustrated inner sleeve from the top edge.

    Finally, I think we can all agree that the slipcase art is not quite up to scratch. A simple silhouette of the group in the “Sweet Fanny Adams” cover pose would have looked more classic.

    • David.D says:

      Absolutely spot on Christopher, with all your points, particularly the dreadful slip case. The coloured vinyl ‘Strung Up was really nice last year so, as someone else pointed out, why not give this the ‘slade’ treatment? G.U.A.W on Red Vinyl, O.T.R on Orange etc, add a 7″ & a book or something. It’s cool the band is getting something like this but why don’t labels go to fans & ask how they’d like it? Universal have done that with Kiss re-releases. Not sure wether to order or not.

  15. Larry Davis says:

    Won’t be buying this either…longtime Sweet fan as well…I think the RCA/Sony/Legacy CDs a few years ago were done much better, and it has the sidespines when put together forms the Sweet logo AND all related non-album A&B sides as bonus tracks, not just a handful…these vinyls are still missing quite a few essential tracks that were singles, like the redone “Fox On The Run” and ‘Ballroom Blitz”…no prob with the cover of this box tho, it’s kind of a cool hand-drawn portrait…

    • ChristopherM says:

      I agree that the “spanning spine” CD range was Sweet’s best re-release to date. However, even that opted for the shorter version of “I Wanna Be Committed” which omits most of the coda found on “Strung Up”, thereby cutting some fantastic drumming by Mick Tucker.

      That collection also lacked the superior “Strung Up” remix of “Solid Gold Brass” (and, being really pedantic, the same LP’s third mix of “Action”). All of that could have been solved by including “Strung Up” there too.

      By the way, Andy Scott’s solo 1975 RCA release of “Lady Starlight”/”Where D’Ya Go” seldom (never?) seems to be included anywhere, but perhaps that’s by his own choice.

      • Philip Cohen says:

        “Lady Starlight” was included in U.S.A. & Japan Capitol Records editions of “Give Us A Wink”.

  16. it's, it's... says:

    Great idea & nice try, Sony… But with poor results, as it’s last time with Strung Up.
    Here’s what’s missing:
    Man From Mecca [B-side of “Little Willy” single]
    New York Connection [B-side of “Wig-Wam Bam” single]
    Block Buster!
    Need A Lot Of Lovin’ [B-side of “Block Buster!” single]
    Hell Raiser
    Burning [B-side of “Hell Raiser” single]
    The Balroom Blitz
    Rock & Roll Disgrace [B-side of “The Ballroom Blitz” single]
    Fox On The Run [single version]
    Action [single mix]
    Funk It Up (David’s Song) [12″ aka “Disco” mix] (A-side of canadian 12″ single)
    Eleven songs, in total. Or twelve, if i would be picky (the long-lost US single mix of “Fever of Love”). Add twelve bonus songs from this box set and you get a nice double long player of bonus material from RCA era, plus original track listings of studio albums… But, hey – it’s a Sony! And explanation that Strung Up contains some of these tracks is pretty lame, since Strung Up isn’t part of this box set. Well, more luck next time, i guess…

  17. eddy says:

    Sony is also releasing a 12 inch, yellow vinyl of fox on the run on record store day (22 april). It gives you, fox on the run 4 times, the single version , the album version and 2 remixen.

  18. Philip Cohen says:

    I’m an avid collector of the music of Sweet. There was a curious business situation within Sweet, where whatever soundboard tapes, outtakes and alternate mixes held by each group member were that member’s property, to license out as they wished, and so, at various points Andy Scott, Steve Preist and the late Brian Connolly each licensed out their tapes for CD release; something which made it dificult for consumers to determine which releases were official and which ones weren’t.
    What would make sense would be for RCA/BMG to release multidisc CD editions of each Sweet studio album, and put the alternate takes, alternate mixes and soundboard tapes back into their correct context, I.E. with the albums whose sessions and songs those archival materials are related to. For a few of those studio tracks on CD’s that were licensed out by Scott & Connolly, magnetism-damaged or chewed up tape sources were used, yet if you look extensively across all of the Scott & Connolly-licensed releases(and a few possibly unauthorized releases), you will find undamaged sources…lf you’re an avid fan and know where to look. There’s even an undamaged source for the “Laura Lee”/Show Me The Way” medley(on a German CD of dubious legitimacy released by the “Fox” label). For original release, this extended performance was split into two pieces(“Laura Lee” on the album “Off The Record” and “Show Me The Way” as a Polydor B-side), but they were originally recorded as a continuous piece.
    If only I could communicate with the people in charge of BMG’s Sweet archival activity. For all of the Sweet albums (except “Sweet Fanny Adams” & “Funny Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be”) it is possible to assemble a complete “alternate album”(alternate versions of each track from the album)

    • adam shaw says:

      I’d like to see that .
      The Laura Lee / Show MeThe Way chewed up tape version is a fine example of bad quality control

      • eddy says:

        The fox release with laura lee/show me the way was called sweet previously unreleased treacks + versions it was released in 1998. Laura lee/show me the way was also released in the same year on a snapper music label and was made in England. Snapper is a official record label. This 2 cd set was called solid gold sweet. If anyone is still looking for it cat nr. SMDCD 208

        • eddy says:

          On the hallmark label there was a sweet cd in 1996 which also had laura lee(show me the way) the cd was called, hellraisers live and rare cat numbers 303562 and se303562 ( a so called Special Edition)

        • Philip Cohen says:

          Yes, the four CD’s released by the German “Fox” label were “The Hard Rock Tapes”, “Only The Best”, “Sweet Complete” & “Sweet Previously unreleased Tracks + Versions”, and these discs combined 1968-1977 material with some re-makes by “Andy Scott’s Sweet”. The contents of these four discs overlapped so heavily, that, removing all the repeated tracks, I re-compiled the material into a 2-CD set. Clearly, the “Fox” label had access to a limited quantity of tapes. It was never entirely clear whether these discs were entirely legitimate or not. The overall sound quality was fine, but the live concert tracks(the same mixes/versions as on the original “Strung Up” album) obviously ran faster than the correct speed.
          Such is the confusion over which Sweet discs are or aren’t legitimate, that at one point Andy Scott sued a CD dealer in Germany for selling ONE CD(Yes, one copy of one disc) that Scott deemed to be a bootleg, but Scott was mistaken. The disc was legal, and the dealer sued Scott and Scott was ordered to pay out substantial damages.

  19. Peter Webb says:

    Have been a Sweet fan since early 70s so had to have this box set and really looking forward to it. I would have thought they may have been on orange vinyl as the the label they were on were this colour. Hopefully there will be a polydor box in red vinyl later

  20. Keith Lambert says:

    As someone pointed out above, the photos of the box on Amazon indicate different content, including the ‘Level Headed’ album which was released by Polydor/Capitol right? Accepted that it’s probably just a mock-up for marketing purposes but curious even so…..

    I’m interested in this but I think I will defer until I’ve heard some reports relating to the SQ.

  21. Clive Griffiths says:

    A box set of all the RCA Singles, with the European Picture Sleeves, and two bonus Singles not released in Europe, ‘Rebel Rouser’ and ‘4th of July’ would have been a better release.

  22. Jim Galvin says:

    Listening to my set now, terrible pressings. The Music is crystal clear and probably from digital masters but the vinyl itself is terrible. Pops & clicks all over the place and I cleaned them before playing. Each album has singles bonus tracks which is great. I’d like to get this set on CD if it comes out as well.

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