Repertoire 1993 / Angel Air 2013
Hidden agenda of the SWEET guitarist sees a string of hits and misses with a high memorability quotient.
One could bet it’d be Brian Connolly to shoot outside of the quartet he found fame with, yet Andy Scott beat him to it, in 1975, with his own version of the “Desolation Boulevard” ballad “Lady Starlight” which sits in the heart of this collection. Today, the axeman may not value it high enough to have included in the live version of the album, even though it gave him confidence to go solo between 1983, when SWEET dissipated, and 1985, when Scott revived the band to rock on-stage harder than ever. That might well be the compensation for a pop idol stance he took with a plastic groove behind most of the cuts that, albeit possessed of a certain charm – in the “Owner Of The Lonely Heart” vein – more often than not sound dated.
Such is “Krugerrands”: a prime example of riffing amid the synthetic dabs, it hit the Top 10 in Australia and South Africa and its instrumental mix, “Krugerrmental” (also present here) was turned by Lene Lovich into “Wonderland,” even though it can’t rival the demo of “Where D’ya Go,” a sequel of sorts to “The Six Teens,” for the flamenco-colored catchiness. It seeps also into the twang of “Ulysses” and jars in the repetitive likes of “Safety Net.” Likewise, with its false orchestra, “Gotta See Jane,” a Motown chestnut released by Andy under the LADDERS name, transcends the dreadful ’80s template that masks a shredding solo in “Let Her Dance” and drowns the heaviness of “Never Too Young” that sees the guitarist rap, and not in a hardcore way.
Scattered throughout are many promising bits and pieces that could have been used later on for SWEET or rearranged more organically, yet their author discarded these altogether – and maybe for good.