Sweet – Desolation Boulevard: #345 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Sweet - Desolation Boulevard

So why is Sweet’s Desolation Boulevard on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

Now that I’ve written more than 650 of these entries or articles or whatever you want to call them for this here best 1,000 albums ever project, one of the most challenging things is creating a good introduction, or hook. You know, this part here that you’re reading right now.

Usually, once I figure out a good hook into the piece, the rest more or less writes itself.

With Desolation Boulevard, I was casually researching and just happened to google “Ballroom Blitz” to see what might come up. And that’s when I was rewarded with this wonderful gem-meets-insanely great time capsule of Pop Culture Lore.

It’s Sweet performing “Ballroom Blitz” on the German TV Show Silvester-Tanzparty – which is no doubt the greatest name for a German TV show of all time – on New Year’s Eve, 1974.

It’s so many things at the same time, really, with relation to this mid-1970s rock classic: it’s kind of Peak Glam Rock, Peak Mid-‘70s Awful Hair Styles That Somehow Become All the More Cool For It, and then add in a Dazed and Confused meets Germanic About To Be Disco Abba Vibe in terms of the crowd.

And that’s not even getting to lead singer Brian Connolly’s Admiral of Glam outfit.

Also, it shouldn’t get lost that “Ballroom Blitz” is Peak Awesome. What an exuberant unique rollercoaster fun ride of a song.

The rest of Desolation Boulevard is very much bursting with the same spirit. I’m a huge fan of “Fox On the Run,” which brings an Electric Light Orchestra-level vibe into the mix, and the vocals here are just fantastic.

“Into the Night” gives us some pretty… well, sweet power ‘70s guitar rock. During the research phase for the best 1,000 albums ever project, I simply jotted down hell yeah next to this song, which if you know me at all, is high praise indeed.

Pop culture stuff that has something to do with Sweet’s Desolation Boulevard

My own history with Sweet and, more specifically, “Ballroom Blitz,” ties directly to two pop culture artifacts from my childhood. The first is the iconic line, “she thinks she’s the passionate one” getting dropped into the Beastie Boys’ “Hey Ladies,” off of the sample-packed classic, Paul’s Boutique. And the second is the extensive use of the song – a cover by co-star Tia Carrere – in the first Wayne’s World movie.

Some stats & info about Sweet – Desolation Boulevard

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? British Bands, Rock Music, Hard Rock, Glam Rock  
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
  • When was Desolation Boulevard released? 1974
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #345 out of 1,000

Sweet’s Desolation Boulevard on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Sweet’s Desolation Boulevard that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

And the man in the back said, “everyone attack!” And it turned into a ballroom blitz.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.