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on 10 October 2003
The Pink Fairies second release, this album, while perhaps lacking the vast inventiveness of the first, Never Never Land album, is far more representative of the Fairies' live act — raw and highly energised. A pure rock album, with a couple of passing nods to the psychedelia of the time and of the first album's magnificent Uncle Harry's Last Freak Out, What A Bunch Of Sweeties gives us no nonsesnse rock, a few killer hooks and the staggering guitar prowess of Paul Rudolph.
The actual recording quality is low, and one assumes that the band spent a couple of days at most in the studio, but the raw talent of these three guys comes through again and again.
In many ways, predecessors to the punk generation, having evolved from Mick Farren's Deviants, the Fairies were very much a troubador outfit, living for life on the road and shunning the record industry. Unfortunately, despite their incredibly long career (incredible in that anything more than a year of that lifestyle is hard to believe) the Fairies were destined for obscurity and eaking out a meagre living. Despite this, bassist, Duncan Sanderson, and drummer, Russel Hunter, were still playing with the Fairies into the late seventies, with Rudolph's replacement, er... forgotten his name. Damn! And it was going so well...
Those who like British rock really must listen to this album. Highly recommended
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on 12 July 2011
Maybe not the best place to start with The Pinks. 'Sweeties' is very, very loose. 'Twink' - their main songwriter had gone after 'Never never land' (their debut and most experimental album) so it was down to guitarist Paul Rudolph to step up. Which he does by splurging loads of messy frenzied riffing over everything. A couple of crap skits notwithstanding, the real deal of 'What a bunch of sweeties' starts around the old side 2 - with a mental 'cover' of The Ventures 'Walk Don't Run' complete with a 'up to her room/hit me with a broom' lyrical couplet. It has a strange allure this album, and if you stick with it you'll get into the '72, mandies, stoner vibe. Get 'Never Never Land' first then the Larry Wallis punk out of 'Kings of Oblivion,' Then get this one.
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on 12 August 2004
Oh yes, 1972. You could barely go to an outdoor festival in those days and fail to see (or smell) the mighty Pink Fairies (even if they weren't on the official bill they were just as likely to set up their gear outside and create their own 'happening' for free). This sophomore effort was the album which almost brought them into the filthy capitalist mainstream due to it's top 40 placing, but Guitarist/Vocalist Paul Rudolph abruptly legged it soon after. This album is in much harder vein than it's predecessor (possibly due to blissed-out founder member Twink's absence) but just as crappily produced, but powerful songs such as Right On/Fight On maintained the band's alternative credentials whilst giving a foretaste of what was to come on the band's final L.P. - the proto-punk classic 'Kings Of Oblivion'. Their final album is by far the best of the three but this album has the most entertaining cover!. Polite message to Andy of previous review - Paul Rudolph did play bass for Hawkwind in 1976 on their awful 'Astounding Sounds & Amazing Music' album and Larry Wallis did play for Motorhead but left during the recording of their rejected debut album that was eventually released during Motorheadmania as 'On Parole'.
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on 15 September 2007
The Fairies 2nd outing and now reduced to a trio after the departure of drummer & founder-member Twink (who was in the groups Tommorow, Pretty Things and also a film with Norman Wisdom in it around '67/'68 and released a much under-rated album entitled "Think Pink". Twink that is, not Wisdom).
I seem to recall "WABOS" literally blowing up my speakers in the early 70's and the years have not diluted it's power either. The opening track is still a scorcher with Paul Rudolph wringing the last manic notes from his guitar. Add to this their inventive interpretation of the Ventures "Walk, Dont Run" and some deft programming of the CD play button and you have an over looked classic!
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on 20 December 2010
This album has never had the best sound quality but now they've given it the horrible modern Compressed treatment and it sound terrible.
And what about the booklet? It looks like they've googled for a few low resolution pictures and stuck them in there, the famous cartoon is unreadable.
Badly done.
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on 7 August 2002
This album was the soundtrack to my youth. From the moment the tinny drums burst into a rampaging beat on Right On, Fight On it became the reason caravans were wrecked and house parties trashed. Portobello Shuffle has the finest finish to any song ever. "Fair Enough" says the large-breasted woman on the cover. This album is better than sex, football and any drugs or alcohol.
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on 27 November 2014
I just love their cover of Walk Don't Run. Almost unrecognisable from the Ventures original; they have turned it into a blistering hard rock piece with a superb introduction and plenty of guitar riffs throughout; and what a bloody good job they made of that. Right on Fight On begins with a deliberate false start in the intro, then it gets going with a good toe-tapping groove. Marilyn takes a trip into psychedelia, with its extended spaced out soloing; but Pigs Of Uranus is just silly country metal and sounds like the band were clowning around a bit.
On the front cover, there are an assortment of what I imagine to be illegal substances among the rizlas and badges. Those lucky enough to own a copy of this on vinyl, like I do, will be able to read some interesting slogans on them such as "Do it; you can always get out on bail" and "I am the enemy of the state"; and there had to be a Pink Fairies badge on the cover as well.
"Sweeties" is their best record and proved popular enough with the fans to give the Fairies their only charting album in the UK, peaking at #48.
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on 5 November 1999
A weird, raw album of poorly-produced tracks with cheap recording equipment, but the energy and brilliance of Paul Rudolph's guitar work blazes through it all. Anybody who saw the Fairies live in the 70's / 80's would recognise the energy this album recreates.
STILL the best cover of 'Walk Don't Run' I've ever heard.
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on 7 July 2002
One of the great things about CDs is that (best?) forgotten classics like this are once again available to the gullible masses. This review is based on the original LP - the first 8 tracks listed above - that first hit the shops in 1972 where it may well have gone unnoticed amongst major releases from Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and another band called Pink...? It forms the middle part of what was never meant to be a trilogy that started with Never Never Land and closed with Kings Of Oblivion. The Faires were then known as an alternative band, a status that they tried to enhance by releasing albums that most people considered to be unplayable, and their sense of humour got the better of the record company (Polydor). Somebody, somewhere was very stoned! It's difficult to know whether 'Sweeties' was meant to be taken seriously, but at the time, I did. Right On, Fight On starts with an incomprehensible phone call that leads into an equally puzzling rhythm, and finishes with the worst backing vocals this side of Silver Machine (There may be a connection here; guitarist Paul Rudolph replaced Lemmy in Hawkwind when Lemmy joined up with a later Fairy, Larry Wallis, to form Motorhead.) Portobello Shuffle does exactly that, and efficiently too, although this is not a word that I would usually apply to Fairies tracks. Marilyn is a vehicle for a Russell Hunter drum solo, and contains one of the most blatant mistakes to find its way onto record, and Pigs of Uranus is a dirge that leads into a guitar workout that recalls the Hendrix fade out on Stepping Stone, which was one of his faster and looser numbers. Walk Don't Run was previously a hit for someone like The Shadows over ten years earlier - before rock'n'roll lost its innocence. The Fairies unwisely added a long introduction that almost overshadows the nimble instrumental section - you'll recognise the riff. I Went Up, I Went Down is not a song about an elevator! It's the track that the passage of time has been least kind to, and that's the kindest way of putting it. X-Ray is almost a perfect 3 minute pop song, and I Saw Her Standing There is a punk version of The Beatles' classic, recorded 5 years beofre anyone else realised that you didn't have to be oozing with musical talent to put a record out.
With the exception of I Went Up, I went Down, all the tracks rattle along at a foot-tapping pace, and have a big drum sound, whilst the guitar is interesting, busy if not very accomplished. The 'live' sound is unfortunately carried over to the vocals which seem to be delivered with some reluctance, which is understandable - we went into a room she hit me with a broom..... we danced until the music stopped and then we went into a fish and chip shop - and not to mention the subject matter of Marilyn. At least the content of Right On, Fight On is years ahead of its time in its environmental theme - they cover up the planet with crap just to make their bread, I'd like to give their face a slap for the sickness in their head - And there are some unusual, very deliberate tempo changes which might be the album's trade-mark. The original gate-fold cover was fun. It gave a good indication of what to expect on the disc inside.
It's not brilliant, most of the time it isn't even that funny, but I'll own up, when it came out I thought it was terrific, and it's only now that I see that The Fairies were tearing down a cul-de-sac, and laughing all the way at some personal joke at my expense. But at least they weren't laughing all the way to the bank, instead were probably happy to know that they weren't going to make a fortune or change the world, and it's that attitude that makes the LP stand out, if not outstanding.
If you choose to buy this CD you may come to regard it as one of the most interesting in your collection, but probably won't play it that often.
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on 27 December 2013
It was good after all these years to get this album, which is reputed to be one of their finest although they weren't much of a band to start off with.
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