My Top 1000 Songs #227: Action

Did 70s UK pop/glam/hard rock act Sweet produce some of the greatest songs in the history of rock & roll?

Of course not. Don't be absurd.

But as the band that played one of the largest roles in sucking me in to a lifetime of musical obsession, they're gonna find their way into this list for purely personal reasons.

As I've described at length (both here and in my book--hey, have you checked out my book yet??), the band's 1975 single "Fox On The Run" was one of the first songs I got really into when I first discovered pop music as a 9-year-old kid with a handheld transistor radio, listening to Chicago Top 40 station WLS-AM up in my room after school for hours and hours, perched with a tape recorder next to the radio to commit every new song to a cheap cassette. Their LP Desolation Boulevard was the first album I ever bought with my own money.

But the song I really loved was "Action," from 1976's Give Us A Wink. It still retained the band's bubblegum pop charm, but amped up the energy, from the locomotive propulsion of the drums to the killer hook & infectious chorus to the testosterone vocals and interwoven harmonies. For a nerdy, unpopular, pre-adolescent kid, it was the perfect distillation of the visceral thrill I was getting from rock music.

In contrast to "Fox on the Run," where the single version was infinitely better than the much less catchy album version, the slightly longer LP version of "Action," with the slow-building synth intro, beats out the abbreviated single: