The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Friday, April 17, 2009

Rachel Sweet




4-17-09 Rachel Sweet


LP AND THEN HE KISSED ME COLUMBIA US ARC 37077

1981 9 TRKS

7" B-A-B-Y / SUSPENDED ANIMATION STIFF JPN VIP-2710

1979 2 TRKS with pic sleeve (BUY 39)

7" B-A-B-Y / WILDWOOD SALOON STIFF US 1-11100

1978 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7" BABY, LET'S PLAY HOUSE / WILDWOOD SALOON (LIVE) STIFF DE 6.12658

1979 2 TRKS with pic sleeve (BUY 55)

LP BLAME IT ON LOVE COLUMBIA US FC 38342

1982 10 TRKS

LP FOOL AROUND STIFF JPN VIP-6612

1979 11 TRKS insert (UK version)

LP FOOL AROUND STIFF/EPIC US JC 36101

1979 11 TRKS U.S. version

LP FOOL AROUND STIFF UK SEEZ 12

1979 11 TRKS white vinyl

CD FOOL AROUND - THE BEST OF RHINO US R2 70313

1992 20 TRK Collection

CD FOOL AROUND kami JVC JPN VICP-63349

1979 16 TRKS ('06 issue) kami sleeve (5 x bonus tracks)

7" FOOL'S GOLD / I'VE GOT A REASON STIFF UK BUY 67

1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

12" HAIRSPRAY promo MCA US L33-17513

1988 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

7" I GO TO PIECES / SUSPENDED ANIMATION STIFF US 1-11052

1978 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7" I GO TO PIECES / WHO DOES LISA LIKE STIFF UK BUY 44

1979 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

LP PROTECT THE INNOCENT STIFF UK SEEZ 18

1980 12 TRKS

7" SPELLBOUND / LOVER'S LANE STIFF UK BUY 80

1980 2 TRKS with pic sleeve


She was born in 1962, so roughly 4 years younger than me, and 17 years old when her debut album “Fool Around” came out. I did not immediately warm to many Stiff label acts, at that time. But I liked the writing (a bit like Lene Lovich, but a little more ‘fun’). When a show got scheduled at The Whisky A-Go-Go, I got tickets and went. I think her band was Fingerprintz. Maybe she was even the opening act for a group I didn’t really want to see…999, perhaps?


I really only ever did “Fool Around”, but I got all of her later releases on LP in the bargain bin. Me & my friends were all delighted when she sang the title song for the John Waters film “Hairspray”! And when I saw that JVC Japan did a little paper album cover CD for the UK version of “Fool Around” (with bonus tracks), I went for it!


My fandom of “Fool Around” remains untarnished, 30 years hence. “It’s So Different Here” is such an amazing song. “Cuckoo Clock” still makes me laugh. Why wasn’t “Who Does Lisa Like?” a big hit? Did they really change the lyrics of it for the US? Two different versions? Why don’t I have a 45 of it?


Thanks for the music, Ms. Sweet. We hope to see you again one day.


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7 Comments:

Blogger Trip Aldredge said...

she had a couple of great pre-Stiff country singles (on Derrick, I believe) that I once owned.,

6:29 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

My story is very similar. Love for "Fool Around," later LPs + singles. I have the 1991 Repertoire GER CD of "Fool Around" from their big blast of Stiff releases on CD (I still need Jona Lewie's "Heart Skips Beat" from this period...). It also has 5 bonus tracks... but what's this? The running order (once I check this out) is different from the UK Stiff LP (White Vinyl) which I also have. I can't remember buying this LP. Was it my wife's record? Possibly. She's also from Akron so maybe it was a local talent makes good thing.

I also have a few later $1 albums which I don't remember buying either. These I think my wife bought at garage sales. But I did buy the 7" singles I have. Definitely. I had never heard Rachel Sweet back in the day, but was curious when "Fool Around" came out on CD in '91 so I tried it. And liked it a lot! At the same time, the visual vibe of the later LPs keeps me from listening to them. One day, perhaps.

And yes, "It's So Different Here" is an exceptional song.

6:30 AM  
Blogger chas_m said...

Ah, the jailbait queen who gave Stiff a naughty name!

Her marketing was entirely built around her age plus the phenomenal "house band" (the Records) that supported her, but dash it all I still love this record!

She was a mere 15 when B-A-B-Y came out, but I always thought "Who Does Lisa Like?" was an instant classic -- and though it may not have charted, it was played regularly on my show back in the day, particularly after I got the "Stiff Box Set."

4:34 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Ah, yes. Sue confirms it was her copy of "Fool Around" on the racks.

5:15 AM  
Blogger john said...

would love to have Rachel record again. I still love and listen to her music. John

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rachel Sweet's almost complete disappearance is one of rock music's biggest, and most inexplicable, mysteries. She had it all. She was gaining more control over her work ("Blame It On Love") and had she hung around, she'd have attained the success she deserved.
It seems less and less likely as time passes that Rachel Sweet will ever return, although we will continue to hope. (Even an interview would be great!) Sweet probably has no idea how much her and her music have meant to so many people for so long now...
She was truly great.

12:54 AM  
Blogger Hannes A. Jónsson said...

For the past 15-20 years she has co-produced sitcoms such as "Dharma & Greg" and "Hot in Cleveland". Occasionally, on some later episodes of "D&G" she did some singing as well. Recently RPM/Cherry Red put out a "Complete Stiff Recordings" double CD. Needless to say, it is excellent.

6:52 AM  

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