Running very late, Connolly turned up and the track "Sharontina" was recorded, but would not be released until Torpey's 1998 album, "Sweeter". Connolly's chronic alcohol abuse further compromised his role with the band as his voice began showing the impact in recordings and on stage during Sweet's 1978 US tour. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. 1 single; Johnny Marr started rehearsing with the Pretenders; Roger Daltrey announced the Who were re-forming; Beatles fans snapped up the group's co-written autobiography; and Temptations co-founder Eddie Kendricks passed away in Birmingham, Ala., Today in Music History. His band sold over 50 million records, but he fell from grace and ultimately couldn't capitalise on the recent renewed interest in all things glitter. He died on February 14, 2002, in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England. He was 52. This was to be a trial run, to see if a full reunion and new album could be arranged, for America's MCA Records. He died less than three years after Taggart star McManus was killed by liver failure at the age of 59. The Home Counties were a hotbed of musical talent and Connolly soon replaced Ian Gillan (later with Deep Purple) in a Harrow-based cover band called Wainwright's Gentlemen. What they said about him. In 2013, Connolly's son, Brian Jr., competed in the television talent show The X Factor. Connolly went back to England and his band appeared on The Bob Downe Christmas Show, on 18 December 1990. In 1968, along with the drummer Mick Tucker and bass-player Steve Priest, Connolly formed the psychedically named Sweetshop. Brian Connolly, singer and songwriter: born Hamilton, Lanarkshire 5 October 1945; married (two daughters; marriage dissolved; one son by Jean Dibble); died Slough 10 February 1997. By 1985, Connolly had sobered up, and he toured in a revamped version of the band, called The New Sweet, then later Brian Connolly’s Sweet. It was issued as Connolly's first solo single during 1980, by Polydor. His departure was not made public until March 1979. Born in Hamilton, Scotland, he was best known as the lead singer and founding member of the British rock band, "The Sweet". His most successful concerts were annual appearances in West Germany, before and after Germany's reunification. Connolly's final concert was at the Bristol Hippodrome on 5 December 1996, with Slade II and John Rossall's Glitter Band Experience. Brian Francis Connolly (5 October 1945 – 9 February 1997) was a British musician, best known as the lead singer of the British rock band Sweet. Brian Connolly, singer and songwriter: born Hamilton, Lanarkshire 5 October 1945; married (two daughters; marriage dissolved; one son by Jean Dibble); died Slough 10 February 1997. You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. One of the tracks "Take Away The Music" was re-recorded the following year, with then Polydor producer Pip Williams, at the Marquee Studios, in London. It’s the same as his Scots father, the lead singer of 1970s glam rock superstars Sweet, who tragically died 16 years ago. He is best known as a member of the British glam rock band The Sweet from 1968 to 1979. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. The band's most famous line-up consisted of bassist Steve, lead vocalist Brian Connolly, guitarist Andy Scott and drummer Mick Tucker. Further to recent questions and enquiries from Sweet fans and friends, I write to confirm the thoughts of the family on the use of the name ‘BC Sweet’ or ‘Brian Connolly Sweet’ or ‘Brian Connolly’ or any variation thereof by the musicians who worked with my father in the months preceding his death. He pursued a solo career to get into country music, released the album "Let's Go", which was only semi successful. The guitarist Andy Scott and Connolly were at loggerheads, with the singer convinced that the rest of the band had recorded backing tracks in a key he patently couldn't reach. The Sweet perform live on stage at Hilversum, Netherlands circa 1974 L-R Andy Scott, Mick Tucker, Brian Connolly, Steve Priest (Image: Redferns). Based on a wailing siren and a classic guitar riff (very similar to David Bowie's "Jean Genie", which also came out on RCA in January 1973), the song reached No 1. In 1990, he reunited with the original Sweet line-up for the promotion of a music video documentary in London at Tower Records. Torpey subsequently invited Connolly to go into the recording studio with him, as an informal project. By mid- to late 1979 he had recorded a few new tracks at Chipping Norton Recording Studios, in Oxfordshire, with the assistance of friend and producer Mick Angus. His death on Thursday morning, the cause of which is not yet known, was announced by … Brian Francis Connolly (5 October 1945 – 9 or 10 February 1997) was a Scottish singer-songwriter, musician and actor. During this time Connolly recorded a dozen or so new tracks. He was also survived by his ex-wife, Marilyn, and his two-year-old son Brian (born 26 May 1995) with girlfriend Jean. Steve Priest, the original bass guitarist and backup vocalist for the glam rock band the Sweet, died June 4, 2020, at 72. His partner Jean, whom he had met a few years earlier, gave birth to a son that year. As the band's lead singer, he performed hit singles such as "Little Willy" (1972), "Wig-Wam Bam" (1972), "Block Buster!" Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. Tia Carrera's version of "Ballroom Blitz" became one of the highlights of the soundtrack of the 1992 film Wayne's World. Connolly developed a significant problem with alcoholism in the mid-1970s. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. Just as punk was discovering its glitter roots (the Damned toured with Marc Bolan and T-Rex and later recorded "Ballroom Blitz"), Sweet were playing the tax exiles, taking drugs and drinking while recording in France and Germany ("Give us a Wink" proved the double entendres were starting to wear thin). You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. Soon, with Sweet making numerous television appearances covered in glitter, make-up and warpaint, the rest of Europe and the United States fell for simplistic ditties like "Little Willy" and "Wig Wam Bam". In 1979, Connolly left to attempt a solo career (his single "Hypnotised" didn't set the charts alight) and the others soldiered on for three years without ever recovering their former status. Connolly, lead singer with 70s glam rock group Sweet, suffered kidney failure on Sunday night. But the group already felt trapped in a gimmicky image which didn't quite match their musical ambitions. Connolly died around midnight of 9â10 February 1997, due to kidney failure, liver failure and repeated heart attacks. The identity of his father was never made public and his mother was a teenage waitress, Frances Connolly, who left him in a Glasgow hospital as an infant whilst he was possibly suffering from meningitis. and "Teenage Rampage" provoked many a stampede towards crowded dancefloors and Sweet's saucy stage antics earned them a ban from the Mecca night-club circuit. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. The Sweet in 1976: L-R Steve Priest, Andy Scott, Brian Connolly and Mick Tucker (Image credit: Michael Putland \/ Getty Images) “We were like four dissipated old whores, mincing about on Top Of The Pops and churning out computerised pop, just being as flash as assholes. In 1995, Connolly released a new album, Let's Go, backed up with merchandising. The similarly raucous intros to "Hellraiser", "Ballroom Blitz" (complete with Brian enquiring "Are you ready, Steve, Mick, Andy?") On 28 July 1973, he married his first wife, Pauline, at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Ruislip, Middlesex. As time progressed issues between Connolly and other members of Sweet developed and he would find the band excluding him from decisions. It was unveiled on 9 February 2000. On 2 November 1996, British TV network Channel 4 aired a programme Don't Leave Me This Way, which examined Connolly's time as a pop star with The Sweet, the subsequent decline in the band's popularity, and the impact on the band members. Brian passed away in a hospital in Slough, Berkshire, late on February 9th … He also performed in Bahrain. Andy Scott is the main man behind The Sweet, the legendary 1970s glam rock outfit which gave us hits like Fox on the Run, Ballroom Blitz and the likes. Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? Connolly's family and friends were at his bedside in a Berkshire hospital when he died. On his discharge from the Merchant Navy in 1963 he returned to Harefield and played in a number of local bands, including Generation X (not to be confused with the punk rock band from the late 70s, fronted by Billy Idol) from mid-1965 until about October 1966. After dominating the charts in the UK during the height of the glitter rock era, the band had been on a devastating downward spiral ever since. However, during the very long flight to Australia, Connolly's health had suffered and he was hospitalised temporarily in Adelaide Hospital, ostensibly for dehydration and related problems. He died age 51 in Slough, England. Personal life. Songs played included "Windy City", "Fox on the Run", "Hypnotized" and new numbers, "Sick and Tired", "Red Hair Rage" and "Burning The Candle". Andy talked to The Rocktologist about former glories and future plans. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? The music business is full of rags-to-riches stories. Sweet missed out on a support slot with The Who at Charlton Football Ground in the mid-Seventies which could have confirmed their move towards a more credible status. Whatever the truth behind their common lineage, he and Mark McManus both later admitted their resemblance to each other was uncanny.) The original lineup of the Sweet consisted of Tucker, vocalist Brian Connolly, guitarist Frank Torpey and bassist Steve Priest. (Rumours persisted that his father was "Mark's dad. He played his last British show with the classic Sweet line-up at Hammersmith Odeon, London on 24 February 1978. She also informed him that he had a living brother and sister, whom he met up with in England. , Connolly was born in 1945 in Govanhill, Glasgow. Gigs, big ones, were blown by his sloppy, tragic performances. In 1982 with his Polydor contract having expired, Connolly signed with French independent label, Carrere Records.  This single is also included on the Polydor Germany "High Life" compilation album from 1980. Tucker and Connolly left Wainwright's Gentlemen in late 1967 and recruited guitarist Frank Torpey, and bassist Steve Priest, naming their new band The Sweetshop. After this, Connolly was propelled into the limelight, with many appearances on Top of the Pops, with the other members of the Sweet. An aunt in Ontario, Canada, revealed that Connolly's true birth mother had died in 1989. Connolly sold his house to pay his share of the tax bill. On the eve of releasing their debut single, Slow Motion, in July 1968, the band shortened their name to The Sweet. By this time, Connolly had healed the differences with Steve Priest and Mick Tucker, and was invited to the wedding of Priest's eldest daughter, Lisa. His mother Jean married and now lives with a former band member, Glenn Williams, in Spain.. Still clinging to his memorabilia and his dyed blond hair, the vocalist appeared as a shadow of his former self, shaking constantly and walking with a limp. The band and Connolly also played two other dates for the Benatar tour in Birmingham and Newcastle. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Unfortunately, both the Level Headed (1978) and Cut Above the Rest (1979) albums flopped and the musicians argued more than ever. This time there was little more that could be done. The Inland Revenue served Connolly and the other members of the Sweet with a multimillion-pound tax assessment for the income earned from their hit records. Connolly returned to The New Sweet. Summary. Connolly and his band continued to tour, both in the UK and Europe. In 1995 Brian entered the studio to re-record an album of Sweet hits and at the time of his death, was talking about reforming the original band for a large concert next year to celebrate their 30th anniversary. By the late Eighties, Andy Scott and Connolly were both touring with rival versions of Sweet and couldn't bury the hatchet to take advantage of the lucrative reformation offers which came to them from Germany and Japan. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. During January 1997, Connolly had another heart attack and he was hospitalised in Slough. The Chapman-produced reunion floundered quickly due to problems with Connolly's voice. The band formed in 1968 as Sweetshop and went on to become Sweet - one of Britain's most successful bands of the next decade. Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. The cause of death … Tweet. "It is with a heavy heart that we announce at 8:25am PT today, Steve Priest, founding member of The Sweet, passed away. Create a commenting name to join the debate, There are no Independent Premium comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts, There are no comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. Fans organised a memorial concert for Connolly at the Camden Palace in London on 11 October 1998. Brian Francis Connolly (5 October 1945 – 9 or 10 February 1997) was a Scottish-born singer-songwriter, musician and actor, best known as the lead singer between 1968 and 1979 of the British glam rock band The Sweet. Obituary of Brian D Connolly Brain D Connolly, 57, of Peabody, died Thursday evening at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers with his family by his side following a yearlong courageous battle with cancer. It was felt at the time that Connolly's health was sufficient reason for the tour not to be extended, and some of the later planned dates were abandoned. In 1981, the year the remaining three decided to disband, Connolly was rushed to hospital, where he suffered 14 cardiac arrests in 24 hours. At the private function, for which Priest specially flew back to England, Priest and Connolly performed together. Connolly had reportedly stopped drinking in 1985, but separated from his wife Marilyn, divorcing in 1986. He visited other countries including Denmark, and continued to perform sporadically in the UK. During the early 1990s, Connolly played the European "oldies" circuit and occasional outdoor festivals in Europe with his band. The group recorded four tracks but these were not commercially released. Money was raised for a plaque dedicated to Connolly at Breakspear Crematorium, Breakspear Road, Ruislip, Middlesex. I think Mark was my half-brother." Connolly has credited the Everly Brothers as being his earliest musical influence. Legal problems continued over use of the Sweet name between Connolly and Andy Scott. A Fandango cover, the track was released in Europe with wide distribution by RCA but failed to chart. After news of his leaving Sweet broke, Connolly was interviewed by the German music magazine Bravo, in which he said he was taking time off to be with his family, and considering a new musical direction (countrified rock). While he later found love, Connolly died at 51 in 1997 after a series of heart attacks. The Sweet were formed in … Pop singer Brian Connolly dead Tuesday 11 February 1997 01:02 Brian Connolly, the once-hard-living singer of 1970s glam rock band, The Sweet, died early today, aged 52, a … As for other members of The Sweet, Brian Connolly had been a carpet fitter, Mick Tucker a motor mechanic and Steve Priest had worked in a solicitor’s office. He was married twice: to Pauline until her death in 1979, and to Janet until his death. He was 51 years old.. Again the track failed to make an impact. Also in 1979 was Connolly's first major appearance since leaving the Sweet, at the Bravo Super Disco '79 event, held at the Olympiahalle in Munich on 22 June. Sweet were made up of four members, the other two being lead singer Brian Connolly and Andy Scott, who was also on vocals, keyboard and guitar. These problems were most likely related to Connolly's excessive alcohol consumption and heavy smoking, coupled with the use of prescription diuretic medicine. Lead singer Brian Connolly’s rampant alcoholism was hastening their doom. Formed in London in 1968, and originally called Sweetshop, they went on to achieve their first hit in 1971 with Funny Funny. Pretty soon, "Funny Funny", "Co-Co" and "Poppa Joe" were nudging into the British charts. After a week in hospital, he discharged himself, but he had to be readmitted the following week. During January 1983, Connolly supported Pat Benatar for three shows including one at Hammersmith Odeon, London. By July 1990, plans were made for Connolly and his band to tour Australia. He was 51. After a week in hospital he discharged himself, but had to be readmitted the following week. Born in Hamilton, near Glasgow, in 1949, Connolly was probably the half- brother of the actor Mark McManus (who played the Scottish television detective Taggart). According to Torpey, Connolly was seeking a German recording deal. Several songs on the Sweet Fanny Adams album had to be sung by other members of the band. These three tracks are available on a bootleg 7" single and CD.  Connolly was the adoptive brother of Mark McManus of Taggart fame.. He was the beloved husband of Heidi (Brown) Connolly with whom he shared over 28 years of marriage. Connolly and Sweet parted company in 1979. In 1981, Connolly was admitted to hospital with bloating, and he sustained multiple heart attacks. In 1988, Connolly reunited in Los Angeles, California, with former band members Mick Tucker, Steve Priest and Andy Scott, to rework studio versions of "Action" and "The Ballroom Blitz". Plans suffered a small setback on 22 March 1992, when a heavy-duty tape recorder was stolen from the band's van whilst at a gig in the Bristol Hippodrome with Mud. Carrere then released the hard-rock single "Hypnotized", written by Joe Lynn Turner. In his mid-teens he joined the Merchant Navy, and got a tiger's head tattooed on his right arm during his Navy service. (L-R) Andy Scott, Mick Tucker, Brian Connolly and Steve Priest. Photograph: Cine Text / Allstar/Sportsphoto Ltd. / Allstar Steve Priest, bassist and vocalist with glam rock band the … The Sweet Fanny Adams (1974) and Desolation Boulevard (1974) albums were full of the band's own compositions (the infectious "Fox on the Run" - a million-seller in the United States - and the catchy "Action" later covered by Def Leppard) and heralded a rather successful change of style. The lineup featured Connolly on vocals, Chris Eldridge and Lee Mordecai on guitars, Mark Conway (bass) and drummer Martin Lass. Two years later, the group changed its name to the Sweet. His final live performance with the band was in July 1978 in Florida, US, when they supported Alice Cooper. They recorded a further three unsuccessful singles; Andy Scott joined the line-up in late 1970, just before the release of their first hit single "Funny, Funny." Brian Connolly and Mick Tucker as part of "Wainwright's Gentlemen", Learn how and when to remove these template messages, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Son of Scots rock legend is looking to follow in his dad's footsteps", "Sweet: The Sweet Soft Underbelly of Rock", "Sparks vs. Sweet: The Battle for Britain", Brian Connolly in thedeadrockstarsclub.com, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Brian_Connolly&oldid=991221807, Articles with a promotional tone from April 2019, Wikipedia articles with style issues from April 2019, Articles needing additional references from June 2020, All articles needing additional references, Articles lacking in-text citations from June 2020, Articles with multiple maintenance issues, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, "Take Away the Music" b/w "Alabama Man" (1980) â, "Don't You Know a Lady" b/w "Phone You"(1980) â Polydor Records, Closed (Belgian psychedelic band) â guide vocals on "My Little Girl From Kentucky" and "Spider", This page was last edited on 28 November 2020, at 23:07. In a bid to bridge the gap between the successful hits and the hard- rocking B-sides the band had always written, Chinn and Chapman came up with the riotous "Blockbuster". Priest, who was born in England and lived in Los Angeles, had been performing with his own edition of Sweet in recent years. This event also meant the band missed out on supporting The Who at Charlton Athletic Football Ground. It was 1981, and things were not looking good for The Sweet. A number of dates were planned, with the tour starting in Adelaide, and proceeded during November. Connolly formed another band in 1984 and called it The New Sweet, later renaming it Brian Connolly’s Sweet. Connolly studied to become an engineer but music was more of an attraction for a youngster keen to make his mark on the world. American success also came at a price; Kiss virtually borrowed Sweet's sound and look wholesale, adding even more gimmicks and eventually stealing the British group's thunder. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more. Signing with RCA the following year, the band hooked up with the producer Phil Wainman and songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, who immediately came up with a poppy, lightweight formula not dissimilar to Mungo Jerry and Middle of the Road. Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. This time there was little more that could be done. The New Sweet became Brian Connolly's Sweet and Andy Scott's version became Andy Scott's Sweet. In 1974, Connolly was badly beaten after leaving a nightclub in Staines where he received several kicks to his throat resulting in his being unable to sing for some time and permanently losing some of his vocal range. He only came to life when appearing on stage at Butlin's to sing "Blockbuster". Brian Connolly, the blond lead singer with the Seventies glam-rockers Sweet, saw both sides of the coin. It contained demos of four new songs, totaling about 20 mixes. Connolly eventually replaced singer Ian Gillan (later of Deep Purple fame) in a band called Wainwright's Gentlemen, which included drummer Mick Tucker. Connolly's Encore, included most of the members of Verity (fronted by ex-Argent guitarist John Verity) and Terry Uttley, bass player from Smokie. The Sweet recently released an album of covers, called New York Connection. Steve Priest, founder and bass guitarist in rock band, The Sweet, has died aged 72. He occasionally played in exotic locations like Bahrain and Dubai, but his version of Sweet mainly eked out a living appearing at festivals, resorts (embarrassingly, Butlins holiday camps), and small clubs. Brian Connolly was born; Olivia Newton-John had her first U.S. No. Brian Francis Connolly (5 October 1945 â 9 or 10 February 1997) was a Scottish-born singer-songwriter, musician and actor, best known as the lead singer between 1968 and 1979 of the British glam rock band The Sweet. In 1994, Connolly and his band played in Dubai. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? and was cremated after a ceremony at Most Holy Name Roman Catholic Church at Old Mill Road, Denham, Buckinghamshire. In something of a truce, both parties agreed to distinguish their group's name to help promoters and fans. In 1995, Jean succeeded in locating Connolly's biological family. After inadvertently discovering his lineage, he eventually reverted to the name Connolly. The young Brian was fostered by the McManus family, having been abandoned by his mother as a baby; however, when he moved to Middlesex in his teens, he dropped the surname McManus in favour of Connolly. The show revealed Connolly's ill health, but also that he was continuing with his concert dates at Butlins, where Connolly and his band had appeared a number of times on tour during the early 1990s. His ashes were scattered over the water by his daughters Nicola and Michelle. The original plan was to have a completed album out by August 1983, but this never materialised. He checked himself out of the hospital and died of renal failure the following month, on February 9 at the age of 51. Show 0 … Connolly's next release was "Don't You Know A Lady", composed by Roger Greenaway, was also recorded by British four-piece band Brooks shortly after Connolly's release. The "Old Sweet" material are new recordings. Brian Connolly died late on the evening from renal failure, liver failure and repeated heart attacks, attributed to his previous chronic alcoholism.