Sweet – Fox On The Run

9th March 2021 · 1970s, 1975, Glam, Music

This was the 14th single by The Sweet – or ‘Sweet’ as they had just become – and the first to be written by the band themselves.

It brought an end to their hugely successful partnership with Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn who managed the band, wrote the hits and, together with Rak Records boss Mickie Most, created their Glam image. They also parted company with producer Phil Wainman and produced this themselves.

It turned out they didn’t need Glam’s premier hitmakers any more – the song was still great, and it still went to no.2 in the charts in 1975.

If Brian Connolly’s vocals sound different, it’s because the singer had severely injured his throat in a brawl in Staines High Street during sessions for their second album, Sweeet Fanny Adams.

The damage limited his range permanently but also brought a rougher, rawer quality to his voice that’s heard to good effect here.

Fox On The Run is supposedly written about one of the band’s groupies (the “fox” of the title) and the but let’s not dwell on that; let’s just enjoy the tune.
The original version, which is much longer, crunchier and rockier – and features a great guitar solo by Andy Scott – was produced by Chapman and appeared on The Sweet’s third album Desolation Boulevard.

The hit single that followed features a prominent synth part (played by Scott) and was produced by the band themselves, giving it quite a different feel, and sound.

I have to say I prefer the original myself. And I prefer the ChinniChap hits to their own stuff, which tended towards a kind of metal-lite with harmonies and reminded me of Queen. But it’s understandable that they would wish to strike out on their own.