Week 9: Sweet Sadness
This post is dedicated to our pal Doc Okeh over at And It Don’t Stop. Today is a very special day and it would be nice if you would join me in wishing him a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
We have both been looking for this album forever (well, several months anyway)! Well, when it rains it pours because first I tracked it down. And then as I was preparing a link, JazzyPier emails me a link to his rip! Then faithful reader Uriel ordered a copy! Hopefully he was able to cancel his order in time. Whew! See what you put us through, Doc?
Sweet Sensation (not to be confused with the 80’s female pop-dance group of the same name) was a British soul band out of Manchester, England. They are best known for their hit single, Sad Sweet Dreamer, a beautiful ballad that strikes a deep chord with me, much like Foster Sylver’s Misdemeanor does, in that I have to play it at least 5 times in a row before I can move to the next track. There is something heartbreakingly innocent and, well, sweet about it.
I love the contagious lyric “Sad sweet dreamer, it’s just one of those things you put down to experience!” Lead singer Marcel King’s soulful falsetto croons about missing his girl so much, he cries every night. His vocals crescendo with violins to a dramatic pause; then he falls back to a sweet coo again, as the background harmonies usher him in with “ooo-wah-wah-ooo-wah-wah-ooo”! Dammit I love this song! Marcel’s vocals remind me of Michael Jackson in his “Never Can Say Goodbye” days.
When I sent Doc this Youtube clip (uploaded by Wiggy), he contacted me the next day and said he could not stop playing it! Since then we have been obsessed about finding the full album. So you can imagine how stinkin’ happy we both are right now! 😀
OK, now go check out AMG’s bio for the full story on Sweet Sensations!
The band broke up in 1978, but lead singer Marcel King tried to resurrect a solo career in 1985 by going with a completely different sound. In 1991, with Donald Johnson (A Certain Ratio) and Bernard Sumner (New Order) he recorded “Reach For Love” on Factory Records, which failed to have any commercial success. I was actually able to track that song down and here it is! The song is actually not bad, in an 80’s kinda way!
Sadly, Marcel died of a brain hemorrhage on October 5, 1995 at the age of 38. The tragedy deepened two years later when his son Zeus, 19, was shot dead in an outbreak of gang warfare in South Manchester. Ironically, the album cover seems appropriate.
My other favorite tracks on the LP are “Yes Miss, No Miss”, “Purely By Coincidence” and “Mr. Cool”, which of course, is about Doc!
Never reissued on CD, but there are a couple of vinyl copies here.
NOTE: The story on Sweet Sensation just goes sadder and sadder – read this latest update!