Matthew Sweet Overview

Sidney Matthew Sweet (born October 6, 1964, in Lincoln, Nebraska) is an American United States alternative rock/power pop musician. He was part of the burgeoning Athens, Georgia Music of Athens, Georgia music scene in the early and mid-1980s before gaining commercial success during the early 1990s. He continues to release albums and tour.

 
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As a teenager in Lincoln, Sweet wrote and recorded songs on four-track cassettes, and in the ninth grade joined the band the Specs which resulted in his first recording on a battle of the bands LP produced by a local radio station. Sweet set off to Athens, Georgia in the early '80s after graduating from Lincoln Southeast High School in 1983 to attend college and join the vibrant Athens music scene Music of Athens, Georgia , most famous as the home base for R.E.M. and The B-52's. In 1983, Sweet collaborated with R.E.M. member Michael Stipe under the name Community Trolls as well as being in Stipe's sister Lynda Stipe's band Oh-OK, and that year also formed another band, Buzz of Delight.

In 1985, he was signed to a solo recording contract with Columbia Records. One album, Inside, was released by Columbia in 1986 to good reviews, but limited success.

Sweet was then picked up by A&M Records where he released his second album, Earth (1989), again without commercial success. This period marked a personal and professional low point for Sweet, as A&M lost interest and his marriage failed.

Sweet quickly recovered and formed a new band including Richard Lloyd Richard Lloyd (guitarist) , Robert Quine, Greg Leisz, Lloyd Cole, and Fred Maher. The new group spent 1990 assembling Sweet's next work, originally titled Nothing Lasts.In 1990, A&M released Sweet from his contract, and he signed with rival Zoo Entertainment. The album, still under construction, was retitled Girlfriend Girlfriend (album) and released in October 1991. This album featured a classic set of pop-rock songs, was considered by many to be an artistic breakthrough, and quickly garnered impressive U.S. sales (spawning a Top 10 single with the title track). The video for the title track was aired on MTV, MuchMusic and Night Tracks and features Japanese animation anime , of which Sweet is a fan. The animated clips in the video for "Girlfriend" are taken from the movie Space Adventure Cobra, and the video for "I've Been Waiting" uses clips of the Urusei Yatsura character Lum Invader, of whom Sweet has a tattoo.

Sweet's follow-up album, 1993's Altered Beast Altered Beast (album) , was borne out of an apparent determination not to become mainstream. A more diverse and less immediately accessible album than Girlfriend, the album divided fans and critics who had mixed reactions to emotionally intense and brooding tracks like "Someone to Pull the Trigger" and "Knowing People." A second single, "Time Capsule", became a music video classic directed by Douglas***eton. The highly conceptual work featured extreme closeups of Sweet singing while prone on the grass. As he performed, his body was slowly covered with cockroaches that ultimately wrapped his body with twine. The final shot showed him pinned to the ground in a literary homage to Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels".

In 1995, Sweet released 100% Fun. The album mixed bouncy pop style with darker lyrics, including a leadoff track, the self-deprecating "Sick of Myself." The track has been covered live by Jon Auer, co-frontman of fellow '90s power poppers The Posies, as well as by Death Cab for Cutie and Bowling for Soup.

After the release of 100% Fun, Matthew moved to California. Before this move he was known for his song creation which included pop hooks and frequent soloing by impressive sit in guitarists. When Matthew moved to California he stopped this form of song structure, and let the songs stand on their own without the presence of improvisational guitar work. His next album, Blue Sky on Mars delivered a much altered sound and was not as successful commercially.Decidedly out of the musical mainstream, Sweet would issue a few more albums in the second half of the decade and maintain a devoted core of fans, but critical acclaim and chart success would be hard to come by.

Sweet's international success had been somewhat limited by his fear of flying; however he gained a significant following in Japan and his 2003 album Kimi Ga Suki * Raifu, was initially a Japan-only release.

In early 2002, he formed the supergroup supergroup (music) The Thorns with Shawn Mullins and Pete Droge. He released a new album of solo material, Living Things Living Things (album) in late 2004, though the material on the album was recorded in 2002.

In April 2006 he partnered with Bangles The Bangles rhythm guitarist-vocalist Susanna Hoffs to release a collection of 1960's classics, titled Under the Covers, Vol. 1 featuring their take on such widely known '60s hits as "Monday, Monday" and "The Kids Are Alright The Kids Are Alright (song) ". The album represented a return to the accessible and melodic approach associated with Sweet's early breakthroughs.

Sweet's album, Sunshine Lies, was released on Shout! Factory on August 26, 2008. Accompanying the CD and download formats of the album is a 2-LP set featuring four previously unreleased songs.

On July 21, 2009, Sweet and Susanna Hoffs released their second collaboration Under the Covers, Vol. 2, which features covers of songs from the 1970s by such artists as Fleetwood Mac, Carly Simon, Yes Yes (band) , Todd Rundgren, and Rod Stewart.* Inside Inside (Matthew Sweet album) - Sony Records - 1986
* Earth Earth (Matthew Sweet album) - A&M Records - 1989
* Girlfriend Girlfriend (album) - Zoo Entertainment - 1991. Later re-released as a Legacy Edition.
* Altered Beast Altered Beast (album) - Zoo Entertainment - 1993
* Son of Altered Beast - Zoo Entertainment - 1994
* 100% Fun - Zoo Entertainment - 1995
* Blue Sky on Mars - Zoo Entertainment - 1997
* In Reverse - Volcano Records - 1999
* Time Capsule: Best of 90/00 - Volcano Records - 2000
* To Understand: The Early Recordings of Matthew Sweet - Hip-O Records - 2002
* Kimi Ga Suki - RCAM Records - 2003
* Living Things Living Things (album) - RCAM Records - 2004
* Under the Covers, Vol. 1 (with Susanna Hoffs) - Shout! Factory - 2006
* Sunshine Lies - Shout! Factory - 2008
* Under the Covers, Vol. 2 (with Susanna Hoffs) - Shout! Factory - 2009


Compilations

* Luxury Condos Coming to Your Neighborhood Soon - Coyote Records - 1985. Under the name "The Jacks," Sweet, Chris Stamey, and Don Dixon contributed a reworking of the dB's song, Ask for Jill, to this Hoboken anthology, with Sweet on lead vocals.
* Appears on benefit compilation No Alternative with his song Superdeformed.
* A cover of 'Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?', performed by Matthew Sweet, is included on the 1995 tribute album Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits, produced by Ralph Sall for MCA Records.
* Wild - 2007, from The Bigtop (soundtrack) (2008)*Sweet appears briefly as an extra walking by the camera in the film Terms of Endearment Terms of Endearment (film) .
*Sweet has contributed numerous tracks to compilations and soundtracks, ranging from the Carpenters tribute album If I Were A Carpenter If I Were a Carpenter (album) to covering Tom Petty's classic "American Girl" for the po***r 80's compilation High School Reunion - a tribute to those great 80's films, and to soundtracks for Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer (film) (song: "Silent City"), Brain Candy, The Baby-Sitters Club The Baby-Sitters Club (film) and Can't Hardly Wait, as well as "Superdeformed" to the AIDS benefit album No Alternative and "Scooby Doo, Where Are You?" to the compilation Saturday Morning Cartoons' Greatest Hits.
*Sweet provided guitar, bass and/or vocals on a number of tracks on Lloyd Cole's albums Lloyd Cole (1990), Don't Get Weird on Me Babe (1991) and Bad Vibes (1993), as well as bass on Cole's recording of "Chelsea Hotel," on the Leonard Cohen tribute album I'm Your Fan.
*Sweet co-produced the Velvet Crush albums Teenage Symphonies to God and Free Expression and co-wrote two songs on the latter.
*Sweet and Jules Shear collaborated to write the title track for Everything's Different Now, the third and final album by 'Til Tuesday. Sweet and Shear also collaborated on Sweet's album Earth, which also included collaborations between Sweet and Shear's then-wife, Pal Shazar.
*He has also co-written at least one song with the Jayhawks, "Stumbling Through the Dark," on which he sang backing vocals, and has provided backing vocals on at least one other Jayhawks song, "Sixteen Down." In addition, the Thorns recorded a Jayhawks tune, "Blue."
*Sweet collaborated with Delerium on a song called "Daylight" from their 2001 album Poem Poem (album) .
*Sweet was also the guitarist in , a band featured in the first Austin Powers movie, with Susanna Hoffs and Mike Myers Mike Myers (actor) .
*Sweet appeared as himself in an episode of Cartoon Network's Cartoon Network (United States) hit tv series Space Ghost Coast to Coast
*Sweet was namechecked in Kosuke Fujishima's long-running manga series Ah! My Goddess during a storyline about the male lead, Keiichi Morisato, and his encounter with Schrodinger's Whale (a play on Schrödinger's Cat, this was a whale that existed in a five-dimensional quantum state). Keiichi taught the whale Sweet's song Millennium Blues, and the whale learned Missing Time 'by itself', thus ensuring (albeit inadvertently) that the species would survive by having a call that they would be able to locate each other by.
*Sweet interpreted a cover version of Magnet and Steel (Walter Egan) for Sabrina The Teenage Witch Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (TV series) TV Series Soundtrack in 1998.
*Sweet worked with Anton Fier's Golden Palominos in 1986, Blast of Silence CD, reissued in 1998.
*In 2001, he co-wrote the song "Underneath" with the re-emerging rock band Hanson Hanson (band) . The song appeared on Hanson's 2004 album Underneath.
*Sweet provided backing vocals on the title track from Counting Crows' 2002 album Hard Candy Hard Candy (Counting Crows album) .
*A cover version of "Girlfriend" is featured in the video game Guitar Hero II.
*Sweet performed "Ballad of El Goodo" on the 2006 Big Star Big Star (band) tribute album, Big Star Small World.
 

 

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