Steve Priest in Dubuque, Iowa on September 21, 2018
|Birth name||Stephen Norman Priest|
|Born||23 February 1948|
Hayes, Middlesex, England
|Died||4 June 2020 72)(aged|
|Genres|| Hard rock |
Stephen Norman Priest (23 February 1948 – 4 June 2020)was a British musician who was the bassist (and, later, lead vocalist) of the glam rock band The Sweet.
Priest was born in Hayes, Middlesex.He made his own bass guitar and began playing in local bands as a young teenager, after being influenced by artists such as Jet Harris of the Shadows, the Rolling Stones and The Who.
In January 1968, Priest was invited to form a four-piece band with vocalist Brian Connolly, drummer Mick Tucker, and guitarist Frank E. Torpey (b. 30 April 1947, Kilburn, North West London) – the band that was to become The Sweet.Torpey was replaced by Mick Stewart in July 1969. Guitarist Andy Scott joined in August 1970, following Stewart's departure and the classic line-up was established.
The Sweet was a band that went through many ups and downs. Initial success for The Sweet began in 1971, after the band teamed up with songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. However, The Sweet would pen a number of their own hits. Priest often directly backed up Brian Connolly's vocals and took distinctive short high pitched vocal leads which was a key to their musical style at that time. He adopted a camp image, wearing heavy make-up and outrageous costumes.
Priest recalled talking to David Bowie backstage on Top of the Pops : “I was plastering this make-up on, and Bowie's going: 'Oh no, no, no. You've got to be subtle.' Bowie just didn't get it. It isn't supposed to be subtle. I'm supposed to look like an old tart."
After Brian Connolly left The Sweet in early 1979, Priest became the main singer.This continued until 1982, when the original Sweet disbanded. By this time, Priest had divorced his first wife, Pat, and moved to New York City. On 18 June 1981, he married his second wife Maureen (née O'Connor), who was then East Coast Director of Publicity and Artist Relations for Capitol/EMI Records in New York. While in New York, he formed a band called the Allies with guitarist Marco Delmar and drummer Steve Missal. Success was elusive, although their composition "Talk To Me" was featured in a film, Fast Food.
Invited in 1985 by former bandmate Andy Scott to reform the Sweet, Priest declined. Shortly thereafter, Priest and his family relocated to Los Angeles.
During this period, Priest largely reverted to private life but made occasional forays into production and session work, as well as collaborations with other artists such as David Arkenstone and future bandmate Stuart Smith.
Priest had a demo session in Los Angeles with the other members of the original Sweet in 1988, with Mike Chapman producing, to see if a studio album and reformation were possible. The band did not agree on terms and the project failed. Despite the difficulties of the late '70s, Priest continued his friendship with former Sweet lead singer Connolly, who was by now in poor health.
In 1994, Priest published his autobiography, Are You Ready Steve?, the title of which is taken from the intro to the Sweet's "The Ballroom Blitz" when Brian Connolly counts in the song with, "Are you ready Steve? ...Andy? ...Mick? ...Alright fellas, let's gooooo!", and in 2006, he released a CD entitled Priest's Precious Poems.In January 2008, Priest formed a new version of the Sweet, not related to Andy Scott's version of the band.
This new band played mainly festivals and venues in the U.S. and Canada. In early 2009, the band released a live CD, recorded in August 2008 at the Morongo Casino in Cabazon, California.
In his later years, Priest lived with his wife Maureen O'Connor and daughters Danielle and Margaret in La Cañada Flintridge, California.
He died on 4 June 2020, aged 72.He is survived by Maureen and their two daughters, Danielle and Maggie (adopted), as well as daughter Lisa from his first marriage to Patricia Randall, and three grandchildren, Jordan (Lisa), Jade (Lisa) and Hazel (Danielle).
Stephen Simpson Hillage is an English musician, best known as a guitarist. He is associated with the Canterbury scene and has worked in experimental domains since the late 1960s. Besides his solo recordings he has been a member of Khan, Gong and System 7.
Sweet is a British glam rock band that rose to worldwide fame in the 1970s. Their best known line-up consisted of lead vocalist Brian Connolly, bass player Steve Priest, guitarist Andy Scott, and drummer Mick Tucker. The group was originally called Sweetshop.
Brian Francis Connolly was a Scottish singer-songwriter, musician and actor, best known as the lead singer between 1968 and 1979 of the British glam rock band The Sweet.
Michael Thomas Tucker was an English musician, best known as the drummer and backing vocalist of the glam rock and hard rock band Sweet.
Desolation Boulevard is the third studio album by the British glam rock band Sweet, originally released in the United Kingdom in November 1974. Two noticeably different versions of the album were released: one by RCA Records in Europe, and another by Capitol Records in the United States, Canada and Japan.
Sweet Fanny Adams is the second album by Sweet, their first of two released in 1974, and also their first album simply as Sweet. The album was a turning point and change in the band's sound. It featured more of a hard rock sound than their previous pop records.
Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be is the English glam rock band The Sweet's debut album, released in November 1971 on RCA Records in the UK. The album contained two singles which were hits in the UK: "Funny Funny" and "Co-Co". In the United States, only "Co-Co" dented the chart, reaching No. 99 in October.
Level Headed is the sixth studio album by British glam rock band Sweet. Different versions were released by Polydor in Europe and by Capitol in the US, Canada and Japan. The album features "Love Is Like Oxygen", the band's last single to hit the top 40, peaking at #8 in the US and #9 in the UK. The single version of "Love Is Like Oxygen" is substantially shorter than the album version. A second single, "California Nights", was released from the album but only reached #76 in the US.
Cut Above the Rest is the seventh studio album by the English glam rock band Sweet, released on Polydor Records in October 1979. It was their first album release following the departure of their original lead vocalist Brian Connolly. Connolly had begun recording this album with the band at the TownHouse Studio in Shepherd's Bush, London, but his vocals were subsequently wiped and replaced by vocals from bass player Steve Priest and guitarist Andy Scott. Original outtakes of "Play All Night" and "Stay With Me" featuring Connolly's vocals have been recovered and were released on the rarities CD Platinum Rare.
Gimme Dat Ding is a split album by The Sweet and The Pipkins, released on EMI's budget record label, MFP in 1970. It is named after the 1970 song "Gimme Dat Ding" by the Pipkins.
Off the Record is the fifth studio album by the English glam rock band Sweet. It was recorded at Audio International Studios in London between October 1976 and January 1977. The band produced with assistance from engineers Louis Austin and Nick Ryan.
"Lady Stardust" is a song written by English singer-songwriter David Bowie that appeared on the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972). Co-produced by Ken Scott, Bowie recorded it with his backing band the Spiders from Mars – comprising Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder and Mick Woodmansey. The song is generally interpreted as alluding to fellow glam rock icon Marc Bolan. The original demo version was entitled "He Was Alright ". A 4-track demo version of the song was sold as a picture disc single during the "David Bowie Is" exhibition in Japan in 2017.
Andrew David Scott is a Welsh musician and songwriter. He is best known for being the lead guitarist and a backing vocalist in the band Sweet. Following bassist Steve Priest's death in June 2020, Scott is the last surviving member of the band's classic lineup.
Raw Glory is a British rock band, formed in 1994 as the vehicle for accomplished professional musicians Mick Underwood, Gary Davis, John Savage and Peter Taylor
The Sweet was a compilation album released as Sweet's debut album in the US and Canada, substituting for the 1971 UK album Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be.
Action: The Sweet Anthology is a double compilation album of British 1970s rock band Sweet's music, released on 28 April 2009 by Shout! Factory. It features songs originally released on RCA Records and Polydor Records, including all their single records spanning from their 1971 UK breakthrough "Funny Funny" and up to their last non-charting "Sixties Man" before the original band broke up in 1982. The album also contains a few album tracks, as well as some B-sides that were never before released on compact disc in the United States.
"Turn It Down" is a song by the British glam rock band the Sweet, from their 1974 album Desolation Boulevard. The song was removed from the US version of Desolation Boulevard however, along with two other songs. "Turn It Down" was the second single released from the album. In the UK, the single reached number 41 on the charts but fared better in Europe, reaching the top five in Norway and Germany.
"Little Willy" is a song written by songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman and performed by the British glam rock band The Sweet, released in 1972 as a non-album single in the UK, peaking at #4 in the best seller charts. It was released in the US in September 1972 and also appeared on their US debut album The Sweet and became their biggest hit in the US, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Billboard ranked it as the No. 18 song for 1973.
"Wig-Wam Bam" is a song by British glam rock band The Sweet, written by songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, released as a single in September 1972. It was the first Sweet single on which the band members actually played their instruments, as previous singles featured producer Phil Wainman on drums, and session musicians John Roberts and Pip Williams on bass and guitars respectively.
"The Six Teens" is a 1974 song by British glam rock band Sweet, written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, appearing on Sweet's album Desolation Boulevard. The song was Sweet's first single simply as "Sweet". The B-side is the band composition "Burn on the Flame".