The Sweet’s Unearthed 1971 TV Performance Resurfaces After 50 Years — Watch

The Sweet’s Unearthed 1971 TV Performance Resurfaces After 50 Years — Watch | Society Of Rock Videos

via Official Sweet Channel / YouTube

Lost footage of The Sweet’s 1971 performance of “Alexander Graham Bell” on Grenada TV’s “Lift Off With Ayshea” has been recovered after being missing for half a century. Previously believed to have been erased, a common practice in UK television during that era, the original film has been restored by the archive organization Kaleidoscope, known for locating and reviving lost footage.

Hosted by Ayshea Brough, “Lift Off With Ayshea” premiered in 1969 as ITV’s answer to the BBC’s long-standing “Top Of The Pops.”

Only three out of the 122 episodes aired between the show’s debut and its closure in 1974 are known to have survived. The Sweet’s two-minute performance, originally broadcast on October 27, 1971, is the latest rediscovery from a missing file that also includes footage from David Bowie, Black Sabbath, Slade, and more.

“Alexander Graham Bell” was The Sweet’s third single after signing with RCA in early 1971. Preceded by “Funny Funny” and “Co-Co,” it entered the UK charts but was the least successful of the trio, reaching number 33. All three tracks were part of the band’s debut album, “Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be.”


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The Sweet achieved Top 10 success with “Little Willy” in May 1972, returning to “Lift Off With Ayshea” later that year in December.

During this appearance, they performed their recent Top 5 hit, “Wig Wam Bam,” and “Blockbuster,” which would top the charts the following month.

In an interesting connection, earlier in 1972, David Bowie introduced his Ziggy Stardust character to UK audiences on another episode of “Lift Off With Ayshea,” performing “Starman” two weeks before the iconic “Top Of The Pops” rendition that ignited Ziggy-mania. Although the recovery of this Bowie footage was announced in 2019, it has not been publicly aired since then.

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