Matthew Sweet
Matthew Sweet
Sweet in 2011
Sweet in 2011
Background information
Sidney Matthew Sweet
Born (1964-10-06) October 6, 1964 (age 52)
Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Genres Power pop, alternative rock
singer, songwriter, record producer, instrumentalist
Instruments vocals, guitar, bass guitar
1978-present
Labels Columbia
A&M
Zoo Entertainment
Shout! Factory
Community Trolls, Oh-OK, The Thorns, Susanna Hoffs
Website

matthewsweet.com

Audio sample
"Evangeline"

Sidney Matthew Sweet (born October 6, 1964) is an American rock singer-songwriter and musician. He was part of the burgeoning music scene in Athens, Georgia, during the 1980s before gaining commercial success in the 1990s. His twelfth album, Tomorrow Forever, was released in June 2017.[1]

Early life, family and education

Sweet was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. He attended Southeast High School in Lincoln,[2] graduating in 1983. He moved to Athens, Georgia thereafter to attend college.[2]

Career

1980s

In 1980, Sweet, a high school student, wrote and recorded songs on four-track cassettes. He joined the band The Specs and released his first recording on a battle of bands LP produced by a local radio station,[3] and fronted his own local band called The Dialtones. After graduating, Sweet travelled to Athens, Georgia to attend college during the vibrant Athens music scene. That same year, Sweet, who had met the band R.E.M. when they played a show in his hometown the previous year, collaborated with frontman Michael Stipe in a duo group under the name Community Trolls, as well as played guitar in Stipe's sister Lynda Stipe's band, Oh-OK. In addition, he formed another duo, The Buzz of Delight, with Oh-OK drummer David Pierce, releasing an EP, Sound Castles, in 1984 on DB Records.[4] On the strength of this 12" vinyl, Sweet was signed to a solo recording contract with Columbia Records.[2]

In 1986, he released Inside, his debut album, to good reviews but little commercial success. In 1989, he released Earth after signing with A&M Records; likewise, it was well-received critically, yet not commercially. This marked a personal and professional low period as his record company lost interest and his marriage failed.

1990s

In 1990, A&M released Sweet from his contract, and he signed with rival Zoo Entertainment, which evolved into Volcano Entertainment several years later. Sweet formed a new band (which included Richard Lloyd, Robert Quine, Greg Leisz, Lloyd Cole, and Fred Maher), and together they spent that year assembling his next work, originally titled Nothing Lasts.[5]

In 1991, Sweet released Girlfriend, the retitled pop-rock album which was widely considered an artistic breakthrough. It quickly garnered impressive U.S. sales, spawning a Top 10 single with the title track. The music video for "Girlfriend" (heavily aired on MTV, MuchMusic and Night Tracks) featured clips from the anime film, Space Adventure Cobra, while the video for "I've Been Waiting" used clips of the Urusei Yatsura character, Lum Invader.

In 1993, Sweet released Altered Beast, a harder rock album which drew mixed reactions with its intense and brooding tracks (such as "Someone to Pull the Trigger" and "Knowing People"). The music video for the single "The Ugly Truth" (directed by Sweet) featured the singer being chased in the desert by police while driving his own 1970 Dodge Challenger, while the video for "Time Capsule" was a literary homage to Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.

In 1995, Sweet released 100% Fun, an alt-rock album best known for its lead-off track, the self-deprecating "Sick of Myself." The album itself fared better commercially, and even made it onto Entertainment Weekly critic David Browne's year's-best list.

In 1997, Sweet released Blue Sky on Mars, a new-wave album which featured the synth-laden singles "Where You Get Love" and "Come to California." The music video for the former featured Sweet as an astronaut traveling through outer space.

In 1999, Sweet released In Reverse, a psychedelic album which featured Wall of Sound tracks, including the singles "What Matters" and "Trade Places." The album is noteworthy for its 10-minute closing track, "Thunderstorm," which is a combination of several demos.

2000s

Sweet smiling
Sweet in 2006

In 2000, Sweet released Time Capsule: Best of 90/00, a retrospective compilation which featured two new tracks.

In 2001, Sweet and Darius Rucker performed The Beach Boys song "Sail On, Sailor" on the special A Tribute to Brian Wilson; the musicians later performed the same song with Brian Wilson himself on Late Show with David Letterman.[6]

In 2002, Sweet released To Understand: The Early Recordings of Matthew Sweet, a retrospective compilation which featured unreleased material.[7] Also that year, he formed the supergroup, The Thorns, with Shawn Mullins and Pete Droge.[8]

In 2003, Sweet released Kimi Ga Suki, a garage-rock album initially released in Japan, where Sweet has a significant following.

In 2004, he released Living Things, an acoustic album which consisted mainly of material he wrote while recording with The Thorns.

In 2006, Sweet and Susanna Hoffs released Under the Covers, Vol. 1, which featured covers of popular 1960s songs.

In 2008, Sweet released Sunshine Lies, his 10th studio album, which also incorporated a 2-LP set featuring 4 bonus tracks.[9]

In 2009, Sweet and Hoffs released Under the Covers, Vol. 2, which featured covers of popular 1970s songs.

2010s

In 2010, the musical Girlfriend, using songs from Sweet's eponymous album, was staged by the Berkeley Repertory Theatre.[10][11]

In 2011, Sweet released Modern Art, a labyrinthine album which featured the single, "She Walks the Night".

In 2012, Sweet celebrated the 20th anniversary of "Girlfriend" with a tour performing the entire album from start to finish.[12]

In 2013, Sweet and Susanna Hoffs released Under the Covers, Vol. 3, which features covers of popular 1980s songs.[13][14][15]

In 2014, Sweet was featured on an episode of The Simpsons, the longest-running American sitcom. He wrote the lyrics to "Hopin' for a Dream", the song by fictitious 1980s band SunGazer, in the episode "Covercraft".[16][17] Also that year, Sweet and his wife Lisa were research consultants for the Tim Burton film Big Eyes, a biography about painter Margaret Keane.[18][19][20]

In 2015, Sweet and Susanna Hoffs released Completely Under the Covers, a limited 4-disc box set encompassing the three previous Under the Covers releases. This collection also contains 15 bonus tracks.[21]

In 2017, Sweet released a new album, Tomorrow Forever,[22][23] funded entirely by fans on Kickstarter; over the course of one month in 2014, the project exceeded its $32,000 goal by 75% from fewer than 800 backers.[24]

Personal life

Sweet and his wife Lisa have resided in Omaha, Nebraska since late 2013.[19] He was previously married at least one other time, which ended in divorce in 1989.

Discography

Film and television

1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
  • Theme song, Camp Burlesque[31]
2006
2007
2009
2010
2012
2014

Tributes and benefits

1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
  • "Do Ya" (Move cover), Live from 6A: Great Musical Performances from Late Night with Conan O'Brien[41]
1998
  • "Girlfriend", Onxrt: Live From the Archives, Vol. 4 [42]
  • "We're the Same", Golden Jam: General Mills' Golden Grahams [43]
1999
  • "Divine Intervention", 2 Meter Sessies, Vol. 5[44]
2001
  • "Every Night", Listen to What the Man Said: Popular Artists Pay Tribute to Paul McCartney.[45]
2002
  • "Karen", Shoe Fetish: A Tribute to Shoes.[46]
  • "Big Sky", This Is Where I Belong - The Songs of Ray Davies & The Kinks
2004
  • "Good Night" (Beatles cover), For the Kids Too[47]
2005
  • "American Girl" (Tom Petty cover), High School Reunion: A Tribute To Those Great 80s Films[48]
2006
2007
  • "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" (w/ Susanna Hoffs), Like a Hurricane: A Tribute to Neil Young[50]
2012
  • "Hombre Secreto (Secret Agent Man)" (Plugz cover), A Tribute to Repo Man[51]
2013
  • "Marianne" (vocals w/ Tim Robbins), Son of Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys[52][53]
  • "Second Choice" (vocals w/ Velvet Crush), Skrang: Sounds Like Bobby Sutliff[54]

Other appearances

References

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External links


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