Not to be confused with the late '80s American dance act of the same name, Sweet Sensation
were an eight-man British soul band from Manchester, England, cast very much in the then-popular mold of the Philly sound, who broke through in 1974 following an appearance on the television talent show New Faces. There they were discovered by British pop impresario Tony Hatch
, a panelist on the show. It was Hatch
who landed the group a deal with Pye Records but, despite his patronage, the group's first single, "Snow Fire," was a total non-starter. In September 1974, however, "Sad Sweet Dreamer" -- co-produced by Hatch
and songwriter Desmond Parton -- rocketed to the top of the U.K. chart and also cracked the U.S. Top 20. A soaring soul ballad heavily influenced by the Stylistics
, and led by lead vocalist Marcel King
's ethereal falsetto, "Sad Sweet Dreamer" was quickly followed by "Purely by Coincidence," which rose to number 11 in the New Year. However, an eponymous debut album failed to move in Britain (it made number 163 in America), and the group's next single, "Hide Away From the Sun," certainly lived up to at least half of own title. Undeterred, Sweet Sensation
released a string of further singles, including "Mr Cool," "Sweet Regrets," and "Mail Train" during 1975-1976, while 1977 saw the group competing to represent the U.K. in that year's Eurovision Song Contest. Out of a dozen acts, "You're My Sweet Sensation" finished in a lowly eighth place in the British final. That was very much the group's last hurrah, and they were dropped by Pye soon after.