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Matthew Sweet

Matthew Sweet
Sweet smiling
Sweet in 2006
Background information
Birth name Sidney Matthew Sweet
Born (1964-10-06) October 6, 1964
Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Genres Power pop, alternative rock
Occupation(s) singer, songwriter, record producer, instrumentalist
Instruments vocals, guitar, bass guitar
Years active 1980s–present
Labels Columbia
Zoo Entertainment
Shout! Factory
Associated acts Community Trolls, Oh-OK, The Thorns, Susanna Hoffs


Music sample

Sidney Matthew Sweet (born October 6, 1964) is an American Modern Art, was released in 2011.


  • 1980s 1
  • 1990s 2
  • 2000s 3
  • Discography 4
  • Film & television 5
  • Tributes & benefits 6
  • Other appearances 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


In 1980, while attending 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.[2] On the strength of this 12" vinyl, Sweet was signed to a solo recording contract with Columbia Records.[3]

In 1986, Sweet released Inside, his debut album, to good reviews but little commercial success.

In 1989, Sweet released Earth, after signing with A&M Records and, again, it was well-received critically, but failed commercially. This period marked a personal and professional low point, as both his record company lost interest and his marriage failed.


In 1990, A&M released Sweet from his contract, and he signed with rival Zoo Entertainment, which later formed 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.[4]

In 1991, Sweet released Girlfriend, the retitled pop-rock album which was widely considered an artistic breakthrough, and 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.


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, and both the musicians later performed the same song with Brian Wilson himself on Late Show with David Letterman.[5]

In 2002, Sweet released To Understand: The Early Recordings of Matthew Sweet, a retrospective compilation which featured unreleased material.[6] Also that year, he formed the supergroup, The Thorns, with Shawn Mullins and Pete Droge.[7]

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

In 2004, Sweet 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.[8]

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

In 2010, the musical "Girlfriend", using songs from Sweet's eponymous album, was staged by the Berkeley Repertory Theatre.[9][10]

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.[11]

In 2013, Sweet and Susanna Hoffs released Under the Covers, Vol. 3, which features covers of popular 1980s songs.[12][13][14]

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".[15][16] Also that year, Sweet and his wife Lisa were research consultants for the Tim Burton film, Big Eyes, a biography about painter Margaret Keane.[17][18][19]

In 2015, Sweet will release a new studio album (under the working title Tomorrow Forever)[20] funded entirely by fans on Kickstarter.[21]


Film & television

  • Theme song, Camp Burlesque[27]
  • "Hopin' For a Dream", The Simpsons
  • "Girlfriend", One Hit Wonderland[33]

Tributes & benefits

  • "Let Me Be The One", If I Were A Carpenter
  • "Bovine Connection", Yellow Pills, Vol. 2: More of the Best of American Pop[35]
  • "Do Ya" (Move cover), Live from 6A: Great Musical Performances from Late Night with Conan O'Brien[37]
  • "Girlfriend", Onxrt: Live From the Archives, Vol. 4 [38]
  • "We're the Same", Golden Jam: General Mills' Golden Grahams [39]
  • "Divine Intervention", 2 Meter Sessies, Vol. 5[40]
  • "Every Night", Listen to What the Man Said: Popular Artists Pay Tribute to Paul McCartney.[41]
  • "Karen", Shoe Fetish: A Tribute to Shoes.[42]
  • "Big Sky", This Is Where I Belong – The Songs of Ray Davies & The Kinks
  • "Good Night" (Beatles cover), For the Kids Too[43]
  • "American Girl" (Tom Petty cover), High School Reunion: A Tribute To Those Great 80s Films[44]
  • "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" (w/ Susanna Hoffs), Like a Hurricane: A Tribute to Neil Young[46]
  • "Hombre Secreto (Secret Agent Man)" (Plugz cover), A Tribute to Repo Man[47]
  • "Marianne" (vocals w/ Tim Robbins), Son of Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys[48][49]
  • "Second Choice" (vocals w/ Velvet Crush), Skrang: Sounds Like Bobby Sutliff[50]

Other appearances

  • In 1985, Sweet contributed a cover of the dB's "Ask for Jill" (with Don Dixon and Chris Stamey) for the Hoboken anthology, Luxury Condos Coming to Your Neighborhood Soon.
  • In 1986, Sweet contributed lyrics and vocals to the song, "Something Becomes Nothing", for The Golden Palominos album, Blast of Silence[52] and played with the band during a 1987 concert tour.[53]
  • In 1992, Sweet was featured on an episode of the series, 120 Minutes, hosted by VJ Dave Kendall, which included an interview and live performance.
  • In 1994, Sweet co-produced the Velvet Crush album, Teenage Symphonies to God.
  • In 1995, Sweet appeared on an episode of the series, Space Ghost Coast to Coast. That same year, he was featured on an episode of VH1 Duets with John Hiatt, and also contributed guitar and vocals to the song, "She's Not in Love", on the Kim Stockwood album, Bonavista.[54]
  • In 1996, Sweet contributed bass guitar to the song, "Are You Ready for the Fallout?", on the Fastball debut album. Also, Sweet provided backing vocals for Kris McKay in a cover of his own song, "How Cool", on her album, Things That Show.[55]
  • In 1997, Sweet was the subject for Matthew Sweet: On the Edge, a documentary produced by NPTV (Nebraska Public Television). Also that year, Sweet contributed vocals to the song, "Sixteen Down", on the Jayhawks album, Sound of Lies.
  • In 1998, Sweet appeared on an episode of the series, The Drew Carey Show, as a musician auditioning to be in Carey's band.[56]
  • In 1999, Sweet co-produced (and co-wrote two songs) on the Velvet Crush album, Free Expression.
  • In 2000, Sweet contributed lyrics and vocals to the song, "Daylight", on the Delerium album, Poem. Also that year, he appeared on the game show, Win Ben Stein's Money, as a contestant playing for Alzheimer's.[57]
  • In 2001, Sweet was interviewed for the book, Behind The Muse: Pop and Rock's Greatest Songwriters Talk About Their Work and Inspiration.[58]
  • In 2002, Sweet contributed vocals to the title track of the Counting Crows album, Hard Candy.[59]
  • In 2003, Sweet co-wrote the song, "Stumbling Through the Dark", for the Jayhawks album, Rainy Day Music.[60]
  • In 2004, Sweet co-wrote the title track to the Hanson album, Underneath.[61]
  • In 2010, Sweet was featured on an episode of Stripped Down Live With Curt Smith, which included an interview and live performance.[64][65]
  • In 2011, Sweet performed the Big Star song, "September Gurls", with Mike Mills at a tribute concert to Alex Chilton.[66] Also, he co-produced The Bangles comeback album, Sweetheart of the Sun.[67]
  • In 2012, Sweet was the subject for an episode of On Canvas, an Emmy-winning music program which fuses stage performances with interviews.[68]
  • In 2013, Sweet performed the Beatles songs, "Nowhere Man" and "Day Tripper", along with the Wild Honey Orchestra (featuring Rusty Anderson) at a tribute benefit for autism. That same year, he contributed bass to the Lloyd Cole album, Standards.[69][70]


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