Sweet Sensation (band)

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Sweet Sensation
Origin Manchester, England
Genres Soul
Years active 1971–1978
Labels Pye Records
Past members Junior Daye
Roy Flowers
Vincent James
Barry Johnson
Marcel King
St. Clair L. Palmer
Gary Shaughnessy
Leroy Smith
Delroy Drummond

Sweet Sensation was an eight piece British soul group who had some success in the mid 1970s.[1][2] They are best known for their 1974 No. 1 UK hit, "Sad Sweet Dreamer".


Formed in Manchester in 1971, the band came to prominence after appearing on the ITV talent show New Faces. Under the guidance of panellist Tony Hatch the band signed to Pye Records. The debut single "Snowfire" failed to reach the charts, but the follow-up "Sad Sweet Dreamer" was a UK number one single in October 1974,[3] also reaching No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 the following spring.[4] The follow-up "Purely by Coincidence" reached No. 11 in the UK in January 1975.[3] Both songs were written by David Parton.

Follow-up singles "Hide Away from the Sun", "Mr Cool", "Sweet Regrets" and "Mail Train" all failed to make the charts over the next couple of years. In 1977 the band participated in A Song For Europe in an attempt to represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Their song "You're My Sweet Sensation" ended in eighth place. Subsequently, they were then dropped by Pye and disbanded shortly after. However, they were the forerunners of many similar acts from The Real Thing to Imagination.[5]

The youngest member and lead vocalist, Marcel King, tried to resurrect a solo career in 1985, and with Donald Johnson (A Certain Ratio) and Bernard Sumner (New Order) recorded "Reach For Love" (written by King) for Factory Records without commercial success, followed by "Hollywood Nights" for ZYX.[6] King died of a brain haemorrhage on 5 October 1995 at the age of 37.[7]

Bass guitarist, Barry Johnson later joined Quando Quango and then Aswad.

Founder member, Leroy Smith, was found dead in his Manchester flat, on 15 January 2009. He had died from bronchopneumonia, at the age of 56.[8]

Band members[edit]

Sweet Sensation Publicity Photo of Original Founding Members
Photo of Sweet Sensation Original Founding Members in an early Competition – Pub Entertainer of the Year
  • Junior Daye (born 26 June 1950, Kingston, Jamaica) – vocalist
  • Roy Flowers (born 4 August 1951, Kingston, Jamaica) – drummer
  • Vincent James (born 12 February 1951, St. Mary's, Jamaica) – vocalist
  • Barry Johnson (born 20 August 1954, Kingston, Jamaica) – bassist
  • Marcel King (born Marcel Neville King, 4 January 1958, Manchester – died 5 October 1995) – vocalist
  • St. Clair L. Palmer (born 4 March 1954, St. Kitts) – vocalist
  • Gary Shaugnessy (born 25 July 1953, Manchester) – guitarist
  • Leroy Smith (born 3 September 1952, Kingston, Jamaica – died 15 January 2009) – keyboardist[9]
  • Delroy Alexander Drummond (born 26 December 1950, Kingston, Jamaica) – vocalist

Rikki Patrick{Recardo Patrick} replaced Marcel King in 1975.



  • Apr 1974 "Snowfire" (Pye)
  • Jul 1974 "Sad Sweet Dreamer" (Pye) (UK No. 1, US No. 14)[3][4]
  • Jan 1975 "Purely by Coincidence" (Pye) (UK No. 11)[3]
  • Jun 1975 "Hide Away from the Sun" (Pye)
  • Sep 1975 "Mr Cool" (Pye)
  • Feb 1976 "Sweet Regrets" (Pye)
  • Jul 1976 "Mail Train" (Pye)
  • Mar 1977 "You're My Sweet Sensation"
  • Dec 1977 "Wake Up and Be Somebody"[10]


  • 1975 Sad Sweet Dreamer (Pye) (US No. 163)[4]

Marcel King[edit]

  • Reach For Love / Keep on Dancin' (12", Factory FAC-92, March 1984)[11]
  • Reach For Love (New York remix) // Reach For Love (dub) / Keep on Dancin' (12", Factory FAC-92-R, February 1985)[12]
  • Reach For Love (New York remix) / Reach For Love (dub) (12", Factory Benelux FBN-43, March 1985)[13]
  • Hollywood Nights (6:02) / Hollywood Nights (instrumental) (3:53) (12", Debut 12-DEBT-1, 1985)[14]
    • also ZYX ZYX-5257[15]


  1. ^ Amy Hanson. "Sweet Sensation | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "New Faces, New Stars (1986)". Bfi.org. Retrieved 23 November 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 543. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ a b c "Sweet Sensation | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  5. ^ Rice, Jo (1982). Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 162. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  6. ^ "Marcel King Discography at Discogs". discogs. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  7. ^ [1] Archived 21 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2009 January to June". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "De beste bron van informatie over bodo-schoenhuette. Deze website is te koop". Bodo-schoenhuette.de. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Sweet Sensation Discography – UK". 45cat. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "Marcel King – Reach For Love / Keep on Dancin' (Vinyl) at Discogs". discogs. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  12. ^ "Marcel King – Reach For Love (New York Remix) (Vinyl) at Discogs". discogs. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  13. ^ "Marcel King – Reach For Love (Vinyl) at Discogs". discogs. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  14. ^ "Marcel King – Hollywood Nights (Vinyl) at Discogs". discogs. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "Marcel King – Hollywood Nights (Vinyl) at Discogs". discogs. Retrieved 30 June 2014. 

External links[edit]