Sweet in 2011
Sidney Matthew Sweet Born
October 6, 1964 Lincoln, Nebraska, United States Genres
Power pop, alternative rock
singer, songwriter, record producer, instrumentalist Instruments
vocals, guitar, bass guitar
Columbia A&M Zoo Entertainment Shout! Factory
Community Trolls, Oh-OK, The Thorns, Susanna Hoffs Website
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 and thirteenth records, and Tomorrow Forever , were released in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Tomorrow's Daughter  
Early life, family and education
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Sweet was born in
Lincoln, Nebraska. He attended Southeast High School in Lincoln, graduating in 1983. He moved to  Athens, Georgia thereafter to attend college. 
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, 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, , in 1984 on Sound Castles DB Records. On the strength of this 12" vinyl, Sweet was signed to a solo recording contract with  Columbia Records. 
In 1986, he released
, his debut album, to good reviews but little commercial success. In 1989, he released Inside after signing with Earth 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.
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. 
In 1991, Sweet released
, 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 Girlfriend" (heavily aired on MTV, MuchMusic and ) featured clips from the Night Tracks anime film, , while the video for "I've Been Waiting" used clips of the Space Adventure Cobra character, Urusei Yatsura Lum Invader.
In 1993, Sweet released
, 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 Altered Beast Dodge Challenger, while the video for "Time Capsule" was a literary homage to Jonathan Swift's
In 1995, Sweet released
, 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 100% Fun critic David Browne's year's-best list.
In 1997, Sweet released
, 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.
Blue Sky on Mars
In 1999, Sweet released
, a psychedelic album which featured In Reverse 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
, a retrospective compilation which featured two new tracks.
Time Capsule: Best of 90/00
In 2001, Sweet and
Darius Rucker performed The Beach Boys song "Sail On, Sailor" on the special ; the musicians later performed the same song with Brian Wilson himself on A Tribute to Brian Wilson . Late Show with David Letterman 
In 2002, Sweet released
, a retrospective compilation which featured unreleased material. To Understand: The Early Recordings of Matthew Sweet Also that year, he formed the supergroup,  The Thorns, with Shawn Mullins and Pete Droge. 
In 2003, Sweet released
, a garage-rock album initially released in Japan, where Sweet has a significant following.
Kimi Ga Suki
In 2004, he released
, an acoustic album which consisted mainly of material he wrote while recording with The Thorns.
In 2006, Sweet and
Susanna Hoffs released , which featured Under the Covers, Vol. 1 covers of popular 1960s songs.
In 2008, Sweet released
his 10th studio album, which also incorporated a 2-LP set featuring 4 bonus tracks. Sunshine Lies, 
In 2009, Sweet and Hoffs released
, which featured covers of popular 1970s songs.
Under the Covers, Vol. 2
In 2010, the
musical Girlfriend, using songs from Sweet's eponymous album, was staged by the Berkeley Repertory Theatre.  
In 2011, Sweet released
, 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.
In 2013, Sweet and Susanna Hoffs released
, which features covers of popular 1980s songs. Under the Covers, Vol. 3   
In 2014, Sweet was featured on an episode of
, 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". The Simpsons  Also that year, Sweet and his wife Lisa were research consultants for the  Tim Burton film , a biography about painter Big Eyes Margaret Keane.   
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. 
In 2017, Sweet released
Tomorrow Forever  , a rootsy album 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. 
In 2018, Sweet released
on May 18th Tomorrow's Daughter , a companion album to  Tomorrow Forever. Also that year, Sweet was paid tribute in the compilation album, "Altered Sweet", which included artists such as Lisa Mychols, Andy Reed, Greg Pope, Nick Bertling, Fireking, Chris Richards & The Subtractions, simple friend, Michael Simmons, Gretchen's Wheel, The Well Wishers, Elvyn, Pop Co-Op, Stabby Robot, Lannie Flowers, Stereo Tiger, Michael Carpenter, Phil Ajjarapu, CokeRoque, Donny Brown, Nick Piunti, Paranoid Lovesick, Trolley, Keith Klingensmith, Arvidson & Butterflies, Robyn Gibson and Popdudes.  
In 2018, independent vinyl reissue label
Intervention Records announced that it would be releasing Artist-Approved 2 LP Expanded Editions of 100% Fun, Altered Beast, and Girlfriend, the three albums will also be released on CD/SACD. Intervention also announced a first time on vinyl reissue of Son of Altered Beast. 
You can help by adding to it. (July 2016)
Sweet and his wife Lisa have resided in
Omaha, Nebraska since 2013. He was previously married at least one other time, which ended in divorce in 1989.
Sweet is a member of the Canadian charity Artists Against Racism.
Film and television
Theme song, Camp Burlesque  2006
Tributes and benefits
"Do Ya" (Move cover), Live from 6A: Great Musical Performances from Late Night with Conan O'Brien  1998
Onxrt: Live From the Archives, Vol. 4  "We're the Same", Golden Jam: General Mills' Golden Grahams  1999
"Divine Intervention", 2 Meter Sessies, Vol. 5  2001
"Every Night", Listen to What the Man Said: Popular Artists Pay Tribute to Paul McCartney.  2002
Shoe Fetish: A Tribute to Shoes.  "Big Sky", This Is Where I Belong - The Songs of Ray Davies & The Kinks 2004
"Good Night" (Beatles cover), For the Kids Too  2005
"American Girl" (Tom Petty cover), High School Reunion: A Tribute To Those Great 80s Films  2006
"Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" (w/ Susanna Hoffs), Like a Hurricane: A Tribute to Neil Young  2012
"Hombre Secreto (Secret Agent Man)" (Plugz cover), A Tribute to Repo Man  2013
"Marianne" (vocals w/
Tim Robbins), Son of Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys   "Second Choice" (vocals w/ Velvet Crush), Skrang: Sounds Like Bobby Sutliff  2017
"Lonely Summer" (original), Taking It To Heart: Volume Two 
Other appearances In 1983, Sweet was an extra in the film,
, in a scene featuring Terms of Endearment Debra Winger and Jeff Daniels at the University of Nebraska.  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 and played with the band during a 1987 concert tour.   In 1988, Sweet co-wrote (with
Jules Shear) the title track to the final 'Til Tuesday album, . Everything's Different Now In 1991, Sweet contributed bass guitar to
Lloyd Cole's cover of "Chelsea Hotel" for the tribute album, , and also toured with his band, I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen Lloyd Cole and the Commotions. In 1992, Sweet was featured on an episode of the series,
, hosted by 120 Minutes VJ Dave Kendall, which included an interview and live performance. In 1992, Sweet played bass on the album
To Hell With Love by Suzanne Rhatigan, which was produced by Sweet's producer Girlfriend Fred Maher and also featured Sweet's guitarist Robert Quine. In 1994, Sweet co-produced the
Velvet Crush album, Teenage Symphonies to God. In 1995, Sweet appeared on an episode of the series,
. That same year, he was featured on an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast 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.  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.  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,
, as a musician auditioning to be in Carey's band. The Drew Carey Show  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, , as a contestant playing for Win Ben Stein's Money Alzheimer's.  In 2001, Sweet was interviewed for the book,
Behind The Muse: Pop and Rock's Greatest Songwriters Talk About Their Work and Inspiration.  In 2002, Sweet contributed vocals to the title track of the
Counting Crows album, Hard Candy.  In 2003, Sweet co-wrote the song, "Stumbling Through the Dark", for the Jayhawks album,
Rainy Day Music.  In 2004, Sweet co-wrote the title track to the
Hanson album, Underneath.  In 2008, Sweet was featured in
Mellodrama, a documentary about the Mellotron. Also, he produced  The Bridges debut album, . Limits of the Sky  In 2010, Sweet was featured on an episode of
Stripped Down Live With , which included an interview and live performance. Curt Smith   In 2011, Sweet performed the
Big Star song, "September Gurls", with Mike Mills at a tribute concert to Alex Chilton. Also, he co-produced  The Bangles comeback album, . Sweetheart of the Sun  In 2012, Sweet was the subject for an episode of
On Canvas, an Emmy-winning music program which fuses stage performances with interviews.  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.  In 2013, Sweet collaborated with Tim Robbins and Susanna Hoffs for a cover of the traditional "Marianne" for the sea shanty-compilation . Son of Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys 
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