Sweet – Fox On The Run

The Sweet had the ability to sound like a different band on many of their hit singles. Little Willy, Ballroom Blitz, Love Is Like Oxygen, Blockbuster!, and Fox On The Run. My first introduction to this band was a bubblegum single that my sister bought called Little Willy.

There were two different versions of this song. The first one appeared on the European version of the 1974 RCA album Desolation Boulevard album.

The band was stuck with a perception of them being puppets of their songwriters Mike Chapman and Nicky Chin and producer Phil Wainman. They had to battle to play on their own singles at times.  Mike Chapman and Nicky Chin also were their managers. The Sweet were sometimes allowed to write their B sides but that was about it. After Desolation Boulevard was released, the band parted ways with Chapman and Chinn and produced their own material.

Their first effort was a reworking of “Fox On The Run,” which was originally produced by Chapman and Chinn but written by the band. The Sweet proved quite capable on their own, and the new version of Fox on the Run with a bright chorus became a global hit.

The re-worked Fox on the Run appeared on the American version of Desolation Boulevard. Capital Records released this version in America, Canada, and Japan. The album also contained Ballroom Blitz and peaked at #25 in the Billboard Album Charts and #5 in Canada.

The song peaked at #5 in the Billboard 100, #2 in the UK, and #2 in Canada in 1975. It was released in the US as the follow-up to their single Ballroom Blitz.

The song has been covered by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Girlschool, and the Scorpions to name a few. Fox on the Run was also featured in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.

The original version with Mike Chapman and Nicky Chin

The hit version

“Fox On The Run”

I don’t wanna know your name
‘Cause you don’t look the same
The way you did before
O.K. you think you got a pretty face
But the rest of you is out of place
You looked alright beforeFox on the run
You scream and everybody comes a running
Take a run and hide yourself away
Foxy is on the run
F-foxy
Fox on the run and hide away

You, you talk about just every band
But the names you drop are second hand (second hand)
I’ve heard it all before
I don’t wanna know your name
‘Cause you don’t look the same
The way you did before

Fox on the run
You scream and everybody comes a running
Take a run and hide yourself away
Foxy on the run
F-foxy
Fox on the run and hide away

F-foxy
Fox on the run
You scream and everybody comes a running
Take a run and hide yourself away
Foxy on the run
F-foxy
Fox on the run and hide away
Fox on the run
Fox on the run
Fox on the run
Fox on the run
Fox on the run

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

26 thoughts on “Sweet – Fox On The Run”

  1. Enjoyable tune. If I recall it correctly, my sister listened to Sweet.

    BTW, did you hear Ringo and The All Starr Band announced they are postponing the remaining dates of the current first leg of their tour? You may recall in my concert post I called out Edgar Winter had come down with COVID? In the meantime, Steve Lukather evidently has well…

    https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/ringo-starr-postpones-summer-tour-all-starrs-test-positive-covid-1366730/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this song, and Little Willy. I was right at the age then for bubble gum pop. They are still fun songs to hear now. I hadn’t heard the original of Fox on the Run before. It doesn’t sound bubble gum at all.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The original is harder for sure. This is the first time I’ve heard it also. I played Little Willy to death when I was kid…I thought it was hard rock because of the guitar…I was around 7

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Proud to say I was a Sweet fan from their very early stuff. Even though I was always liked their bubblegum pop, the B-side to those hits were decent ‘heavy’ tracks. My school pals took some convincing though, and I got some serious stick for my faith in the band, when apparently should have been worshiping at the Church of Clapton or Hendrix. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Fine song, I liked it a lot …’Ballroom Blitz’s was another of the first dozen or so 45s I bought myself too. Original didn’t sound very different but is a little tougher or grittier, which is opposite of what I might have guessed with Chapman & Chin working on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That surprised me also…when I was writing it…I thought …oh it will be more poppy… they highlighted that chorus in the second one…and it worked.

      Like

  5. Most people, above, seem to like ‘Little Willie’ but that got real old and real irritating real quick for me , and I have a soft spot for bubblegum (I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight, Talking In Your Sleep,) most times. (And ain’t that just sad?) Manfred Mann put out a ‘Fox On The Run’ earlier, a completely different song but maybe that didn’t chart or make a mark in the States?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read about that with Manfred Mann…they were not amused about The Sweet using that title.
      It didn’t make much of a mark..#97

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I like both versions. And, I’ve heard the original…somewhere…deep cuts on a rock station, I suppose.

    They were versatile as hell. Love Is Like Oxygen is the exact opposite of Ballroom Blitz. And, I had no idea they did Little Willy. I was thinking Pilot or Paper Lace.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sweet were fab. I was a lover of pop anytime over the album prog or rock. Pop is always looked down on but it tends to have a much longer shelf life than rock critics think. This was Sweet setting out to prove they could write a hit. Theyd gone all serious with the fab chinn chapman The Six Teens and been rewarded with their lowest charting hit in 3 years. They then went heavy on Turn It Down their worst record and biggest flop to date since hitting the charts and chinn chapman spotted the end of glam after the disco summer of 74 and moved into ballads with new act Smokie. So itvwas make it alone or flop! They made it! For 3 hits at any rate..

    Liked by 1 person

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