Sweet & Sour/Hip Romeo/Moon And Stars/Chicken Feed Pt. 1/Singing In The Shower/It's A Game/Glam To Wham/Heart Plays Tricks/On The Street Where U Live/Too Hot To Move/Little Boxes/No Worries/Party On Wheels/Sweet/Sweet & Sour Theme Tune/No Focus/Crocodile Shoes/
Image Of An Angel/Down The Road/Good Advice/Psychosis/Popstars And Politicians/Digging A Hole/The Rain/Can’t Stand Still/Two Of The Boys/I’m A Genius/Bill Posters/Can’t Imagine (Sweet & Sour)
Sweet and Sour was an Australian television series that screened on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in 1984. It was created by Tim Gooding and Johanna Pigott and was produced internally for the ABC by Jan Chapman. The main storyline of the series followed the efforts of a fictional band, The Takeaways, to break into the Sydney music scene. "The Takeaways have so far eluded commercial success. However, negotiations are presently underway for the band to sell their story to a prominent TV station, and really clean up."
In mid-1983 Sydney a band called The Takeaways is formed. Initially it consists of Carol Howard, Martin Kabel and George Poulopoulos. Carol Howard (Tracy Mann) is an attractive vocalist and novice guitarist from Melbourne; she had pursued an acting career with little success but is now focussed on her music. Carol wrote her first song on the train to Sydney.
Martin Kabel (David Reyne) is an established, albeit unsuccessful, guitarist who wants to branch out from his current band: he would like to sing his own songs. Martin gets his chance with The Takeaways.
George Poulopoulos (Arky Michael) is more interested in playing soccer for the Combined Hellenic Travel Agents but reluctantly joins to play bass. He learns how to play at the band's first practice session; slowly he overcomes his shyness to become a confident performer.
Darrell Winters (Ric Herbert) sees a quick dollar to be made as their manager; Darrell talks the talk and tries to walk the walk. He sets out to organise their first gig: a backyard barbecue! Fortunately better gigs followed in various Sydney pubs. Their first jam sessions are in an old boot factory.
Meanwhile, Christine Yates (Sandra Lillingston) breaks into their house and rather than turn her in to the police they offer her a spot in their band. Christine's father, legendary 1960s saxophonist Shrug Yates (Martin Vaughan), taught her to 'feel' music while playing sax. Christine sings lead vocal on some songs.
Initially they play their gigs using a drum machine until Johnny Black (Robin Copp), an established drummer, joins.
Numerous Australian and New Zealand musicians and songwriters were involved in this TV series.
The title song of the series,"Sweet and Sour", was written by Sharon O'Neill, who also recorded the song in 1987 as "In Control" on her album Danced in the Fire. Deborah Conway (Do-Ré-Mi) was actor Tracy Mann's 'singing voice' and sang the hit "Sweet & Sour" (# 10 Australian national singles chart). The song's lyrics relate to self-empowerment in the face of life's vagaries: "Life can be sweet and sour, But I am in control. It can chill me to the bone, Give me wings to fly on my own."
Music was directed by Martin Armiger (The Sports, Stephen Cummings Band) who also provided backing vocals, lead guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, drums and lyrics. Associate Music Director Graham Bidstrup (The Angels, GANGgajang) also provided backing vocals, keyboards, percussion and lyrics. In 1980, Bidstrup had produced a single, "Russia Rocks", for an Australian group The Takeaways. Assistant to Music Director Stephen O'Rourke also provided backing vocals.
The list of recording musicians/songwriters includes Tommy Emmanuel, Chris Bailey (The Angels, GANGgajang), Eric McCusker (Mondo Rock), Red Symons (Skyhooks), "Freddie" Strauks (Skyhooks), Todd Hunter (Dragon, XL Capris), Rick Grossman (Divinyls, Hoodoo Gurus),Mark Edwards (The Runners), Tony Buchanan (Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs mk2) and Reg Mombassa (Mental As Anything).
Cathy McQuade (Deckchairs Overboard) was Sandra Lillingston's 'singing voice' and John Clifforth (Deckchairs Overboard) was David Reyne's 'singing voice' (both Reyne and Herbert sang backing vocals on some tracks).
The soundtrack album went platinum, selling over 70,000 copies.
Australian band GANGgajang were formed as a direct result of four of their members involvement as musicians/songwriters for this show: Chris Bailey, Graham Bidstrup, Mark Callaghan and Kay Bee.
Cameo appearances from other Australian musicians include, The Johnnys playing Slip Slap Fishin' and Rebel Yell live in Episode 3 and Richard Clapton playing acoustic in the street in Episode 6. Kirk Pengilly from INXS appeared in Episode 7 and Chrissie Amphlett from the Divinyls popped up in Episode 8.