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Matthew Sweet

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Lincoln, Nebraska, United States

Matthew Sweet (born October 6, 1964) is a musician from Lincoln, Nebraska, United States. He was part of the burgeoning Athens, Georgia music scene in the early and mid-1980s before gaining commercial success during the early 1990s.

As a young musician wanting to make a name for himself, Sweet set off to Athens, Georgia in the mid ’80s, to attend college and join the vibrant Athens music scene, most famous as the home base for R.E.M. and The B-52’s. Sweet worked with R.E.M. leader Michael Stipe at this time, joining Stipe’s sister in a band called Oh-Ok and then forming another band, The Buzz of Delight. Before long he was signed to a solo recording contract with Columbia Records.

One album, Inside, was released by Columbia in 1986 to little success.

Sweet was then picked up by A&M Records where he released his second album, Earth (1989), again without commercial success. This period marked a personal and professional low point for Sweet, as A&M lost interest and his marriage failed.

Sweet quickly recovered, and put together a new band including Richard Lloyd, Robert Quine, Greg Leisz, Lloyd Cole, and Fred Maher. The new group spent 1990 putting together Sweet’s next work, originally titled Nothing Lasts.

In 1990, A&M released Sweet from his contract, and he signed with rival Zoo Entertainment. The album, still under construction, was retitled Girlfriend and released in October 1991. This album featured a classic set of pop-rock songs, was considered by many to be an artistic breakthrough and quickly garnered impressive U.S. sales (spawning a top-10 single with the title track). The video for the title track was aired on MTV and MuchMusic and features Japanese animation (commonly known as “anime”), of which Sweet is a fan.

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