LISTEN: Matthew Sweet Talks Girlfriend 30 Years Later

The alternative rock great chats exclusively with Rock & Roll Globe about his forever masterpiece

Matthew Sweet 1991 publicity photo (Image: Wolfgang’s Vault)

Nirvana’s Nevermind blew my mind, yes it did. But it didn’t hit me the same way Girlfriend, the third LP from Matthew Sweet, did upon its release 30 years ago on October 22, 1991.

And 30 years later, this album–which bridged the gap between my deepening teenage affinity for power pop and my hardwired devotion to guitar rock–continues to reveal layers upon layers of knowledge we have amassed as fans since Tuesday Weld’s beautiful, fur-framed face graced my local record shop.



In fact, I checked out Space Commander Cobra, the 1982 sci-fi anime whose clips are featured in the video for Girlfriend’s title track, for the very first time earlier this year. If you are a fan of G-Force, Speed Racer and Voltron especially (one version of Space Commander Cobra features the same voice actor who played Lance). Described by  Sandra Scholes of Active Anime as “Barbarella, Zardoz and Star Wars all mixed together,” it’s a quintessential trip into Saturday Morning Psychedelia that serves as a weirdly apropos visual backdrop to Sweet’s super-catchy homage to getting eternally friend zoned.


VIDEO: Matthew Sweet “Girlfriend”

As a huge fan of Lou Reed’s New York, I was already aware of drummer Fred Maher. But Girlfriend served as my introduction to the three-headed guitar monster that was Richard Lloyd,  Ivan Julian  and Robert Quine long before I was aware of Television and the Voidoids. Then, about ten years ago, I finally got around to checking out the catalog of Lloyd Cole, who also plays guitar on Girlfriend, and was able to appreciate this stellar mini guitar orchestra–which also includes lap-steel great Greg Leisz, especially on “Winona”–all over again.

Matthew Sweet Girlfriend, Zoo Entertainment/Legacy Recordings, 1991

In a conversation that spanned over two hours, it was my honor to speak to Mr. Sweet about all this good stuff and so much more–including his roots on the Athens, GA music scene in the 80s–in celebration of Girlfriend’s 30th anniversary.


AUDIO: Rock & Roll Globe X Matthew Sweet



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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

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