Biography
Nicky Chinn was one half of the most commercially productive songwriting team of Britain's glitter-rock era, partnering with Mike Chapman to pen a series of incessantly catchy, intentionally disposable hit singles. Born May 16, 1945, in London, Chinn was working with cars in 1970 when he first tried his hand at songwriting in tandem with Mike D'Abo, landing a bit of material on the soundtrack of #There's a Girl in My Soup. That same year he met Chapman, a member of the group Tangerine Peel and a waiter at the restaurant Chinn frequented. The two found that they had similar aspirations, and decided to team up. They caught on with producer Mickie Most's RAK label in the fall, and were assigned to work with a new group called the Sweet. Chinn and Chapman penned two quick hits for the band in 1971, Funny Funny and Co Co, which established their knack for big melodies and silly lyrics. New World also scored a hit with their Tom Tom Turnaround, and the partnership was on its way.

Over the next few years, Chinn and Chapman enjoyed their greatest success with primary vehicle Sweet, with a string of hits -- Little Willy, Wig-Wam Bam, the U.K. number one Blockbuster, Hell Raiser, the oft-covered Ballroom Blitz, Teenage Rampage -- that got progressively crunchier and harder-rocking, at the request of the band. Having perfected their brand of bubblegum glam rock, and with Sweet wanting more control over their own music, Chinn and Chapman branched out into work with other acts, moving into production as well as writing. They wrote a series of U.K. smashes for Suzi Quatro over 1973-1974, including Can the Can, 48 Crash, Devil Gate Drive, and The Wild One. A Touch Too Much went Top Ten for the Arrows in 1974, but Mud became the duo's main concern for 1974-1975, with another string of successes that included Dyna-Mite, the number one Tiger Feet, The Cat Crept In, Rocket, Lonely This Christmas (another number one), and The Secrets That You Keep. Their next vehicle was Smokey (sometimes Smokie), which scored with If You Think You Know How to Love Me, Don't Play Your Rock and Roll to Me, Living Next Door to Alice, It's Your Life, and Oh Carol over 1975-1978.

Despite Chinn and Chapman's massive success in the U.K., they remained virtual unknowns in the American marketplace, save for a few Sweet tunes. They finally topped the U.S. charts in 1978 with Exile's Kiss You All Over. Chinn stayed with Chapman for a bit longer to work with Racey, which managed a couple of hits over 1978-1979 in Some Girls and Lay Your Love on Me. However, the emergence of punk was making their brand of glitter rock obsolete in the U.K., and Chapman was forging a successful solo production career, highlighted early on by his work with Blondie, the Knack, and Pat Benatar, among others. The two started their own label, Dreamland, in 1979, but the timing was off, and it folded in 1981. The duo's last hurrah was Toni Basil's 1982 American chart-topper Mickey, a slightly rewritten version of a Racey tune originally called Kitty. While Chapman continued on in the music business, Chinn retreated from view in the absence of his longtime partner. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi




 
Videos
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Nicky Chinn Drops Mike Rowe BHL Roughing
Nicky Chinn vs Shannon Hope BHL fight 1995-96
Nicky Chinn talks about Sweet and Mud - 26 September 1980 • TopPop
Rob Trumbley vs Nicky Chinn BNL fight 7-11-02
Nicky Chinn vs Greg Ware BHL fight 1995-96
Mike Ware goes after Nicky Chinn / Ware Elbow BHL 93-94
Glam & Glitter: SWEET / RUBETTES (documentary clip cira 2000)
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