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SPARKS

S/T

1972 RECORDS


Format: LP
Cata No: IF29
Barcode: 852545003295
Sparks’ eponymous 1971 debut presents the singular
compositional, lyrical and singing voices of Ron and Russell
Mael fully formed. Originally released under the moniker
Halfnelson, Sparks’ prescient debut prefigures Queen, power
pop, and especially Southern California’s late ’70s skinny-tie
explosion. It’s a landmark of Todd Rungren’s early production
career, and clearly the backing band of brothers Earle and
Jim Mankey brought Sparks’ pop idiosyncrasies to their later
work with The Dickies, The Quick and 20 / 20. Infectious,
daring, and delightfully flaunting camp theatricality throughout,
Sparks is the first installment in an unparalleled series of some
of the decade’s most classic albums. Careening melodies soar
through space-detritus electronics on the strikingly original
“Roger,” which evokes the early solo work of Brian Eno, but
the deranged art-rock closing track “(No More) Mr. Nice Guys”
is the unequivocal classic of Sparks’ early career and a staple of
the band’s live set ever since.
Rundgren’s restrained production wisely sets the Mael brothers
at the fore of Sparks. With just subtly treated cymbal flourishes
keeping the pace, album opener “Wonder Girl” is pared
down and mixed to showcase two things: Ron’s twinkling piano
trill and Russell’s fluttering high-register. As Rundgren perceived,
and a multi-decade career confirms since, their fraternal
chemistry is a consummate force.

Tracks:

1. Wonder Girl
2. Fa La Fa Lee
3. Roger
4. High C
5. Fletcher Honorama
6. Simple Ballet
7. Slowboat
8. Biology 2
9. Saccharin And The War
10. Big Bands
11. (No More) Mr. Nice Guys

Press:

 

Audio & Video:

N/A

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