Article: Tony Visconti Counts Down His Favorite Tracks

Tidal (July 10, 2018)

Article: Plymouth Herald

Plymouth Herald (March 24, 2018)
The 50 greatest gigs of all time: Plymouth's iconic concerts

27 Sparks

Plymouth Argyle’s Home Park stadium has witnessed some incredible performers: Pele, Rod Steward, Ruud Gullit, Meatloaf and Mickey Evans among them, but surely the strangest event at the stadium was by US pop-rockers Sparks.

Even among the eccentricities of the glam era, the Mael brothers Russell (the pretty one) and Ron (the one who looked like Hitler) stood out as particularly loopy.

They performed in what was called a “mobile theatre” in 1974. Sparks were also, of course, exceptional, and that year had a monster hit with the single This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us.

Article: Beck’s 50 Favorite Album Covers

Vanity Fair (November 2001)
Beck’s 50 Favorite Album Covers


Sparks’ covers are clever and really well art-directed. This one goes beyond the more tongue-in-cheek aspects of Propaganda and Indiscreet and becomes almost performative. A parodic premonition of Homogenic?

Article: Le Monde

Le Monde (September 1, 2017/French)
Le feu toujours sacré des Sparks

Article: Director Edgar Wright's Favourite Albums

The Quietus (June 23, 2017)
The Fabulous, Most Groovy: Director Edgar Wright's Favourite Albums

Sparks – Kimono My House

The first time I heard Sparks was on those Ronco compilations of chart hits. One of them had ‘Beat The Clock’ on it and another one had ‘When I’m With You’.

Later I heard ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us’, which is an extraordinary rock single. To call it a glam rock single does it a disservice. The album itself is all killer. Oh my God, what an album!

I’ve bit listening to it a lot recently since Sparks did the album FFS with Franz Ferdinand, which is highly, highly entertaining. I went back and listened again to the 1970s albums, especially Propaganda and Kimono My House, which were like a one-two punch in 1974. They are both amazing but there’s not a duff moment on Kimono My House. Obviously, ‘This Town’ is the most famous song but the album reaches its peak when there’s a run of three songs which are perfection: ‘Here In Heaven’, ‘Thank God It’s Not Christmas’ and ‘Hasta Manana Monsieur’.

The Mael brothers must have been somewhat miffed to see Queen, another band with a similar operatic sound, soaring to huge chart success, while Sparks stayed relatively culty.

But I think in retrospect Sparks made albums that were more consistent in theme and tone and still to this day they keep putting out records that are always just a little ahead of their time. To keep doing that for nearly 50 years is no mean feat.

Article: Rolling

Rolling Stone (March 27, 2017/ German)
Die 10 besten Songs der Sparks

Article: Day Extra

Day Extra (November 20, 2016)
The best Christmas songs you never heard

One final song for those of you who spend 364 days celebrating that it is not Christmas, courtesy of brothers Ron and Russell Mael — better known as long-standing cult pop stars Sparks. “Thank God It’s Not Christmas” sits midway through their 1970 album Kimono My House, and cuts through any romantic ideas about Christmas like a chainsaw through gingerbread.

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Sparks, Ron Mael and Russell Mael fan site.