This compilation covers material taken from Sparks' albums between 1972-84 currently available on re-release. It will whet your appetite if you possess an open mind and a kinky approach to popular music. The glazed, alienated stare of composer Ron Mael and the exaggerated glamour of brother Russell displaying a voice like Lotte Lenya on helium front an ironic, scatalogical take on life (desire, adolescence, anxiety, face-lifts)as well as every innovation in rock/pop music during the period. Two very early tracks of great charm - "Wonder Girl" and "The Girl from Germany" (girls figure prominently in Sparks songs) show the influence of the Kinks and The Small Faces, but don't exactly prepare you for the sheer oddity of their legendary "This Town Ain't Big Enough" and " Amateur Hour" with which they established their reputation in 1974. There's a gap in the compilation - no songs from "Propaganda", "Indiscreet", "Big Beat" nor the frankly forgettable "Introducing Sparks" (a weird homage to the Beach Boys). This is compensated for in three numbers from the wonderful, influential Moroder collaboration "No 1 in Heaven" an album which simultaneoulsy parodises disco, comments on Kraftwerk and points unmistakeably in the direction of House- ten years before it happened. There's also a generous sprinkling of some of the more successful songs from the early 80s, when Sparks returned to band format and directed energies towards their native USA, a largely futile execise as they were far too inventive, too abnormal, too intelligent for commercial success in that market. Included for connoisseurs of the rarity is a rogue track "My Baby Gave Me a Big Surprise". No prizes for guessing what that might be.