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Exotic Creatures Of The Deep CD

32 customer reviews

Price: £12.84 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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£12.84 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Amazon's Sparks Store


Image of album by Sparks


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Sparks - short biog

The artists who would come to be known for posterity as Sparks commenced inventing their often-copied, seldom-equaled brand of music back around 1970, when pop was young and brash and the Southern California airwaves awash with a contingent of post-British invasion inspirations like The Kinks, Barretts Floyd, and The Seeds. The purchase of countless shiny-sleeved ... Read more in Amazon's Sparks Store

Visit Amazon's Sparks Store
for 93 albums, 8 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 May 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Lil' Beethoven Records
  • ASIN: B0017PCWAI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,815 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Intro
2. Good Morning
3. Strange Animal
4. I Can't Believe That You Would Fall For All The Crap In This Song
5. Let The Monkey Drive
6. Intro Reprise
7. I've Never Been High
8. (She Got Me) Pregnant
9. Lighten Up, Morrissey
10. This Is The Renaissance
11. The Director Never Yelled "Cut"
12. Photoshop
13. Likeable

Product Description

Product Description

37 years after their debut LP Sparks release `Exotic Creatures Of The Deep', their 21st studio album. Recorded in their Los Angeles studio, brothers Ron and Russell Mael once again display their extraordinary ability to create, to challenge, and to confound. Should it be possible for two people to be so fresh, so vital, so unpredictable and so incomparably individual?

The result of a year spent in near-isolation `Exotic Creatures Of The Deep' could, perhaps, be seen as a natural evolution from their last two records on which pop-opera, rock and high drama combined to redefine Sparks' sound. During these recent times the cognoscenti, those "in the know", have lauded and applauded Sparks whilst enjoying membership of an exclusive club. However, these remarkably exceptional, and notably catchy, creations look set to be the key that enables many more to, as Sparks have said, `come and meet them'.

Sparks will be performing `Exotic Creatures Of The Deep' live in concert at Shepherds Bush Empire on June 13th as the pinnacle of the Sparks Spectacular. Commencing on May 16th at the Islington Academy with a performance of their 1971 album Halfnelson, Sparks will play a record breaking 21 albums in 21 nights, one album each night.


21 albums in (complete with a 21-night London residency playing every one of those albums), it seems that Sparks are defying the odds and delivering their finest works to date. As with previous albums Lil' Beethoven, and Hello Young Lovers, this is pop music, but it's fun, accessible, demented, clever and unlike anything else being made--everything good pop music should be. The narrative approach of the last two albums appears to have been ditched in favour of proper songs (relatively speaking), and a thankful return for Russell Mael's patent falsetto. Thus, "Good Morning" bursts forth, riding on a catchy synth-bass riff that Scissor Sisters would sell their wardrobes for, and "Let the Monkey Drive" builds up into a thrilling, disturbed crescendo. The layered harmonies and multi-part song structures are still in place, but toned down, which makes the material more accessible. And even the hilarious song titles such as "(She Got Me) Pregnant" and the indie-boy baiting of "Lighten Up Morrissey" belie the fact that underneath all the drama and clever lyrics, Ron and Russell Mael are making the best pop music in the world today. --Thom Allott

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jon B on 21 May 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Well, they've done it again. I liked Lil'Beethoven. I loved Hello Young Lovers. I suspect I will soon be adoring Exotic Creatures of the Deep. It's a progression again, continuing the sound that the Mael's have defined over the last couple of records. There's humour, there's wit. There's catchy melodies and cleverly constructed meters. There's also a thematic sound. I'm not saying it all sounds the same, but almost like a concept album it's all coming from one place. The top layer is Russell's multi-tracked harmonies, like a choir of exotic angels, swooping through the repeating and repetitive rhythms of the lyrics. Below that is the beautifully constructed piano lines of Ron, counterbalancing his brother's melody. Then there's the sparse boom boom of tom-toms and the strains of cello in the bass, and violins through the treble.
The production is just beautiful, with an open and precise sound.
As with the last couple the biggest influence on the Mael sound (other than themselves) is Philip Glass, though there is also a heavy dose of Lou Reed in the Sprechgesang delivery of some of the verses. And I can also hear very clearly the influence of Brian Wilson's "Smile", especially in "The Director never yelled 'CUT!'" .

All in all, it is very easy to fall in love with this CD and it is destined never to recieve the acclaim or audience it deserves.

One point I would make is that the Special Edition (with Ron and Monkey on the cover) that I bought is anything BUT special. It's just a cheap cardboard sleeve for the CD and book, so assuming the regular edition has an actual CD case, I'd go for that one. And it's cheaper.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Scott Davies on 14 July 2010
Format: Audio CD
Sparks was one of the few bands in which I allowed catalog gaps in collecting their material. I had the debut album up through 1977's Introducing Sparks, passed on the two Disco albums, returned for the New Wave of 1981's Whomp That Sucker up to 1984's Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat. After that, Sparks returned to their dance music with the forgettable Music That You Can Dance To and Interior Design albums. When Gratuitous Sax and Senseless Violins was released, I was curious and ended up purchasing the album based on the hilarious song titled 'I Thought I Told You To Wait In The Car'. Unfortunately, I found the whole album faceless and dull modern dance music, and I hated it and disposed of it.

Because of my horror at the sound of Gratuitous Sax, realizing that Sparks was still stuck in their dance music rut, I gave up on them and had no interest in anything else they released. But then Exotic Creatures of the Deep was released. I looked over the track listing, and when I saw the song titled 'Lighten Up, Morrissey', I thought it would be worth a listen. What I didn't expect was the song would return Sparks back to a rock based sound. Guitars had returned, and the drumming wasn't all dancey. I found it highly catchy and it prompted me to sample the rest of the album.

Wow! I couldn't believe how good these songs sounded in the available 30 second bits I had access to. I promptly bought the album and was blown away. Here was the Sparks that I love. Not only does Ron Mael have an endless well of dememnted and zany lyrical ideas, but the music was much more attractive and melodic with all of the quirk that made Sparks so wonderful when I first began to explore their music. Exotic Creatures of the Deep immediately reminded me of the experimentation of 1975's Indiscreet.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Purches on 5 April 2010
Format: Audio CD
I am embarrassed to admit that 'Exotic creatures of the deep' is my first Sparks album. I have known about sparks all my life, but i had no idea
how fantastic they are as musicians, and being Grandpas to boot too. Show me a younger band that has this much invention and wit.
I adore the insane operatic numbers and orchestrations, like some kind of insane musical numbers gone bonkers. 'I've never been high' is wonderful, 'Good Morning' such a cool hit.
Sound quality is A1 - MUST be heard on audiophile gear - this one really shows off your sound system. The sound quality is super smooth, superb
resolution and placement, excellent bass when needed, a really super smooth production. After listening to some other sparks albums its clear these guys
are sound quality freaks. Dynamic range is A1 too - something that modern bands should be ashamed of, with their over compressed noise.
Je suis une new convert. I will buy more Sparks asap. Recommended!!!!!
I might add I downloaded 'Dick around' by chance on itunes, and its incredible.
These guys are cool. I guess its a kind of Yello, Queen, Bowie, mixed with Opera, no its none of these - its SPARKS. Go get it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ace Music Lover on 2 July 2008
Format: Audio CD
Just after "Kimono My House" was released, when interviewed by the British Music Press, Ron Mael hoped to "Produce a classic song every 6 months".
Well chaps you surpassed that achievement years ago. This one alone contains at least half a dozen classics. Absolutely brilliant, melodic, powerful and in the case of 'Let The Monkey Drive', probably the funniest song ever. What is there not to like about this album?
When are they going headline Glastonbury?
Probably never-cos' no other band can live with them!!
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