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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing album
I suppose we all come back periodically to listen to our favourite albums. Kimono My House has rarely been off my player since 1974 and I maintained an interest in Sparks up to the release of Big Beat, in 1979. Recently I heard "Suburban Homeboy" being played on BBC Radio 2 and was curious. Searching for "Lil' Beethoven" on Amazon and seeing the amazing comments being...
Published on 15 May 2005 by Mr. Gary Simpson

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1 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Drove me nuts...
I find it hard to believe people think this a masterpiece. It's truly dreadful! I've loved Sparks since 'Kimono My House', but this just drove me nuts listening to it. Where are the tunes? What is all this choppy, musicless nonsense about? Why is Russell's voice so horribly multi tracked? Streuth-It's downright unlistenable..aaaaaaaaah!
Published on 17 July 2011 by the AC chrysalis


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing album, 15 May 2005
By 
Mr. Gary Simpson "gary4" (Ormskirk, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lil' Beethoven Deluxe Edition (Audio CD)
I suppose we all come back periodically to listen to our favourite albums. Kimono My House has rarely been off my player since 1974 and I maintained an interest in Sparks up to the release of Big Beat, in 1979. Recently I heard "Suburban Homeboy" being played on BBC Radio 2 and was curious. Searching for "Lil' Beethoven" on Amazon and seeing the amazing comments being made for this album, I was intrigued but ready to be disappointed. I wasn't. This is astonishing stuff: here the Maels have produced a truly amazing, ground-breaking album which deserves all the superlatives: masterpiece, classic - what you will. Why hasn't it reached a larger audience? There isn't a bad track here, but for me the highlights were "Your Call's Very Important To Us. Please Hold" and "Ugly Guys with Beautiful Girls". All the wit, satire, bravery and downright fun that was present in "Kimono My House" is in abundance here - and yet in a radically different album which is quite unlike anything else you will hear. Magnificent.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lil' bit of pure magic, 30 Jun 2004
This review is from: Lil' Beethoven Deluxe Edition (Audio CD)
The Maels are a class act. Returning to the fray with the incredible Gratuitous Sax and Senseless Violins in '94, they reconnected me with the feelings I'd had about them when I was just a sprog of 13 and Number 1 in Heaven was one of my fave albums.
Followed by the awesome Balls in 2000, Russell and Ron really hit their stride with Lil' Beethoven in 2002. It's quite simply like nothing else around and very them. In a sea of the manufactured, the formulaic and the bland, Sparks throw down a creative gauntlet.
Every track here is a winner. To see them do this live - which I have now four times! - is quite something. Not only do they give full rein to the songs but there's an added theatricality
with Ron acting out various mimes: playing his master keyboard with oversized arms on How Do I Get To Carnegie Hall?, strolling around the stage with a stunning blonde on Ugly Guys With Beautiful Girls and appearing in a vest on the superb closing track, Surburban Homeboy. It is said that Britain is unsure of what makes up its identity now: a track like that shows you that
some shamefully ape America because someone else's (sub) culture is better than having none at all! The lyrics say far more than any empty rap and are devastating in their merciless sarcasm. Even this here Amazon get name-checked!
You want to know whether to buy this? Since I bought it, it's hardly been off my player so yes! yes! yes! Quite how Sparks will top this is anyone's guess as it's a masterpiece.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This record is very important to you. Please buy., 27 Dec 2005
By 
Elliott Markham (Dun Laoghaire, Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lil' Beethoven Deluxe Edition (Audio CD)
This album shows that not only can they still cut it after 30 years, but they can be boldly experimental to boot. These songs are structured in a way so unusual that, as one reviewer already pointed out, it can seem a bit underwhelming first time around, but oh! how it gets under the skin and stays there. The songs...unspool, and mesmerisingly. Verse-chorus-verse is decidedly not the template on Lil Beethoven.
Sparks have always dared to be humorous and satirical too, parlaying the mundane into the joyously surreal and dramatic. In a music business choked by the conformity of melancholy-lite (absolutely the easiest and safest emotion to work up) this is even more refreshing and necessary, and Ride 'Em Cowboy and Your Call is Very Important To Us. Please Hold are prime examples of how they can turn up high pop drama in the everyday comings and goings of life.
But really the album doesn't flag for a second, and its songs' unique structures allow for multiple listens.
Bring on 2006, and Hello Young Lovers!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply - One of THE GREATEST albums of all time!!!!, 11 July 2004
By 
Glasgow Dreamer (Glasgow Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Lil' Beethoven Deluxe Edition (Audio CD)
This is a real grower- the first time I listened to it I was a little disappointed -- it didn't seem to be a step forward from the previous album "Balls" which was, unfortunately, rather poor by Sparks' standards. However, listen to this album a few times and you will appreciate the simple brilliance of many of these fantastic tracks. As mentioned in earlier reviews, many simply build (albeit brilliantly) on their titles over a number of minutes, but to fantastic effect. The old Sparks humour is there in abundance; ther are guitars on a couiple of tracks, and there are some excellent bonuses on this version. The album proper is the fist nine tracks, and is undoubtedly Sparks' best ever - and I own all 19 of them! This album has woken me up on my CD alarm clock every morning since I bought it, and I see no reason for that to change. Do yourself a favour and buy this now!!!!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mael brothers have written a page in contemporary music's history..., 23 May 2009
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This review is from: Lil' Beethoven Deluxe Edition (Audio CD)
..., and this is due to this excellent album. "Kimono my house" or "Propaganda" are little masterpieces, but "'Lil Beethoven" is THE Sparks album without a doubt. Electric glam voices trapped in a loop, classical music structures at satyre's service, a surrealistic sense of humour envolved in coldness. You'll want to hear it again and again and again, and you'll never understand why.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best old band ever, 20 Mar 2008
By 
D. L. Wilkinson "Dean" (London,UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lil' Beethoven Deluxe Edition (Audio CD)
I remember when I was a younger version of myself,old bands that had been around for years generally seemed to sound like a second rate facsimile of their old selves.Sparks seem to have avoided that pitfall with ease.This album sounds absolutely Sparks,yet sounds as fresh as a freshly sprouted daisy.This band who had their first album in 1971,and have had their fallow periods,still seem to have ideas and enthusiasm by the bucketload.Still like something from an alternate reality.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still cutting edge after 30 years, 28 Oct 2004
This review is from: Lil' Beethoven Deluxe Edition (Audio CD)
A band like Sparks are a truly rare commodity and this album sounds as fresh now as Kimono My House did on it's release.
It's arty, original and unlike anything else but still catchy and commercial at the same time.
Anyone who has a vague interest in Sparks, or like music which is boldly daring will not fail to be thrilled by Lil Beethoven.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MASTERPIECE!!! A must buy for absolutely everyone in the whole wide world! (An unsycophantic review), 14 Feb 2011
By 
K. J. Greenland "kevinthegerbil" (Cardiff, Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lil' Beethoven Deluxe Edition (Audio CD)
This is an album that should be in everyone's collection whether you are a Sparks fan or not. I cannot stress enough how magnificent and important this album is.

An album full of anger and frustration yet so uplifting with it.

A sound that I can't see date ever.

Genius.

PS - My fave track is 'My Baby's Taking Me Home'. What utter joyous joyous joy!!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 17 Nov 2004
By 
d p batty (brighouse, west yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lil' Beethoven Deluxe Edition (Audio CD)
everybody should have this album, it is a genuine masterpiece. The only problem is that you have to restrict the amount of times you listen to it, otherwise it starts messing with your head, buy it and you'll see what i mean!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, it really is that good, 23 Feb 2011
By 
Bookworm (Midlands, U.K.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lil' Beethoven Deluxe Edition (Audio CD)
I'm not surprised that this amazing album has collected nothing but 5-star reviews. It is just gob-smackingly wonderful.

This is basically a collection of piano-based songs with orchestral arrangements but that doesn't even tell a fraction of the full story.

The deliberately repetitive lyrics, the use of what sounds like a large choir as backing singers, the superb orchestration and above all the sheer wit and verve of every single song mean that I just can't help listening to this at least once a week since I stumbled across it a few months ago.

I used to be a fan of Sparks way back in the days of Kimono My House and Propaganda but then lost track of them until quite recently. Be warned though that this really isn't like early Sparks or for that matter any other Sparks or pretty much anything else.

If you do decide to buy, prepare to become addicted!
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