Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle New Edition - Sgt. Pepper Shop Women's Shop Men's

My thoughts on Sparks' many, many albums

banebou "banebou"
 
Sparks
Sparks
"A very diverse album; the only things these songs have in common is that they're all weird, but all good.  Wonder Girl was a local hit in Montgomery, Alamaba, for some reason.  No-one else noticed it."
A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing
A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing
"Similar to the first album, but "harder to get into" - I don't think it's quite as good, but that's hardly an insult.  There are plenty of great songs here, but again, it wasn't a hit."
Kimono My House
Kimono My House
"This is when the group really took off.  Two huge hit singles in the UK, and a fantastic album in the top 10. Even the bonus b-sides sound amazing. Can only be described as "demented fairground glam"."
Propaganda
Propaganda
"Another great album, 2 more big UK hits, and in the same year as Kimono My House!  This one is even more manic, if that's possible.  Like Kimono, it's an essential purchase."
Indiscreet
Indiscreet
"2 more hits on this album, but only minor ones. Much stranger than Kimono or Propaganda, and very diverse. The lyrics are utterly bizarre. You'll either love it or hate it. One of my favourites."
Big Beat
Big Beat
"I don't have this one; I gather it's heavier than their other 70s stuff. I also have to skip the next album, Introducing Sparks - it's not available on CD, so I can't list it."
Number One in Heaven
Number One in Heaven
"A rebirth for the band - they met Georgio Moroder and suddenly turned into synth-pop wizards. 2 more big UK hits and some really classic tracks resulted. A must-have, if only for the song "Tryouts"!"
Terminal Jive
Terminal Jive
"Ugh, what happened? One, maybe two good songs on here (Young Girls & maybe Greatest Show). A foreshadowing of Interior Design. Luckily, this was just a blip; they dropped the disco thing and improved."
Whomp That Sucker
Whomp That Sucker
"Half of this I love, half of it I hate. The sound is relatively conventional 80s new wave rock, but the themes and melodies are still odd. It's rare, hence pricey; not a first choice. Love the cover!"
Angst in My Pants
Angst in My Pants
"My favourite of their 80s work. Similar to Whomp That Sucker, but much more consistent. Every song is great fun. I Predict was their first real US hit. The title track is fantastic. Recommended."
In outer space
In outer space
"Another change of direction - more simple, even robotic. Quite dancey. Cool Places was their 2nd (and last) US hit. Plenty of good songs, but less consistent than Angst In My Pants."
Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat [Us Import]
Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat [Us Import]
"This is where the rot set in. There are some great songs on here, but they're strangled by awful 80s production. The title track is illustrative - compare it to the amazing Plagiarism version."
The Best Of Sparks - Music That You Can Dance To [US Import]
The Best Of Sparks - Music That You Can Dance To [US Import]
"They had totally lost their way by now. Is this noise supposed to be music? The first two songs are bearable; after that it's poor. A guilty pleasure, at best. At least it's cheap."
Interior Design
Interior Design
"Bland. Even Music That You Can Dance To wasn't bland. That was terrible, but this is just neutral, which in many ways is more worrying. Luckily, it's the last of their poor spell."
Gratuitous Sax Senseless Violins
Gratuitous Sax Senseless Violins
"A comeback, of sorts.  Two more minor UK hits - suddenly, they're writing light techno! A bit patchy, but a heartening return to form nonetheless - not as good as their 70s work, but competant."
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
"No need for tribute albums; they recorded their own. Reworkings of songs from every 80s album, plus several versions of their big 70s hits. Some work very well, some flop. Of interest to fans."
Balls
Balls
"I don't have this yet, and only know a few songs. From what I've heard, it's similar to Gratuitous Sax but a bit more brash. Very dancey, and the singles at least are certainly catchy."
Lil' Beethoven Deluxe Edition
Lil' Beethoven Deluxe Edition
"What the heck? Where did this come from??? Their sound has been completely overhauled. "Operatic dance rock" is the best description I can give. Absolutely fantastic. Criminally underrated."
HELLO YOUNG LOVERS
HELLO YOUNG LOVERS
"Follows on from Lil' Beethoven - we have guitars now, so it's heavier. Some of the songs are a bit too intense in places, but on the whole everything works. How can a 20th album sound this fresh?"