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Number One Songs in Heaven Paperback – 6 Aug 2009
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"[Thompson] knows his stuff and can organize and write well about it. Libraries that pride themselves on well-rounded music and pop culture collections should purchase his work." "Library Journal" on "London's Burning""
About the Author
Dave Thompson is a leading rock expert and the author ofmore than100 rock books, including "Cream," "Funk," "Go Phish," "I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto," "Never Fade Away: The Kurt Cobain Story," and "Smoke on the Water." He lives in Newark, Delaware."
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Top Customer Reviews
Through friends I worked my way back to earlier albums like Kimono and Propaganda. I adored those albums, listening while poring over the lyric sheets and trying to grasp what it all meant (my English wasn't so good then). Of course the musical mael-strom (no pun intended) was the real highlight. A tapestry of layered maniacal pianoplaying, soaring guitarriffs and Russell's absolutely unique angelic voice.
After that I always kept an eye open for new work of the brothers. Every album of the 80's had at least one or two outstanding tracks and memorable singles. Albumwise I think they gained a fresh breath during the mid 90's, culminating finally in the last 3 fenomenal "orchestral" albums.
During all those decades I read the occasional interview, a snippet here or there, but my knowledge of the band was practically nil.
This book is what I really needed. The attention to historic detail of the Sparks-saga is really impressive. Dave Thompson did a great job. He fills in nicely the (huge) gaps in what I knew of Sparks. His story flows smoothly from year to year and describes effortlessly the atmosphere and music scene in early 70's London and early 80's LA. He also puts everything in the correct historical context.
What also becomes clear is that Ron and Russell were always very determined in what they wanted to achieve. Behind the quirkiness and daft humour are two guys who apparently could be ruthless (towards other band members) in following their musical and artistic vision.
The one thing I miss in this biography are more stories behind the songs and what inspired them. The fact that Sparks are quite secretive (to put it mildly) about their private lives doesn't help of course.
Anyway, this book is highly readable and I definitely recommend it to every devoted Sparks-fan. Also check out the discography at the end !
If you are a fan, buy this. It is a nostalgic trawl through the careers of the finest singer/songwriters ever. And I am biased. You will discover how they were popular in many countries over many years. The book has plenty of pictures and cut-outs from pop/rock magazines, with loads of interviews, including many band members, past and present. Buy it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Incredibly detailed insight into the history and workings of my favourite music makers of all time. Such a shame that it hasn't been updated since 2009 but you can't have... Read morePublished 6 months ago by N. M. Fletcher
Probably five stars if you are a Sparks fan (which I am) because this is a really comprehensive (and probably the only) account of this very idiosyncrantic band. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Iain61
Wonderfull item, by the best and most Original band around, ever since 1969.
Absolutely love it. Sparks keep on going.
Have received this book this week and whilst the book itself is ok, the description by Amazon states 500 pages. Read morePublished on 17 Jan. 2014 by Mr Fahrenheit
The book is largely put together using past interviews. On more than one occasion, having read the entire interview previously, I disagreed with the spin that Thompson put on it. Read morePublished on 26 Mar. 2010 by JPO
I have been a huge Sparks fan ever since their first Top Of The Pops appearance and this is a great book. Read morePublished on 8 Mar. 2010 by 12stringbassist