Top critical review
Sparks do Beach Boys in the year of the Punk V. Disco chart wars!
on 18 February 2013
As the likes of Bee Gees and Donner Summer fought with the likes of The Stranglers and Sex Pistols in the charts of '77, Sparks brought out and titled their 7th studio album(now on CBS) 'Introducing Sparks.' Why? I've never understood. At the time, the 16 year old me found this LP a disappointment. As an older person I enjoyed the songs but understood its commercial failure. Sometimes with Sparks records, just because a release failed in the UK, didn't mean it didn't do well elsewhere. To my knowledge, I don't believe this record did very well anywhere.
Produced by Terry Powell and Ron & Russell Mael, this album was soaked with session musicians. Some of which would go on to be in Toto. Also, noteworthy, was than as with 1976's Big Beat having all tracks by Ron Mael only. On here, Russell had co-credits on all 9 songs. Incidently, it took 9 months to record this album.
In UK and parts of Eurpe, 'A Big Surprise' was the lead single. It some ways you might regard it as the only one. Other countries that didn't get this song, got'Over The Summer.'
For me, 'Over The Summer' and 'Girls On The Brain' should have been natural release choices, but, you never know if those choices are the label or the brothers Mael. Two songs have an irony for me. It was pleasing to hear sparks songs with guitar solos again. They being in songs that had titles that seam to sum up this album, 'Goofing Off' and 'Those Mysteries.'
For those new to Sparks this LP isn't an essential purchase. For the die hards'
lyrics like "I searched the whole encyclopedia from A to Z and had no luck.
It listed Beriberi, menopause and even halitosis,..no luck.
But then I asked my brother, who is kinda thick, Tell me what I got? I'm feeling realy sick. Brother, keep away from me, you got girls on the brain." It just brings a wry smile to your face.