Author Topic: Sparks  (Read 13831 times)

the science eel

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Sparks
« on: November 23, 2016, 09:57:06 AM »
I've liked a handful of their early songs for a long time, but I've been digging a bit deeper recently. I'm playing Indiscreet right now, and it's an absolute blast.

Any other fans?

Artie Fufkin

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2016, 10:18:53 AM »
Oh, yes !

Amazing band. Seen them a few times. Most recently when they played Kimono My House in its entirety.

the science eel

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2016, 10:24:06 AM »
You lucky monkey!

Artie Fufkin

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2016, 10:43:16 AM »
I recommend this for something recent-ish

Re: Sparks
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2016, 10:59:21 AM »
Sparks are fucking great.

Lil' Beethoven is probably my favourite album of theirs (which is weird as it was 30 years into their career).
This could go in the great live performances thread - if I could be bothered to look for it.

Artie Fufkin

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2016, 11:09:55 AM »
Sparks are fucking great.

Lil' Beethoven is probably my favourite album of theirs (which is weird as it was 30 years into their career).
This could go in the great live performances thread - if I could be bothered to look for it.

Suburban Homeboy is awesome

Re: Sparks
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2016, 11:26:32 AM »
Bloody great band, although I've not really explored their more recent stuff.

This is a fine TOTP performance of one of my favourite songs of theirs.

Plus, this performance on the White Room in 1995 was the performance that made me start to actively seek out their stuff.

the science eel

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2016, 11:35:57 AM »
Bloody great band, although I've not really explored their more recent stuff.

Neither have I. I think I prefer the earlier stuff anyway - it's less arch, more fun.

Norton Canes

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2016, 11:45:44 AM »
Plus, this performance on the White Room in 1995 was the performance that made me start to actively seek out their stuff

I was there! Not sure you can see me in the audience in that clip though. I think you get a glimpse of me watching Pulp.

Dirty Boy

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2016, 12:21:19 PM »
As brilliant and timeless as Woofer/Kimono/Propaganda/Indiscreet undoubtably are, i think Lil Beethoven is still my favourite album of theirs. It takes a bit of time to get into, but once you lock into the repetition it really sucks you in.

Hello Young Lovers is also highly enjoyable, even though there's a couple of songs i usually skip. You can't argue with the likes of Waterproof and Dick Around and iit's almost a Lil Beethoven part 2.

I've always avoided the 80's albums, am i missing anything great?

alan nagsworth

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2016, 12:22:31 PM »
I really really fucking love this band, although I'm only familiar with a handful of their earlier stuff. Kimono was my point of entry - what an incredible album, and to think it came out the same year as the similarly brilliant Propaganda! - and I think at this point in time my favourite album is Angst in my Pants. Mickey Mouse is an absolute joy of a tune, and I adore tunes like Sherlock Homes and Moustache.

Their album covers/titles are among some of my favourites as well, particularly the striking cover art for Indiscreet and Propaganda (shown below), and the title Gratuitous Sax and Senseless Violins which is just mind-blowing to me. The wit and and bravado that permeates through their extravagant music, genius lyricism and press photos is very enviable indeed. They seem to have a way of taking "not taking themselves seriously" very seriously and it pays off immensely. They're just so fucking cool.





I have tried listening to some of their more recent stuff, like Exotic Creatures of the Deep, but the songs just didn't seem to carry the hard-hitting pomp of their earlier work. If anyone cares to point me in the direction of the better stuff from the mid-90s onwards, I'd be very appreciative!

I've always avoided the 80's albums, am i missing anything great?

The above-mentioned Angst in my Pants is a total belter aye.

Re: Sparks
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2016, 01:58:36 PM »
Blimey, nags and I liking the same band.
Same albums too, Propaganda and Angst In My Pants are two of my favourite feel-good records.

There's nothing remotely like them in my collection, which makes them all the more special. Nearly typed sensual then, but that would fit too.

Milverton

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2016, 12:17:53 AM »
Ron is one of my favourite people in the whole world.

I was listening to Screwed Up earlier from Big Beat.

"In 1900 you held hands and felt like you'd scored /
In 1910 you'd never need a horse anymore /
In 1920 you could dance /
In 1930 lose your pants /
In 1940 you could go to war (really soon) /
In 1950 you could just be dull and a bore /
In 1960 set the world on fire /
That was then, this is now /
And nothing's blowin' in the wind."


alan nagsworth

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2017, 10:23:56 AM »
Hey, they're back!

New album, (their first in eight years) new song, and a tour!

I don't think I really like the song too much. I hope it's a grower but a lot of their later work hasn't ever particularly grabbed me. Nevertheless, tickets go on sale for the tour this Friday at 9am and I'm all over that Shepherds Bush Empire show. Anyone gonna be joining me?

wosl

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2017, 01:30:43 PM »
I quite like that; like a spiky nursery rhyme.  In terms of albums, I know their Moroder one the best; love Number One Song In Heaven.  As he's got older, Russell has become more ornery-looking and Ron-like, hasn't he; in the old days they were like weird brother/normal brother, with Russell cursorily coming across as quite the catch, in a lion's-mane-of-hair, big-flared-collar sort of way.

fit bird

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2017, 01:35:46 PM »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e368gw/acts/adpj6q#p04w9vyr
you can also hear some of the songs performed live on the bbc iplayer.

Head Gardener

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2017, 03:44:35 PM »
I have loved Sparks for years and was chuffed to bits to have a session with original Kimono My House bassist Martin Gordon a few years ago

https://www.mixcloud.com/Gardener/martin-gordon-in-session-mix/

CaledonianGonzo

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2017, 06:26:52 PM »
I saw them live on Friday night and they were ace.  The new band sounded pretty damn good and the new songs came over pretty well on first listen.

Shameless Custard

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2017, 06:42:54 PM »
Kimono My House is about as perfick as music gets

Introducing is pretty unbeatable, too. Though I know it's not everyone's favourite

As for Best Ofs, Profile is pretty great (if you ignore the shoddy cover) - https://rateyourmusic.com/release/comp/sparks/profile__the_ultimate_sparks_collection/

Phoenix Lazarus

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2017, 06:51:22 PM »
This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us & Number One Song In Heaven are both awesome tracks.  I love the keyboardist's deadpan menacing shtick.

the science eel

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2017, 10:20:22 PM »
I think my favourite might be 'Thank God It's Not Christmas', but that's mainly for the intro, which is one of the greatest ever.

And if you watch this, the way he appears from behind a fake tree after all the wondrous musicality of the first 30 seconds or so:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho_WsJK_MTg


- it's just the greatest thing in the whole world. Isn't it?


alan nagsworth

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2017, 11:57:21 PM »
I think my favourite might be 'Thank God It's Not Christmas', but that's mainly for the intro, which is one of the greatest ever.

And if you watch this, the way he appears from behind a fake tree after all the wondrous musicality of the first 30 seconds or so:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho_WsJK_MTg


- it's just the greatest thing in the whole world. Isn't it?



That is fucking ace. Ron's stony, terrifying stare and rigid fingered playing never cease to enthrall me.

Phoenix Lazarus

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2017, 07:27:00 AM »
A little bit of their first recording from 1969, with a very early photo of the brothers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsoA_SZkggU

alan nagsworth

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2017, 07:36:50 PM »
Well, I got a ticket for the Shepherd's Bush gig, did anyone else?

Funcrusher

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2017, 10:44:25 PM »
Apparently Sparks are working on a musical with Leos Carax and another with Guy Maddin I just learned today. That's all the Sparks facts I have.

http://www.indiewire.com/2015/02/sparks-reveal-new-musical-film-directed-by-leos-carax-confirm-guy-maddin-project-is-still-in-the-works-267086/

Janie Jones

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2017, 11:19:28 PM »
Hmm, is Russell's voice alright? I was a huge fan of the first 5 albums which I still adore but I heard some of that ponderous collaboration with Franz Ferdinand a couple of years ago, it was awful and recently BBC R6 had them on for their bogus festival thing in Glasgow and it was unlistenable. They were doing 'never turn your back on Mother Earth' and I just wanted to cry, it was that bad. I think less live performances might be the way forward for the old boys now. They must be pushing 70 although being rich gay men from LA they've had so much plastic surgery, it's hard to tell. I do love them though. Like many an awkward bookish 1970s teen, seeing 'This town ain't big enough' on TOTP was life changing for me.

Crabwalk

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2017, 07:54:39 AM »
Just came across this photo and it made me happy so thought I'd share it:


Re: Sparks
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2017, 08:06:16 AM »
Just came across this photo and it made me happy so thought I'd share it:



That has made me happy.

Jockice

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Re: Sparks
« Reply #28 on: April 04, 2017, 08:09:23 AM »

Re: Sparks
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2017, 08:15:08 AM »
Hmm, is Russell's voice alright? I was a huge fan of the first 5 albums which I still adore but I heard some of that ponderous collaboration with Franz Ferdinand a couple of years ago, it was awful and recently BBC R6 had them on for their bogus festival thing in Glasgow and it was unlistenable. They were doing 'never turn your back on Mother Earth' and I just wanted to cry, it was that bad. I think less live performances might be the way forward for the old boys now. They must be pushing 70 although being rich gay men from LA they've had so much plastic surgery, it's hard to tell. I do love them though. Like many an awkward bookish 1970s teen, seeing 'This town ain't big enough' on TOTP was life changing for me.

I noticed Russell was struggling to hit the notes on that 6music performance, he sounded very wavery. Also, I've been suspicious of the lustrousness of his hair for a while now, do you reckon he wears a syrup?

They've always been great live whenever I've seen them, although admittedly the last time was around nine years ago.

Not a fan of F.F.S. either to be honest, surprised people were going so crazy over it.