All You Ever Think About Is Sparks

Went about a full week without an update! No, I didn’t forget that I had a blog, I was in NYC to see New Order!

New Order was awesome, but since I’m covering that for a magazine I really can’t go into much detail. I do have a lot to say about NYC otherwise though, in particular its record stores and I hope to get something written up about them rather soon.

I hope to do a lot of things. I’ve been teasing a big announcement both here and on my Twitter. Something I’ve been working on for a while. It’s still not ready. False starts. Illness. Distractions. Life. Things are getting in the way. It’s been very disappointing for me.

But I hope to get it all together soon. I know it will work out. And I think it will be something you will all be interested in. At least, I hope so. Shit. I don’t know.

It’s kind of been a long month.

Anyways, here’s a post I wrote before I went to NYC but couldn’t put up for various reasons. Enjoy the Sparks and keep checking here for my announcement (it will happen soon…I hope) and if nothing else, keep checking back here for some rad tunes. I got some stellar shit recently, both in NYC and in Pittsburgh, and I can’t wait to share it all with you.

Fingertips (Extended Club Version)
The Scene (Special Club Edit)
Cool Places (Live with Jane Wiedlin)
All You Ever Think About Is Sex (Live)
Sparks is one of the most indefinably weird bands in the history of music. They’ve barely had any success in the 40+ years of their existence, and whenever they do manage to scratch the bottom of the Billboard charts or score a minor hit single it just seems like a crazy fluke, like someone at some computer pushed the wrong button. I honestly don’t know how they’ve managed to keep going this long. Are they freakishly popular in Europe or something? Do the brothers Mael have an incredibly successful side-business that they keep hidden from the public? Maybe they’re secretly drug lords or high-priced hitmen, and they partake in a life of crime to fund their quirky pop music. Sound weird? Possibly, but not as weird as half of their albums.

Sparks recently put out a 2CD 12″ mix collection. And while it’s not available in America, it is a pretty good representation of their early 80s singles output, and I recommend picking it up if you can locate a copy. It’s not all-inclusive though, and the mixes and live cuts above represent some of the stuff that didn’t make the collection. The live stuff is great, as is that mix of “Fingertips,” but the real highlight is the amazing club mix of “The Scene,” which takes a great song and makes it even better.

6 Responses to “All You Ever Think About Is Sparks”

  1. Jenny says:

    New Order?! I thought Hook wasn’t on board! Eh, how was it? heh

  2. Eric Schulz says:

    Thanks SO MUCH for posting these! My knowledge of Sparks is limited to Cool Spaces and probably the most perfectly produced dance record of the 80’s, “Music You Can Dance To.” Can’t wait to check these out!

  3. maelfan says:

    Thanx for sharing these! Looking at the tracklist of the 2CD “EXTENDED – THE 12-INCH MIXES”, well, all 12″-s from the second half of the 80’s are missing. Why? What’s wrong with the extended versions of “Music that you can dance to”, “Rosebud” and “So Important”? Therefore, a big thank you for sharing “Fingertips” en “The scene”!

  4. Chris says:

    They fronted a rock band based in Britain in the 70s and had some huge hits. I saw them live in the mid 70s when they were one of the few bands worth watching in that period just before punk arrived. They faded away a bit but came back in the 80s, minus the rest of the band with a dance sound, like other duos such as Soft Cell and Pet Shop Boys. I gather they’ve been huge in other countries at other times which I guess accounts for their longevity.

  5. Hilfy says:

    As a long time Sparks fan, I was hard pressed to tell the difference between the “Special Club Edit” of The Scene and the original version found on the album Music That You Can Dance To. I think they shortened the horrendous (yet cool) noise that occurs 2/3’s of the way through the song and I swear I heard some dipsy doodle synth drums for a while, but that’s it. Fingertips, however, is lightened up quite a bit.

  6. Tim Brooks says:

    Thanks for Sparks – big in UK mid and late 70’s, big in France early 80’s (only ever No 1), lost in Europe in 80’s but got popular in USA, comeback in the 90’s in Europe – big in Germany and kept European following in 00’s. Lil Beethoven best album of the 00’s IMHO!!!

Leave a Reply