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Sparks - Dick Around CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.78 | 4 ratings

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4 stars Imagine that it's early 2006, it's been over 3 years since the magnificent Lil' Beethoven and you get the news that Sparks are coming back to Stockholm as a part of their tour supporting a new album release! That was, at least, the situation I was in right around that time and it was both a moment of great joy and uncertainty on my part. The band's new studio album Hello Young Lovers was not yet released here in Sweden which made it seem that I would, once again, have to see a Sparks live performance without actually having heard the new release. Well, I wasn't going to take it lying down!

The only legal way to go around the issue was to purchase the single of Dick Around, which actually had an earlier release than the studio album. I ordered the single not realizing that it would actually be an EP, so imagine my great surprise once I got the package in the mail. From what I can tell, this was the first time that Sparks released an expanded single, which made this release even more special.

The disc contains six music tracks and two CD-ROM bonuses. The first two compositions are the single version Dick Around and alternative version of (Baby Baby) Can I Invade Your Country. I'm actually one of the few people who happens to prefer the single version of Dick Around since it keeps a more even flow. The album version is two minute longer and features a prolonged bridge that kind of ruins the mood for me since it shifts gears in comparison to the rest of the composition.

I also found the alternative lyrics version of (Baby Baby) Can I Invade Your Country to be very interesting since it shows that Sparks were uncertain whether they wanted to release this somewhat controversial track in it's current form but ultimately still did! As you might know, the studio version consists of the US nation anthem lyrics during the verses and chorus consists of the lyrics "Can I invade your country, oh baby baby" that are put on repeat. It had an undeniable political message to it about the state of US foreign politics of its time and I'm sure the song would have sparked controversy have it been released as a proper stand alone single. It's interesting how music of a differences these alternative lyrics do make since the only proper way I can interpret this version is assuming that it's a love song of a sorts(?).

The rest of the release is filled with three live tracks of old '70s classics and a hilarious interview. Happy Hunting Ground and In The Future are easily the best tracks off the very uneven album Indiscreet and Bon Voyage is off the great Propaganda. These performances clearly show that the Mael brothers are still great live performers since these compositions sound just as vibrant as they did back in the day.

The final track is a loose interview of the brothers conducted by Steve Jones, of Sex Pistols fame, and I use the word interview lightly! In retrospect, this is a great EP very well worth having.

***** star songs: Dick Around (3:49)

**** star songs: (Baby Baby) Can I Invade Your Country (Alternate Lyrics) (6:36) Happy Hunting Ground (live) (4:33) Bon Voyage (live) (4:53) In the Future (live) (2:17) Interview Of Sparks By Steve Jones of Jonesey's Jukebox (6:44)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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