Header

SPARKS

Sparks

Crossover Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sparks Sparks album cover
4.02 | 17 ratings | 2 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Write a review
Buy SPARKS Music
from Progarchives.com partners
Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Wonder Girl (2:20)
2. Fa La Fa Lee (2:53)
3. Roger (2:37)
4. High C (3:12)
5. Fletcher Honorama (4:15)
6. Simple Ballet (3:52)
7. Slowboat (3:54)
8. Biology 2 (3:09)
9. Saccharin and the War (4:02)
10. Big Bands (4:15)
11. (No More) Mr. Nice Guys (5:47)

Lyrics

Search SPARKS Sparks lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search SPARKS Sparks tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Harley Feinstein / drums
- Ron Mael / organ, piano, keyboards, vocals
- Russell Mael / vocals
- Earle Mankey / guitar, vocals (8)
- James Mankey / bass, guitar



Releases information

Reunion records

Thanks to for the addition
and to Snow Dog (Data Standards) for the last updates
Edit this entry

SPARKS MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s
No MP3/Stream available for this artist.
Collaborate with Progarchives.com, learn how to submit new MP3s.

Buy SPARKS Sparks Music


PropagandaPropaganda
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Fontana Island 2006
Audio CD$5.83
$9.45 (used)
Kimono My HouseKimono My House
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Fontana Island 2006
Audio CD$5.21
$9.37 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Clinton Sparks presents D-BLOCK TAKE EVERYTHING/LIL' KIM/FREEWAY 12" OG PROMO US $3.00 [0 bids]
29m 44s
DENNIS SPARKS-Holiday Horn-CHRISTMAS/Sax-STONEVILLE NC US $10.29 Buy It Now 33m 39s
LARRY SPARKS, CD "RAMBLIN' BLUEGRASS" NEW SEALED US $6.99 Buy It Now 37m 54s
Melvin Sparks - What You Hear Is What You Get [CD New] US $16.83 Buy It Now 52m 59s
7"-Single THE JOOK - Jook's On You (1973) UK MINT- / Ex-JOHN'S CHILDREN / SPARKS US $129.99 Buy It Now 57m 33s
GREEN MOON SPARKS - REBEL WITH A CURSE - DBRCD20044 US $25.08 Buy It Now 1h 30m
SPARKS HOOLIGANS BLUE CAPS LOUD JETS SPITFIRES ROCK'N'ROLL RARE S AMERICA LP US $46.00 Buy It Now 1h 45m
Phyllis Taylor Sparks & The Dream Machine - I Remember You [CD New] US $11.30 Buy It Now 1h 46m
Sparks - Introducing Sparks [CD New] US $15.76 Buy It Now 1h 46m
Jamie Sparks - Fun Tonight [CD New] US $10.98 Buy It Now 1h 46m
AGENT SPARKS - Red Rover - RARE 11 Track CD Advance US $6.99 Buy It Now 1h 49m
BEACHWOOD SPARKS - BEACHWOOD SPARKS - NEW CD US $8.82 Buy It Now 2h 15m
JEFF SPARKS - JAZZY CHRISTMAS WITH JEFF SPARKS - NEW CD US $9.57 Buy It Now 2h 20m
Sparks-Pulling Rabbits Out Of A HAT-orig. press PRISTINE LP NEAR MINT!!w/sleeve! US $6.99 Buy It Now 2h 23m
ROYKSOPP SPARKS CD SINGLE US $9.71 Buy It Now 2h 25m
GET CRAZY Soundtrack LP Morocco 6065CL 1983 Ramones Lou Reed Sparks indie punk US $14.99 [0 bids]
US $24.99 Buy It Now
2h 26m
SPARKS - Amateur Hour - Excellent Condition 7" Single US $6.47 Buy It Now 2h 35m
CARNIVAL ART - BLUE FOOD & BLACK SPARKS 12" VINYL SIT79T US $11.33 Buy It Now 2h 47m
Sparks Something For The Girl With Everything 7" Single 1U 1U Pressing - VVG US $0.81 [0 bids]
2h 51m
JORDIN SPARKS & CHRIS BROWN No Air 2007 USA PROMO Radio DJ CD Single MINT US $24.99 Buy It Now 2h 52m
Remy Zero DEAD SNARES City Sparks w/ RARE RADIO EDIT 2010 PROMO DJ CD single US $24.99 Buy It Now 2h 57m
Sparks-Set Of 3 Badges Morrissey US $3.08 Buy It Now 3h 34m
SPARKS - MUSIC THAT YOU CAN DANCE TO NEW CD US $20.21 Buy It Now 3h 56m
NEW CHRISTY MINSTRELS LP Randy Sparks Ramblin' NEAR MINT VINYL FREE SHIPPING US $9.99 [0 bids]
US $12.99 Buy It Now
4h 4m
Randy Sparks 45 My One and Only Love/I Can't Help It Columbia Promo 443289 Teen US $10.00 Buy It Now 4h 6m
Randy Sparks 45 Julie Knows/At the End of the Rainbow Columbia Promo 443138 Teen US $10.00 Buy It Now 4h 8m
SPARKS - Tryouts For The Human Race 1979 UK limited edition 2-track PICTURE DISC US $40.51 Buy It Now 4h 29m
SPARKS, NO 1 IN HEAVEN, RARE 1979 VINYL ALBUM EXCELLENT+ COVER, NEAR MINT VINYL US $16.20 [0 bids]
4h 37m
Sparks - Number one in heaven RARE UK YELLOW VINYL LP US $48.62 Buy It Now 4h 38m
BEACHWOOD SPARKS Once We Were Trees CD LIKE NEW GRAM PARSONS BYRDS US $4.99 Buy It Now 4h 41m
Sparks - Whomp that sucker RARE UK VINYL LP US $48.62 Buy It Now 4h 43m
SPARKS, ANGST IN MY PANTS /GIORGIO MORODER/ LP 1982 GERMANY EX/EX INNER/SL US $30.79 Buy It Now 4h 44m
SPARKS, TERMINAL JIVE /GIORGIO MORODER/ LP 1980 UK VG+/VG+, INNER/SL US $22.68 Buy It Now 4h 44m
Further "Filling Station" 7" OOP Beachwood Sparks vinyl US $19.99 Buy It Now 4h 47m
SPARKS DEBUT S/T 1974 Bearsville Press UK LP TIME CAPSULE COPY US $34.04 [2 bids]
4h 49m
Minny Pops - Sparks In A Dark Room [CD New] US $21.91 Buy It Now 4h 51m
Beachwood Sparks by Beachwood Sparks (CD, Mar-2000, Sub Pop (USA)) US $1.99 [0 bids]
5h 18m
Sparks Lil Beethoven Promo CD Mael US $4.86 [0 bids]
5h 34m
Richard Merwin - Sparks Of July [CD New] US $16.98 Buy It Now 5h 50m
GREG & REBECCA SPARKS - Field of Your Soul (CD 1993) Bash N The Code - Etcetera US $5.99 Buy It Now 5h 56m
? Gleaming Spires - Welcoming a New Ice Age (Tabb Records TGS-2) ('85) ex-Sparks US $14.99 Buy It Now 5h 59m
Lazarus Beach [Digipak] - Through The Sparks (CD 2007) US $8.98 Buy It Now 6h 12m
JASON SPARKS,SI BEGG,KEVIN BEBER - Urban Funk Philosophies 12" Botchit Breaks 2 US $1.22 [0 bids]
6h 13m
SINGING SAM & SPARKS: Daybreak 45 rare Funk US $60.00 Buy It Now 6h 57m
(CH797) Make Sparks, Your Hearts On Fire - DJ CD US $4.85 Buy It Now 7h 11m
RARE REGGAE 12" 45 - TREVOR SPARKS - RIDING FOR A FALL - SPIDER MAN SPM 204 US $19.99 [0 bids]
7h 22m
MELVIN SPARKS Akilah LP NEW VINYL Ace Soul Funk US $21.99 Buy It Now 7h 37m
(EF272) Jordin Sparks, Don't Let It Go To Your Head - 2009 DJ CD US $3.23 Buy It Now 7h 38m
Melvin Sparks I'm A Gittar Player Guitar Cannonball Records Soul Jazz Cd US $6.79 Buy It Now 7h 42m
Battlefield by Jordin Sparks (CD, Jul-2009, Jive (USA)) US $4.99 [0 bids]
US $7.99 Buy It Now
7h 42m
Locketts Network of Sparks.. : One CD (1999) US $2.45 Buy It Now 7h 57m
Sparks - Wildchild - Beat The Clock & Renegade Master Lp 12" Single Vinyl US $3.25 Buy It Now 7h 58m
Sparks Pulling rabbits out of a hat Atlantic 7- 80160-1 US $34.99 Buy It Now 8h
Squeezing Out Sparks by Graham Parker... *New CD* US $3.33 Buy It Now 8h 26m
SPARKS Introducing Sparks 1977 Original SEALED No Bar Code COLUMBIA US $13.41 [0 bids]
US $26.84 Buy It Now
8h 40m
MUSIC THAT YOU CAN DANCE TO~SPARKS~SYNTH POP~SAINT CLASSIC~12" US $3.99 [0 bids]
9h 3m
Sparks ~ When Do I Get To Sing My Way ~ 2 x 12" ~ PROMO US $8.09 Buy It Now 9h 7m
BLITS LP BOW WOW WOW, SPARKS 1981 RCA 54196 PUNK RECORD / LP US $9.99 [0 bids]
9h 22m
Beachwood Sparks - Tarnished Gold [Vinyl New] US $19.98 Buy It Now 9h 46m
Peppino D'agostino Sparks Shanachie 96004 Mint- Cover and vinyl in shrink US $12.00 Buy It Now 9h 58m
TOM SPARKS & MOUNTAINHEATH - 45 RARE SEATLLE ROCK US $12.99 Buy It Now 10h 15m
(DX151) Sparks, Iron City - 2009 CD US $9.89 Buy It Now 10h 17m
PATTON SPARKS - LOADED & LOUD NEW CD US $13.76 Buy It Now 10h 18m
SOUNDCLASH SLUGGY RANKS -SOUND BOY (TREVOR SPARKS ?) SUPER CAT / WILD APACHE 80S US $10.51 [4 bids]
10h 31m
LARRY SPARKS AND THE LONESOME RAMBLERS KING BLUE GRASS RECORDS 1ST P LP US $14.99 [0 bids]
11h 39m
SPARKS Halfnelson 1st US 1971 issue SEALED! NM! RARE! Todd Rundgren US $145.00 [0 bids]
11h 47m
TIGERBOMBS - 1OOO SPARKS b/w HEART GRENADES - RF - PIC.SLV + 45 - EU PRESSING US $12.95 Buy It Now 12h 29m
Sixteen Deluxe - Emits Showers of Sparks CD NM gold stamp promo US $5.00 Buy It Now 12h 39m
Sparks-When I Kiss You I Hear Charlie Parker-LP NM- US $5.95 Buy It Now 12h 51m
Jordin Sparks,Artist - Jordin Sparks, in Good condition CD US $2.82 Buy It Now 13h 3m
MINNY POPS Vinyl LP Sparks In A Dark Room (1982) US $49.99 Buy It Now 13h 20m
EDITORS All Sparks CD w CICADA REMIX & video + From The Outside htf / oop US $14.99 [0 bids]
US $19.99 Buy It Now
13h 54m
??? ????? Jacky Cheung Sparks Of Love, RARE original 1st print CD 1992 PolydorHK US $75.00 [0 bids]
US $99.00 Buy It Now
14h 25m
LARRY SPARKS "Lonesome Guitar" RARE TEST PRESSINGS Rebel 1633 US $55.23 Buy It Now 14h 25m
LARRY SPARKS "Lonesome Guitar" RARE TEST PRESSINGS Rebel 1633.1 US $55.23 Buy It Now 14h 28m
SPARKS NO 1 IN HEAVEN VINYL LP 12" RECORD w/INNER US $13.99 Buy It Now 14h 53m
SPARKS Mael Intuition The Best Of Sparks 1974-76 CD BRAND NEW US $15.73 Buy It Now 15h 32m
SPARKS BIG BEAT demonstration 1976 ISLAND RECORD US $0.99 [0 bids]
US $7.00 Buy It Now
16h 20m
SPARKS-CHANGE/THIS TOWN AIN'T BIG ENOUGH FOR THE.. (GERMAN PRESS) US $4.85 [1 bids]
16h 37m
Sparks - When I kiss you UK 12" US $14.57 Buy It Now 16h 54m
cd-single, Jordin Sparks - Tatoo, 2 Tracks, Australia US $3.47 Buy It Now 17h 23m
Jordin Sparks by Jordin Sparks (CD, Nov-2007, 19/Jive Recordings) US $3.00 Buy It Now 17h 54m
SPARKS HELLO YOUNG LOVERS 10 TRACK CD DICK AROUND PERFUME RON RUSSELL MAEL GLAM US $3.23 [0 bids]
18h 17m
LP Various "Music Express" 20 Twenty Original Hits & Stars" K-TEL TE 702 Sparks US $11.33 Buy It Now 18h 50m
SPARKS Funny Face / Don't Shoot Me 1981 German Ariola/Oasis 7" & PS US $7.49 Buy It Now 18h 59m
Monty gum Pop Posters 1978 Kate Bush Sparks Plastic Bertrand Three Degrees US $7.62 Buy It Now 19h 17m
SPARKS - NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON MOTHER EARTH - 7" VINYL 1974 ISLAND US $5.33 Buy It Now 19h 33m
YELLOW RED SPARKS-YELLOW RED SPARKS VINYL LP NEW US $22.73 Buy It Now 19h 40m
Crowley Adrian - Season Of The Sparks - CHEM124CD US $12.37 Buy It Now 20h 44m
UKRAINE import SPARKS Exotic Creatures of the Deep MOON rec. UKR CD US $14.90 Buy It Now 20h 47m
CHROME SPARKS - Goddess - 12" + MP3 download code US $20.02 Buy It Now 21h 11m
Trevor Sparks Sparks Gold Disc Reggae LP Playgraded US $8.99 Buy It Now 21h 33m
SPARKS KIMONO 1974 ORIGINAL RARE EXYUGO LP US $102.49 Buy It Now 21h 34m
Eyes to the Sun by Sparks the Rescue (CD, May-2009, ... US $8.00 Buy It Now 21h 35m
TOMMY SPARKS - TOMMY SPARKS - NEW CD US $14.25 Buy It Now 21h 53m
Graymatter by Maylay Sparks (CD, Jan-2006, Raps... US $6.50 Buy It Now 22h 20m
Sonny Phillips~ Black Magic~Melvin Sparks~Jazz/Funk UK 180 1994 OOP NEW~PRESTIGE US $9.99 [0 bids]
22h 37m
Larry Sparks(Vinyl LP)Ramblin Letters-Acoustic Revival-AR33004-US-Ex/NM US $24.30 Buy It Now 22h 42m
Larry Sparks(Vinyl LP)It's Never Too Late-June Appal-JA034-US-NM/EX- US $18.63 Buy It Now 22h 42m
Larry Sparks(Vinyl LP)Sings Hank Williams-Country-759-US-Ex/NM US $24.30 Buy It Now 22h 42m

More places to buy SPARKS music online Buy SPARKS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
  • AmazonMP3: Search for SPARKS DRM-Free MP3 Downloads @ AmazonMP3 (USA Only) | AmazonMP3 (UK Only)

SPARKS Sparks ratings distribution


4.02
(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
6%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
31%
Good, but non-essential (38%)
38%
Collectors/fans only (12%)
12%
Poor. Only for completionists (12%)
12%

SPARKS Sparks reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Nobody could have quite realized how much back then, but pairing up Todd Rundgren with Sparks (at the time called Halfnelson, and the debut album originally had that name as well) was a match made in heaven. From the beginning, Sparks had an eccentric, bizarre vision of what rock music could sound like, and it helped immensely to have a producer in place who would accentuate rather than mute that vision. When people rave about how remarkably similar to New Wave music this album sounds despite the fact that it comes from the beginning of the 70s rather than the end, this praise is as much a comment on the fun and games in the production (which would have sounded commonplace in ten years but would have been startling to any contemporary listeners) as on the songs and styles of the album. Naturally, the album sold horribly and Rundgren was replaced for the second album, but time heals all wounds, and the album now stands out as an ahead-of-its-time enjoyable marvel.

The one track on this album that I've never been able to get behind is "Biology 2," but it should be noted that it's by guitarist Earle Mankey, and it doesn't even have Russell on vocals (Earle is responsible for the chipmunk falsetto in this one). It really sounds like a bad parody of every negative stereotype one could associate with the band; it's based around one of the worst clunky guitar riffs I've ever heard from a band I like, and it has high-pitched vocals singing incomprehensible lyrics about reproductive biology on the cellular level. Ok, I'll admit, I allow myself a dumbass smirk at "Oh hold me, you know you are my one and only phenotype, and together we could have a genotype," but I always prefer to skip it, and the album would be noticeably better without it.

The album's pretty amazing aside from that track, fortunately. Two of the tracks, "Roger" and "Saccharin and the War," were penned by Russell, and my mind tends to file them away as "minor" tracks, but they're still interesting. The lyrics to "Roger" are completely incomprehensible even when I'm reading them (hilariously, in the liner notes of my edition of the album, Ron says he doesn't understand the song), but I'm rather interested by the mix of piano, goofy keyboard sounds, and above all that weird loping riff that could be a guitar or a keyboard but still sounds incredibly bizzare either way. "Saccharin and the War" has its own set of interesting-but-bewildering lyrics, but the main appeal is definitely in the music, which starts off as centered around a warm-sounding set of guitar lines and loud bass before turning into a rousing piano-driven coda over that same loud bass and pounding drums.

The rest of the album features credits for Ron Mael, with a few shared by Russell ("Simple Ballet," "Slowboat," "Big Bands") and one shared by bassist Jim Mankey ("(No More) Mr. Nice Guys"), and it's all great to some degree or another. In the hands of a less eccentric group, the great chorus and harmonies of "Wonder Girl" would likely have been grafted into a more conventional power-pop framework, with the lyrics in the verses swapped out for something else. Instead, the sole guitar lick (props to Mark Prindle for catching that it's the first line to "Happy Trails") pops in and out sporadically, and the music mostly centers around drums jumping from channel, light music-hall piano and multiple Russells singing lines like "She was a wonder to her dad / A self-made man who owned all that he had / And after all, self-made men have daughters who just won't ball." The music of "Fa La Fa Lee" is based around a lost Cars outtake that the brothers Mael found after stealing a time machine, reworked to have some gnarly chord sequences, a guitar part that should be followed by a cry of "Charge!" immediately thereafter, a silly bass solo near the end, and a bunch of other things. Oh, and the lyrics are a lament about not being able to commit incest with one's sister because it's against the law.

Three of the remaining tracks are about music in some way: "High C" is about a former opera singer who has had difficulty adjusting to post-fame life; "Simple Ballet" is about creating a ballet for public consumption; "Big Bands" is about a former big band performer who loves the occasions when he still hears this kind of music. "High C" was Ron's favorite track from the first two albums, and that's a perfectly defensible position, even if I don't entirely share the sentiment. Musically, it's a fascinating mix of alternately menacing and jittery keyboards, pounding drums (where some of the drum breaks sound transplanted from a frantic heavy metal passage), one of the weirdest doo-wop vocal sections imaginable, and a one-second guitar part near the beginning unlike anything I can remember hearing. "Simple Ballet" sounds like a music box tune arranged for a full rock band, and there some guitar harmonics in the track that are absolutely beautiful. "Big Bands" is multi-part and its music has nothing to do with its lyrical content; it starts off based around vaudeville piano with touches of guitar here and there, before the vaudeville piano is replaced by a guitar playing jittery notes while the drums build up in volume, and finally finishing with a proto-New Wave fast part that could be considered obnoxious but sounds fine to me.

Elsewhere, "Fletcher Honorama" sounds like gibberish but isn't really (it's about a bunch of friends of Fletcher's essentially getting together for a wake before his death and hoping that he doesn't die and ruin their party), and the music is haunting in a subdued way that really reminds me a lot, in terms of atmosphere, of Dylan's "Visons of Johanna." Quiet organ giving way into soothing music-hall piano, subtle guitar textures and gentle singing dominate the bulk of the song, until the last minute when "So be sure so be sure that the boy don't die before the moooorn" starts being repeated as an ever-loudening mantra. On the other side of "Simple Ballet" comes "Slowboat," a beautiful piano-dominated anthemic ballad that would have been a huge hit in a just world. Maybe there are some goofy guitar (or keyboard maybe?) noises in the middle, but that shouldn't have been enough to hold back a song with a vocal melody that feels so compact and yet so expansive (these should be contradictory descriptions but somehow they're not), and the guitar solo that dominates the last minute is a perfect capstone. Finally, there's the album closer "(No More) Mr. Nice Guys," which shows the band doing its best to make a heavy rocker with what's essentially a jangle guitar tone. I admit that the incongruity between the implicit heaviness and the relatively wimpy guitar tone sounds a little goofy, and I've come across people who hate this song largely for this reason. That said, I think the noisy guitar solo in the middle is every bit as effective as a more traditionally heavy metal solo would be, and I like how nasty Russell makes his voice in parts (especially whenever he sings "The Nice Guys cannot and the Nice Guys shall not, the Nice Guys will not win / won't suffice"), and I find the song pretty great overall.

While I wouldn't quite call this the band's best (by the slightest margin, I would say that the high points on Kimono move that one beyond this), I would definitely say that anybody who considers themselves a serious rock historian needs to hear this album a couple of times. It's definitely an album that somebody could reasonably dislike were they so inclined (possible complaints: too twee, too nonsensical, "Biology 2" is the worst thing ever written), but even as my fandom of the band has tempered through the years, I've found that this one still holds up really well for me. If you don't like this or Kimono, Sparks is probably not for you.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to tarkus1980 (BETA) | Report this review (#1123353) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Before Sparks were Sparks, they got together with Todd Rundgren to create this debut album originally issued under the band's old name of Halfnelson. The askew Mael brothers approach to glam rock is already in evidence, and whilst it doesn't quite hit the distinctive operatic hysteria of Kimono My House it's still a credible entry in the band's discography. The flow is interrupted by Biology 2, a ditty by guitarist Earle Mankey that includes rhymes such as "phenotype" and "genotype" which ticks the "weird" box but not the "catchy" box, and if it ain't weirdly catchy arguably it isn't Sparks, but otherwise a fine debut.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#1146597) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of SPARKS "Sparks"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.39 seconds