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


IndiscreetIndiscreet
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Fontana Island 2006
Audio CD$5.44
$8.94 (used)
Angst in My PantsAngst in My Pants
Import
Repertoire 1999
Audio CD$6.73
$8.56 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
GRAHAM PARKER LP "Squeezing Out Sparks" 1979 US $7.46 Buy It Now 33m 11s
GRAHAM PARKER *QUEEZING OUT SPARKS* 2001 CD ALBUM EXCELLENT CONDITION US $17.64 Buy It Now 34m 51s
SPARKS KIMONO MY HOUSE (1974) JAPAN CD PHCR-6717 US $22.99 Buy It Now 1h 16m
Jordin sparks US $7.00 [0 bids]
US $10.00 Buy It Now
1h 52m
Battlefield by Jordin Sparks (CD, Jul-2009, Jive (USA)) US $0.99 [0 bids]
1h 56m
Al Sparks [8-Track] I Heard It At The Barber Shop *Girlie Cover* (Comedy) *1972* US $10.99 Buy It Now 1h 59m
SPARKS 7" VINYL NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON MOTHER EARTH ISLAND WIP 6211 US $4.78 Buy It Now 3h 19m
From Where I Stand, Nate Sparks, Good Import US $21.74 Buy It Now 5h 21m
Uncut New Music for 2006 Sparks Buzzcocks Belle & Sebastian Mew + CD US $4.90 Buy It Now 5h 26m
Les Rita Mitsouko & Sparks Singing In DJ 12" US $7.99 Buy It Now 5h 43m
SPARKS JUST GOT BACK FROM HEAVEN ULTRA RARE CASSETTE TAPE! US $25.79 Buy It Now 5h 52m
SPARKS " AMATEUR HOUR / LOST AND FOUND WIP6203 7" VINYL RECORD VG 30 US $3.25 Buy It Now 6h 34m
TAYLOR SWIFT cd SPEAK NOW mine BACK TO DECEMBER mean OURS sparks fly US $8.99 [0 bids]
US $11.99 Buy It Now
6h 51m
Jordin Sparks - Battlefield (2009) US $12.23 Buy It Now 7h 32m
-Flying Sparks And Heavy Machin CD NEW US $16.19 Buy It Now 7h 33m
SPARKS, THIS TOWN AIN'T BIG ENOUGH FOR BOTH OF US / 7'' 45 MADE IN YUGOSLAVIA US $25.50 Buy It Now 7h 40m
Sparks in the Darkness - Old Balkan Love Songs CD (2000) US $13.47 Buy It Now 7h 43m
Sparks-Kimono My House UK LP & Inner 1974 US $21.21 Buy It Now 7h 46m
Sparks - Halfnelson/Sparks / A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing (Music CD) US $25.47 Buy It Now 8h 19m
GRAHAM PARKER - SQUEEZING OUT SPARKS (+2 BONUS TRACKS - REMASTERED) - NEW CD US $6.43 Buy It Now 8h 44m
KYLIE MINOGUE LIMITED INTO THE BLUE SOLD OUT 7" VINYL 2 TRACK SPARKS NEW MINT US $13.00 Buy It Now 9h 4m
SPARKS - 1970'S MAGAZINE CUTTING (ARTICLE) (REF B7) US $11.35 Buy It Now 9h 20m
SPARKS - 1970'S MAGAZINE CUTTING (ARTICLE) (REF B7A) US $11.35 Buy It Now 9h 21m
SPARKS - 1970'S MAGAZINE CUTTING (FULL PAGE PHOTO W/LYRICS) (REF B7) US $11.35 Buy It Now 9h 21m
SPARKS - 1970'S MAGAZINE CUTTING (FULL PAGE PHOTO) (REF B7) US $11.35 Buy It Now 9h 21m
SPARKS - 1970'S MAGAZINE CUTTING (FULL PAGE PHOTO) (REF B7B) US $11.35 Buy It Now 9h 21m
KAJIOKA, Ray - Sparks - 12" US $20.49 Buy It Now 9h 36m
45 RPM/JACKET Sparky Sparks THATS THING ABOUT LOVE NM- US $8.44 Buy It Now 10h 2m
Trevor Sparks & Little Twitch ?- Count On You ORIG JA 7" EX MUSIC MASTER US $6.51 Buy It Now 10h 21m
COLDPLAY-SPARKS-5 TRACK CARDBOARD CD SINGLE-EMI 2000-MINT US $19.99 Buy It Now 10h 30m
Jordin Sparks by Jordin Sparks (CD, Nov-2007, 19/Jive Recordings) US $0.99 [0 bids]
10h 37m
Beachwood Sparks - The Tarnished Gold - SPCD784 US $16.31 Buy It Now 10h 43m
Graymatter by Maylay Sparks (CD, Jan-2006, Raps... US $9.40 Buy It Now 10h 55m
JORDIN SPARKS - BATTLEFIELD * - NEW CD US $6.55 Buy It Now 11h 8m
SPARKS - Mael Intuition - Original 1990 UK 20-track CD album - FREE UK P+P US $9.78 Buy It Now 11h 14m
BECK Song Reader JACK WHITE SPARKS NORAH JONES JEFF TWEEDY and more US $10.99 Buy It Now 11h 50m
NM- THE SPARKS FAMILY BLUEGRASS GOSPEL LP - COUNTRY CHURCH ON THE HILL! US $12.99 Buy It Now 12h 29m
Yellow Red Sparks S/T White Vinyl x100 Rare Sold Out OOP record LP New SEALED US $14.99 Buy It Now 12h 30m
Beachwood Sparks - The Tarnished Gold NEW CD US $13.81 Buy It Now 12h 51m
New Crack City, Clinton Sparks and Busta Rhymes, New Explicit Lyrics US $15.85 Buy It Now 13h 16m
THE NEW CHRISTY MINSTRELS IN PERSON LEAD BY RANDY SPARKS-LP-NM-COLUMBIA TWO EYE US $5.99 [0 bids]
US $9.99 Buy It Now
13h 22m
Sparks of July - Richard Merwin New & Sealed CD MOD Free Shipping US $24.69 Buy It Now 13h 49m
Larry Sparks : Special Delivery CD (2001) US $6.32 Buy It Now 14h 2m
Johnny Rivers Ricky Nelson Randy Sparks E-4256 Mono LP Record Album near mint! US $10.95 [0 bids]
14h 6m
SPARKS GIRL FROM GERMANY 45 PROMO 1973 ISLAND US $0.82 [1 bids]
14h 10m
Heap, Imogen, Sparks Audio CD US $16.99 Buy It Now 14h 30m
BEACHWOOD SPARKS - ST (country pop psych) LTD Ed BLUE vinyl - BACK IN STOCK US $13.99 Buy It Now 14h 46m
D. Rogers - Sparks On The Tarmac [CD New] US $20.98 Buy It Now 14h 51m
MO OGWAI/SHMIRLAP/SPARKS - Protect Your Home EP - 12" US $17.29 Buy It Now 14h 55m
Lazarus Beach Through the Sparks CD indie sealed cheap US $5.99 Buy It Now 15h
GRAHAM PARKER & The Rumour "LIVE SPARKS" Rare 1979 PROMO ONLY Vinyl Album US $9.95 [0 bids]
US $14.95 Buy It Now
15h 23m
SPARKS * Big Beat * CBS US Issue 1976 US $6.51 [1 bids]
15h 29m
SPARKS: A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing LP (saw mark) Rock & Pop US $35.00 Buy It Now 15h 49m
SPARKS Music You Can Dance To 1986 USA LP MCA RECORDS 5780 US $4.99 Buy It Now 16h 22m
Beachwood Sparks - The Tarnished Gold (NEW CD) US $15.90 Buy It Now 16h 24m
Jazzy Christmas With Jeff Sparks - Jeff Sparks New & Sealed CD US $15.38 Buy It Now 16h 32m
The Sparks 7" Lighten Up Morrissey 2009 US $9.78 Buy It Now 16h 32m
SPARKS.. With All My Might + Progress/Sparks in Dark 12 US $6.99 [0 bids]
16h 38m
Nate Sparks - From Where I Stand [CD New] US $14.45 Buy It Now 16h 38m
Sparks [Deluxe Edition] [Digipak] [8/19] by Imogen Heap (CD, Aug-2014, 2... US $11.92 Buy It Now 16h 47m
Sparks [Digipak] [8/19] by Imogen Heap (CD, Aug-2014, RCA) US $10.91 Buy It Now 16h 47m
Maybe You've Been Brainwashed - Clinton Sparks New & Sealed Compact Disc Free Sh US $22.43 Buy It Now 16h 52m
Johnny Rivers Ricky Nelson Randy Sparks Sealed MGM LP US $15.00 [0 bids]
16h 59m
Sparks Street * by Love Huskies (CD, Aug-1998, Gotham Distributing Corp.) US $1.00 [0 bids]
17h 9m
Clinton Sparks Kanye West Smash Time Radio Vol 1 CD New US $1.94 Buy It Now 17h 12m
Battlefield by Jordin Sparks (CD, Jul-2009, Jive (USA)) US $0.99 [0 bids]
17h 29m
Melvin Sparks-Akilah!-LP-Prestige-PRST 10039-Vinyl Record US $7.99 [1 bids]
17h 35m
THE TYDE Twice 2003 UK 11-track promo CD Beachwood Sparks US $6.51 Buy It Now 17h 53m
MELVIN SPARKS, SPARKLING - LP MR 5248 SOUL JAZZ US $30.00 Buy It Now 18h 6m
TOMMY SPARKS Album 2009 UK 10-track promo CD US $4.88 Buy It Now 18h 10m
Beachwood Sparks by Beachwood Sparks US $4.99 Buy It Now 18h 11m
Birds of Wales cd in digipak Belgravia Hotel (Sparks Music label, Canada) US $2.99 [0 bids]
US $3.99 Buy It Now
18h 34m
SPARKS + Music That You Can Dance To +NM+ LP+ GREAT DANCE MUSIC from 80s+ US $8.98 [0 bids]
18h 42m
Gemma Ray & Sparks - Gemma Ray Sings Sparks (with Sparks) NEW 7" US $7.31 Buy It Now 18h 45m
THE NEW CHRISTY MINSTRELS TELL TALL TALES! RANDY SPARKS REEL TO REEL TAPE 7 1/2 US $4.50 Buy It Now 18h 45m
AGENT SPARKS-Not So Merry-VENT/audiovent/INCUBUS/Mike Einziger/RECOMMENDED/Rock US $10.99 Buy It Now 18h 51m
(A6)* SPARKS Beat the Clock UK 7" 45 single EX+/EX+ US $9.47 Buy It Now 18h 52m
Guided By Voices Airport 5 Tower In The Fountain Of Sparks Brand New LP Pollard US $49.99 Buy It Now 19h 8m
Agent Sparks Red Rover NEW ships Fast not a promo combined shipping US $3.99 [0 bids]
US $5.99 Buy It Now
19h 18m
(CH615) Make Sparks, Your Hearts On Fire - DJ CD US $4.00 Buy It Now 19h 29m
(780C) Sparks Fly, Creatures - DJ CD US $4.88 Buy It Now 19h 47m
SPARKS - BALLS NEW CD US $32.41 Buy It Now 19h 47m
SYNTH POP/ Sparks - So Important US $6.99 Buy It Now 19h 55m
SYNTH POP/ Sparks - Modesty Plays US $6.99 Buy It Now 19h 55m
SYNTH POP/ Sparks - Fingertips US $6.99 Buy It Now 19h 55m
SYNTH POP/ Sparks - 4 Track EP US $6.99 Buy It Now 19h 55m
SYNTH POP/ Sparks - Change US $6.99 Buy It Now 19h 55m
GRAHAM PARKER AND THE RUMOUR - SQUEEZING OUT SPARKS ARISTA US LP 4223 (1979) US $1.99 [0 bids]
20h
FICTION PLANE - SPARKS [FICTION PLANE] [CD] [1 DISC] - NEW CD US $8.14 Buy It Now 20h 8m
Back Talk - Sparks Through a Shotglass .. 1989 Snakes in the Grass Records US $9.99 [0 bids]
20h 18m
Beachwood Sparks , Audio CD, Beachwood Sparks US $7.53 Buy It Now 20h 41m
WHERE THE BOYS ARE 84 - SOUNDTRACK - JUDE COLE- SHANDI- SPARKS- TORONTO-LP/Vinyl US $0.99 [0 bids]
20h 48m
RARE ROCKER - THE SPARKS - MERRY MERRY LOU / OL' MAN RIVER - DECCA 30378 PROMO US $9.99 Buy It Now 20h 55m
Kentucky Banjo by Larry Sparks (CD, Sep-2008, Gusto Records) US $8.00 [0 bids]
21h 13m
4 Lot 8-Track Tapes Bluegrass Gospel Music Reno Smiley Larry Sparks Moore Napier US $8.50 [0 bids]
21h 14m
Canada Disco 33 RPM 12" Club Dance Single Sparks Beat the Clock Tryouts Human US $11.99 [0 bids]
21h 16m
Sparks - Hello Young Lovers CD US $18.61 Buy It Now 21h 24m
IMOGEN HEAP Sparks 2CD SEALED NEW US $12.58 Buy It Now 21h 24m
(AP500) Mr Dan & Sparks, Body Slam - DJ CD US $4.88 Buy It Now 21h 31m
SIXTEEN DELUXE-EMITS SHOWERS OF SPARKS-RARE U.S.ADVANCE PROMO CD-16-1998-FULL CD US $3.00 [0 bids]
US $3.99 Buy It Now
21h 36m

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: 0.38 seconds