MENU
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

SPARKS

Sparks

Crossover Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sparks Sparks album cover
4.05 | 26 ratings | 2 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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


The Best of SparksThe Best of Sparks
Repertoire 2000
Audio CD$6.89
$7.65 (used)
Sparks - Lil' Beethoven / Live in StockholmSparks - Lil' Beethoven / Live in Stockholm
Multiple Formats
Standing Room Only 2005
DVD$59.99
$24.95 (used)
Introducing Sparks (Russell Sleeve)Introducing Sparks (Russell Sleeve)
Lil Beethoven 2008
Audio CD$13.48
Sparks - Live in LondonSparks - Live in London
Oglio Records 2001
DVD$9.99
$8.99 (used)
The Best of SparksThe Best of Sparks
Underdog
Audio CD$3.36 (used)
Sparks / Woofer in Tweeter's ClothingSparks / Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing
Import
Edsel Records UK 2013
Audio CD$41.00
$20.99 (used)

Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Do It Do It Peppers 7" vinyl single record UK SRL1125 SPARK 1974 USD $11.80 Buy It Now
Chris De Burgh : SPARK TO A FLAME CD UK A&M 1989 CD USD $4.55 Buy It Now
FIRE AND THE SPARK " LISA YOUNG " -12" LP - insert - OZ Pressing - YPRX2251 USD $19.51 Buy It Now
SPARKS - Propaganda - 12"LP - Insert - ILPS9312 USD $22.63 Buy It Now
Jimmie Lunceford The Last Sparks (1941-1944) vinyl LP album record USA USD $15.76 Buy It Now
Sparks Funny Face 7" vinyl single record UK WHY4 WHY 1981 USD $14.44 Buy It Now
Tiny Spark Brendan Benson UK CD single (CD5 / 5") VVR5019793 V2 2002 USD $12.51 Buy It Now
Chris De Burgh : Spark To A Flame (Best Of) CD USD $5.99 Buy It Now 5m 13s
Sparks 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) 4-track EP - EX UK VS590-12 VIRGIN 1983 USD $21.03 Buy It Now 9m 39s
Two Lone Swordsmen A Bag Of Blue Sparks 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) UK USD $45.16 Buy It Now 11m 11s
Chris De Burgh Spark To A Flame UK vinyl LP album record CDBLP100 A USD $18.39 Buy It Now 13m 44s
SPARKS CD USD $4.87 Buy It Now 13m 51s
JONI MITCHELL 3 EXCELLENT CDS BLUE COURT AND SPARK BOTH SIDES NOW USD $6.58 [0 bids]
17m 7s
SPARKS GO Sunburst KSCL-1452 CD JAPAN 2010 NEW USD $80.45 Buy It Now 17m 54s
Joni Mitchell Court And Spark - G/F German vinyl LP album record AS53002 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 19m 54s
SPARK TO A FLAME THE VERY BEST OF CHRIS DE BURGH LP 1979 USD $1.32 [0 bids]
20m 47s
Sparks - Young Girls - 1980 England - Virgin - VS 343 - 7" Single USD $5.55 Buy It Now 22m 15s
Sparks - Tryouts For The Human Race - 1979 England - Virgin - VS289 - 7" Single USD $5.55 Buy It Now 22m 16s
Chris de Burgh - Spark to a Flame (The Very Best of) (CD) USD $2.62 Buy It Now 24m 44s
Cooper, Alice - Spark In The Dark: The Best Of Alice Cooper CD New USD $8.12 Buy It Now 25m 7s
Sparks, Jordin - Battlefield CD New & Sealed USD $7.82 Buy It Now 25m 30s
Sparks, Jordin - Jordin Sparks CD New & Sealed USD $7.82 Buy It Now 26m 18s
Rosebud Sparks 7" vinyl single record UK TOON4 CONSOLIDATED 1987 USD $13.11 Buy It Now 26m 46s
Sparks Cool Places Japanese 7" vinyl single record P-1760 ATLANTIC 1983 USD $30.26 Buy It Now 29m 39s
Breanne Duren : Sparks EP CD USD $5.99 Buy It Now 30m 8s
Peppers vinyl LP album record Pepper Box UK SRLP113 SPARK 1974 USD $18.39 Buy It Now 30m 43s
Joni Mitchell - Court And Spark (cd) USD $4.62 [0 bids]
33m 41s
Sparks 7" vinyl single record Amateur Hour UK WIP6203 ISLAND 1974 USD $17.08 Buy It Now 37m 14s
SPARKS, Trevor - Magic Man - Vinyl (7") USD $8.23 Buy It Now 37m 14s
SPARKS When I Kiss You 12" VINYL 4 Track Promo Red Jerry Mix, When I Dub You M USD $6.58 Buy It Now 41m 50s
Propaganda - 1st Sparks UK vinyl LP album record ILPS9312 ISLAND 1974 USD $51.36 Buy It Now 45m 7s
JONI MITCHELL SELF TITLED AND COURT & SPARK VINYL ORIGINAL LPs US RS 6293 USD $29.99 Buy It Now 47m 35s
Joni Mitchell vinyl LP album record Court And Spark USA 7E-1001 ASYLUM 1974 USD $34.22 Buy It Now 53m 1s
Tryouts For The Human Race Sparks 7" vinyl single record UK VS289 VIRGIN 1979 USD $17.06 Buy It Now 1h
Right Here Right Now - Jordin Sparks 888751270527 (CD Used Very Good) USD $5.56 Buy It Now 1h 7m
JORDIN SPARKS : BATTLEFIELD (CD) sealed USD $10.27 Buy It Now 1h 8m
JORDIN SPARKS : JORDIN SPARKS (CD) sealed USD $10.27 Buy It Now 1h 9m
Stewboss Sweet Lullabye UK CD album (CDLP) TDBCD064 FLYING SPARKS 2002 USD $9.88 Buy It Now 1h 11m
Spark of Insanity - Jeff Dunham Compact Disc USD $14.11 Buy It Now 1h 16m
Traffic, "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys", vinyl record USD $4.99 [0 bids]
1h 27m
Audio CD Sparks Street - Love Huskies - Free Shipping USD $5.04 Buy It Now 1h 30m
Audio CD Homme Robotik - Spark Lights the Friction - Free Shipping USD $6.48 Buy It Now 1h 31m
Audio CD Jordin Sparks - Jordin Sparks - Free Shipping USD $4.96 Buy It Now 1h 32m
DIXON,GABE-ONE SPARK CD NEW USD $14.00 Buy It Now 1h 34m
Beachwood Spark - Make the Robot Cowboys Cry - Beachwood Spark CD QUVG The Fast USD $6.63 Buy It Now 1h 39m
AGENT SPARKS - RED ROVER * (NEW CD) USD $8.41 Buy It Now 1h 44m
PETER SEARCY - SPARK * (NEW CD) USD $9.21 Buy It Now 1h 45m
DONITA SPARKS/THE STELLAR MOMENTS - TRANSMITICATE [DIGIPAK] (NEW CD) USD $7.20 Buy It Now 1h 45m
WILLY & RUTH 78rpm on SPARK LABEL # 105 " LOVE ME & CORDELLA " From 1954 VG++ USD $14.99 [1 bids]
1h 46m
TRIO KONTRASZT - FROM DYONISIAN SOUND SPARKS TO THE SILENCE OF PASG NEW CD USD $14.31 Buy It Now 2h 14m
TRAFFIC THE LOW SPARK OF HIGH HEELED BOYS ILPS-9180 VINYL RECORDS LP USD $2.99 [0 bids]
2h 17m
NEW Court and Spark (180 Gram Vinyl) USD $37.43 Buy It Now 2h 17m
Ravi Shankar Transmigration Macabre UK Spark 1973 Vinyl World Music The Beatles USD $23.72 Buy It Now 2h 26m
The Band of the Black Watch, Dance of the Cuckoos ~ 1976 UK Spark 45 USD $3.77 Buy It Now 2h 35m
Heap, Imogen-SPARKS VINYL LP NEW USD $23.53 Buy It Now 2h 51m
Spark Lights the Friction : Homme Robotik CD USD $3.94 Buy It Now 2h 55m
SPARKS,WILL-ANOTHER LAND (AUS) (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $5.72 Buy It Now 3h 2m
Right Here Right Now by Jordin Sparks (CD, Aug-2015, Louder Than Life) USD $4.61 Buy It Now 3h 2m
New Uehara Hiromi THE TRIO PROJECT SPARK First Limited Edition CD DVD Japan F/S USD $48.00 Buy It Now 3h 4m
Awaken Your Divine Spark - Christi Calvano (CD Used Very Good) USD $16.16 Buy It Now 3h 6m
Sixteen Deluxe : Emits Showers of Sparks CD USD $5.47 Buy It Now 3h 8m
Linda & Funky Boys Climbing The Steps Of Love 7" Spark SRL1149 EX 1976 Climbing USD $9.88 Buy It Now 3h 9m
Captain Beefheart Sun Zoom Spark 1970 to 1972 Box Set USD $73.91 Buy It Now 3h 12m
Jordin Sparks - Battlefield [CD] USD $7.67 Buy It Now 3h 13m
CD. The Sonnets - City, Spark, Fire . USD $5.46 Buy It Now 3h 19m
Tangent Spark In The Aether (Bonus Cd) UK vinyl LP NEW sealed USD $46.04 Buy It Now 3h 24m
The Freedom Spark, Larrikin Love, Very Good USD $2.49 Buy It Now 3h 25m
Amadi : Black Spark White Fire CD USD $4.99 Buy It Now 3h 29m
Tori Sparks - Under This Yellow Sun [New CD] USD $17.22 Buy It Now 3h 33m
Sparks: Tryouts For The human Race PC Virgin records 1979 USD $3.23 Buy It Now 3h 35m
UNCUT PROMO CD NEW MUSIC FOR 2006 (Sparks,Buzzcocks,Belle & Sebastian etc..) USD $2.62 Buy It Now 3h 44m
Chris de Burgh Spark to a flame The very best of W.Germany PDO cd USD $5.59 Buy It Now 3h 44m
Blue Spark : Venus, Meet the Moon CD USD $4.94 Buy It Now 3h 49m
SPARKS - Amateur hour - 7" Single EX Con USD $2.68 Buy It Now 3h 56m
Chrysler : Failures & Sparks CD USD $5.49 Buy It Now 4h
SPARKS Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins BVCP-827 CD JAPAN 1995 NEW USD $150.61 Buy It Now 4h 6m
Low Spark of High Heeled Boys [Bonus Tracks] [Remaster] by Traffic (CD,... USD $7.99 Buy It Now 4h 14m
The Tension and the Spark, Darren Hayes, Very Good CD USD $2.49 Buy It Now 4h 21m
Jordin Sparks, Jordin Sparks, Good USD $4.99 Buy It Now 4h 24m
Jaime Rt : Spark CD USD $3.88 Buy It Now 4h 27m
Joni Mitchell Court and Spark CD album USD $2.64 [0 bids]
4h 28m
Agent Sparks : Red Rover CD (2006) USD $3.46 Buy It Now 4h 37m
2 lp lot earle mankey real world mau mau '81 '84 sparks halfnelson rare vinyls USD $69.00 Buy It Now 4h 37m
Coldplay Promo Cassette Seal SPARKS CAREFUL WHERE YOU STAND YELLOW SEE YOU SOON USD $49.99 Buy It Now 4h 38m
THE RECORD PRODUCERS - TONY VISCONTI (UK PROMO CD) Bowie SPARKS T REX IGGY LIZZY USD $5.54 [3 bids]
4h 53m
Melvin Sparks - It Is What It Is - Like New CD USD $9.99 Buy It Now 5h 17m
TRAFFIC "The Low Spark of high heeled boys" Steve Winwood Vinyl LP MFSL MOFI! USD $79.00 Buy It Now 5h 19m
Jordin Sparks - Battlefield + Bonus Tracks USD $8.53 Buy It Now 5h 23m
SPARKS-ORIGINAL FULL PAGE ADVERT WHOMP THAT SUCKER USD $5.27 [0 bids]
5h 24m
E.N.D. : Spark the Underground CD USD $4.99 Buy It Now 5h 24m
Sparks - Angst In My Pants LP Mint- SD 19347 Atlantic 1982 USA Vinyl Record USD $50.00 Buy It Now 5h 36m
Right Here Right Now by Jordin Sparks USD $8.53 Buy It Now 5h 40m
Joni Mitchell Court & Spark 1974 US 1st VG+/VG+ (Tub-1) USD $11.96 Buy It Now 5h 44m
Orbiter : Sparks On A String CD USD $5.74 Buy It Now 5h 44m
SPARKS - In The Swing (CD) GERMANY Pressing USD $10.55 Buy It Now 5h 51m
LP - SPARKS PROPAGANDA - 1974 EDITION - ISLAND MUSIC - PINK RIM USD $13.19 [0 bids]
5h 52m
SPARKS INDISCREET LP STILL SEALED USD $14.15 [0 bids]
5h 57m
Sydney Elliott-Who Dat Girl-UK SILVER SPARK Vinyl 7"-Swinging 60s Mod-1969-HEAR USD $13.17 Buy It Now 6h
Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers "Thank You Lord" Folk CD / Old Homestead USD $19.95 Buy It Now 6h
Joni Mitchell Court & Spark Asylum 7E 1001 USD $9.95 Buy It Now 6h 3m

More places to buy SPARKS music online Buy SPARKS & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

SPARKS Sparks ratings distribution


4.05
(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
15%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
38%
Good, but non-essential (27%)
27%
Collectors/fans only (8%)
8%
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.

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.

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).

Forum user
Forum password

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

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives