Russell mael dating
One reason why their ouevre is under-appreciated is that legal complications arising from their frequent label-hopping means that with the arguable exception of 1997’s (in which Sparks, aided by guest vocalists, ’covered’ their own hits), there has never been a satisfactory career-spanning best-of.
With such a huge body of work to grapple with, Sparks can appear daunting to the beginner. An easy ten-point primer| 'This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us' (Island single, 1973) An obvious choice, but deservedly so.
There can never be too much said about the song which bears what is arguably the greatest pop lyric of all time.
Russell, interpreting Ron’s words (the older Mael has written the vast majority of Sparks songs), plays the paranoid suitor in a voice that’s constantly on the edge of helium hysteria.
“The thunder of stampeding rhinos, elephants and tacky tigers”, and then some.
Those who are a little more in-the-know, however, will be aware that in the early 1970s, Sparks were neck and neck with Eno’s Roxy as art-glam pioneers, and right up there with Queen for rock operatics.
What few people other than hardcore adherents of Sparxism recognise, though, is that over the last four decades, Ron and Russell Mael have been superior even to Bowie in terms of long-term consistency.
Their current record-breaking London residency, the 21-date (in which they play every album from their career, one per night), is presumably intended to go some way towards redressing that injustice. Suddenly - while they still remain underrated in relation to the true level of their genius - the Mael brothers are right back on the agenda.
Sparks are, in Taylor Parkes’ brilliant phrase, “straight, American band with a gay, European aesthetic”.
In whatever subgenre of pop they choose to operate (and they’ve tried most of them), the Maels exhibit an exquisite archness, playfulness, intellect and wit that is far beyond that of anyone else working in the medium. If they haven’t been a hugely successful band in terms of sales, they’ve been a highly influential one.
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They’ve been covered by artists ranging from Siouxsie and New Order to Justin Hawkins, they provided the prototype for pretty much every synth duo of the 1980s (although not, as Neil Tennant sniffily asserted at a recent talk, Pet Shop Boys), their falsetto hysteria can he heard through The Associates, Suede and Pulp, and they’re an acknowledged influence upon the likes of The Dresden Dolls, Fischerspooner and Franz Ferdinand.