Sparks is an American group formed in 1971 in Los Angeles by brothers Ron and Russell Mael. New name for a group previously formed in 1968 under the name "Halfnelson".
The group enjoyed their first notorious success in 1974 with the title "This town ain’t big enough for both of us", a flagship single that made them the phenomenon of the moment. Especially in England. Followed by a few "Amateur hour" and "Never turn your back on mother earth" which will also experience a certain success.
Change of course 1977 with an obvious evolution towards a more electronic sound. A daring change that paid off because it brought them three years later a huge hit in 1980 with the flagship single "When I’m with you".
New success in 1981 with "Funny face". Then in 1983 with the single "Cool places", the result of a collaboration with Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go's.
Other titles will be released later but will experience only relative success.
Apart from "Singing in the shower", in duet with Catherine Ringer of Rita Mitsouko, which will experience its heyday in France in 1989.
Sparks will always remain an extraordinary group, as much by its composition as it is rare to find 2 brothers in the same group. But also by the deliberately atypical physique of Ron Mael, whose mustache shape is reminiscent of a very sinister character ...
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
Wonder girl 1972
This town ain't big enough for both of us 1974
Amateur hour 1974
Never turn your back on mother earth 1974
Something for the girl with everything 1975
Get in the swing 1975
I want to hold your hand 1976
Over the summer 1977
La dolce vita 1979
The number one song in heaven 1979
Beat the clock 1979
When I’m with you 1980
Young girls 1980
Funny face 1981
I predict 1982
Modesty plays 1982
Cool places 1983
Please baby please 1983
Pretending to be drunk 1984
With all my might 1984
Music that you can dance to 1986
So important 1988
Just got back from heaven 1989
Singing in the shower 1989
When do I get to sing "My way" 1994
When I kiss you (I hear Charlie Parker playing) 1995
Now that I own the BBC 1995
More than a sex machine 1999
1972 ... the very beginnings. The arrival through the back door of a group that looks nothing like the others and that will prove it in a dazzling way in the years to follow
1974 ... after a somewhat sluggish start at the beginning of the decade, the group finally found inspiration and signed their first major hit here. A mind-blowing title, just like its performers !
1974 ... an exceptional year in 1974 which saw the group align hits with hits. And each time, in completely crazy mode ! A constant that will become their trademark ...
1974 ... the pass of 3 ! A particularly prolific year which allowed the group to quickly establish himself as one of the most beautiful revelations of this mid-decade
1975 ... the years go by but are not necessarily alike. The proof with this year 1975 which will not really have the same level of success as the year 1974 ...
1975 ... even if the level of success in this year 1975 is limited exclusively to England, there is still success. It's better than nothing as they say ...
1976 ... after a year 1975 when most of the titles border on caricature, 1976 will prove to be much more up to the task. Thanks in particular to this luxury cover of The Beatles. A revamped version that perfectly holds up !
1977 ... a year of transition where success will be meager. The group will have to raise its level of play a lot to hope to get back into the race quickly ...
1979 ... something has changed, that's clear. The blank year 1978 allowed them to find new life, it is obvious. The Sparks season 2 begins !
1979 ... the change in tone is obvious. A sound which sticks much more in tune with the times and which inevitably will produce much better results in Charts ...
1979 ... of course it's small-caliber success but it at least has the merit of making them pick up somewhat in the leading pack. The premature exit from the road was therefore avoided, phew ...
1980 ... change of decade and smashing return to top-level success. Especially in France and Australia where this title will undoubtedly remain as one of the biggest dance hits of the decade. HU-GE !
1980 ... this title will not have the same success as its predecessor but maintains the group at an obvious qualitative level. We don't ask for more ...
1981 ... they may have changed decade, the 'wacky' side remains omnipresent, that's clear. Titles wacky, of course, but of obvious quality !
1982 ... despite a very prolific discography, mega successes are relatively rare. This title will find favor only with the Americans. It will be necessary to be satisfied ...
1982 ... a complicated 1982 with few titles in the spotlight. And yet, they are far from demerit, it is clear ...
1983 ... what better way to restore its image than to call on a nice friend. A friend who is none other than a Gogo's, nothing less. And as luck would have it, the title is a success !
1983 ... a title which will only be released in France, hence its very limited influence. A business strategy to say the least surprising and above all counterproductive ...
1984 ... a year 1984 which started off rather well with a first classified title. The group now has a perfect command of its subject and it shows. Especially it can be heard !
1984 ... come on, on average, since the beginning of the 1980s, the group has recorded one success per year, big or small. For the year 1984, it will be 2. There's better as they say !
1984 ... yet another title that will pass under the radar because it was released exclusively in the States. There will have been a few like that ...
1985 ... one year is success across the Atlantic and the following year across the Channel. For the year 1985, this title will find favor only in the perfidious Albion ...
1986 ... the group no longer manages to produce exceptional pieces but continues on its way and without worrying too much about the results. A luxury that few groups can afford ...
1986 ... yet another targeted release that will only take place in the United States. Fortunately the title will work perfectly there. Phew ...
1987 ... only one title that year and which will only be released across the Channel. Who says single country release says certain risk once again. And then it will be a lost bet ...
1988 ... we will still have to be content with a single title this year. It does not matter because on this occasion, which says rarity means dearness and above all success !
1989 ... a BIG year 1989 which begins with this title my very sympathetic faith and which balances serious !
1989 ... when crazy people meet other crazy people and well that makes a summit of crazy people. Guaranteed success !
1994 ... then nothing more interesting for 5 years. A change of decade that is done in pain. But it is better to come back. The proof with this title which gives them one of their biggest successes !
1995 ... another success in the wake. When we see them 20 years ago, the contrast is striking. At all levels !
1995 ... they will have crossed the decade of the 70s, then the 80s, then the 90s. And they will have left several pieces of very large caliber. Is this the end ? Oh no ! To be continued ...
1999 ... come on, the decade is not quite over. Another title that will pass under the radar. Normal, it will only be released in Germany ...
Official Website :
Greatest Hits :