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A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing

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Editors’ Notes

A wonderful merger of Johann Sebastian Bach’s nobility and David Bowie’s foppish hedonism, A Woofer in Tweeter’s Clothing is the first classic LP of Sparks’ career. The album is split between glam rock boogies adorned with choral arrangements and classical flourishes (“Girl from Germany,” “Beaver O’Lindy,” “The Lourve,” “Batteries Not Included”) and chamber music pieces twisted with rock-star eccentricities (“Here Comes Bob,” “Moon Over Kentucky”). For all their wild poses, Sparks manage to encompass the entire emotional spectrum, from the poignant intimacy of “Angus Desire” to the European grandeur of “The Louvre.” The centerpiece is a glorious rendition of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Do-Re-Mi” as only Sparks could do it. As a self-referential musical exercise and a rapidly climaxing piece of musical theater, the song's a perfect fit for this band. As had been the case with the first Sparks album, Woofer ends with an explosive and ascendant song of all-out rock 'n' roll. “Whippings and Apologies” shows that the Mael brothers, for all their diverse curiosities, still believed in the splendor of electric guitars played at maximum volume.

Customer Reviews

Underrated albums from underrated group

Just recently, I became a Sparks fan. In late August 2009, I listened to Kimon My House and fell in love; that album was quickly followed by the equally great Propaganda. It took me a while to realize that this band had released two albums prior to Kimono.. and it's a shame I didn't know that sooner. A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing ranks at the top of my favorite Sparks albums now (along with Kimono and Lil' Beethoven).

Girl From Germany, Beaver O'Lindy, Here Comes Bob, Moon Over Kentucky, Underground, Batteries Not Included.. this album is choc full of fantastic songs that show off that Mael wit and exhibit the early talent of clever AND catchy songwriting. This probably isn't the best starter album for someone new to Sparks, but, after listening to it a few times, the greatness of this album will sneak up and attack you from behind.

Try This On Your Friends

Buy "Girl from Germany" and play it for your friends without mentioning who the band is. You'll get guesses from everything from Ween, to early Death Cab, or Cobain...or? This is awesome creative original quirky stuff and I'm ashamed I didn't really appreciate their early albums until a couple of years ago.


Formed: 1970 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Sparks is the vehicle for the skewed pop smarts and wise-guy wordplay of brothers Ron and Russell Mael, Los Angeles natives who spent their childhood modeling young men's apparel for mail-order catalogs. While attending UCLA in 1970, the Maels formed their first group, Halfnelson, which featured songwriter Ron on keyboards and Russell as lead vocalist; the band was rounded out by another pair of brothers, guitarist Earle and bassist Jim Mankey, and drummer Harley Feinstein. Halfnelson soon came...
Full Bio
A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing, Sparks
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