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In Outer Space

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iTunes Review

In Outer Space was a real bright spot for Sparks. By this time, the band had been making records for some 13 years, and yet had enjoyed only mild success in the U.S. Their collaboration with Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go’s (a band sailing on their own monster wave of success at the time) was a huge boost; “Cool" earned Sparks their greatest chart position yet (cracking the top 50) and it epitomizes the early ‘80s fascination with perky synths, snappy rhythms and the desire to dance all night. Wiedlin cooing, “I want to move like this and that / A minimum of chit chat,” pretty much sums it up. Russell Mael dueted again with Wiedlin on “Lucky Me, Lucky You.” The rest of the album is pure Sparks: “All You Ever Think About...” hums with guitars and synthesizers that churn nervously as a variety of unlikely trysting spots are recounted by Mael; “A Fun Bunch of Guys” floats and zigs and zags on quintessentially ‘80s synth lines and dippy lyrics; the quasi-ballad “Please Baby Please” and the crisp, percolating “Popularity” speak for the lovelorn, self-conscious young person today as effectively as it did decades ago. In Outer Space clearly conveyed Sparks’ intent to make original and unpredictable music for some time to come.

Customer Reviews

A Must Have '80s

This album rocks! No '80s collection is complete without it. Every single song on here is GREAT. Their most popular radio hit back in '83 was "Cool Places" as played on 91X FM in San Diego. This album was one of my very favorites back then; I used to listen to it over n over like a mental patient waiting for Crack to be invented ! I just recently rediscovered this album in my old stack of LPs and it still rocks; and brings back some great memories from life in the '80s. Add this to your '80's collection along with Kraftwerk, The Buggles, Yazoo, Billie Idol, Thompson Twins, Alphaville, Time Lords, Devo, OMD, etc, etc.


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...
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