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Introducing Sparks

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iTunes Review

After living in England and enjoying success abroad with several albums, Russell and Ron Mael returned to Los Angeles with an eye to nurturing their career on home turf. Introducing Sparks took old fans — and a warmed-up crowd of newbies — to a new level of appreciation for the band’s sophisticated take on contemporary rock. In a neat, smartly produced, nine-track package, Introducing Sparks delivered fantastically solid, catchy, memorable songs that still delight decades later. The curious could easily use the ridiculously fun “Goofing Off” or the equally brilliant “Occupation” as entrée to Sparks’ world of smart songwriting and wry humor, as both showcase some of the band’s best work ever. “Goofing Off” picks up speed and roils along like a vodka-soaked Russian folk song:  “We've got two days/to try to forget/a week of crap and crud/and we've got two days, so get over here/we're gonna goof ... off ... goood... / Goofing off! Goofing off! It’s the only thing I gladly do for free!” The track “Ladies” is a bubbly, piano driven, pinkie-in-the-air ode to the loveliness of  “ladies” of the time, from Dinah Shore to Betty Crocker, and “Forever Young” is a Bowie-esque rocker celebrating youth. They matched the Beach Boys on “Over the Summer” in making a perfect, summery pop song, and our own childhood wonderment is recalled in the delightful “Those Mysteries.”

Customer Reviews


After seeing Sparks perform this album in its entirety in London during their 21 night marathon where they performed their whole catalogue, I can only say that the reassessment phase has started (as it always does with Sparks) and that this album will finally be treated as amongst their finest. Ron Mael's lyrics are once again searing, sharp, brilliant, inciteful in a way that is far superio to even those who are cited as being good lyricists. I can't understand why the generic review of this album on iTunes is allowed to be printed as being the gospel. Do the real fans a favor, and take down the utter nonsense so that others may be encouraged to explore the wonderful world that is Sparks, including "Introducing Sparks."


this album is amazing! i love it. i listen to it all the time, i strongly advise you to buy the entire thing. if you do you'll be jamming for days!


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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