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Propaganda (Remastered)

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iTunes Review

Forget for a moment Queen and “Bohemian Rhapsody”—you’ve never really experienced the summit of operatic rock 'n' roll until you’ve heard Sparks’ 1974 masterpiece Propaganda. It opens with a brief show of a cappella virtuosity that presages Queen’s quasi-operatic masterpiece. But where Queen was more famous, Sparks were unquestionably more agile. Just try to keep up with “At Home at Work at Play,” “Don’t Leave Me Alone with Her,” and “Something for the Girl with Everything,” all of which feature a high-speed ballet between operatic melodies and heavy metal guitars. While that may sound cacophonous, it’s actually not. There’s an almost supernatural lightness to Sparks that always keeps their music amusing and acrobatic, even in moments of incredible grandiosity. Miff Winwood’s production is top-notch. This was a band of precision movement, and he captured every hairpin turn in minute detail. His sense of space combined with the Maels' arranging genius to create “Reinforcements,” “Thanks but No Thanks,” and “Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth”—songs that boast some of the most magnificent crescendos in rock 'n' roll history.

Customer Reviews

what took so long?

I finally found this in a record store tonight after waiting for iTunes to make it available for a couple of years and came home to find it for sale here. Oh well, buy this record if you love power pop - the kind hip Brits were listening to in the mid-70s while we were weighted down by the bombast of Styx and Kansas. No one can do clever, snarky, or innuendo like these boys and they were at the top of their game on this album, fierce, Teutonic, absurd, operatic glam rock. "Something for the Girl With Everything" is like "Bohemian Rhapsody" on speed. From the "huh?" inspiring opening acappella title track down to the sign off "Bon Voyage" this is a '70s album that has aged wonderfully well. Is America finally ready to embrace this album? Probably not.


This is the album that made me a Sparks fan. Exactly 2 months ago. Good and Grief! It's a blast from start to finish. I was a mere year old when it came out, so I guess I can't get too angry that it took me this long to catch up, but still...!

(From an American fan) Glad to find Propaganda again!

I was turned on to Sparks back in 1975, with the Propaganda album. From start to finish, I thought it was absolutely brilliant! (And I've always listened to different styles of music). My vinyl is worn out, so I'm thrilled to find this album remastered and available again on iTunes. Ear candy at its finest! Highly recommended.


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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