Sparks are fascinating!
Headed by brothers Ron & Russell Mael, Sparks have contributed to the iconography of rock and synth-pop for something like 50+ YEARS!
With 23 or more albums, and still sounding amazing with quirky and complex compositions, Russel’s clear falsetto vocals, and Ron’s brilliant keyboard stylings, Sparks are instantly recollected at first sight of brother Ron’s weird and wonderful stiff stares into the camera in performance at the keyboards/synths.
Ron and Russell Mael – Then and Now
I’ll add here two videos, one is from 1979, one of their well known songs Sparks – The Number One Song In Heaven (TOTP) (1979) (HD) if you don’t giggle or even laugh out loud when the camera switches abruptly to Ron’s deadpan stare… well… you may need to check your pulse.
and… since TOTP vids tend to go missing on YT… here’s another…
Brilliant aren’t they?
Now, just to be sure you know that SPARKS are still amazing, watch the next video from 2008 – stunningly complex rhythm (doing one of their early songs “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us) – a song with amazing composition:
There’s more! Watch and hear Sparks & The Heritage Orchestra Perform The Number One Song In Heaven Live at The Barbican 20/12/14- Even from a distance you can FEEL Ron’s stare hahaha.. oh and Russell’s falsetto is beautiful. Ron even does the RON DANCE and also takes a gentle tumble… gracefully somehow! It’s 2014, the man is around 7 decades old! Gotta love Ron.
Sparks played Lowlands in 2015, and teamed for an album with Franz Ferdinand, dubbing the combo as FFS. You can find vids of the performance and their official promo videos on Youtube.
Also from what I’ve read, Sparks is due to have another album out in 2017
Sparks will be performing at BBC Radio 6 Music Festival 2017 in Glasgow, Friday March 24th at O2 Academy Glasgow!
In this exclusive performance Sparks will premiere songs from their upcoming album, ‘Hippopotamus’
Another great song, with Ron Mael’s extremely understated comedic presence, a shrug of the shoulders, a scratch of the head like he’s lounging at home rather than on national (French) TV, that Chaplin Mustache. Perfect. Can’t hardly believe Ron is 70+ years old now.. gosh
References: sources via video stills // album covers as fair use // Featured photo via https://www.repertoirerecords.com/artists/sparks/ and news via SPARKS official site: http://allsparks.com/category/news No word yet on the cover for Hippopotomus, the feature bar is from Tumblr which claims a source of “Source: instagram.com”
iconiclight.wordpress is a non-commercial blog // Portions of this retrospective by iconiclight originally appeared at: http://warriorsweirdos.com/