CD Introducing Sparks (CD 1269018),
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Introducing Sparks

  • 1. Big Surprise, A
    2. Occupation
    3. Ladies
    4. I'm Not
    5. Forever Young
    6. Goofing Off
    7. Girls on the Brain
    8. Over the Summer
    9. Those Mysteries
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 75103

  • Credits
    ProducerTerry Powell; Ron Mael; Russell Mael; Terry Powell; Ron Mael; Russell Mael
    EngineerLenny Roberts; Lenny Roberts; Betsy Banghart; Randy Tomanaga

    Sparks: Ron Mael (vocals, keyboards); Russell Mael (vocals).
    Personnel: Jim Haas, Marc Piscitelli, Nick Uhrig, Al Capps, Stan Farber, Tom Bahler, Ron Hicklin (background vocals).
    Recording information: Larrabee Sound, Los Angeles, CA.
    Photographer: Bob Seidemann.
    Unknown Contributor Roles: Reinie Press; David Paich; Ed Greene; Alan Broadbent; Lee Ritenour ; Mike Porcaro; Thom Rotella; Ben Benay; David Foster.
    Arrangers: Al Capps; Ron Mael.
    By calling this 1977 release Introducing Sparks, the Mael siblings were being ironic -- this was their seventh album, and they were famous in England even though they only had a small following in their own country. The second of two albums that Sparks recorded for Columbia, Introducing Sparks gained a reputation for being its least essential album of the 1970s. To be sure, this LP isn't in a class with either Big Beat (Sparks' previous Columbia release) or Island gems such as Propaganda and Kimono My House. But it isn't a bad album either -- uneven and imperfect, yes, but generally decent. Some of the album's more memorable songs range from the opener "A Big Surprise" and the Beach Boys-minded "Over The Summer" (a '60s-like ode to summer love) to the Greek-influenced "Goofing Off." On the hilarious "Occupation," Sparks outlines various career options and has fun lampooning all of them -- for example, Russell Mael says of athletes: "We athletes run around and round/We moan and groan and hit the ground/And when we get to 35/We sell cosmetics and survive." Although not recommended to casual listeners, Introducing Sparks has more plusses than minuses and is worth hearing if you're a hardcore Sparks aficionado. ~ Alex Henderson

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