26 May 2010
Russell & Ron = Sparks
Do you know Russell and Ron, the Mael brothers? Do you know Sparks? I feel as if I’m the only person who can appreciate the brilliance of Sparks. Hell, I’m the only person I’ve met who even knows who they are.
I get the feeling most music lovers - people who appreciate sound as an art form, who sit down, put on headphones and actually concentrate on music - won’t get Sparks. I can hear them now: ‘They sound gay. They are a pantomime/fairytale/joke.’
It’s so strange to me how Sparks are never mentioned as influences by bands. If I had an ounce of musical talent, Sparks would be my primary influence. That said, the only musician I’ve ever read or even heard mention Sparks is Morrissey. Okay, so most of you will stop reading here. Fair enough.
Awhile back there was this excellent CD series called Under the Influence. It was basically a compilation of particular artist's influences, chosen by them, annotated by them, etc. I play Ian Brown’s one every other week (reggae, northern soul, hip-hop). I didn’t bother with Geldof’s (good, but what you’d expect). Moz’z one is this jumble of eclectic stuff, from the 50’s through to the Dolls. He throws in Arts & Crafts Spectacular and writes of Sparks as kindred spirits: of wanting to be "with creatures of my own species" and essentially suck their cocks. So blame Sparks for the Smiths.
Not long after I got the Kimono My House album and fell for the Mael brothers myself. I mean, even if the music sucked, I’d still have a large amount of respect for their iconoclastic artwork (album covers) and image (dazzlingly absurdist).
So, yeah, that was me walking round the city this afternoon totally absorbed in 1974’s Propaganda album. Sparks rule.