Sparks

Formed 1970.

US rock and pop duo, The Mael Brothers

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Sparks join Radcliffe & Maconie in the studio

Ron and Russell Mael, aka Sparks, join Mark and Stuart in the studio.

Featured in BBC Music Clips
 

Biography

Sparks is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1971 by brothers Ron (keyboards) and Russell Mael (vocals), renamed from Halfnelson, formed in 1968. Known for their quirky approach to songwriting, Sparks' music is often accompanied by intelligent, sophisticated, and acerbic lyrics, and an idiosyncratic, theatrical stage presence, typified in the contrast between Russell's wide-eyed hyperactive frontman antics and Ron's sedentary scowling. They are also noted for Russell Mael's falsetto voice and Ron Mael's keyboard style.

Though the band's long career has seen them successfully pioneer many different musical genres; including glam rock, power pop, electronic dance music, and most recently chamber pop, Sparks have created their own unique musical universe. While achieving chart success in various countries around the world including United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the United States, they have enjoyed a cult following since their first releases. Sparks have been highly influential on the development of popular music, in particular on the late 1970s scene, when in collaboration with Giorgio Moroder (and Telex subsequently), they reinvented themselves as an synthpop duo, and abandoned the traditional rock band line up. Their frequently changing styles and visual presentations have kept the band at the forefront of modern, artful pop music.

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Links & Information

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman

    The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman 2009

    Reviewed by Louis Pattison
    The story of a maverick creative force – remind you of anyone?
  2. Review of Exotic Creatures Of The Deep

    Exotic Creatures Of The Deep 2008

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    No one is making such criminally underrated and startlingly original music, in any...
  3. Review of Hello Young Lovers

    Hello Young Lovers 2006

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    For a band celebrating over 30 years of active service this is still extremely bold,...
  4. Review of Lil' Beethoven

    Lil' Beethoven

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    ...relax, the Mael brothers have been doing tongue-in-cheek pop with an IQ for long...
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