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Sparks: Elegantly Whimsical

Sparks.
Sparks.

With quirky melodies and a uniquely clever songwriting style, Sparks has remained one of the most innovative art-pop bands of the past three decades. While never gaining much more than a cult following, Sparks' peculiar brand of pop smarts has influenced everything from '80s synth-pop to Queen.

After recording a self-titled album as Halfnelson in 1971 with producer Todd Rundgren, the group's manager convinced the band to rename itself Sparks. Upon relocating to England, Sparks solidified around the songwriting abilities of Ron and Russell Mael, who remained at the center of a rotating cast for the next 30+ years. The band hit it big with 1974's Kimono My House, cracking the U.K. Top 5 and generating two hit singles with "This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us" and "Amateur Hour." Sparks continued to release critically well-received albums, going through a variety of styles along the way.

On Hello Young Lovers, Sparks returns with all of the smartly funny lyrics and hooks a fan could hope for. While embracing styles ranging from '70s glam to orchestral art-rock, Hello Young Lovers remains grounded in the sense of mischief that has sustained its career.

Copyright 2006 XPN

David Dye
David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.