Tag Archives: glam rock

SPARKS, ‘glam’ or not?

 

 

 

THERE ARE A NUMBER OF BANDS THAT THE TERM “70’S GLAM ROCK” IS USUALLY APPLIED TO: DAVID BOWIE, T-REX, GARRY GLITTER, SWEET, ROXY MUSIC….. BUT NOT SPARKS.  TOO BAD.

SPARKS 1974 ALBUM KIMONO MY HOUSE IS A STRAIGHT-UP ROMP THROUGH GLITTER-LAND, AND A CATCHY, FINELY CRAFTED ONE AT THAT.  YOU COULD SAY THAT SPARKS WEREN’T REALLY A GLAM BAND, AS THEIR OUTPUT OF OVER TWENTY ALBUMS SPANNING THREE DECADES COVERS A LOT OF STYLISTIC TERRAIN, BUT THEN BOWIE AND ROXY MUSIC DIDN’T SPEND LONG IN THE GLAM-CAMP  VERY LONG EITHER.

  SPARKS ARE AN AMERICAN GROUP, FROM LOS ANGELES.  BUT THE MAEL BROTHERS RECORDED THIS RECORD IN THE U.K. WITH A BRITISH RHYTHM SECTION, WHICH IS ALSO WHERE IT WAS RECEIVED THE WARMEST (THE SINGLE “THIS TOWN AIN’T BIG ENOUGH FOR BOTH OF US” REACHED #2 IN ENGLAND, LATER TO BE COVERED BY ONE MS SIOUXIE).  SO IS THIS AN ENGLISH OR AN AMERICAN GLAM-ROCK RECORD?   IS THIS PERHAPS THE ANSWER TO THE RIDDLE OF HOW ONE OF AMERICAS BEST GLAM RECORDS IS LEFT OFF THE LIST? IS IT THEIR LACK OF EXTREME STAGE-MAKE-UP, SEQUINED CLOTHING AND PLATFORM BOOTS?   HMMMM…..PERHAPS IT DOESN’T ULTIMATELY MATTER.

  THE VOCAL ACROBATICS OF RUSSEL MAEL ARE STUNNING, THE LYRIC-COMEDY OF RON MAEL (NOT TO MENTION THE DEAD-PAN STAGE PRESENCE) IS A LAUGH, AND THE BAND IS ROCKIN’ AND GREAT.  TIMES CHANGED, STYLES CHANGED, SPARKS CHANGED, BUT THIS ALBUM IS AN ACHIEVEMENT IN GLAM-POP GREATNESS.


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