Review: SPARKS - "21st Century Sparks"


Die Brüder Ron Mael (Keyboard) und Russell Mael (Vocals), kurz gesagt SPARKS veröffentlichen mit „21st Century Sparks“ remasterte Auflagen ihrer alten Werke. Am 29. April 2022 kamen bereits die CD´s "Balls", "Lil' Beethoven" und "Hello Young Lovers" in die Plattenläden. Nun folgen am 27. Mai die Alben "Exotic Creatures Of The Deep" und "The Seduction Of Ingmar Bergman".

Die Musik der Brüder hat schon einen eigenen Touch. Sicherlich wird sich hier nicht jeder wiederfinden, aber ich finde die Musik der Beiden zumindest immer wieder interessant, wenn mir auch nicht alles gefällt. In jedem Falle hat es sich gelohnt, in die neu gemasterten Scheiben hineinzuhören und wer gerne etwas abgedrehte Sachen mag, ist hier in jedem Falle richtig.


Das Ganze ist sowohl als CD als auch als Vinyl-Edition zu haben.


Das Promoportal-germany vergibt für das Gesamtwerk 8 von 10 Punkten.



21st Century Sparks Tracklisting:


Balls – 2002 remaster - originally released in 2000

‘Highly listenable and equally danceable’ - Mojo Magazine

** first time on vinyl **

1. Balls

2. More Than A Sex Machine

3. Scheherazade

4. Aeroflot

5. The Calm Before The Storm

6. How To Get Your Ass Kicked

7. Bullet Train

8. It's A Knockoff

9. Irreplaceable

10. It's Educational

11. The Angels


Balls CD Bonus Tracks:

12. It's A Sparks Show - Opening theme for Sparks live shows. Previously unreleased.

13. Calm Before The Opera - Reworking of the song ‘The Calm Before The Storm.’

14. The Angels (Sparks Alternative Version)

15. More Than A Sex Machine (Sparks Definitive Version - Radio Edit)

16. The Angels (Tony Visconti version)

17. The Oblongs - Proposed pilot theme song for the animated TV series The Oblongs. Previously released in Japan.

18. A Cute Candidate - Opening Theme From In Entertainment We Trust: Music From The Motion Picture A Cute Candidate by Kuntzel+Deygas.

19. The Race For President - From In Entertainment We Trust: Music From The Motion (as above) 

Lil’ Beethoven 2022 remaster - originally released in 2002

‘Extraordinary’ – Daily Telegraph


1. The Rhythm Thief

2. How Do I Get To Carnegie Hall?

3. What Are All These Bands So Angry About?

4. I Married Myself

5. Ride 'Em Cowboy

6. My Baby's Taking Me Home

7. Your Call's Very Important To Us. Please Hold.

8. Ugly Guys With Beautiful Girls

9. Suburban Homeboy


CD Bonus Tracks:

10. The Legend Of Lil' Beethoven - The story of “Lil’ Beethoven” read by Ron Mael

11. Wunderbar (Concerto In Koch Minor) - Originally commissioned for Günther Koch Revisited: Voll in den Mann by Bayerischer Rundfunk / Hörspiel und Medienkunst. Features the sampled voice of Günther Koch

12. Kakadu - Originally commissioned for one word one sound by Bayerischer Rundfunk / Hörspiel und Medienkunst Concept: a song created from an assigned word and sound, Word: “Kakadu” (voice of Richard Huelsenbeck). Sound: papier schnippen / snip paper. Reading by Tammy Glover

13. Suburban Homeboy (Extended "Ron Speaks" Version)

14. The Rhythm Thief (Instrumental Version)


Hello Young Lovers 2022 remaster - originally released in 2005.

“…a special kind of genius” – Independent on Sunday


1. Dick Around

2. Perfume

3. The Very Next Fight

4. (Baby, Baby) Can I Invade Your Country

5. Rock, Rock, Rock

6. Metaphor

7. Waterproof

8. Here Kitty

9. There's No Such Thing as Aliens

10. As I Sit Down to Play the Organ at the Notre Dame Cathedral


CD Bonus Tracks:

11. We Are The Clash - Originally released on White Riot, Vol.2: A Tribute to The Clash, issued by Uncut Magazine in November 2003

12. (Baby, Baby) Can I Invade Your Country (Alternative Lyrics)


Exotic Creatures of the Deep 2002 remaster - originally released 2008.

‘There’s still hope for the world’ -NME


1. Intro

2. Good Morning

3. Strange Animal

4. I Can’t Believe That You Would Fall for All the Crap in This Song

5. Let the Monkey Drive

6. Intro Reprise

7. I've Never Been High

8. (She Got Me) Pregnant

9. Lighten Up, Morrissey

10. This Is the Renaissance

11. The Director Never Yelled 'Cut'

12. Photoshop

13. Likeable


CD Bonus Tracks:

14. Brenda is Always in the Way - B-side of the 7” single ‘Lighten Up, Morrissey

15. Islington N1 - Written to commemorate the concert event Sparks Spectacular: 21 Albums in 21 Nights (May-June 2008 in Islington, London. Originally available only for “Golden Ticket” holders.

16. Mr. Hulot - Unused theme song written for the documentary The Magnificent Tati

17. I Am A Bookworm - End theme song of the radio show Bookworm, hosted by Michael Silverblatt, and broadcast weekly on National Public Radio member station KCRW in Los Angeles