THE SPARKS BROTHERS
Sparks is the “Greatest” band you have never heard of!
Director Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim) brings a documentary of Sparks,a band formed by 2 brothers that has put out over 25 albums, had hit songs, been an influence on bands like Duran Duran, Pet Shop Boys and the Beatles! Ron and Russell Mael grew up in Santa Monica California in a musical family so it was only natural that they would want to play music. Ron and Russell would form Sparks, their band together with studio backing musicians and brought their unique sound that became a precursor to Electronic music to the US.
Record executives like the “different” sound that Russell and Ron were making but it was Todd Rundgren, the lead singer of the band Utopia, that loved the quirkiness and had them signed them to a contract with Bearsville records. Sparks first album was “Halfnelson” released in 1971 featuring the single “Wonder Girl” that was embraced by critics but the US public just didn’t get it. Following a similar rest with the second album “A Woofer in Tweeter’s Clothing” featuring the song “A Girl from Germany” and Ron’s signature look that everyone compared to Hitler!
Russell and Ron were not the most successful rock stars, but they were the hardest working brothers in the music business. Ron and Russell would write together every day and were sent over to England to see if they liked the music across the pond. Sparks would put out two albums “Kimono in my House” and “Propaganda” in 1974 and both were top 10 albums in the UK but only Propaganda cracked the billboard top 100 in the US.