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Sparks Vinyl, CD & tapes by Sparks at Norman Records

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Sparks
No.1 In Heaven (40th Anniversary Edition)

Total vintage Sparks goodness! No. 1 In Heaven has a wry sarcastic optimism in its title, but then again it does feature the Maels working with the legendary Giorgio Moroder, leading to an especially electro-vibed, synthed-up version of the Sparks sound. A match made in heaven right? Remastered reissue that features rare bonus tracks, some involving Peter Cook.

Sparks
Exotic Creatures Of The Deep

The Sparks success is measured through their cult following and critical acclaim rather than commercial chart success. Their 2008 album Exotic Creatures Of The Deep is their most commercially successful album, however, although it still never broke into the Top 50. Now it is available on vinyl for the first time. It features Brenda Is Always In The Way as a bonus track which was only previously available as the flip side of their 7” Lighten Up Morrissey. Heavyweight coloured vinyl on Lil’ Beethoven Records.

Sparks
The Best & The Rest Of The Island Years 74-78

Although they've intermittently done brilliant stuff over the years (and continue to do so), the golden era for Sparks was probably the 1974-1978 era when they were signed to Island. This included great albums such as Kimono My House and Propaganda. This collection comprises the 'best' bits and on LP2 you get the 'rest' - i.e. all the B sides from the period.   

Sparks
Propaganda

Since adding a portable CD player to my kitchen I've needed some interesting upbeat music to listen to whilst doing the dishes. First on my list was Sparks Propaganda  - an absolutely incredible album which showcases the band at their pomp. Almost as good as Kimono My House I reckon. This catches them at work with their classic early sound which is both tough as teak and operatic. Brilliant stuff now on LP via Island. 
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  • Sparks

Sparks
Kimono My House

Demented electro-pop duo Sparks celebrate 40 years of sharp wit and falsetto crooning. The deluxe reissue of Kimono My House adds new material and essays to the endlessly weird and catchy chamber pop arrangements, strange productions and glamorous theatrics within. What more do you want; there’s a song called "Thank God It’s Not Christmas".

Sparks
Indiscreet

Indiscreet was the fifth album by the wonderfully weird duo Sparks. It was originally released in 1975 as the follow-up to Propaganda and produced by none other than Tony Visconti. Whilst it didn’t meet the commercial heights of Propaganda, or Kimono My House, which was arguably their best-known work, it was an artistic success - stylistically an odd, yet fantastic mix of glam rock and show tunes.
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  • Sparks

Sparks
Big Beat

Big Beat was the 6th album by Sparks. It was the follow up to the rather fabulous Indiscreet. Like its predecessor, it failed to reach satisfactory sales figures, but don’t let that put you off, things were different in 1976, this was probably buried under a pile of fresh punk. It led to them appearing, and playing two songs, in the 1976 disaster film Rollercoaster after Kiss declined the offer.
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Sparks
Hippopotamus

Once an absolutely amazing band Sparks have been pretty much smooth sailing through the last decade of their career with the sort of quirky operatic nursery rhyme-like compositions exemplified by 'Hippopotamus' the lead track from this their latest opus. Strangely for such an odd band they are much loved by 6 Music. It's fair to say that if this were by a new band it wouldn't be anywhere near the playlist. Stay odd guys. 

Sparks
Sparks

There is no more ridiculous band on the planet than Sparks. Just look at their performance on Wogan for proof. This record though goes back to the very beginning when they were a couple of LA ex models and enlisted Todd Rundgren to try to sort out a sound that was one part hi camp Queen and one part power pop. They made some of the most interesting music of the generally awful early '70s and this is pretty much where it began. 

Sparks
The Island Years

Following on from their recent collaboration with Franz Ferdinand as FFS, you can now get your hands on The Island Years by Sparks. The 5-LP box set contains four classic albums recorded between 1974-76: Kimono My House, Propaganda, Indiscreet and Big Beat with a fifth LP of B-sides which have never before been released in this format. All 5 LPs are pressed on 180g vinyl. The box set also contains a download code.

FFS (Franz Ferdinand & Sparks)
FFS

Definitely not enough of this kind of thing happening these days: a totally implausible collaboration between Franz Ferdinand and Sparks, excellently titled FFS. The self-titled album brings us something more than just a blend of Franz’s indie-rock and Sparks camp-pop: this has plenty of both, but ends up as something fresh. CD or double LP, including special indies-only red vinyl edition!
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  • Sparks
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