Sparks Kimono My House

Sparks 'Kimono My House' - This Town Ain't Big Enough

'This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us' is the opening track on Sparks' album 'Kimono My House', and was the lead single from the album, reaching number two in the UK singles chart.  An acoustic version of the song was recorded in 1985 and appeared as a B-side on the single 'Change' .

Ron Mael explains how he created this classic Sparks track, back in the early 70s:--

"Russ and I moved to England after two unsuccessful American albums.  Our parents were living in England, and on Sundays I would take a bus to Clapham Junction; there was a piano in their flat.  One Sunday something happened with that song (i.e.
'This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us').  At first I didn't think of it as special: the song was called 'Too Hot To Handle' or something inane.  The line 'this town ain't big enough for the both of us' is a movie cliche, a challenge from one gunfighter to another.  But having a song that was the opposite of a cliche, but used a cliched line, really interested me.  The vocals sound so stylised because I wrote it without any regard for vocals and Russ had to adapt".  (Source : The Guardian)

Kimono My House

It took several weeks for the Kimono My House single 'This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us' to begin to be accepted in Britain.  Eventually the song managed to scrape into the charts and the Maels' were offered 'Top of the Pops'.  Island Records hoped that this would be the big boost that Sparks needed to break in the UK.  Ron & Russell went into the BBC studios to re-record the song but were taken off at the last second because the BBC discovered that the Mael brothers weren't part of the Musicians' Union.  So Sparks were removed from Top of the Pops that week and were replaced by The Rubettes.  The Rubettes' record, 'Sugar Baby Love', stopped 'This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us' from getting to number 1.

Now here's a piece of information I bet you were all dying to know!  In a leading music magazine, Ron Mael revealed the truth about 'This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us'.  He specified which Town Ain't Big Enough ...

"Well, I suppose the song could be referring to either of two towns, because I wrote it first of all in Purley and then in Tooting.  You see, at the time I had the use of a piano in Tooting, and I wrote the lyrics in Purley.  Purley is obviously a very lyrical place".

In 1997, Sparks recorded two new versions of this classic
'Kimono My House' track.  The first was an orchestral version produced by Tony Visconti and the other was for the greatest hits CD 'Plagiarism' .  

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