|SPARKS - MUSIC THAT YOU CAN DANCE TO
REVIEW BY MARTIN TRUKSA
| Music to dance to by Sparks |
Sparks : Music That You Can Dance To (Curb) 1986 :-
Rumour has it that Ron and Russell Mael spent more time working on this album than any other. The end result more than justifies the effort involved. 'Music That You Can Dance To' is a great album and probably Sparks's best release of the entire 1980s. As if to verify this, the album was re-released on CD as "Best of Sparks".
The album's official title, 'Music That You Can Dance To', is misleading. This is definitely not music that you can dance to. It is music that you can listen to over and over again, and music that you can love and cherish with all your might. But Sparks music is not for dancing to - it is far too quirky for that.
Four songs from this album were released as singles, namely the title track 'MTYCDT', 'Rosebud' (an allusion to Orson Welles' Citizen Kane), 'Modesty Plays' (a spoof of the 1966 comic-strip film Modesty Blaise) and a compelling love song 'Change'. The single 'Change' received rave reviews but mysteriously failed to chart. 'Change' featured a highly wonderful acoustic version of 'This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us' on its B-side. The Maels thought that it would be useful having 'Sparks 1974' on one side and 'Sparks 1985' on the other, to contrast the two periods of their ever varying career. This was also an added incentive to buy the single!
'The Scene' is a supercharged song that is bursting with energy and when Russell sings "The floors are shaking, the blood is pumping, the skin is baking", you can feel your adrenaline rising and your heart racing. 'Shopping Mall Of Love' sounds like an out take from the 1956 Yul Brynner film 'The King And I' and consists of Ron speaking the verse and Russell singing an oriental sounding chorus. The album's sole disappointing track is 'Fingertips'. This song was a hit for Stevie Wonder in 1968 but the Maels fail to do it justice here.
'Music That You Can Dance To' is one of Sparks' lesser known releases, perhaps less bizarre than much of Sparks' output, but it is well worth buying.
SPARKS : Tracks - Music That You Can Dance To, Rosebud, Fingertips, Armies Of The Night, The Scene, Shopping Mall Of Love, Modesty Plays, Let's Get Funky
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