Album review

Sparks - This Album's Big Enough... The Best Of

A near-definitive Sparks compilation at last, with the early glam-opera hits (like the truly thrilling "Amateur Hour") striding hand-in-hand with the Giorgio Moroder techno try-outs (the boiling "Beat The Clock"). Still madder than a helicopter full of marmalade (witness berserk new album Li'l Beethoven), Ron and Russ Mael were striking '70s subversives ("Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth") and effervescent '80s visionaries ("Dance Godammit"). "Dada art-pop noir", in fact, as Paul Lester's sleevenotes surmise. Ahead of their time, then as now.

Rating: 4 / 10


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Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...