Sparks In Outer Space

Sparks In Outer Space (Atlantic Records) 1983 :-

As if to prove that bad things don't always come in threes, Sparks' third album of the 1980s, 'Sparks In Outer Space', is a major improvement over its two predecessors . This is probably Sparks' simplest sounding album ever - however the robotic simplicity is what makes this album so great.. In places the music consists of a synth loop played over and over, and the lyrics are unbelievably banal, for example "I like you, and you like me a lot. And it's nice to be all alone with you too. But it's also nice being out with our friends".  Yet the brilliance of 'Sparks In Outer Space' lies in its uncomplicated, catchy songs, tasty melodies, and general recitability.  The songs are fun.  Their rhyme, rhythm and repetition makes for a highly motivating, revitalising listening experience 

This album is special because Ron and Russell were under the radar in Europe where they’d had a huge following.  And in America they finally had a proper MTV-played video and Top 40 hit with
'Cool Places'.  ( Jane Wiedlin, guitarist for the Go-Go's, features on two of the tracks, 'Cool Places' and 'Lucky You, Lucky Me' ).  There are huge concert favourites from this album that Sparks played a lot in the 80s.  'Popularity' and 'All You Ever Think About Is Sex' are particularly popular. People probably do think Sparks are geeks from outer space.  They probably also think the Maels are weird because of their strange songs about sex and sexual encounters.

All you ever think about is sex

'Cool Places' was released as a single, backed by a non-album track, 'Sports', and actually made inroads into the US charts, thanks to the popularity of the Go-Go's in the States at the time.   The b-side is now quite obscure and collectable. 

There are two standout tracks on
'Sparks In Outer Space'. 'Rockin' Girls' is a beautifully melodic ballad and has an almost heavenly majesty to it. "Rockin' Girls, just seventeen. The cutest thing I've ever seen". The emotional impact when Russell then sings "C'mon baby, rock with me tonight" is simply sensational. 'Please Baby Please' also has a fantastically romantic melody to it, and it is difficult to resist singing along to the chorus. (Incidentally both these songs were released as picture-sleeve singles in France). 

You should ensure that your CD collection includes this classic Sparks album.  Nearly every song on this album is a Sparks gem. Although totally different in theme, the songs on this album have one thing in common: a simple but superb use of catchy vocal hooks, superb melodies, daft lyrics and a highly compelling disco beat. 
'Outer Space' rocks !!!


Cool Places 7 inch single

Sparks CD
OUTER SPACE BY SPARKS : Cool Places, Popularity, Praying For A Party, All You Ever Think About Is Sex, Please Baby Please, Rocking Girls, I Wish I Looked A Little Better, Lucky Me Lucky You, A Fun Bunch Of Guys, Dance Godammit

Sparks In Outer Space