Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sparks: This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of us

Back in July I wrote:
Let's face it: the 1970s had few redeeming features. There was Basil Brush, the keyboard player from Sparks and after that you are struggling.
A trifle harsh, perhaps, but thanks to Youtube you can see who I was praising.

Sparks was an American band who grew up listening to the great British groups of the sixties and enjoyed some success over here in 1974-5. They were a beacon of wit and lightness of touch in an ocean of of clumsy glam rock. This week's video shows their song "The Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of us", which reached no. 2 in 1974.

At the heart of the band were the brothers Ron and Russell Mael. And Ron, who also wrote most of the songs, was the keyboard player I mentioned.

His toothbrush moustache and sidelong glances at the camera were famously unnerving. Sometimes he smiled, which was even scarier.

The Mael brothers are still around. Sparks get rediscovered every few years, which is more that you can say for most bands of their era. Read more about them on their website.

Basil Brush fans need not feel left out. Youtube has a clip of Basil from his glory years. It's eight minutes of pure gold, and also features an impossibly youthful Derek Fowlds.


Anonymous said...

1970s, the singer songwriters of the early 70s, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell etc. Reggae from Bob Marley, Punk from 76-79.

Probably one of the best decades for music.

GoodLiberal said...

They rereleased this song with Mike Patton (formerly of Faith No More). Jolly good it was then, and jolly good it is now!