Brothers Ron and Russell Mael stormed onto the music scene in the early 70's, bringing with them a truly unique musical approach. Their quirky song writing, vitriolic lyrics and distinct stage presence set them apart from other artists of the time; a trait that they have managed to continue up to today.
Brothers Ron and Russell Mael stormed onto the music scene in the early 70's, bringing with them a truly unique musical approach. Their quirky song writing, vitriolic lyrics and distinct stage presence set them apart from other artists of the time; a trait that they have managed to continue up to today. Throughout the group's impressive 5 decades in the music industry, they have taken a chameleon-like approach to music by adopting several different musical genres including pop, electronic-dance, mainstream pop and English baroque. This constant changing of style has kept them at the forefront of musical experimentation. They've continually steered clear of conventions choosing instead to push the boundaries and limits of pop music.
Sparks formed in 1970 in the heart of sunshine and celluloid... better known as Los Angeles. The Mael brothers grew up during L.A.'s musical "Golden Age." This was the time when artists like The Byrds, The Doors and Frank Zappa were playing at Hollywood hot spots such as Whisky-a-go-go and The Roxy. It was a truly inspiring time for American music, but having been highly influenced by British bands like The Who, Pink Floyd and The Kinks, the Mael brothers appropriately titled themselves as "Anglophiles." They eventually relocated to the UK wherethey recorded their breakthrough album Kimono My House. Its hit single "This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us " made it to #2 in the UK singles charts. The initial success lead to various television and promotional appearances. It was around this time that the brothers became known for their contrasting personalities; front man Russell for his hyperactive, flamboyant behaviour and sombre Ron scowling over the keyboards. Their successes abroad eventually lead to a cult following back at home in the US, particularly around San Francisco, New York, Chicago and L.A.
After Kimono My House, the brothers relocated back to the U.S. and followed up with a constant string of hit albums, such as Big Beat, Introducing Sparks, No 1. In Heaven, Angst in My Pants and Sparks in Outer Space (whose title track landed them a US #1) as well as 2002's ground breaking, career resurging album,Lil Beethoven. In 2008, they performed a 21 night show "Sparks Spectacular," in which they played each of their twenty albums in chronological order and premiered their 21st album on the final night. Most recently, the brothers have been involved with the radio musical The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman. Both brothers were featured in the production which was commissioned by the Swedish Public Radio and directed by Canadian director Guy Maddin.
This immensely talented and successful duo have inspired countless artists and musicians in their wake - but needless to say, it doesn't seem like we've seen the last of them just yet.