Song of the Day: Sparks “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us”


Song of the Day: Sparks “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us”

Sparks released the LP Kimono My House in 1974 and “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us” was both the lead track and first single. Ron Mael wrote the song which would reach number two on the UK singles chart but didn’t chart in the US. For years I thought Sparks was an English group until I found out they were actually from Los Angeles. This particular song sounds like no other, as does Sparks. They remind me a little bit of Queen but only for their vocals and their odd mix of styles. My uncle first played me the main track here when I was 14 and I loved it right away.

The video below will also give you an idea of Sparks’ look which was very unique. Sparks was formed in LA in 1971 by the Mael Brothers, Russell and Ron. Although they were never huge stars they’ve been very influential over the years. Their wikipedia entry (excerpted below) is well worth a read.

Now currently touring with Scottish indie band Franz Ferdinand under their collaborative FFS moniker, “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For the Both of Us” is a highlight from their live set.

Sparks is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1971 by brothers Ron (keyboards) and Russell Mael (vocals), renamed from Halfnelson, formed in 1968. Known for their quirky approach to songwriting,[1] Sparks’ music is often accompanied by intelligent, sophisticated, and acerbic lyrics,[2] and an idiosyncratic, theatrical stage presence, typified in the contrast between Russell’s wide-eyed hyperactive frontman antics and Ron’s sedentary scowling. They are also noted for Russell Mael’s falsetto voice and Ron Mael’s keyboard style.

While achieving chart success in various countries around the world including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the United States, they have enjoyed a cult following since their first releases.[3] During the late 1970s, when in collaboration with Giorgio Moroder (and Telex subsequently), Sparks reinvented themselves as a new wave/synthpop duo, and abandoned the traditional rock band line up.[4] Their frequently changing styles and visual presentations have kept the band at the forefront of modern, artful pop music.[5]

The 2002 release of Lil’ Beethoven, their “genre-defying opus”,[6] as well as the more recent albums Hello Young Lovers (2006, their 20th studio album), Exotic Creatures of the Deep (2008), and their latest fantasy musical The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman (2009–2010) have brought Sparks renewed critical and commercial success, and seen them continue to “steer clear of pop conventions.”[7] The band also released an album with Scottish indie rock band Franz Ferdinand, as the supergroup FFS, titled FFS, released on June 8, 2015.

Sparks are best known for the songs “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us”, which reached number 2 in the British charts in 1974; the electronic hit “The Number One Song in Heaven” in 1979; “When I’m With You” which topped the French Charts in 1980; the single “I Predict”, which provided Sparks’ first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 60 in May 1982; the 1984 single “Cool Places” with Go-Go Jane Wiedlin, and “When Do I Get To Sing ‘My Way'” which topped the German and European charts in 1994/95 and was the top airplay record in Germany for 1994.

Song of the Day: Sparks “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us”

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