Weren’t we just discussing Sparks? Well, how can we fail to pay attention to the Best American Band ever? Although I just did a spit take upon that proclamation. Goodness knows that they seem more Belgian than American, which is a large part of their charm. Which they have in spades. Even as I was just finally reviewing their last album just last month, the wheels don’t stop turning at Sparks sanctum sanctorum just because idiots are in charge and the world’s on fire. The Brothers Mael have album number 24 on the launchpad and prepped for takeoff on May 15th, 2020.
As usual the album will be available in a potentially bewildering variety of formats, many with their own version of the surreal, wordless cover design. And for anyone pre-ordering the songs from the Sparks webstore, all of the formats [save for cassette] come with a signed print of the brothers looking distinguished. As of yet, there’s still no word what the contents of the album, much less its format variants will be! But given Sparks penchant for gifting us with Xmas season singles, I would guess that “Please Don’t Fuck Up My World” will remain a one-off event.
Since we don’t know what the contents are, the visual aspect of the various editions is all that distinguish them for now. Verisons range from the au courant cassette for $9.99 to the $78.99 all vinyl formats [3 – black, color, pic disc] mega bundle. Along with various mix and match bundles to fit most tastes. The humble CD is $13.99 but I could be persuaded to invest another $6.00 for the DLX hardbook CD which may [or may not…] have a bonus track or three just on the face of it. All these formats. All this music. What really matters is The Merch, yes?
¡Mamacita! It’s a Sparks Beret!! As Ron is known for seriously rocking a beret throughout his career as a musician/fashion plate, this is a holy object, for certain. That little beauty is available in a few bundles and separately for those who can withstand the power, for a mere $26.99. As for this Monk, the DLX CD makes the most sense to me. I’d love to pre-order from the Sparks Store and get the signed print but since the Brit-centric webstore entails international postage to America, I may not have the scratch for this right now. What with the rapidly approaching Monk’s Tour of the UK happening in weeks. But for any UK or European citizens reading these words with a quickened pulse right now, know that any pre-orders made in the webstore as of RIGHT NOW, qualify the buyer for early presale access to Sparks European 2020 tour with the rest of the tickets going on sale this Friday, the 31st.
Sparks | European Tour | 2020
SUN 11 OCTOBER | Rockefeller | Oslo | Norway
MON 12 OCTOBER | Cirkus | Stockholm | Sweden
WED 14 OCTOBER | Koncerthuset | Copenhagen | Denmark
THU 15 OCTOBER | Metropol Berlin | Berlin | Germany
SAT 17 OCTOBER | Paradiso | Amsterdam | Netherlands
SUN 18 OCTOBER | Ancienne Belgique | Brussels | Belgium
TUE 20 OCTOBER | Casino De Paris | Paris | France
WED 21 OCTOBER | The Roundhouse | London | UK
FRI 23 OCTOBER | Albert Hall | Manchester | UK
SAT 24 OCTOBER | Barrowland Ballroom | Glasgow | UK
MON 26 OCTOBER | Limelight | Belfast | UK
TUE 27 OCTOBER | Vicar Street | Dublin | Ireland
– 30 –
Ok, it Is 2020 right? But artists are releasing albums on cassette…it really is 2020 right? Without even hearing the music from A Steady Drip Drip Drip, I am obsessed with the album cover and the CD book version is MINE!
Echorich – Don’t you mean “covers?” They are making it hard not to buy a bundle to get the whole story. And has anyone else hit upon such a potent visual metaphor for our troubled times? If they had done this without simply retouching, I think I’d be bursting into flames!
This is gonna be good! Sparks (or as I like to call them, Boyz II OLD MEN) have been on fire in recent years!
chasinvictoria – I would say that Sparks have been creatively on fire for the last 20 years. Maybe 25.
Certainly some great artwork on all of the variants.I have to say that I am not a great fan of post-1980s Sparks,though I have tried.I respect them hugely though.Saw them live once around the time of “National Crime Awareness Week”.
Gavin – The artwork is like the last one. Witty, but corners were cut. What we see looks like a strong proof of concept hacked out in Photoshop in a day or so. I can dream about the time when they would have done an actual photo shoot of (non-toxic, edible) paint-like substances dripping down on them in ever increasing torrents. Yes, elderly men would have had some discomfort, and there would have been some solid scrubbing to do but wow! I can envision it in my mind’s eye vividly. It would have been truly epic. What we have now would have been like placing the brothers in a 3D rendering of a suburban plane crash instead of building the actual set (though people toiled to do so) for the cover if “Indiscreet.” The very real photo of the gagged and trussed brothers on the “Propaganda” cover was another inspired shoot that was work, yes, but so worth the effort. No one wants to get their hands dirty today. Sigh.
I understand what you mean-Fischerspooner did that technique for real very well in 2008 with their “Best Revenge” and “Danse en France” sleeves.I still find the Sparks visuals very arresting however.
Gavin – Wow! You’re not kidding! I had not seen any Fischerspooner covers since the one with the lighting fixture chapeau.
The only Fischerspooner I’ve heard is the inconclusive “Odyssey” album I picked up in the glory days of La-La back in 2006. Should I investigate something more?
I think Odyssey is their finest hour,but the song “Best Revenge” is absolutely brilliant.The album it came from,”Entertainment”,not so.I really like them though and still play their stuff a lot at home.
Interesting, the Propaganda album cover is one of my all time favorites! As young teen I found it very compelling and it still stirs some tension if looked at long enough. At some time I had an 8-Track cassette of Propaganda (which I of course played on my portable Panasonic Dynamite 8-Track Player (blue if you want to know)) and it had the album cover printed on a light pink label and pepto bismol pink cassette… In fact I just saw that on Ebay for $84 !
Look what I just found on YouTube:
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