Monday, June 19, 2006

The Sparks of life

Back from my hols and straight into work mode; but work of quite a pleasant type. having (nearly) finished my bout with Robert Palmer's Island back catalogue, I'm now embroiled in the sleevenotes for Sparks' 'Indiscreet' album. And thus to a quick afternoon meet wiv da brudders Mael in a pub on Marylebone High St. Not only were they as charming as ever, they remembered me from our last interview about three zillion years ago when 'Lil' Beethoven' (a modern work of genius imho) was unleashed on an indifferent world.
While a fellow hack interogated Ron about 'Propaganda' I got to chat to Russ. As the sole constant interpretor of Ron's muse, Russell is a brave and clever man (with a voice that no one could mistake). We discussed how the album has avoided the ravages of time and fashion by being so OUT THERE in the first place as to be in a universe all of its own. My kinda music in other words. 'Indiscreet' remains a pinnacle in the brothers oeuvre. By using Tony Visconti as the replacement for Muff Winwood in the producer's chair they savvily employed a man who could finally turn their skewed mini-operatic narratives into fully-realised slices of perverse prog powerpop. Listening to it again last night filled me with wonder. I mean, how many albums with songs about pineapples, disability, imperialism, breasts and infant sexuality can YOU name? A bit like Steely Dan crossed with Gilbert and Sullivan and T. Rex (god, I sound like a bad press release). If you don't know this gem, well, wait until it gets re-released, then you can read me rambling on about it at even more tedious lengths!
Oh, and re: the pic on the rear sleeve (if you know it) - the horse had to be sedated apparently...

No comments: