Best band in the world.

Let me present to you the best band in the world at this very moment:

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19,170 Responses to Best band in the world.

  1. Jay Thurston says:

    I first heard them in 1976 and was captivated by their unique sound. Fucking weirdos…hahahaha.

  2. You premature little brats.

  3. Martin says:

    Ron Mael looks totally insane, an I honestly can’t believe that he dared to walk down the streets of London looking like that.
    Anyone knows if Dead Kennedys were Sparks fans?

  4. I really love the guitar sound on Kimono My House, it`s diabolical, like Ronson on steroids.
    These british records from the early 70`s have amazing production. Theirs in particular, because as anglophiliac americans they try to sound even more british. And the pouding supercompressed drums are so cool…

  5. Not David's Brother says:

    Great vid. Freddie Mercury-stylee vox, Hitler stache, quality glam tunes and Johnny Rotten mannerisms. I love Sparks. Yeah, Kimono My House is my fav.

  6. solid_citizen says:

    I couldn’t agree more; Sparks are brilliant.

  7. timmy says:

    if thats the best band in the world…i would hate to see the worst!!!

  8. Matt says:

    I know I’m totally in the minority here, but I never got it. yeah they were weird ahead of their time maybe, but does that nullify the fact that they didn’t write very good songs and their overall sound is annoying at best. Love the site but I’m definitely on the other side of the coin on this one

  9. onychotillomaniac says:

    “Didn’t write very good songs”? Okay, yeah. I have never heard their equal, they are brilliant songwriters. They are god’s among insects.

    It’s funny how narrow some so-called music lover’s tastes can be. I’d imagine that Sparks would be pretty scary and confusing to the typical black leather and a bad attitude punk nitwit.

    Queen opened for Sparks in the early 1970s and months later stole their entire sound. This is historical fact. So it’s more like Freddie Mercury had Russel Mael style vox.

    I went to see Sparks at UCLA on Feburary 14. Second row center! It was utterly mind blowing!

    • Matt says:

      Well, I’ve never owned a leather jacket and don’t give a shit about Queen and not sure how that applies anyway, but… also you do realize the first line of your Second paragraph is an example of hipocracy in the highest order. You’re saying I’m narrow minded because I don’t don’t agree with with everything you think or don’t like one band you do, I would go into a deeper explanation, but if you wrote that, then clearly you’re too stupid to understand.

      • The Flakes // Drummer says:

        I wish all these comments and arguments would pop up when I post a more unknown record.

      • mdgarmager says:

        Matt, the comment regarding the Sparks and their song writing talents was directed towards you. Sorry, I get really defensive when it comes to the music I “geek-out” about.

        The second paragraph was not addressed to you, unless you are in fact a “bad attitude punk nitwit.” I was generalizing.

        The third paragraph was in response to Not David’s Brother’s comment above.

        In my second paragraph, I was maliciously badgering those closed-minded people, no one in particular, that I am certain we all know and encounter on a daily basis. Hypocrisy? Hardly. People should listen to whatever they like. I was addressing those people who would never give Sparks the slightest chance because they don’t fit into their narrow musical subculture’s standards.

        I should have been more specific in my post as to whom I was addressing. I guess I was in a hurry.

        Yeah, I am pretty stupid. But I do know how to spell “hypocrisy”. I got that going for me. Sorry, but I think I deserve at least one personal jab!

  10. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    “…but does that nullify the fact that they didn’t write very good songs…” sorry but it´s not a FACT it´s just an opinion and a matter of taste. FACT is that Sparks is one of a kind, unique and total original. I wish that could be said for the majority of so called punk bands.

  11. Charlie M says:

    Their sound here is surprisingly punk-y……
    Ron’s disdainful approach to performing and being part of the ‘circus’ is great. And the lyrics were nicely cynical. Let’s call them ‘protopunk’ for a laugh and see who objects….lyrically proto-punk at least.

  12. It’s a fact that after 5 minutes of any one of these never-endning SPARKS songs, I’m so depressed that I could cry. Horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible garbage except for Adolf on the keyboards. It was music like this that made people start Punk bands.

    • The Flakes // Drummer says:

      It was bands like these that INSPIRED people to start punk bands. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Dickies borrowed Sparks practice space and their whole equipment for one of the greatest albums of all time: Dawn of the Dickies?

      • Yes, they inspired them. They went like “Oh, hmm, time for some real music”.

        • The Flakes // Drummer says:

          This is fucking weird. I can be weird too = punx.

          • Jay Thurston says:

            The only difference is. The singer for Sparks never urinated on their fans like Leonard did…hahahaha. You can hear where Sparks did have some influence on the Dickies.

      • Matt says:

        One last comment on the subject. I think Erich has a point, It seems that when people really like a band, in this case Sparks(but many others fit the bill) that they think is great but is mostly been overlooked not just by the general public but even a lot of other underground music fans, they tend to wanna point out how much they influenced all these bands that the person in question does like. many times bands do provide inspiration not because they’re good musically but like I said just weird, in the same vein Sparks would by proxy be influenced by Marc Bolan, Elton John, David Bowie, etc. It’s not so much for their music but their weirdness, sure maybe a lot of punk bands (mostly UK bands) were in some way inspired by Sparks, But If I was gonna place a bet it was an inspiration as far as, hey, those guys are fucking weird and dress and act like goofballs, why can’t we, and while were at it lets make some songs that don’t suck too(again my opinion), to say Sparks somehow is more influential to punk or alterna/underground music, whatever you wanna call it than say, T Rex, The Dolls, Stooges, Bowie, The Who, etc. is just wrong, and you as clearly an avid collector and fan of music know this is the truth, essentially what you seem to be doing(and I’ve been guilty of it to) is just putting Sparks up on a pedestal because you feel they’re under rated or under appreciated by your peers, now I’m not saying your direct peers, friends and people you know personally, I would have know way of knowing their taste. But I can say this, As I and most anyone who is a regular to site, we probably all have massive music collections and study more than any casual music fan can imagine, currently I probably own only 120-130 7″, and about 3-400 LP’s, however I do also have about 3,800LP’s and 6-700 EP’s on my hard drive(yes I’m a sellout and yes I steal music) and a good %90 of it is shit no average Joe on the street would ever had heard of. My point being is I too am a music geek of the highest order and I too know my shit as well as anyone I know in regards to my own taste(and opinions) and so I also tend to associate with similar folks like myself, all my friends are music nerds with big collections, all the people I have met through the internet and have some kind of cyber relationship with are huge music geeks as well. And believe me Sparks has come up a lot, and in my experience about %90 of the people I questioned think they’re terrible, a few said they’ve seen something good in them and the rest were “did they do that annoying this town aint big enough song?” I would also add, especially after a good decade and a half of solid internet I’ve read probably around a thousand interviews with a wide array of punk and underground bands, and outside of Mick Collins and maybe Jay Reatard I’ve never once heard anyone mention Sparks as an influence. Does this mean they haven’t, absolutely not, in fact they’re might be a few obscure bands who credit Sparks as their biggest influence, however to make a statement like “It was bands like these that INSPIRED people to start punk bands.” is way overstating the case, considering just the few bands above I mentioned are cited as major influences from damn near every punk or punk type band I’ve read about, and as the mediator of this site and someone who clearly knows his shit, you know that’s a FACT. Did Sparks influence some bands, surely, but compared to a hundred other bands that could be mentioned by a hundred different people, they were barely a flea on a dogs ass, so to speak. And as far as the Dickies thing, what the fuck does that matter, a broke ass punk band, or any kind of band would borrow equipment, space, money, anything to get a record out from the devil himself, So maybe Sparks were generous, but outside of that I don’t hear much in a Dickies record that makes me think Sparks, well, other than the weirdness.

  13. fred says:

    Not a Sparks listener, BUT, Sparks members produced the Dickies and the Weirdos Who What When Where Why and some later Cramps. The Quick and The Dickies both heavily influenced by Sparks, and also I would say Zolar X has a big Sparks influence. BUT, also Daddy Maxfield, so another vote for detractors. . .

  14. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    Matt, that was an exhausting read ha ha.

    I wish I had the time or dedication to argue with you but I won’t,

    “And believe me Sparks has come up a lot, and in my experience about %90 of the people I questioned think they’re terrible…” exactly why I posted them. To piss punx/hardcore lovers off.

    To me Sparks is one the greatest bands of all time. You can agree or not and hopefully you think I’m full of shit :D. Sure there where other big influences on punk like Queen and Yes.

    • Matt says:

      Well pretty that’s a pretty disappointing retort, but take what you can get I guess. Also what’s with you and that other guy calling me some bitter old punk, I would say although I almost exclusively listened to punk between the ages of 13-20, I would never in my life considered myself a hardcore punker(like I said, never owned a leather jacket or any spikes or had a mohawk or talked like I was British, I hate 40’s and am probably the cleanest and most orderly person to ever walk the earth, so I don’t think I meet any of the criteria, but whatever) I’m 34, married with child, work a 40+ hour week selling pool and dart supplies, listen to probably less “punk” than any other style I’m into these days. I was merely stating that in my opinion, Sparks is a shitty band, and mildly influential at best, that’s all, not even remotely “pissed off”

      • The Flakes // Drummer says:

        “Also what’s with you and that other guy calling me some bitter old punk…” hu? I’ve called you a bitter old punk?

        I think many “punks” get pissed off by the postings of Sparks and other assorted powerpop. Even if you don’t meet the criteria of getting pissed off apparently ;).

        “…disappointing retort…” well I’m not on you kind of level when it comes to discussing music. I love to listen to music, collect it and play the drums. I’m pretty shallow I know.

        And I think you’re wrong when you underestimate the influence of Sparks especially when it comes to musicians.

  15. yeaaalex says:

    anyone ever heard the cigarettes 7″ from L.A. ca. ’78? one of the fear dudes was in this band before he was in fear. they did a total sparks rip, both sides, and it rules. parody? perhaps. homage? more likely.

    check it here:

    someone should maybe post it here on this awesome, awesome site sometime….?

  16. Softie says:

    sparks most surely influenced the germs, and they are as ‘punk’ as they come imo

    was talking to don bolles awhile back, and he said the maels were a huge influence on him and the band, same with zolar x

    is eat that

  17. Anonymous says:

    Sparks also influenced Morrissey and Bradford Cox, lyrically and sonically. No matter what one makes of those two (and I’m by no means a big fan), they’re pretty fuckin’ influential these days, and have professed their love for Sparks’s music on several occasions. Sparks may be inconsistent, and sometimes irritating, but they’ve written some hilarious, brilliantly catchy songs. Listen to ‘Thank God It’s Not Christmas’ or ‘Falling in Love with Myself Again’ and dare to remain an apostate.

  18. Brian C. says:

    Sparks were a Glam band and the only American Glam band to have any commercial success. They just didn’t have any here. Their sound is love it or leave it. Not very American. Me, I honestly don’t understand how anyone could love them, or fail to mention their first two albums on Todd Rundgren’s label. If you love Kimono, get the first two as well.

    If you’re the type of guy who doesn’t like Sparks, you’re probably also into fat chicks and/or ashamed of your sexuality. You’re probably just into the lowbrow side of life . . . Budwizer, Hardcore. . . and too old to change now.

    • Uhm, huh?! What about KISS, Alice Cooper, Suzi Quatro, New York Dolls? And didn’t Brett Smiley and Jobriath also have some critical success as well – they were all American musicians who struck it on the glam rock bandwagon.

      I’m not sure where you are from Brian C, but Sparks did have some commercial success in America in the early 80’s with “I Predict”, and “Cool Places” reaching the Billboard Hot 100. At the end of the 80’s they had huge top 10 danceclub hits with “Just Got Back From Heaven” and “So Important”.

      But I agree with you that they are not your archetypal meat and potatoes American band – at least if you try to shelve them along with the likes of Train, Nickelback and Plain White T’s for instance. They’ve been more of a UK/Europe delicacy, and that came from their liking of the British Invasion acts of the 60’s – both of the Mael boys are big fans of the Beatles, Kinks and Yardbirds.

      And some fat chicks are quite sexy, you don’t have to look like a Barbie doll supermodel to attract the guys. ;-)

  19. glenn says:

    Sparks were great. Punk was always more diverse than its rep and so were its influences. Most punk bands were young and listened to contemporary music. Alice Cooper was as big an influence on punk as anything more respectable and god only knows how many punk bands ripped off communication breakdown. Rock and pop were not as sepperated in the 70s as they were later on.
    Even early Hardcore is not as rigid or as fixed in its influences as it was later claimed. All those stop start signature changes owe a lot to 70s prog and to groups like BOC. Does anyone really think that people got up one morning and invented punk rock.

    • Jay Thurston says:

      Actually, Glenn…I did wake up one morning and “invented punk rock.” Put that in your pipe and smoke it!!! : )

      • glenn says:

        Good point. As the inventor of punk rock what do you make of all these huge door-stopper tombs that miss out the linking bits of punk or retrospectively impose distinctions between genres that were not there at the time. Why for instance are Sparks not a punk or post punk band when Devo are? They both started around the same time, both made records that mixed arty ideas with novelty hit wackiness. i blame Simon Reynolds and his ridiculous oxymoronic argument that pre-punk bands can be post punk and that basically you can divide these things along class lines. this is the curse of blummin’ aging former indie-kids imposing nonsense on things they misunderstand!
        And why aren’t Third World War an instant punk reference point like the stooges. The Clash owed tons to that band and never had a track as good as Ascension Day.

        • Dom Moniker says:

          Uh, no, sorry. Sure, Third World War are overshadowed by The Stooges and MC5 and are just as good and can write songs just as good, but there’s no WAY “Ascension Day” beats anything The Clash have done. It’s the other way around man. Very catchy indeed, raw sounding, politically packed lyrics, and all, HELL even a long time before The Clash did it. But, The Clash did it better. Period.

  20. glenn says:

    I dunno, its a long time since I played a clash record. If heard the clash after third world war the clash would seem fresher. i was being contentious because third world war are so overlooked, ironically especially in Britain. Also I’m a sucker for that messy kind of near metal rock.
    Anyway my real point was about annoying punk rock books and how they manage to be sprawling and exclusionary at the same time. Like with Sparks, who were huge in Britain despite being extremely odd. And they most definitely influenced Jello Biafra. he covers “happy hunting ground” and has a similar high pitched warble to Russ Mael. For that matter what about Magazine. They did not sound a million miles away from Sparks musically or lyrically. So if Devo can be post-punk and punk even though they predate punk, then so can Sparks.

    • Dom Moniker says:

      I agree. All great bands you’ve mentioned. Seems weird to call a band that “predates Punk”, “Post-Punk”, but I get what you mean: (How Post-Punk sounds like, not the meaning) Sparks have that same musical and stylistic spirit that most Post-Punk, Psychedelic & Garage Rock, and even New Wave have and it sure seems Punk-esque to me too. And if it influences Jello Biafra, then it’s clearly considerably “Punk”. Hell most Glam Rock is considered “Protopunk”/Punk-esque (Gary Glitter, Suzi Quatro, Bowie, Bolan, Lou, Iggy, Mud, Sweet, Sparks, Mott the Hoople, the [NY] Dolls, Roxy Music, Velvets too… “Protopunk”: The Stooges, MC5, Third World War, Deviants, Blue Cheer, The Up, Modern Lovers too, Monks, 13th Floor Elevators, various other Garage/Psychedelic Rock bands especially ones that appear on “Nuggets”) (Though some of these bands aren’t as weird as Devo, Magazine, New Wave’s Talking Heads, or Sparks the sure pack an equal amount of energy in their records.) I love Glam Rock and Protopunk by the way. :)

      • Dom Moniker says:

        I’d like to add Wire to the list because of their unique sound, and Richard Hell and The Voidoids. The Runaways, another great Glam band. Oh, and The Quick (US) were very Sparks-influenced.

  21. glenn says:

    The Quick, i forgot about them. I always think the Stimulators “loud fast rule” has that glam rock stomp. And the Weirdos, when they aimed for that almost novelty record sound on things like “happy people”

  22. jsm says:

    GODdammit! I had to venture through all this rattle and only to realize nobody has the nerve to mention Lil’ Beethoven? Are you joking?

    Anyway – it shouldn’t be understated how Sparks influenced a great deal of bands, were leaders in L.A. AFTER they had made their greatest music, and in more recent days have produced stellar music that no band – and I can say this with confidence – not one single band that consider themselves og peers of Sparks could even come close to creating.

    I’ll take longevity with inconsistent results any day over a few hot tracks or albums and fade out.

    Besides, often times heroes don’t mention all their influences (though I did hear Henry Rollins rave about Sparks one time!) but Sparks are immortals!!!

  23. Buttcheese says:

    Sparks, BLEURRGGHH!!!!!!!

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