* BigNameFan: Music/{{Morrissey}}, Music/TheyMightBeGiants, Music/DepecheMode, [[Music/TheSexPistols Steve Jones]], Music/FranzFerdinand... among many many others. Sparks in turn are {{Big Name Fan}}s of Morrissey and Franz Ferdinand, the latter of which they formed a new band with: FFS.
* ChannelHop: In their long career, they've been with so many different record companies that it's easier to list the labels they ''haven't'' been on. Come the TurnOfTheMillennium and they've taken to releasing records on their own label.
* CreatorBacklash: The band consider their attempts at a West Coast sound with ''Big Beat'' and ''Introducing Sparks'' to be failures.
* ExecutiveMeddling: The band were very unhappy with how Music/ToddRundgren produced their first album.
* NewbieBoom: ''Gratuitous Sax and Senseless Violins'' won the duo a lot of fans in Europe, particularly in Germany, so they recorded ''Plagiarism'' (made up of reworked versions of older songs) to capitalize on their new-found audience. This trope has steadily began to grow in stature worldwide from ''Lil' Beethoven'' onward, eventually leading to ''Hippopotamus'' cracking the UK Top 10 (#6) its first week in September 2017, their first placement there since ''Propaganda'' in 1974.
* OneOfUs: The long layoff between ''Interior Design'' and ''Gratuituous Sax and Senseless Violins'' was because the band spent their time trying to unsuccessfully get a film adaptation of ''Manga/MaiThePsychicGirl'' off the ground. ''The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman'' was later inspired by their experience with DevelopmentHell.
* RetroactiveRecognition:
** Original bassist Jim Mankey went on to play guitar for Concrete Blonde.
** ''Big Beat'' producer Rupert Holmes later became famous for the song "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)".
** Drummer David Kendrick, a member of the band from 1981 to 1986, would join Music/{{Devo}} from 1988-1990, replacing Alan Meyers.
* SimilarlyNamedWorks: In 1969, an unsigned early lineup of the band (then still going by Halfnelson) recorded a demo called ''A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing''. They reused the title, but absolutely none of the content, for a 1973 album.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** ''Big Beat'' was originally going to reunite the Maels with former guitarist and producer Earle Mankey, and it would have returned the band to the oddball, experimental style of their first two albums. Only the B-side "England" was recorded before production switched to Rupert Holmes and a stripped down American Rock style was pursued.
** The band tried unsuccessfully to get a film adaptation of ''Manga/MaiThePsychicGirl'' with Creator/TimBurton off the ground in the late 80s-early 90s.
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