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Trivia / Sparks

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  • Channel Hop: 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 Turn of the Millennium and they've taken to releasing records on their own label.
  • Creator Backlash: The band consider their attempts at a West Coast sound with Big Beat and Introducing Sparks to be failures.
  • Executive Meddling: The band were very unhappy with how Todd Rundgren produced their first album.
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  • Newbie Boom: 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.
  • Similarly Named Works: 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.
  • Throw It In!: A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing was supposed to be a basic Face on the Cover shot of the then-current lineup of the band posing together against a wall. Ron Mael was seated behind drummer Harley Feinstein for the shoot - As a prank, Harley tipped Ron's chair back as soon as the camera went off, resulting in a photo where Harley and Ron were blurry, Ron had his arms up in fear of falling over, and everyone else was still posed as normal. Ron must have found the end result Actually Pretty Funny, because that shot was used as the cover, with an otherwise identical "straight" take with the same poses on the back.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • 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 Mai, the Psychic Girl with Tim Burton off the ground in the late 80s-early 90s.


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