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YMMV / Sparks

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  • Crosses the Line Twice: "White Women". It seems racist at first, but after a listen or two it just seems ridiculous.
  • Dork Age: Their Synth-Pop period, (excluding the acclaimed No. 1 in Heaven and Gratuitous Sax and Senseless Violins). While these albums certainly have their fans, and some of them including Angst in My Pants and Balls have been Vindicated by History, their quality and how well they've aged is a big point of contention, particularly compared to the band's critically acclaimed 70s output.
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  • Genius Bonus: All over the place in Ron Mael's lyrics, which make many obscure references and wordplay.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: They were always more popular in Europe - especially the UK, where Kimono My House made them famous - than their native USA. To put it into perspective, they were huge during the 70s and have had many successful singles throughout their career in Europe, whereas the only song to reach very high in the US charts was "Cool Places" in the 80s at #49.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The apocalyptic "The Calm Before the Storm" is thought to have predicted 9/11 a year before it happened.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Sparks are noted for accidentally predicting the future in amusing ways:
    • "Computer Girl", all the way back from their 1967 pre-Halfnelson incarnation, Urban Renewal Project, predicted the prevalence of computers and the attachment some people get to them.
    • The band were threatened during the early 70s by a crowd who thought they were part of the "dandy new wave". Their records would end up being highly influential to New Wave Music, and come Whomp That Sucker they were indeed a part of the New Wave scene.
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    • "I Predict": "Cold beer will cure a cold". The irony: the song is about bogus predictions and horoscopes.
    • Ron and Russell appeared on Gilmore Girls playing a version of "Perfume" with just the two of them. Come the 2010s and they're doing two whole tours with that concept.note 
    • "Perfume", a song about not wearing perfume, went on to be featured in a Dolce & Gabbana advert.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • 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 Devo from 1988-1990, replacing Alan Meyers.
  • Signature Song: "This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us" overall, and "The No. 1 Song in Heaven" for their electronic period. Every one of their style phases may also have its own signature tune.
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  • Vindicated by History: Angst in My Pants is regarded much more highly than the rest of their 80s records in hindsight, whilst Balls has gained momentum in recent years for providing a smooth transition between the Synth-Pop sound of Gratuitious Sax and the Genre-Busting Lil' Beethoven.


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