Review Revue: Sparks – In Outer Space

Sparks - In Outer Space

Sometimes I think I’m not remotely qualified to be doing this blog series. (Perhaps you’ve thought the same.) Take Sparks, for example. I don’t think I’d ever heard of Sparks before pulling this album off the KEXP shelves, but they’ve been a band for over 45 years and released a couple dozen albums – including a brand new one just last month! Where do I get off typing into the internet about them as if I know a ding-dang thing? But, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you go to the internet with the bloggers you have, not the bloggers you wish you had.

Anyway, now that I’ve watched this half-hour video by a kindly Canadian ranking all of Sparks’ albums from best to worst (and watched this video for “All You Ever Think About Is Sex”), I feel like I’m pretty much caught up. Lord help me, I’ve been Sparksed! Like many of the KCMU gang circa 1983, I’m sold.

“One of SC’s faves and for good reason! PURE POP FOR THE NOW GENERATION . . .”

“Sorry Eli. In case you hadn’t noticed, the ‘now generation’ is now the ‘then generation.’ Although I like this one too.”

“Some nice new music. Try ‘I Wish I Looked a Little Better.’

“How happy! -SC (Sex gods for the ’80s)”

“I don’t like Sparks but I like this LP. (Really!)”

[Scribbled-out comment]

“Question: ‘Why a shaving cream pie?'”

“‘All You Ever Think About Is Sex'”


“Oh yes, nudge, nudge . . . ”

“A nod’s as good as a wink to a blind bat, eh?”

“I like Sparks and I like this.”

“It’s OK – not their best, though.”

“I Wish I Looked a Little Better! -GR”

“You will, GR, you will.”

Please, baby, please, how ’bout a tour?!”

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  1. Brian
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I listened to a sparks album over and over back in 1986, a lady friend of mine was into them. I can’t name the album, and the song we liked was something about a lock, maybe a companion… I forget, but I do remember for some reason at twenty years old it captured me then and even now I try to find that album but never ever can. This post is the first definitive proof I have that the band even existed then. Thanks for this, and thanks for sparking my memory!

  2. Steve Birge
    Posted October 26, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    This was toward the later part of their great, fun synth-pop phase (following “Kimono My House” and “Angst in my Pants”, that are full of underappreciated songs that still hold up 30 years later. They got into some kind of odd experimental stuff in the ’90s and ‘oos, but even then could still turn a great tune. KEXP also played a few songs off their FFS collaboration with Franz Ferdinand last year.

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