"This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us" is a song written by Ron Mael of the American pop group Sparks. It is the opening track on their 1974 album Kimono My House, and was the lead single from the album, reaching number 2 in the UK singles chart.
The original idea for the song was that after each verse Russell Mael would sing a movie dialogue cliché, one of which was "This town ain't big enough for the both of us". They dropped the idea of having different phrases and instead used only the one in the title.
An acoustic version of the song was recorded in 1985 for the B-side of the "Change" single.
In 1997, Sparks recorded two new versions of the song. The first was an orchestral reworking produced by Tony Visconti which reinstated a verse producer Muff Winwood had cut from the original. The other was for their album Plagiarism as a collaboration with Faith No More, which was released as a single and reached number 40 in the British singles chart.
Winwood added the distinctive Western movie-style gunshots in the studio. It has been claimed that Winwood bet with his friend Elton John that the song would become a top-five hit in the UK charts. Elton John bet that it would not; he lost.
The vocal sound on the single has been criticised as being "stylised". This may be because the song was written without any regard for the vocal style of Russell Mael. Songwriter Ron Mael has explained:
"This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both of Us” was written in A, and by God it'll be sung in A. I just feel that if you're coming up with most of the music, then you have an idea where it's going to go. And no singer is gonna get in my way.
Russell Mael has claimed in reply:
"When he wrote “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both of Us”, Ron could only play it in that key. It was so much work to transpose the song and one of us had to budge, so I made the adjustment to fit in. My voice ain't a "rock" voice. It's not soulful, in the traditional rock way; It's not about "guts". It's untrained, unschooled, I never questioned why I was singing high. It just happened, dictated by the songs. Ron has always written Sparks' lyrics and never transposed them into a rock key for me to sing. He always packed each line with words and I had to sing them as they were.
Sparks' 1997 album Plagiarism included two collaborations with Faith No More - "This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us" and "Something for the Girl with Everything". Faith No More performed the song live during their 1997–1998 and reunion tours.