Beat the Clock (song)

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"Beat the Clock"
Sparks - Beat the Clock.jpg
Single by Sparks
from the album No. 1 In Heaven
Released July 1979
Format 7", 12"
Recorded 1979
Genre Disco
Length 4:24
3:49 (7" edit)
Label Virgin Records
Writer(s) Ron Mael, Russell Mael
Producer(s) Giorgio Moroder
Sparks singles chronology
"The Number One Song in Heaven"
"Beat the Clock"
"Tryouts for the Human Race"

"Beat the Clock" is a disco single by the American rock duo Sparks, which was released in 1979. It is named after the game show Beat the Clock.

The song peaked at #10 in August 1979 and spent six weeks in the UK Singles Chart.[1] It was their third and final top ten single in the UK.

The song was taken from the album No. 1 In Heaven and produced by Giorgio Moroder for Mellow B.V. During the late 1970s he was one of the premier producers, his working relationship grew from Sparks appreciation of Donna Summer's dynamic "I Feel Love" which Moroder co-wrote and co-produced.

The 12" remix was the first of the group's extended remixes. The remix utilised the drum pattern from the songs midsection and added a new keyboard melody line during the chorus. The "long version" as it was dubbed was edited to three and a half minutes and released as the b-side to seven inch single. Long versions of "The Number One Song in Heaven" and "Tryouts for the Human Race" - both singles from the same album as "Beat the Clock" were merely the standard album versions.

An additional B-side on 12" versions was a commercial promoting the album No. 1 in Heaven, which featured clips of most of the tracks. The advert was narrated by Peter Cook.[2] 12" versions came as colored picture discs, the inner 7" was a picture disc while the outer 5" came in a variety of differing colors such as blue, pink, green, and yellow.

The song was subsequently reworked for the album Plagiarism in 1998, and a live version was released as a B-side on the UK CD single "Now that I Own the BBC" in January 1996.

Track listing[edit]

Seven inch Virgin VS270
  1. "Beat the Clock" — 3:49
  2. "Beat the Clock" (Alternative Mix) — 3:32
12" Virgin VS27012[2]
  1. "Beat the Clock" — 3:49
  2. "Untitled Commercial"
  3. "Beat the Clock" (Long Version) — 6:43

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak
U.K. Singles chart 10
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[3] 10
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[4] 16


  • Ron Mael - keyboards, synthesiser, vocals
  • Russell Mael - vocals
  • Chris Bennett - backing vocals
  • Keith Forsey - drums
  • Jack Moran - backing vocals
  • Giorgio Moroder - synthesiser
  • Dan Wyman - synthesiser programming
  • Dennis Young - backing vocals


  1. ^ "ChartArchive - The Chart Archive". Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  2. ^ a b "Sparks - Beat The Clock (Vinyl) at Discogs". 1979-07-06. Retrieved 2014-05-10. 
  3. ^ " – Sparks – Beat The Clock" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  4. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Sparks search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.

External links[edit]