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Performing as Bates Motel, they were enlisted by brothers Ron and Russell Mael to be a part of the 1981–85 incarnation of their band, Sparks. After completing demos with neophyte producer Stephen Hague, principal members Leslie Bohem and David Kendrick (later of Devo and Bastille) recruited fellow Sparks members Jim Goodwin and Bob Haag to form Gleaming Spires with the blessing of the Mael brothers.
Following promotional materials by graphic artist Kevin J. Walker (who designed punk band covers for T.S.O.L. and Channel 3, among others), they were signed to Posh Boy Records on the strength of what had been intended by the group as a non-LP B-side, "Are You Ready for the Sex Girls".
"Sex Girls" became a hit on Los Angeles' KROQ-FM radio station. The recording was later featured in the films The Last American Virgin and Revenge of the Nerds. It was included on the Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the 80's, Volume 3 compilation album. The Gleaming Spires song "All Night Party" was also featured in Revenge of the Nerds.
The album cover art for Gleaming Spires' "Walk on Well Lighted Streets" was designed by artist Mark Kostabi, who later went on to design album covers for Guns N' Roses (Use Your Illusion) and The Ramones (Adios Amigos).
- Leslie Bohem - lead vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, synthesizers
- David Kendrick - drums, percussion
- Bob Haag - guitars, background vocals
- Jim "Jimbo" Goodwin - keyboards, alto saxophone
- Greg Penny - synthesizers, guitars, background vocals
- Paul Cutler - guitar
- Stephen Hague - synthesizer, producer
- Jim Goodwin - synthesizer
- "The Horns of Desire" - Bobby Moore (saxophone), Dana Wylie (trumpets)
- "The Passionettes" (background vocalists) - Katia Empkowicz Penny, Patty Foley, Beau Wesley, The Happy Boy, The Party God, Fanny Penny
- Rob Goraieb, who sang background vocals on the Funk For Children EP
- Alan D. Generes (formerly of the Bösendorfers) - percussion
- Songs of the Spires (1981)
- Walk on Well Lighted Streets (1983)
- Funk for Children (EP) (1984)
- Welcoming a New Ice Age (1985)
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