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|Studio album by Sparks|
|Label||Columbia (US), CBS (UK)|
|Producer||Terry Powell, Ron Mael, Russell Mael|
|Singles from Introducing Sparks|
|Robert Christgau||B |
Introducing Sparks is the seventh album by the American rock band Sparks released in 1977. The release was their second and final album for Columbia Records. At the time of its release it was a commercial failure and received very negative reviews claiming that the band had adopted a new East-Coast 'American sound' despite the fact that the Mael brothers are indeed Americans. (The title is also rather ironic since Introducing Sparks was not only not their first album, it wasn't even the first for their label, Columbia.)
Introducing Sparks was no more a success in terms of chart performance than their previous album Big Beat. It did not chart in the UK or US. The singles "Over the Summer" and "A Big Surprise" each backed with "Forever Young" were released singles but failed to gain any significant sales or radio play.
The Mael brothers next would team-up successfully with Giorgio Moroder in 1978 to record a very different album from Introducing Sparks.
Apart from its initial release in 1977 Introducing Sparks was unavailable for many years. For a time it was previously the only Sparks album only released on vinyl (though bootlegs were available on CD). This was in part because Columbia Records held the rights, and while they had released Big Beat, that album had been released by Island Records in the UK and they had since taken up the option of re-releasing it in 1994. Therefore, there was little impetus for Columbia to release just one album rather than a number which could benefit the sales of one another like Island had.
Due to its commercial and critical failure, Introducing Sparks faded into obscurity. This was rectified in November 2007, when the album was officially re-released on CD on Sparks own record label; Lil' Beethoven Records. However, the CD was not remastered from the original studio master tapes owned by Sony, but was mastered from a vinyl LP. When the album was later re-released again in Japan on SHM-CD, which is marketed as being a superior sounding CD format, the same vinyl remaster was used.
In 2014, a fan had posted online that they had inadvertently discovered a quadrophonic master tape of 'Introducing Sparks', which revealed a possible early incarnation of the album. The tape contained 8 songs, which included two fully produced unreleased songs ('Kidnap' and 'Keep Me') and excluded three songs from the final album release ('Forever Young', 'Girls On The Brain' and 'Over The Summer'). All songs had countdown intros and cold stops instead of fade outs. Also, the album appeared to be an early mix, as some sounds were either missing from the songs or mixed differently. In the case of the song 'Goofing Off', there is the addition of background conversation opening, closing, and running throughout the song.
All tracks written by Ron Mael and Russell Mael.
|1.||"A Big Surprise"||3:42|
|7.||"Girls on the Brain"||3:41|
|8.||"Over the Summer"||3:50|
- All songs written by Ron Mael & Russell Mael
- All lyrics ©1977 Ackee Music,Inc. (ASCAP) Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Lead & Background Vocals: Russell Mael
- Musicians: Ben Benay, Alan Broadbent, David Foster, Ed Greene, Ron Mael, David Paich, Mike Porcaro, Reinie Press, Lee Ritenour, Thom Rotella
- Background Vocals: Tom Bahler, Al Capps, Stan Farber, Jim Haas, Ron Hicklin, Mark Piscitelli, Nick Uhrig
- Recorded at Larrabee Sound, Los Angeles
- Engineer: Lenny Roberts
- Assistant Engineers: Betsy Banghart and Randy Tominaga
- Arranged by Al Capps and Ron Mael
- Mastered at Allen Zentz
- Management: John Hewlett
- Licensed from Island Records Limited, London
- Photography: Bob Seidemann
- Design: John Kehe, Tommy Steele
|United Kingdom||1977||CBS Records||Vinyl||CBS 82284|
|2007||Lil' Beethoven Records||CD||LBRCDRON||Slipcase with Ron Mael on the front|
|2007||Lil' Beethoven Records||CD||LBRCDRUS||Slipcase with Russell Mael on the front|
|United States||1977||Columbia Records||Vinyl||PC 34901|
|Netherlands||1977||CBS Records||Vinyl||CBS 82284|
- "45cat - Sparks - Over The Summer / Forever Young - Columbia - USA - 3-10579". 45cat. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
- "45cat - Sparks - A Big Surprise / Forever Young - CBS - UK - S CBS 5593". 45cat. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
- Introducing Sparks (Review) at AllMusic. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- "CG: Sparks". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2014-12-14.