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Russell Mael performing in 2015
|Birth name||Russell Craig Mael|
October 5, 1948 |
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Russell Craig Mael (born October 5, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter and record producer.
Mael's music career spans more than 50 years. With his elder brother Ron, he formed the pop band Sparks in 1971, which was renamed from Halfnelson. He is also the co-founder of Lil' Beethoven Records.
Russell Craig Mael was born on October 5, 1948, in Los Angeles, California. The Mael brothers grew up in Pacific Palisades - a relatively affluent suburb of Los Angeles - with their father, Meyer Mael (of Russian and Austrian Jewish descent), who was a graphic designer and caricaturist for the Hollywood Citizen-News, and their mother, Miriam (née Moskowitz), a librarian. After being educated at Palisades High School (where Russell, in the "Class of '65" alongside Michael Medved and David Wallechinsky, played as quarterback for the Palisades High School Dolphins), both brothers enrolled at UCLA; Ron began a course in Cinema and Graphic Arts in 1963 while Russell studied Theater Arts and Filmmaking between 1966–1968.
Well known for his wide vocal range, Russell's most notable vocal trait is a far-reaching falsetto, especially evident on songs such as "Equator" from Sparks' Kimono My House album. He is also known for his flamboyant and hyperactive stage presence which contrasted sharply with Ron's deadpan scowling.
He has recorded 22 albums with his band, Sparks. The band has a cult following around the world and are best known for the song "This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us" which reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart.
In 2015, Sparks collaborated with the Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand under the identity FFS. One of their first tracks was entitled "Collaborations Don't Work". The supergroup was interviewed on BBC Radio 6 Music on April 27, 2015 and announced they would be appearing on Later... with Jools Holland on April 30th 2015 and were to appear at Glastonbury Festival that summer.
|1973||A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing|
|1974||Kimono My House|
|1979||No. 1 in Heaven|
|1981||Whomp That Sucker|
|1982||Angst in My Pants|
|1983||In Outer Space|
|1984||Pulling Rabbits Out of a Hat|
|1986||Music That You Can Dance To|
|1994||Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins|
|2006||Hello Young Lovers|
|2009||Exotic Creatures of the Deep|
- California Birth Index, 1905 - 1995, 
- "1940 United States Federal Census". Ancestry.com. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- Axelrod, Merry Anne. "Re: (It's A Samuel) Mael World". Genealogy.com. Retrieved November 8, 2012. [The author is a cousin of Russell and Ron; her father, Alvin, is listed as being Meyer's brother on the 1940 census]
- "Myer Mael: "Roy Rogers" Object Record". Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- "Harrietta Hughes on the cover of Republic Insider Magazine 1947". Flickr.com. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- Lorente-Darracq, Xavier. "Ron Mael and Russell Mael - Biography". Graphik Designs. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- Welch, Chris. "Bright Sparks". Melody Maker. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- Lorente-Darracq, Xavier. "op. cit.". Graphik Designs.
- Ankeny, Jason. "Sparks: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
- "Singles". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2011.