Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Thursday, July 8, 2021
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Sunday, July 4, 2021
On July 4, 1981 Mission of Burma released their debut EP Signals, Calls and Marches on the Ace of Hearts label. Best known for “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver” and “ All World Cowboy Romance”, the “Marquee Moon” of post-punk, the EP’s intense, noisy, yet catchy punk rock sound nearly instantly transformed alternative rock and what we played on college rock radio. My favorite EP of the year, the CD version includes the first single “Academy Fight Song/Max Ernst” and other extra tracks.
On July 3, 1981, Gang of Four released the single “To Hell With Poverty”, perfectly encapsulating the Reagan/Thatcher attitude towards people of lesser means. The punky funk number became a dance club hit in America where cheap wine comes in refrigerated boxes.
As July of 1981 began, a new song topped FM rock station playlists. Featuring synthesizers programmed and played by an unknown Thomas Dolby and a sax solo by the legendary Junior Walker, “Urgent” was one of the great booty call songs of the decade. The first single from 4, “Urgent” was a US#4 hit. The album is also a huge seller because most listeners aren't as annoyed as I am by Lou Gramm constantly pushing his vocal range to the breaking point (ie "He heard one guitar/juts blew him away" on "Juke Box Hero").
Sunday, June 27, 2021
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Monday, June 21, 2021
Saturday, June 19, 2021
Friday, June 18, 2021
Evening’s Saint Bryan is a huge fan and he wondered if Ron Mael ever came up with a melody that was so convoluted that his brother wondered if he could sing it.
“He does that all the time,” laughs Russell Mael. “From day one they've been convoluted.”
“That's called Sparks songs,” laughs Ron Mael.
“No option but to sing it,” adds Russell Mael.
The band's image also caught on with fans of both sexes. Long-haired and handsome Russell Mael could be mistaken for any 1970’s pin-up. His brother, on the other hand, wore a mustache that reminded people of Adolf Hitler and glowered at the audience.
Bryan asked Ron Mael what it was like seeing teenage girls rush the stage to kiss his brother.
“Oh they kissed him too as you see in the documentary,” interjected Russell Mael. “ There's one that was a super fan who's in love with Ron.”
“I don't have quantity but I have quality,” laughed Ron Mael. “The more intellectual, introspective ones are the ones that come after me so I don't feel deprived at all.”
Sparks has kept reinventing its sound, scoring hits overseas to this day. The Mael brothers even have a second movie coming out this Summer. They wrote the screenplay and music for Annette, a film that will be distributed by Amazon Studios in August.
How long can the Mael brothers, both in their 70’s, keep this up?
“I've often asked that question,” Ron Mael says. “When we saw the first record that we had ever done in 1971, that was enough. We said we made it. That's all we need. We don't have a plan, so this could go on for quite a bit longer and Edgar has already signed on to do the sequel to this documentary so we're set."
“Sparks: the next 50th,” adds Wright.
The Sparks Brothers can now be seen in local theaters.