The artists who would come to be known for posterity as Sparks commenced inventing their often-copied, seldom-equaled brand of music back around 1970, when pop was young and brash and the Southern California airwaves awash with a contingent of post-British invasion inspirations like The Kinks, Barretts Floyd, and The Seeds. The purchase of countless shiny-sleeved import LPs convinced young Ron and Russell Mael that this enticingly provocative presentation would be the ideal means by which to impress upon the public their idiosyncratic take on life, art, and everything.
Their efforts crystallized in 1971, with the addition of another pair of brothers, Earle and Jim Mankey, and drummer Harley Feinstein, incorporated under the uncommon name of Halfnelson. Produced by wonderboy and kindred spirit Todd Rundgren, the groups startlingly original debut yielded a local hit (local being Montgomery, Alabama); then vanished from view. Their label, with the mysterious logic that only record companies possess, decided that their sportcentric moniker was responsible for the albums less-than-stellar performance, and suggested a Marx Bros-inspired name change: thus Sparks was born.
RSVP on Facebook