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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released September 21, 2018 | Sparks Music

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released July 21, 2018 | Sparks Music

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released June 21, 2019 | Sparks Music

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 22, 2018 | Sparks Music

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 31, 2006 | In The Red

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Pop - Released January 1, 1990 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

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Pop - Released January 1, 2006 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

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Pop - Released January 1, 2006 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

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Pop - Released January 1, 2006 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

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Pop - Released January 1, 2006 | Island Records (The Island Def Jam Music Group / Universal Music)

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Pop - Released August 11, 2008 | Rhino

Woofer... starts with another killer opening track, musically and lyrically, with "Girl From Germany," a chugging number detailing the problems the narrator has with his parents over his girlfriend, given their lingering wartime attitudes. The album builds upon the strengths of the debut to create an even better experience all around. The same five-person lineup offers more sharp performances. Album engineering veteran James Lowe takes over production reins from Rundgren, with, happily, no audible sense of trying to make the album more commercial. If anything, things are even wiggier this time around, from the naughtily-titled sea chanty which turns into a full-on rocker "Beaver O'Lindy" and the strings-plus-piano "Here Comes Bob," to the album's completely wacked-out, dramatic centerpiece "Moon Over Kentucky." Melodies start approaching the hyperactivity level which would flower completely on the band's subsequent releases. Ron and Earle Mankey trade off or play against each other, while the rhythm section of Jim Mankey and Feinstein executes the kind of sharp tempo changes which would become de rigueur for thrash-metal bands of the '80s, but fit in perfectly here with the spastic pop being played. Russell soars and croons over it all like an angel on deeply disturbing drugs, wrapping his vocals around such lines as "We surely will appreciate our newfound leisure time" from "Nothing is Sacred." The long-time live favorite "Do-Re-Mi" -- indeed a cover of the number from The Sound of Music -- first appears here as well, taking Rodgers and Hammerstein to a level Julie Andrews might be hardpressed to follow. Anyone wondering why Faith No More appeared on Sparks' self-tribute album Plagiarism need only listen to Woofer to understand -- as a full-on purée of musical styles in the service of twisted viewpoints, it's a perfect album. ~ Ned Raggett
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Pop - Released August 11, 2008 | Rhino

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Pop - Released January 1, 1974 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Electronic/Dance - Released November 15, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Pop - Released November 8, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Showcasing the best of their extensive catalog, Past Tense: The Best of Sparks compiles the greatest-loved tracks from the band's 50-year career. Including rare early recordings of songs like "Computer Girl" and "Piss Off," as well as iconic hits such as "When Do I Get to Sing 'My Way'," the collection was released in November 2019. ~ David Crone

Pop - Released March 2, 1979 | Lil Beethoven Records

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Pop - Released January 28, 1980 | Lil Beethoven Records

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Pop - Released January 1, 1997 | Lil Beethoven Records

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Pop - Released June 3, 2003 | Palm Pictures

Anybody looking for Sparks to return to the timeless lushness of "Under the Table With Her" or the sonic indiscretions of "Change," the disconcerting dynamics of "Equator," or the pulsing repetition of Number One Song in Heaven is going to recognize Lil' Beethoven almost immediately. But anybody holding any of those ideals so dear that they cannot see past their superficial tensions is going to be left in disarray. Lil' Beethoven is the (or, more appropriately, a) summation of everything Sparks had been promising for the past 30 years. It is also quite unlike anything they have ever delivered before. The classical pretensions of the title are mirrored exactly in the music. Strings, acoustics, piano, and chorales are the album's primary assets, layered on with such guile that their essential simplicity is absolutely disguised. Lyrically, Lil' Beethoven is sharper than Sparks have sounded in a while -- at least since the best bits of Gratuitous Sax, with the closing "Suburban Homeboy" a brilliant summary of every rich kid booming rap from their mother's SUV ("I say 'yo! Dog' to my detailing guy"). One song, though, is constructed almost wholly around a joke that is older than dirt ("How Do I Get to Carnegie Hall?" -- "practice, man, practice"); another takes the bulk of its lyric from a stubborn voice-mail system ("Your Call Is Very Important to Us -- Please Hold"). But, while the repetition itself can grow...well, repetitive, on an album that stakes out its parameters by introducing "The Rhythm Thief" ("oh no, where did the groove go?"), then letting him steal every beat off the record, the mantras themselves become a pulse of sorts, around which the orchestrations take the wildest flights. There are breaks. The exquisite "I Married Myself" is as lush a loving ballad as Sparks have ever wrapped their more Beatlesque aspirations around, and that despite the entire song stretching out over the kind of prelude that other people might have reserved for a pretty prelude alone. Later, "Ugly Guys With Beautiful Girls" is less a lyric, more a son-of-"Change"-style diatribe, but the greatest shock comes when you realize just how easily conditioned you were by the rest of the album. Thumping beat and wired guitar leap out with such resolute energy that it feels like you're listening to another record entirely -- every time you play it. And that is the magic of Lil' Beethoven. It takes a few plays to understand and a few more to appreciate. But how many times can you listen to it through and still be discovering new things to admire? That's a question that time alone can answer. ~ Dave Thompson
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Pop - Released September 8, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd