Monday, October 6, 2014

"I Predict" by Sparks

Song#:  1024
Date:  05/15/1982
Debut:  86
Peak:  60
Weeks:  7
Genre:  New Wave, Rock



Pop Bits:  Brothers Russell and Ron Mael formed Halfnelson in 1968 and issued a self-titled debut in 1971 that went nowhere. After a label switch, they reissued their debut album under their new name, Sparks, and grabbed attention with the song "I Wonder," which just missed hitting the pop chart. Their follow-up albums found the band gaining popularity in the UK (via the #2 hit "This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us") while in the US they maintained a cult status. Their genre shifting experiments (art-rock, synthpop, disco, chamber pop) were mostly met with rave reviews but it didn't translate to anything major on the US charts. Finally, their eleventh album, "Angst in My Pants," opened the band up to a wider audience thanks to this single that became their first pop chart entry. While not a major hit, it did set them up for what would be their most successful single and album the following year.

ReduxReview:  I really haven't explored Sparks nearly enough. I've listened to a few songs from their catalog and there are some I don't necessarily connect with while others, like this one, I like. Being a band that morphs their sound, that is not uncommon. Perhaps fans of their initial art-rock sound found little to like in their disco phase or the more commercial new wave of this tune. But whatever the brothers do, it's always interesting and you don't know what to fully expect. This era of Sparks is loaded with quirky-fun new wave that I enjoy.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This single was helped along by a video that featured mustachioed Ron Mael doing a drag striptease. The video was directed by David Lynch.

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