Sunday, April 23, 2023

You've Got Mael: Amusement Sparks

Sparks w. Jane Wiedlin - Cool Places

As promised, I'm back with a sick 40th anniversary show by a group I've covered, but whom you can never say enough about.

It's their 26th studio album, and their first for the Island label in forever.

Obviously these two brothers have been at it for a long time. Their first song came out in 1966!

I think they originally went to UCLA to be film-makers, but those plans altered as they ended up choosing music.

While they'd have likely made great movie moguls -- born into Hollywood as they were, with their dad working in the industry --  a lotta people are very glad they made the choice they did.

This is a band that's been everywhere, in every configuration, from synthpop duo, to Rock stars with a full band, to movie scores and musicals, and back again.

Whenever they've seemed poised to break through to wider success over their 55+ years making music together, they've taken a hard left and sabotaged it with their dedication to something sadly lacking anymore in our world: Artistic Integrity.

I first saw/heard them in a 1970s disaster film, and thought they were made up just for the movie.

It's appropriate that Rollercoaster was set at the opening of the then-new Magic Mountain amusement park near Los Angeles, as these guys became sort of the unofficial house band of the amphitheater there.

We'll deploy the time-parachute back 40 years to the day, to a time when The Brothers Mael were as big as they ever were in terms of radio play and mass appeal. Heck, they were even on Saturday Night Live around this time.

So let's drop in for a 46-minute visit to just that very Magic Mountain amphitheater stage, shall we? I got the pre-broadcast BBC Rock Hour LP from a friend and made it all Sparkly just for you.

Magic Mountain
Valencia, California

01 Jingle Announcing Magic Mountain Concert
02 I Wish I Looked a Little Better
03 Angst In My Pants
04 All You Ever Think About Is Sex
05 Modesty Plays
06 Ron's Mickey Mouse intro
07 Mickey Mouse
08 Eaten By the Monster of Love
09 Moustache
10 I Predict
11 introduction of Jane Wiedlin
12 Cool Places

Total time: 46:44

Russell Mael – vocals
Ron Mael – keyboards
Bob Haag – guitars
Leslie Bohem – bass & vocals
David Kendrick – drums
James Goodwin – keyboards
Jane Wiedlin – vocals, Track 12

BBC Rock Hour #423 pre-broadcast vinyl LP
transferred by Pieter, Summer 2021
declicked and remastered by EN, December 2021 (with further retracking and modifications throughout, April 2023)
Track 01 is from the 1993 "The Hell Collection" CD on the Underdog label
315 MB FLAC/direct link

I worked on this a couple of years ago, but went back and did it again even better, so if I slid you this in private back then, you'll wanna get it again cuz it's better. We even made a Sparks-themed Earth Day shirt (that was the other day) to go with it... shucks, we may even start making a clothing item for every concert I post.

I'll return next weekend to end the month with an obvious choice, turning a milestone birthday few reach alive. Funny how time slips away, you know?

But do enjoy my little Sparks MM remaster mk2 here, 40 years in the making and surely one of the cooler places to visit!--J.

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