Thursday, May 30, 2002

No 1. Song In Heaven - Single 2002

Heaven Can Wait!
By Madeline Bocaro ©

Sparks have made news of biblical proportions! They’ve got the number
one song in Heaven! Of course, this has some holy rockers in a huff.
Jimi Hendrix’ “Angel” has been ousted from the #1 spot, and Jim
Morrison’s collaboration with John Lennon, “Light My Cigarette” is
holding at #2. After sixteen albums with so few hits on earth, Sparks
are aiming much higher to find a more receptive audience.

Why are you hearing it now, you ask? Sparks new CD single on Virgin
Records contains three new versions of Sparks’ 1977 song, prophetically
titled “#1 Song In Heaven” –
Part 1 Radio Edit, Part 2, and a rendition with guest vocalist Jimmy
Sommerville. Sparks have hired a fifteen piece string ensemble as their
backing band, Tony Visconti as producer, and of course Gabriel reprises
his cameo role. Giorgio Moroder - eat your heart out!

The result is purely celestial. Imagine the fabulous original version
embellished by twenty years of technological advancement and
expertise. Visconti’s lush orchestral arrangement on Part 1 adds
warmth to the synthesized original, and Russell’s vocals are stunning.
Part 2 is techno-rrific! The extended version with Jimmy Sommerville
is long enough for a trip to heaven and back. I’d have no sympathy for
the devil if he were caught dancing to this one, and he probably is,
along with the Marquis de Sade and the Fuhrer himself.

Heaven doesn’t usually have much earthly musical competition (Mariah
Carey is no great threat to Janis Joplin), but Sparks have been
challenging from the start. They have many fans up there. “That Sparks
song sounds so wonderful, it renewed my appetite!” exclaimed Karen
Carpenter. “That catchy new #1 song inspired me to go on a diet, and I
feel great!” said Elvis. “I loved the video--the keyboard player is a
real star!” quipped Charlie Chaplin.

The single previews Sparks’ forthcoming album titled Plagiarism, which
comprises re-workings of their own material spanning from 1973 to 1994.
There are, without doubt, countless other bands willing to cover
Sparks’ songs, but Ron and Russell Mael are probably the most qualified
for the job. They auditioned themselves just to be sure.

A divine new studio awaits them, and the Three Wise Men have requested
to audition as back-up singers when Sparks inevitably stroll through
the pearly gates. Let’s hope God can hold off awhile on that command
performance he’s requested from the Mael brothers. They’ve still got
plenty of work to do here on earth. Heaven can wait!