10 Songs, 36 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In Outer Space was a real bright spot for Sparks. By this time, the band had been making records for some 13 years, and yet had enjoyed only mild success in the U.S. Their collaboration with Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go’s (a band sailing on their own monster wave of success at the time) was a huge boost; “Cool" earned Sparks their greatest chart position yet (cracking the top 50) and it epitomizes the early ‘80s fascination with perky synths, snappy rhythms and the desire to dance all night. Wiedlin cooing, “I want to move like this and that / A minimum of chit chat,” pretty much sums it up. Russell Mael dueted again with Wiedlin on “Lucky Me, Lucky You.” The rest of the album is pure Sparks: “All You Ever Think About...” hums with guitars and synthesizers that churn nervously as a variety of unlikely trysting spots are recounted by Mael; “A Fun Bunch of Guys” floats and zigs and zags on quintessentially ‘80s synth lines and dippy lyrics; the quasi-ballad “Please Baby Please” and the crisp, percolating “Popularity” speak for the lovelorn, self-conscious young person today as effectively as it did decades ago. In Outer Space clearly conveyed Sparks’ intent to make original and unpredictable music for some time to come.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In Outer Space was a real bright spot for Sparks. By this time, the band had been making records for some 13 years, and yet had enjoyed only mild success in the U.S. Their collaboration with Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Go’s (a band sailing on their own monster wave of success at the time) was a huge boost; “Cool" earned Sparks their greatest chart position yet (cracking the top 50) and it epitomizes the early ‘80s fascination with perky synths, snappy rhythms and the desire to dance all night. Wiedlin cooing, “I want to move like this and that / A minimum of chit chat,” pretty much sums it up. Russell Mael dueted again with Wiedlin on “Lucky Me, Lucky You.” The rest of the album is pure Sparks: “All You Ever Think About...” hums with guitars and synthesizers that churn nervously as a variety of unlikely trysting spots are recounted by Mael; “A Fun Bunch of Guys” floats and zigs and zags on quintessentially ‘80s synth lines and dippy lyrics; the quasi-ballad “Please Baby Please” and the crisp, percolating “Popularity” speak for the lovelorn, self-conscious young person today as effectively as it did decades ago. In Outer Space clearly conveyed Sparks’ intent to make original and unpredictable music for some time to come.

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