No. 1 In Heaven

No. 1 In Heaven

Exhausted and bored by the rock-band format, Sparks turned away from guitars and embraced electronic music for the 1979 album No. 1 in Heaven. They were among the first veteran rock bands to completely assimilate synthesizer and drum machine technology into their sound, setting a trend that would soon overtake the entire pop music industry. The results were astonishing. By collaborating with Italian-German techno mastermind Giorgio Moroder, Sparks created songs that built on the template of “I Feel Love,” the epochal single Moroder had produced for Donna Summer. But “Tryouts for the Human Race” and “La Dolce Vita” are even darker, juicier, and more licentious than anything Summer recorded. Russell and Ron Mael’s European proclivities meshed perfectly with Moroder, who personified the Continent’s cultural netherworld. No. 1 in Heaven is best defined by its murky, pulsating spaces. “My Other Voice” envelops the listener in an atmosphere of total wickedness and delirium. It's easily one of the best and most original tracks of 1979.

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