8 Songs, 36 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Rock 'n' roll people in a disco world,” sings Russell Mael on the third track of Sparks’ 1980 album Terminal Jive. “They make LP records and a few make comebacks/And the rest sell shoes to all the others.” The song is only autobiographical in that Sparks were in fact a rock band that had morphed into a disco band—the Mael brothers were proud of the fact that they'd embraced the trend from its beginning, whereas other groups had only jumped on the bandwagon when there was no other choice. Like its predecessor, Terminal Jive was produced by Italian-German techno auteur Giorgio Moroder, but the mechanical throb is less intense here than it had been on No. 1 in Heaven. “Just Because You Love Me,” “Young Girls,” and “Stereo” all typify a tough-yet-tuneful design that would define electro-pop in the first half of the '80s. With its robotic swing, “Noisy Girls” is cut from a slightly different cloth, as is “When I’m with You,” which (along with its instrumental) is a singular moment of deliriously perfect automated pop.

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Rock 'n' roll people in a disco world,” sings Russell Mael on the third track of Sparks’ 1980 album Terminal Jive. “They make LP records and a few make comebacks/And the rest sell shoes to all the others.” The song is only autobiographical in that Sparks were in fact a rock band that had morphed into a disco band—the Mael brothers were proud of the fact that they'd embraced the trend from its beginning, whereas other groups had only jumped on the bandwagon when there was no other choice. Like its predecessor, Terminal Jive was produced by Italian-German techno auteur Giorgio Moroder, but the mechanical throb is less intense here than it had been on No. 1 in Heaven. “Just Because You Love Me,” “Young Girls,” and “Stereo” all typify a tough-yet-tuneful design that would define electro-pop in the first half of the '80s. With its robotic swing, “Noisy Girls” is cut from a slightly different cloth, as is “When I’m with You,” which (along with its instrumental) is a singular moment of deliriously perfect automated pop.

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