IT’S might have taken 43 years by synth pop legends Sparks look set to return to the UK Top 10 with their 23rd album Hippopotamus landing at No 6 in the midweek charts, as announced by the Official Charts.
The American band - brothers Ron and Russell Mael - last appeared in the Top 10 in November 1974, when Propaganda went in at No 9, following the breakthrough album Kimono My House, which peaked at No 4 in the same year.
“Whatever happens with the charts will be frosting on the cake for us,” say the brothers who bring their Hippopotamus Tour to the Queens Hall next Wednesday.
Described as ‘the smartest, most consistently evolving band in the history of rock’, and internationally acclaimed as pop pioneers, Sparks’ music has always been innovative and instantly identifiable thanks to early hits such as This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us, The Number One Song In Heaven, and Beat the Clock, which established them in the 70s.
Recorded in Los Angeles, Hippopotamus sees Sparks take the pop form, shake it up, and create an album that is adventurous, fresh and idiosyncratically Sparks.
Speaking with the Official Charts about the reaction to the album Russell said: “It’s amazing. And regardless of the charts, which obviously are out of hands and we can’t control, we’re happy with the really positive reception that the album has gotten critically.
“The reviews are beyond our wildest dreams and people have been saying really positive things. It’s really satisfying that it’s reaching in that way.”
Since storming into the UK charts, minds and TV sets in 1974 with This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both of Us, Sparks have consistently created genre defying music and inspired – and continue to inspire and influence - generations of artists.
Hippopotamus has been universally acclaimed with many critics declaring it to be one of the finest albums of the year and the pinnacle of the band’s career.
Sparks: Hippopotamus, Queens Hall, Clerk Street, next Wednesday, 7pm, £24, 0131-668 2019