No 1. Song In Heaven – Single 1997


By Madeline Bocaro 

© Madeline Bocaro, 1997. No part of this site may be reproduced in whole or in part in any manner without permission of the copyright owner.

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’ 1979 song, prophetically titled “No. 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’ 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!

 © Madeline Bocaro 1997. No part of the materials available through may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form, in whole or in part, without the  prior written consent of Madeline Bocaro. Any other reproduction in any form without the permission of Madeline Bocaro is prohibited. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without prior written permission of Madeline Bocaro.

Also see:

This Ain’t No Disco – How Sparks Parted the New Wave

No. 1 In Heaven – The Album

By Madeline Bocaro ©

Sparks – This Ain’t No Disco!

Read more stories in my featured category: ABOUT A SONG…


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