|SPARKS - KIMONO MY HOUSE
REVIEW BY MARTIN TRUKSA
ISLAND - KIMONO CD SLEEVE
Kimono My House L.P. by Sparks (Island Records) 1974 :-
Well, what can I say that hasn't already been said? 'Kimono My House' - the SPARKS BIBLE ! The benchmark by which all other Sparks records are judged. The album that catapulted Sparks to fame and fortune. The L.P. that transformed Ron and Russell Mael from obscure oddballs into pin-up sensations.
The 'Kimono My House' band was pieced together from the pages of 'Melody Maker'. Bassist 'Martin Gordon', guitarist 'Adrian Fisher' and drummer 'Dinky Diamond' conspired to assist the Maels in creating a hugely successful and revered record. The L.P. shot to number four in the UK charts and was also a source of inspiration for many future rock acts.
The two kimono-clad girls on the L.P.'s front sleeve were members of a Japanese dance company touring England in 1974. Island Records allowed Sparks not to have the name of the band nor the album title on the front cover. Ron & Russell thought that the image alone would speak loudly enough. It would be virtually impossible to get a record company to go along with that concept today. The album cover has been voted among the best L.P. covers of all time in almost every poll taken.
SPARKS 7 INCH 'AMATEUR HOUR'
Much of the success of 'Kimono My House' can be put down to the quality of the backing band. To quote 'John Hewlett', manager of Sparks from 1973 to 1978,
"All the group members were as strong as Ron & Russell. I think if the group had stayed together, there is no question that they'd be millionaires. To be honest, if they reformed now, they'd be huge".
'Kimono My House' consists of tumbling guitars, reverberating bass and wild drumming, complimented by Russell's high pitched operatic vocals and Ron's wry lyrics. Legendary singer 'Morrissey' of 'The Smiths' praised the L.P. in a letter to NME, way back in 1974, when he was just 13 ...
Morrissey:- "Today I bought the L.P. of the year. I feel I can say this without expecting several letters saying I'm talking rubbish. I bought the album on the strength of the single. Every track is brilliant, although I must name 'Equator', 'Complaints', 'Amateur Hour' and 'Here In Heaven' as the best tracks and in that order". (NME - November 1974)
'This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us' is the opening track and was the lead single from the album, reaching number two in the UK singles chart.
But does 'Kimono My House' really live up to all the hype? In a nutshell, yes! The album is not a personal favourite of mine, but there is no denying that this one of the most influential rock albums of the 1970s.
For Kimono lyrics, click on the 'Amateur Hour' sleeve below.
KIMONO MY HOUSE BY SPARKS : This Town Ain't Big Enough, Amateur Hour, Falling In Love With Myself Again, Here In Heaven, Thank God It's Not Christmas, Hasta Manana Monsieur, Talent Is An Asset, Complaints, In My Family, Equator
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