Sparks are an American pop and rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1967 by brothers Ron (keyboards) and Russell Mael (vocals). Known for their quirky approach to songwriting, Sparks’ music is often accompanied by intelligent, sophisticated, and acerbic lyrics, and an idiosyncratic, theatrical stage presence, typified in the contrast between Russell’s animated, hyperactive frontman antics and Ron’s deadpan scowling. They are also noted for Russell Mael’s distinctive wide-ranging voice and Ron Mael’s intricate and rhythmic keyboard playing style.
Sparks are best known for the songs “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us”, which reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart in 1974; the disco hit “The Number One Song in Heaven” in 1979; “When I’m With You” which topped the French Singles Chart in 1980; the single “I Predict”, which provided Sparks’ first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 60 in May 1982; the 1983 single “Cool Places” with the Go-Go’s rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Jane Wiedlin, and “When Do I Get to Sing ‘My Way'”, which was the top airplay record in Germany for 1994. In 2017 Sparks released Hippopotamus, which entered the UK Albums Chart at no. 7, marking Sparks’ first UK top-ten appearance in over 40 years.