Special dou­ble coloured vinyl release – April 20th. CD releas­es – May 17th

Cel­e­brat­ing the 45th anniver­saries of the Sparks album No.1 In Heav­en and the Sparks writ­ten-and-pro­duced lost gem Is There More To Life Than Danc­ing by Noël, these two records will be released on coloured vinyl – white and green respec­tive­ly – on April 20th through Lil’ Beethoven Records. Both albums will also be released on CD, with an abun­dance of bonus tracks, on May 17th.

In 1979, Sparks’ No.1 In Heav­en intro­duced 33 rev­o­lu­tion­ary min­utes of synth-pop to the world. it still sounds like the future. Record­ed with Gior­gio Moroder, Ron and Rus­sell Mael merged rock with the elec­tron­ic world. Moroder already had launched ‘I Feel Love’ with Don­na Sum­mer in 1977. Con­verse­ly, the Maels’ for­tunes had been mixed dur­ing the lat­ter part of the 1970s, though their deci­sion to seek out Moroder proved to be a masterstroke.

“One of the few things that we’ve learned over time is that putting our­selves in a fright­en­ing sit­u­a­tion with no clear view of the result can be the way to achieve a result that was both unfore­seen and beyond one’s wildest cre­ative expec­ta­tions. That was the case with the No.1 In Heav­en album. Even putting our­selves in the hands of a great pro­duc­er such as Gior­gio Moroder and relin­quish­ing com­plete con­trol over the out­come was a leap of faith. What can seem like an obvi­ous move in hind­sight can be not near­ly as obvi­ous at the time. We’re glad we dove in!” say Ron and Rus­sell Mael.

No.1 In Heav­en would pro­vide Sparks with their biggest hits since the Island years: The Num­ber One Song In Heav­en a top 20 hit and Beat The Clock a top 10. My Oth­er Voice’, has a back­ing track that had been intend­ed for Don­na Sum­mer, it was trans­formed into what many regard as the most mys­te­ri­ous song of Sparks’ entire career. 

Whilst signed to Vir­gin the Mael broth­ers found their own enig­mat­ic and stat­uesque diva in the shape of Noël, a remark­able singer they first saw by chance per­form­ing at the Trou­ba­dour in West Hol­ly­wood. There were even rumours at the time that Noël was in fact Rus­sell, as the tim­bre of their voic­es are sim­i­lar and they both shared an intense stare on stage. Ron debunked that the­o­ry when speak­ing to Elec­tron­ic Sound in 2019.

They had carte blanche to work with their new “dis­cov­ery”, the first artist Ron specif­i­cal­ly wrote for oth­er than Rus­sell. There are five dis­co bangers in all on Is There More To Life Than Danc­ing?, which segue seam­less­ly into each oth­er in the Tom Moulton/Fire Island style that was à la mode in 1979. 

IIs There More To Life Than Danc­ing is a lost gem that Sparks have decid­ed to final­ly release on their own label, Lil Beethoven.

“Noël is a great singer and we’re so pleased to re-release this sin­gu­lar and time­less record. We hes­i­tate to pro­duce oth­er artists, know­ing that we have a moral respon­si­bil­i­ty to put them in a musi­cal set­ting that they’re com­fort­able with, but also allows some shap­ing by us. Screw­ing up our own records (in a good or bad way) is eas­i­er for us. How­ev­er, it was inspir­ing to work on this album and inspir­ing to work with Noël. We hope that peo­ple will redis­cov­er what a lost gem this record is.” – Ron and Rus­sell Mael

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