Leaps n Bands #68: Sparks – Kimono my house (1974) [5/5]

Side 2, track 5 – Equator


Throughout 2020, Jemtunes is re-visiting on a track by track basis some the records that have spoken loudest over the years.

‘Leaps n Bands’ #64 through #68 – concluding today – featured a selection of tracks from the 1974 album by Sparks “Kimono My House.

The album was remastered and re-issued by Island in 1994 and 2006. The first issue by the Island Masters subsidiary added the non-album B-sides “Barbecutie” and “Lost and Found”. The ’21st Century Edition’ added a live recording of “Amateur Hour” recorded by a subsequent (1975) line-up of the group and sleeve notes by Paul Lester, the deputy editor of Uncut.

A remastered 40th Anniversary Edition was also released on 15 December 2014 on vinyl only, including previously unreleased demo material from the band’s archives. Coinciding with the release the entire album was performed, along with the 35-piece Heritage Orchestra, at the Barbican Centre on 19 and 20 December, where the band also performed brand new orchestral arrangements by Nathan Kelly. The programme also featured songs from their other 22 albums.

Here’s the final track from the original album – Equator

Leaps n Bands #67: Sparks – Kimono my house (1974) [4/5]

Side 2, track 3 – Complaints

Throughout 2020, Jemtunes is re-visiting on a track by track basis some the records that have spoken loudest over the years.

‘Leaps n Bands’ #64 through #68, taking us through to 14 May, features a selection of tracks from the 1974 album by Sparks “Kimono My House.

UK singer and Smiths frontman Morrissey has frequently cited Kimono My House as one of his favorite albums and famously wrote a letter to the NME, at the age of 15, extolling its virtues. He later told the Mael brothers that it had been a key influence on him deciding to embark upon a music career. In 2010, Morrissey included it in a list of his 13 favorite albums of all-time for The Quietus.

Steve Jones (Sex Pistols guitarist) also hailed the album saying…

The first Be-Bop Deluxe album, Axe Victim and Sparks’ Kimono My House were both big albums for me and Cookie [Paul Cook]. We’d sit in his bedroom for hours listening to them

Here’s track 3 from side 2

Leaps n Bands #66: Sparks – Kimono my house (1974) [3/5]

Side 1, track 4 – Here in heaven

Throughout 2020, Jemtunes is re-visiting on a track by track basis some the records that have spoken loudest over the years.

‘Leaps n Bands’ #64 through #68, taking us through to 14 May, features a selection of tracks from the 1974 album by Sparks “Kimono My House.

The album became a popular release, reaching No.4 on the UK Albums Chart, and was awarded gold status by the BPI in September 1974. Outside the UK, it made a significant impact across Europe, notably in Germany, where both singles reached No.12. In the US, the album reached No.101 on the Billboard 200.

Here’s track 4 from side 1

Leaps n Bands #65: Sparks – Kimono My House (1974) [2/5]

Side 1, track 2 – Amateur Hour

Throughout 2020, Jemtunes is re-visiting on a track by track basis some the records that have spoken loudest over the years.

‘Leaps n Bands’ #64 through #68, taking us through to 14 May, features a selection of tracks from the 1974 album by Sparks “Kimono My House.

The album’s title is a line from the song on the album “Hasta Manana Monsieur”, and a pun on the title of the song “Come On-a My House”, made famous by Rosemary Clooney. The pun has a precedent, however, in the title of the track “Kimona My House” on jazz guitarist Dick Garcia’s 1956 album A Message from Garcia.

Track 2 on side 1 – Amateur Hour – was released as the second single from the album. Bassist Martin Gordon was requested to replace his original bass part (recorded using a Rickenbacker 4001 bass) with a Fender Precision bass, belonging to his subsequent replacement in the band.

A re-recording was produced in 1997 for the retrospective Plagiarism album. This new version was given a complete electronic synthpop overhaul and was performed with Erasure.

On 25 June 2009, it was featured in a stunt when UK magician and mentalist Mark Cairns predicted that radio personality George Lamb would choose the Sparks song, in a free choice from a list of 100 tracks that had been recently played on Lamb’s BBC Radio 6 Music show.

Leaps n Bands #64: Sparks – Kimono my house (1974) [1/5]

Side 1, track 1 – This town ain’t big enough for the both of us

Throughout 2020, Jemtunes is re-visiting on a track by track basis some the records that have spoken loudest over the years.

‘Leaps n Bands’ #64 through #68, taking us through to 14 May, features a selection of tracks from the 1974 album by Sparks “Kimono My House.

In 1973, prior to the recording of the album, the brothers Ron and Russell Mael had accepted an offer to relocate to the United Kingdom in order to participate in the glam rock scene. The previous lineup consisting of Earle Mankey, Jim Mankey and Harley Feinstein was replaced with British musicians: Martin Gordon, Adrian Fisher and Norman “Dinky” Diamond joined the band to play bass, guitar and drums respectively. The group signed a record contract with Island Records and recorded Kimono My House in 1974. Although the Mael brothers had wanted Roy Wood to produce the album, he was unavailable, so Muff Winwood was hired instead. Winwood remained with the group to produce the follow-up album Propaganda later in 1974.

The opening track on side 1 – This town ain’t big enough for the both of us – was the lead single from the album, reaching number 2 in the UK singles chart. This song has become the highest charting in United Kingdom, where it stayed for two consecutive weeks, held off from the top spot by The Rubettes’ bubblegum pop song “Sugar Baby Love”.

 

David Bowie – The Jean Genie (Starters for Ten #322) 2.10.33

Starters for Ten 2019 – #322: Top Ten David Bowie numbers: 191118

The Jean Genie (1973)

Throughout 2019 Jem of Jemtunes is taking you through 36 top tens and one top five. Tunes for a whole gamut of reasons including genre, mood, time of year or simply time itself. Sometimes there’s be words but mostly it’ll simply be the music. Because music always speaks for itself.

Continuing my 33rd – my top ten David Bowie numbers – here’s The Jean Genie from 1973’s ‘Alladin Sane’

David Bowie – Drive in Saturday (Starters for Ten #240) 10.10.24

Starters for Ten 2019 – #240: Top Ten Saturday night numbers: 190828

David Bowie – Drive in Saturday (1973)

Throughout 2019 Jem of Jemtunes is taking you through 36 top tens and one top five. Tunes for a whole gamut of reasons including genre, mood, time of year or simply time itself. Sometimes there’s be words but mostly it’ll simply be the music. Because music always speaks for itself.

Concluding the 24th – my top ten Saturday night numbers – here’s David Bowie’s Drive in Saturday from his 1973 album ‘Aladdin Sane’

The 2019 ‘Starters for Ten’ series features:
[1] Jan 1-10: Top Ten Blues Rock Stonkers
[2] Jan 10-20: Top Ten Led Zeppelin Tracks
[3] Jan 21-30: Top Ten Spinetinglers
[4] Jan 31-Feb 9: Top Ten Underworld Tracks
[5] Feb 10-19: Top Ten Acoustic Tracks
[6] Feb 20-Mar 1: Top Ten Queen Tracks
[7] Mar 2-11: Top Ten Live Tracks
[8] Mar 12-21: Top Ten Classical pieces
[9] Mar 22-31: Top Ten Soul tracks
[10] April 1-10: Top Ten Classic Rock tracks
[11] April 11-20: Top Ten ‘Ten Years After’ numbers
[12] April 12-30: Top Ten ‘Talking Heads’ tracks
[13] May 1-10: Top Ten Punk Anthems
[14] May 11-20: Top Ten Rock numbers
[15] May 21-30: Top Ten Boogie tracks
[16] May 31-June 9: Top Ten Lurve songs
[17] June 10-19: Top Ten Driving Tracks
[18] June 20-29: Top Ten Britpop/invasion tracks
[19] June 30-July 9: Top Ten Jimi Hendrix numbers
[20] July 10-19: Top Ten 2018 tunes
[21] July 20-29: Top Ten Sunday Morning tracks
[22] July 30-August 8: Top Ten Fleetwood Mac tracks
[23] August 9-18: Top Ten 2017 tunes
[24] August 19-28: Top Ten Saturday night numbers
[25] August 29-September 7: Top Ten ZZ Top tracks

Elton John – Saturday night’s alright for fighting (Starters for Ten #231) 1.10.24

Starters for Ten 2019 – #231: Top Ten Saturday night numbers: 190819

Elton John – Saturday Night’s alright for fighting (1973)

Throughout 2019 Jem of Jemtunes is taking you through 36 top tens and one top five. Tunes for a whole gamut of reasons including genre, mood, time of year or simply time itself. Sometimes there’s be words but mostly it’ll simply be the music. Because music always speaks for itself.

Kickstarting the 24th – running between 19 and 28 August and featuring my top ten Saturday night numbers – here’s Elton John’s Saturday Night’s alright for fighting, released in May 1973 as the first single from the double album ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’.

Scissor Sisters (The ’59) #285

The ’59 2018 #285: 181012

Scissor Sisters (2004)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Today’s the last of year 46 – 2004.

Scissor Sisters released their debut studio album by American glam rock band Scissor Sisters, first released in February 2004 on Polydor.

It reached No. 1 on the UK and Irish albums charts, and was the best-selling album of 2004 in the UK. It wasn’t as successful in the band’s native USA, peaking at No.102 on the Billboard 200.

It won Best International Album at the 2005 BRIT Awards and in July 2006 was named by Attitude as the top gay album of all time. Here’s ‘Filthy Georgous’ by way of proof.

T.Rex – The Slider (The ’59) #089

The ’59 2018 #089: 180330

T.Rex – The Slider (1972)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. We’re currently at year 14 – 1972

The album notes for the 7th T.Rex studio album, released in July 1972, credit Ringo Starr with the front and back cover photographs. The photographs were taken the same day that Starr was filming the T. Rex documentary Born to Boogie at John Lennon’s estate, Tittenhurst Park.

The album reached No.4 on the UK album charts. Metal Guru was one of its singles releases.