Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

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Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

Yes
4
15%
No
22
85%
 
Total votes: 26

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Nickname
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Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

#1 Post by Nickname »

The file has been taken from the net. Read it and tell us what you think.

By the way, there is a movie with their songs called Annette.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWb3KpvAz8s

If you didn't know anything about this duo, watch some of their videos before giving an answer.
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Tom Angel
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Re: Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

#2 Post by Tom Angel »

Love that last line - very funny.
in suits or sequins/or twin sets and pearls

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leesmapman
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Re: Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

#3 Post by leesmapman »

Where's that picture/screenshot taken from? I mean, yeah, they have a point there. Sparks make brilliant songs, but PSB's music is much more pop-focused. Mind you, Sparks did some absolutely groundbreaking stuff in the synth-pop realm and especially their 1979 album Number One Song In Heaven, but the 80s were not that kind to them; there was a long hiatus in the late 80s/early 90s. IMO, I think every "synth duo", as Holly Johnson would like to call them, owes Sparks some recognition. But next to having so much high points in their career, Sparks do have a lot more lows too. Sparks are an art-pop band and PSB are that too so comparisons can be made easily.

I discovered Sparks via Pet Shop Boys. They did a song, "When do I get to sing my way?" which reminded me a lot of PSB. The album it comes from (Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins) was very good too. Since then, I've been listening to their music and there's so much good stuff in their catalogue. Highly recommended.

[edit] found the article:
https://variety.com/2021/film/columns/t ... 235006173/

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tottenhammattspurs
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Re: Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

#4 Post by tottenhammattspurs »

Sparks’ Gratuitous Sax…. Album is superb. When do I get to sing my way is easily Ron and Russell copying the PSB sound wholesale. The single could have easily been lifted from Very and no-one would have known.
is is and isnt isnt

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Drico One
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Re: Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

#5 Post by Drico One »

What strikes me most about the Sparks Brothers hype is just how needy the people behind it are for acknowledgement from Pet Shop Boys. It's almost creepy, this desire for a nod from Neil and Chris. They get mentioned in this film in ways that lead one to conclude, ironically, that Pet Shop Boys are the ultimate reference not only for Sparks, but for the genre itself (even though Sparks are really just a rock band that did its best work for a year as something they weren't - a synth duo).

While all and sundry line up to give tribute, Neil and Chris remain aloof, above the fray, ever-more mysterious, distant, and silently untouchable. And that's just as their lofty artistic status demands.

The Number One Song in Heaven single is a work of genius, particularly the Long Version. However, the evidence - Sparks's catalogue and other bodies of work - lead one to surmise that the genius behind it was Giorgio Moroder's. If Sparks had any impact - and they did - it was in a remarkably arresting stage presence that was genuinely sensational on Top of the Pops in 1979. But other than being a duo that used synthesisers at that time, Sparks have little in common with Pet Shop Boys. Chris didn't rip off Ron Mael. Unlike the American, he has little aesthetic resemblance to Nazi genocidists. People might - and do - claim that Ron created the template for how keyboard players "perform". But Kraftwerk got there years before the Maels went synth. And they were actual Germans, if not Austrian or genocidal. Chris's "act" seems pretty authentically himself to me, his economy of effort reflecting a somnambulant approach to life. He's been so successful at simply blending into the background, hiding in plain sight, that Vince Clarke can't even refer to him by name, preferring the impersonal "guy from the Pet Shop Boys."

So, all in all, I like Sparks and am pleased they are getting some "recognition". They clearly crave it, but perhaps not as much as their cheerleaders whose obsession with Pet Shop Boys just adds to their mystique.

Drico.
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Old Soak
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Re: Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

#6 Post by Old Soak »

I like Sparks and like their longevity too. They write clever and witty stuff, and I concur The Number 1 Song In Heaven was great pop - I have the light blue 12" single. This Town Ain't Big Enough is also a work of wonder. But I do get tired of fatuous comparisons with every synth duo. Erasure are 180 degrees away and, IMO opinion, totally $h1te having failed to develop their sound from the same, dull, boring plinky plonk Vince started with in Depeche Mode. Soft Cell I love, but totally different ad wonderfully seedy dark undercurrents. Hell, throw in Yello and Sparks to the mix for good measure. You might as well compare all standard four piece guitar bands to The Beatles. Format of group same, execution overwhelmingly peerless in both the case of The Beatles and PSB in very different fields.
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Luke Colorado
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Re: Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

#7 Post by Luke Colorado »

Aside from 2-3 songs Sparks suuuuuuuuuucks. Awful songs. They’re just a band for nerds that confuse obscurity for quality.
I sincerely *love* Disco 2 and listen to it straight through regularly.

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Luke Colorado
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Re: Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

#8 Post by Luke Colorado »

Nerds like Sparks because they like the comfort of knowing their favorite band will never be popular.
I sincerely *love* Disco 2 and listen to it straight through regularly.

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stopthecar
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Re: Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

#9 Post by stopthecar »

I got (apperently the wrong) idea Sparks never really liked the Pet Shop Boys.

I thought that was said in an interview somewhere.

Sparks walk the thin line between brilliant and rediculous.

That being said I still think their Little Beethoven album is a work of art.

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leesmapman
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Re: Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

#10 Post by leesmapman »

stopthecar wrote: Sat 14 Aug 2021, 9:01 am That being said I still think their Little Beethoven album is a work of art.
Their best work, I think.

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Sandy Shaw
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Re: Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

#11 Post by Sandy Shaw »

I have been an avid follower of Sparks as a live act since When Do I get to Sing My Way and attended 18 of the 21 dates in their amazing run of 21 shows revisiting all albums http://allsparks.com/sparks-live-specta ... 21-nights/. I don't spend hours listning to their music at home though.

The Boys don't really need or want to cite Sparks - as Drico mentioned they were a rock band rather than a synth duo in any case.

Check out ''Balls'' and ''Let's go Surfing'' for nods to the PSB sound and in the case of Let's Go Surfing a tongue in cheek utopian vision which must have been influenced by Go West. National Crime Awareness week is a rarer classic which at the time drew many PSB comparisons.
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OakeyDokey
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Re: Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

#12 Post by OakeyDokey »

No need for Petheads to take offence. Sparks themselves haven't thrown shade at the boys. It's common in articles reviewing a well-received retrospective for journalists to eulogise/fawn over the subject by comparing to/bitching about more commercially successful artists sometimes lumped together with them.

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Re: Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

#13 Post by Nickname »

I like a little their music and their aesthetic. I didn't know them. Let's Go Surfing and When Do I Get To Sing "My Way" sound very PSB to be honest. I like the funny mood they watch themselves.

I think their music is fine but not amazing. It's understable they didn't have too much success.

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Spittingcat
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Re: Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

#14 Post by Spittingcat »

Sparks? Great song writers who use all manner of different styles, and have influenced so many completely different bands. That’s the comparison I’d make with our favourite band.

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Re: Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

#15 Post by Spittingcat »

I didn’t vote, because it’s not a yes/no answer.

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