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
5
15%
No
28
85%
 
Total votes: 33

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

#16 Post by OakeyDokey »

True. The poll is terribly binary and like sooo reductive.

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PopKid78
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Do you think PSB took their aesthetic from The Sparks?

#17 Post by PopKid78 »

https://youtu.be/vtGBcvBqOJs

Here’s Edgar Wright going through a list of his favourite Sparks Songs. At about 9 mins in, he says that when Sing my way came out, it must’ve been a bit galling for them, that everyone was saying it sounds like PSB, when really it was the other way round.
Now my memories of the time was, first it was my favourite single of 1994, and probably still is. I was at school, so like most people my age, it was the first time I’d heard of them, and yes I did think this sounds like PSB. I also remember being really excited when my older brother informed me, that they had their first hit in the early 70s. I thought great, another synthpop band that came before PSB, and probably influenced them, to get into. I couldn’t afford their new album, but I did manage to find a best of Sparks Tape, in a second hand music shop. Now the album is ok, but I just remember being really disappointed, that this wasn’t what I was expecting, and there was nothing on it that sounded like PSB, or any synthpop band. This album did just feature the singles pre Moroder though


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

#18 Post by leesmapman »

Sparks also wrote a song called "Calm before the storm" and it's a banger.

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

#19 Post by leesmapman »

OakeyDokey wrote:True. The poll is terribly binary and like sooo reductive.
True. I am the one who voted Yes to even things out Image
Last edited by leesmapman on Sun 15 Aug 2021, 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

#20 Post by Drico One »

PopKid78 wrote: Sun 15 Aug 2021, 1:50 pm https://youtu.be/vtGBcvBqOJs

Here’s Edgar Wright going through a list of his favourite Sparks Songs. At about 9 mins in, he says that when Sing my way came out, it must’ve been a bit galling for them, that everyone was saying it sounds like PSB, when really it was the other way round.
Edgar Wright is the chief cheerleader of this delusion. He's basically pointing at the apex duo of the synthpop genre and trying to claim their achievements for his favourite band simply because his pals happened to collaborate with Giorgio Moroder in the late 70s. It's really quite revealing how much he seems to mention Pet Shop Boys. They're clearly the reference. I'm also loving the irony of an American band who claimed to be more like an English band moaning that an English band in some way owes them a debt.

I bought the Number One Song in Heaven as a seven-year-old in 1979. It got to number 5 in Ireland. It's an absolute classic, but is one of only three Sparks songs that I consider worthy of a spot in my music library. They just didn't write enough great songs to be compared favourably with Erasure, let alone to be casting aspersions on Pet Shop Boys.

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

#21 Post by Patrick Bateman »

Because synthpop duos are less common than four-piece rock bands it's easier for someone like Wright to claim that Sparks are some kind of Ur-Synthpop Duo and everyone who came after Sparks that had a synthpop hit are indebted to them for their entire career. I think it's Ron that is the most obvious comparison as the keyboard player invariably tends to stand there looking a bit dodgy (what else can they do?); it's hardly like there's much similarity between Russell and Neil's stage demeanour.

Look at Dave Ball in some of the Soft Cell videos - he's hilarious but he's Dave Ball, not Ron Mael. Ditto Chris or Vince - the only similarity is the obvious one: they haven't got guitars to wave around so they have to do something to make them look vaguely interesting, whether that's dressing up as a jailer/chauffeur/Margi Clarke's bit of rough in a video, dancing around a massive blue egg on TOTP or simply wearing an inflatable jacket and scar to piss off Tarby.

P.S. When Do I Get to Sing My Way? does sound a bit like the Pet Shop Boys, whether Sparks had a hit in 1974 or not. :mrgreen:


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

#23 Post by OakeyDokey »

Ah sure look, that article was written by a member of the Corrs - he's only jealous that a psychophantic phil-im hasn't been made about him and his Dundalk sisters and brother :lol:

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

#24 Post by Nickname »

Spittingcat wrote: Sun 15 Aug 2021, 10:40 am I didn’t vote, because it’s not a yes/no answer.
OakeyDokey wrote: Sun 15 Aug 2021, 11:51 am True. The poll is terribly binary and like sooo reductive.
You can express your opinion anyway.

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

#25 Post by leesmapman »

The tagline of the movie is "50 years, 25 albums, 345 songs".
I think PSB might have written an equal amount of songs...

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

#26 Post by Future Lover »

...in a shorter amount of time, no less. They'll be turning 40 tomorrow! But yeah, the Variety review nailed it. Somehow, being half forgotten is preferable to still being active and successful and acclaimed. Obviously a sour note of American exceptionalism as well.

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

#27 Post by dirvy »

Does anyone think the backing singer chant, on How I Came To Hate Rock and Roll, sounds like Beat the Clock?

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

#28 Post by leesmapman »

vlcsnap-2021-09-02-18h02m05s853.png
vlcsnap-2021-09-02-18h02m05s853.png (928.4 KiB) Viewed 760 times
I love how Chris looks.

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

#29 Post by TallThinMan »

I saw The Sparks Brothers at the cinema last night. I thought that the comment about Neil was an unnecessary cheap shot. Apart from that I really enjoyed the film. I was afraid it might drag on a bit, but it didn’t at all.

There are a lot of similarities between the two groups:

* They’re both male duos
* They’re both prolific
* They both write songs beyond typical pop subject matter
* They both use humour
* They both reinvent themselves on a regular basis

In spite of the above, I don’t think Neil and Chris took inspiration from Sparks. I see them as parallel branches in the same family tree.

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

#30 Post by Nickname »

I think you should watch this. It could be the real answer to the poll:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2FAHMJ0-B4&t=48s

Anyway, I think Chris was the one who makes this aesthetic more popular from all of them with the cup and the glasses was more misterous. :D

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