Sparks began in early '70s Los Angeles, but found a more receptive audience for their early identity as an idiosyncratic and bombastic glam-rock outfit in Europe. Led by the Mael Brothers, Russell and Ron, who embody disparate personas as the flamboyant frontman and stoic keyboardist, respectively, Sparks now boast 22 studio albums spanning an eclectic and highly influential career. The synthesizer-heavy No. 1 in Heaven saw release in 1979 and prophesied the proliferation of synth duos throughout the '80s. The new century found Sparks releasing an album on Los Angeles label In the Red, an underground rock institution, and more recently performing a musical based on an imagined story of Ingmar Bergman visiting Hollywood. The group's latest endeavor is a conceptual tour titled “Two Hands One Mouth,” in which the Mael brothers perform alone onstage, without the safety net of backing musicians.
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