THE BREAKTHROUGH ALBUM BY THE ULTIMATE CULT BAND IS TURNING 50!
Sparks first became a household name in the UK in 1974 when their iconic song “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us” hit number 2 in the singles chart. Their Top of the Pops BBC TV performance of the song is remembered vividly by everyone who saw it, bringing brothers Ron and Russell Mael into the front rooms of millions across the country that evening.
After two attempts at making it big in the early 70s with Bearsville Records albums “Sparks” and “A Woofer in Tweeter’s Clothing” Ron and Russell Mael ditched the rest of the first Sparks lineup and moved to London. It was there they signed to Island Records and recruited a new lineup that struck gold at the first time of asking with “Kimono My House.”
Chock full of witty but complex lyrics, sparkling guitars from Adrian Fisher and complimented perfectly by the rhythm section of Dinky Diamond and Martin Gordon “Kimono My House” is rightly heralded as a legendary ‘glam’ Rock album. However, it’s the sheer quality of the songwriting, largely from Ron Mael and the soaring vocal performance of Russell Mael that surely ensures “Kimono My House” is heralded not only as a fan favourite Sparks album but also as one of the very best albums of the entire decade.
Now, on the 1st of May 2024 “Kimono My House” turns 50 and Pale Wizard Records pays tribute to this most special of albums the best way we know how… We present “Sparks – Kimono My House – 50 Years Later.” The whole album reimagined by a roster of great Rock bands from around the world.
SO, WHAT’S THIS RELEASE ALL ABOUT?
Pale Wizard Records is a labour of love for its co-founders Tim Hilleard and Dan Flitcroft. We release music that we love and find interesting. In 2021 we released our first “50 Years Later” LP which was a tribute to the classic Alice Cooper album “Killer.” This was followed up in 2022 with David Bowie‘s incredible “Ziggy Stardust” and most recently with Budgie’s “Never Turn Your Back on a Friend” in 2023. We intend for the “50 Years Later” series to continue paying tribute to amazing albums that deserve attention. We enlist a fantastic roster of hard-working bands from the rock scene. Some of which we’ve shared the stage with ourselves, some of which we have previously admired from afar. We aim to release at-least one “50 Years Later” LP per year, charting classic albums right through the 1970’s and beyond. In fact, we have already begun work on the release for 1975, can anyone guess what that will be?!
We’re thrilled to announce this epic lineup of acts to be taking part in this release:
AND MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED!
Each band will be taking on one of the songs in their own style. We will be featuring different bands throughout the Kickstarter campaign so you can get to learn more about them and hear their connections and feelings regarding this project and Sparks.
Visit the Kickstarter page here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/palewizard/sparks-kimono-my-house-50-years-later
They always said you must stay between the lines
Be easily defined or you’re wasting all your time
It doesn’t have to be that way, okay?
A message from Tim Hilleard from Pale Wizard Records:
“We don’t tend to do things in a traditional run of the mill kind of way at Pale Wizard Records and that’s why we massively respect Sparks, who have made forging your own path an art over the last 50 plus years of their career. The lyrics above from the beautiful track ‘It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way’ from their very latest album could be the motto for many a small record label like us.
We have always tried to do something that little bit different when it comes to our releases. Our 50 Years Later series is the perfect example of that. We recruit a roster of rock bands to take on a classic album turning 50 years old in its entirety and then release our version exactly 50 years later to the original release date. But we don’t like to choose the obvious albums, otherwise we’d be putting out Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath or Deep Purple tributes every year.
Nearly 50 years before ‘It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way’ was released, Sparks made their commercial breakthrough with ‘Kimono My House’ in May 1974. This is an album that holds a special place in the hearts of all Sparks fans. After all, it’s the one with ‘This Town’, ‘Amateur Hour’ and that perennial fan favourite track ‘Here in Heaven’. Whilst being the best-known Sparks album without a doubt, it was far from the most obvious choice of album for us to visit for 50 Years Later. But when it comes to obvious, it doesn’t have to be that way, okay?
So Pale Wizard Records proudly presents ‘Kimono My House: 50 Years Later’ a tribute to Sparks. We have curated a roster of some of the top underground rock bands from around the world to recreate all 10 tracks of Kimono in their own style. Our album will be released on coloured vinyl, CD and digitally through streaming and downloads on May 1st 2024, 50 Years Later. Our releases are properly licenced so the rights holders will be compensated for the use of their songs.
Today we are launching our Kickstarter campaign so backers of the project can receive some exclusive goodies. There is a special Kickstarter exclusive vinyl colour variant for example. There is a full FAQ on the Kickstarter page but I’m more than happy to answer any questions via email. We have 10 top bands featuring on the LP and potentially more on the CD/digital version (depending on how the Kickstarter goes) as bonus tracks. I’ve also had Ruud from the wonderful Fanmael website very kindly agree to write some liner notes for this release.
This is the fourth volume of the 50 Years Later series, previously we have produced tributes to Alice Cooper, David Bowie and Budgie for 2021, 2022 and 2023 respectively.
For me personally, Sparks have quickly become my favourite band over the last few years since I fell for their charms around the time of Annette being released. This album has been an absolute joy to put together, and I aim to provide a quality product for fellow Sparks fans to enjoy and something that maybe even Ron and Russell themselves would get a kick out of.
If you like the sound of this, please take a look at the Kickstarter below and consider backing us.
Tim Hilleard Co-Owner / Pale Wizard Records“