One of my favorite Sparks songs is “My Baby’s Taking Me Home”, in which said title is the near-entirety of its lyrics, barring a short spoken word passage near the end. The Mael brothers comment on it in The Sparks Brothers documentary, where the dynamics of the song are purely in its construction rather than its lyrics. Because of this, they find it one of their all-time favorite songs to play live.
Back in the 80s and early 90s I wrote a handful of Flying Bohemians songs that were similar in construction, and they were always my favorite to play because of that. One song, “She Sang to Me”, had three lines that were repeated in different ways while Chris and I played its three chords in various ways — fingerpicking, muted, augmented, and so on — until it sounded like a wondrous release of sound.
I don’t often hear that many songs like this, but when I do, quite often they’re my favorites of the band’s entire discography.
God’s Favorite, “(Hurry Hurry) Sunday” (not to be confused with God’s Favorite Band…different group entirely!)
Well, this is certainly a surprise! This has been hiding on YouTube for almost a year and I never noticed until just this moment when I was doing a bit of Walk in Silence research. This little gem of a track was the first song I ever taped off a college radio station (WMUA 91.1 at UMass Amherst) — the same taping session on 11 November 1986 that introduced me to The Go Betweens, Felt, and This Mortal Coil.
I listened to that tape so many times I pretty much wore it out, and it wasn’t until about a year ago that I had Jeff Shelton play it on his KSCU show The 80s Underground and finally heard it again after what seemed like decades. I downloaded that particular podcast just so I could finally have the track in my collection again. I was never able to find the vinyl anywhere when it was out, and as I currently do not have a turntable (yes, I am a heretic!), I can’t go on Amazon and buy it.
I remember hearing this track and thinking the vocals were a little too earnest (in that 80s indie way we’ve all come to love in retrospect), but there was that gently sweeping melody that kind of reminded me of early REM, who I was getting into at the time. It also hinted at that pastoral walking-through-the-woods-in-autumn mood that I would get from a lot of the college rock I loved then.