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Sparks - This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us

2021-06-16 | 🔗

Sparks are the brothers Ron and Russell Mael, a legendary duo from Los Angeles. Over the last 50 years, they’ve released 25 albums. They’ve collaborated with Giorgio Moroder and Franz Ferdinand, and they’ve influenced bands like Joy Division, Faith No More, Björk, and countless others. Director Edgar Wright, whose films include Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Baby Driver, and Scott Pilgrim vs the World, has made a documentary about the band called The Sparks Brothers. It premiered at Sundance, and comes out in theaters on Friday, June 18th. In this episode, Ron and Russell break down their hit, “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us," which came out in 1974, and changed their careers forever.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
You're listening to song exploder, where musicians take apart their songs and piece by piece tell the story of how they were made. My name is received. Your way saw. exploiter is brought you by progressive. Have you add the name, your price tool, yet it works. Just wait. Sounds you tell progressive how much you want. pay for car insurance and they'll show new coverage options to fit your budget. It's easy to start a quote: And you'll be able to find a rate that works for you. It's one of the many ways you can save with progressive get your quote today: a progressive dot com why four out of five new auto customers recommend progressive. Since casualty, insurance company and affiliates pricing rich match limited by state law. This happened. But is sponsored by indeed, indeed, it easy to hire great talent? And you can it all in one place, which is why more than three million businesses worldwide using d to hire great talent fast
start hiring now, with a seventy five dollars sponsor job credit to upgrade your job post at indeed dot com, slash, song exploder offer is valid through March thirty, first good, indeed doc, slash song exploder, to claim your seventy five dollar credit before March thirty, first, indeed, dot coms Flash song, exploder terms and conditions apply, need to hire. You need indeed bigger cinema buffs so we've always had this kind of rationale that in making pop songs, you're able make the most elaborate movie in your own mind in a three minute song: that's Russell mail. He and his brother RON Mail are the legendary duo sparks from LOS Angeles of the last fifty years. They released twenty five albums. They ve collaborated Georgia, Giorgio Marauder and Franz Ferdinand and influenced bands like joy, division, faith, no, more Bjork and countless others there's
documentary about them called the sparks brothers made by one of my effort rector's at great his building. Who'd Shaun of the dead, hot fuzz baby driver and pilgrim versus the World than documentary premiered at Sundance is here and comes in theaters this Friday June eighteenth. Here's. What Wright says in the intro of film sparks how did this glam rock anomaly become a band with a career spanning five decades? How can RON and Russell Mael be successful, underrated, hugely influential and overlooked all at the same time, and where does one even start, with twenty five studio albums and nearly five hundred songs we're going to start with, just one song for this, RON and Russell breakdown, one of their hits. This town it big enough for both of us which in nineteen? Seventy four and change their career forever the original tracks from their recording are long gone, but they recorded the song a while ago and for the purposes of this discussion you here those isolated tracks and
you'll hear the original one. Seventy four recording, the I'm Russell mail from sparks, and this is wrong mail from sparks. We move after England, between seventy three, but we had I too am sound in the sea, previously but they solve. In a very slow fashion. We played one show in the: U, with the band that we had at the time island records, really the song writing and they really liked the singing and thought if we, assembled british musicians around The US that there are something there that they could russell- and I just Anyone and
There were no songs, so a period of about its mines. I was writing and what are the songs that came up? was this town ain't big enough for the both of us RON had played me the song just on this upright piano, I thought it was really striking. It sounded very classical like a classical melody there weren't any lyrics for it at the time. We all always have the music first and then very Slater just because we don't the music structure to be restricted by the kind of a very formal walking the lyrics we were.
Can you figure out some the song, was kind of cinematic in a way. So the west. Please cliche this tiny enough for the both of us? I don't know it just kind came to tomorrow, sometime There might be an initial lyric that he Rice it did, I think, maybe didn't match the tone. If the melody and so I'll kindly requester to like a movie studio or we're going to need a rewrite. On that, sir, I get notes but for this town, because the song is so I nor ox that lyric I don't even know if I was able to judge whether that's a good good lyrica of that lyric, but it was such an interesting lyric, but then I was going How am I going to sing that enough for the both of us. You know it's a pretty big now for the Sony Big enough for the both of us and that melody that played on the right hand was exists
play? The melody that I sang so there's some vocal acrobatics to be able to have to sing. That Song GD, except for Sunday, you dove into the cafe to see heartbeat, increasing, not bit sweaty can to boost the protein. Just like you do this. So they begin the photo this a lot of it's really high the singing. At that time. We and even consider, things like transposing song was to a a key, that's more suitable for a singer. We just said: well, that's the key wrote it as he had a sing it in that key, and I think that helped to kind of
dictate the style of the singing for that song, just via the melody that RON had written, not big enough for both of us. This one is big enough, not big enough for both of us. Have we to have the lyrics done when we, actually rehearsing with the band because it changes the character of the song SUI gathered together a group of fish musicians through various ads and We went into the studio first with the band and arrange the song the guitar player was.
Adrian Fisher, the drummer was dinky diamond. The bass player was Martin Gordon, and we wanted to be a rock song. Even if the melody is kind of classically tinged the it was really difficult for them, because I didn't ever really things that were whose writing it. I had no consideration for either sorry to guitarist to anybody else ages was writing. the melody that the right hand of run on keyboard that done on that line became adopted by the guitar player
The song is so strict that what they could do was limited but they didn't incredible job time. So you see the denied it increase in our bit under a beating minus indifference and tacky tigers, stomach for the both of us, each other. versus is kind of a little vignette in a moment passion and hope for a guy and then it escalates into this overly dramatic, situation? Where, where what began is shyness or something in the in the encounter, becomes something magnet I do a cinematic area, with the lyrics like just going to the zoo, and then it becomes something. Much more dramatic than that The thing happens in in each
the versus sighing, do mystic fucking, then, when the stewardesses do not show the fear, increasing khaki colored my duty to receive the new Sony Big enough for the both of us. I think is that the leap from the everyday kind of like a hyper emotional cinematic area, and especially with regard our two, a romantic situation. Flying stick flying and when the stewardess is near not show any fear heartbeat, increasing the heartbeat. You are a khaki Colored Bombardier is Hiroshima that you're nearing the protagonist of the song is and just some simple I, then he has said,
kind of fantasy about the stewardess and then, in his own mind it kind of becomes him being a pilot. At the moment, of the bombing in world war. Two, you know I've written, lyrics in the past were at the when they seem appropriate and now days? I just wonder what God to me at the time. Increasing our bit is worrying, fallen down the bullets. Gonna catch, you don't know, it's only been given the further both of us there. As the time where we were asked considering having a different cliched move tag line at the end of each one, but we decided to go play it. Even so was big enough for the both of us every single time Who is one other controversial decision making moment, which sounds really trivial, but
the gunshot in the song. It was whether adding a gunshot is really tacky or or whether that's kind of cool, and so we decided well, it might be little tacky, but it is kind of cool, but finding one didn't sound like a bad sound effect. We had access to the BBC, Sound library which is unbelievable, and so they found a gun show there was the drink one for the song the the decision of whether something is tacky in a bad. way or who use they just because of our nature. If it to bathing whether it should be an error or should be an, we desire
go with it in and we'll take. The consequences we were so happy we had Muff Winwood produce that song cuz. He. was the bass player of the Spencer Davis Group with his last year's brother Stevie when Word supper, ass, being a anger files, this was a dream come true to be working with Muff Winwood, and so must came to the studio, and we play him a lot of the material that we we had but this particularly struck by this song. We always kind of thought of it as being too weird for a feature song on on the album. But he wanted to be bold the whole thing, and so the weird song is the the single, and we got on top of the pops after that, and the song became a big hit so for having to arms. It did a thing in the? U S, our dream.
Becoming a you. a ban was actually fulfilled. primarily through that one song at the time, and we didn't realize I dont think what that ultimately win mean that the reaction would be so intense. So it was, it was a real shock, but an amazingly happy shock, You gotta think back What would have happened if this had happened in sight wouldn't be You're right doctrine, Sri, it's like unbelievable, you kind of go back and about those. What ifs is just It turned out was incredibly fortunate.
and now here's this town, ain't big enough for both of us by sparks in its entirety the
the visits
song, exploder, dot, net, slash sparks to learn more you'll, find, to buy or stream this town ain't big enough for both of us, and you can the trailer for the new documentary, the sparks brothers. Special thanks This episode to EDGAR Right and near a park on the explorer is sponsored by Dave's killer, bread actually Lovedays killer bread, but they gave me a script reads: appearances attention shoppers, we now of taste and the bread I'll Dave's were bred. That's right and organic bread that's no longer a sedative for your taste. Buds dates, the bread is on a mission to make the most of the loaf to rid the world of Gmos. High fructose corn, an artificial ingredients. The seeds of good and all, although they beg killer, taste, killer, texture, always organic Dave's, killer, bread, bread, amplified, Thanks to Squarespace for sponsoring the show is an all in one platform that lets you build a beautiful website for your business or your art or your band. If you
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-27.