When LA musicians Russell and Ron Mael moved to Britain in 1973, they hit the pop world as Sparks and looked like Oddballs, even in the context of the Glam Rock movement that made them welcome. Soon defined by their weird and wonderful 1974 single This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us from the Kimono My House album, Sparks went on to release 21 albums over four decades, each record inhabiting a bizarre world of it's own. Their songs were peppered with puns and pop culture nods, as well as nostalgia and jokey images, all mixed up in a kaleidoscope of musical references ranging from rock to glam to disco. The paperback edition of the critically acclaimed biography. The Sparks story is now celebrated in this book, Daryl Easlea's exploration of their extraordinary career drawing on hours of new interviews and research. Talent is an Asset comes as close as possible to pinning down the quicksilver nature of two gifted musicians who have gone out of their way to remain unpredictable and elusive, forever entrenched behind a dazzling gallery of jokes, impersonations and musical eccentricities.
Daryl Easlea was the deputy editor of Record Collector, to which he remains a regular contributor. His work also appears often in Mojo and bbc.co.uk, The Guardian, Uncut, Dazed & Confused, The Independent, Socialism, The Glasgow Herald, The Encyclopaedia of Popular Music and 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.