Sparks scored their highest UK album chart position in over 40 years with their 23rd album ‘Hippopotamus’ entering at Number 6 in the midweek hit parade, as announced by the Official Charts. The American band – brothers Ron and Russell Mael – last appeared in the Top 10 in November 1974, when ‘Propaganda’ went in at number 9, following the breakthrough album ‘Kimono My House’, which peaked at number 4 in the same year.
Speaking with the Official Charts about the reaction to the album Russell said “It’s amazing. And regardless of the charts, which obviously are out of hands and we can’t control, we’re happy with the really positive reception that the album has gotten critically. The reviews are beyond our wildest dreams and people have been saying really positive things. It’s really satisfying that it’s reaching in that way. Whatever happens with the charts will be frosting on the cake for us.”
Since storming into the UK charts, minds and TV sets in 1974 with This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both of Us, Sparks have consistently created genre defying music and inspired – and continue to inspire and influence – generations of artists. Released on BMG, ‘Hippopotamus’ has been universally acclaimed with many critics declaring it to be one of the finest albums of the year and the pinnacle of the band’s career. Written, recorded and produced by Sparks ‘Hippopotamus’ is released on digital, CD, LP, picture disc and cassette formats
“the album is brilliant” 5 stars – The Times
“stuffed with short, literate, witty pop songs” 5 stars – Album Of The Week – The i
“‘Smarter and more satisfying than ever” 5 stars – Independent
“Sparks remain all about tomorrow” “[Hippopotamus] could lift them once more above the cult parapet” 5 stars – Record Collector
“this is smart and stunning throughout” 5 stars – Daily Express
“a truly magnificent record” 9/10, Louder than War
“Fresh, inventive, quirky and instantly recognisable” 9/10 – Vive Le Rock
“Ron and Russell Mael at their arch-pop best” 4 stars – The Guardian
“emphatic show of Ron & Russell’s late-period genius” 4 stars – MOJO
“no end of delights” 8/10 – UNCUT
“brilliantly bonkers pop” 4 stars -Classic Pop
“Hippopotamus is, suitably, large” 4 stars – Daily Mirror
“without question, a five-star classic” – Diffuser
“Simply put, genius” – LA Times
and here at we will give Sparks an 8 out of 10 scoring for their quirky, unique alt.rock meets everything and the kitchen sink mantra!