Sparks / Jane Wiedlin

Cool Places

Composed by Ron Mael / Russell Mael

Song Review by

Having tasted American chart fame at last with the boisterous "I Predict," Sparks' next single release went straight for the jugular. Excerpted from 1983's Sparks in Outer Space album, "Cool Places" was a buoyant, infectious, and unflappably corny ode to, indeed, cool places -- "where nobody's a fool/And no one says, 'Hey girl, need a light?'" Even more impressively, from a radio point of view the song featured a duetting Jane Wiedlin, former president of an unofficial Sparks fan club, but better known as a member of the Go-Go's. Accompanied by a video shot by the Residents' resident filmmaker, Graham Whiffler, "Cool Places" reached number 49 in spring 1983. An early version of the song ended with Russell Mael and Wiedlin firing the names of real life "cool places" back and forth, hitting all the high-spots of local Los Angeles life. According to Mael, however, the scheme was scrapped "once the list reached Canter's Deli. That's when we knew the idea was lame." Wiedlin made a number of live appearances with Sparks to help promote the single; the parent album, meanwhile, featured a second duet, "Lucky You, Lucky Me."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
In Outer Space 1983 Oglio Records 3:23
Profile: The Ultimate Sparks Collection 1991 Rhino 3:23
More Music from the Valley Girl Soundtrack 1995
Original Soundtrack
The 12 Inch Mixes [Oasis] 1996 CMP 4:40
Ultimate New Wave Hits 1997
Various Artists
Flashback Records
No Image 1997
Various Artists
This Album's Big Enough: The Best of Sparks 2002 MCI / Import 3:24
The Best of Sparks [Repertoire] 2003 Repertoire 3:25
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