Heaven Collection

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The companion, of course, to the Hell Collection, but whereas that set delved into the darkest corners of the Sparks catalog in search of obscurities, oddities, and rarities, Heaven sparkles from the very toppermost of the poppermost, to serve up the kind of greatest-hits collection that longtime Sparks fans had despaired of ever seeing. Serial label-hoppers that they are, the hits gathered here span at least five different record companies, and there are some omissions centered around the brothers' breakthrough days in England. But "This Town Ain't Big Enough" is present and correct, raising the curtain on an album that then dives headlong into the late-'70s Giorgio Moroder era, picks up on the early-'80s years of American success, peaks with the still insanely infectious "Cool Places" duet with Jane Wiedlin...and then keeps going! The single version of "Change," surely one of the all-time greatest Sparks records ever, makes its CD debut here, while "Singing in the Shadow" reminds us that not all of Sparks best records were recorded by them alone; here they team up with French wonder kids Les Rita Mitsouko, and the result is phenomenal. Indeed, there's only one downside to the entire Heaven experience and that's the fact that it's audio only. A similarly far-reaching Sparks videos collection would really blow those pearly gates off their hinges.

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