Sparks

The 12 Inch Mixes [Oasis]

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Spanning the years 1979-1983 -- that is, the golden age of the 12" remix, and the golden age, too, of Sparks' resurgence, 12 Inch Mixes is not, surprisingly, the mega-mix treat that it could have been. For a duo whose understanding of both dance music and the studio has few peers, Sparks have rarely paid much attention to the remix, preferring to throw their best shots into the original recording. Which, to be honest about it, is the only honest thing a band can do. And so, a couple of songs dating from their 1979-1980 liaison with Giorgio Moroder do nothing more than the familiar album versions demanded, while the cuts from In Outer Space, Sparks' last genius album of the 1980s, actually diminish the value of the LP versions. But poised between those twin peaks, "I Predict" works brilliantly, a mindless dance chant that actually becomes more compulsive the more irritating the repetition of the title gets. None of which is to say that any but the most compulsive Sparks fan really needs this album. But, if you've ever wondered what "Cool Places" might sound like when extended by a whole minute and a bit, this is the place to come.

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