Beat the Clock

Song Review by

Sparks had a mere handful of songs ready to go when they began recording 1979's Number One Song in Heaven album with producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellote -- two outtakes from the preceding Introducing sessions ("Kidnapped" and "Keep Me") and two demos, "Academy" and "Beat the Clock." Of them all, only "Beat the Clock" truly represented the direction their music would now be taking (although "Academy" also made the final cut), its pounding disco beat and insistent "beat the clock" backing vocal the perfect accompaniment for a lyric documenting the trials of the ultimate overachiever. "Went to school when I was two/PhD that afternoon." Following on from the hit "Number One Song in Heaven," "Beat the Clock" reached number ten in Britain and was, inevitably, reprised for 1997's Plagiarism album.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No. 1 in Heaven 1979 Repertoire 4:24
Profile: The Ultimate Sparks Collection 1991 Rhino 4:23
The 12 Inch Mixes [Oasis] 1996 CMP 6:36
Plagiarism 1997 Oglio Records 4:30
Y2K: Beat the Clock Version 1.0 1999
Various Artists
Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 4:30
12'' Mixes [Oglio] 1999 Oglio Records 6:36
Pop & Wave, Vol. 7 2000
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:22
This Album's Big Enough: The Best of Sparks 2002 MCI / Import 4:24
The Best of Sparks [Repertoire] 2003 Repertoire 3:48
Anthems: Electronic '80s 2009
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 4:22
New Music for Amnesiacs: The Ultimate Collection 2013 Lil Beethoven 4:21