Daily Mael 1971


Musicwise it’s fairly bog standard with a heavy reliance on guitar gymnastics. Only the chorus reveals the obvious Maelness of it.  The best lyric is “Does he exercise by breaking 2 by 4’s?”

A faux old-fashioned recollection of big band days by an old down at heels gent who smiles “like Herbert Hoover” when they play. Like in High C earlier on, the protaganist attempts to lure a lady back to his place to see his “large collection” of big band records.

A pleasing hammering of pianos and drums and the fade out just takes on extra levels of abstract madness. Such a storming musical landscape and apparently very very popular live.

Probably the only song to ever feature the word “homozygous” as well as the only one to reference so many geneticists and their works, including Gregor Mendel. It’s all about the genes, as hilariously first alluded to with the party being in the “Allele Pool” (look it up). Very trippy.

Stunning no nonsense classic. The chorus is a masterclass in how to serve up a perfect melodic pop song. A sort of melancholic reflection on rejection. Ron’s initial one finger piano bit eventually flowers into a sumptious arrangement which really does float along effortlessly (pun intended).

Teutonic is an adjective often lazily flung around to describe a certain Sparks sound like this one, so here’s me flinging it out again. The boom crash beat is excellent, though, when it marches in after the initial tinkling music box like first verse.

After learning that his twin was perhaps unjustly left with “intakes and mistakes and lunch pails and headaches” in a will, we are brought to a fabulous ‘Granny Takes A Trip’ type piano sequence where a single note bounces off each channel making for a fabulous headphone experience.

Cymbal fades in, building to a crescendo for a dramatic start with suitably operatic grandeur. It rocks along until the ‘woohoo hoo’ bits break the flow, accompanied by slide guitar accentuating the warped sense of a fall from grace.

Whatever the subject matter, it’s the crazed instruments threatening to melt the space between your ears that carry this along. The phaser like guitars swing psychedelically from speaker to speaker and what sounds like an orchestra of kitchen utensils being flung around sets you reeling.

Some great cheesy organ and guitars on this, amid sundry other perky noises. Fair scoots along.  The guitar solo following the melody and then frolicking up and down the scales with a xylophone behind it and culminating in a cartoonish sign off is glorious. As are the stand alone bass filler bits.

All seems to be going along smoothly until after “ungodly hour” the unexpected off key keyboard takes us somewhere else and then there’s a fart at 1.50 which turns the beat around and shifts the accent just to mess with your head. Fantastic stuff, encapsulating the starting blocks of so many of those Sparks elements we would come to cherish.

1967 – 1969

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