Monday, July 31, 2023

Revisiting Kimono My House! (Spoiler: It's Still Great)

It’s been a while since I wrote anything on this blog. 2016 to be exact. Where does the time go? 

But for whatever reason, I decided to take pen to paper - or at least fingertips to keyboard - to write a bit about an album released almost 50 years ago; that I’ve heard dozens, if not hundreds, of times; which I’ve held in high esteem since I first heard it; and which led me on a journey that I’m still walking today. 

The album is Kimono My House, the breakthrough album from Sparks that was first released - get ready for it - in May of 1974. It’s a meaningful album to me - the first I purchased (or technically, that was purchased for me by my brother - thank you Sam!), right after seeing them perform some of the songs on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. So it means a lot to me. 

I listened to it on a bustling morning commute a few days ago but there were many distractions. I can look at Kimono and kind of just absorb it from a quick glance. I know what’s on it. I know it’s great. But I felt it deserved a proper, attentive listen. So that's what I did. 

Sparks are brothers Ron and Russell Mael. Ron plays keyboards; writes the lyrics; and arranges the songs. Russell sings; he is a force of nature, singing stronger and better than ever.  Over 50 years in, they are currently enjoying worldwide popularity and recognition that successful bands usually experience much earlier in their careers. Kimono was the first time they attained international attention, and I wanted to give it a listen with almost 50 years having passed since its release. The album is older now; I am too.