In 1979, the much-loved Los Angeles art-rockers Sparks had spent the past half-decade living in England, and their music had grown increasingly arch and, at least in Europe, popular. That year, though, they decided to try something new. They returned home to Los Angeles, and they teamed up with pioneering Italo-disco producer Giorgio Moroder to record a whole album. The resulting LP, No. 1 In Heaven, was bleak and slick and gorgeous and strange. Joy Division’s Ian Curtis cited its title track as a key influence. And it continues to reverberate today, in the form of a fairly faithful cover from an exciting new experimental producer.
Berkeley resident Tia Cabral records avant-garde electronic music under the (kind of hilarious) name SPELLLING. After making her mark with last year’s home-recorded LP Pantheon Of Me, she’s getting ready to release a new 7″ single later this week. We’ve already posted her video for “Hard To Please,” the A-side. And on the B-side, she’s offered up her version of Sparks’ No. 1 In Heaven album track “My Other Voice.”
Cabral’s take on “My Other Voice” is, if anything, warmer and more approachable than the stark, intense Sparks original. Cabral leaves the central pulse and melody intact, but she sings it in a friendly alto, not in the digitized snarl of the Sparks track. Listen to both the cover and the original below.
The “Hard To Please” 7″ is out 8/03 on Sacred Bones.