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What do we really think about Lil' Beethoven?!
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What do we really think about Lil' Beethoven?!
It's a masterpiece man!
65%
 65%  [ 76 ]
It's not a masterpiece! But above average!
18%
 18%  [ 22 ]
It's OK, but they have done better...
8%
 8%  [ 10 ]
I don't get this sort of stuff!
1%
 1%  [ 2 ]
Ron & Russell! Lil' Beethoven was crap! Pure craaap!!
5%
 5%  [ 6 ]
Total Votes : 116

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uberflash
Groupie


Joined: 12 Jan 2002
Posts: 135
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 3:02 pm    Post subject: What do we really think about Lil' Beethoven?! Reply with quote

So, Lil B has been out now for a long time (well in Europe at least). So what do we really think now when we have listen to it for a while?
Lil B is going to get 8/10 from me. So it's not a masterpiece but above average!


Last edited by uberflash on Sat Jul 19, 2003 6:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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Alex Robertson
Sparks Guru


Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 22482
Location: Crawley,West Sussex

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You were right Uberflash...I voted as you predicted...
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Ian Beach
Sparkologist


Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 607
Location: Nottingham, England.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Biggest flaw - It's too repetitive.
Some good moments messed up? i.e I married myself starting off really nice then falling off the rails when it goes in to that odd bit.

Some great ideas. Interesting moments but not quiet effectively realised.
Some tracks could have been improved imo.

6/10

I'd like to be there when they are writing an album and say yes or no. Although, they would take no notice of my opinion.
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PeterE
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Joined: 02 Oct 2002
Posts: 992
Location: Idstein Germany

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2003 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

for me it is still one of their best ever!
the album is most innovative when it works on repetition!
best track: My Baby` s taking me home
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Twinspark
Power Groupie


Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 252
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2003 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you with best track. I really love that song. And for the whole cd: a masterpiece! I love it, I love it, I love it! :D
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uberflash
Groupie


Joined: 12 Jan 2002
Posts: 135
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

C'mon folks! Submit your votes now! Still a very few people have voted. Surprise that so many voted the option "It's OK, but they have done better".

The two major things that don't make Lil B as a masterpiece is "I Married Myself" and "Ugly Guys". Both songs is lyrically brilliant, but "I married Myself" loses itself when the "diddy things" starts and I'm getting sick of the "whoua-whoua" screaming on "Ugly Guys".
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neworion
Fan-in-Training


Joined: 04 Apr 2003
Posts: 34
Location: Lisbon, Portugal

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

uberflash wrote:
..Surprise that so many voted the option "It's OK, but they have done better".


I did vote on this option too, but I probably had voted in an option like
"It's on the average level of most Sparks albums" which is a just bit different that this option.
But this doesnt invalidade the option I chose. For me there where some (few) albums better than this one. I was completely unbiased as I listened to the 19 albums for the first time all in the same period (months).

About the "almost a masterpiece" rank for this album: I surely agree :)

But about the "Ugly Guys.." I must say is my favourite song (except for the genious "Rythm thief") but I must agree with you again... the "whoua-whoua" gets very annoying. But having "Sparks in Heavy Metal" compensates it :twisted:

[edit: spelling]
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Last edited by neworion on Mon Jul 21, 2003 6:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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tulla
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Joined: 20 Jul 2003
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2003 10:04 pm    Post subject: Re: What do we really think about Lil' Beethoven?! Reply with quote

YES, indeed. I think this is a very good album.

Favorite songs so far: The Rhythm Thief & How Do I Get To Carnagie Hall, followed by I Married Myself (except the "dubbed" vocal parts in the middle of the song).

Least favorite: Your Call Is Very Important To Us, Please Hold.
I didn't quite like this one, sorry.
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neworion
Fan-in-Training


Joined: 04 Apr 2003
Posts: 34
Location: Lisbon, Portugal

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2003 6:13 am    Post subject: Re: What do we really think about Lil' Beethoven?! Reply with quote

tulla wrote:

Least favorite: Your Call Is Very Important To Us, Please Hold.
I didn't quite like this one, sorry.


I did find this song a little weird at first (that "green light, red, red light" and stuff like that is really weird).
But re-re-listening to it I actually fount it one of the strongest songs of the album. Just not commercially strong.
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tulla
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Joined: 20 Jul 2003
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2003 8:18 pm    Post subject: Re: What do we really think about Lil' Beethoven?! Reply with quote

Ah, Ok, I'll give it another chance. :)

After all, I haven't listened through the album more than a few times yet, so it's a good chance you're right about that.
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haydn60
Power Groupie


Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 434
Location: Columbus, OH, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the New York Press article:

"We’ve been humbled by other people’s attitudes about how we’re doing. Every time you finish an album, you think it’s the greatest thing ever, and then, over time, you gain some perspective in the context of pop music. This one, we feel differently about."

Not the clearest paragraph, but I think I know what Ron's getting at there. As often as they've changed their minds in the past, I believe them when they say the next album will progress in the direction of Lil'B. Even though I rated LB a masterpiece above, I have faith there is better to come.

(Say, a lot of you hate those dit-dit-dits, huh? Don't you even like them with a xylophone?)

("Your Call..." is the 2nd Sparks tune my girlfriend actually likes. The first was "Let's Get Funky" & she had to be told who it was by.)
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haydn60
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Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 434
Location: Columbus, OH, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoops. Here's the quote which prompted the post. Russell:

"This whole business of comebacks keeps getting harder and harder. We don’t want to reinvent ourselves again after this. We’re sold on the direction of Lil’ Beethoven. Hopefully, there’s not going to be any reason for a sixth–or whatever it is now–comeback."
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vernon rockville
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Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 10:25 pm    Post subject: misunderstood masterpiece Reply with quote

This is an opera or a stage show. The words are secondary (like in opera) to the "scene" and story, as well as the brilliant orchestrations. Listen to Russell's excellent singing without dwelling on the words. Each song has a certain story to tell over the course of elaborate arrangements. Yes, Please Hold is annoying, but I crack up everytime I get a similar telephone recording. Pretend you are hearing Brahms' Requiem. Can't understand the German language, but the singing, harmonies and orchestrations make it gorgeous. This is where Lil' Beethoven shines. It is certainly very, very different from anything else.
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Xenophile
Certified Fan


Joined: 07 Mar 2003
Posts: 92
Location: Sacramento, CA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I vote "Masterpiece." I've listened many, many times. Too many times.,, and I'm not getting tired of it. My three-year-old insists on hearing "The Rhythm Thief" whenever he gets in the car. My wife loves "Ugly Guys With Beautiful Girls," and she hates rock'n roll. Repetitious? They've simply replaced the tired old repetitious drum and bass grooves with repetitious vocal and instrumental phrases. My old music theory professor would call it a "highly motivic compositional technique." It's still rock music, but the Maels have turned it on its head. I find it very seductive, and I'm proud of Ron and Russ for sticking to their values and producing the freshest stuff I've heard in years.
BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!!
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sparkette
Sparkologist


Joined: 05 Aug 2003
Posts: 748
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2003 8:37 pm    Post subject: Lil B Reply with quote

Of course I love it as it's fresh Sparks. And, I haven't been disappointed by them yet. Well it was shaky in the disco dance days, but they still managed to pull it off with a laugh. The only downfall I see to Lil B is the mix. I believe our brothers Mael are not given the due respect they should get in time and effort still! click, click sigh It's not their fault. Otherwise it's all :D .
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Dal
Sparkologist


Joined: 18 Apr 2003
Posts: 728
Location: Brighton

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of this is really interesting, because I still feel some ambivalence towards LB. Never thought I’d ever say this, but I think this Sparks album is a bit over-rated. That it’s great, of course, goes without saying, but it’s not as innovatory as various critics insist it is . I remember material like this being explored by Godley and Creme in the late ‘70s, and by Sparks’ own standards it’s not as extraordinary as either "Kimono" or "Indiscreet" were for their time. It does seem that some of the greatness attributed to L.B. is due to the appalling quality of the competition.
It would be great if R & R could keep the vision that seems to have inspired L.B.(even if it’s still the purely negative intention of knowing what they want it NOT to be) and put some of the songwriting craftsmanship into the project for which Ron is renowned. This is still a fairly rare commodity in the pop world, as it’s one of the few abilities that computers can’t really provide. And it’s all still there, as tracks like "Irreplaceable" and "The Calm…" demonstrated.
Also, the backing vocals on L.B. prove that Russell’s vocal range is still as wide as ever, so it would be great to hear some of those daring vocal leads that seem to have fizzled out over the last few years, and which were so desperately lacking on "Balls".
So, for the next album, I’d like to hear something that maintains the complete disregard for what’s commercial and "happening" which makes L.B. so brilliant (and which distinguishes all of Sparks’ greatest albums) and more of the superb arrangements that Ron now produces with a re-injection of complexity into the structure of the songs themselves, and an unrestrained vocal performance.
Also, I’d like them to put up a big sign on the studio wall saying "no loops - no narration" in case R&R find themselves tempted to take the soft option at any point.
It does seem churlish to make any complaints about L.B., since it’s leagues ahead of the game in general, but I really believe that Sparks’ greatest album is still to come.
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Ian Hampton
Groupie


Joined: 13 Sep 2006
Posts: 111
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LB is my fave Sparks album! End of my story!
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SteveBoyce
Sparkologist


Joined: 17 Jan 2002
Posts: 572

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I voted Masterpiece...

Dal wrote:
I remember material like this being explored by Godley and Creme in the late ‘70s,.

can agree on that, I've thought that too
Dal wrote:
and by Sparks’ own standards it’s not as extraordinary as either "Kimono" or "Indiscreet" were for their time.

Can't agree on that (not least because Propaganda is my favourite from that time)
Dal wrote:
And it’s all still there, as tracks like "Irreplaceable" and "The Calm…" demonstrated.

I would *love* to hear some of the Balls material done with live musicians, it would be great I am sure. Maybe on their upcoming 10 mouths and 50 hands tour!


In terms of what I listen to today - LB is no 1 (I take it off before Suburban Homeboy comes on because it annoys me so intensely), Exotic is No 2, and Propaganda No 3. No 4 is probably the "Growing Pains" soundtrack.
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Pim Derks
Power Groupie


Joined: 19 Jul 2006
Posts: 374
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a masterpiece, but... I never really got into Ugly Girls With Beautiful Guys and What Are All These Bands So Angry About. Still, an amazing album if only for The Rhythm Thief, Suburban Homeboy etc :D

Hello Young Lovers, now THAT is a masterpiece :)
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Aled
Power Groupie


Joined: 15 Jul 2007
Posts: 431
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely a masterpiece. I think it's their finest album. It's great to see a band take such risks for their 19th album when most bands of Sparks' longevity are firmly stuck in a comfort zone. I also think HYL and Exotic are perfect follow ups. As a three album set, I think they surpass the Island trilogy.

My list would go something like this:

1. Lil' Beethoven
2. Exotic Creatures of the Deep
3. Hello Young Lovers
4. Propaganda
5. Indiscreet
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