Song of the Day #4,921: ‘The Number One Song in Heaven’ – Sparks

Like Todd Haynes, Edgar Wright is an idiosyncratic writer-director who released his first documentary this year. Unlike Haynes, Wright brought his trademark wit and visual ingenuity to the new project. The mind behind such films as Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Baby Driver and this year’s Last Night in Soho proved a perfect match for this material.

The movie in question is The Sparks Brothers, an in-depth look at the career of brothers Ron and Russell Mael, whose band Sparks has been a cult favorite for more than 50 years.

Sparks is an American band who found much more success in Europe, so much so that many of their fans believed they were British. As much performance artists as musicians, their avant garde pop has challenged and excited audiences and influenced countless bands along the way.

Stylistically, they’re all over the map. Their albums have spanned power pop, New Wave, electronica, even classical. I’d never heard of the band or any of their songs, but this documentary gave me a great overview of their talent and their impact.

More important, it’s thoroughly entertaining as a movie. Wright pulls out all the stops, packing the frame with visual jokes, interviewing dozens of famous, charismatic Sparks fans, weaving in animation and other flights of fancy.

Even if you don’t like Sparks’ music (and I don’t), you’ll find a lot to like in The Sparks Brothers.

[Part 1]
This is the number one song in heaven
Written, of course, by the mightiest hand
All of the angels are sheep in the fold of their master
They always follow the Master and his plan

This is the number one song in heaven
Why are you hearing it now, you ask
Maybe you’re closer to here than you imagine
Maybe you’re closer to here than you care to be

[Part 2]
It’s number one, all over heaven
It’s number one, all over heaven
It’s number one, all over heaven
The number one song all over heaven

If you should die before you wake
If you should die while crossing the street
The song that you’ll hear, I guarantee

It’s number one, all over heaven
It’s number one, all over heaven
It’s number one, all over heaven
The number one song all over heaven
The one that’s the rage up here in the clouds
Loud as a crowd or soft as a doubt
Lyrically weak, but the music’s the thing

Gabriel plays it, God how he plays it
Gabriel plays it, God how he plays it
Gabriel plays it, God how he plays it
Gabriel plays it, let’s hear him play it

It’s number one, all over heaven
It’s number one, all over heaven
It’s number one, all over heaven
The number one song all over heaven

The song filters down, down through the clouds
It reaches the earth and winds all around
And then it breaks up in millions of ways

It goes la la la la, la la la la la
La la la la, la la la la la
La la la la, la la la la la
La la la, la la la la la

In cars it becomes a hit
In your homes it becomes advertisements
And in the streets it becomes the children singing
Oooh, la la la la la la la
Oooh, la la la la la la la
Oooh, la la la la la la la

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,921: ‘The Number One Song in Heaven’ – Sparks

  1. Peg says:

    I remember our good friends loving this movie but we didn’t get a chance to see it as it left the theater. Hope it comes to TV at some point.

  2. Dana Gallup says:

    You’ve certainly piqued my interest.

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