Sparks / Hippopotamus

Sparks will release a new album, Hippopotamus, in September.

The title track of Ron and Russell Mael’s 23rd studio album is the first single and a video has been made available (see below).

The album will be issued on CD and 2LP vinyl with various bundles and signed editions available from the band’s official store.

A European tour kicks off in August, with Sparks playing UK dates in late September. Hippopotamus will be released on 8 September 2017.

Hippopotamus – CD Edition

1. Probably Nothing
2. Missionary Position
3. Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me)
4. Scandinavian Design
5. Giddy Giddy
6. What The Hell Is It This Time?
7. Unaware
8. Hippopotamus
9. Bummer
10. I Wish You Were Fun
11. So Tell Me Mrs. Lincoln Aside From That How Was The Play?
12. When You’re A French Director
13. The Amazing Mr. Repeat
14. A Little Bit Like Fun
15. Life With The Macbeths

Hippopotamus 2LP vinyl

LP 1
1. Probably Nothing
2. Missionary Position
3. Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me)
4. Scandinavian Design
5. Giddy Giddy
6. What The Hell Is It This Time?
7. Unaware

LP 2
1. Hippopotamus
2. Bummer
3. I Wish You Were Fun
4. So Tell Me Mrs. Lincoln Aside From That How Was The Play?
5. When You’re A French Director
6. The Amazing Mr. Repeat
7. 7 . A Little Bit Like Fun
8. Life With The Macbeths

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[…] release a new studio album, A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip in May. The record follows up 2017’s Hippopotamus and will be supported in the autumn with some European live […]

I Byrne

Haran and Leon are MEGA xx


The photoshopped Hippo is very much in keeping with Sparks tradition.
I mean, Indiscreet is obviously a studio shot with a fake background.

elliott buckingham

the song is just awful. I remember onle ever liking 1 song by the sparks because it was normal think it was 90s when do I get to sing my way or something like that


Interesting view. I mean you’re entitled to think it’s awful of course. But the reason you liked only one song by them was because it was “normal”. So that indicates that any song that’s abnormal, that’s unusual, that’s a bit strange, a bit odd, a bit quirky and a bit different is instantly dismissed as awful?? Well keep enjoying your “normal” music. James Blunt has a new album out y’know.


Indeed the thing that makes Sparks so individual is their quirkiness. I’d grab a Sparks song over pretty much everything that is in the charts right now (No I’m not an Ed Sheeran or an Adele fan…).


Michael McA. Indiscreet is better than Kimono IMHO and is in fact the greatest work of art ever in the entire history of the universe.


I have to admit that, despite the pop-excellence that is Kimono, Indiscreet is my preferred album of their earlier work. Tracks like “Under the Table with Her”, “Hospitality on Parade” and “Without Using Hands” and “Get in the Swing” really show off the breadth and humour in the Sparks world.
Just wonderful…


Well, they certainly know how to name a song.

Michael McA

Sparks? Best band ever. Kimono My House? Best album ever. No arguments. Can’t wait for Hippopotamus.

Peter Anderson

Worth buying on vinyl for the cover art alone – has a definite Hippognosis look about it although Storm would definitely have taken a genuine Hippo in pool shot!


I think these days putting a Hippo in a pool would be considered to be contravening the hippos rights (unless it managed to negotiate a suitable level of royalties).

CJ Feeney

It’s a little known fact about hippos that as soon as they get into fresh water they do a c**p to mark their territory. So I guess the cover artist had the options of photoshopping IN a Hippo or photoshopping OUT a whole load of c**p.

don cooper

May have told before, but friend’s miss-heard album title back in Seventies: “Come On Over To My Lighthouse.”
Always be a special album.

Peter Muscutt

Does anyone know what is on the 7″ for the first 1000 orders? I got the CD/T-shirt bundle which said on the order that the 7″ would be included, but wasn’t obvious what songs were on it? I presumed it would be the single of ‘Hippopotamus’ but not sure….anyone got any idea?

I’m a bit of a latecomer to Sparks, I got interested through the F.F.S. album, but am now investigating the back catalogue!


Novelty single of the year contender. What I heard of They Might Be Giants sounded like this band.


Funnily enough, They Might Be Giants are my fave band, and Sparks are closely behind them! Also check out Ween. Basically duos seem to produce the most quirky works!


I wasn’t endorsing either duo!


Haha, fair enough, sorry!

Larry Davis

Yes, brilliant band, so fun…and agreed on the hilarious cover art, songs and titles…the album title makes me think they considered “Rhino”, but “Hippopotamus” just sounds more ridiculous, making it more memorable…maybe they heard that Xmas song?? That new upcoming Kasabian album (in September) made a similar impression…no mention of that yet, Paul??

John Lloyd

The Kasabian album is April 28th…

John Lloyd

To correct myself – it’s been pushed back a week to May, so as not to clash with the Gorillaz release.


That is how you produce cover art ; not a five minute, will this do?, mess around on a laptop.

Phil H.

great cover concept. not too impressed with the photoshopped hippo though.


Brilliant single.

Marc Valiente

Oh yes!! I love these guys! Album preordered!!


Totaly agree with the above comment that great artwork is similar in creative design as Indiscreet and Properganda LPs from their brilliant Island Records era.


Love the band but prefer the earlier albums like Kimono my house or No.1 in heaven


Effing brilliant, both single and cover art.


Not that interested in the music, but fantastic artwork!


Sparks is the Best…so far à release in september and already in preorder !!!


I couldn’t be more excited about this release! I pre ordered a bundle via there website which I thought was very reasonably priced


Looks great. was hoping there’d be a live release from the FFS tour, but seemingly not yet….

adam shaw

How can we get that song to No 1 ?
Best thing I’ve heard for ages .


They’d probably have to be booked onto Pop Idol or whatever will be filling Saturday and Sunday schedules around September… Which is a shame obviously.
Anyone else think that the hippo looks very “Moomin”-like…?
Fabulous – they were fabulous in the 70’s, fabulous in the 80’s, fabulous in the 90’s, fabulous in the 00’s and absolutely fabulous now, but SO underrated!

don cooper

Only after Moomintroll has fallen into and out of The Hobgoblin’s Hat…


Love the artwork too. Reminds me of Indiscreet and Propaganda.

Liking the song too – typically Sparks-esque lyrics and “There’s a Hippopotamus in my pool” has to be one of the best opening lines ever!


Track 11 has the best song title since Meat Loaf’s “Life is a Lemon and I Want My Money Back”


wow…..only Sparks could create a song about a hippopotamous in a pool !

CJ Feeney

Sparks, and Flanders and Swann..



That means there is a fat person in his gene pool. The song is not about an animal in his swimming pool.

Ollie Carlisle

Brilliant band. They were excellent on the tv coverage of the 6Music festival last Friday and did a few of these songs then (all of which sounded superb). UK folks can watch it here… http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p04w9vyr/the-6-music-festival-sparks


I love the cover art!


Seconded. Not really familiar with them but that’s a hell of an album cover!