by Connor McCormick on August 6, 2021

in CD-DVD,Film


Milan Records today releases Annette (Cannes Edition – Selections from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) in North America, an album of music by legendary art-pop duo SPARKS and featured within the musical film from director LEOS CARAXAvailable everywhere now, the 15-track collection features music composed and performed by Sparks with lyrics co-written by Sparks and Leos Carax and vocal performances from the film’s leads Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard and Simon Helberg. The soundtrack was initially introduced in May with lead single “So We May Start,” the film’s opening ensemble number – listen here and watch the music video here.

The album is also available now in North America in vinyl format, arriving in a gatefold sleeve and including an alternate version of the film poster exclusive to the LP. Having opened the 74th annual Cannes Film Festival in July to widespread critical acclaim, Annette debuts in the United States in theaters today and arrives on Amazon Prime Video Friday, August 20.

With a career spanning over five decades and 25 albums, Sparks is recognized as a groundbreaking pioneer in pop music and contemporary songwriting. Yet another reminder of their everlasting influence and innovation, the story of Annette, originally intended to be a Sparks studio album, was developed with director Leos Carax after a meeting at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013.

Of the collaboration, SPARKS say, “Initially, we conceived Annette as another Sparks album. Yet this time it would be a narrative story that would consist of three main characters, a small enough ensemble that would allow us to also present the ‘opera’ live on tour… The music, story and album were finished and ready to go, which is where the story takes a huge detour. After meeting Leos at Cannes, we felt a real kinship, so we thought we would send him Annette, not expecting anything other than to show him what Sparks was currently up to.  And lo and behold, he said he really liked the album and would like to consider it as his next project.  We were happily surprised and elated at his reaction. As fans of Leos’ films, to now realize that he would be directing a film of ours was beyond our dreams.”

Annette director LEOS CARAX adds, “I discovered Sparks when I was about 14 – I stole a copy of Propaganda from an underground shop at La Défense because I liked the cover.  Not long after that I saw them live at the Olympia in Paris.  Propaganda and their next album, Indiscreet, have been part of my life ever since. Their tracks are among the most joyous songs I know (although they’re poignant too, in places).  For me, Sparks’ music is like a childhood home, but one free of ghosts. Without them, I don’t think I’d ever have done something I’d dreamt of doing ever since I first started out in cinema: making a ‘film in music.’”


Present-day Los Angeles. Henry is an outspoken stand-up comedian, Ann a world-famous singer. They’re a happy celebrity couple, living life in the glare of the spotlight, but their world is turned upside-down by the birth of their first child, Annette, a mysterious little girl with an exceptional destiny.


  1. So May We Start – Sparks, Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard, Simon Helberg
  2. True Love Always Finds a Way – Sparks, Marion Cotillard
  3. We Love Each Other So Much – Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard
  4. I’m an Accompanist – Simon Helberg
  5. Aria (The Forest) – Marion Cotillard, Catherine Trottmann
  6. She’s Out of this World! – Sparks, Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard
  7. Six Women Have Come Forward – Sparks, Six Women
  8. You Used to Laugh – Sparks, Adam Driver
  9. Girl From the Middle of Nowhere – Marion Cotillard
  10. Let’s Waltz in the Storm! – Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard
  11. We’ve Washed Ashore – Baby Aria (The Moon) – I Will Haunt You, Henry – Adam Driver, Hebe Griffiths, Marion Cotillard, Catherine Trottmann
  12. Premiere Performance of Baby Annette – Adam Driver, Wim Opbrouck
  13. All the Girls – Adam Driver
  14. Stepping Back in Time – Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard, Catherine Trottmann
  15. Sympathy for the Abyss – Adam Driver, Devyn McDowell


Groundbreaking band Sparks was founded by brothers Ron and Russell Mael in 1969. Recognized across the globe, their career spans 25 distinctive albums and is the perfect lesson in how to stay relevant in the music industry for over half a century. Releasing their eponymous full-length debut in 1972, the Los Angeles natives relocated to London where they released their breakout album Kimono My House, which remains influential today. Setting the tone for what was to follow, Sparks has since created a lasting legacy as a pioneering pop group with their studio albums and live appearances.

Eternal masters of the musical vignette, Sparks has shown no signs of slowing down when it comes to adventures in songwriting.  Echoing the critical and commercial success of 2017’s Hippopotamus, the band’s latest release, 2020’s A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip, became their fourth album to reach the UK Top 10 since 1974, when both Kimono My House and Propaganda reached No. 4 and No. 9 respectively.  In March of 2021, the band revealed they’d begun work on their 26th studio album, planned for a 2022 release to coincide with an upcoming tour.

Now entering their sixth decade, as well as the release of Annette, in 2021 the band’s singular career is explored and celebrated in The Sparks Brothers, the eagerly-anticipated feature-length film by Shaun Of The Dead/Baby Driver director Edgar Wright, which saw its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and was released in US cinemas on June 18 before its international release.

photos of Sparks by Anna Webber


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