After having established a good local following, the next step for Sparta was to have their own vinyl out. In 1980, Nottinghamshire-based label Suspect Records put out Sparta’s debut single pairing “Fast Lane” with “Fighting to Be Free”. Suspect Records was formed to allow us to release our first single, financed by the band. 1,000 copies were pressed primarily for promotional purposes. “Fast Lane” was named ‘Single of the Week’ in Sounds magazine. The single coupled with cuttings from the Sounds magazine allowed them to get interest in the band outside the local area. This allowed them to be able to secure support slots at bigger venues in the area with Diamond Head, The Ken Hensley Band (former Uriah Heep keyboard player), Praying Mantis, Lionheart, The Groundhogs and Budgie.
A year later, in 1981, Sparta unleashed their second 7" single “Angel of Death” (with “Tonight” on the flipside), once again on Suspect Records. It was again released on the same basis as the first single: 1,000 copies were pressed
After “Fast Lane” was voted ‘Single of the Week’ in Sounds, England’s most popular weekly music paper at the time, the Heavy Metal bible Kerrang stepped in and printed an article about the band in their famous “Armed and Ready” section (named after a tune by the Michael Schenker Group).
Still in 1981, Suspect Records published a compilation of local bands under the name of “Scene Of The Crime”, the original vinyl sells for anything up to 100 English Pounds nowadays and there also exists a (supposedly Greek) bootleg CD. ‘Scene of the Crime’ featured five bands: Panza Division, Tyrant, Savage, Manitou and Sparta. Each band had an allotted time on the album and contributed their share of the costs. They did not have two songs at the time that fitted the slot, so ‘Lords of Time’ was picked as their sole contribution
Sparta also recorded two sessions for Radio Hallam .There was an initial session at Radio Hallam after the first single but any tapes have long since been lost. The second session was recorded with new vocalist Trev Morgan after Karl had left around 1982. Initial interest was a result of sending the first single to the Colin Slade Rock Show at Radio Hallam. The studio was not really set up for serious band recording. The material was recorded basically live in a limited time.
Sparta carried on through the mid- to late 1980’s with Mark Henshaw on vocals then Steve on vocals but did not make it into the next decade, they disbanded around 1990. This was really the last line-up of Sparta with Karl on bass and vocals, Steve on guitar/vocals, Paul on drums and Dave Drury on guitar. Under the name of Richter Scale they recorded a studio demo, a good recording, but lack of gig opportunities and Dave leaving the band caused it to fold.
In 2003, the two Sparta 7" singles were bootlegged by Brazilian label Phoenix Records, each with a circulation of 250 copies, “Fast Lane” on sky blue vinyl and “Angel Of Death” on transparent blue vinyl. For obvious reasons, Sparta are not too happy about this illegitimate release.