Prefab Sprout: Classic Or Dud

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Momus' posterity butterfly-collector may not rate Paddy McAloon but what about the rest of you? The new Cole Porter or got more praise than he oughta?

Tom, Friday, 27 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Although Wendy Smith's angelic voice was sometimes a bit too much for my liking, I'd still say classic. Steve McQueen! And how can you not resist singing along about jumping frogs?

Stevie Nixed, Friday, 27 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Well Vicky rated Paddy over me - SO i'D SAY CLASSIC - he busks better than Martin Stephenson

Geordie Racer, Friday, 27 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I've been toying with the idea of floating this out as a C-or-D myself ever since there was a thread a while back which mentioned a new album on its way. (Should be in the shops June 2006, then). I'm just totally puzzled about the appeal of Prefab. I can hear the 'craftsmanship', I can tell that he uses lots of wierd chords, and yes, the melodies are unusual and the wordplay is often clever. Yet it's all so MOR, so polite. I got the 2CD best of in a sale last year, and I still can't get past the surface polish. Back in 1985 everyone was clamouring about "When Love Breaks Down" being one of the greatest songs ever written, and the bloody thing was released about 5 times to try and get a hit. Yet I can't listen to it without my attention wandering after about 30 seconds.

Dr. C, Friday, 27 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Forget the new Cole Porter - the question is, who's the new Lloyd Cole?

the pinefox, Friday, 27 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

i think he is brilliant. i can completely agree with the sentiment that all of the records save 'swoon' and 'protest songs' are mor/adult contemporary but that doesn't seem to bother me, i've no idea why. he is craftsman in my eyes and i think he never releases a song that isn't complete and wonderful. well maybe a few like say 'the fifth horseman' which is a bit crap. allegedly he writes and records hundreds of songs but i doubt that, the website is sticking by the may 22nd release date for the new record 'gunman and other stories'. the pearlfishers record is a nice primer.

keith, Friday, 27 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
Just got "The Gunman". I thought I was disappointed by Andromeda Heights. This is a new low. Firstly, I only get 10 tracks, of which 4 tracks have been previously released in one form or another. Secondly, some of the songs are just pure filler... Example: Farmyard Cat??? What kind of crap is that?! I'm a Farmyard Cat.. Meow??? AAARGGGH!!!! Thirdly, if I wanted a country album, I'd look up Travis Tritt... Someone help me here! Is it too much to ask for an album with COMPLETELY UNRELEASED MATERIAL??? Paddy I think has lost the will to be his best.

Lance Wright, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

From what I've heard they're ..nice. I like the song Bonnie

Mike Hanley, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
I look forward to when he ditches the muso session men and expensive producers and releases the solo accoustic album he's destined to do. I love his stuff but on the last two albums he seems to be trying to sabotage his work by making it sickly smooth and sweet, he should try scuffing his knees now and again.

Billy Dods, Friday, 7 September 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
I'm back into them again now so let's revive!

Tom (Groke), Thursday, 9 January 2003 17:07 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

'steve mcqueen' is a beautiful beautiful record. I'm kinda surprised dr C doesn't like 'em.

so what recs of theirs have you been listening to Tom?

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Thursday, 9 January 2003 17:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I own everything up to "Andromeda.." but all on tape so I'd not listened for years. Isabel likes them too and we were thinking vaguely of playing something by them at the wedding, so I bought the 2CD best-of. The first CD I think is really patchy - they weren't particularly a 'singles band' and so a chronological arrangement of same definitely has its ups and downs. The second CD is pretty much terrific right up until the Andromeda material which I never liked, though - I loved them at their absolute softest, really limpid pretty hushed ballads like "When the Cows Come Home"; "Desire As"; "Doo-Wop In Harlem"; "Pearly Gates" (Protest Songs is my favourite album by them and is full of that stuff).

I'm a bit surprised you like them Julio!

Tom (Groke), Thursday, 9 January 2003 17:35 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Classic.

I've loved Prefab Sprout since I first heard Lions In My Own Garden on John Peel back in '82/'83.

I wonder if Dr. C was about / remembers seeing them at Reading Uni around '84 / '85 when they were on tour with another great Kitchenware band, Hurrah! and both bands apparently only had one bass & bass amp between them?

Last saw them (without Wendy, sadly) at Shepherds Bush Empire a couple of years ago and they were still magic.

Julio's impeccable taste doesn't surprise me in the slightest btw.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Thursday, 9 January 2003 17:45 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

no, this is definitely Julio music - especially Cruel I would say - and not Dr.C music.

At his best - "When The Angels", title song from Jordan... - McAloon's untouchable. He doesn't quite do it often enough for me tho'.

Jeff W, Thursday, 9 January 2003 17:47 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I really loved 'Steve McQueen' and 'Cars & Girls' .. but I just haven't been able to get into anything else ... I really want to too - because Steve McQueen is 'simply amazing' (a phrase that will undoubtedly show up on the cliches we love to hate thread) - and maybe it's that high standard that's kept me from liking much else...

dave225 (Dave225), Thursday, 9 January 2003 18:04 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I also taped steve mcqueen of the record library but I haven't heard this record in a long time. I should prob buy this, actually because I can't remember exactly why i liked this record so much (you see I taped Joy division's closer on the other side to save money on buying tapes and I don't think they go well together).

''I'm a bit surprised you like them Julio!''

songs don't need to have an obligatory free jazz bit in them tom.

well doesn't Dr C like Scritti politti? OK so they aren't exactly alike but both bands have an affinity for soul-type stuff so i thought he would enjoy it.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Thursday, 9 January 2003 18:07 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

definitely one where I wish their was an option between classic and dud but I'll say classic. Compared to Elvis Costello's post-This Years' Model stuff it's gloriously hernia-free but like Aztec Camera's High Land, Hard Rain I kinda forget this stuff exists most of the the time. Fine when I hear it though.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Thursday, 9 January 2003 19:48 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I thought they were pretty good back in the Langley Park days, but i played that album a year or two back and it was quite a painful affair.

Dud.

christoff (christoff), Thursday, 9 January 2003 19:53 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Hey up! My ears are burning.

Stewart - yes, yes I saw PF at RUSU in 84 or 85. I wrote at some length about the great Hurrah! on a thread on ILX not long ago. Tim Hopkins and I (and doomie!) were waxing lyrical about them. We invited Hurrah! to a party at our house after the gig and they turned up with Prefab Sprout too!

For about 2 weeks after it came out I thought that side one of Steve McQueen was genius, but it soon passed. I dunno - I have the 2CD thing and it occasionally comes out if I feel the need to hear Lions in My Own Garden or Bonny or Don't Sing - but really I just don't *get* McAloon. The concepts aren't that really that interesting and everything is so *tasteful* that I just can't get interested.

So you're right Jeff, as usual! I don't much like them, but of course I love Scritti. I suppose the comparison is valid tho' I'm not much interested in Paddy OR Green's craftsmanship and intelligence - Scritti get my attention because they're just so damn funky.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Thursday, 9 January 2003 20:35 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"I wrote at some length about the great Hurrah! on a thread on ILX not long ago."

Hurrah! Started out so well - they were great live (did you see them at the After Dark too Dr. C?) the 3 or 4 singles they did for Kitchenware (which were later compiled as "Boxed") were excellent; then they signed to Arista and somehow sadly they just seemed to lose the plot.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Thursday, 9 January 2003 21:17 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Prefab Sprout are the musical equivalent of a Disney movie- nothing in the league of Alice In Wonderland, mind you, but better than Pocahontas. So yeah, tasteful, "nice", "clean". But with enough wide-eyed wonder to lure me in.

Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Friday, 10 January 2003 00:18 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Stewart - yes, they were bloody unbelievable live. I saw them 4 or 5 times in Reading - St. Patricks Hall, another hall (St. Georges?)After Dark and RUSU twice (once with PF and once with Microdisney). I treasure 'Boxed' and the Rev-Ola comp.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 10 January 2003 09:41 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Haven't heard it for ages but I used to think that if you could get past the dodgy production "Swoon" was their best album. This seems to be as eccentric a view now as it was then. The 3 or 4 best songs on "Steve McQueen" were better than "Swoon", and the production was obviously much more sophisticated. But the quality of the ideas was patchier and it was a less consistent album. By "Langley Park" the magic had all but gone, to return only very sporadically.

Their career seems in a minor way to echo Steely Dan's, a band they were close to stylistically - they started off rough-but-brilliant, hit their peak when they added some production smarts (although PS's peak lasted for about 4 songs while SDs lasted for several albums) and then petered out as an obsession with high-production gloss turned them bland.

ArfArf, Friday, 10 January 2003 11:28 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

heh, I meant "Swoon" when I said "Cruel" above (the latter's a song on the former).

Jeff W, Friday, 10 January 2003 11:55 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I've always found Swoon pretty much impenetrable - it stopped me enjoying PS for a long time (I bought it first because it had the best title). All that oblique wordplay.

Tom (Groke), Friday, 10 January 2003 11:56 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I wouldn't defend the lyrics, Tom. Generally lyrics are just not very important to me. I seem to remember some of the images added a nice weirdness to the proceedings and worked sonically, but I'd never have been interested in thinking "what exactly does that mean?"

(This reminds of a comment Elton John made in an interview in the aftermath of Blur releasing "The Great Escape" (to great critical acclaim) and Oasis releasing "What's the Story" (critically rubbished). EJ said the critics were going to end up with egg on their face, partly because they were too obsessed by the lyrics, but also because they did not understand how lyrics worked. Oasis's lyrics might be rubbish in terms of meaning but they sounded ok so they did the job. EJ obviously isn't indifferent to lyrics or he wouldn't employ Bernie Taupin, and pay him a huge royalty share: he wasn't saying lyrics don't matter. He was saying they mattered in a different way than the critics thought.

This stuck in my mind because I agreed with his him both on how lyrics worked and on the relative merits of the two albums (not that I was a particularly fervent admirer of the Oasis album, but it did have some very good tunes while the Blur album IMO was obviously rubbish. Even Blur's lyrics, sixth-form poetry shot through with a celebrity's contempt for the rest of us with our boring jobs and lives, were much more offensive than Gallacher's mere awkwardness.

EJ turned out to be "right" at least in the limited/provisional sense that WTSMG outsold TGE by a huge multiple and the critical consensus shifted hugely in its favour as well.

ArfArf, Friday, 10 January 2003 12:52 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Neil Tennant made a very similar point re. Blur/Oasis lyrics, and I think he and Elton were probably right. My interest in lyrics flickers on and off - if they don't attract my attention I won't judge them. With Swoon though it seemed to me that the lyrics were drawing attention to themselves quite a bit, leaving me little choice but to pay some kind of attention. And often they left me feeling rather irritated.

Actually thinking about it this happened with the backing vocals more than the lyrics - something like "When Bobby Fischer's plane touches the ground" is interrupted by that pert little "(plane, plane!)" in the backing, and for whatever reason it infuriates me every time, draws attention to the lyrical quirkiness. I hate that feeling when I'm listening to music and suddenly find myself thrown out of the record thinking "But why on earth is *that* there?". The "Doh-bee. Doh-bee." stuff at the start of 'I Couldn't Bear To Be Special' has the same effect.

Tom (Groke), Friday, 10 January 2003 13:01 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Again, I wouldn't want to defend these specific instances. I'd agree that some of the quirkiness/archness is irritating and obtrusive. But in terms of liking the album overall it obviously didn't bother me so much.

ArfArf, Friday, 10 January 2003 15:33 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
Revive - if only because, after years of unrequited like from both parties, they suddenly seem to be the band my mid-thirties were waiting for. 'Nightingales' just came on iTunes and it's like Heidegger rewritten by Dietz and Schwartz.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 18:46 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Goodness!

Dr. C (Dr. C), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 18:50 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I am also... touched at Dr C.'s precognitive typo throughout this thread... where he types PF instead of PS... repeatedly!

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 18:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I also think there is an unmatchable b-sides collection to be compiled here - 'Girl I'm Here' and 'The End of the Affair' (unbelievably, a couple of b-sides from different editions of the ok 'Electric Guitars' single) alone are worth the price of admission.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 19:02 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I found them to be CLASSIC until "Langley Park" which is unbelievably DUD. My little brother looooves them, go figure once again

Donna Brown (Donna Brown), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 19:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I must listen to the 2CD best of thing tonight to see if I like them yet. I sort of want to like PS.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 20:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I agree with Donna Brown's little brother!

And -- while I expect disagreement -- I think Dolby/Prefab (or Dolby/McAloon) was a genuinely great partnership. Yes, sometimes an otherwise lush production suffers from a synth patch too scrappy or anemic -- or conversely, a pad too thick and sludgy -- to serve its intended purpose. But Dolby had a knack for giving each track its own sonic vocabulary, and if you forgive the occasional lapse it's possible to get really caught up in the creativity of the arrangements of even the lesser songs -- the punch, rubbery percussive sounds in "Knock on Wood," the spacious acoustic and nicely timed delays on the backup singers in "I Remember That," the Gregorian chant/drone in "Michael," and so on.

Paul in Santa Cruz (Paul in Santa Cruz), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 20:51 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"the punchY, rubber percussive sounds"

Paul in Santa Cruz (Paul in Santa Cruz), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 21:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Anyone remember the song "Donna Summer" that came (only I think) with the double-single release of 'When Love Breaks Down"? God, that was wonderful. It also came with a different version of "Diana" that was on "Protest Songs" (my favourite Sprout LP I think)

LondonLee (LondonLee), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 21:43 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

No, but I really liked that song "Spinning Belinda" that was on the Debut magazine/record combo and apparently no other Sprout record. Thanks, Paddy.

Donna Brown (Donna Brown), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 22:35 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I had forgotten all about Debut magazine. I had an issue that had Danse Society on it.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Wednesday, 10 March 2004 22:54 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

there are some great songs on Jordan, the Comeback too and that album hasn't been mentioned so far ( i dont think) Mercy is maybe his greatest song. "I'm 49" from I trawl the Megahertz is very beautiful too.

jed_ (jed), Thursday, 11 March 2004 02:12 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

jordan is the best song. andromeda has been unfairly maligned in this subject too, it was a pretty classy comeback album. never heard the last one. i liked that andromeda was dedicated to a couple of carpenters. the judybats were like the american version of prefab sprout, they were classic as well.

keith m (keithmcl), Thursday, 11 March 2004 02:34 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Judybats were TOTALLY classic

Donna Brown (Donna Brown), Thursday, 11 March 2004 02:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I like a few tracks on Andromeda Heights but it was a disappointment overall. I'm glad I didn't give up on it too quickly or I would have missed out on the glorious title track at the end -- glorious despite the ill-conceived instrumental verse.

(Anomie & Bonhomie is another album where you might well bail out early on an artist whose best years are probably behind him, but you'd miss the best track if you did.)

And yes, "Im 49" is beautiful. Depressing as hell, but beautiful.

Never heard of the Judybats -- in what ways are they similar? Sound? Quality of songwriting? Or...

Paul in Santa Cruz (Paul in Santa Cruz), Thursday, 11 March 2004 03:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Classic. I was just playing the first side of 'Two Wheels Good'/'Steve McQueen' today.

As for Elton's praising Noel Gallagher's lyrics, didn't Christgau once cite "You know I can't think straight no more" as a key to Bernie Taupin's state of mind?

Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Thursday, 11 March 2004 04:34 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I think Andromeda Heights is fantastic! A much more "mature" sound than any of the other albums, but I wouldn't want to have to chose my favourite between that one, SWOON and Protest Songs.

The Gunman & Other Stories on the other hand was a disappointment.

I Trawl The Megahertz is.... interesting.... I'm not sure, haven't really made my mind up on that one yet. I've enjoyed it to the 2 or 3 times I've played it but I don't feel any great urge to keep going back to it like I did with Andromeda Heights.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Thursday, 11 March 2004 10:34 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Swoon, McQueen, Langley Park, Protest Songs and Jordan infused my teenage life so that McAloon could never in the future put a foot wrong. Of course he did, but I've ignored it in the main. Ok, I haven't- Andormeda Heights, some great songs aside, is swamped by saxophone and slush, and Gunman just doesn't sparkle. Megahertz has a good six songs' worth of filler, but 'I'm 49''s perfect and the opener is touching, stitched together or not. That said, it does sound a bit like my American friend rambling 'meaningfully' over her ex-boyfriend's crappy noodling, but I try to shut that out.

Buffalo Stan, Thursday, 11 March 2004 16:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I don't know what Dolby and iTunes are.

re. lyrics, how about wanting to be the Fred Astaire of words?

I like PF.

the bluefox, Thursday, 11 March 2004 16:54 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Dolby = Thomas Dolby, who produced and played on Steve McQueen

iTunes = an antique jukebox in a cafe in North London that only plays PS and PF records

(possibly one of these is wrong)

zebedee (zebedee), Thursday, 11 March 2004 17:17 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Thomas Dolby also produced and performed on parts of Langley Park and all of Jordan

Paul in Santa Cruz (Paul in Santa Cruz), Thursday, 11 March 2004 19:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

You know what? I quite like the idea of McAloon - this hyperliterate exquisite loner - gradually moving toward what, some might call, slush. Oddly, it's a sign of adventure. He desparately wants to write the 'Long and Winding Road' of his generation, and I think there's something weirdly admirable about his attempt to stifle his peculiar singularity in search of a standard. In a funny way, he's Jimmy Webb in reverse.

I also love what I have heard of the Megahertz record. It's brave and magnificent.

Does anyone know the state of Paddy M's eyesight now? And whether he is likely to release any of his mad folly concept lps or is ever more determined to explore the lonely furrow connecting the BBC world service and Berlioz?

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Thursday, 11 March 2004 21:07 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'd like to switch my year-old vote to dud if I may. I couldn't even get through a third of Two Wheels Good or Jordan: The Come Back last time I tried. Though I still dig "Looking For Atlantis."

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Thursday, 11 March 2004 21:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Any excuse to use this picture...

http://www.browningmcintosh.com/plocktonwest/paddy2000a.jpg

I don't think any of these supposed concept lp's (18 at the last count) exist anywhere other than in his head but it's nice to know that there may be a concept album about Zorro the Fox or Michael Jackson arriving sometime in the next 5 or 10 years.


Sadly he's shaved his beard off

Billy Dods (Billy Dods), Thursday, 11 March 2004 22:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

He kind of looks like Jess now.

N. (nickdastoor), Thursday, 11 March 2004 22:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

does jess read every thread? cos...

cozen (Cozen), Thursday, 11 March 2004 22:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Funnily enough, I think they do exist - ie the great lost PS concept lps - it's just he only wants them to come out after he's dead. It would be a typically McAloon touch.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Thursday, 11 March 2004 22:48 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I just want an acoustic Paddy album. Him and a guitar, his songs, no eurovision production. Errr -demos, I suppose. Think "Dublin" off Protest Songs.

Oh, and Classic, if only for Steve McQueen.

David Nolan (David N.), Friday, 12 March 2004 01:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i always think of prefab sprout when i listen to the judybats, they are a pop band from the southern US but they made the same sort of dramatic, polished, adult pop as prefab sprout. the singer was playing a role, much like paddy did in a lot of his songs, and the judybats singer was pretty fantastic. they aren't quite as polished as prefab and definitely more guitar based but i think they share a bit of the same shared collective consciousness musically and lyrically. maybe.

keith m (keithmcl), Friday, 12 March 2004 02:07 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Funnily enough, I think they do exist - ie the great lost PS concept lps - it's just he only wants them to come out after he's dead. It would be a typically McAloon touch.

hmm, i doubt this, in fact. If they did exist he would have released some "songs" rather than putting out "i trawl the megahertz". it seems to have more than a little of the Truman capote/answered prayers about it.

jed_ (jed), Friday, 12 March 2004 03:36 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"This is a man who records concept albums in his spare time, just as a hobby"

I am touched by JtN's new obsession.

Just thinking about the music to Bonny makes me a bit teary.

N. (nickdastoor), Friday, 12 March 2004 09:43 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I seem to recall the title "I Trawl The Megahertz" being mentioned in connection with one of these lost albums years ago....

Personally I think the albums do exist. I certainly want to think they do.

Probably not as completed, polished recordings; maybe not even as completed songs; but certainly as fragments of tunes and lyrics like bits of jigsaws; some may be just a couple of bits of sky that wouldn't mean anything to anyone other than Paddy; others may be substantially complete apart from a last couple of elusive missing pieces to be located and slotted into place.

I'm sure Thomas Dolby's mentioned mentioned that Paddy's got shelves and shelves and cupboards full of tapes - but again I suspect sifting through them all to sort out the useable fragments would be a dauntingly gargantuan task for anyone to undertake.

Maybe that's why Paddy hasn't done it himself.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Friday, 12 March 2004 09:44 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Just rebought Jordan after not having heard it for 10 years or more. Glad to say it totally stands up and is wonderful. Love most of the rest of their stuff too although The King Of Rock n Roll, their big hit I can do without. I never really grasped hold of the Gunman, it felt odd as though it wasn't a proper PS album. Seemed to disappear the moment it was released and I never see it in the shops anywhere. The version I have is a promo. Andromeda Heights has some lovely songs but as mentioned elsewhere suffers from saxamaphone overload.

As far as I know Paddy had an operation that fixed his sight problems so hopefully he's back to full vision and we'll get a new PS album.

mms (mms), Friday, 12 March 2004 10:04 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Nothing worthwhile to say but I think he actually looks kinda fantastic in that photo

Mr Mime (Andrew Thames), Friday, 12 March 2004 10:06 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

A Megahertz preview article (in the Scotsman, I think) mentioned a 'new Prefab Sprout album later this year'. Which was, er, last year. It did seem a little fanciful.

I've heard tell of people who've listened to bits of 'Earth: The Story So Far' etc., which suggests some of these lost albums (or parts thereof) have been recorded. Also, bits of 'Zorro the Fox' are apparently on Andromeda Heights.

Buffalo Stan (Buffalo Stan), Friday, 12 March 2004 10:50 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i'm with David, classic.

eleki-san (eleki-san), Friday, 12 March 2004 11:59 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Swans was from Zorro The Fox apparently

mms (mms), Friday, 12 March 2004 12:36 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I am touched by N's new touchiness.

the bellefox, Friday, 12 March 2004 13:02 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I am not touchy.

N. (nickdastoor), Friday, 12 March 2004 14:06 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Are you feely?

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Friday, 12 March 2004 14:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I am not touchy

Have you spoken to A-ha about this?

Me I'm touchy
Touchy touchy you
Me I'm touchy and you know what to do

Rob Bolton (Rob Bolton), Friday, 12 March 2004 14:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
Imagine: if Prefab Sprout had written, or recorded, 'Bachelor Kisses'!

the bellefox, Wednesday, 19 May 2004 12:57 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Except -- then, the Go-Betweens' output would be so much diminished in quality?

the bluefox, Wednesday, 19 May 2004 12:57 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I did, as I said I would, listen to the 2CD best-of back in March. My position remains the same - I like the *idea* of Paddy Mac, I want to like them, I occasionally think I *do* like them, then it turns out that I've lost interest and 5 tracks have gone by unnoticed.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 13:51 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Like the Go-Betweens!!

the bellefox, Wednesday, 19 May 2004 14:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

What for you? Or for me?

I heard Spring Rain in a recd shop the other day and it sounded fucking excellent. I was prob wrong about the GBs, but it may be too late.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 15:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...
As a matter of interest, is anyone particularly attracted to or put off by the 412 chord-changes-per-song shtick ("Hallelujah" being an example)?

, Thursday, 17 June 2004 07:27 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I have not counted them.

the junefox, Thursday, 17 June 2004 07:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Ending a dj set by putting on "I trawl the megaherz" 20 minutes before closing time = classic!

And Prefab Sprout are the third best band ever.

Hanna (Hanna), Thursday, 17 June 2004 08:46 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

ok i'll bite, I'm bored enough: Who's #1 & #2, IYO?

AaronHz (AaronHz), Thursday, 17 June 2004 08:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"you surely are a truly gifted kid, but youre only as good as the last great thing you did/ where've you been since then? did the schedule get you down?/ i hear you got a new girlfriend, how's your wife takin it?"

etc.

classic-o no fckng danger.

piscesboy, Thursday, 17 June 2004 08:55 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
Godfuckingdammit--

I came to this board about one month too late for this thread's last revival. (Yes, I am one of those dreaded "newbies" who have come to the ILM, much like the Visigoths came to Rome to sample the wine and women, only to have ruined it. Thank you! I'll be here all this week!)

In any event I let the drummer in my band check out Protest Songs and Jordan since he already had Two Wheels Good (ahem, 'Steve McQueen' there's my gaucheness again) and I sat down and listened to them last night and I cried because some mf'er stole my copy of Swoon a couple of months ago. So I give'em a classic. But I'm afraid to listen to anything after Jordan. Should I be scared?

righteousmaelstrom, Saturday, 21 August 2004 03:27 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

So yer a newbie yeah? Well, that means *I* must finally be converted from a "newbie" to an "oldie". I've only been here since April, but I have remained faithful to my credit. Cheers, welcome, et al.

Prefab stuff is great. One day I'll get back round to them. Last I remember I was playing something new by them on the radio in the early 90's. I'll get back to them eventually.

Bimble (bimble), Saturday, 21 August 2004 06:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

what's '...the megahertz' actually like? i don't mean how good is it, i mean what is it *like*? how does it go?

piscesboy, Saturday, 21 August 2004 07:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

It's swoopy-stringed Gershwiny classicism with samples of people phoning up late night radio advice lines larded throughout. And yet it's really quite good! I was very confused to hear it used as background music on one of those "we make up young people to look like old people so they can discover just how miserable it is to be old" programs on Channel 4 last week.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Saturday, 21 August 2004 11:57 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

and then about 2/3rds of the way through it Paddy comes in with one of the most beautiful songs he has ever written "I'm 45". heartbreaking.

jed_ (jed), Saturday, 21 August 2004 12:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"I'm 49" it's actually called.

jed_ (jed), Saturday, 21 August 2004 12:02 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Is the record out?

the bellefox, Sunday, 22 August 2004 10:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
I have been listening to 'Cars & Girls', the song. JtN gave it to me, a while ago.

It has impressed me anew. I like the opening drum sound; I'm OK with the pop tune sound that follows. I like the expanse of the verses. The lyrics impress me - 'Will heaven wait / All heavenly'? And teh whole driving as life metaphor is very well extended.

I once said to JtN that it was unfair to write an attack on the Boss. But JtN immediately pointed out that PMacAloon was singing 'Bruce's thoughts / pretty streamers / guess this world needs its dreamers / may they never wake up' -- and now I hear the generosity, from one songwriter to another.

the bellefox, Friday, 24 September 2004 15:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I do not write 'teh' deliberately.

the bossfox, Friday, 24 September 2004 15:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
Does anyone know what's happened to the Prefab Sprout website?

The old address http://www.prefabsprout.com/ isn't working.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Monday, 11 October 2004 07:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Apparently, Paddy is no longer working with Kitchenware, who owned the website.

In other news: has anyone heard Lisa Stansfield's Trevor Horn-produced version of 'When Love Breaks Down' (with specially commissioned from Paddy Mac extra verse)?

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Monday, 11 October 2004 10:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

wtf! off to slsk i go...

pete b. (pete b.), Monday, 11 October 2004 10:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
Anyway...Paddy's eyes are ok now.

Ego, Friday, 7 January 2005 01:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Forget the new Cole Porter - the question is, who's the new Lloyd Cole?
-- the pinefox (pinefo...), April 27th, 2001.
they influenced everyone
"you don't love me " was covered by kylie minogue on her "confide in me " single
who was the old Lloyd Cole ?

minogue fan, Friday, 7 January 2005 01:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

""you don't love me " was covered by kylie minogue on her "confide in me " single"

I'd like to hear that.

Shame she didn't chose to cover "Couldn't Bear To Be Special" 'though.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Friday, 7 January 2005 09:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I'd also *love* to hear that, assuming you're talking about 'If You Don't Love Me'. I had no idea. It's a wonderful, wonderful song.

Alba (Alba), Friday, 7 January 2005 10:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Putting my Prefab reservations to one side for the moment.....yes, it is a fantastic song.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 7 January 2005 11:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Gosh, I think that's my favorite Pinefox post ever (the one in which he does not write 'teh' deliberately) -- well, second to the one on Joyce.

youn, Friday, 7 January 2005 11:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

'ever' doesn't make sense there.

youn, Friday, 7 January 2005 11:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

five months pass...
In other news: has anyone heard Lisa Stansfield's Trevor Horn-produced version of 'When Love Breaks Down' (with specially commissioned from Paddy Mac extra verse)?

No! And?

I must admit, despite my misgivings prior to hearing any of it, the Andromeda songs on the 2-CD comp are very pillowy — particularly the title track. Any thoughts on that or the Lipson-produced unreleased songs on the first disc?

Also, Jordan deserves its own thread.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 15:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

jordan must have it's own thread!

piscesboy, Tuesday, 21 June 2005 15:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Indeed, a Alex In NYC-style "Its Own Thread". The problem? I can't find my copy anywhere...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 15:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I ended up with a copy of "Swoon" and "Two Wheels Good" back when they came out. I must have been reading some really great press. I was too young at the time to appreciate the word play (12 or 13), but I ended up revisiting PS over the past year, and I've really fallen in love with the songs, especially the highlights on "Steve McQueen" and "Jordan."

I can't for the life of me get anyone else I know to care. They can't get past the production and synth sounds. I don't get bothered by it one bit.

I have to say classic just because of those highpoints (up to and including "Jordan.")

Brooker Buckingham (Brooker B), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 15:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Classic, if only for "We let the stars go" alone.

Kylie's version of "If you don't love me" is spine-tingling, and possibly even better better than the original

brittle-lemon, Tuesday, 21 June 2005 15:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I think they're kinda great..."I Remember That" is gorgeous. I find it very romantic music myself. I got hold of a boot of a live show they did about five years ago, and man is Paddy in fine voice...a very very good singer indeed. Sure wish he'd do something great here before it gets too late.

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 22:33 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Honestly, Prefab Sprout just get better and truer every time I lie back and listen to them. "Prisoner of the Past" is an utter classic song in my book, and "Protest Songs" and "Swoon" sound fresh and lovely to my ears 'pon discovery.

Tom May (Tom May), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 22:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i think a "jordan..." thread is Urgent and Key.

jed_ (jed), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 23:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

BETTER than Cole Porter. Classic beyond words.

Hutlock (Hutlock), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 23:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I like "Andromeda Heights" as well, particularly "Electric Guitars" and the title track. "The Gunman..." was certainly a dissapointment though.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Wednesday, 22 June 2005 06:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"I got hold of a boot of a live show they did about five years ago, and man is Paddy in fine voice...a very very good singer indeed."

Do you know where and when it was recorded Edd? It wasn't at Shepherds Bush Empire was it? Was Wendy there? They haven't done many gigs over the last few years, and if it's the gig I was at I'd love to hear it....

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Wednesday, 22 June 2005 08:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Blue Roses" offa "Gunman" is good. There's a fair bit of McAloon fellatio in Jimmy Nail's autobiography.

, Wednesday, 22 June 2005 12:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

come on, more fellatio, for fuck's sake

, Friday, 24 June 2005 00:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I find "Swans" off of Andromeda (and, reportedly, Zorro The Fox) to be oddly seductive.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 25 June 2005 00:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I would also add that Dolby's productions might actually be a somewhat brave failure.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 25 June 2005 00:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

And just found this, regarding all the unreleased records:

Albums that never were -- yet.
OK kids, listen up: This fellow McAloon has this habit of dreamin' big. He's got lots of ideas. Now some of them happen, and some of them don't. As Paddy has said, "they are not ditched...just waiting for the day." In some cases, he feels he doesn't have the clout, the power, or the money, to do them the way he envisions. I personally think that many of these "albums" are simply convenient holding mechanisms for his various songs; most will never see the light of day. Over time, a few bubble up. On the other hand, surely some of these are just meant to "wind up" the interviewer -- or keep me busy updating my web pages!

Paddy did comment generally on the topic of his unreleased work, in an interview in 1999 with Paul Lester:

Q: "What about those unreleased albums, then, Paddy?

A: I'm as frustrated as you that I've not made more records. I feel like a fraudulent Orson Welles figure: the triumphs I never had; my hypothetical career. I need a rich patron, someone like Bill Gates.

Q: You must have more in the vaults than Prince or Dylan! Or Brian Wilson...

A: We all get hung up on the idea of that lost Eden, almost like a Greek myth, of that gorgeous period in 1967 when Wilson produced these fragments of genius [ie, on SMILE] that were never organised into any shape and so remain forever out of reach. I feel it in my own life! I never thought I'd be kept awake at night thinking about all the stuff I hadn't recorded. I'm haunted by all these unrealised visions."

And here's another quote, this from the London Independent, February 27, 2000, as told to John Harris:

"There are well over a hundred songs," he laments. "It sounds precious, because there are worse things in the world to worry about, but I am awake at night sometimes, thinking that it's immensely frustrating that some of my best material isn't out there. I've got to do something about it, but it's hard to know what - because a part of me only wants to record these things when they get the financial backing they deserve. We're not a cheap ride. " He laughs. "The aesthetic behind these things is kind of posh."

Here's a list of the albums Paddy has mentioned in various interviews:

·Famous Fakes
Paddy: "In the '70s I thought I'd make an LP called 'Famous Fakes' and the songs were gonna be 'Donna Summer,' 'Faron Young,' like portraits, biographies. And most of 'em were crap." NME June 20, 1992

·June Parade
[NME, about 'Swoon'] Maybe you should have called it 'Spoon': spoon in June with Prefab Sprout. "[Paddy] Well, since you mention it, our next LP is called 'June Parade.'" NME, March 17, 1984

·Total Snow
Paddy: "But I've done other stuff also...like my Christmas record. I wanted to make a Christmas record because these are doubting times and I wanted to do something that reflects a positive attitude." Record Mirror, April 23, 1988

Paddy:"I've also written a Xmas album called Total Snow which I hope to get other people to sing on and I've got a top secret project which I'm half way through, so I'm busy as hell." i-D The Tribal Issue

Paddy: "The Christmas album is great--it's called 'Total Snow.'" says Paddy, denying repeatedly that this is a wind-up. "It's basically a collection of new Christmas songs, some of them very traditional in feel and others trying to capture the wildness of the idea that somebody should be born in Israel in order to save everyone. It's a gorgeous idea and yet a really sad one too." NME, February 6, 1988

John Birch indicates another title for this Christmas album was "A Symphony of Snowflakes."

·Zorro the Fox
NME: And if that [Total Snow] sounds like an unlikely project, it's got nothing on'Zorro The Fox', which Paddy conceives of as an antidote to the current rash of movies seemingly designed to showcase appalling American rock soundtracks.

"I want it to be exciting and witty and unusual," [Paddy] says. "I see Zorro as this guy for whom it's almost a character failing to be heroic. He can't help it. He's somebody who doesn't have much joy in his life, other than the fact of being good at what he does, which is to be a hero. It's quite a daft idea isn't it?...

"I think it maybe came about because I felt I needed some sort of mental scaffolding to start writing new songs. The music is very different from Prefab Sprout, very romantic, modern as hell. It's given me a whole new lease of life."

"The intention is to release 'Zorro' as an album at the very least, but ideally to develop it into a film musical. "I'm tentative talking about it because I know people will laugh," predicts Paddy. "But the thing is, I'm deadly serious about it. I'm aware that it could be completely hopelessly bad, but the idea just tickles me. I'd like to stress that there's nothing here of your rock musician seeing film as a mature medium and pop as something he's going to outgrow..."

"I'd like it to be a Prefab Sprout record, but if it turns out that it's not, that's OK." NME February 6, 1988

In an interview about Andromeda Heights, Paddy indicated that "Swans" was originally from 'Zorro.'

·Behind the Veil
Paddy: "I've written an entire album about Michael Jackson called 'Behind the Veil'...it's like a portrait of him. I was going to call this tune [The Sound of Crying] 'Only the Boogie Music Will Never Let You Down'--and I thought that was such a crap title!" Epic promo flier, 1995

Paddy: "I've accumulated a number of albums, with different titles, about different things...God knows when it'll see the light of day, but one of them's called "Behind The Veil" and it's about a black singer who was a child star who grew old and changed his face and sold billions of records - so it's about someone not a million miles removed from another artist." NME April 15, 1995 (Thanks to Stew Gregg)

John Birch reports that other tracks on this album were "Unicorn in Trouble," "Danger and Me," "Mr. Lightning Boots."

·Earth:The Story So Far
Paddy: "And the big one, what I've been working on for the last two or three years is an LP called "Earth: The Story So Far"... in pop song form, it's a history of the world, drawing parallels between different characters. It's not nearly as progressive as it sounds, not nearly as pompous. I hope that it's very moving. For example, I take the idea, for dramatic purposes, of when Adam and Eve meet each other. I've got a love song about that. And however many years later, when another couple comes along, like John Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy, I use the same music and the same chorus, but it's gone through a billion revolutions since then. And some of it is a bit more fun. Some things are drawing parallels between people who were adventurers and were mocked for it - like Columbus and Picasso. It all looks a bit serious, but I think it swings along..." NME April 15, 1995 (Thanks to Stew Gregg)

Paddy: "With Earth: The Story So Far, I wanted to use collage and some of the techniques used by people in the dance world. I became so enmeshed in all the arranging, it began to occur to me that if I wasn't careful we would never make another record." Q Magazine, May 1997 (Thanks to Stew Gregg)

Paddy: "At the time [when he was asked by Jimmy Nail to write for "Crocodile Shoes"]-I think it was February '94- I had been working on a history of the world "EARTH: THE STORY SO FAR", and was tired with the process of arranging it. I always prefer writing to any other activity connected with music-including interviews (laughs) and as my history of the world is very different from the style Jimmy wanted, I was happy to take a break from it.

Q: So you abandoned a PREFAB SPROUT record to do it?
A: Yes... but as the writer of "EARTH: THE STORY SO FAR" I'm in the unique position of seeing that to make what will be an ambitious record-perhaps over an hour long-there are certain battles that have to be fought and won...Records cost money- if you want to make them the way I like to. You have to justify the expense every inch of the way, and your albums have to earn enough to cover that expenditure. So I took a long cool look at "EARTH : THE STORY SO FAR" and decided that I wasn't ready to face the arguments that will undoubtedly surround it when we try to make it...from the "Who do you think is interested in this stuff?" to the "Why does it have to be so long? "In fact-I so exhausted myself just thinking about arguments I hadn't yet had that it was a relief to write for Jimmy Nail." January 1997 interview with Ray Gibbon

·Let's Change the World With Music
Paddy: "And I have an album called "Let's Change The World With Music"; lots of songs about music, playing on that horrible thing where you listen to a song like "We Are The World" and the sentiment is great but it's such a cliche that it sticks in your throat. It plays on that edge between that kind of thing and real sincerity." NME April 15, 1995 (Thanks to Stew Gregg)

Paddy: "I actually wrote a Gulf War album called 'Let's Change the World With Music,' and I've got a couple of beauties, but there are right and wrong times to do things, and it came after another album I wrote which is much lighter...it's called 'Billy Midnight,' very romantic. So the Gulf War album was a more serious response to that. I keep junking things all the time." NME June 20, 1992

Paddy: "Look since 1990 I've written what I think of as my best music. You can hear some of it on "ANDROMEDA HEIGHTS". But I have also- in detailed demo form- an album called "LET'S CHANGE THE WORLD WITH MUSIC". It was written as the follow up to "JORDAN". Some of it has even been covered - Two of the songs an Australian artist called WENDY MATTHEWS recorded.

Q: Why didn't you record them?
A: Because it was felt in certain quarters that perhaps we should try something different.

Q: What do you mean?
A: Well, without wishing to make it sound like a grand conspiracy theory, it was suggested-and I should say here that I was party to the decision- that maybe we make a simpler record then "JORDAN". So instead of making an album with nineteen tracks (which "JORDAN" was) I decided to expand one of the songs on "LET'S CHANGE THE WORLD WITH MUSIC" into a one track album.

Q: And did you?
A: I tried.

Q: And couldn't?
A: I did it. But the one track consists of about....20 to 30 individual songs.

Q: So let me get this straight. You prepared an album "LET'S CHANGE THE WORLD WITH MUSIC".
A: Yeah

Q: Then took one of the songs from it until it became another album?
A: Yeah. [To help readers becoming confused, this refers to EARTH: THE STORY SO FAR -- Bedford]

Q: Then you got tired of arranging it (McAloon interrupts)
A: Tired and weary of knowing that what I was working on was beautiful but still a long way from completion, and looking beyond that I anticipated the trouble I would have in getting it made the way I wanted. So....along came Jimmy Nail with an offer I couldn't refuse. When I said "money rules" I wasn't being cynical. There is no guarantee that any record will sell large numbers. But it occurred to me that I was knocking myself out writing music that I might not get to record properly. So I started to see the way I work in a different light." January 1997 interview with Ray Gibbon

Paddy: "[The album] contains 28 tracks...Sony wanted to release it and then they changed their mind." BEST magazine (France) July 1997, translated by Laurent Bodnar.

·Billy Midnight
Paddy: "[Let's Change the World With Music] came after another album I wrote which is much lighter...it's called 'Billy Midnight,' very romantic." NME June 20, 1992

·Knights in Armour
Paddy: "There's also an album called "Knights in Armour", which is very romantic." NME April 15, 1995 (Thanks to Stew Gregg)

John Birch suggests that "Billy Midnight" and "Knights in Armour." are two different names for the same "album."

·Atomic Hymnbook
Paddy: "(It's) a gospel record of sorts... I have been told that songs about spiritual subjects mean you're a religious nutter and you will frighten off the British people. I know I'm going to meet this resistance and that's why Andromeda Heights has no songs of that nature. They've gone to the Atomic Hymnbook and other places..." Q Magazine, May 1997 (Thanks to Stew Gregg)

Described in one article as "secular gospel songs." The Independent, (London) February 27, 2000

·20th Century Magic
Paul Lester: "Why not satisfy the record company and lovers of idiosyncratic Paddy by doing a (Bowie's) LOW: one side pop songs, the other experimental?"

Paddy: "Funny you should mention LOW -- it was my model for 20TH CENTURY MAGIC. But I thought it was too much of a compromise." Uncut Magazine, December 1999.

20th Century Magic [is] intended to soundtrack the millennial mindset. It contains songs about Princess Diana and - contrary to the idea that McAloon's disappearance from the pop life might have uncoupled him from the zeitgeist - the Dome. "That song's called 'Twilight Of The Pimps'," [McAloon] explains. "It's about it being a fabulous symbol of the age: 'Dear Tony, It's a bold idea/We could use an unloved dome round here.' It's a compendium of images that are very 20th century. I regret it not being out at the moment." Article by John Harris, The Independent (London) February 27, 2000.

·Columbus Dreamed America
Meet The New Mozart
Doomed Poets Volume 1
All mentioned by Paul Lester in his article in the December 1999 issue of Uncut magazine. No other information about them, however. (Many thanks to Chris Wirtalla for providing the info on the Uncut interview seen in this section.)

·Sleeping Rough
According to Kitchenware (October 1999), this album was to be released in 2000. Sleeping Rough turned out to be a track on “I Trawl the Meghertz.”

·Enfant Terrible
Paddy:"The next album is a radical shift: ENFANT TERRIBLE -- two tracks, largely instrumental. It's way out there." Uncut Magazine, December 1999. Based on this description, it may have been an alternate title for “I Trawl the Megahertz.”

·(unknown titles)
John Birch reports in his book that in 1992 Paddy completed "a twelve song biographical opus based on the life of Francis Albert , the skinny black/white billionaire from Indiana" I haven't the slightest idea who he's talking about. John also refers to "an album about cities and of McAloon's fascination of how a mood or atmosphere is expected/portrayed by the name of a city or place..."

·The Wendy solo album
I SWEAR I either heard a Paddy interview or read that he had plans to do this.

·And the mother of all never weres: "Hidden Sprouts." Here is the info on this tantalizing 2 CD offering from Japan:

Epic (Sony) ESCA - 5311/2 -- Hidden Sprouts -- CD (1991)

Lions in My Own Garden (Exit Someone) / Radio Love / The Devil Has All the Best Tunes / Walk On / He'll Have To Go / Spinning Belinda / Donna Summer / Diana / The Yearning Loins / Silhouettes / Faron Young (Truckin' Mix?)/ Heaven Can Wait / Oh! The Swiss / Wigs / The Guest Who Stayed Forever / Old Spoonface is Back / Vendetta / Nero the Zero / Real Life, Just Around the Corner / Dandy of the Danube / Tin Can Pot / Tornado / Hey Manhattan (JFK Mix) / Nightingales (edit) / King of Rock 'n' Roll (demo) / Bearpark (demo) / Golden Calf (long version) / Bonny (live) / Looking for Atlantis (extended mix) / Carnival 2000 (M.H.B. Mix)

The only problem: There is no evidence this CD was ever released; it was deleted from the catalog the same year it was issued.

·And, on a related note, there's:

The US tour that 'never was'
The "Hot Flash" press release from Epic records dated November 30, 1990 gave the dates for the Sprouts' first American tour, in support of "Jordan." It was going to start January 29, 1991 and visit the following cities: New York, Boston, New Haven, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. So now you're either saying "Nuts!" or, "No big deal, they weren't coming to Boise anyway" or something similar.

To quote the release, "Further details--dates, venues, and show times--to follow ASAP!" (I'm still waiting...surprisingly, I understand from Neil Conti that it was Paddy's refusal to scale down the Jordan Tour concert presentation at Epic's request, not his well-known aversion to touring, that was this tour's undoing.)

·And the next time you see them live, ask them to play "I Am A Plumber" or "Marsden Rock" for the encore!

http://www.browningmcintosh.com/plocktonwest/sprout_misc.html#never

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 25 June 2005 01:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

In other news: has anyone heard Lisa Stansfield's Trevor Horn-produced version of 'When Love Breaks Down' (with specially commissioned from Paddy Mac extra verse)?

No! And?

It's sort of...awful. There are thunderstorm sounds. Oh, Trevor. And Lisa sounds like she's not really comfortable with the ket she has to sing in. Oh, Lisa.

But don't take my word for it: http://s21.yousendit.com/d.aspx?id=1KVQE1R45T7KT2ZSJXTNIYSYH9

brittle-lemon, Saturday, 25 June 2005 12:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"The key she has to sing in," perhaps.

brittle-lemon, Saturday, 25 June 2005 12:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...
Have heard that Steve McQueen (Two Wheels Good in the U.S.) is due for an anniversary edition, like Lloyd Cole & the Commotions' _Rattlesnakes_. Coming out 3rd qtr '06, apparently.

If anyone knows the bonus songs, please post. Googling turned up nada.

scamperingalpaca (Chris Hill), Monday, 17 April 2006 16:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'd imagine "Diana", "The Yearning Loins", "Donna Summer", "Silhouettes", "Heaven Can Wait", "Oh, The Swiss", "Real Life (Just Around The Corner)", "Wigs", "The Guest Who Stayed Forever", "Old Spoonface Is Back" and "Faron Young (Trucking Mix)" will all find their way on there, as they were all on B-sides etc, around that time.

An argument could be also made for "Spinning Belinda", "He'll Have To Go" (although I think those really belong with SWOON), "Vendetta" and "Nero The Zero" (although those probably belong with From Langley Park To Memphis).

There was also a Radio 1 "In Concert" which was recorded around that time (at Reading University, in front of myself, Dr. C and all of a couple of dozen other people, most of whom seemed more interested in the cheap booze in the Uni. bar, iirc) which would be a rather nice addition.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Monday, 17 April 2006 18:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I will buy it, especially if they restore the first CD to its original tracks and remove the extras - (putting them on disc 2 + others.)

dave vire think (dave225.3), Monday, 17 April 2006 18:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I will buy the boxset which I'm confident will eventually be released of some (or all?) of the unreleased / unfinished stuff in Paddy McAloon's legendarily vast archives - no matter how big or how expensive it turns out to be or how many volumes of it there are.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Monday, 17 April 2006 18:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

**There was also a Radio 1 "In Concert" which was recorded around that time at Reading University, in front of myself, Dr. C and all of a couple of dozen other people, most of whom seemed more interested in the cheap booze in the Uni. bar, iirc)**

I am still more interested in cheap booze than Prefab Sprout. Hurrah! were good that night though.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 08:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Looking forward to that edition. Just the remaster itself will be a reward. I find it hard to believe there is a lot of potential bonus material out there other than what is already released on "Protest Songs" though.

Btw. Paddy McAloon's projects have been frighteningly dud lately. He hasn't released a true quality album since 1997's "Andromeda Heights".

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 13:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

_I Trawl the Megahertz_ is fantastic. In idea, I wasn't sure I'd like it, but as a whole album listen, there are some incredibly joyful moments on it. I'd rate it higher than _The Gunman..._ (which feels like an odds & sods disc, given Jimmy Nail's earlier version of "Cowboy Dreams" and "Farmyard Cat").

And x-post, count me in on the lobby for a 10+ disc boxset.

Shame that all the b-sides Stewart lists above were already "collected" on the _Silhouettes_ bootleg. I'd like to see a bonus disc with some of the tracks that John Birch included on his fanzine cd-rs. "Cherry Tree", "The Glass Slipper", "Constant Blue", etc.

scamperingalpaca (Chris Hill), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 15:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

the bonus CD for the 20th anniv release of steve mcqueen will be paddy re-recording the album in its entirety, but in acoustic form. apparently he has rejected the idea of ever releasing the old b-sides -- he doesn't feel they are suitable for public consumption -- but he came up with this acoustic idea as an alternative.

ronchito, Monday, 1 May 2006 12:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
see, this sort of songwriting is why I can't take Sufjan Stevens seriously... and apparently I just bought the Dud LP.

fandango (fandango), Monday, 7 August 2006 15:28 (twelve years ago) Permalink

six months pass...
does everyone already know about this page?

http://www.prefabsprout.net/media.html


probably. but anyway...

i've never heard any of the 90's b-sides and such. still have a bunch of 80's 12 inches, so those aren't as unknown to me.

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 8 February 2007 05:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

For some reason, they've been bubbling up in my mind a lot more of late, despite not having played them in like 15 years or something. I've kindof divorced myself from the 80's stuff now but I remember some good early 90's singles...I meant to return to them properly and never have. This looks like a good thing to get the ball rolling. I'll check it out.

Booper Soul (Bimble...), Thursday, 8 February 2007 06:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The 1980 live demo of 'Donna Summer' sounds like the Minutemen!

righteousmaelstrom (righteousmaelstrom), Thursday, 8 February 2007 22:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i've been obsessed with 'desire as' lately. re-read this thread, it's true they are an incredibly hard band to sell to friends. i have not been successful once in trying to convince anyone of their greatness. a wendy solo album would be a dream.

keyth (keyth), Friday, 9 February 2007 04:19 (eleven years ago) Permalink

thanks for the link, scott. it made my afternoon...

john. a resident of chicago. (john s), Saturday, 10 February 2007 01:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The site owner isn't entirely correct about these being unavailable though, is he? At least "Lions In My Own Garden" is available on the "38 Carat" collection.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Saturday, 10 February 2007 01:22 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Oh how my post-punk heart swells to hear those 1980 demos! I also like the b-sides to their first two singles, particuarly "Radio Love".

I've also figured out that it's the Jordan album I remember from the early 90's, so I will give that a go very soon. Would you believe I wrote 'Prefab Sprout' down on a list of stuff to check out not more than a week before this thread was revived?

Twenty Special Offer Stickers (Bimble...), Saturday, 10 February 2007 04:35 (eleven years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
OK, I am officially old...I just bought the Legacy Edition of Steve McQueen, and the acoustic versions of the songs are really great...(they are not exactly "unplugged"; most are fleshed out with back-up guitars, harmonica, rudiementary percussion, etc...the liner notes indicate that McAloon spent more time in the studio with the acoustic versions than he did with the original LP!)...speaking of which, this is one of the first remastering jobs where I can actually hear the difference...I guess it helped to have Thomas Dolby do the job himself...

it's all like going back to an old girlfriend...

henry s, Saturday, 21 April 2007 13:55 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I will buy that one, simply because obviously the original badly needs remastering. (Audio-wise, the next two albums sound way better)

But I don't see the point in that second disc. I mean, a bunch of newly recorded acoustic versions? Could have made sense if they were the original versions, but Paddy should rather release som,ething new (preferrably with proper arrangements) rather than rehash his old material in a way that must be inferior to the originals.

Geir Hongro, Saturday, 21 April 2007 17:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Could have made sense if they were the original demos, I mean

Geir Hongro, Saturday, 21 April 2007 17:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

I was about to buy The Collection, when I discovered there's a NEW best of that just came out called "The Kings of Rock 'n' Roll":
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kings-Rock-Roll-Prefab-Sprout/dp/B000WTNDOO/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1197444424&sr=8-2

I've got Steve McQueen and Jordan: the Comeback; which one should I pick up?

mr. falcon, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 07:29 (ten years ago) Permalink

38 songs for £6.99? Go for it.

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 07:43 (ten years ago) Permalink

@ Geir: Those acoustic renditions are really quite nice, not tossed-off afterthoughts at all like a lot of acoustic re-recordings tend to be.

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 07:46 (ten years ago) Permalink

I've got Steve McQueen and Jordan: the Comeback; which one should I pick up?

"From Langley Park To Memphis" obv. Their most underrated album, IMO just as good as the two "classic" ones.

Geir Hongro, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 09:15 (ten years ago) Permalink

I bought the deluxe edition without having heard the album before and I have to say I like the acoustic versions better.

baaderonixx, Wednesday, 12 December 2007 09:47 (ten years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

THE SWEET SEPTEMBER RAIN

Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You, Saturday, 31 May 2008 08:32 (ten years ago) Permalink

I picked up the 38 Carat Collection used. One of my best bargain finds. Makes me want to check some later stuff I've overlooked.

leavethecapital, Saturday, 31 May 2008 17:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

I've just recently realized how amazing this band is. Was always aware of them, but now it's all I want to listen to. What else should I check out along these lines? Bear in mind I don't mind 80s production but can't handle Scritti Politti or anything that makes Prefab Sprout sound like Chrome in comparison. In other words, less or AS wimpy as Prefab Sprout, but no wimpier.

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 04:02 (ten years ago) Permalink

Scritti Politti! Dude, come on. PS themselves'd say Steely Dan, if they were feeling cocky. Occasional bits of Orange Juice, Pet Shop Boys, Smiths, but noone I can think of right now was all that much like them

Niles Caulder, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 09:38 (ten years ago) Permalink

I've been meaning to get into Orange Juice for years...I only know a few stray tracks and Edwyn Collins solo stuff!

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 10:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

Couldn't go far wrong with the first two Thomas Dolby albums. There's plenty of others who treaded the fairlight ridden path of sensitive singer songwriter in the 80's but few as good as them.

If I was being mischievous I'd suggest Momus as a more rococo alternative, but fear of being struck down by lightning prevents me.

Billy Dods, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 10:50 (ten years ago) Permalink

Aztec Camera's first LP fits nicely alongside Prefab Sprout...Go-Betweens up to/including 16 Lovers Lane...

henry s, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 13:13 (ten years ago) Permalink

DEACON BLUE

THE SCOTTISH PREFAB SPROUT

the pinefox, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 13:55 (ten years ago) Permalink

I hope you're jesting.

Billy Dods, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 14:07 (ten years ago) Permalink

Aztec and Go-Betweens're excellent suggestions. Maybe Blue Nile too, "Hats" is perfect, similar vibe to slow PS

Y'know what a few Prince songs're pretty close too actually, things off Parade and Sign O the Times, round that

Niles Caulder, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 14:33 (ten years ago) Permalink

well, Deacon Blue do sound more like Prefab Sprout, and perhaps vice versa, than any other band I can think of.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 15:00 (ten years ago) Permalink

I concur with the Go-Betweens suggestion. I'd also recommend Microdisney as Prefab Sprout-type fodder - similar mixture of sophiscated melodies and enjoyably glutinous 80s production, except with Pol Pot on vocals. Their Best Of "Big Sleeping House" is a good introduction.

Freedom, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 15:48 (ten years ago) Permalink

The latest Pearlfishers album Up With The Larks (on Marina) is a dead-on and thoroughly enjoyable Prefab Sprout homage. "Womack and Womack" does the best job of combining bouncy white soul and world-weary lyrics.

zaxxon25, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 16:16 (ten years ago) Permalink

^^^been meaning to check them out...there's also a band called le Concorde or something like that who are supposed to recall vintage Prefab Sprout (I've never heard them), and there's Cane 141 (who are mostly downtempo electronica now, but have done very Prefab-ish stuff in the past)...

henry s, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 16:24 (ten years ago) Permalink

david scott from the Pearlfishers is an extreme brian wilson obsessive but i was about to suggest him as well as he's a genius and everything he's done since 1995 has been amazing. he's also been making great bmx bandits records the last couple of years.
i always say the judybats were a poor man's american version of prefab sprout, especially on the first two records, they don't have any of that studio sheen but the same odd sense of drama and poetry of everyday life.

keythkeyth, Thursday, 7 August 2008 02:17 (ten years ago) Permalink

As far as travelling in similar orbits, Halloween, Alaska could list both the Blue Nile and Prefab Sprout as influences, both in delivery and music. Stars' _Nightsongs_ is another RIYL.

The first two Dolby albums OTM, as well as some of his later stuff ("Budapest by Blimp" has keys that sound right out of "Desire As").

But really there's no band that combines all the Prefab elements in quite the same way: witty lyrics, heartfelt delivery by Paddy & Wendy, hook-filled tunes, lofty themes, etc.

scampering alpaca, Thursday, 7 August 2008 14:34 (ten years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Anyone heard this? Pretty weak.

Freedom, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 18:57 (ten years ago) Permalink

Heh, I dig it. The spare arrangement draws attention to the words, with the piano adding gravity.

Being an Editors fan, though, I like his voice. Would love to hear "Til the Cows Come Home" or "I Remember That" done in a similar fashion.

scampering alpaca, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 19:24 (ten years ago) Permalink

Fred Falke's dj 'mini mix' for annie mac's show (about 20 songs in 5 minutes) suddenly featured that "bap bap bah! shadoo-dad-dooda bap bap bah!" vocal riff from CARS AND GIRLS in the middle. i don't know who i was more impressed with Falke or Prefab Sprout but it brought a huge smile to the old face.

piscesx, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 20:00 (ten years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

OMG, I hope this true...

http://www.mojo4music.com/blog/2008/09/prefab_sprout_in_new_album_sho_1.html

ADMIRERS OF PREFAB SPROUT and their singer/ songwriter Paddy McAloon - a soulful romantic with the emotional range of Bacharach and the melodic precision of Steely Dan - are by necessity a patient bunch. They have, after all, only heard two new albums since 1990, excepting Paddy’s superlative, mostly instrumental 2003 set I Trawl The Megahertz.

But that wait for new music will soon be at an end, as MOJO can joyfully report that Paddy and his bass-playing brother Martin have been back in the studio to record the long-awaited follow-up to 2001’s The Gunman And Other Stories. Tentatively entitled Let's Change the World With Music - The Blueprint, it will include the songs Let There Be Music, God Watch Over You and The Last Of The Great Romantics, and a source tells MOJO that they are “some of the best songs Paddy has written!” The band are aiming at a February 2009 release.

Ian Harrison

Billy Dods, Friday, 3 October 2008 22:04 (ten years ago) Permalink

Shame about the title, but if this is true then fab. Judging from the songs listed, this is like Gunman in being drawn from his last decade or so of songs. God Watch Over You was sung by some Australian woman ages ago. It's a splendid song, despite lyrical sappiness - but that's kind of a given with later McAloon.

Freedom, Saturday, 4 October 2008 13:09 (ten years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

NB: track 8.

1. Let There Be Music
2. God Watch Over You
3. The Last Of The Great Romantics
4. Let's Change The World With Music
5. Angel of Love
6. Earth: The Story So Far
7. Falling In Love
8. I Love Music
9. Meet The New Mozart
10. Music Is a Princess
11. Ride Home To Jesus
12. Sweet Gospel Music

Stevie T, Friday, 6 March 2009 15:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

An exclusive chance to hear 'Let There Be Music,' the opening track from Prefab Sprout's new album, 'Let's Change The World With Music,' due to be released 07/09/09. Brought to you by www.prefabsprout.net

chesty la roux (donna rouge), Saturday, 8 August 2009 08:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

I kinda like it.

Also, I don't know what I ever expected Paddy would look like in 2009, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't that.

Johnny Fever, Saturday, 8 August 2009 08:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

still love his voice...

mizzell, Saturday, 8 August 2009 17:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

eMusic has two versions of what look like the same Prefab Sprout album: Two Wheels Good and Steve McQueen. Struggling to decide if the bonus disc on Steve McQueen makes that the better of the two discs (FWIW, judging from the soundscans, the sound quality/production are better on Steve McQueen).

Daniel, Esq., Saturday, 8 August 2009 18:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

the bonus disc is just the solo acoustic versions that paddy did years and years later right? i personally found them to be of no interest.

mizzell, Saturday, 8 August 2009 18:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

They're the same album, except it was called Two Wheels Good in the US. Since Steve McQueen was more popular in the UK in its time, it's since been remastered and expanded.

Johnny Fever, Saturday, 8 August 2009 18:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...

So LCTWWM is out. Anyone given it a proper listen?

Freedom, Sunday, 6 September 2009 12:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

err how come I missed this? Please somebody tell me whether I can listen to this... without being wholly and mortifyingly disappointed.

mmmm, Sunday, 6 September 2009 19:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

am so looking forward to this...

henry s, Monday, 7 September 2009 01:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

he's always had good quality control. only the occasional misstep sees the light of day.

keythkeythkeyth, Monday, 7 September 2009 15:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

Listened to this a couple of times, sadly I can see why it was passed over in '92. Unless it's a real grower, the albums' back story is giving it a rosy glow it doesn't really deserve.

Old Man of Hoy-ho Silver Lining (Billy Dods), Wednesday, 9 September 2009 07:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

The new album is surely a return to form. Paddy's best effort since "Jordan...". Not surprising that it was largely done in 1992 though, and also makes me fantasize about how great this album would have been with the magnificent "The Sound Of Crying" - one of his best ever songs - added to the sequence.

Tied Up In Geir (Geir Hongro), Wednesday, 9 September 2009 19:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

"Earth: The Story So Far" is sexual.

Freedom, Saturday, 24 October 2009 11:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Let's Change The World = Ace!

spotify:album:0DJorHkuhJRDNJ1JF4FIGv

piscesx, Sunday, 8 November 2009 05:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

Agreed. "God Watch Over You" is a particular standout for me. I hope the reception for this is positive enough that he carries on with other old/new releases.

Have to say also that _I Trawl the Megahertz_ is one of my top albums this decade. Truly wonderful effort, there.

scampering alpaca, Sunday, 8 November 2009 15:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah God Watch Over You is a winner for me too, just brilliant. I can't believe how good this album is. I wonder why on earth he didn't release it all those years back. There was a great feature in WORD about him. He really seems to have been going through it these last years.

piscesx, Sunday, 8 November 2009 16:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

I skip God Watch Over You, cause I've been familiar for years with another version by some female singer. I concur about the excellence of the album however.

Freedom, Sunday, 8 November 2009 23:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Earth: The Story So Far" is sexual.

― Freedom, Saturday, October 24, 2009

very beautiful fan video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gxHcNtzFrU

nicky lo-fi, Monday, 9 November 2009 01:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

I listened to "Sleeping Rough" off Megahertz there for the first time in a while - what an absolutely jaw-dropping piece of music.

Freedom, Thursday, 10 December 2009 19:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

"carnival 2000" killing me right now ... someone otm upthread re: a band that it is impossible to get your friends to like. perhaps the only quality they share w/ skinny puppy

teflon dawn (uptown churl), Thursday, 30 September 2010 01:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

That's such an odd pairing of bands as Prefab would seem to have universal pop appeal. Except that's the secret - they're NOT pop!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 30 September 2010 01:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

Only one of my irl friends likes Prefab — for most they're too self-consciously corny/cutely earnest.

corey, Thursday, 30 September 2010 01:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

interview w/paddy mcaloon @ the onion av club

omar little, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 19:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

There is a project I’ve been working on over the past few years, called “Digital Diva,” and it’s very much an exercise in delirious romanticism.
-

Get to it Paddy!

piscesx, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 19:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

one of my friends has recently become obsessed with prefab, which, kinda blows my mind tbh. there are a lot of redeemable qualities in paddy's stuff but so much of it seems like some kinda waiting room music or something.

dynamicinterface, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 21:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

that's a lovely interview btw

dynamicinterface, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 22:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

would wait in room while listening to prefab

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Wednesday, 10 November 2010 22:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

Adore the band. I always have a hard time explaining my love for them though — on Swoon it's the combination of the jerky arrangements and self-consciously literate and playful lyrics (cf. the art-and-commerce problem of "Here on the Erie", the plays on "plane" and "play" in "Cue Fanfare") that have a sort of just-out-of-art school feel that is both endearing and indicative of their freshness, but it's amazingly assured for a first album. The jerkiness gets smoothed out on Steve McQueen and has a sort of early morning fog sheen like the album cover, and the Dolby production is really nuanced (I love the string-synth woosh that shows up intermittently, I've never heard it anywhere but on Dolby productions (e.g. the "Field Work" single w/ Sakamoto), even moreso on Langley Park to Memphis where it goes almost into childhood storybook mode on "Nightingales",weirdo funk on "Knock On Wood" and sad imaginary situations. The stories he creates are just so vivid and you feel like you've lived it. I think I've listened to Langley Park more than any of their other albums — Protest Songs I've never really warmed up to despite liking several songs very much, it just seems like leftovers. Jordan is really amazing but I think I just haven't listened to it enough. The other albums have good tracks scattered across them (I LOVE the title track from Andromeda Heights!). Let's Change the World is mostly great, sometimes getting almost too maudlin (but that's hardly a valid criticism of Paddy really, it's par for the course), and only bogging down when there seems to be a lack of ideas ("I Love Music" sounds less enthusiastic relative to the other songs) — "Meet the New Mozart" is one of PF's greatest sad story songs.

corey, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 23:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

i love Steve McQueen sooooooo much, but whenever i try to branch out to the other albums i'm always disappointed :/

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Wednesday, 10 November 2010 23:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

except for Cars & Girls

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Wednesday, 10 November 2010 23:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

It helps if you like kittens. I'm serious.

corey, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 23:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

Maybe a good analogue for Langley Park is the ultra-precise production on Scritti Politti's Cupid & Psyche '85. I think if you like the one it's not a stretch to like the other.

corey, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 23:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

I heard "When Love Breaks Down" on the radio (despite it not being a much of a hit in the US) and bought the album (one of the last I bought on vinyl before I got my first CD player). It turned out to be the only song on the album I liked.

Lee626, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 23:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

i love both kittens and Cupid & Psyche '85, i guess i just wasn't grabbed by the songs on Langley Park as immediately as Steve McQueen

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Wednesday, 10 November 2010 23:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

Future Sound of London mix is my fav. thing of theirs.

brotherlovesdub, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 23:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

If I'm re-hashing someone's later answer, please excuse me... I adore the first two records and would probably consider Steve McQueen/Two Wheels Good my second favorite record of all-time. The interesting thing about it is that a lot of the material on said album was A&R'd/selected by Thomas Dolby and actually pre-dates Swoon in terms of when it was written. So, glean from that what you will about how you feel if Paddy's songwriting either blossomed or conversely withered, 'cuz from my vantage point:

Classic: Swoon & Steve McQueen/Two Wheels Good
Dud: The entire rest of his/their career

Hector Savage, Thursday, 11 November 2010 02:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

including Jordan in your dud list is inexplicable. they seem like a band with a very narrow entry angle, no idea why this is, he writes timeless pop songs, perhaps it is all down to the endless optimism and the production. i love him more every day.

keythhtyek, Thursday, 11 November 2010 03:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

they were the best days/the harvest years

teflon dawn (uptown churl), Thursday, 11 November 2010 14:57 (eight years ago) Permalink

A lot of people don't like sentimentality.

corey, Thursday, 11 November 2010 18:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

Well, there's a line between sentimentality and schmaltz over which Mr. McAloon's writing dances over with increasing regularity since Protest Songs.

Hector Savage, Thursday, 11 November 2010 19:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

Well, you can either expand to include the schmaltz or withdraw and exclude it from validation. "Schmaltz" is merely a descriptive factor, not a qualitative judgement.

corey, Thursday, 11 November 2010 19:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

"Yet it's all so MOR, so polite"

almost ten (!) years ago i may have agreed with this upthread criticism, but now it just strikes me as so hopelessly missing the point.

also, it has to be said -- sentimental's part of the deal

teflon dawn (uptown churl), Thursday, 11 November 2010 20:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

I love "Langley Park" and "Jordan...." but I can understand how people who are not into ultra-smooth production tend to prefer "Steve McQueen".

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Thursday, 11 November 2010 23:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yet, those two are my favourites, exactly because they were more produced and smoother. I love "Steve McQueen" as well, but not to the same extent.

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Thursday, 11 November 2010 23:52 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yep

corey, Friday, 12 November 2010 00:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

I have five words for you: "Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque"

Worst Prefab chorus of all-time or just worst chorus of all-time?

completely...

Hector Savage, Friday, 12 November 2010 03:21 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yawn.

corey, Friday, 12 November 2010 03:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

i always call 'steve mcqueen' one of my favorite albums of all time but there's two or three tracks that i skip over every time - the first side is just flawless tho imo

bloc trebek-quois (donna rouge), Friday, 12 November 2010 04:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

It's obvious Paddy got too clever for you at one point, Hector. I'm guessing you don't like Scritti Politti or 10cc either.

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Friday, 12 November 2010 04:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

its not the smooth production that bothers me, i love me some smooth production, i just feel like the songs are stronger on Steve McQueen. i'll be giving Langley Park some more time soon, though.

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Friday, 12 November 2010 05:54 (eight years ago) Permalink

actually really digging Jordan right now, kind of overwhelming, though

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Friday, 12 November 2010 05:58 (eight years ago) Permalink

Love love love 10cc... Sheet Music also vies for my Top 10 of all-time, but I think they definitely fell off when Godley and Creme left the group.

I like Scritti a lot... Songs To Remember is a classic but the production is brutally "of its time" on Cupid & Psyche and I find it hard to look past that, but the songs themselves are really great. I went another direction personally after that.

I've given every Prefab album a chance and I quite like Paddy's solo album... I'll agree that Jordan has moments of strength, but there's an undeniable line of delineation at From Langley Park To Memphis.

Hector Savage, Friday, 12 November 2010 12:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

i always call 'steve mcqueen' one of my favorite albums of all time but there's two or three tracks that i skip over every time - the first side is just flawless tho imo

― bloc trebek-quois (donna rouge), Friday, November 12, 2010 4:00 AM (8 hours ago)

I agree with this, that first side is one my favourite runs on any album ever. Horsin' Around is the only song I skip it just doesn't belong on such a beautiful album.

Kitchen Person, Friday, 12 November 2010 12:57 (eight years ago) Permalink

but I think they definitely fell off when Godley and Creme left the group.

Not going to argue about there being an obvious drop in quality. Even though I still think they did more standard melodic pop music better than most. For a while anyway.

Horsin' Around is the only song I skip it just doesn't belong on such a beautiful album.

"Horsing Around" is among the ones I like best on "Steve McQueen" actually. It's a bit like the weirder songs on the "Swoon" album, only with a rather smooth and synth dominated production that also makes it point toward the future.

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Friday, 12 November 2010 13:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

Oh, and the production is the reason why I like "Cupid & Psyche" and even "Provision" much better than I like "Songs To Remember. Of its time, maybe, but what a time! :)

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Friday, 12 November 2010 13:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

Along with Steve McQueen I'd rate Swoon and Jordon as the other classics. Most of the other albums are patchy.

My favourite song is still the very first single Lion's In My Own Garden, it's such a strange and addictive tune.

Kitchen Person, Friday, 12 November 2010 13:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

Oh, and the production is the reason why I like "Cupid & Psyche" and even "Provision" much better than I like "Songs To Remember. Of its time, maybe, but what a time! :)

― You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Friday, November 12, 2010 1:03 PM

Some of the production is a little dated on Cupid & Psyche but there are moments of genius, especially Absolute. On the whole Songs To Remember is a more consistent album all the way through, the songs are just stronger. White Bread Black Beer is by far my favourite album of his though.

Kitchen Person, Friday, 12 November 2010 13:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yeah, must agree Geir... "Horsin' Around" is one of my favorites; it reminds me of instrumental supermarket music of my childhood with its bursts of muted trumpets.

It's more often "Blueberry Pies." that gets the FFWD.

Hector Savage, Friday, 12 November 2010 13:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

I have probably moaned on upthread about not really getting PF despite trying for 25 years or so. And it's true I still don't really go for the lushness and the soft focus. But just listening to the 2CD compilation (can't remember name of it) today there are definitely moments of utter greatness that no one-else but Paddy can do. 'I count the hours since you slipped away' in Bonny is one, also 'All my silence and my strained respect/missed chances and the same regrets'. He forces those lines out brilliantly. It's a great production is Bonny - someone said upthread that Steve McQueen was fog-covered or something similar and it's exactly on the money wrt Bonny. Dolby did something really unusual with that album - side one especially is terrific. I rarely listen music to this thought-out and carefully produced these days, but this track really hit home today.

But why oh why oh why didn't they include 'Wild Horses' on this album? Jenny Agutter!

Dr.C, Friday, 12 November 2010 13:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

Am I the only one who saw the remarkable thing that happened here?:

It's obvious Paddy got too clever for you at one point, Hector. I'm guessing you don't like Scritti Politti or 10cc either.

― You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro)

Is this the beginning of a new era?

Kevin John Bozelka, Friday, 12 November 2010 14:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

Doesn't seem that way to me. I still love clever music, like I have always done. :)

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Friday, 12 November 2010 14:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

Am I the only one who saw the remarkable thing that happened here?:

Now you mention it, yes I do know what you mean, Kevin.

Mark G, Friday, 12 November 2010 14:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

Ok Mark G got it!

Kevin John Bozelka, Friday, 12 November 2010 14:29 (eight years ago) Permalink

Some of the production is a little dated on Cupid & Psyche but there are moments of genius, especially Absolute

The Arif Mardin produced ones hold up better than the Fred Maher produced ones, surely.

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Friday, 12 November 2010 14:33 (eight years ago) Permalink

(in terms of production, that is. "The Word Girl" and "Perfect Way" are still fantastic songs though)

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Friday, 12 November 2010 14:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

this song is awesome
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xOke9yb_mk

gr8080, Monday, 10 January 2011 01:43 (seven years ago) Permalink

otm

mizzell, Monday, 10 January 2011 03:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

Pulled out "Jordan" recently and oh god it's the epitomy of romantic. Paddy's voicee is so swoon-worthy, and it sounds like he's feeling what he sings about SO DEEPLY but in a completely sincere way. No "emo" just emotion.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 10 January 2011 03:32 (seven years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

most unfairly under-rated 80s band or what?

piscesx, Thursday, 2 June 2011 17:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

The bonus disc of acoustic rerecordings that came with the "Steve McQueen" reissue is crazy good, probably the single best revisitation of material years later.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 2 June 2011 18:31 (seven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

The blueprint for Kaputt by any chance?

http://devonrecordclub.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/prefab-sprout-steve-mcqueen-round-29-toms-selection/

yugi ex, Friday, 8 June 2012 23:08 (six years ago) Permalink

i hear a lot of Blue Nile in it, but Avalon and Boys & Girls above all....(I LOVE Prefab Sprout, whom I avoided for twenty years because I didn't like their name...stupid!)

Iago Galdston, Friday, 8 June 2012 23:48 (six years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Horsin' Around was just on WFMU. What a magnificent song.

john. a resident of chicago., Monday, 15 October 2012 01:42 (six years ago) Permalink

Classic All the Way. "One of the Broken" nearly brought me to tears today when it came up on iTunes shuffle.

Cliftonb, Monday, 15 October 2012 02:10 (six years ago) Permalink

in the last few years, prefab sprout has become one of my very favorite groups. paddy mcaloon in my top 5 singers of all time.

mizzell, Monday, 15 October 2012 03:45 (six years ago) Permalink

ultra ultra classic and ridiculously ignored by most people at the moment. did When Love Breaks Down and King Of Rock N Roll at karaoke at a friends house party on saturday, it ruled.

Jamie_ATP, Monday, 15 October 2012 08:36 (six years ago) Permalink

You were the Fred Astaire of words, Paddy.

Jordan is maybe my favourite album.

Cornfield Ablaze is the last song I really, really loved.

woof, Monday, 15 October 2012 11:22 (six years ago) Permalink

I don't understand how "Wild Horses" is only referenced once on this thread...unless there's a video.

My gawd, everything about it so cool. I sorta think he's channeling Prince here. The (relatively) glitchy-ness of the hook is super catchy. And the lyrics are so smart and his delivery is so smooth.

john. a resident of chicago., Monday, 15 October 2012 16:17 (six years ago) Permalink

the sprout are basically the british steely dan. each reflecting the awesomeness of their respective countries.

Jamie_ATP, Tuesday, 16 October 2012 13:51 (six years ago) Permalink

that's a feast that the whiskey priest may yet have to forgooooowhoooaoaaoah

bryan "radical" ferry (clouds), Tuesday, 16 October 2012 14:07 (six years ago) Permalink

'Swoon' is one of the loveliest debuts ever...a little faberge egg of an album...Never really did anything spectacular after 'Jordan' but there are a few gems...'Blue Roses' is lovely...

The Pastiche Liberation Front (sonnyboy), Tuesday, 16 October 2012 16:34 (six years ago) Permalink

Bonus points for having Jenny Agutter do the voiceover on "Wild Horses."

henry s, Tuesday, 16 October 2012 22:08 (six years ago) Permalink

Swoon just blew me away the first time I heard it, it's such a strange and addictive album. I'd had Steve McQueen for years and liked it, then in about 2006 I got Swoon and they became one of my favourte bands. Jordan is their third classic album. Protest Songs is a really good album but not on the same level. All their other albums have some moments but are pretty patchy.

Lions in my own Garden remains my favourite song of theirs. This is a great live version of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MKy5bAEG6g

Kitchen Person, Tuesday, 16 October 2012 23:53 (six years ago) Permalink

YES

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEJdfDD4dVg

Jamie_ATP, Thursday, 18 October 2012 15:33 (six years ago) Permalink

This just bubbled up on my iPod...a little lost gem...love the bass on this...trying sooooo hard to be funky

http://m.youtube.com/?reason=8&rdm=1448#/watch?v=cB32rSsQTaU&desktop_uri=/watch?v=cB32rSsQTaU

The Pastiche Liberation Front (sonnyboy), Tuesday, 23 October 2012 17:44 (six years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

http://www.obscuresound.com/2013/06/lost-prefab-sprout-album-surfaces

damn, did anyone hear the new Prefab Sprout tracks before they were pulled from Soundcloud? hopefully there'll be a new album out soon, but it's all very mysterious.

☉.☉☂ (unregistered), Friday, 21 June 2013 17:53 (five years ago) Permalink

there's a long fan discussion about it here, but the Soundcloud link is dead.

☉.☉☂ (unregistered), Friday, 21 June 2013 17:55 (five years ago) Permalink

The Cupid & Psyche thread made pull out a few tarcks from Steve McQueen. Quite stuck on Bonny at the mo.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 21 June 2013 17:56 (five years ago) Permalink

I listened to Steve McQueen recently for the first time in ages and it still sounds beautiful, singular, all that. It also triggered one of those transporting reveries that only music can provide where I was back in 1985 when I discovered this album and it was physical like I could smell the air in my old apartment - a mix of pizza fumes from downstairs & Saturday afternoon pot smoke - as well as feeling the emotions I was going through as a single guy about town, callow but sincere. Like I was there again. Haven't listened again but not because it wouldn't sound good. Gotta watch it w/nostalgia!

screen scraper (m coleman), Friday, 21 June 2013 18:34 (five years ago) Permalink

I still get a little smile on my face when I think that these guys titled one of their albums From Langley Park To Memphis... it's one of those album titles that gives me a certain feeling because I know Langley Park fairly well (it's not one of the most glamorous places in the world to say the least) and have loads of really drunken memories of the places, whereas Memphis remains a very mythical place to me.

I wanna live like C'MOWN! people (Turrican), Saturday, 22 June 2013 15:01 (five years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

This Devil Came A-Calling leak is arguably PS's most easily accessible album since Steve McQueen. Going down very well this morning.

doug watson, Wednesday, 10 July 2013 15:28 (five years ago) Permalink

Was relaxing in the sunshine a couple of days ago when 'Bonny' came into my head, such a beautiful song. It's usually either that or 'Appetite' which crops up in my mind from time to time when I least expect it.

I wanna live like C'MOWN! people (Turrican), Thursday, 11 July 2013 00:17 (five years ago) Permalink

Doug - I agree, Devil is the most consistent album since Jordan. I heard Change The World but I don't remember it at all. I've heard Paddy say Devil is a downer album but I don't hear it that way at all. And the way he says "assholes" is remarkable!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 11 July 2013 04:11 (five years ago) Permalink

christ 129 *pages* on that Sprout forum about this one leak? i know it's a big deal like but still. when were these new songs recorded do we know?
...Change The World was great but sounded like polished demos in places.

piscesx, Thursday, 11 July 2013 04:20 (five years ago) Permalink

just on a first listen the Devil seems comfortably best album since Jordan. So delighted! The Best Jewel Thief in the World!

woof, Tuesday, 16 July 2013 22:43 (five years ago) Permalink

I listened to "Let's Change The World" on Spotify. Blah, decent songs ruined by crappy beats.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 16 July 2013 23:13 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah, I struggled to get over the demo-sound, found it hard to enjoy the songs. None of it's stayed with me, but I should give it another listen.

woof, Tuesday, 16 July 2013 23:37 (five years ago) Permalink

I listened to "Let's Change The World" on Spotify. Blah, decent songs ruined by crappy beats.

― Gerald McBoing-Boing

I agree with this, terrible production.

I had no idea there was a new album out, is it just a leak then or is coming out properly?

Kitchen Person, Tuesday, 16 July 2013 23:44 (five years ago) Permalink

Leak, album is due out in October.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 17 July 2013 03:09 (five years ago) Permalink

Have had 4 songs from this just going round and round in my head in earworm rotation this last week, Adolescence gets replaced by Best Jewel Thief in the World gets replaced by Billy gets replaced by Mysterious gets replaced by Adolescence etc

woof, Tuesday, 23 July 2013 11:47 (five years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Just giving this my first listen on Spotify. Best Jewel Thief is indeed earworm, I've been wanting a song like that from him for a long time now.

Kitchen Person, Monday, 7 October 2013 14:12 (five years ago) Permalink

Paddy sort-of went from youngish looking lad to very old looking bloke, without any in between stage!

Mark G, Monday, 7 October 2013 14:57 (five years ago) Permalink

Well we didn't really see him for a long time, that was obv. the horrific in-between transition stage

Tommy McTommy (Tom D.), Monday, 7 October 2013 14:58 (five years ago) Permalink

I'd love a Prefab Sprout all songs poll but I have no time to volunteer! Talk about all deep cuts!

Iago Galdston, Monday, 7 October 2013 15:01 (five years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Best Jewel Thief is some top-drawer Sprout indeed.

subaltern 8 (Michael B), Thursday, 24 October 2013 22:23 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah that is an incredible opener. Shame the rest of the album doesn't quite match up to it.

Kitchen Person, Thursday, 24 October 2013 23:31 (five years ago) Permalink

Oh I don't know about that. Billy, The Dreamer and Adolescence are are highly anticipated here.

doug watson, Friday, 25 October 2013 00:52 (five years ago) Permalink

*are also

doug watson, Friday, 25 October 2013 00:52 (five years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

PS fans, drop everything and listen to this

http://www.mixcloud.com/longplayer/long-player-with-pete-paphides-episode-5-paddy-mcaloon/

piscesx, Tuesday, 28 October 2014 18:12 (four years ago) Permalink

Blocked in the U.S. (or maybe just for me). Any news of a new PS or Paddy album? _I Trawl the Megahertz_ is a comfort food album for me. Would love additional work in that vein.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Tuesday, 28 October 2014 18:21 (four years ago) Permalink

can some kind soul capture an mp3 of this for the yanks? i just happen to have had i trawl the megahertz on heavy rotation for the last couple weeks!

Iago Galdston, Tuesday, 28 October 2014 18:26 (four years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

This was great. If my middle age is spending sunday afternoons building flat-pack furniture while listening to an hour-and-a-half interview with Macaloon, then I can just about accept my middle age.

Iago, do you still need an mp3? I could probably work it out, but I'd just be using a mixcloud downloader - & I imagine if you used an online one it might bypass the US block.

woof, Monday, 1 December 2014 11:58 (three years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

I must say that, although I found Crimson/Red overall a bit underwhelming, "The Dreamer" is a super, super tune, one of his finest ever songs. It definitely has a Jimmy Webb tinge to it - evocative of "The Moon's A Harsh Mistress", "Still Within the Sound of my Voice" et al. - and needs to be covered by some moderately popular MOR singer stat. (The actual song about Jimmy Webb, "The Songs of Danny Galway" is rather bland by comparison.)

Freedom, Thursday, 14 May 2015 10:50 (three years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Actually thinking about it this happened with the backing vocals more than the lyrics - something like "When Bobby Fischer's plane touches the ground" is interrupted by that pert little "(plane, plane!)" in the backing, and for whatever reason it infuriates me every time, draws attention to the lyrical quirkiness. I hate that feeling when I'm listening to music and suddenly find myself thrown out of the record thinking "But why on earth is *that* there?". The "Doh-bee. Doh-bee." stuff at the start of 'I Couldn't Bear To Be Special' has the same effect.

It's "Boh-bee". Obviously it's "Boh-bee". I love "Boh-bee" and I love the album it's on. I think of it as being a bit like "77" by Talking Heads, a sort of awkward debut album, overlooked and understimated, but one I'm more likely to listen to than their later albums. The "Boo-Boo-Ba-Ba" at the end is pushing it though.

Terry Micawber (Tom D.), Sunday, 4 October 2015 20:46 (three years ago) Permalink

This was great. If my middle age is spending sunday afternoons building flat-pack furniture while listening to an hour-and-a-half interview with Macaloon, then I can just about accept my middle age.

Iago, do you still need an mp3? I could probably work it out, but I'd just be using a mixcloud downloader - & I imagine if you used an online one it might bypass the US block.
--woof

Thanks, woof. Still dying to hear this! Anyone have?

Iago Galdston, Sunday, 4 October 2015 22:31 (three years ago) Permalink

"Bonny" came up on shuffle and there is not a single thing out of place with it. From the breathy backing vocals to Paddy's inflection, it is absolutely perfect.
.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Sunday, 18 October 2015 00:12 (three years ago) Permalink

indeed. one of my absolute favorite songs on the 80s

brimstead, Sunday, 18 October 2015 00:13 (three years ago) Permalink

on of

brimstead, Sunday, 18 October 2015 00:14 (three years ago) Permalink

Have you guys heard the band Roman a Clef? Clear Sprout love.

calstars, Sunday, 18 October 2015 02:12 (three years ago) Permalink

Love "Cue the Fanfare"

calstars, Sunday, 18 October 2015 02:31 (three years ago) Permalink

playing for blood, as grandmasters should

calstars, Thursday, 22 October 2015 15:24 (three years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

i listened to steve mcqueen for the first time this year and it was immediately one of my favorite records of all time

insufficiently familiar with xgau's work to comment intelligently (BradNelson), Sunday, 22 November 2015 20:56 (two years ago) Permalink

Yup. It's great. Try Swoon next.

Iago Galdston, Sunday, 22 November 2015 21:06 (two years ago) Permalink

I only just heard 'The End of the Affair' for the first time. My favourite non-album track I've heard from them so far.

funk79, Sunday, 22 November 2015 21:07 (two years ago) Permalink

Moving the River is beautiful and ridiculous simultaneously

calstars, Sunday, 22 November 2015 22:37 (two years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Iago - I have a copy of the interview now if you're still looking. My ilx mail should work.

Teared up a little at 'Adolescence' this morning - that final "Girls - have some fun".

woof, Wednesday, 9 December 2015 11:37 (two years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

between "when love breaks down," "goodbye lucille #1," and "moving the river" sometimes it seems like steve mcqueen is talking directly to me

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Saturday, 26 December 2015 22:40 (two years ago) Permalink

oh and "desire as" of course

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Saturday, 26 December 2015 22:40 (two years ago) Permalink

I feel you.

Perfect album for after a thunderstorm when the sun and the clouds make love

lute bro (brimstead), Saturday, 26 December 2015 22:59 (two years ago) Permalink

Iago - I have a copy of the interview now if you're still looking. My ilx mail should work.

Teared up a little at 'Adolescence' this morning - that final "Girls - have some fun".

Thanks, woof! I'll email you

Iago Galdston, Sunday, 27 December 2015 00:15 (two years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

lol i've been listening to this band nonstop for two weeks

i guess everyone already knew that "the sound of crying" is the greatest song ever

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 15:29 (two years ago) Permalink

over the past week i've really grown to love let's change the world with music even though it's transparently an early '90s demo for what could've been, with "the sound of crying" included, the best ps record. i almost want to go back in time to make that happen

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 15:35 (two years ago) Permalink

it may surprise you to learn that I grew up with their best-of in heavy rotation on car trips

the sound of crying is a good one

And the cry rang out all o'er the town / Good Heavens! Tay is down (imago), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 15:37 (two years ago) Permalink

Jordan the Comeback is so great too. Ice Maiden is one of my top PS jams, love the conceit and the lyrics, everything.

nomar, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 15:38 (two years ago) Permalink

it may surprise you to learn that I grew up with their best-of in heavy rotation on car trips

not particularly! swoon feels like your kind of record

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 15:40 (two years ago) Permalink

I often have phases when they are all I can listen to for weeks. I usually obsess over Swoon, Steve McQueen and Jordan: The Comeback which are all 10/10 albums.

Kitchen Person, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 17:27 (two years ago) Permalink

After several weeks of loving the leaked demos for Crimson/Red, I bought the album on CD although didn't listen to it for a few months. Was kinda gutted when I realized that the two versions were so different, as I much prefer the demos and had foolishly deleted them from my HD after grabbing the CD. Anyone know if/where these might still be found?

doug watson, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 18:22 (two years ago) Permalink

I had the album leak, but I don't remember it being very different - were there demos too?

Shall we run through the albums? I know there are only about half a dozen of us who care, but anyway…

Prefab Sprout - Swoon poll

woof, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 18:42 (two years ago) Permalink

steve mcqueen poll would be literally impossible imo

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 18:51 (two years ago) Permalink

XP The album had a noticeably different mix than the leak.

doug watson, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 18:53 (two years ago) Permalink

A Steve McQueen poll wouldn't be impossible for me, and I love that record. It's 'Appetite', with absolutely zero doubt.

But... could you imagine a formation in your lemonade? Ho! (Turrican), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 18:57 (two years ago) Permalink

i mean "appetite" is the best song ever but so is "goodbye lucille #1"

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Wednesday, 11 May 2016 19:00 (two years ago) Permalink

God, what a fantastic group. Like The The, they're famous for recording an immense amount of material that has never leaked, which is incredibly frustrating. The first five songs on Jordan: The Comeback may be pop music's zenith

beamish13, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 19:00 (two years ago) Permalink

If we'd do a Steve McQueen poll, I'd put "Bonny" just a hair above "When Love Breaks Down" and "Appetite". Prefab has a reputation for being a real "music nerd/snob" group. Anyone agree with that sentiment?

beamish13, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 19:02 (two years ago) Permalink

I might have to go with Bonny. "Save your speeches, flowers are for funerals".

Has anyone else come across these live performances on YouTube from 85? They are seriously incredible.

https://youtu.be/zefR13phCKM

Kitchen Person, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 19:11 (two years ago) Permalink

The first pressed CDr I ever got in 1998, with a pro looking label and liner notes, was a comp of Prefab b-sides. I felt like I was holding the future.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 11 May 2016 20:18 (two years ago) Permalink

Thanks for that live link - I saw them right around that time (three weeks before or so), will enjoy reminding myself.

Tim, Thursday, 12 May 2016 05:35 (two years ago) Permalink

Only band I've ever seen where one of the road crew sprayed breath freshener on each microphone just before show time. Seemed appropriate.

Supposed Former ILM Lurker (WeWantMiles), Thursday, 12 May 2016 11:43 (two years ago) Permalink

the way he sings the word "improvising" in "sound of crying", i'm like, paddy, never change

pre millennial tension (uptown churl), Thursday, 12 May 2016 17:21 (two years ago) Permalink

also "life of surprises" is so good too

pre millennial tension (uptown churl), Thursday, 12 May 2016 17:21 (two years ago) Permalink

"Only the boogie music ..."

Mark G, Thursday, 12 May 2016 17:30 (two years ago) Permalink

I love Life of Surprises. Good advice throughout, not something you get much in pop.

"tell yourself that will have to do for now"

woof, Friday, 13 May 2016 10:19 (two years ago) Permalink

Plane! Plane! Plane!

clouds, Saturday, 14 May 2016 05:19 (two years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

can we please talk about "goodbye lucille #1 (johnny johnny)"

j. winters (josh), Tuesday, 31 May 2016 04:40 (two years ago) Permalink

No we won't

Why You Wanna Treeship Borad? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 31 May 2016 06:00 (two years ago) Permalink

That's it the perfect song? I'm all about "Donna Summer" right now

Iago Galdston, Tuesday, 31 May 2016 06:49 (two years ago) Permalink

These days whenever I want to listen to Steve McQueen I nearly always reach for the accoustic re-recordings.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 31 May 2016 07:43 (two years ago) Permalink

I finally found out the reasoning behind the initially annoying title and like it a lot now (and wanna hear other Goodbye Lucilles, even if they're crap)

albvivertine, Tuesday, 31 May 2016 08:00 (two years ago) Permalink

Oh, is it one of his "concept" albums we never get to hear?

Mark G, Tuesday, 31 May 2016 08:21 (two years ago) Permalink

Yeah, an album's worth of v different songs all named "Goodbye Lucille".

albvivertine, Tuesday, 31 May 2016 09:27 (two years ago) Permalink

Is he still in love with Hayley Mills?...

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Tuesday, 31 May 2016 10:35 (two years ago) Permalink

PS tribute next week in NYC. FAP?
http://www.thehifibar.com/event/1185649-hey-manhattan-its-prefab-new-york/

calstars, Wednesday, 1 June 2016 11:57 (two years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

my friend just told me about Prefab Sprout. i'm completely obsessed, and he said that this song "prefigured a whole era of modern music by nearly twenty years"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3H3lKt5_BM

i'm blown out of the water. this track is amazing and sounds like it came out today

flappy bird, Thursday, 20 October 2016 06:20 (two years ago) Permalink

def one of my favorite songs ever

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Thursday, 20 October 2016 12:59 (two years ago) Permalink

The only posts that make up for the "NEW MUSIC COMING!?!" hope crushed to disappointment when a favorite band pop up here (Prefab, The Blue Nile, The Apartments, Romeo Void, etc.) are posts like these, someone discovering the band and falling for them. Like Scrooge McDuck in his money pool, a convert being able to dive into the entire catalog at once is enviable.

Highly, highly recommend Paddy McAloon's _I Trawl the Megahertz_ if/when you get around to it. Personally, I rate it up there with _Steve McQueen_.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Thursday, 20 October 2016 13:58 (two years ago) Permalink

I still like "Appetite."

Alex in NYC, Thursday, 20 October 2016 15:09 (two years ago) Permalink

wild horses is an amazing track.

mizzell, Thursday, 20 October 2016 15:14 (two years ago) Permalink

There's pictures of Paddy hanging with Spike Lee in London last week. Apparently theyre working on something together!?

Neptune Bingo (Michael B), Thursday, 20 October 2016 16:14 (two years ago) Permalink

voodoo up, rollmo down

bitcoin bajas (diamonddave85), Thursday, 20 October 2016 17:24 (two years ago) Permalink

Great observation by that friend of yours, flap

doug watson, Thursday, 20 October 2016 23:46 (two years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Jordan vs Steve

calstars, Wednesday, 23 November 2016 23:09 (one year ago) Permalink

jord but also never make me choose

who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album (BradNelson), Wednesday, 23 November 2016 23:23 (one year ago) Permalink

Jordan yeah.

piscesx, Wednesday, 23 November 2016 23:46 (one year ago) Permalink

Jordan is Paddy perfecting Steve, which is really close to perfect already.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 24 November 2016 00:11 (one year ago) Permalink

I might go with Swoon over both of them.

Kitchen Person, Thursday, 24 November 2016 01:49 (one year ago) Permalink

I was just looking at PS lps on discogs and they're a lot more expensive than they were 15 years ago. Like, not break the bank expensive, but last time I bought Two Wheels Good (Steve McQueen) on vinyl, it was about $3. It is not that now.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Thursday, 24 November 2016 02:06 (one year ago) Permalink

Jordan. I think there are some wobbles in the first half (Machine Gun Ibiza), but it's completely immaculate Moondog onwards.

I forgot I started polling through the albums… I'll put up a SMcQ/2WG poll when I get five minutes.

woof, Thursday, 24 November 2016 11:46 (one year ago) Permalink

I'll save you time...it's 'Bonny'...

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Thursday, 24 November 2016 13:23 (one year ago) Permalink

I'd think it would be Appetite.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Thursday, 24 November 2016 13:24 (one year ago) Permalink

the acoustic Appetite on the reissue is like mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

droit au butt (Euler), Thursday, 24 November 2016 13:32 (one year ago) Permalink

i love both but steve mcqueen is definitely their best

it's got a much nicer texture & jordan's just a little too sprawling

ufo, Thursday, 24 November 2016 14:46 (one year ago) Permalink

I'd think it would be Appetite.

― Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Thursday, November 24, 2016 1:24 PM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Well, that's the one that I'd vote for!

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Thursday, 24 November 2016 15:01 (one year ago) Permalink

Picking between Bonny, Appetite and Goodbye Lucille is something I've always struggled with. Such perfect songs.

Kitchen Person, Thursday, 24 November 2016 20:06 (one year ago) Permalink

the run of tracks from Bonny to Goodbye Lucille #1 is their peak, it's incredible

ufo, Thursday, 24 November 2016 21:17 (one year ago) Permalink

Umm...why not throw Faron Young into that list just for good measure?

First three songs of side 2 ain't too shabby either.

yugi ex, Friday, 25 November 2016 18:04 (one year ago) Permalink

Struggling to get into PS besides 'Wild Horses' and 'When Love Breaks Down.' have listened to TWG and Jordan all the way through several times but nothing has stuck. was talking with my friend that turned me onto PS the other day, he mentioned how vicious and bitter McAloon's lyrics are delivery are throughout his records, he said they make Steely Dan's cynicism look like a party. i'm not hearing it though...

flappy bird, Friday, 25 November 2016 18:23 (one year ago) Permalink

Umm...why not throw Faron Young into that list just for good measure?

First three songs of side 2 ain't too shabby either.

― yugi ex,

Horsin' Around is the only song on Steve McQueen that's less than brilliant.

Kitchen Person, Friday, 25 November 2016 18:32 (one year ago) Permalink

jordan took me a while to understand. can't imagine loving "when love breaks down" and being unable to apply that to the rest of steve mcqueen tho

idk if i'd characterize prefab sprout as more cynical than steely dan, in "a life of surprises" dude wrote one of the best and most earnest advice songs i've ever heard. "cruel" is sorta dan-ish in that it undercuts its own perspective

who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album (BradNelson), Friday, 25 November 2016 18:35 (one year ago) Permalink

There's so many great lyrical moments on this album.

"Save your speeches, flowers are for funerals" vs. "You give me infra-red instead of sun" vs. "Wishing she could call him heartache but that's not a boys name"

Working night & day, I tried to stay awake... (Turrican), Friday, 25 November 2016 18:39 (one year ago) Permalink

definitely gonna keep listening because i'm in love with those two songs, especially 'Wild Horses'... i mean my god, talk about ahead of its time... my girlfriend thinks it sounds like Blood Orange though, and yeah, i've so far had no success turning other people onto the music of PS...

flappy bird, Friday, 25 November 2016 18:49 (one year ago) Permalink

absence makes the heart lose weight

who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album (BradNelson), Friday, 25 November 2016 18:49 (one year ago) Permalink

try "cars and girls"

a but (brimstead), Friday, 25 November 2016 18:53 (one year ago) Permalink

word, i will!

xp ha i thought that lyric was "absence makes the heartless wager," which i'm not sure makes sense but the real lyric is better

flappy bird, Friday, 25 November 2016 18:56 (one year ago) Permalink

"A Life of Surprises" is seriously about the best advice song ever, makes Steely Dan look like whiny teenagers

albvivertine, Friday, 25 November 2016 19:08 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah, I love his penchant for advice - there isn't much like it in pop, I think, since at its best it seems actually wise - Life of Surprises is the high point but also love that scolding 'She is a person too / She has her own will' in Goodbye Lucille* - really the key thing to be telling moping lovelorn boys. In fact, all the way through to 'Girls, have some fun' at the end of Adolescence.

He's really profoundly uncynical I think. Even seeing through things, in anger or bitterness, he's very humane and very scrupulous about emotion.

*also 'what are you - 21? The world is a million'

woof, Monday, 28 November 2016 11:30 (one year ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

finally, a second poll:
Prefab Sprout - Steve McQueen / Two Wheels Good poll

woof, Monday, 19 December 2016 22:02 (one year ago) Permalink

All this Prefab talk made me queue up my compilation of b-sides. I think this is complete, not counting remixes. It's not all gold but there's lots of gems here:
Lions In My Own Garden (Exit Someone)
Radio Love
The Devil Has All The Best Tunes
Walk On
Spinning Belinda
Donna Summer
Diana (single version)
Silhouettes
Oh! The Swiss
Real Life (Just Around The Corner)
Wigs
The Guest Who Stayed Forever
Old Spoonface Is Back
Vendetta
Nero The Zero
Dandy Of The Danube
Tin Can Pot
Tornado
Bearpark (demo)
The Sound Of Crying (full version)
If You Don't Love Me
Just Because I Can
Where The Heart Is
Dragons
The End Of The Affair
Girl I'm Here
Never Trust A Spell
I'm A Troubled Man (demo)

I also include these unreleased cuts from a fan bootleg:
Constant Blue (demo)
Cherry Tree (demo)
The Glass Slipper (demo)

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 21 December 2016 16:42 (one year ago) Permalink

Agreed on the gems, like "Donna Summer" and "Bearpark". We might own the same compilation, if "When the Angels (Instrumental)" is on yours, too. Wish there were more out there to collect. For better or worse, they're left to their original releases. The Collection included "LIMOG(ES)" as did one of the later singles, but that's pretty much it, I think.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Wednesday, 21 December 2016 20:44 (one year ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Just gorgeous...what an absolute hero he is

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Friday, 3 March 2017 15:00 (one year ago) Permalink

They got Santa for their new video?

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 3 March 2017 15:12 (one year ago) Permalink

paddy has looked recently-descended-from-a-mountain for like... over a decade now?

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Friday, 3 March 2017 15:17 (one year ago) Permalink

Has he ever "explained" his appearance recently? So hard to reconcile the voice on the early records with this Gandalf looking figure

calstars, Friday, 3 March 2017 16:26 (one year ago) Permalink

How do you explain sth like that?

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Friday, 3 March 2017 16:28 (one year ago) Permalink

Think his 'look' is at least partly related to the terrible eyesight problems he's had over the last ten years or more.

Bernie Lugg (Ward Fowler), Friday, 3 March 2017 16:30 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah "i trawl the megahertz" was like 2003 and he looked the same... who really cares though?

clouds, Friday, 3 March 2017 23:55 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah, wow, ask Paddy what gives--I'd love to hear that response

Iago Galdston, Saturday, 4 March 2017 00:41 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah, Paddy's looked like this for a long time now... I'm surprised that people are surprised about this now?

Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Saturday, 4 March 2017 00:47 (one year ago) Permalink

people should explain themselves when they grow beards

a but (brimstead), Saturday, 4 March 2017 01:26 (one year ago) Permalink

LOL Tom Scharpling used to do a segment where he adjudicated whether bearded callers had "earned their beard"

Iago Galdston, Saturday, 4 March 2017 02:49 (one year ago) Permalink

don't know if this has already been posted, but

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/88/da/a9/88daa9e7f3be063d3b7f6b3bf333575b.jpg

soref, Saturday, 4 March 2017 11:49 (one year ago) Permalink

lol

My guess is it's the public expression of a self perceived sea change of identity.

calstars, Saturday, 4 March 2017 12:59 (one year ago) Permalink

Or a way to not be recognized in public by his fans who I'd guess to be somewhat obsessive

calstars, Saturday, 4 March 2017 13:02 (one year ago) Permalink

Or a plea for attention but that doesn't seem to be his style.

calstars, Saturday, 4 March 2017 13:17 (one year ago) Permalink

thanks, Soref--perfect

Iago Galdston, Sunday, 5 March 2017 23:52 (one year ago) Permalink

goddamn his voice sounds great in that new video

flappy bird, Monday, 6 March 2017 01:56 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

"I told myself, 'one a year'. But if I did one thing a year, I'd be 60 by the time I cleared eight of them. And I have a lot more than eight." Clear-eyed, twinkle-eared, coulda-gone-deaf-and-blind Paddy McAloon, the sanest maverick and most engaged recluse in music, chuckles. At himself, at his situation, at the world.

This from a 2009 interview. Funny how one a year is spoken of as not making a dent in his projects, yet 9 years on, nothing new released. Haven't even heard any good rumors. The most recent mentioned a reissue of _I Trawl the Megahertz_ in the works, but nothing on that front sadly. If there's an album worth of additional tracks for that, I'd weep.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Wednesday, 26 September 2018 19:41 (one month ago) Permalink

The Independent interview, which is probably somewhere upthread.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Wednesday, 26 September 2018 19:44 (one month ago) Permalink


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