prefab sprout: jordan: the comeback

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the greatest album of all time

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Wild Horses 10
We Let the Stars Go 6
All the World Loves Lovers 4
Machine Gun Ibiza 4
Jordan: The Comeback 2
Scarlet Nights 1
Michael 1
The Wedding March 1
The Ice Maiden 1
Doo Wop in Harlem 1
Moon Dog 1
Jesse James Bolero 1
Carnival 2000 1
All Boys Believe Anything 0
Paris Smith 0
One of the Broken 0
Jesse James Symphony 0
Mercy 0
Looking for Atlantis 0


ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 10 July 2017 00:39 (four years ago) link

The Ice Maiden for me

nomar, Monday, 10 July 2017 00:39 (four years ago) link

My first impression is to go for Paris Smith, The Ice Maiden or Wild Horses. I'll have to give it another listen before voting. This album is ridiculously amazing.

kitchen person, Monday, 10 July 2017 00:47 (four years ago) link

We Let The Stars Go or Wild Horses for me...

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Monday, 10 July 2017 00:50 (four years ago) link

it's pretty much between literally every track, but especially like, wild horses vs. carnival 2000 vs. moon dog vs. jesse james bolero vs. the ice maiden vs. one of the broken vs. scarlet nights vs. doo wop in harlem

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Monday, 10 July 2017 00:53 (four years ago) link

Welcome to the glow of high octane affairs
Esperanto style and blonde disheveled hair

nomar, Monday, 10 July 2017 01:05 (four years ago) link

it's pretty much between literally every track, but especially like, wild horses vs. carnival 2000 vs. moon dog vs. jesse james bolero vs. the ice maiden vs. one of the broken vs. scarlet nights vs. doo wop in harlem

― ToddBonzalez (BradNelson),

The Wedding March is the only song that's below 10/10 here.

kitchen person, Monday, 10 July 2017 01:06 (four years ago) link

Wild Horses. a friend of mine turned me onto Prefab Sprout last year, he said that this song "presaged an entire genre/generation of music." it's an incredible song on its own, and it really is so ahead of its time. Love the syncopation in the chorus.

flappy bird, Monday, 10 July 2017 01:32 (four years ago) link

wild horses is the greatest

ufo, Monday, 10 July 2017 01:49 (four years ago) link

moon dog

J. Sam, Monday, 10 July 2017 04:13 (four years ago) link

We Let The Stars Go

piscesx, Monday, 10 July 2017 09:37 (four years ago) link

Feels almost impossible. Might be my favourite album?

One problem might be that it doesn't really come apart - All the World… and All Boys and The Ice Maiden fit together and speak to one another and make each other better; the same for the whole redemption/religion/death run at the end.

Maybe Wild Horses as a stand alone? Always loved We Let The Stars go, but now I think it could do with an extra verse.

woof, Monday, 10 July 2017 10:35 (four years ago) link

voodoo up, rollmo down

just another (diamonddave85), Monday, 10 July 2017 15:56 (four years ago) link

The smooth jazz vibe of Machine Gun is the only one I get enthusiastic about revisiting on Jordan. I prefer Steve overall

calstars, Monday, 10 July 2017 16:41 (four years ago) link

"The Wedding March" - "the grace that it takes / the grace you deserve / requires a lighter touch" - is a 10/10 for me. All 19 songs, killer, no filler. Love seeing people choose different tracks here.

One of those albums, over the years, every song has jumped out as being brilliant. So many lyrics to love - "Jesse James is thinking of the breaks he never had / and the gene that cursed his blood group Rhesus Bad", "Don't goodbye deserve some Bach, not barbershop?", "Girl, when I burn / hell, nothing's the same", "Can't forget His final words were 'Ain't no comeback gonna come your way.'" ....

I went with "Scarlet Nights" over "Wild Horses" (Jenny Agutter!) just because the guitar is always uplifting and cathartic after the previous three, and great on the car stereo.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Monday, 10 July 2017 17:12 (four years ago) link

After listening to this again, I've narrowed it down to either We Let The Stars Go or Paris Smith. We Let The Stars Go could get my vote because of the sparkling synths that appear as he sings the chorus. I could go with Paris Smith purely based of the line, "but I tried to be the Fred Astaire of words" combined with that beautiful swirling flute.

Ever since I got heavily into this band, I thought the hard decision was deciding if Swoon or Steve McQueen was their masterpiece. Now I'm starting to think it could be this?

kitchen person, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 19:15 (four years ago) link

Given that it's divided into four suite, how do you rate them? I'd go 4>1>3>2, 'Jesse James Bolero' and 'The Wedding March' are the weak points for me, but even they have their pleasures.

Dan Worsley, Thursday, 13 July 2017 20:40 (four years ago) link

'suites'

Dan Worsley, Thursday, 13 July 2017 20:40 (four years ago) link

Wild Horses has been a constant in my life since it came out so it was pretty clear cut in the end...

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Friday, 14 July 2017 04:02 (four years ago) link

Apart from one or two tracks, this album drops off considerably after "all the world loves lovers" imo

Well bissogled trotters (Michael B), Friday, 14 July 2017 12:31 (four years ago) link

idk how you could possibly choose just one

joshywinty (josh), Friday, 14 July 2017 18:02 (four years ago) link

Given that it's divided into four suite, how do you rate them? I'd go 4>1>3>2, 'Jesse James Bolero' and 'The Wedding March' are the weak points for me, but even they have their pleasures.

― Dan Worsley, Thursday, July 13, 2017 1:40 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

hmmmmmm

2>3>4>1

no that's not right

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 14 July 2017 19:24 (four years ago) link

every song is great

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 14 July 2017 19:24 (four years ago) link

i think i'm gonna go with "we let the stars go"

joshywinty (josh), Saturday, 15 July 2017 00:00 (four years ago) link

end of the road i'm traveling

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Saturday, 15 July 2017 00:02 (four years ago) link

Michael was my favourite when the album came out and on a recent re-listen it struck me as being weirdly beautiful. Probably not actually the best song on the album but my choice for this poll anyway.

treefell, Saturday, 15 July 2017 11:17 (four years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 23 July 2017 00:01 (four years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Monday, 24 July 2017 00:01 (four years ago) link

Good results. Can't really argue with that top three.

The biggest surprise is that Looking For Atlantis didn't get a single vote.

kitchen person, Monday, 24 July 2017 00:04 (four years ago) link

"One Of The Broken" deserved a vote too.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 24 July 2017 01:50 (four years ago) link

Yeah, pretty rare album poll where the first track doesn't get a single vote.

henry s, Monday, 24 July 2017 03:07 (four years ago) link

this album is good

k3vin k., Monday, 24 July 2017 18:36 (four years ago) link

eight months pass...

did they tour at all on this record? i'd like to hear wild horses live

flappy bird, Friday, 13 April 2018 05:48 (three years ago) link

a soundboard recording of a show from that tour recently surfaced

http://www.sproutology.co.uk/concerts/jordan-the-soundboard-dublin-point-december-9th-1990/

ufo, Friday, 13 April 2018 06:25 (three years ago) link

wow, amazing!!!!!!!! thank you!!!

flappy bird, Friday, 13 April 2018 06:52 (three years ago) link

six months pass...

i think this is my favorite album of all time now

princess of hell (BradNelson), Sunday, 14 October 2018 15:47 (two years ago) link

Wild Horses came up on my shuffle yesterday and it sounded so heavenly. I think this album has finally caught up with how much I love Steve McQueen.

kitchen person, Sunday, 14 October 2018 16:48 (two years ago) link

That soundboard Dublin show is great, thanks ufo. Paddy sounds quite the showman which I wasn't expecting for some reason.

piscesx, Monday, 15 October 2018 11:03 (two years ago) link

No way to download that gig for safe keeping?

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 15 October 2018 16:43 (two years ago) link

Most repeated stretch recently - “Jesse James (both)” - “Moon Dog” - “ATWLL”

Master of Treacle, Monday, 15 October 2018 20:00 (two years ago) link

I consider this one of the great "autumn" albums, probably because that's the time of year it was released...

henry s, Monday, 15 October 2018 20:19 (two years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Mercy getting no votes makes some sense since it's 82 seconds long but imo it's one of the best songs here

But Looking For Atlantis getting none too!? how!?!?

josh az (2011nostalgia), Thursday, 8 November 2018 04:31 (two years ago) link

I've only just discovered this album, but is there an actual backstory behind the character of Jordan?

josh az (2011nostalgia), Thursday, 8 November 2018 04:33 (two years ago) link

There are some great songs on this but Mercy is by far the greatest of them. I thought I’d voted in this poll but obviously not.

Fwiw, I find wild horses weirdly awkward.

brokenshire (jed_), Thursday, 8 November 2018 18:34 (two years ago) link

Wow

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Thursday, 8 November 2018 18:36 (two years ago) link

Sorry wrong thread but weirdly right

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Thursday, 8 November 2018 18:38 (two years ago) link

Wild Horses is weirdly awkward but that's what makes it so great imo - the syncopation in the choruses specifically.

flappy bird, Thursday, 8 November 2018 19:33 (two years ago) link

I assumed you were talking about the lyrics cos...

Number None, Friday, 9 November 2018 14:21 (two years ago) link

"I'm a wolf with an eye for the ponies" is an all time second verse closer line

flappy bird, Friday, 9 November 2018 20:22 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

This album!

yugi ex, Saturday, 29 December 2018 23:25 (two years ago) link

sign o the times is a great example of a record where the vinyl vs. cd/digital is night and day

flappy bird, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 17:22 (two years ago) link

Funnily enough I keep thinking of Sign O'The Times as I am getting to know this, something about the scope, ambition and realised vision makes them seem aligned.

At the moment Jordan edges it as it doesn't have a Starfish & Coffee on it!

yugi ex, Tuesday, 8 January 2019 20:26 (two years ago) link

sign o the times is a great example of a record where the vinyl vs. cd/digital is night and day

I worked in a record shop in the summer of 88 and we had everything on cd, tape and vinyl. I remember doing a vinyl v CD sound test on Lovesexy and vinyl won by miles. The sound was indeed richer and more consistent but my abiding memory was how the snares crunched and smacked whereas on CD they just seemed to keep time.

Daniel Giraffe, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 13:37 (two years ago) link

Well, I'd never heard this (or had forgotten) before today. I've always had a troubled relationship with PS, finding them right on the cusp of the kind of arch and whimsical stuff that I struggle with. Anyway, talk about missing the obvious: it's glorious. And, stating the obvious, but I assume Dan Bejar has heard this once or twice.

Good cop, Babcock (Chinaski), Wednesday, 9 January 2019 14:33 (two years ago) link

Wow - did not know Natalie Prass was covering this - was made for the Spacebomb treatment now I think of it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1jcxlnEK9Y

Stevie T, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 14:58 (two years ago) link

iirc dan bejar said this was one of the main influences on kaputt

ufo, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 15:01 (two years ago) link

xpost (Following Pure Bathing Culture's whole album cover of Hats, maybe 2019 is the year the sophistipop revival goes overground)

Stevie T, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 15:02 (two years ago) link

No idea who Natalie Prass is but that was a great cover.

brotherlovesdub, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 16:58 (two years ago) link

"I Trawl the Megahertz", could also file under "puns I see now": "And, yes: ‘mega hurts’ – pun intended,” says Paddy in this Record Collector interview.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Wednesday, 9 January 2019 18:08 (two years ago) link

Lovely interview - the recent Mojo one is also a very good read.

michaellambert, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 21:02 (two years ago) link

When I sing "Looking for Atlantis" in my head I always sing it slower then I listen to it and think it's too fast. It is too fast, it's better in my head.

Acting Crazy (Instrumental) (jed_), Wednesday, 9 January 2019 23:42 (two years ago) link

the September date for Femmes Mythologiques is new isn't it? looking forward to anything new from him

ufo, Thursday, 10 January 2019 00:16 (two years ago) link

six months pass...

been a real jordan summer for me. it's between the title track, scarlet nights, or moon dog. or we let the stars go. the jesse james diptych also is kinda devastating at the right moment. lord, this album.

mott the hoopleheads (voodoo chili), Saturday, 13 July 2019 18:55 (two years ago) link

any music worth its salt is good for dancing

mott the hoopleheads (voodoo chili), Monday, 15 July 2019 03:11 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Just started really digging into this. Wish the production had a bit more oomphy low-end at parts... but wow lots and lots of a great songs.

in twelve parts (lamonti), Tuesday, 30 July 2019 15:33 (two years ago) link

death is a small price for heaaaaven

jakey mo collier (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 30 July 2019 15:49 (two years ago) link

"I will sign it 'Lucifer regrets'" was warring with "Welcome to the glow of high octane affairs, Esperanto style, and blonde disheveled hair" as favorite lyric from a play last week. Every play, a new contender.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Tuesday, 30 July 2019 20:45 (two years ago) link

the earth was merely round
before the slapback sound

J. Sam, Tuesday, 30 July 2019 22:46 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

the moment where the heavy guitars come in on the ice maiden, jeez.

Mommy...can I go out and VAPE tonight? (voodoo chili), Saturday, 14 September 2019 18:33 (two years ago) link

We're talking fire
We're talking flame
We're talking ice into ashes

Mommy...can I go out and VAPE tonight? (voodoo chili), Saturday, 14 September 2019 18:33 (two years ago) link

He's been on their official Instagram talking about each of the newly reissued vinyl albums, some interesting and funny stuff on there; the Life Of Surprises comp was originally to be called Ten Years On The Launchpad.

piscesx, Saturday, 14 September 2019 20:17 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

arctic winds blow and still you believe
love makes you one of the chosen

525,600 gecs (voodoo chili), Monday, 30 December 2019 05:05 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

a frantic phonecall from a friend has alerted me that the jordan demos have finally leaked

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 02:09 (one year ago) link

!!!

sleight return (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 02:16 (one year ago) link

Woah, where?

OneSecondBefore, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 18:24 (one year ago) link

yep

the j0rdan demos

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 18:25 (one year ago) link

The google link here worked for me.


Jordan demos anyone? https://t.co/lrFKDEvUTS and https://t.co/7gs4lz5Q2m - nothing to do with me but grab them while they’re there. From the PS unofficial FB group. Unreleased song too

— NicD (@Sproutology) May 19, 2020

Tim, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 18:54 (one year ago) link

Nice, many thanks! An unreleased song from this period is pretty exciting.

OneSecondBefore, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 18:56 (one year ago) link

woa! this is amazing.
i love this record so much... never thought i‘d be able to hear alternate versions of every single song, and they are just beautiful! i love the shiny productions of the records but hearing these versions already carrying the same grand vision while keeping the naive purity of home recordings - even if pretty elaborate ones - is something else.

Pagoda, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 14:02 (one year ago) link

Well, these demos of one of my all-time favorite albums are such a gift. But are they demos or just rough mixes, perhaps a bit of both?

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 22 May 2020 02:04 (one year ago) link

mostly seem like roughs, but scarlet nights is definitely a demo and it's 1000% worth checking out

sleight return (voodoo chili), Friday, 22 May 2020 02:47 (one year ago) link

while the arrangements are pretty fleshed out they seem clearly enough like demos

ufo, Friday, 22 May 2020 03:08 (one year ago) link

michael is so good

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Friday, 22 May 2020 04:04 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

I usually try to avoid the comments on RYM but this one captured my feelings: "a good example of a band who whilst making a record, probably thought they were making their last." There's so much here, much of it great. If I had heard this album in time for the poll, I think I would have thrown my vote to "Looking for Atlantis" but there's like six or seven tracks here that could vie for best

Vinnie, Monday, 31 August 2020 12:02 (one year ago) link

my friend hates "horsechimes" but loves "the wedding march". i don't know how you can be so wrong

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Monday, 31 August 2020 16:09 (one year ago) link

i love em both

whiney on the moon (voodoo chili), Monday, 31 August 2020 16:15 (one year ago) link

wedding march gets a little too close to mccartneyesque granny music (which we also have very differing opinions on)

diamonddave85​​ (diamonddave85), Monday, 31 August 2020 16:21 (one year ago) link

oh yeah, it's very 'when i'm 64'-esque. another song i love. it's corny, but paddy's sincerity and sharp lyricism shines through the corniness, just like on plenty of other moments throughout the album. tho, i understand why the wedding march is the hardest to take.

whiney on the moon (voodoo chili), Monday, 31 August 2020 16:47 (one year ago) link

title track might have the strongest contrast of amazing chorus and what-were-they-thinking verses, although only paddy could even come close to pulling off the 'voiceover' style verses. but greatest chorus of all time! what a band

Vapor waif (uptown churl), Monday, 31 August 2020 18:30 (one year ago) link

not only a voiceover-style verse, but delivered in a weak attempt at a southern-cowboy accent.

whiney on the moon (voodoo chili), Monday, 31 August 2020 19:11 (one year ago) link

Yeah title track has quite a switch between the verses and chorus. I think there's a few moments like that on the album but I love how this album also feels like it contains every genre and every mood and so, switches like that are part of the deal. "Moondog" also has an abrupt switch from the section with the electric piano and fake brass back to the icy verses. Probably the only thing I wish I could change about this album is make more of the instrumentation live

Vinnie, Monday, 31 August 2020 23:55 (one year ago) link

the album is all about word painting too, so if he’s singing about angels and king david, he’s gonna add harps, if he’s singing about elvis, he’s gonna sing in elvis’s accent, if he’s singing about carnival in rio, you better believe there’s gonna be some samba.

i love it to death, tbh.

whiney on the moon (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 1 September 2020 03:25 (one year ago) link

I don't think it's so much the arrangements as much as the slightly boxed-in nature of the synthetic sounds.

Still fucking slaps though.

in twelve parts (lamonti), Tuesday, 1 September 2020 08:03 (one year ago) link

Yes, I only mean to replace some of the synthetic instruments (like aforementioned brass) with real ones. Yes, the album is great anyway

Vinnie, Tuesday, 1 September 2020 10:06 (one year ago) link

I might be off base, but i think they layer real horns on top of synth horns in carnival 2000, which is kinda wild if that’s what they actually did

whiney on the moon (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 1 September 2020 11:34 (one year ago) link

30 years old today

ptah el dude (voodoo chili), Monday, 7 September 2020 16:23 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

This album. I'd assumed it was the perfect spring listen but of course it makes sense at Christmas - it practically lights the fire for you. And all those bells.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Monday, 14 December 2020 21:09 (nine months ago) link

I think I'd go for Scarlet Nights or Doo-Wop in Harlem if I voted today.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Monday, 14 December 2020 21:11 (nine months ago) link

eight months pass...

I get that wonderful spiralling feeling from this album, that every time I hear it, it just gets better and better - more coherent, more romantic and ambitious. And I only found out today that Jenny Agutter's line from Wild Horses is performed, not a sample.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Sunday, 12 September 2021 19:23 (six days ago) link

Anyone know the story behind how they got her to do that line?

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Sunday, 12 September 2021 23:54 (six days ago) link


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