― Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 7 January 2005 11:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
― youn, Friday, 7 January 2005 11:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
― youn, Friday, 7 January 2005 11:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
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
― piscesboy, Tuesday, 21 June 2005 15:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
― Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 15:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
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
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
― edd s hurt (ddduncan), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 22:33 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
― Tom May (Tom May), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 22:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
― jed_ (jed), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 23:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
― Hutlock (Hutlock), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 23:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
― Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Wednesday, 22 June 2005 06:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
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
― , Wednesday, 22 June 2005 12:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
― , Friday, 24 June 2005 00:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
― Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 25 June 2005 00:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
― Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 25 June 2005 00:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
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 FakesPaddy: "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 SnowPaddy: "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 FoxNME: 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 VeilPaddy: "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 FarPaddy: "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 MusicPaddy: "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 MidnightPaddy: "[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 ArmourPaddy: "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 HymnbookPaddy: "(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 MagicPaul 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 AmericaMeet The New MozartDoomed Poets Volume 1All 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 RoughAccording 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 TerriblePaddy:"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 albumI 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!
― Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Saturday, 25 June 2005 01:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
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
― brittle-lemon, Saturday, 25 June 2005 12:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
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
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
― dave vire think (dave225.3), Monday, 17 April 2006 18:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink
― Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Monday, 17 April 2006 18:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink
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
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
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
― ronchito, Monday, 1 May 2006 12:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink
― fandango (fandango), Monday, 7 August 2006 15:28 (twelve years ago) Permalink
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
― Booper Soul (Bimble...), Thursday, 8 February 2007 06:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink
― righteousmaelstrom (righteousmaelstrom), Thursday, 8 February 2007 22:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink
― keyth (keyth), Friday, 9 February 2007 04:19 (eleven years ago) Permalink
― john. a resident of chicago. (john s), Saturday, 10 February 2007 01:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink
― Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Saturday, 10 February 2007 01:22 (eleven years ago) Permalink
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
― henry s, Saturday, 21 April 2007 13:55 (eleven years ago) Permalink
― Geir Hongro, Saturday, 21 April 2007 17:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink
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":
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
"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
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
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