Monday, October 18, 2004

Prefab Sprout

Left Of The Dial : Dispatches From The '80s Underground is a great 4 CD set that came out last week. It's a really diverse line up of bands that populated US college radio during that decade, mostly British and American acts (very few Aussies and no New Zealanders are represented). It's a fantastic mix of new wave, punk and early alternative music. Buried in between Suicidal Tendencies, The Pixies, Ultravox and Bauhaus I spied the name Prefab Sprout. God, I loved that first record of theirs - Two Wheels Good if you lived in the US, Steve Mc Queen everywhere else. It's been a few years since I listened to it so I pulled it out, and it's blend of smart, melodic pop seduced me all over again. Produced by Thomas Dolby (who also played synths on it), the album still sounds good today - it's songs have something of a timeless quality to them. Appetite was the first track of theirs I heard, and it remains one of my favorites. It's got great bouncy bass, gorgeous swirling synths and piano, and fantastic harmonising from Wendy. I love all of the different guitar bits too - jazzy in places, rockin' during the chorus. A very memorable tune from a great album.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Swoon was their first album. 1984. More arty. Still great though.

http://www.browningmcintosh.com/plocktonwest/sprout2.html

http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=3628911&cart=210318186&style=music&Bab=E

Michael said...

You're right - I forgot about Swoon. Oops.

Chris said...

When Love Breaks Down is my favourite Prefab Sprout song....thanks for twekaing my memory as I go hunting for this cd.

Zero Transmission :: http://zerotrans.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Also there's "Protest Songs." It's before "Two Wheels Good."

Also a great record :)

Classic said...

Hey, it's a mystery. Why doesn't N.Zea.'s Mi-Sex ever get better recognized?
Only thinking. People. I don't know. But you don't care. It only hurts when I'm laughing.

datz said...

Well, I think the album sequence (at least as they were issued in the UK)was as follows
1.Swoon
2.Steve McQueen (aka Two Wheels)
3.From Langley Park to Memphis*
4.Protest Songs
Then some not too good albums followed, but thats only my opinion!

*"This follow-up to "Steve McQueen" is, of course, not really the follow up. That role belongs to "Protest Songs" which wouldn't be released until a year after "Langley...!" "Protest Songs" was intended to be something of a limited release during the tour that accompanied "Steve McQueen," but concerns about conflicting with sales of "McQueen" once "When Love Breaks Down" finally became a hit caused the release to be shelved." Taken from http://www.browningmcintosh.com/plocktonwest/sprout2.html a full and detailed Prefab Sprout discography.