Prefab Sprout hit the music scene in the 1980’s and would go on to have commercial success worldwide with From Langley Park to Memphis, singing about Hotdogs and Jumping Frogs! This was their second album and although they would have more commercial success with FLPTM and later release Jordan the Comeback this is by far my favourite Prefab Sprout album.
I remember Prefab Sprout being on all the early evening chat shows playing (plugging) When Love Breaks Down and if I remember rightly it was re-released as a single a couple of times before having some chart success. The album was released to critical acclaim and listening to it again some 26 years on it still stands up to that praise. Although the production is very eighties (crisp with the snare high in the mix) what you can’t get away from is the stunning quality of the song writing. Although opening track Faron Young is good the album moves up a gear. I think tracks 2 through to 5 are simply stunning and I would put that those 5 tracks up against any other 4 consecutive tracks on any album I own. Bonny, Appetite, When Love Breaks Down, and Goodbye Lucille #1, make amazing listening, great tunes, great melodies and lyrics that we can all relate t to. Although When Love Breaks down was the hit single, Goodbye Lucille #1 is my favourite it appears to be an ode to a broken heart played out in a call and response manner with Wendy Smith (The female vocalist) singing Oh Johnny Johnny repeatedly, and Paddy McAloon singer and songwriter and of the band kind of sympathising with the young guy who has been dumped (by Lucille I assume) whilst basically telling him to get over it! “You’re not the first, though It hurts” and “why don’t you join the Foreign Legion” kind of say yeah I know you have been dumped it’s sad but hell it’s happened to us all! Saying that the lines “Life’s not complete, ‘til your hearts missed a beat, and you’ll never make it up, or turn back the clock” Is just beautiful and in two lines describes that moment we all fall love and how we feel when we are dumped and you wish it had never happened (or at least that what it means to me!!)
After track 5 the album is still good but doesn’t match the first half of the album, other than Desire As which has the great line “ I have six things on my mind, you’re no longer one of them” which is kind of saying yeah I’m over you and I’m telling you so.
Paddy McAloon continues to record to this day to great reviews and I think at one point suffered temporary blindness for nearly a year
If you like Crowded House there will be lots to like here and with a swell in my chest I can say this is a great album from a great North East band