Tuesday, August 03, 2010

On my turntable: Prefab Sprout - Protest Songs

Knowing some of my readers as I do, I expect that some of you will understand this:  There are some bands of which I consider myself a "fan".  I follow their work and tend to buy whatever they release (if it's on vinyl, otherwise I'll usually just go digital).  In some rare cases I am a fan of a particular album by a band, but the rest of their work, for whatever reason, fails to create any spark of interest.

For me, Prefab Sprout has been one of those bands. Their 1985 masterwork (that's right, I said it) Two Wheels Good (or Steve McQueen as it was known outside of America) totally captured me in the summer of '96 when I was on a trip to Saranac Lake, NY, where I interviewed for a job at a community college. As I was packing for the trip I tossed cassettes of Two Wheels, The Byrds' Younger than Yesterday, and Elvis Costello's All this Useless Beauty into my backpack, hoping that it would be the proper music for the trip. It turned out to be an incredible week (I was offered the job but turned it down), and Two Wheels Good cemented its position among my favorite LPs of all time.

Last week I found a sealed copy of Two Wheels Good for $5, along with a couple of import Prefab Sprout 12" singles for a buck each. A few days later I stumbled across Protest Songs (1989), which I'd never seen before, but since I was riding a Prefab Sprout high I bought it. After a little googling I learned that Protest Songs was actually supposed to be the follow-up to Two Wheels Good, but was temporarily scrapped.  One writer speculated that the album was too similar to TWG, and that the band wanted something more fresh.  Of course I'm thinking TWG pt II!!  While I've only listened once, I do agree that this album is indeed similar to TWG, and for that reason I am so glad I found it. I expect to listen to this a lot in the next two weeks as I attempt to de-stress in preparations for my upcoming prelim exam on 8/20.


Anonymous said...

Back in 1991 I got Jordan the Comeback by Prefab Sprout, loved it, but I never got anything else by them. Last year I got myself an ipod and started to listen to music again,starting with whatever bands I used to like back in 80's and 90's. Finally in December I got to Prefab Sprout and have been hooked since then. Now I have all of their albums and couldn't say which one is my absolute favorite...varies from day to day. Wonderful band!


360Sound said...

Great choice!
I heard Swoon as a new release in the record store where I worked at the time, and was an immediate fan. That one and TWG are my favorites. I never picked Protest Songs up, although I love "Wicked Things", which was a non-LP B-side back in the day..