Prefab Sprout’s Audacious Pop of 1984-92 Is Illuminated on Four Vinyl Re-issues

On remastered and reconfigured versions of Prefab Sprout LPs Swoon, From Langley Park to Memphis, Jordan: The Comeback, and A Life of Surprises, songs involving a chess grandmaster, Springsteen, Elvis, Jesse James, God and Lucifer get a deserved new lease of life.

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Prefab Sprout’s second album, Steve McQueen / Two Wheels Good (1985), received the whole remastered treatment way back in 2007, for a “legacy edition”. That incited yet another flurry of critical accolades to cement the LP’s classic status and reaffirm such tracks as “When Love Breaks Down”, “Appetite”, and “Goodbye Lucille #1” as exquisitely crafted slices of mid-’80s British indie pop. That version also came with an extra disc of eight unplugged renditions by the band’s singer-songwriter Paddy McAloon, which appeared separately on vinyl for this year’s Record Store Day as Steve McQueen Acoustic. In other words, it’s about bloomin’ time the band’s other peak-period LPs benefitted from some renewed attention.

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