Prefab Sprout – Steve McQueen (1985)

Prefab Sprout Blamed

(Greenwich, London) – Cartographers working for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II have taken the ancient city of Durham, now formerly of Country Durham in northeast England, off the Royal Map. The city was famously “put on the map” in 1985 by indie-pop group Prefab Sprout and their debut album Steve McQueen.

Full of witty lyrics, wistful melodies, clever arrangements and intriguing production touches courtesy Thomas Dolby, Steve McQueen heralded the dawn of great hitmakers in the making. However, the band has been unable to sustain their initial momentum and now languishes in an adult indie-pop ghetto.

“While 80s period touches do date the Lp,” offered music writer Clifford Snoats, “Urbane songwriting and forceful performances lift Prefab Sprout above pretentious and MOR contemporaries, like the Smiths and Crowded House respectively, with whom they share many superficial similarities.”

“Steve McQueen is for people who like their music jangly and bittersweet,” he added.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has ordered mapmakers to remove Durham, legendary founded by Saint Cuthbert in the first millenium, from the map because the local band’s career subsequent to Steve McQueen, though critically lauded, has singularly failed to maintain a high level of public interest.

Clegg admitted that Steve McQueen was “pretty good,” but argued that it was “the kind of indie-pop album that the kind of indie-pop kidz [he] didn’t like back in the 80s were overly-gushy about. And now those people write for frickin’ Mojo.”

Published in: on February 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm  Comments (4)  

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  1. the UK music press bigged-up prefab sprout quite early on in their career, but i was put off by the silly name and only came around to them on the release of “from langley park to memphis”, by which time all my friends had become firm fans…

    i know as soon as you say the words “prefab sprout” everyone waxes lyrical about paddy mcaloon’s clever songs and considered lyricism, but what attracted me was the fact that much of the music from “langley park ” and its predessor “steve mcqueen” (that i caught up-with retrospectively) had a toe-tappingly good groove as well. so for a couple of years or so in the late 80’s/early 90’s they took over from level 42 as my favourite band (stop sniggering at the back there!), but the much-trumpeted “jordan: the comeback” was a real disapointment – despite being a double album the only classic sprout track for me was “all the world loves lovers”…

    after that they really fell away and were later replaced as “my favourite band of the time” by the aforementioned crowded house, but like level 42 i have re-learned to love the stuff i liked back then again, despite (or more likely because due to my nostalgic leanings these days) remaining rooted to the era in which they were recorded…

    ps – i’m not sure what to make of the website makeover, but one thing that is troubling me is that it doesn’t seem to show who the contributor is – can anything be done about that?

  2. I had absolutely no aural knowledge of Prefab Sprout before listening to this record yesterday; found the tunes/musicianship interesting, production somewhat dulled. Only knew that they were critic’s darlings.

    It does seem weird that the articles aren’t automatically attributed–I’ll sign my posts and encourage Eko and Glitch to do the same when/if they get around to posting. Frankly, the TV choir is poorer for having only one voice; I wish my Thrifty Brethren didn’t have better things to do and could contribute more.

    Re: L42 – A brave man, Wilber, a brave man. Raspec’.

  3. unlike prefab sprout, level 42 were never considered cool by the music press, but as far as i was concerned they had great musicianship, well-constructed material and they grooved, and i have no shame about admitting i was a big fan back then – the only thing i found uncomfortable about my allegiance was that they attracted the boorish “woh-oh! woh-oh!” cod-soul boy element whom i frankly found an embarrassment…

    had we all slavishly followed the NME’s advice to buy into what was deemed cool at the time we’d have all been listening to the jesus and mary chain! if godawful noise like that is hip then i’m happy to remain a square…

  4. […] HISTORIC ENGLISH CITY “TAKEN OFF THE MAP” – Prefab Sprout Blamed ( […]

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