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Prefab Sprout - A Life of Surprises (Remastered)

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A Life of Surprises (Remastered)

Prefab Sprout

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Prefab Sprout was always too good for the radio. Hearing the band's immaculate, gorgeously crafted pop songs alongside disposable, unimaginative records seemed like blasphemy. Perhaps many American radio programmers felt the same way, as most of this best-of compilation is obscure to U.S. listeners. While Two Wheels Good and From Langley Park to Memphis are superior purchases, A Life of Surprises is an engaging introduction to a group that is nowhere near as bizarre as its name. Much has been said about Paddy McAloon's warm, comforting voice, but like Paul Heaton of the Housemartins and the Beautiful South, his soothing croon can sometimes hide some pretty depressing lyrics. "When Love Breaks Down" is classic '80s new wave heartache: teary-eyed synthesizers, downtrodden basslines, and McAloon's whispery talk create a film noir atmosphere of deep sadness. The lyrics are sharpened by his adult observations. "When love breaks down/You join the wrecks/Who leave their hearts for easy sex," McAloon sings. The brutal honesty of those lines easily elevate "When Love Breaks Down" to the top class of breakup songs. Even more powerful is "Goodbye Lucille No. 1 (Johnny Johnny)," sung from the perspective of a man trying to make a close friend get over a girl who has rejected him. The words are frank and painfully realistic as McAloon doesn't sugarcoat the dialogue. McAloon rips into his buddy's futile romantic fantasies and lets the hard light of reality shine upon him: "Ooh Johnny Johnny Johnny you won't make it any better/Ooh Johnny Johnny Johnny you might well make it worse." If this sounds dreary it should be noted that Prefab Sprout isn't one of those grim British raincoat bands. The group has a number of wonderfully upbeat moments, such as on the exhilarating "Hey Manhattan!" and "Cars and Girls," a clever commentary on Bruce Springsteen's preoccupation with automobiles and women.
© Michael Sutton /TiVo

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A Life of Surprises (Remastered)

Prefab Sprout

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1
The King of Rock 'N' Roll
00:04:23

Prefab Sprout, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Paddy McAloon, Composer, Lyricist - Thomas Dolby, Producer

(P) 2019 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

2
When Love Breaks Down Remastered
00:04:10

Prefab Sprout, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Paddy McAloon, Composer, Lyricist - Phil Thornally, Producer

(P) 2019 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

3
The Sound of Crying Remastered
00:04:44

Prefab Sprout, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Paddy McAloon, Composer, Lyricist - Stephen Lipson, Producer

(P) 2019 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

4
Faron Young Remastered
00:03:47

Prefab Sprout, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Paddy McAloon, Composer, Lyricist - Thomas Dolby, Producer

(P) 2019 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

5
Carnival 2000
00:03:22

Prefab Sprout, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Paddy McAloon, Composer, Lyricist - Thomas Dolby, Producer

(P) 2019 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

6
Goodbye Lucille #1 Remastered
00:04:28

Prefab Sprout, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Paddy McAloon, Composer, Lyricist - Thomas Dolby, Producer

(P) 2019 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

7
I Remember That
00:04:15

Prefab Sprout, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Paddy McAloon, Composer, Lyricist - Thomas Dolby, Producer

(P) 2019 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

8
Cruel
00:04:19

Prefab Sprout, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Paddy McAloon, Composer, Lyricist - David Brewis, Producer

(P) 2019 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

9
Cars and Girls
00:04:26

Prefab Sprout, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Paddy McAloon, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Jon Kelly, Producer

(P) 2019 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

10
We Let the Stars Go Remastered
00:03:35

Prefab Sprout, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Paddy McAloon, Composer, Lyricist - Thomas Dolby, Producer

(P) 2019 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

11
Life of Surprises
00:04:04

Prefab Sprout, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Paddy McAloon, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Jon Kelly, Producer

(P) 2019 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

12
Appetite Remastered
00:03:57

Prefab Sprout, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Paddy McAloon, Composer, Lyricist - Thomas Dolby, Producer

(P) 2019 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

13
If You Don't Love Me Remastered
00:03:44

Prefab Sprout, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Paddy McAloon, Composer, Lyricist - Stephen Lipson, Producer

(P) 2019 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

14
Wild Horses
00:03:41

Prefab Sprout, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Paddy McAloon, Composer, Lyricist - Thomas Dolby, Producer

(P) 2019 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

15
Hey Manhattan!
00:04:46

Prefab Sprout, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Paddy McAloon, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Andy Richards, Producer

(P) 2019 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

16
All the World Loves Lovers
00:03:51

Prefab Sprout, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Paddy McAloon, Composer, Lyricist - Stephen Lipson, Producer - Thomas Dolby, Producer

(P) 2019 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited

Descripción del álbum

Prefab Sprout was always too good for the radio. Hearing the band's immaculate, gorgeously crafted pop songs alongside disposable, unimaginative records seemed like blasphemy. Perhaps many American radio programmers felt the same way, as most of this best-of compilation is obscure to U.S. listeners. While Two Wheels Good and From Langley Park to Memphis are superior purchases, A Life of Surprises is an engaging introduction to a group that is nowhere near as bizarre as its name. Much has been said about Paddy McAloon's warm, comforting voice, but like Paul Heaton of the Housemartins and the Beautiful South, his soothing croon can sometimes hide some pretty depressing lyrics. "When Love Breaks Down" is classic '80s new wave heartache: teary-eyed synthesizers, downtrodden basslines, and McAloon's whispery talk create a film noir atmosphere of deep sadness. The lyrics are sharpened by his adult observations. "When love breaks down/You join the wrecks/Who leave their hearts for easy sex," McAloon sings. The brutal honesty of those lines easily elevate "When Love Breaks Down" to the top class of breakup songs. Even more powerful is "Goodbye Lucille No. 1 (Johnny Johnny)," sung from the perspective of a man trying to make a close friend get over a girl who has rejected him. The words are frank and painfully realistic as McAloon doesn't sugarcoat the dialogue. McAloon rips into his buddy's futile romantic fantasies and lets the hard light of reality shine upon him: "Ooh Johnny Johnny Johnny you won't make it any better/Ooh Johnny Johnny Johnny you might well make it worse." If this sounds dreary it should be noted that Prefab Sprout isn't one of those grim British raincoat bands. The group has a number of wonderfully upbeat moments, such as on the exhilarating "Hey Manhattan!" and "Cars and Girls," a clever commentary on Bruce Springsteen's preoccupation with automobiles and women.
© Michael Sutton /TiVo

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