Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock
Digitally remastered and expanded two CD pressing of the UK Pop band's brilliant 1985 sophomore album (released in the U.S. as Two Wheels Good). With the remastering overseen by the album's original producer Thomas Dolby,... more »
Digitally remastered and expanded two CD pressing of the UK Pop band's brilliant 1985 sophomore album (released in the U.S. as Two Wheels Good). With the remastering overseen by the album's original producer Thomas Dolby, the band's original musical and artistic vision remains intact in glorious modern digital sound. The bonus disc features eight acoustic versions performed by bandleader/singer/songwriter Paddy McAloon. Sony. 2007.
"You Surely Are...A Truly Gifted Kid..." PREFAB SPROUT'S "St
Mark Barry at Reckless Records, Lon | UK | 11/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Following on from their hugely promising February 1984 debut "Swoon", England's PREFAB SPROUT took many English and Irish hearts by storm in the summer and autumn of 1985 with their stunning 2nd album "Steve McQueen". Rated by many as being in the Top 50 albums of all time, this April 2007 2CD LEGACY EDITION is a long overdue remastered celebration of that bedsit staple.
Here's the layout first - Disc 1 (45:13 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 11 are the album "Steve McQueen " issued in June 1985 on Kitchenware Records KW 3 in the UK (Vinyl, Cassette and CD). The US version was called "Two Wheels Good" for contractual reasons and was issued on Epic 40100. The US CD version contained 3 bonus tracks - "Faron Young (Truckin' Mix)", "The Yearning Loins" and "He'll Have To Go" - they were not included on the UK version - nor unfortunately included here on this reissue either. This Legacy reissue is remastered by original producer THOMAS DOLBY at The Mastering Lab in Los Angeles - he also contributes recollections to the liner notes.
Disc 2 (35:00 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 8 are brand new acoustic re-interpretations by Paddy McAloon (band's principal songwriter) of 8 tracks from the original 11 - they were recorded across the summer of 2006.
The 2CDs are housed in a card gatefold digipak (where's the Legacy Edition Protective Plastic outer wrap?), have motorbike logos on the CDs and a scant 12-page booklet with liner notes by PAUL LESTER. There are some new photos - outtakes from the album cover shoot, but bizarrely the original inner sleeve of the LP depicting the members of the band and giving recording details - is missing. But worse is the lack of musical extras. Between October 1984 and as late as February 1986, no less than 6 singles came off the album in the UK - When Love Breaks Down was put out 3 times - Faron Young, Appetite and Johnny Johnny were issued also - between them and their multiple formats, they produced as many as 12 unreleased B-sides and mixes. As you can see from the playing time on both discs, there was plenty of room for remasters of these rarities. They will probably never see the light of day now - which is maddening - especially on a supposed collector's edition. However, the other way of looking at it is this - presented as is - this reissue forces you to focus 'only' on the album proper - and the new acoustic tracks - and as they stand - they make for a truly sensational listen. So I can see why McAloon would want the album presented in this way, it's just disappointing not to see those non-album tracks that are not on CD anywhere...
Which brings us to the 1st part of the good news - THE SOUND. Like many who've loved this wonderful record, I've had the cramped vinyl LP and dull sounding original CD for over 20 years now - hoping for a good reissue of it at some point. Well this Thomas Dolby remaster is just BEAUTIFUL - clean, muscular and full of presence. Hearing the sublime "Bonny" in this sound quality is a treat no music lover should be without - and that synth solo - wow! And when you think of how awful a lot of Eighties music sounds now - so dated and over-produced - musically the whole album still holds it own. So many great tracks "Moving The River", "Desire As" and the Johnny Johnny song "Goodbye Lucille No.1" A really sweet remaster by Dolby. But the real fireworks and really great news starts on Disc 2...
Few would have expected that Acoustic Reinterpretations would be this good - or even rival and better the originals - but here they do. It's hard to understate just how stunning these beautifully recorded remakes are - I've been playing them to buggery for over 18 months now and still don't tire of them. Their sound quality is also GORGEOUS - very Blue Nile production - sooo good! I made up a shop-play disc of 7 tracks from the 2007 Ryan Adams album "Easy Tiger" with 7 of these acoustic versions - and it so works - to a point that every time I play it, it never fails to bring customers to the counter with looks of 'discovery' on theirs faces wanting to know "...who is this!!!"
To sum up - despite the ok-only packaging and lack of those b-sides - this is a 5-star reissue of a 6-star album - a must buy. I will go weak at the knees if the same treatment is planned for the equally magnificent "Jordon: The Comeback"..."