Let's Change the World with Music

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Let's Change the World with Music
Studio album by Prefab Sprout
Released 7 September 2009
Recorded 1993-2008
Genre Sophisti-pop
Alternative rock
Label Sony Music
Kitchenware Records
Producer Calum Malcolm - (Recording Engineer, Archivist)
Prefab Sprout chronology
The Gunman and Other Stories
(2001)
Let's Change the World with Music
(2009)
Crimson/Red
(2013)

Let's Change the World with Music is the eighth album from UK band Prefab Sprout. It was released in the UK on 7 September 2009. It was the band's first album of new material since 2001's The Gunman and Other Stories and marked a return to their former label Sony Music. The album reached #39 in the UK Albums Chart at the end of the week of its release. Although no singles were technically released, "Let There Be Music" was sent to radio stations and "Sweet Gospel Music" was due to be a one track digital release, only to highlight the album, but received no airplay and therefore was pulled.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Let There Be Music"
  2. "Ride"
  3. "I Love Music"
  4. "God Watch Over You"
  5. "Music Is a Princess"
  6. "Earth: The Story So Far"
  7. "Last of the Great Romantics"
  8. "Falling in Love"
  9. "Sweet Gospel Music"
  10. "Meet the New Mozart"
  11. "Angel of Love"

All songs written by Paddy McAloon.

Background[edit]

The album title was known among the band's fans as being one of the 'lost' albums recorded in demo form by the band's lead singer Paddy McAloon in 1993. The album was originally intended to be the successor to 1990's Jordan: The Comeback[1] and was to have been produced by Thomas Dolby.

In an interview with Craig McLean of The Independent,[2] McAloon observed that the prime mover behind the album was his long-term manager, Keith Armstrong. McAloon stated that "Keith was trying to help me, to make some money. When I finish something I listen to it intensively for a short period, then never look at it again. And I'm not really that interested. But when I heard this I thought, 'Oh boy, this is good.'"

During an interview on The Radcliffe and Maconie Show on BBC Radio 2 (3 September 2009) McAloon explained that in 1993 at a meeting with Sony he presented a tape of about fourteen songs as the follow-up to the lengthy Jordan: The Comeback. Apparently there were too many people in the room and the meeting did not go well. Although Sony's A&R man, Muff Winwood,[3] wanted him to trim the record down to a more manageable length, for whatever reason there was a misunderstanding and McAloon understood that they wanted him to expand on just one or two of the ideas (rather than just trim 1 or 2 of the songs from the album). He then went away for a year and a half and developed one of the 3 minute songs into a 30 song piece of music. After a period he realised that was not what they wanted, but by this point it was too late.

The album was written, performed and produced by Paddy McAloon at his own Andromeda Heights studio in County Durham around 1993. It was then mixed in Scotland by long-time engineer Calum Malcolm.[4] None of the other bandmembers appear although McAloon dedicates the album to them.

McAloon actually wrote two versions of the title track. One was based around the idea of a duet with Barbra Streisand.[5] The phrase "Let's Change the World with Music" is the first line of the chorus. However, neither version of the track is included on the album.

Several titles have been recorded previously by other artists, namely Australian singer Wendy Matthews on her album The Witness Tree ("Ride", "God Watch Over You"). "God Watch Over You" was also recorded by British theatrical star Frances Ruffelle on her debut album Fragile.

The release was also accompanied by a few interviews, for example in The Sunday Times[6] and Mojo.

The album reached #39 in the UK Albums Chart at the end of the week of its release. It was released on the same day as a number of The Beatles' re-issues which occupied eleven of the chart places above it.

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[7]
BBC (positive)[8]
Independent (positive)[9]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[10]
SPIN 8/10 stars[11]
The Times 5/5 stars[12]

Initial reviews in the press were very favourable. In The Times Dan Cairns described it as a 'heartbreakingly good record' and gave it 5/5.[13] Dave Simpson of The Guardian gave it 4/5 and called it an "aural treat" which showed at McAloon "at the top of his game".[14] The review in The Independent was positive, describing the album as "lyrical and lush".[15]

It was also given 4/5 in Record Collector and in The Observer's Music Monthly magazine. The latter describes the album as 'fantastically dated' because of the 17 year delay in release. However it also describes it as "fantastically glorious" and an 'enchanting return'.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cairns, Dan (16 August 2009). "Paddy McAloon Interview". London: The Sunday Times. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Paddy McAloon: The return of Prefab Sprout's elusive genius". London: The Independent. 6 September 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Paddy McAloon: The return of Prefab Sprout's elusive genius". London: The Independent. 6 September 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Pre-Release Notes". Kitchenware Records. 
  5. ^ "Paddy McAloon: The return of Prefab Sprout's elusive genius". London: The Independent. 6 September 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  6. ^ Cairns, Dan (16 August 2009). "Paddy McAloon Interview". London: The Sunday Times. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  7. ^ Allmusic review
  8. ^ BBC review
  9. ^ Independent review
  10. ^ The Guardian review
  11. ^ SPIN review
  12. ^ The Times review
  13. ^ Cairns, Dan (30 August 2009). "Music Review: Prefab Sprout - Let's Change The World With Music". London: The Times. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  14. ^ Simpson, Dave (4 September 2009). "Music Review: Prefab Sprout - Let's Change The World With Music". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  15. ^ Price, Simon (30 August 2009). "Music Review: Prefab Sprout - Let's Change The World With Music". London: The Independent. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  16. ^ Thomson, Graeme (6 September 2009). "Music Review: Prefab Sprout - Let's Change The World With Music". London: Observer Music Monthly. Retrieved 7 May 2010.