The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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"The King of Rock 'n' Roll"
Single by Prefab Sprout
from the album From Langley Park to Memphis
B-side "Moving the River"
Released April 1988 (1988-04)
Format 7" vinyl
12" vinyl
CD single
Genre Pop, rock, sophisti-pop
Length 4:26
Label Kitchenware
Writer(s) Paddy McAloon
Producer(s) Thomas Dolby
Prefab Sprout singles chronology
"Cars and Girls"
"The King of Rock 'n' Roll"
"Hey Manhattan!"

"The King of Rock 'n' Roll" is a single by the British rock group Prefab Sprout, released in 1988. It was the second single taken from their album of that year, From Langley Park to Memphis, and makes reference to a washed-up '50s star who is only remembered for his one-hit novelty song, which is sung in the chorus. It remains as the band's biggest success in their native UK, where it reached #7 on the UK Singles Chart, and spent 10 weeks in the listings.[1]

Producer Thomas Dolby added a synth bass in the verses to mimic the sound of a bullfrog, tying them into the chorus.[2]

Music video[edit]

The single had a slightly odd music video, which featured the band all lying along a pool side in winter, as they are tended to by a frog waiter; a diver who is reluctant to jump into the pool until the end; and human-size hot dogs appearing by the pool side, dancing during the chorus.

Track listings[edit]

7" vinyl single[edit]

Side one

  1. "The King of Rock 'n' Roll"

Side two

  1. "Moving the River"

12" vinyl single[edit]

Side one

  1. "The King of Rock 'n' Roll"
  2. "Moving the River"

Side two

  1. "Dandy of the Danube"
  2. "Tin Can Pot"

CD single[edit]

  1. "The King of Rock 'n' Roll"
  2. "Moving the River"
  3. "Dandy of the Danube"
  4. "He'll Have To Go"


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 433. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ Allmusic discography critique