From Langley Park to Memphis

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From Langley Park to Memphis
Studio album by
Released14 March 1988 (1988-03-14)
ProducerThomas Dolby, Jon Kelly, Paddy McAloon, Andy Richards
Prefab Sprout chronology
Steve McQueen
From Langley Park to Memphis
Protest Songs
Singles from From Langley Park to Memphis
  1. "Cars and Girls"
    Released: February 1988
  2. "The King of Rock 'n' Roll"
    Released: April 1988
  3. "Hey Manhattan!"
    Released: July 1988
  4. "Nightingales"
    Released: November 1988
  5. "The Golden Calf"
    Released: February 1989

From Langley Park to Memphis is the third studio album by English pop band Prefab Sprout. It was released by Kitchenware Records on 14 March 1988.[1] It peaked at number 5 on the UK Albums Chart, the highest position for any studio album released by the band.[2] The album featured guest appearances from Stevie Wonder and Pete Townshend.[3] Five singles were released to promote the album: in order of release, "Cars and Girls", "The King of Rock 'n' Roll", "Hey Manhattan!", "Nightingales" and "The Golden Calf".[4] "I Remember That" was later released as a single in 1993 to promote the greatest hits album A Life of Surprises: The Best of Prefab Sprout.[4] The album's name references the village of Langley Park in County Durham, which is very near where the band originated.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[8]

Dave Rimmer of Q considered From Langley Park to Memphis "probably their best album yet" but found "The King of Rock 'n' Roll" "a mite irritating". He felt that "the only true duff part is the overblown imagery of 'Golden Calf'".[9] NME's Len Brown wasn't enamoured with the album's production style, calling it "sickly" and "cluttered". He considered the album "a largely bland affair", but praised "Cars and Girls" and "Nancy (Let Your Hair Down for Me)".[10] Creem's Kurt B. Riley was critical of the album, feeling that the songwriting was "done a great disservice by ill-fitting arrangements".[11] Melody Maker's David Stubbs felt it was "less strong" than Steve McQueen but "more ambitious".[12] Vogue's Barney Hoskyns commented "at least seven of its 10 songs are more accessible, more ravishingly beautiful than anything McAloon has written".[13]

Among retrospective reviews, Jason Ankeny of AllMusic gave the "ambitious" album 4 stars out of 5, calling it "Prefab Sprout's spiritual journey into the heart of American culture", though he felt it paled in comparison to Steve McQueen.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Paddy McAloon.

1."The King of Rock 'n' Roll"4:22
2."Cars and Girls"4:25
3."I Remember That"4:14
6."Hey Manhattan!"4:45
7."Knock on Wood"4:16
8."The Golden Calf"5:06
9."Nancy (Let Your Hair Down for Me)"4:02
10."The Venus of the Soup Kitchen"4:29


Credits adapted from liner notes.

Prefab Sprout

Additional musicians

Technical personnel

  • Thomas Dolby – production (1, 3, 7, 10)
  • Jon Kelly – production (2, 4, 5, 9)
  • Paddy McAloon – production (2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9)
  • Andy Richards – production (6)
  • David Leonard – mixing (1, 3, 7, 10)
  • Richard Moakes – mixing (2, 4, 9)
  • Mike Shipley – mixing (5)
  • Tony Philips – mixing (6)
  • Michael H. Brauer – mixing (8)
  • Tim Young – mastering
  • Stephen Male – design
  • Nick Knight – photography


Chart Peak
UK Albums (OCC)[14] 5


  1. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 760. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 433. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ a b c Ankeny, Jason. "From Langley Park to Memphis – Prefab Sprout". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b McIntosh, Bedford. "Prefab Sprout discography". Archived from the original on 4 April 2007. Retrieved 13 February 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  6. ^ Sodomsky, Sam (28 September 2019). "Prefab Sprout: Swoon / From Langley Park to Memphis / Jordan: The Comeback / A Life of Surprises: The Best of Prefab Sprout". Pitchfork. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  7. ^ Wilkinson, Peter (16 June 1988). "Prefab Sprout: From Langley Park to Memphis". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 22 May 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2019.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  8. ^ Evans, Paul (1992). "Prefab Sprout". In DeCurtis, Anthony; Henke, James; George-Warren, Holly (eds.). [The Rolling Stone Album Guide] (3rd ed.). Random House. pp. 552–53. ISBN 0-679-73729-4.
  9. ^ Rimmer, Dave. "Prefab Sprout: From Langley Park To Memphis". rocksbackpages. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  10. ^ Brown, Len. "Prefab Sprout: From Langley Park To Memphis". rocksbackpages. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  11. ^ Reighley, Kurt B. (March 1993). "The imminent success of a genius English pop band, or what the hell does time mean anyway". Creem Magazine. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  12. ^ Stubbs, David. "Prefab Sprout: All The Way To Memphis". rocksbackpages. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  13. ^ Hoskyns, Barney. "The Enchanter: Paddy McAloon". rocksbackpages. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Prefab Sprout". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 March 2018.

External links[edit]