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Album Review

Their full-length album debut is rough around the edges, but shows the band reaching beyond the tried and clichéd.

Customer Reviews

One of the greatest albums of the 80's

Hugely underated by most and ignored by many. Swoon has to be one of the top 50 albums ever released. You must own soon as you hear it your know where i'm comming from (unless your only into Megadeath or Lamb of God that is !)

Don’t blame Mexico.

Sprout certainly didn’t suffer from ‘second album syndrome’ as Steve McQueen was a massive hit and it seems that their first album ‘Swoon’, ‘the’ slow burn prefab album has become the hidden gem of their output. Honest, complex and with some internal energy – it pulses to it’s own frenetic ‘jazz’ rhythms. I love this album and it’s less polished ‘pre–Dolby’ production from 1984, that now sounds a bit dated, but somehow benefits from it. Nobody writes lyrics or sings like Paddy, FACT, and Swoon illustrates this beautifully— listen to Cruel. The sweetest moments come at last. PS. Any album with a song about Bobby Fischer on it needs to be considered!


Prefab Sprout started out with 'Swoon', which, to anyone recalling 'Cars and Girls' or the jumping frog song would have come as a stinging shock. Filled with strange time signatures, oddball lyrics about chess, and the most tangled melange of styles (jazz, pop, rock, swing) since Zappa, 'Swoon' confused people at the time. Prefab were, all of a sudden, both the best and the most inaccessible band on the planet. In my humble opinion, their best songs are to be found here. "Cruel" is a bell-clear, yet satisfyingly smoky chunk of lounge lizardry, wit McAloon revelling in his loss like an alcoholic joyously steeping himself in whiskey. "Technique" is a wickedly clever treatise on the way one's skill may or may not relate to one's success. "Green Isaac" and "Couldn't bear to be Special" are, simply put, beautiful alt-pop songs. "Elegance" is a supremely literate deconstruction of our social mores and class system. Who else was writing about these subjects with such deft confidence? On a debut album? Nobody. And, more importantly, nobody since.


Formed: 1977 in Newcastle, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most beloved British pop bands of the '80s and '90s, Prefab Sprout have had a minimum of chart success in the United States, where they're all but unknown outside of their devoted cult following, but singer/songwriter Paddy McAloon is regularly hailed as one of the great songwriters of his era. Critics regularly compare McAloon favorably to Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney, and even Cole Porter, but the self-effacing and publicity-shy performer modestly prefers to let his increasingly rare...
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