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Two Wheels Good

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Album Review

Smart, sophisticated and timelessly stylish, Two Wheels Good (titled Steve McQueen throughout the rest of the world) is a minor classic, a shimmering jazz-pop masterpiece sparked by Paddy McAloon's witty and inventive songwriting. McAloon is a wickedly cavalier composer, his songs exploring human weaknesses like regret ("Bonny"), lust ("Appetite") and infidelity ("Horsin' Around") with cynical insight and sarcastic flair; he's also remarkably adaptable, easily switching gears from the faux-country of "Faron" to the stately pop grace of "Moving the River." At times, perhaps, his pretensions get the better of him (as on "Desire As"), while at other times his lyrics are perhaps too trenchant for their own good; at those moments, however, what keeps Two Wheels Good afloat is Thomas Dolby's lush production, which makes even the loftiest and most biting moments as easily palatable as the airiest adult-contemporary confection.

Customer Reviews

Could you feel a heart break?

I remember when i first got this album (can I still say album?) Suddenly, the memories are fresh, the rush of feelings of a mixed up kid. Then, many years later, when a friend died and I again heard "When the Angels." Well, you forget how powerful and raw those emotions of youth were. Every bright and beautifully rendered phrase of this album, glitter fresh in my eye. No, those aren't tears... just something in the wind. Two Wheels Good put it there.

A True Revelation

When I first heard this album shortly after it's US release, I was 19 and going through a breakup with someone I thought was the love of my life. Suddenly I found she didn't want me. Paddy McAloon's songwriting cut through to the emotions I was feeling like a surgeon's scalpel. The one that got me every time was "Desire As" with it's repeated line of, "I've got six things on my mind; you're no longer one of them."--I was on the receiving end of that. Thomas Dolby's production is great on most of these tunes, with both the songwriting and production keep at bay the future maudlin, treacly tendancies that sunk Sprout later. A superb album, one of my all-time greats.

A Masterpeice from one of the most critically-acclaimed bands you probably never heard of

Sophisticated, elegant, intelligent, music from one of the best songwriters in modern times. This is the album that got our attention in the US and their subsequent catalogue of work is breathtaking. This is one of those rare bands that takes great care to compose timeless songs that will move you and remind you why music is so important. Do not hesitate to buy their entre catalogue. We can only hope MacLoon has more to give while we "count the hours that I lie awake"


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...
Full Bio