Prefab Sprout are an English pop band ffrom England who rose to fame during the 1980s. Nine of their albums have reached the Top 40 in the UK Albums Chart, and one of their singles, “The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, peaked at number seven in the UK Singles Chart.
Formed in 1977 the band released its first single, “Lions in My Own Garden (Exit Someone),” in July 1982. The single was warmly received and led to the Sprout’s signing to CBS subsidiary Kitchenware Records, which reissued the single in April 1983. Another single, “The Devil Has All the Best Tunes,” followed later that year.
Members : Paddy McAloon, Martin McAloon, Wendy Smith and later, Neil Conti,
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Prefab Sprout’s first album, Swoon, was released in March 1984 and shortly after, drummer Neil Conti joined the group. Thomas Dolby was drafted in to produce the second Prefab Sprout album, 1985’s Steve McQueen (retitled Two Wheels Good in the U.S. due to litigation from the late actor’s estate). Prefab Sprout returned to the studio without Dolby in the summer of 1985 and quickly recorded an album’s worth of material that was initially meant to be released in a limited edition as a tour souvenir. However, several months after Steve McQueen was released, its song “When Love Breaks Down” (which had been released as a single four different times in the U.K. without chart success) finally became a hit, and CBS feared a new album would hurt its predecessor’s sales, so the project was shelved. The massive U.K. chart single “The King of Rock and Roll” remains their best-known song
Many thought Prefab Sprout disbanded in 1992, and indeed, Conti did leave the band at some point in the ’90s. However, McAloon had written (and in some cases, recorded) several albums’ worth of material during the first half of the decade, abandoning them all before finally releasing the crystalline Andromeda Heights in 1997. The album wasn’t even released in the U.S., but it was another deserved U.K. hit.
The 38 Carat Collection, was released by CBS in 1999 as the group was leaving the label. Smith left the group during this period, after the birth of her first child and the band signed to EMI in late 2000, later delivering their Western-themed concept album, The Gunman and Other Stories. Unfortunately, the album’s release was delayed several months when Paddy McAloon was diagnosed with a medical disorder rendering him partially blind.