I’ve done my “Dis Widdle Piggie” exercises all day and completed my weekly rehab at the Shaver Hospital, and even went for a little run so this evening I’m chilling with this ‘Two Wheels Good‘ album by Prefab Sprout.
First of all, you might be more familiar with this album by another name ‘Steve McQueen’ as it was released in the U.K. (1985). The title was changed to ‘Two Wheels Good‘ only in North America for God knows what reason.
I have been searching for this album for, well, a long time. It is one of the few albums listed in my Bible (Mojo, August 1995) – ranked at #85 – that I have yet to either find or listen to and, low and behold, there is was at the local ‘Nomad‘ music shop in Stevensville for $5.00.
‘Two Wheels Good’ is a smart, sophisticated and timelessly stylish; 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 this album 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.
To be truthful, when I read that this album served as the blueprint of future pop albums to come, I didn’t hold much hope. Sure, I love all the suggestions that my music Bible recommends but I’ve never really been much of a Pop guy…even when Pop was cool (the 80’s). However, I will say, I enjoyed this and it is a very welcome addition to the collection.
And now, I’m turning my attention to a Blue Moon Belgian Wheat (don’t judge) and a guilty pleasure monster movie, ‘King Kong: Skull Island‘ movie (again, don’t judge).