Friday, 4 September 2009

god like genius - part 1



















It is often written that the word genius is too readily used and for this series I'm going to be very liberal in its application. However I'm going to start with one bonafide musical genius - Paddy Mcaloon songwriter and lead singer of Prefab Sprout

He is back in the music news at the moment as prefab sprout are about to release a new cd "Let's change the world with Music" which in fact was originally going to be the follow up to Jordan the Comeback, but got relegated to the infamous box of completed/ half completed albums that have never seen the light of day. These include an LP about the life of Michael Jackson and one called "Earth the story so far". It is as if the motivation is in the ideas of the song rather than the completing it, as if once the song has been written and demoed then interest is lost.
Paddy Mcaloon's songs represent all I love about music
- Clever wordplay - their first single "Lions in My Garden - Exit someone" spelt out the name of the french town where his then girlfriend went to study. Each song has loads of great quotable lyrics - possibly my favourite being "wishing she could call him heartache but its not a boys name"
- Melodies that surprise - more so in the early days but I loved the way you would just get a handle on the song when all of a sudden the melody seemed to take a surprise turning
- Songs of heartache - "when love breaks down" is a heartbreaker
- Songs with unusual subject matter - "Moondog" has an alive Elivis on the moon planning a comeback concert.
He has got patchy with recent releases "Andromeda Heights was a bit too syrupy and the Western album "The Gunman and other stories" felt a bit throwaway but the run of "Swoon" ( standing for Songs Written out of Necessity)through to "Jordan" is a strong a body of work as anyones and contains 2 absolute classics in "Jordan" and "Steve McQueen"
I've chosen 3 tracks to show genius at work
1) cars and girls(From Langley Park to Memphis): a piss take on Bruce Springsteen the lyric is worth repeating in full


Brucie dreams lifes a highway too many roads bypass my way
Or they never begin. innocence coming to grief
At the hands of life - stinkin car thief, thats my concept of sin
Does heaven wait all heavenly over the next horizon ?

But look at us now, quit driving, some things hurt more much more than cars and girls.
Just look at us now, start counting, what adds up the way it did when we were young ?
Look at us now, quit driving, some things hurt much more than cars and girls.

Lifes a drive through a dust bowl, whats it do, do to a young soul
We are deeply concerned, someone stops for directions,
Something responds deep in our engines, we have all been burned
Will heaven wait all heavenly over the next horizon ?

But look at us now, quit driving, some things hurt more much more than cars and girls.
Just look at us now, start counting, what adds up the way it did when we were young ?
Look at us now, quit driving, some things hurt much more than cars and girls.

Little boy got a hot rod, thinks it makes him some kind of new god
Well this is one race he wont win,
cos lifes no cruise with a cool chick
Too many folks feelin car sick, but it never pulls in.
Brucies thoughts - pretty streamers
- guess this world needs its dreamers may they never wake up.


2) cue fanfare(Swoon) - where the emotions of a grandmaster chess player are compared to those of the singer as he hears a phrase or melody from a classic song. i love the ambition of this in a 3 min pop song

3 dragons b side of Electric Guitars) - a "b side" better than a lot of peoples asides and to show he can do the simple as well
you can buy all of prefab sprouts stuff here - go on touch genius http://hmv.com/hmvweb/simpleSearch.do?searchUID=899735498219149638&pGroupID=1&adultFlag=false&primaryID=1&simpleSearchString=prefab+sprout&btnSubmitSearch.x=21&btnSubmitSearch.y=11

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more , Paddy Mac is a real British treasure and one of the very few that can be called a genius.Like he once said himself, on his day no-one can touch him!Also a great selection of songs that you posted, shows off all his talents.Roll on Monday!Though I live in Israel ,I'll only be getting it a week later,at best!
    Phil
    Tel Aviv

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