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Prefab Sprout / I Trawl The Megahertz

2003 album reissued • First time on vinyl • Remastered • New artwork

Paddy McAloon’s 2003 solo album I Trawl The Megahertz is rebranded as a Prefab Sprout album and reissued on CD and – for the first time – on vinyl in February next year.

Conceived and recorded after McAloon was diagnosed with a medical condition that seriously affected his vision, the audio has been remastered for this reissue with also features new artwork and some sleeve notes written by Paddy McAloon, who clearly thinks this sits better in the Prefab Sprout canon ““I thought we could do anything. And Megahertz is true to that spirit. The music here is of a piece with everything I’ve ever written. It’s from the heart.”


The original artwork to what was a Paddy McAloon album back in 2003

The album was never issued on vinyl at the time, so this is its debut on the format and it comes as a double LP set (with download code) – audio across three sides and and etched side B.  There is also the remastered CD, of course. Rough Trade are doing an exclusive white vinyl edition.

I Trawl The Megahertz is released on 1 February 2018.

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Prefab Sprout

I Trawl The Megahertz (Remastered)

Shop Price gbp Stock
Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 9.99
Amazon usa 6LP coloured vinyl box 24.99
Amazon it 6LP coloured vinyl box 41.97
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 16.63
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 18.99
HMV uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 9.99
Currency:

Compare prices and pre-order

Prefab Sprout

I Trawl The Megahertz (Remastered) [VINYL]

Shop Price gbp Stock
Amazon uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 20.99
Amazon ca 6LP coloured vinyl box 35.27
JPC de 6LP coloured vinyl box 28.99
HMV uk 6LP coloured vinyl box 20.99
Currency:

CD edition

1. I Trawl the Megahertz
2. Esprit de Corps
3. Fall from Grace
4. We Were Poor…
5. Orchid 7
6. I’m 49
7. Sleeping Rough
8. Ineffable
9. …But We Were Happy

2LP vinyl

SIDE A
1. I Trawl The Megahertz

SIDE B
Etched vinyl

SIDE C
2. Esprit De Corps
3. Fall From Grace
4. We Were Poor ….
5. Orchid 7

SIDE D
6. I’m 49
7. Sleeping Rough
8. Ineffable
9. ….But We Were Happy

38 responses to Prefab Sprout / I Trawl The Megahertz

  1. Bob McCartney says:

    I love Prefab Sprout. Been following them since the big single here in the US.
    I remember an article in Rolling Stone that was written about them being too smart for their audience. I never thought that was the case. Just indescribable joy in listening to their music.

  2. Dubsideofthemoon says:

    For the fans: i have a great public playlist on Youtube called “We Love Prefab Sprout” !
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7GT4GMlFH_grJmJ62ttY_uwc3VybYFn2

  3. Steven says:

    Always believed Prefab couldn’t surpass Jordan. And then Andromeda Heights came along. Truly their masterpiece. And the Andromeda Heights song. Oh wow. Paddy’s greatest moment.

  4. Gary Thompson says:

    I don’t understand the criticism regarding releasing this under the PS name. All it’s doing is correcting the original anomaly. The only performer on the last 2 PS albums was Paddy, so this is as much a band album as those. Also, not all the originals were the same; some had the Sony watermarking software and sounded worse than those without, as well as being potentially harmful to certain players. As this has been remastered, I’d expect it to sound ‘better’, and I’m sure the mastering engineer was worked out a way to make the transition from side 3 to side 4 on the vinyl version work without affecting the flow too much. I think we should welcome this for two reasons. Firstly, any activity in the Sprouts world is something to be celebrated, and secondly, if it achieves the level of attention and sales it deserves, it may encourage Paddy to either release some new material, or open the vault.

  5. Darren Lewis says:

    So pleased that this has finally been re-released, it really is an absolute treasure.
    Ordered the 2LP white vinyl from Rough Trade as soon as it was announced, probably will buy the CD as well even though I have the Liberty original.

  6. Torchomatic says:

    Pleased about this as it’s an album I have always liked. Not sure about the Prefab Sprout rebrand. Will buy it on vinyl and keep my old CD version. Nice artwork.

    What I really want is a vinyl version of Andromeda Heights.

  7. Ian Ryder says:

    A great album, but the original has a good sound, there’s nothing unheard on this reissue and I don’t need it branded as Prefab Sprout, so I’ll pass. I prefer this cover though.

  8. Cris says:

    I agree with Paul Kent.
    KofRnR was always meant to be ironic. maybe also a tentative to have more mainstream success, but just maybe. In general it is tongue in cheek, even though so catchy and tuneful.

  9. Lorenzo says:

    The ethereal ambience of this recording surely must be interrupted by the vinyl flipping along the way.The CD may be better.Is this a new thing where you take a solo recording and credit it to a group? Hope to hear more soon about the Prefab Sprout back catalogue.

    • Benjamin Adams says:

      Lorenzo – Not a new thing. For instance, Matt Johnson reissued his Burning Blue Soul as a The The album after it had two prior releases under his own name.

  10. CAB says:

    One of those rare song writers who can put a lump in the throat without you quite knowing why.
    Why wasn’t ‘Billy’ huge ?
    He’s unafraid of everything because as a listener you either get it or you don’t – the copious use of cheesy keyboard sounds, saccharin sweet lyrics with a kick in the bum on the way out, melodies that verge on cruise ship suitability.
    It amazes me that he hasn’t been put on a public pedestal as one of England’s greatest, because he is a musical and lyrical genious.
    I love pretty much everything he’s been involved in but I think Swoon and Crimson / Red deserve classic status.

    • Quante says:

      Well said. He is one of the greatest song writers for all the reasons you state. I love Kate Bush and think Paddy is up there with the same god given talent; and yet Kate’s legacy has grown to rightly give her the plaudits she deserves. Paddy isn’t exactly a nobody, but his music should be saluted in the mainstream a lot more than it is.

      Your favourite, Crimson Red was knocked out quickly to oblige a contract, so I doubt we’d have seen that album without those circumstances.

  11. LeBaron says:

    I agree Andromeda Heights is a masterpiece!
    Paddy has never sang with such a moving voice than on this album.
    I read in a French musical magazine that Paddy had absolutely no interest in reissuing his back catalogue ‘à la’ Super Deluxe Edition. :'(
    Hoping he changes his mind someday.

  12. Quante says:

    Paddy McAloon writes songs to fall in love and swoon to. He’s one of the last great romantics, with melodies that make you feel life’s a miracle; and lyrics that are enchanted, bonny and sometimes cruel. When the angels sing sweet gospel music, Paddy will be falling in love with diana, and then off he’ll be to andromeda heights to meet the new Mozart.

    Paddy McAloon is a genius of perfect pop songs and is worthy of comparisons with his heros Jimmy Webb and Brian Wilson. Life has got in the way of Paddy recording the many albums and songs he’s written, which is our loss, but he’s still given us so much to enjoy.

    The track I trawl the megahertz is worthy of all the plaudits. It is a masterpiece and utterly heart breaking. No wonder Thomas Dolby broke down in tears when he heard it – not many words stop you in your tracks and hit you in the heart, but you’ll know when you’ve heard it.

    For anyone interested in Prefab Sprout, there is a great website – http://www.sproutology.co.uk where an uber fan deserves a medal for the dedication he’s given to all things Prefab Sprout, with very little new material to get excited about in the past few decades.

    Rod Stewart has just recorded an unreleased Paddy song Who Designed The Snowflake with some fab lines: Who designed the snowflake? Who made that crystal form? Fragile, yet resilient in a storm.

    Jimmy Nail got a great lyric in Cowboy Dreams, which comes across as a throwaway song:
    Love’s a silver bullet that blows your world apart
    I wanna be remembered as an outlaw, honey
    The boy who stole your heart

    Someone needs to befriend Paddy, get access to his dozens of unrecorded albums and have themselves a ball with the best songs they’ll ever wish to sing. For me it’s the perfect project for The Unthanks for Diversions Volume 5. What a great North Eastern combination that’d be.

    • carl says:

      What he said , could not add anything.

    • Unifaun says:

      I heard the track “I trawl the megahertz” (and the rest of the album) for the 1st time tonight…eh masterpiece? heartbreaking? etc. etc. now, I’m quite prone to a bit of self indulgence where music is concerned and think Paddy was a brilliant songwriter, but…”Jordan” was his masterpiece and this shouldn’t be a Prefab Sprout release… anyways, i’ll have some of what your on.

      • Quante says:

        Ha ha, nice reply. I’m high on enthusiasm for all music by McAloon.

        This isn’t a typical Prefab Sprout album and the original release under his name makes sense. I believe Paddy wanted it as a Prefab Sprout album in the first place and is now reasserting this desire; and logically it will get noticed more than a solo release.

        I don’t disagree that Jordan is amazing, as are all the albums. His brilliance is shown in the set of demos for the follow up to Jordan, Let’s Change The World With Music that eventually got released twenty years later as per the original demos. What a shame the band didn’t record it as a proper release.

    • frattonlad says:

      Thanks for the Sproutology link Quante. I can envisage several happy hours spent trawling through the site!

  13. Willy says:

    Fave tracks: ‘I’m 49’ (listen out for Jimmy Young “What’s wrong?” and possibly Jeremy Paxman “But why?” in there) and ‘Sleeping Rough’ which is as good a song as Paddy has ever done.

    Thomas Dolby has some amazing things to say about this album in his autobiog.

  14. Mick Lynch says:

    Love this album, but feel it should be left as a solo album as its unlike anything that bears the Prefab Sprout banner, but I know Paddy wasnt impressed with the Guardian Newspapers lack of interest in it. From a commerical point of view, I’m sure someone has convinved Paddy to re-release it (so that he’ll finally get his Guardian review). I have it on CD so wont be repurchasing. I’d rather some new music as its long overdue.

  15. Trash says:

    P.S. Rough Trade – where are those long-promised Scritti Politti reissues?

  16. Trash says:

    Echoing all the sentiments already expressed – definitely a lovely, moving album. Criminally overlooked (until now?).
    I also think sits better as a Solo album and agree that the original artwork is better (or at least, I prefer it).

    I have my original CD but as I’m playing more and more vinyl these days I will have to pick this up on vinyl.

  17. Graham says:

    Have been watching the cd versions of this on eBay for some time hoping that a cheap one might come along. Never did & fortunately I can now buy myself a nice new one.

  18. Brad says:

    Thank you for including news of this release by my most favorite artist on your excellent site. Although Mr. Conti, Ms. Smith and Brother Martin do not perform on this album, the compositions Mr. McAloon produced while enduring and contemplating his health crisis reveal an incredible depth which still remains somewhat unrevealed.

  19. B57 says:

    God bless Paddy!

  20. Neil says:

    I suppose it’s good that this is back in print for people who never got it originally but i would have much preferred PS back catalogue being reissued with b sides and stuff highly unlikely i know.

  21. Paul Deards says:

    Great late-night album.

    Much prefer the original cover design though.

    And I’d disagree that it’s a Prefab Sprout album. By this point PS had got stuck in ballad territory and sentimentality (Farmyard Cat, anyone?); this was not of that type, didn’t feature the rest of the band, and was the first sign of experimentation for years.

    • Brad says:

      Required multiple listens and some time, but my appreciation for “Farmyard Cat” comes from imagining Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” narrated like “Peter and the Wolf” by Faron Young, telling tales of jumping frogs, hot dogs, and cows coming home to ghost towns.

  22. Robin Rimbaud says:

    An absolute gem that rightly needed re-releasing. I’ve treasured this album for many years too. I saw Prefab Sprout perform many times back in the 1980s and this is something very special indeed! My patience finally paid off :-)

  23. Ian says:

    A double vinyl of Jordan: The Comeback would be welcome too.

    • Stephen Leigh says:

      I actually still have my Jordan vinyl and the original release was double vinyl, not so? I’ll have to check tonight.
      Also still have the original PM Megahertz CD. Not an every day listen but a great album.

      • poptones says:

        Same here. I also have Jordan: The Comeback on vinyl LP and it’s a single LP. But I checked discogs and it seems the album was released by CBS / Gallo Record Company as a double LP in South Africa. In UK/Europe it was released a a single LP by Kitchenware/CBS and in the US by Epic/CBS.

        About I Trawl The Megahertz, glad it’s released on vinyl but without the band (Martin McAloon, Neil Conti, Stephen Dolder and Wendy Smith) it should remain a Paddy McAloon album. For what it’s worth, Neil Conti is a great drummer, he worked with Bowie on several singles in the 80s (Dancing in the street, Absolute Beginners and Labyrinth). In the same vein as Prefab Sprout, I love his work with Perry Blake on his albums California and Songs For Someone.

  24. fredster says:

    A very moving record, completely ignored at the time of its release. Sleeping Rough, the only track where Paddy sings, could reduce anyone to tears.
    Paddy McAloon deplored it was not even reviewed in the Guardian. It was initially a flop, but the album is now somewhat considered a “lost classic” (it was hailed as one of the greatest eccentric english albums by Mojo).
    The original CD is long out of print and now quite expensive.
    I hope it will push Sony and EMI to release vinyl versions of The Gunman and Other Stories, Let’s Change The World With Music and, especially, Andromeda Heights (probably Prefab Sprout’s masterpiece). They were only available on CD.

    • Mark Rutherford says:

      Andromeda Heights is a fine album – but their masterpiece? For me it has to be Steve McQueen (pushed very very closely by Jordan the Comeback)

      • fredster says:

        Paddy himself considers Andromeda Heights as his finest collection of songs.
        It surely isn’t as iconic as Steve McQueen, nor as ambitious as Jordan, but it has an otherwordly beauty that is unmatched in his catalogue, imho. These songs (listen to the title track or Swans) could have been written by Cole Porter or Bacharach-David. This is Paddy’s tragedy : he will be forever labelled as an “80’s artist”, the guy from the “hot dog, jumping frog” song, and not as a classic songwriter, on par with the all-time greats.

        • Paul Kent says:

          To be fair, The King Of Rock ‘n’ Roll has a great lyric. It’s just nobody listened hard enough. It became what it was about. I’d like to think that’s what Paddy intended.

          • Neil says:

            It always saddened me that the first single from Langley Park Cars & Girls flopped as it was a great single but then it wasn’t as commercial as The King Of Rock ‘n’ Roll which is actually crap but it did the trick. It’s just sad they will be remembered for a novelty track. Jordan is a total masterpiece of an album.

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