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Prefab Sprout / Steve McQueen pic disc

Prefab Sprout / Steve McQueen vinyl picture disc

1985 album reissued for National Album Day

Prefab Sprout‘s 1985 album Steve McQueen will be issued as a vinyl picture disc for this year’s National Album Day.

Long considered a classic, the album was issued in North America as ‘Two Wheels Good’ and features the singles ‘When Love Breaks Down’, ‘Appetite’, ‘Faron Young’ and ‘Johnny Johnny’. The album was mostly produced by Thomas Dolby.

This is the first time Steve McQueen has been issued as a picture disc. Side A is the front cover and side B is the image above. It will be released on 9 October 2020 and is amongst a few late announcements from Sony, including EurythmicsBe Yourself Tonight vinyl picture disc, a red vinyl edition of Cyndi Lauper‘s She’s So Unusual and Paul Simon‘s One Trick Pony pressed on light blue vinyl.  These four are available via the SDE shop using this link or the buttons below.


A1 Faron Young 3:48
A2 Bonny 3:42
A3 Appetite 3:55
A4 When Love Breaks Down 4:05
A5 Goodbye Lucille #1 4:28
A6 Hallelujah 4:19

B1 Moving The River 3:57
B2 Horsin’ Around 4:37
B3 Desire As 5:20
B4 Blueberry Pies 2:23
B5 When The Angels

57 responses to Prefab Sprout / Steve McQueen pic disc

  1. Steve Gayler says:

    Have now heard certainly Eurythmics picture disc has been pulled but looks like the other albums have been as well. Any update on this Paul?

  2. Trevor Smith says:

    Devo’s Are We Not Men..? album picture disc was one of my most played albums of 1978. It also came with a 7″ Flexi Disc which also got a fair bit of play! This is still the sole version of the album that I play and holds immense nostalgic value for me.

  3. Steinar Wulfsberg-Gamre says:

    I’m so exited about the Eurythmics Be Yourself Tonight picture disc. The legacy of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart deserves to be lifted up where they belong, and not forgotten. They are still the UKs bestselling male/female duo.
    Maybe this is a teaser before a deserved 40th anniversary super deluxe editions of their albums from In The Garden in 2021? Fingers crossed!

  4. Nigel Day says:

    I’ll save my pennies

  5. Rubber Tony says:

    Just on the potential for super deluxe, there are demos for Steve Mqueen, lots of. See also the wonderful complete demos for Jordan that did the rounds a few months ago, exquisite versions from Paddy.

  6. Poptones says:

    I probably already mentioned that in another Prefab Sprout entry a few months back when I Trawl the Megahertz was re-released but I remember an interview of Paddy McAloon on the radio just After Jordan The Comeback was released and Looking for Atlantis was chosen as the first single to promote the album (Michael was the B-Side). Paddy was asked why Michael (an album track) was chosen as the B-Side and not a new song and he answered CBS gave him enough money to make an album and there was no mney left for new single for B-sides.

    Outside of Paddy McAloon’s reluctance to authorize alternate takes, unfinished material, live songs, etc. for commercial release, (outside of B-Sides) I don’t think there’s enough material for Deluxe Editions of Prefab Sprout albums.

    When the Deluxe Edition of Steve McQuern was released in 2007 with the album remastered by Thomas Dolby, the bonus disc contained re-recorded acoustic versions of the album. There were no demos, alternate takes, live versions, etc.

    That saïd, I agree Sony/Columbia should release a comprehensive box set of Prefab Sprout’s albums. The 5 compact discs box set Original Album Classics is pretty lame. And if they want to renew interest in Prefab Sprout they should release a Best Of compilation. Kitchenware/CBS released A life of surprises in 1992 and 38 carat collection in 1999. Since then they’ve let Music Club Deluxe (Demon’s cheap mid-price sub label) release a double CD compilation in 2007 (with secondary masters) and failed to offer a new Best Of compilation since.

    Just like Supergrass, a comprehensive box set and a double LP compilation of Prefab Sprout would be a good idea. And if they don’t want to do it then maybe Demon or Cherry Red should negotiate the rights and do it (with the original masters).

    • dazzler says:

      There’s enough 7″, 12″ and CD single bonus material to do at least expanded 1CD sets of every album up to Andromeda Heights. You can add the bonus material of the Life Of Surprises compilation singles to Protest Songs.

  7. Del Murray says:

    Picture discs are just an expensive piece of wall art. I don’t think any true audiophile would buy a picture disc to play it regularly and enjoy it. I’ve only got one in my collection….Dread Zeppelins Un-Led-Ed and I only bought that for the two extra tracks

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Don’t think ANYONE thinks an audiophile would buy a picture disc to play regularly!

      • Del Murray says:

        Well the record companies have got it into their heads that vinyl junkies/audiophiles really NEED picture discs and that’s why they keep bashing them out. I suppose someone must be buying them otherwise they would’ve stopped after ‘Best Friends Girl’ (and yes, I bought that). As for being wall art, I’d rather just put the regular album sleeve into an album sleeve frame than fork out another £20-odd quid for another version just to stick on the wall. But we’re all different. We are all individuals. We don’t need to follow anybody…..

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          They haven’t “got it into their heads” – they have data, have seen demand and are reacting to it. A picture disc isn’t an audiophile product but it does appeal to collectors and people who don’t buy vinyl but like the ‘object’. SDE isn’t an audiophile site it’s about people who like ‘holding the music in their hands’. Picture discs are therefore perfectly valid to cover and all the moaning gets rather tiresome. Sony haven’t chosen to do this INSTEAD of releasing an expanded deluxe edition of the album, so what’s the problem!?

          • Brad B. says:

            Recognizing myself as one of the rather tiresome moaners, i’ve looked but haven’t found any policy statement about commenting here. i would be glad to cooperate if guidelines were stated. A couple of my remarks haven’t posted, and i’m just enough on the spectrum that i could not guess why.
            This site is the only adequate substitute i’ve found for the great “ICE (The CD News Authority)”. So if i’m frustrated because Rhino/Warner remasters only some of Lindsey Buckingham’s solo tracks for a greatest hits rather than remastering “Law and Order” and “Go Insane” completely, this seems like one of the best places to express that.
            Mr. Sinclair, i have great respect and appreciation for who you are and what you do. But knowing you enjoy Prefab Sprout also, can you appreciate the analogy that it’s like asking for a bike for 364 days and getting a pair of socks almost the same as what we already have?
            Mr. Linnell of the great Sproutology has made it clear that the long waits for fresh music and lack of sharing from the archives is clearly up to Mr. McAloon and Mr. Armstrong rather than Sony. But i’m surprised there would be “Appetite” for a picture disc. Expect it’s more an attempt to keep the spotlight on “Steve McQueen” a bit longer in its 35th anniversary year, along with the high quality version of the “When Love Breaks Down” video added to youtube, etc.

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            I think ‘rules’ about comments is a good idea and is something I will be looking at. In general, a thoughtful post which expresses disappointment in a meaningful way is always going to be welcome. What I don’t like is ‘boring vinyl – cash grab’ type comments which really do not add anything.

    • Chris Squires says:

      Have you seen the price of decent “wall art”?
      Usually a picture disc LP will be something you like. “Out of the Blue” for instance. It’ll probably have a greater emotional connection with the buyer than any mass produced picture of “deer at sunrise”at B&Q or wherever you get art from these days. Album covers of 60s thru 90s were generally pretty good. So £23 for a decent piece of 12”x12” Wall Art is a bargain.
      I would also be surprised if more than 0.05% (Random) of pic discs were the only copy of that particular album a person owned. I have one pic disc out of about 20 other pic discs that is the sole copy of that album I own (Lily Allen).
      They are fun and attractive for those that own them and those that want them. I have three on the wall right now.

      • Paul E. says:

        I’m not sure about you kids on the other side of the pond, but as a youngster in the U.S. I remember carnival prizes that included album artwork screened on 12″ x 12″ mirrors. 80’s era music is really my preference, but as a 7 year old in ’77 I remember all the “cool” teenagers (insert my older brother here) had those mirrors proudly displayed in their bedrooms. Seem to recall Boston, REO, and KISS were the most desirable – also remember them sleeved/framed in very thin cardstock…ready to give at any moment and cause serious injury. Ah…the good old days!

  8. Guy says:

    The Paul Simon – Graceland and Stone Roses – S/T, both on clear vinyl, are now up on pre-order on Amazon UK if any non-cynics are interested.

    • Nick Love says:

      Fortunate enough in the US that the Stone Roses never got enough success to be cynical. So much so that I actually loved (and still love) Second Coming nearly as much as their debut.

  9. Foxee says:

    Looks like there is also a Deacon Blue coloured vinyl of Raintown being released on the same day too from Sony?

  10. Fredster says:

    Paddy McAloon won’t allow any b-sides, alternate takes, or unfinished songs to be commercialized.
    That’s why the catalogue was only remastered for vinyl last year : I guess Sony didn’t see the point of putting out CDs without any bonuses. And they’re trying to do what they can to make the Prefab Sprout brand alive with these pointless products… Can’t blame them. Like the diminishing fanbase of PS, I guess the Sony executives would love to put out a Jordan The Comeback box set, a collection of unreleased concept-albums, a comprehensive b-sides collection (those from the Andromeda Heights singles were especially brilliant). But the treasure trove seems locked for good.
    It’s very discouraging, disheartening, to be a PS fan these days.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Sony could still have put out a Phil Collins/The Police-type ‘albums collection’ box with remastered audio at the £15 to £20 price point. I don’t know why they don’t do this…

      • Chris Squires says:

        I would love a psychologist’s point of view as to why so many artists sabotage their back catalogue. I would guess it’s a purity thing. This would seem to be why Benny Anderson won’t allow anything to escape the ABBA vault.
        To me it’s the equivalent of burning your pension book. And it’s not even “fleecing” the punters. It’s giving them what they want for a guaranteed return. It must be nice to be comfortable enough such that a cool £100k or half million can be turned away.

        • Mark says:

          You seem to be suggesting that any artist that doesn’t act in the way you’d like them to is suffering from some sort of mental illness. It’s now 25 years since The Beatles set this increasingly tiresome ball rolling with the Anthology series, and I wonder sometimes whether their barrel-scraping has actually added to their catalogue and reputation at all beyond historical interest. In fact, I think the only pop/rock artists to add artistic value to their catalogue by doing so have been Dylan, Springsteen and Van Morrison. Even The Beach Boys “Smile” was really just an itch that needed scratching, given that the most brilliant outtakes (and brilliant is what they are) had been released years before.

          I think the remixes of many important albums from 1969-1972 make perfect sense commercially and creatively, given both the indifference to stereo that many artists (including The Beatles) had at the time, and the naivety about the medium that have left many important albums from that era sounding crudely prepared in retrospect.

          For that reason, I love that albums like “Neil Young”, “Sgt Pepper”, “…Big Pink” and particularly “David Bowie/Space Oddity” now sound as good as they should (it’s for that kind of release that I come here), and I would love to see albums like “Deja Vu” receive the same treatment, but I have no interest beyond a quickly-sated curiosity in ploughing through the outtakes of even my most favourite groups; I would imagine that few but the most obsessive fans feel the same.

          I would suggest, therefore, that someone who desperately needs to hear all 104 takes of “Not Guilty” is more in need of psychological assessment than a not-particularly-wealthy musician like Paddy McAloon who, quite admirably, refuses to play the game regardless of the much-needed rewards it would bring. The decision by the late Mark Hollis and his estate and ABBA to follow suit just makes them look even saner, in my opinion.

          One day the legendary Beatles recording “Carnival of Light” will be released and we’ll all get giddy with excitement, of course, but I imagine that even the most trainspotterish Beatles fan will listen to it once before moving on to the next forgettable unearthing once they realise why the group buried it in the first place.

          • Nick Love says:

            Your response is thoughtful and well-reasoned, and there is admittedly bands that continue to scrape the barrel beyond it’s worth (The Doors I’m looking at you, even their 2006 outtakes were disappointing and they are *still* unearthing more) there are many other reasons for a band to have unreleased material in vaults worth a listen, such as tracks not fitting the mood of an album, vinyl time constraints, record company interference, band infighting and ego issues. I can think of many many outtake and B-side collections that can stand toe to toe with their respective albums, for example The Who’s Odds & Sods, Mott the Hoople’s Two Miles From Heaven, Oasis’s The Masterplan. Even similar projects that were less outstanding, like the Band’s Islands, still had a handful of tracks that I wouldn’t want left out of their output.

          • Chris Squires says:

            Whoa. Hang on a cotton pickin’ minute Mark. You are stretching my point beyond it’s limits.
            Not being artistic I was just musing on what makes these people tick. Some artists do seem to actively ignore their back catalogue and I was wondering why. Perfectionism and monetary comfortableness (?) being two possibilities.
            Some won’t do a deep mine and that is fair enough but some won’t even look at the basics. Simple things such as already released b-sides / remixes.

        • Quante says:

          Chris, this may partly answer your question on Paddy Macaloon’s motivation, taken from an interview with Paddy Macaloon, sourced from Sproutology (ignore the dodgy grammar in the translation of the question):

          After your hit album From Langley Park To Memphis in 1988 said that you mean the success meant nothing; that you could at any time return to work at a gas station, just to live from the “thrill of the songwriting.”

          Really? I said that back then? It’s exactly how I see it today. It may sound horrible, but for me it all comes down to this: I don’t attach great importance to an audience. This isn’t meant to be cold or indifferent, but for me the thought of an audience is irrelevant until I’m happy myself with what I’ve done. The audience may follow you if you have been careful not to want to please them. I work hard to forget that music is my profession. When I look at music as a job, it doesn’t work for me. So I will try all my life to build on this feeling from when I spent my time at the gas station, had no money, but the thrill was obvious. The secret of song writing is that: forget it’s a job, forget that someone wants you to write this or that kind of music. For about fifteen years, I’ve been moving back in that direction, and I almost feel like I have again the peace of mind of that time.

          https://www.sproutology.co.uk/interviews/till-raether-suddeutsche-zeitung-october-2nd-2013/

          Sproutology has little current news over recent years to keep the Prefab Sprout flame going, but its information on Prefab Sprout is an important historical archive.

          Sproutology also explained how albums were often financed before the HMRC stopped this practice:
          https://www.sproutology.co.uk/exposition/filthy-lucre-icebreaker-and-the-art-of-tax-dodging/

          For me, the SDEs of Prefab Sprout albums is secondary to the unreleased music. Looking at how the Prince estate is releasing songs tied into the time period of recording the likes of 1999 and Sign o the Times, one way to curate archive Prefab Sprout material is to do something similar. Paddy is on record as to having written on average two and a half albums a year. There will be plenty of the material recorded to the demo quality of Jordan ( which is currently available on line – see Sproutology) and this could be engineered and released in the format of Lets Change The World With Music.

          The best current example as to why the archive releases can be a thing of beauty, even if it is a rare to be so good is the release of Scarlet, with the Rolling Stones and Jimmy Page.

    • Metal Mickey says:

      >Fredster
      Totally agree with you about the “Andromeda Heights” B-sides! I really like the AH album, but the lush productions on *every* track is just too much, like having dessert for every course of a meal… including a few more minimal tracks like “Where The Heart Is” or the lovely “Dragons” could’ve added a little lightness to the album experience…

      • Dr Volume says:

        Oh well, we’re getting a good discussion going off this picture disc! I don’t think Paddy M lives in the lap of luxury. However, he’s a perfectionist which means that if he did want to dust down some outtakes and demos to make a SDE box set, that would require a great deal of time and effort and sadly I’m not sure a few CDs of unreleased Sprout cuts would generate as much income as ABBA raiding the vaults. He has gone on record about his hearing problems that make it difficult to work, and I guess when he’s feeling up to it he’d rather use that time to pursue his current writing and recording. He did say in interviews to promote Trawl the Megahertz that a new Sprouts album was in the works. He also compulsively writes new material, as does Andy Partridge and Green Gartside – I guess they’re too busy writing to release anything!

  11. DiscoDave2000 says:

    Underwhelmed for certain. How about continuing to reissue the catalog with deluxe editions?
    Jordan the Comeback – 5.1 mix, b-sides, demos, acoustic versions, and maybe a concert dvd/br disc? One can only dream.

  12. James says:

    The Sweet Dreams LP picture disc is a thing of beauty…and the very first time I purchased an album twice. At 13, I had no idea what a slippery slope I’d just walked down.

  13. Derek Langsford says:

    Single LPs on regular, coloured, or picture vinyl with no new music £23-£30 each.

    Deluxe Boxed sets (4 CD plus a DVD or Blu-ray) with lots of new music and a 5.1 mix- £50 each.

    So glad I have not been bitten by the vinyl bug.

  14. Chris says:

    Prefab Sprout albums shold be super-deluxe-reissued !

  15. Poptones says:

    It’s funny how picture discs and colored records have become so popular these days.

    40 years ago they were mainly singles 7″ picture discs and used for promo or as limited editions upon release (to push fans to buy early and help the single enter the charts at the highest position possible so it could be played heavily on radio and eligible for top of the pops). Very few music fans cared about it except to be displayed on the wall at home. I admit I bought some picture discs in the 80s when I was in my teens, for exemple Clash singles from Combat Rock (Should I Stay or Should I Go and Rock The Casbah), they were cool. I also remember a couple of picture discs of Combat Rock LP itself. I think one of them contained the original Mick Jones mix. I didn’t buy it at the time so I’m not sure… I remember the price though : £20, it was a US import. Picture discs are cool when they don’t replicate the standard LP cover but offer a different picture, cover or something that make them special (other than being a picture disc)

    Now, as reportedly half of vinyl buyers don’t even play the records they buy, picture discs and colored vinyl have become labels favorites. 30 or 40 years ago, they were bootleggers favorites…

    • Richard Harris says:

      I bought the Roxy Music Manifesto album on picture disc way back when it came out in 1979. Looks great, side one plays fine but side two crackles all the way through it. Which rather spoils Dance Away. No doubt the quality has improved over all these years.

      • Paul Taylor says:

        Part of the problem you describe with the Manifesto picture disc, and indeed others like Blondie’s Parallel Lines, was how they were made. Manifesto etc were made with a double sided picture insert that sat under the surface of Side 2. A ‘filling’ of clear plastic sat underneath Side 1. Others had two pictures and a ‘filling’ of black vinyl and sounded a bit crap on both sides! You will notice when you play a picture disc, from the 70s or today, that a distinctive noise/rumble starts as soon as the stylus goes over the picture. Because the single, double sided pictures sit under side 2, side 1 tends to sound reasonable.

  16. Mark says:

    I hope that they restore the accidental “bonus note” after “When The Angels” that was removed on the last remaster. The album feels incomplete without it.

    • Neil says:

      I’m glad you mentioned that as i didn’t think anybody noticed and when i got this originally on CD it was Two Wheels Good i bought for the extra tracks and the bonus note isn’t on that either. Regarding deluxe editions of their albums i read a long time ago that Paddy McAloon hates the bands b sides and instead of using them on the remaster of Steve Mqueen he rerecorded the songs instead.

  17. negative1 says:

    This is my favorite album from Prefab sprout, and
    their best one. Cool to see this.

    later
    -1

  18. Nick Wakeman says:

    Hi Paul. Have you had anymore information about the Rocky 4 OST picture disc? Thanks.

  19. Patrick says:

    Any Sprout action is great, but hard to get excited about this when the album has been available again on vinyl over a few issues last few years. Plus I’m sure most fans would much rather see the expanded reissue CD series that was mooted a while back than another rehash of SM.

  20. Paul Nolan says:

    Paul are those pics shown the exact pic on discs, I would be interested in the Be Yourself Tonight but it looks badly cropped

  21. DonS says:

    Back in the day, I had crates filled with vinyl picture discs. Funny thing, they all had pictures of regular vinyl discs printed on, so I just listened to them.

  22. Paul Taylor says:

    Wish they’d do a full reissue of the acoustic album from last year’s RSD. Hard to track down at a decent price! (The reverse image of the picture disc was used on the front of the sleeve of Acoustic)

  23. Enda Guinan says:

    OMG Paul how many copies of SteveMcQueen does one need? *orders picture disc immediately*

  24. Tim Abbott says:

    I’m trying to resist, but my well-worn original LP copy has what appears to be a hot-rock burn (not mine!) that renders When Love Breaks Down unplayable.

    Have to say, picture discs have got a lot better recently; I got the reissue of Yes’s Fly From Here: Return Trip pic disc LP a couple of weeks back and it was definitely listenable considering there’s nearly an hour’s worth of material on there.

  25. graeme ewan says:

    what a bloody waste of plastic! does anyone know if vinyl is made from recycled plastics? That is a genuine question btw, I dont know. Does someone know where the plastic in vinyl records actually comes from?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Picture discs have been around for decades – not quite sure why people equate them to the devil’s work these days! They look cool, always have and that’s why people like them.

    • Metal Mickey says:

      >graeme ewan
      A lot of “new” vinyl is recycled from old records, but this can be problematic because the old physical label material also gets “pulped” along with the vinyl, which obviously causes impurities in the recycled plastic, hence the fact that “virgin vinyl” (i.e. first-use) is often used as a selling point for audiophile editions. In fact, if a record isn’t labelled as “virgin”, you can safely assume it’s at least partly recycled…

  26. Brad B. says:

    “Trinket- a small decorative object, or a piece of jewelry that is cheap or of low quality.”
    i love Prefab Sprout with all my heart, but this is absolutely of no use to fans.
    Will be obtaining lossless downloads of the Calum Malcolm remasters of the catalog which were released on vinyl (only, sigh!) recently and burning them to disc, as the quality should be quite superior to the original compact discs released.

    • SimonH says:

      Worth keeping an eye out for the Japanese cd remasters from a while back, pretty good, mind you the original CDs aren’t bad.

  27. Dave H says:

    But why?

  28. Wayne says:

    Some of these releases really are flogging a dead horse. They are almost after thoughts just to try and make money out of punters, without any thought going into them at all.

  29. Richard Anderson says:

    Hi Paul. You don’t happen to know what format the Frankie Goes to Hollywood vinyls listed on amazon for 9th October are. I think the listings are for Welcome to the Pleasuredome, Liverpool and Bang Greatest Hits but I was wondering if you have heard if they are coloured or picture discs or just standard vinyl. Thanks.

  30. Gary Thompson says:

    Underwhelmed is putting it mildly

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