Contests — March 29, 2011 at 7:00 am

Contest: Win copy of Prefab Sprout’s new CD ‘Let’s Change the World With Music’

Prefab Sprout, 'Let's Change the World With Music'

The optimistically titled Let’s Change the World With Music — the first new album in eight years from enigmatic U.K. sophistipop act Prefab Sprout — recently received a belated U.S. release via New York-based Tompkins Square Records, and to mark the occasion, the label is providing us with 10 CDs to give away to lucky Slicing Up Eyeballs readers.

To enter, simply drop a comment below telling us your favorite Prefab track — and what’s so great about it. We’ll accept entries — from anywhere in the world — through noon EST Friday, April 8. After that point, we’ll draw 10 entries at random and notify the winners via e-mail (so make sure to use legit addresses when you comment).

Also, watch this space tomorrow for a Q&A with band mastermind Paddy McAloon about the genesis of Let’s Change the World With Music — an album more than 15 years in the making — and whether it’s possible to live up to the record’s title.

UPDATE 4/9/11: The contest is closed. Thanks all for the great entries. The randomly selected winners have been notified, and they are: Bud, Chespo, Leonard, Peter Degn, Keri, Peter, Frank, Göran Hellström, Cesar Mejias and David Z. Congrats, all.



  1. “Golden Calf” from the album From Langley Park to Memphis has always been my favorite.

  2. Nancy (Let Your Hair Down For Me)
    This song takes me back to a time and place that no longer exists. Lovely.

  3. “Cars and Girls,” though it’s a very close race. Just when you think your teen angst is 2 decades behind you, Prefab brings it all back!

  4. It may be too obvious to say “Appetite,” so I’ll go with the slightly less obvious “We Let the Stars Go.”

  5. Angel of Love is my new favorite of theirs…first because it was a free download, but then because it reminds me of how much their music played a part in my life in the late 80’s. Such a great time.

  6. Rick Lundgren

    I was about to leave the country for a couple of years. Jordan: The Comeback was the last cd I purchased before leaving. I love the song “Carnival 2000” since it reminds me of living in So. America (I took the cd with me). The whole disc is a gem so deciding on a favorite track was a little difficult. But “Carnival 2000” takes me back to So. America with its samba sound, puts a smile on my face and is just a really playful, fun song.

  7. albuquerque-the dancing frogs are just too camp!

  8. ‘The Venus of the soup kitchen’… Prime time Prefab morphing into a 1940’s sing-a-long…

  9. Michael Toland

    Wow, tough choice. Admittedly, mine is pretty obvious. I love “Cars and Girls” not only because it was the first song I heard by them and I fell for it immediately, but also because I love the perfect balance between poking fun at Springsteenish heartland rock and admitting how effective it can be. It’s a very affectionate parody, beautifully crafted and catchy as hell.

  10. Cici Cleveland

    Hands down, When Love Breaks Down…

  11. “When Love Breaks Down” – first time I heard of them and that song brings me back…

  12. Another vote for “Cars and Girls”. Beautiful, perfect pop!

  13. “Bonny” – the point at which the lads from that petrol station in Witton Gilbert intersected sublimely with their future selves, with a little help from T. Dolby.

  14. Faron. Lead song on PF’s best album. Banjo. It has it all.

  15. Daniel Matthews

    Original favorite – Bonny, because it’s so damn beautiful. Reminds me of my dad’s old country records, which i think is what they were going for.

    More modern favorite – If You Don’t Love Me. Again….beautiful.

  16. Dean Vaccaro

    god this is tough for me, i love so many. since nobody has said it, i’ll go with “Swans” so simple and beautiful. that or “Goodbye Lucille #1″…

  17. “Wild Horses” from Jordan: The Comeback. Reminds me of a girl, as all great songs are supposed to do.

    Close second: “A Life of Surprises”.

  18. Michael Felix

    i dunno, something off Steve Mcqueen?

  19. How can you pick just one? Let’s go with “Appetite.” That was the first tune I heard from them that whet my own appetite for this fantastic band.

  20. Stéphane Bazan

    I would go for When Loves breaks down on Steve Mc Queen. A good reminder that at the time, PF was bigger than the Pet Shop Boys!

  21. “Machine Gun Ibiza” from Jordan: The Comeback…Hang’in ten with the hurricane sound….Boss Track…

  22. How can I choose one track? “The Ice Maiden” makes me cry almost every time I hear it, not because I identify with the lyrics but because the whole song attains some sort of ineffable, transcendent perfection. “Dublin”, because Paddy’s unorthodox musicianship leaves other singer-songwriter-with-a-guitar types in a trash heap of homogeneity. “Cruel”, which addresses the quiet neurosis in the modern male’s attempt to determine where appreciation of beauty in the opposite sex crosses over into objectification. But maybe I have to go with “Bearpark”, which is an infinitely more sublime and lovely 4-track cassette demo than I could manage if I lived to be 100.

  23. It’s a tie between “When Love Breaks Down” and “Appetite”. They are such atypical 80s songs, but they always bring back such a flood of memories. Love, love, love this band. Shame I never got to see them live.

  24. I remember being a curious teenager. Curious because I was starting to look for bands other than the mainstream ones. And also curious because I was a strange mix of influences. Back in 1989, I was a hardcore skateboarder. All I had to do during the day was go to school, eat a little food and ride my board with my friends. ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. Life was good. Life was exciting, and music was the soundtrack of it. I was listening to a lot of hardcore stuff, some metal too. I was also discovering bands like Hüsker Dü and Sonic Youth. All that music made me grow and learn about my own life. Still, in the heat of my austral summer, there was a special album that became the highlight of my skating years. I remember coming back from many skating sessions, and putting my headphones on and rolling my “Protest Songs” cassette. I had been waiting for that album all year long, and it delivered the best music of the moment. At that time, it was strange to mix bands like Gang Green and Prefab Sprout. But my brain was telling me that it was ok, that I would benefit from that one day. And man, was it right. So, if everyone pretty much agrees that anything from “Steve Mc Queen” is classic, I’d still have to pick a song like “Horsechimes” from the underrated successor of Langley. Yes, “Horsechimes” reminds me of my best skateboarding years.

  25. “When Love Breaks Down” because it’s so sweet

  26. “Cue Fanfare” from Swoon. I love the guitar, bass, and drum interplay, along with a great overall melody.

  27. The Sci Fi Fanatic

    Picking just one song is near impossible. Paddy McAloon is a pop genius who makes near perfect albums.

    Bonny. It’s simply one of the most beautiful songs ever written.

    Wild Horses. Stunning. Another flawless beauty. The man captures emotion and moments better than anyone.

    Prisoner Of The Past. It’s a reflective and sad song, a kind of culmination of his life up that point.

    I picked three, but man this was tough. Anything by Prefab is classic and memorable. One of the most underrated bands ever. Long live Paddy! Thanks.

  28. I’m going with an early, pre-Wendy b-side: “Radio Love.” The performance is so awkward and fragile – it’s what was great before the band hooked up with Thomas Dolby (which also led to great music, of course).

  29. Rusholmeruffian

    Cars and Girls – for the sheer beauty of it.

  30. “All the World Loves Lovers” was my favorite during senior year of high school in 1990. I was feeling the whole From Langley Park to Memphis album in early 1988 as well, because I felt my heart had been broken in Memphis right around the same time that record released. Just bought Prefab Best of this fall for nostalgia. Would love to hear the new album!

  31. When love breaks down- what a classic 80’s song. Sends me back in time when ever I hear it.

  32. So many to choose from, but the one that comes to mind first is “Hey Manhattan!” – I’d always loved the song, but it seemed so perfect as it played on the radio in the cab as I rode as a wide-eyed American into Barcelona, Spain from the airport in 2005.

  33. Peter Degn

    Cars And Girls.
    It reminds my of a great eyeopening period of my youth.
    Just like when i watch Breakfastclub

  34. “cars and girls”, hands down. pure pop gem. wonderful melody, excellent lyrics. paddy at the top of his game.

  35. Jim McCabe

    Do Wop in Harlem off of Jordan: the Comeback is brilliant. The production is so lush and the harmonies take you to heaven. Blissful.

  36. Stephen Kolar

    “I Couldn’t Bear To Be Special”

    Because of they lyrics (but also the feelings behind them, and the sounds underneath them). Because “there’s a mile between the way you see me and the way I am”. Yes, “words are trains for moving past what really has no name”.

  37. I have been a fan since the earliest days. It’s so refreshing to see that so many groups are still around. For me “I Remember That” brings back so many fond memories of my youth and of feelings that I hope never go away.

  38. So many great songs it’s hard to choose, but “Appetite” came to mind first.

  39. Jesse James Bolero from Jordan. How many artists could write a beautiful song lamenting the tragic life and loss of a bank robber. I actually feel sorry for Jesse James everytime I hear it.

  40. When love breaks down, can still remember the first time i heard it…

  41. When Love Breaks Down from Steve McQueen album – Sublime, perfect pop.

  42. It has to be “The Venus Of The Soup Kitchen”; that was the first song I ever heard by the Sprout, and I thought it was magical – like nothing I’d ever heard. It’s still very special to me, and always will be.

  43. “Real Life (just around the corner)” was one of my favorites from the Sprouts. It was a b-side, tough to track down in the early years, which somehow made it more special when you found a copy of it…

  44. Brian Kelly

    Honestly, it’s hard to pick one song. The one I always forget about is “Goodbye Lucille #1”. But “Bonny” seems to have the most Dolby influence, which goes a long way with me…

  45. “Looking for Atlantis”. The combination of a propulsive rhythm, great lyrics and sophisticated vocals create this strange sense of excitement, like something amazing is about to happen.

  46. “Wild Horses” because it’s insanely sexy, moody and beautiful. Paddy’s delivery and Jenny’s playful laughs put it at a whole other level of soulful pop music than hardly any others were achieving or have achieved since.

  47. Love Prefab Sprouts. Especially Steve McQueen, From Langley To Memphis and Jordan. Always liked Appetite and King Of Rock And Roll.

  48. “I Remember That”, has slowly risen up to surpass the many stellar cuts on SM/TWG in my rapidly aging, nostagia seeking brain and soul. Love the song’s lush delivery, themes and “back in the day” feel. FLPTM was not my favorite album when it came out, but it has stood the test of time and grown on my older sensibilities.

  49. “Desire As” because of the line “I’ve got six things on my mind, you’re no longer one of them” and that it sums up everything that can be felt but not said about infidelity.

  50. When Love Breaks Down. It’s not enough to work well together.

  51. The End Of The Affair.
    It’s filled with shadows and cigarette smoke.

  52. My favorite Prefab Sprout song is “The Ice Maiden” because it’s a wonderful love story. I imagine a man and a woman that are destined to be together but for different reasons, they cannot be with each other, and they’re suffering. It’s so strong the love that they feel that death wouldn’t stop them. I love it since the first time I listened to it. But, the truth is that I love every single song by Prefab Sprout :-)

  53. Stephen the B

    Green Isaac
    It’s from a while ago, a song that lodged in the brain despite – or was it because of? – the then peculiar voice and odd lyrics, no, it was the melody… ah no, none or all of that, it’s ‘just’ music, beautiful music.
    “And little green Isaac, you’re gonna walk backwards through the room…”

  54. When the Angels (acoustic)–humanity, bite and wit

  55. I’ll also go with “Bonny”. Great lyrics and it really rocks!

  56. Wouldn’t mind giving this a spin or two… Cheers, Frank

  57. Strangely enough, I will choose a track off the latest album. A song that has given me hope there are may be more gems to come from the great man. “Bonny” and “Moving the River” are too good to be second, but I’ll nominate “Last of the Great Romantics” as my favourite on this vote.

  58. Julian Akroyd

    I have so many favourites, it is near impossible to choose.
    However I will choose one from Let’s Change the World.

    It has to be:- Sweet Gospel Music.

    What a track,simple,but powerfull.

    Regards from Halifax UK

  59. Appetite. Great bassline. Love the chorus guitar. And Paddy was at the top of his lyrical game.

  60. Bonny – because it so perfectly expresses the duality of a broken heart.

  61. Jordan: The comeback was my favorite CD. My favorite song is probably Looking for Atlantis. So many times I’ve sung this song to myself hoping that one special someone would realize it was me!

  62. AndrewDaniels

    Selecting one single track is quite impossible (as so many of Paddy’s compositions have a depth of intelligence that are beyond any one song standing out). I would have to say (if push comes to shove) several equally stand out: “Moondog” (for its sonic brilliance); “Sweet Gospel Music” (for its sheer catchiness); “Desire” (for the lyric, “I have six things on mind, and you are no longer one of them”); and “Adromeda Heights” (Brian Wilson incarnate).

  63. AndrewDaniels

    that is… “six things on my mind, and you are no longer one of them” … my, my, my…. mistake

  64. AndrewDaniels

    speaking of which…that’s “Desire As” (not “Desire”)

  65. ParisSmith

    My all-time favorite Prefab Sprout track is “Wild Card in the Pack” … it would have been a number-one single if released in the 1970s!

  66. Rollmo2011

    “Mercy” from Jordan. I remember hearing it for the first time in 1989 and thinking to myself, “How can anyone ever capture contrition in a lyric any better?” (the same still stands 20-plus years’ later)

  67. “Wild Horses” from Jordan is my fave – sublime

  68. Carlos Fontana


    Tan simple y tan perfecta!!

  69. Göran Hellström

    ‘The Sound of Crying’ – the lyrics says it all…

  70. John Grayson

    “The golden calf” is one of my favorites, along with almost every other prefab sprout song, especially “bonny”. Not because he is poking fun at “heartland rock” as ive seen in other comments, but because its clear he has respect for Springsteen, as he embodies the same romanticism that makes Prefab Sprouts music so amazing. Paddy McAloon truly is the “Fred Astaire of words”.

  71. “I Never Play Basketball Now” from Swoon, the reasons (in spanish) are here

  72. Cars and girls is my favourite – I love the lyrics and Paddys voice

  73. Larry Singer

    Well..Appetite, though I do hold a special place for “King Of Rock & Roll”, though it is rather schmaltzy.

  74. Canuck80sGuy

    Gotta be “When Love Breaks Down” on CD especially through a good set of headphones – lush is all I can say.

  75. It’s tough to choose just one, but I’d have to go with “Cruel” for the way it brings me back to university (and that certain someone!) every time I hear it. Simply brilliant.

  76. James Power

    ‘When Love Breaks Down’ is my favourite. ‘Nancy’, ‘Swans’ and ‘If you don’t Love me’, and ‘Moving the river’ are great too. I like ‘Music is a Princess’ and ‘Sweet Gospel Music’ on this album.

  77. That’s a tough one, there are so many deeply ingrained into my psyche at this point. I’d have to go with “Scarlet Nights”, because of the way that song held my hand when letting go of my Grandfather:

    “Yes I know we’re not saying goodbye
    Yes I know that farewell don’t apply
    Yet I know, no matter how I try
    Yes I know and you should know
    that all the same I’ll cry”

  78. I love ‘Bonny’. It is the perfect pop song, soulful and romantic. The arrangements are so originals.
    The climax is the solo, what beautiful notes.

    ‘Steve McQueen’ is a masterpiece.

  79. Machine Gun Ibiza! That song has everything: soul, swagger, and harmony!

  80. That’s a tough one. “Wild Horses” is superb and sexy, and definitely one of my faves. The “I want to have you” spoken lines are irresistible. I always think that this song and “The Ice Maiden” paint those hand-wrenching moments of youth and longing that seem to punctuate my college days.
    “Jordan: the Comeback” is a masterpiece of pop genius.

  81. goodbye lucille #1, number 5 on steve mc queen, is my all time fave of prefab sprout, a band i discovered in my teen years, and never left me ever since.
    i guess what best describes the why i like this music so much is one word, ‘ambiance’ when you put on a song, whichever, and this one in particular, you are taken elsewhere, swept off your feet to some imaginary places..
    lol no, i’m not on anything, i just love this music.

  82. David Cockings

    ‘Cue Fanfare’ from Swoon. There’s something special about Swoon, discovering the Sprouts and not knowing whether to tell everyone or keeping it to yourself so that it stayed a secret.

    Dancing with a beautiful girl in the Hammersmith Odeon, not knowing her name but knowing that I’d never see her again. I hope her name was Mary.

    Cue Fanfare was the song the Sprouts were playing, those five minutes will always be in my heart.

  83. wild horses because it´s so smooth and sexy. my other option would be the golden calf, can´t find anything better that will fit to following spring season. punch out!

  84. Faron Young – hard to believe it’s been over twenty five years since its release

  85. Jeff McDermott

    I have so many favorites, but I like “We Let The Stars Go” head and shoulders above the rest. If I played guitar in coffee shops, I’d do that song.

  86. Mike Sanchez

    I love ‘Ice Maiden’! The fresh music, the use of the natural sound of wind, just sounds great – classic Sprouts! Also, the brilliant word play! Fantastic! The subject matter is great as well: the romantic chase, sexual play/combat between two attractive people. It catches the whole flavor of the romantic pursuit so dramatically, dreamily and yet with such energy, excitment and wonder. Just great!

  87. Kieron Ward

    Lions In My Own Garden (Exit Someone)
    – a genius record that plays on many levels but works well as a raw emotional “live” song !

  88. Ivan Thomasz

    “When Love Breaks Down” from Steve McQueen (or Two Wheels Good) is my all-time favourite Prefab Sprout song. With its clever turns of phrase and sincerely poignant delivery, it tells a very moving story of what can really happen when a relationship breaks down.

  89. I’ll pick “I Love Music” from the new album, for its fantastically contagious exuberance.

  90. So many – “Electric Guitars”, “The Sound of Crying” and “Hey Manhattan” are favorites – but my top pick is the not-at-all obscure “Cars and Girls”.

  91. Has to be “Desire As” because it captures, not only lyrically, but sonically that fragile and fickle emotion in the title of the song. (By the way, I can’t believe Prefab is still recording. (Thank you!) I thought I was so weird being the only one among all my college friends who even heard, much less liked, the group. I bought “Steve McQueen” (“Two Wheels Good”) because Thomas Dolby was the producer. Boy was I ever surprised at the sheer joy of listening to it incessantly my sophomore year in college.

  92. Like the others, I have hard time choosing which one is my favorite among Sprout songs. It depends on the day and the mood. “We let the stars go” always gives a special feeling. “The Venus of the Soup kitchen” is another favorite. “Andromeda Heights” is such a dreamy song. Most songs on Steve McQueen. Don’t know exactly what it is about “Ghost Town Blues” that I love but it’s another one. The list could be long.

  93. My favorite is “When love breaks down”, a beautiful song that takes me back

  94. The contest is now closed and the winners have been notified. Thanks for sharing stories about your favorite songs — as always, is great to read along…

  95. Definitely Bearpark. Wait, “Dublin”. “When the Cows Come Home”. Wait, starting over, “Bonny” for sure, from Utrecht. Moondog, that’s final. “Moving the River, is great though, but always makes me want to hear Horsin Around, so Horsin is my favorite, right after Earth, the story so Far. Dragons though Because its so simple and lyrically perfect, so Dragons. “Life’s a Miracle”, final answer..

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