Rebel Land – the Demo (February 1985)

Another treasure from Keith Hawkins’ stash. “Rebel Land” is fairly well known as one of the Peel Sessions songs, and had been a candidate for a B Side until the master tape got lost; it was also wheeled out on the Summer 1985 tour to great effect.

But here it is in its original demo format. I’ve always thought that it’s one of a pair with “The King of Rock’n’Roll”, and covers much of the same ground – disillusionment and the loss of youthful passion.

Written by Paddy as part of the reaction to the “Steve McQueen” straitjacket, and Simon Potter was famously hoodwinked on the subject by a Paddy joke during a 1985 interview for “The Beat”.

“There’s no such thing as keeping politics out of music, even if you don’t refer to it. What’s the point in learning a musical instrument if all you’re going to do is rip off Chuck Berry Memphis ’55 riffs. Your music has to be informed by the world outside. You won’t catch Prefab Sprout with titles like ‘Rebel Land’ or ‘King Of Rock ‘n’ Roll’!”

One thought

  1. Oh the thrill, when your sentimental favorite not only gets some playing time but becomes part of the scoring!
    Noticed this track is getting mostly mashed on Sproutmash, and i was wondering if anyone else on the Memphis end rather than L.P. enjoys “Rebel Land” for resemblance to “The Yearning Loins” (as we had that curious trio of bonus tracks before our c.d. players returned to “Faron” playing Two Wheels Good).
    i only heard Swoon after growing to love TYL and believe it helped me translate some of the zigs and zags Mr. Dolby might have adjusted. And i’ll confess needing time to learn to love “Diana” as revealed on Protest Songs, as i’d been fortunate to acquire and grow fond of her younger, more energetic version. Reflecting on TYL and Diana, i’m also reminded my perpetual proselytizing over Prefab Sprout gained traction with my beloved Brother after sharing the rocking of “The Golden Calf”, as it merged better with the hair bands on MTV that were often his background noise. “Gateway drug”?
    Don’t we all wish to return to a younger, more energetic version of ourselves now and then… daily? Mr. Berry must have had “all the failure he could stand”, and he’s “gone like a cool breeze”. But what incredible solace to have Paddy recently take a few minutes to cyber-join us (“There’s no such thing as keeping politics out of music…”) and remind us where the heart is, despite accumulating afflictions which impair us from seeing the world at its’ most beautiful , hearing the rest of the world in its’ most harmonious and mixed version.
    My earnest gratitude to the Admin, and warmest well wishes to all of you.

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