You wait for years for a book on Prefab Sprout, and then three turn up all at once. Cecile Roux, Toru Watanabe, and finally the long awaited follow up to “Myths, Melodies and Metaphysics” by John Birch, (which has itself become a bit of a collectors’ item): “Prefab Sprout: The Early Years”. This is the first part of a planned trilogy and is fully illustrated with some great photos.
It’s due for release on the 26th August, and there’s an ordering link here.
This is what John Birch has to say about it.
Prefab Sprout: The Early Years is a book written from the inside world of Prefab Sprout, drawing from the frank, open, surprising, humorous and enlightening memoirs of those working with, supporting and befriending Paddy McAloon since he first picked up a guitar as a lad, starting out his love affair with words, melodies and art.
Although this book cannot be claimed to be an official biography of Paddy McAloon and Prefab Sprout, Paddy and his manager Keith Armstrong graciously opened all the doors for the author’s research that he ever could have hoped for.
The book draws upon a vast array of research materials compiled over a three year period: 64 interviews, 46 hours of audio memoirs, over 150,000 words of written memoirs and testimonials, exclusive studio photography, back stage and on the road photographs, access to hours of rare unpublished demos and songs, and over 12 hours of exclusive, unpublished interviews with Paddy McAloon himself, courtesy of some of Europe’s finest journalists, including the legendary Mat Snow.
Lengthy, honest and insightful interviews with the key players in McAloon’s career… including Kitchenware Records Directors Keith Armstrong and Paul Ludford, the legendary CBS/Sony A&R guru Muff Winwood, Thomas Dolby (the fifth Sprout), Calum Malcolm, friend and Prefab Sprout archivist David Brewis, and Neil Conti… have all made for the most in-depth research on Paddy McAloon and Prefab Sprout to date.
Prefab Sprout: The Early Years breaks down the story of Paddy McAloon’s Prefab Sprout from early on in the band’s conception in autumn 1977, through to their first official album release, Swoon.