Prefab Sprout website: A Life of Surprises

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FAQ - Frecuently Asked Questions

Last update: April 14th, 2004

Archive compiled by Fernando Higa with contributions from Gregg Stewart.

00. How  is the music from the group ?
01. Who are/were members of the group ?
02. Where can I contact Prefab Sprout ?
03. What are the birthdays of the band members ?
04. What is the origin of the name of the group ?
05. When and where was Prefab Sprout formed?
06. What albums has Prefab Sprout released?
07. What about b-side tracks ?
08. What videos had the group released ?
09. What are the unreleased material ?
10. Are there any books on Prefab Sprout ?
11. Are there any music books featuring Prefab Sprout ?
12. What is the origin/meaning/story behind the song .... ?
13. Are there any magazines/fanzines about Prefab Sprout ? 
14. Are there any Prefab Sprout fan clubs ? Mailing Lists ?
15. Where can I get online lyrics, tabulature, GIFs, etc.?
16. What are other members/ex-members doing ?
17. Is Prefab Sprout getting back together?


00. How is the music from the group ?

Wow! Don't expect a impartial opinion from a fan. Their music is wonderful, sometimes heavenly, sometimes down-to-earth and intelligent lyrics. 

But if you want to hear from yourself, why don't you listen to some clips from some online stores ?  Some music clips are found at Amazon and other stores.

01. Who are/were members of the group ?

The members of the band are: 
Paddy McAloon
Marty McAloon
Wendy Smith
Neil Conti

Paddy and Martin started the group with Michael Salmon (a friend from school) on drums. 
They release "Lions In My Garden (Exit Someone)". Later on, Wendy Smith joined the band with their second release "The Devil Has All The Best Tunes" and the three (Paddy, Martin and Wendy) released their first long-playing "Swoon" with Graham Lant on drums. 
Since "Steve McQueen" Neil Conti was a permanent member of the group and they are the four members that made the Sprouts so popular.
In "Andromeda Heights", Neil Conti was not part of the group and in "Cowboy Dreams", Wendy Smith has left the group as well.

02. Where can I contact Prefab Sprout ?

Try with Kitchenware label. And the Official Site at: http://www.prefabsprout.com/

03. What are the birthdays of the band members ?

Patrick Joseph McAloon - June 7th, 1957. Born in Durham, England
Martin McAloon - January 4th, 1962. Born in Durham, England
Wendy Smith - May 31st, 1963. Born in Middlesbrough, Cleveland, England
Neil Conti - February 12th, 1959. Born in Luton, England

04. What is the origin of the name of the group ?

According to the official site, Paddy invented the name because he thought it was mysterious, following the example of other groups such as Grand Funk Railroad and Tyrannosaurus Rex.

As a complementary remark, according to the first CD Fanzine Rollmo: "Chrysalis Cognosci was one of the other band names that Paddy had dreamed up, along with Prefab Sprout as possible names for a band that could have conveyed a sense of mystery or even quirkiness. Other contenders were Dry Axe and The Village Bus. No preconception could be made of the music from the name it was this 'anonymity' which appealed to Paddy. Still today he refers to some of the things he is involved with as being a very "Sprout thing to do". 

05. When and where was Prefab Sprout formed?

Formed in 1976 or 1977, Consett, Durham County, England. 

06. What albums has Prefab Sprout released?

Swoon (Songs Worshiped Out Of Neccesity)
Steve McQueen (known in USA as Two Wheels Good with three more tracks)
From Langley Park to Memphis
Protest Songs
Jordan: The Comeback
A Life of Surprises (compilation album with two new tracks)
The Gunman and Other Stories
38 Carat Collection (double cd compilation with the first release on cd of LIMOGES)
Andromeda Heights

Paddy solo project:
I Trawl the Megahertz

There are many EPs and singles. Look at the  Singles  section of this website.

07. What about b-side tracks ?

Wow! There are so many. Check Bedford's website for a complete list:
http://www.browningmcintosh.com/plocktonwest/sprout2.html

08. What videos had the group released ?

The official video of the group released when the compilation A Life of Surprises was launched, has the same name, of course. Released in 1992, it includes the following songs: 
The King of Rock'n'Roll / The Sound of Crying / Cars and Girls / We Let the Stars Go / The Golden Calf / Looking for Atlantis / Hey Manhattan / If you don't love me / When love breaks down / Carnival 2000 / Appetite 

There is a prior video called "From Langley Park to Hollywood" featuring "Cars and Girls / The King of Rock 'N' Roll / Hey Manhattan! / The Golden Calf / When Love Breaks Down / Appetite." 

There is also a video with Prisoner of the Past and another with Electric Guitars. Videos were also shot for Johnny Johnny, Life of Surprises, I Remember That, All The World Loves Lovers and Cowboy Dreams.

09. What are the unreleased material ?

Check again the Bedford's site:
http://www.browningmcintosh.com/plocktonwest/sprout_misc.html#never 

10. Are there any books on Prefab Sprout ?

Only one, so far. A fan-produced book by John Birch, creator of the website The Prefab Sprout Village, he wrote the book Myths, Melodies & Metaphysics: Paddy McAloon's Prefab Sprout of 122 pages. 
It is unavailable and it was written long time ago, so an update is required urgently.

11. Are there any music books featuring Prefab Sprout ?

One site that has a songbook of the Prefab Sprout appears at Euromusicweb. It is called Best of - A Life of Surprises, Piano and Vocal. Wise Publications # AM90021, ISBN number 0-7119-3102-X. Also, there was a sheet for When Love Breaks Down. 

12. What is the origin/meaning/story behind the song .... ?

For a more complete list of 
http://www.browningmcintosh.com/plocktonwest/paddyspeaks.html 

Check here for a track to track explanation of the songs from Jordan: The Comeback by Paddy himself.

13. Are there any magazines/fanzines about Prefab Sprout ? 

Not that I am aware of. Check the official site from time to time for news, or their Discussion Board.
There was a fanzine called Rollmo and by the # 16 number it was become a CD Fanzine and the cd tracks are listed here.

14. Are there any Prefab Sprout fan clubs ? Mailing Lists ?

There are two mailing list at Yahoo groups: Zorrophonic and Prefab Sprout.

15. Where can I get online lyrics, tabulature, GIFs, etc.?

Some lyrics and guitar chords are found in this website. If you know about other resources please let us know !

16. What are other members/ex-members doing ?

Neil Conti is still a professional session drummer, apparently living in France.
Wendy Smith is a Voice Movement Therapist in the North East of England. She is still in regular touch with Paddy and Martin, but it seems unlikely that she'll record or tour with the Sprouts again.
Martin McAloon is teaching music at Newcastle College.
Paddy is continuing to write for future projects - but at present it seems that his plans for the next Sprout album have been put on hold.

17. Is Prefab Sprout getting back together?

After ITTM, Paddy has commented there would be an album by the group, by 2003.
That never happened, but let's hope that this is still in his plans.