I bought this album many moons ago off the back of some great reviews, had a listen and shelved it as not for me at the time. I have recently come back to it and after a few more listens, well, what a difference!
As a big Sprout fan (only the musical variety mind), I rate 'Steve McQueen' as top three material alongside the Oscar Peterson Trio's 'Night Train' and '1984' by Van Halen, all incredibly well-crafted albums. However, the one thing that is different about this PS album to all others before it, is that Paddy built his own high-end studio at home before working on it (the album & studio share the name Andromeda Heights), and doesn't this new-found proximity show in the detail.
From the opening number, the easy rising tide of 'Electric Guitars', through to that wonderful sax part on 'Life's a Miracle' to the 'Ice Maiden'-esque 'Anne Marie' and on to an end of the evening, slow dance finish with the title track, this album has had care and attention lavished upon it by one of Britain's best kept secrets. Time is the key to this record, stick with it and it pays you back in spades with listening pleasures rarely experienced - McAloon works from a set of rules no-one else was given. And sometimes that's just about perfect.