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from langley park to memphis LP

4.0 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Amazon's Prefab Sprout Store


Product details

  • Vinyl
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: KITCHENWARE
  • ASIN: B003YXG0B8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 624,271 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

UK, inner sleeve

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 20 Mar. 2000
Format: Audio CD
Those who only remember Prefab Sprout for 'Hot Dogs and Jumping Frogs' do not know what they are missing. The Sprout frontman, Paddy McAloon, is a singer songwriter of exceptional talent and originality. This was the first album I bought of theirs and have never looked back. From the bouncy opening number, the album goes from strength to strength, with only one track 'The Golden Calf', a disappointment. Immerse yourself in the exciting tunes and clever lyrics, for example on 'Cars and Girls', 'Hey Manhatten' and the classic 'I Remember That'. 'Nancy' is a gentle and touching portrait of a marriage which will spin around in your head till you simply must sing out loud. I can't recommend this album too strongly - buy it, you won't be sorry !
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Format: Audio CD
This review is being written over 15 years after I bought my original 'From Langley Park to Memphis' on cassette tape: on the long-overdue occasion of its replacement by CD. The original was bought after hearing 'King of Rock 'n Roll' on the radio and thinking "that sounds like fun". Boy - if I had known what I was getting myself into!
Of all the Sprouts' albums (and I do have them all), this is for me one of the best. The sheer range of themes and styles sweeps the listener from the orchestral 'Manhattan' through the poignant 'Nightingales' to the slightly tongue-in-cheek 'Cars and Girls' without losing either ones interest or engagement. The lyrics are consistently intelligent without the impenetrability of some of the Sprouts earlier work, and Paddy never insults or cajoles his audience - just gently guides them (or perhaps 'seduces' would be a better word) through his emotional journey. I would defy any true romantic to hear 'I Remember That' without a sigh and a nod towards past loves long lost, or not to smile at the 'Venus of the Soup Kitchen' and wonder where to sign up.
Call it 'sophistipop' or 'intellipop' or whatever strange polyglot combination catalogues use to cram artists into a box; say they sound a bit like Blue Nile or Big Dish or some other band that makes their own way off the beaten track through the maze of life: Prefab Sprout are unique. Of course, I'm already a fan, so you'd expect a good review. But don't miss the point - it was this album that made me a fan in the first place.
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Format: Audio CD
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE JAPAN-ONLY 2009 REMASTERED VERSION ***

"From Langley Park To Memphis" was first issued March 1988 on Kitchenware Records in the UK and on Epic Records in the USA. It felt like a more commercial version of its brilliant predecessor "Steve McQueen" from 1985 - and building on that incredible groundwork - it was eagerly awaited - and so raced to Number 5 in the UK charts.

It was released on LP/MC and CD at the time in fairly good sound - but a remaster has been long overdue. Some of its hit singles have been remastered for "Best Of" compilations, but this is the first time the entire album has been sonically upgraded - and it's an absolute wow - even it is only available as a limited edition import from Japan...

PACKAGING:
This 26 August 2009 Japan-only CD is on Epic EICP 1245 (Sony Music Japan) and is part of 6 albums reissued there - all in remastered form (45:32 minutes). It's one of those mini LP replica sleeves in an Obi and resealable outer plastic (picture provided above), which also reproduces the original inner sleeve. The inner sleeve's nice to look at, but of course because of its 5-inch size, virtually illegible - hence the need for the separate lyric booklet. There's also another insert advertising further Eighties CD titles, but it's entirely in Japanese...

SOUND:
CD sites in Japan have claimed that each has 2009 remastering, and although I can't actually find this in writing anywhere on the disc or packaging (that I can understand), I don't need to see it in writing because I can hear it. The sound quality is simply GLORIOUS.

Highlights include the beautiful melody of "I Remember That" (lyrics above) and an incredible punch out of "Knock On Wood" and an absolutely HUGE feel to "The Golden Calf".
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not viewed as a classic Prefab Sprout album in the eyes of the music critics but, nevertheless, there is plenty here to delight lovers of intelligent pop music on this 1988 release. 'The King of Rock 'N' Roll' and 'Cars and Girls' are perfect examples of the band's more commercial output during this period whilst the supreme class of 'I Remember That' and 'The Venus of the Soup Kitchen' represent Paddy McAloon's ability to write lovely slower songs. Definitely worth adding to your collection.
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Format: Audio CD
This album which contains the Sprouts' biggest hit is, inevitably, hated by fans of "Swoon". To be sure, it has its faults, yet there is some great material here. "The King of Rock and Roll" caught the public ear, and although it is hardly representative of their work, it does show that Paddy McAloon has a healthy disregard of what his audience supposedly wants (the theme tune to "Where the Heart is", songs for Cher also indicate this, too).
"From Langley Park..." has a distinctly playful air about it, indeed a few of the songs are reminiscent of the soundtracks to the classic old Disney cartoons with lots of sweeping strings and cutsey lyrics ("We are cartoon cats..."!). Despite the sweet feel to the material, there is bite also. "Cars and Girls" takes a pop at (then) label mate Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen and his distinctly limited imagination.
This album is worth buying to hear "Nightingales" which is, perhaps, the Sprouts most realised work. Stevie Wonder guests on harmonica and, along with Paddy's almost whispered vocal, the effect is stunning. It is the musical equivalent of the world's most luxurious chocolate eaten with the girl of your dreams.
The only real letdown is "The Golden Calf" where the band unconvincingly rock out. Paddy, leave that to Bruce.
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