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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Feb 2019 > Every little bit HERTZ

Every little bit HERTZ

WITH HIS ONLY SOLO ALBUM I TRAWL THE MEGAHERTZ NOW REBRANDED AS A PREFAB SPROUT RECORD, PADDY MCALOON IS READY FOR A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS HIS COLLECTIVE’S WONDROUS LEGACY. THERE MAY BE LESS PREFAB SPROUT MUSIC THAN ANYONE – INCLUDING PADDY – WOULD LIKE, BUT NO-ONE CAN ARGUE WITH THE QUALITY OF WHAT’S THERE. PADDY TELLS CLASSIC POP ABOUT THE DIFFICULTIES OF HIS OBSESSIVE WRITING AND HOW HEARING PROBLEMS MAKE HIM CHERISH HIS SINGING MORE THAN EVER.
Tom Sheehan

Nobody comes closer than Paddy McAloon to being a pop wizard. It’s not just his softly magical albums like Steve McQueen, From Langley Park To Memphis and Crimson/Red. He even looks like a picture-book wizard, too: horn-rimmed round-lensed glasses, flowing silver hair, and a matching beard he sometimes strokes when pondering the reasons why Prefab Sprout rarely toured or how he’s ended up writing a musical with Spike Lee.

If Paddy resembles Dumbledore, down to the mischief in his eyes as he resolutely refuses to take his status too seriously, then he greets Classic Pop in classical surroundings to match – a book-lined, spacious suite at the five-star Gore Hotel near South Kensington station in West London. Its opulence baffles Paddy, who admits: “My wife says it doesn’t matter where I am because I live in my head, and she’s right. This hotel is nice, but it could just as easily be a Premier Inn.”

A Premier Inn just wouldn’t be right for someone so respected. Paddy rarely gives interviews, so why not celebrate when he does? One of the melancholic tasks for any true Prefab Sprout fan is keeping track of the dozens of albums Paddy McAloon has written, but hasn’t finished. Having to explain his music to the media is one reason there isn’t more Prefab Sprout music. “If I make something, it kills it stone dead if I spend too long talking about it”, Paddy says. “So I end up skipping the stage where I actually make the record. I write it and move on – which I know is absolutely mad, because I’m not making a living when I’m doing that.” This is heartbreaking, not just because the world could always do with hearing more of Paddy McAloon’s music, but also Paddy McAloon is a dream interviewee, both an absolute gentleman and a wise philosopher about music.

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About Classic Pop

Issue 49 is on sale now! For our first issue of 2019 we put our head in the lion’s mouth to count down the Top 40 most important pop artists of the 80s. Will your favourite come away with the spoils? As ever, this issue is packed with great interviews including a very rare chat with Prefab Sprout’s Paddy McAloon and we catch up with Joe Jackson as he celebrates 40 years in music with a new album and tour. We meet Dido who is returning to the pop fray and we also feature must-read interviews with Tracey Thorn, Tanita Tikaram and Ladytron. Depeche Mode’s troubled masterpiece Songs Of Faith And Devotion is our classic album and we also serve up a buyer’s guide to punk-pop pioneers Squeeze. As well as our essential round-up of what to look forward to in the pop world in 2019, we take one last look back at 2018 with our second Classic Pop Reader Awards. Our packed reviews section features the remarkable comeback by The Specials alongside new albums by Ian Brown, The Beat featuring Ranking Roger, White Lies and UB40 plus a reissues section that includes Prince and David Sylvian on vinyl, a comprehensive Paul Young singles boxset, Buzzcocks, Bananarama and much more. On the live front, we review gigs by Adam Ant, All Saints, Lily Allen and more.