Prefab Sprout were a pretty popular band in the 80s that, to be honest, I didn’t really like that much. But 20 years later I heard about singer Paddy McAloon’s solo record and it’s a fascinating story, which resulted in an amazing album. In 2019, this album was re-released under the Prefab Sprout banner.
I Trawl The Megahertz is the second in a pair of “spoken word” records.
In the late 90s, MacAloon was rendered almost blind after suffering detached retinas. Left housebound, he recorded chat shows, phone-ins and documentaries from radio (“trawling the MHz”), and cut them up to provide source material for the album.
The album is largely instrumental, with classical instrumentation. This music was pieced together with some of the radio samples, and this 22 minute title track dominates the record. Throughout the track, Yvonne Connors, speaking in a soft spoken-word voice, tells a fictional life story, constructed from the radio samples and edited together into a narrative.
In 2019, a remastered version of the LP was released under the Prefab Sprout monicker.