Prefab Sprout Steve McQueen Alternate Format Discography

Alternate Format Discography

The album first appeared in the UK on the Kitchenware label as an LP [KWLP3] and cassette [KWC3]. On the vinyl edition, Phil Thornalley is credited as producer of 'When Love Breaks Down' and Thomas Dolby as remixer. Dolby, however, has full producer credit for the other ten tracks. On the cassette, Thornalley is shown as producer with no mention of Dolby at all.

FIRST CD (1985)
Hard on the heels of the vinyl release came a CD version on CBS [CDCBS 26522]. This was mastered by Nimbus, then arguably Europe's leading CD pioneers. At the time, both the vinyl and CD editions were considered well produced.

As the decades have passed, however, both the original vinyl and CD have been superseded by new versions, making this a case where locating the original LP may not be the best strategy for someone interested in hearing the music at its very best.


Following an objection from Steve McQueen's daughter, the album title was changed to Two Wheels Good [EK-40100] for release in the USA on CBS's sister company Epic Records [pictured above]. The track 'Faron Young' was renamed 'Faron' for similiar reasons. The US vinyl edition also includes two bonus tracks produced by Thornalley, 'He'll Have To Go' and 'The Yearning Loins', the latter of which can now be found on the Kings Of Rock'n'Roll compilation. The cassette edition [BET 40100], however, lacks those two additional tracks.

This was a UK Nice Price reissue on Columbia [COL 466336 9], bearing the advice, 'Due to the exceptional length of this record, play loud' – despite the fact that it wasn't any longer than the original!

319vinylicon.releaselegacyLEGACY EDITION (2007)
In the wake of almost a decade of relative inactivity, Steve McQueen popped back into sight with this exquisite double-CD Legacy edition [pictured below] which was remastered by Mr Dolby himself at The Mastering Lab in Los Angeles, where he reportedly used the ¼in mixed masters and fed them through 'modern' equipment to 'let them breathe'.

Sonically, this has become the 'go to' edition of Steve McQueen, considered superior to all previous versions including the '80s originals. Dolby himself has described the remasters as sounding 'insanely good'. Adding to its desirability is the fact that the second CD consists of eight new versions of tracks from the album, recorded either in mid-2005 or in the summer of 2006 (depending upon which source you care to believe) by Paddy McAloon, returning them to something resembling the way they must have sounded when he first wrote them on his pair of trusty electro-acoustic guitars – a Takamine and an Ovation.

Sounding significantly different from the originals, they've come to be regarded as 'a revelation', throwing new light onto the songs. Although described as all-acoustic, I fancy I can still hear what sound to me like electronically-treated samples of Wendy Smith's voice here and there, but that's not any kind of complaint.

319vinylicon.releasejapJAPANESE MINI REPLICA (2009
For those attracted to mini-LP replicas, the Japanese offered Steve McQueen complete with obi-strip and an insert featuring lyrics in Japanese and English [EICP 1244] as part of a six-album Prefab Sprout cardboard sleeve mini-LP reissue series. The track listing, of course, also replicates the '80s vinyl, with no additional material.

Anyone seeking a post-millennial like-for-like edition of the 1985 LP need look no further than this 180g vinyl reissue with original sleeve artwork on the Kitchenware Records label [88875194581].

Considered by some to offer 'more detail than mp3 versions' (no surprises there, then), and certainly an improvement on the original, this is definitely the one for the wax biscuit aficionado.