I originally bought this for the cover which featured a mid-60’s Triumph Trophy TR6C with the single gauge and the scrambler-style high pipes, a motorcycle I always wanted to own. I knew nothing of the album and had low expectations because around that time most of the new records were simply awful and one could hardly justify purchasing a full album, let alone going at it blind, without having it listened to it first, but this time the Triumph motorcycle got me.
It probably set at home, on a shelf for at least a month before I finally got around to listen to it and wow… I was immediately taken by it.
Produced by Thomas Dolby the record is an infinite sequence of smooth, polished jazz pop fusion masterpieces. Leading Prefab Sprout are the McAloon brothers with Paddy being the front man and the “poet” behind the magic of its lyrics. Often compared to Morrisey for the lyrical style and stage presence, his voice is a brand of its own and unmistakably his and his alone.
Steve McQueen was immediately welcomed to the U.S. by threats of lawsuits and thus it was sold under the title “Two Wheels Good”, proving once again the infinite litigiousness insanity that dominates Amerika and while I got the original altered name copy, for me, this record will always remain “Steve McQueen”.
Why this album belongs in my top 100 list of albums to listen front to back is exactly that, meaning that from the first time I played it, the order of the songs has never varied, and NONE were ever skipped. There are NO great singles, just a wonderful progression of beautiful songs that take you through a Thomas Dolby 80’s musical trip. Thomas Dolby AKA Thomas Robertson, the same guy who moonlighted his synth and producing skills to Def Leppard in Pyromania under the pseudonym of “Booker T. Boffin” in honor of Booker T. Jones and his Memphis sound.
Smooth as the finest 30 year single barrel Scotch.