is the fourth album by English pop band Prefab Sprout
(though the third recorded). It was recorded in 1985, but was not released until 1989. Its delayed release was due to the surprise success of the song "The King of Rock 'N' Roll
", prompting the band's record label to release From Langley Park to Memphis
first to avoid confusing the public. The back cover of Protest Songs
emphasizes the fact that the album is a stage in their musical evolution, offering a middle ground between the sound of 1985's Steve McQueen
and that of From Langley Park to Memphis
. The album's promotion was low-key and no singles were released from it at the time (though "Life of Surprises" was issued as a single three years later to promote the group's greatest hits album
Critic Jason Ankeny wrote of Protest Songs
: "It's a wonderful record, but perhaps too close in sound and spirit to Steve McQueen for comfort..." )
closes with "Pearly Gates", a long song about human mortality--a recurring theme in Paddy McAloon
All tracks composed by Paddy McAloon
- "The World Awake"
- "Life of Surprises"
- "Horse Chimes"
- "Wicked Things"
- "Talkin' Scarlet"
- "Till the Cows Come Home"
- "Pearly Gates"