Long Player is a fortnightly show presented by Pete Paphides. Conducted in a relaxed setting, these interviews see some of Pete's favourite artists revisiting the highs and lows of their careers.
For fans eager to hear some of our best-loved singers and songwriters speaking about their music in unhurried detail, Long Player makes essential listening. With musical highlights interspersed among the conversation, Long Player also acts as a primer for newcomers to the oeuvres of those musicians. Produced by Paul Noble for Pop Up Radio.
Thirty years have elapsed since Prefab Sprout's debut album Swoon saw their frontman Paddy McAloon garlanded with superlatives. In the interim, his perfectionism has resulted in a body of work which – featuring highlights such as Steve McQueen, Jordan: The Comeback and Andromeda Heights – stands shoulder to shoulder with the best of his peers. It's unlikely that Paddy's profile will ever return to its late 80s peak when, for a time, Prefab Sprout were appearing on Top of the Pops and fielding Going Live phone-ins. However, last year, with the breathtaking Crimson/Red, Prefab Sprout returned with their most acclaimed set of songs for over two decades. For the fifth Long Player, Paddy McAloon talks about a huge array of subjects: among them, the oddness of seeing his songs covered by Cher and Kylie; the bittersweet ubiquity of King of Rock 'n' Roll; and his lingering Scott Walker regret. Oh, and once in a while, he'll pick up his guitar and illustrate his point.
Last year, the heavens aligned for Lloyd Cole. His Standards album was hailed by critics and fans alike as his greatest record since he (and his Commotions) landed fully-formed with 1984's deathlessly magnificent Rattlesnakes. In the intervening decades, Lloyd has trodden a singular path: pop star, critical whipping boy, adopted New Yorker and, latterly, moonlighting music critic. Almost by stealth, he has steadily amassed an enviable canon of literate pop gems, taking in the orchestral peaks of Don't Get Weird On Me Babe and the masterful Music In A Foreign Language. Speaking with Pete Paphides, the fourth episode of Long Player finds Lloyd casting his memory over the years with disarming honesty.
For any film director seeking to combine innovative storytelling with box office clout, Clint Mansell is one of a handful of composers who can be relied upon to deliver a soundtrack that will rise to the challenge. Perhaps best known for his work with Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem For A Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler, Black Swan), Mansell has further cemented his reputation with breathtaking scores for Moon, L’Affaire Farewell, Stoker and Filth. It’s surely an outcome that – in his former life as the frontman with Stourbridge indie/hip-hop troupe Pop Will Eat Itself – Mansell himself would not have dared imagine. Now resident in Hollywood, he meets Pete Paphides and, in his inimitably self-deprecating style, attempts to piece together how it all happened.
Jimmy Webb is the featured artist in the first Long Player. In a career stretching back almost five decades, Webb has established himself as one of the songwriting giants of his generation. Among the great American songbook classics that bear his imprint are Wichita Lineman, MacArthur Park, P.F. Sloan and By The Time I Get To Phoenix. He's in excellent form in this interview, talking to Pete about his hell-raising exploits with Harry Nilsson, Richard Harris and Peter O'Toole and shedding a little light on the elusive art of writing a masterpiece.