Posts Tagged ‘The Lilac Time’

Stephen Duffy’s 1998 album was one of his three very good – albeit rather ‘lost’ – solo records from the 1990s. This one was particularly ill-fated, since label intervention meant that the album that was eventually released wasn’t really what Stephen wanted to put out at the time. Fed up, he reformed The Lilac Time and just moved on. 21 years later, fan and friend Pete Paphides decided that a revised edition of “I Love My Friends” would be the inaugural release on his new label Needle Mythology. With Duffy’s assistance they restored I Love My Friends to a kind of ‘director’s cut’ version with the mood-spoiling Andy Partridge-produced tracks removed and a few of others (that had been B-sides at the time) reinstated. The running order was also re-jigged for good measure. The album was remastered and sounded great on vinyl, but CD fans were really spoiled by a whole extra disc of ‘selected demos’ (all unreleased) that were delivered as a bonus item within the gatefold CD wallet.

Stephen Duffy’s 1996 solo album I Love My Friends has been made available for the first time ever on vinyl and vinyl replica CD. Produced by Stephen Street, the album was released to unanimously positive reviews and remains a favourite among his fans.

Following a time of personal upheaval, the album was the result of an unprecedented creativity for Stephen. “The tunes and the words were coming faster than I could write them down. That’s the dichotomy of I Love My Friends. My interior world was falling apart, but creatively it was a charmed existence.”

After tasting worldwide chart success with his 1985 hit Kiss Me, Stephen went on to record four albums of exquisite bucolic pop with his group The Lilac Time before recommencing his solo career. Stephen was a formative player in the West Midlands post-punk scene alongside Swell Maps and Duran Duran, whose first incarnation he fronted. In 2002, he reunited with Nick Rhodes to release an album of their early songs with the group.

For I Love My Friends, Stephen has reverted to the original intended sequence for the album, which was produced by Stephen Street, restoring fan favourites Mao Badge and In The Evening Of Her Day to the track list.

The two Andy Partridge-produced tracks recorded at the behest of Stephen’s label as putative singles now feature on a seven-inch single, which comes with the record. As with all Needle Mythology releases, a vinyl replica CD is available.

The CD version ofI Love My Friends features a bonus CD Blown Away – Selected Demos Volume 1 – ten previously unreleased demos for songs written during the I Love My Friends sessions but never recorded for the finished album.