Re-release of the Year
'I Love My Friends' - Stephen Duffy
Ahead of unveiling our album of the year, we need to discuss the most significant re-release of the year.
After the first phase of The Lilac Time shuddered to a halt, Duffy spent much of the nineties as a solo artist. ‘I Love My Friends’ was his third and final release.
This version of 'I Love My Friends' is not a re-release or re-issue in the conventional sense. That would imply that it was merely repackaged, probably with a handful of extra tracks tacked on at the end. Instead, this was a deliberate decision to right a wrong and to finally release the record as it initially should have been.
'I Love My Friends' is the album that should have been received as his great achievement. But, as the quiet acoustic numbers outweighed the jangling instant pop songs, his record label (Indolent), scratched their heads and demanded a rethink.
Breezier, but formulaic, numbers were added and delicate and intimate gems were demoted to b-sides ('Mao Badge' and the gorgeous 'In the Evening of Her Day'). Yet, even after bowing to the demands of the label, he was inelegantly dropped and the album sat on a shelf until Cooking Vinyl released it a year later.
It's taken the assistance of The Guardian's music journalist Peter Paphides 'Needle Mythology' label to help restore 'I Love My Friends' to its intended format. The track listing has been amended and the artwork changed. It is also released on vinyl for the very first time. The sound is so delightfully crisp, you'd swear blind that it was a new recording and not something from over twenty years ago.
Our full review is here: Love and Death and Stephen Duffy
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
As a solo artist and as a member of The Lilac Time, Stephen Duffy managed to release his two finest works in 2019. There were also the intimate acoustic shows that he performed around the country to coincide with 'Return to Us' as well as the joyous Q&A at the Glee Club in Birmingham that was hosted by Adrian Goldberg. For all of these reasons, we’re happy to announce that Stephen Duffy is Outsideleft’s Artist of the Year.
Read our recent interview with Stephen Duffy A Dream of Lilac Time, here
Jason Lewis is a Birmingham based music, movie and arts obsessive. Jason's encyclopedic knowledge of 80s/90s Arts films is a debt to his embedded status in the Triangle Arts Centre trenches back then.