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Stephen Duffy I Love My Friends

Back in 1997, I received a cassette of Stephen’s intended version of the record. I made a copy of the cassette, so I could have one in the car and one in the house. I was totally besotted and, inevitably, a bit saddened when the amended version came out. I’m so proud to have had a hand in finally getting that record out into the wider world.
Needle Mythology founder Pete Paphides on the 2019 release of I Love My Friends

Stephen Duffy’s 1996 solo album I Love My Friends is now 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.

One high-profile champion of I Love My Friends was Robbie Williams who, on hearing the record, became so obsessed with it that he asked Stephen to co-write his Intensive Care album. Robbie went on to cover a song from I Love My Friends record, The Postcard.

Strictly speaking, this version of I Love My Friends isn’t a reissue. On delivering the album to his label Indolent, Stephen was asked to record two more songs for putative single release. Produced by Andy Partridge, these songs necessitated the last-minute removal of two songs which have since passed into fan lore as two of Stephen’s all-time best: Mao Badge and In The Evening Of Her Day. In the event, Cooking Vinyl put out the record after Indolent’s parent company BMG withheld the release.

This release of I Love My Friends restored these songs to the record, honouring Stephen’s original vision for the album. The two Andy Partridge-produced songs You Are and What If I Fell In Love With You are available on a seven-inch single which comes with all vinyl copies of I Love My Friends. They are added as bonus tracks to disc one of the CD version.

I Love My Friends, Stephen Duffy – Compact Disc Release with Blown Away, previously unreleased 12 track bonus disc [NEMYCD001]

For this release, brand new artwork has been created for the album, which itself has been specially mastered by Guy Davie at Electric Mastering for 180g vinyl. The album was pressed at the old EMI pressing plant in Hayes Middlesex, now operated by Vinyl Factory.

In a 2015 appreciation of Stephen’s career, The Guardian singled out I Love My Friends as a high watermark – “Charming, touching and at times profoundly upsetting, it was a memoir of young loves and naive pop dreams that descended into raw tragedy on The Postcard, in which Duffy comes across a forgotten photograph of himself with a girlfriend who’d since died, and mourns her afresh. Heart-stopping stuff.”

In 2003, The Sunday Times wrote – “Duffy is creating a body of lyrically lacerating work that should win him gold discs rather than indifference.”

While the 2019 vinyl release of I Love My Friends comes with a seven-inch containing the Partridge songs, the expanded 2019 CD release of I Love My Friends comes with an entire bonus disc of songs titled Blown Away – Selected Demos Volume 1. Almost all of them previously unreleased – a testament to this period of unprecedented creativity in Stephen’s life.

I LOVE MY FRIENDS – LP

NEMYLP001

I Love My Friends, Stephen Duffy – LP and 7″

LP

SIDE ONE

  1. Tune In
  2. The Deal
  3. Eucharist
  4. Mao Badge
  5. Lovers’ Beware
  6. In The Evening Of Her Day

SIDE TWO

  1. Holding Hands With Grace
  2. The Postcard
  3. Seventeen
  4. Twenty Three
  5. Autopsy
  6. She Belongs To All
  7. One Day One Of These Fucks Will Change Your Life

7″

SIDE A

You Are

SIDE B

What If I Fell In Love With You?

I LOVE MY FRIENDS – CD

NEMYCD001

Disc 1 I Love My Friends
Stephen Duffy - I Love my Friends LP Cover
I Love My Friends, Stephen Duffy – CD
  1. Tune In
  2. The Deal
  3. Eucharist
  4. Mao Badge
  5. Lovers’ Beware
  6. In The Evening Of Her Day
  7. Holding Hands With Grace
  8. The Postcard
  9. Seventeen
  10. Twenty Three
  11. Autopsy
  12. She Belongs To All
  13. One Day One Of These Fucks Will Change Your Life
  14. You Are
  15. What If I Fell In Love With You
Disc 2 Blown Away, Selected Demos Vol 1
Blown Away, Stephen Duffy – bonus CD
  1. Night Thoughts (Intro)
  2. Blown Away
  3. The Whole Earth Singing
  4. C’est La Vie, C’est La Guerre
  5. Go
  6. Suburban Symphony
  7. Another Golden Shot
  8. The Waitress’ Story
  9. An Ear For Silent Voices
  10. The Girl Of The Year
  11. Lupin
  12. We Continue For Australasia (Outro)

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