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Encyclopedia > Stephen Duffy

Stephen Anthony James Duffy (born May 30, 1960 in Birmingham, West Midlands, England) is a British songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist. He has recorded as a solo act under several different names, and is the lead singer for the group The Lilac Time. He has also co-written many songs with Robbie Williams, and Steven Page of Barenaked Ladies. May 30 is the 150th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (151st in leap years). ... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... The city from above Centenary Square. ... The County of West Midlands is a metropolitan county in western central England, the United Kingdom, formed in 1974. ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital London Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq... A songwriter is someone who writes the lyrics to songs, the musical composition or melody to songs, or both. ... In music a singer or vocalist is a type of musician who sings, i. ... A guitarist is a musician who plays the guitar. ... The Lilac Time is a band from Birmingham, United Kingdom, formed by Stephen Duffy and his brother Nick in 1986. ... Robbie Williams (born Robert Peter Williams on February 13, 1974 in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire) is an English pop artist/songwriter. ... Steven Page, 2005 Steven Jay Page, often called Steve (born June 22, 1970), is a Canadian musician. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Duran Duran & Other Early Work

While attending Birmingham Polytechnic school, he and school friend John Taylor formed an obscure, arty new romantic group called Duran Duran, along with Taylor's non-student friend Nick Rhodes. Duffy was the lyricist and vocalist, but left both the school and the band in 1979, well before their 1980 signing with EMI. Taylors first solo recording was a hit single for the 9½ Weeks movie soundtrack. ... New Romantic was a New Wave music genre and fashion movement that occurred primarily in England during the early 1980s. ... Duran Duran are a English New Wave band notable for a long series of catchy, synthesizer-driven hit singles and vivid music videos. ... Nick Rhodes in 1981. ... The EMI Group is a major record label, based in Kensington in London, in the United Kingdom. ...

From there, he formed the band Obviously Five Believers, sometimes known as The Hawks, and did his first four-track recordings. Their only single, "Words of Hope", was released in 1980.

Tin Tin

In 1982, he created the band Tin Tin with Mulligan and Dik Davies [deceased] (both formerly of Fashion), Andy "Stoker" Growcott (of Dexys Midnight Runners) and Bob Lamb (original producer of Birmingham band UB40). The band was signed with WEA Records in the UK, and released the song "Kiss Me", which went to #155 on the UK chart. By 1983, Tin Tin had signed with Sire Records in the US, and "Kiss Me" hit the dance charts there as well. Another single, "Hold It", was also released in 1983. Fashion were a 1980s British band consisting of De Harriss, Luke James,Alan Darby, Mulligan, Marlon Recchi and Dik Davis. ... Too-Rye-Ay (1982) Dexys Midnight Runners – the name consistently spelled without an apostrophe [1] – were a British New Wave and Northern Soul band, who achieved their major success in the early to mid 1980s. ... Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG) is one of the four major record labels. ... Sire Records Company is an American record label, owned by Warner Music Group and distributed through Warner Brothers Records The label was founded in 1966 as Sire Productions by Seymour Stein and Richard Gottehrer. ...

After a long stint working in the US, Duffy returned to England and signed another deal, this time with Virgin 10, and worked on recording his first full album, The Ups and Downs (produced by Stephen Duffy, Booker T. Jones, J.J. Jeczalik, Nicholas Froome and Stephen Street), under the name Stephen "Tintin" Duffy, a nickname parodied by BBC Radio 1 DJs as 'Stephen "Duff-Duff" Tinny'. A re-recorded "Kiss Me" single was released in 1984, this time only in the local West Midlands area, followed by a nationwide release of "She Makes Me Quiver". For other people known as Booker T, see Booker T. Booker T. Jones (born November 12, 1944) is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer and arranger, most well known for fronting the band Booker T. and the MGs. ... Stephen Street is a music producer best known for his work with The Smiths in the 1980s and Blur in the 1990s. ... BBC Radio 1 is a British radio station operated by the BBC, specialising in popular music aimed at the 16-24 age bracket. ... The County of West Midlands is a metropolitan county in western central England, the United Kingdom, formed in 1974. ...

At the end of 1984, Duffy recorded a third version of "Kiss Me" with J.J. Jeczalik (a programmer at Trevor Horn's ZTT Records, who was also a member of The Art of Noise). The new version of "Kiss Me" was released on February 25, 1985. It debuted at Number 22, peaked at Number 3, and stayed in the UK top 10 for three months. It was the last song played on the medium wave service of Radio 1 before it became an FM only station, at 9am on July 1, 1994. The third single released from the Ups and Downs album was "Icing on the Cake". Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Trevor Charles Horn, born July 15, 1949 in Durham, England, is a pop music producer and musician. ... ZTT Records is a record label founded in 1983 by NME journalist Paul Morley, record producer Trevor Horn, producer/engineer Gary Langan and businesswoman Jill Sinclair. ... Art of Noise concertposter (1986) The Art of Noise was an electronic group formed in 1983 by producer Trevor Horn, music journalist Paul Morley, and session musicians/studio hands Anne Dudley, J.J. Jeczalik, and Gary Langan. ... February 25 is the 56th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Mediumwave radio transmissions (sometimes called Medium frequency or MF) are those between the frequencies of 300 kHz and 3000 kHz. ...

"Unkiss That Kiss", released in September 1985, was the first single from the album Because We Love You released in early 1986; additional singles from the album were "I Love You" and "Something Special". He was then dropped from the Virgin 10 label.

He also recorded an album in 1986 called Designer Beatnik with Roger Freeman of Pigbag, released under the name Dr. Calculus. The album's two singles were "Programme 7" and "Perfume from Spain". Pigbag were a Jazz Revival band who came to prominence in the early 1980s on the back of the post-punk movement. ...

The Lilac Time

In 1986, he began writing and recording music that would become The Lilac Time's first album, released on Swordfish Records. The album, entitled The Lilac Time, came out on February 8, 1988. February 8 is the 39th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

The group originally consisted of Stephen Duffy, his elder brother Nick Duffy, and friend Michael Weston, who recorded the first album together; Michael Giri and Fraser Kent joined when the band was ready to go on tour. (See The Lilac Time for more detail on the band's history.) The Lilac Time is a band from Birmingham, United Kingdom, formed by Stephen Duffy and his brother Nick in 1986. ...

In 1991, the band split up (temporarily, as it turned out) and Stephen Duffy subsequently pursued a solo career.


The 1993 album Music In Colours (Parlophone) was recorded with Nigel Kennedy, and featured the singles "Natalie" and "Holte End Hotel". Parlophone is a record label which was founded in Germany prior to World War I by the Carl Lindstrom Company. ...

During this period, he co-wrote several songs that appeared on the 1994 Barenaked Ladies album "Maybe You Should Drive": "Jane", "Everything Old is New Again", "Alternative Girlfriend", and "The Wrong Man Was Convicted."

The next album was called simply Duffy, released August 1995 on Indolent Records. "London Girls" and "Sugar High" went to the top 10 on the UK indie chart, but "Needle Mythology" did not. ("Starfit" was also released as a single in the US.) The album was reissued on CD in 2000 by BMG Fun House.

He participated in a temporary supergroup called Me Me Me, consisting of Duffy, Alex James of Blur, Justin Welch of Elastica and Charlie Bloor. The one-off single "Hanging Around" was released August 5, 1996 and reached Number 19 on the UK chart. In the late 1960s, the term supergroup was coined to describe music groups comprising members who had already achieved fame or respect in other groups or as individual artists. ... Hanging Around cover Me Me Me was a short lived British supergroup, consisting of four high profile Britpop musicians. ... Alex James, 2003 James was part of The Idlers University Challenge team in 2005 Steven Alexander James (born on 21 November 1968 in Bournemouth, England), popularly known as Alex James, is the bass player in the band Blur, and one of the members of Fat Les. ... Blur are an English rock band. ... Justin Welsh is a musician from the UK best known for being the drummer in britpop band Elastica. ... Elastica were a Britpop band who were popular in the 1990s, formed by Justine Frischmann after leaving Suede in 1991. ... August 5 is the 217th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (218th in leap years), with 148 days remaining. ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ...

Duffy then left Indolent Records in the summer of 1997, just before the album I Love My Friends was to be released. The album was picked up by Cooking Vinyl Records, which released the singles "17" and "You Are". Cooking Vinyl is a UK-based independent record company, founded in 1986. ...

Virgin released a compilation album entitled They Called Him Tin Tin in 1999, with tracks chosen by Duffy.

The Devils

In 1999, Duffy found a tape recording of 1978-1979 (pre-Simon Le Bon) Duran Duran music in storage; shortly after, he had a chance meeting with Nick Rhodes, Duran's keyboardist. Reminiscences led to a desire to collaborate, and they ended up re-recording the music on the tape. They did not change any of the lyrics, and used only late-70s-era instruments, but brought modern production techniques to the project. The result was the quirky album Dark Circles, released under the name The Devils. Simon John Charles Le Bon (born October 27, 1958) is the lead singer and lyricist of the pop band Duran Duran. ... Nick Rhodes in 1981. ... The Devils (film), the controversial 1971 Ken Russell film The English language title of Henri-Georges Clouzots film Les Diaboliques (1955) The Devils (band), the pop music project of Nick Rhodes and Stephen Duffy. ...

Return to The Lilac Time

Finally, Duffy reunited with other members of The Lilac Time, releasing Looking For A Day In The Night in 1999, and lilac6 in 2001. Compendium - The Fontana Trinity, a collection of tracks from their first three out-of-print albums, was also released in 2001.

The album Keep Going was released in 2003 under the name 'Stephen Duffy & The Lilac Time', to the usual critical acclaim and limited commercial success.

Work with Robbie Williams

Duffy's songwriting ability earned his first Number 1 in October 2004 as the co-writer of the Robbie Williams single "Radio", one of two new tracks recorded for Williams' Greatest Hits album. One striking and ironic fact about "Radio" was that it was released at exactly the same time as Duran Duran's original line-up come-back single "(Reach up for the) Sunrise". Duran Duran managed a new entry (and highest) position of number 5 in the official UK chart the week that the Williams/Duffy collaboration went straight in at number 1. Robbie Williams (born Robert Peter Williams on February 13, 1974 in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire) is an English pop artist/songwriter. ... Greatest Hits is a greatest hits compilation by Robbie Williams, released in 2004. ...

In October 2005, the Robbie Williams album Intensive Care was released. Fully co-written and co-produced by Stephen Duffy, it gained him much exposure and critical acclaim. Duffy went on to work as the musical director and guitarist for the Robbie Williams Close Encounters world tour in support of the album. Intensive care medicine or critical care medicine is concerned with providing greater than ordinary medical care and observation to people in a critical or unstable condition. ...

External links

  • Official Lilac Time/Stephen Duffy Site
  • Comprehensive discography, chronology, lyrics, gallery, biography, publications
  • Stephen Duffy Chronology
  • A good interview on Duffy's history and The Devils
  • Close Encounters Tour news & info



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