I love riding on a train of thought. It can be so pure sometimes, and lead you in wonderful directions.
In fact, when I was a kid I was obsessed with trains. I loved every thing about them, especially the old classics. That was a time, huh? I still dream of having a huge basement and a model train set up… That’s a long way off… Maybe too long. But a kid can dream. So can an adult. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
So Duran Duran leads us directly into this band… Maybe I knew that Stephen Duffy was in Duran Duran, but for some really odd reason, I think it was a revelation to me yesterday. Then again, my memory is so bad lately. Seriously… like so bad that I want to get a brain scan… and I do not say that lightly. People will say things to me and I have no recollection of what they are talking about.
Now I am sure the amount of stress I carry around does not help, so I think I will try fish oil and meditation for a while… and I do have Dr. Amen’s book…
AllMusic says this… “Stephen Duffy could have been the Pete Best of the ’80s. Just as Best was no longer a member of the Beatles when the Fab Four became household names, Duffy departed from Duran Duran before that group exploded on MTV.”
The Lilac Time – Compendium (The Fontana Trinity)
The band formed in 1988 and did not last long, breaking up in 1991, but they made some stellar pop… and a reformation and comeback album in 1999 called Looking For A Day In The Night is considered a pop masterpiece. While I decided to put on this two-disc, monster collection with 45 tracks (I figured folks could listen on Spotify), here is what AllMusic says about their debut and career…
“The Lilac Time’s self-titled debut is the start of a perfect career. Right off the bat, Stephen Duffy and company mix poetry, pop melodies, and folk instrumentation to create songs of endless charm, mesmerizing passion, and tantalizing atmosphere. Accordions, acoustic guitars, woodwinds, exotic percussion, and Duffy’s pensive voice all work toward an uplifting sadness rarely heard this side of Nick Drake.”
“Drawing favorable and justified comparisons to both the Smiths and Drake is quite an achievement in itself. That The Lilac Time would continue to reach such lofty heights is a testament to the songwriting prowess and subtle musical mastery of Duffy and his band of folk popsters. This fascinating debut is certainly a mini-masterpiece, and it’s the first step in a remarkable career that would bear additional masterpieces over multiple decades to follow.”
This band came to me from my buddy Rob and is in that vein of British Power Pop, which is never a bad thing… at least to me. It also means, quite simply, that you will hear influences from The Beatles and later bands like The Smiths. Songs like “Fields” and “The Lost Girl In The Midnight Sun” will have you hearing George Harrison in particular.
“Love Becomes A Savage” brings in a taste of Nick Drake… and “Black Velvet” and “Return To Yesterday” have classic, troubadour elements… lush and lovely.
This is a lot of music to go through, but I really think you will enjoy it immensely… and maybe even remember a few tunes from your college radio days.