Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Colourfield

Toby Lyons|Karl Shale|Terry Hall

1984 - The Beginning

In January 1984 The Colourfield released their first single, "The Colourfield", which just missed making the Top 40 in the UK Singles Chart. In the summer of the same year, they released "Take" as their second single, which commercially did not come close to their debut six months earlier. However, the next single release would be the one that would land them a high position on the charts. "Thinking of You" released in January 1985, made it to number 12 in the UK chart, and featured Katrina Phillips on vocals. The final single, released days before their debut album came out, was "Castles in the Air" which reached the lower reaches of the UK chart.

1985 - Virgins & Philistines

The Colourfield Virgins and PhilistinesWhen Virgins & Philistines was initially released in April 1985 it contained twelve tracks in the U.S. release and ten in the UK version - but can now be found with twenty tracks as a Japanese re-release, containing many B-sides and live tracks. It failed to gain a large audience due to difficulty in marketing an album with such a diverse sound -- it mixes 1960s and early 1970s pop music with more acoustic based melodies and string arrangements. Virgins & Philistines is often regarded as the direct musical predecessor to the later work of The Lightning Seeds in the 1990s, whom Hall would later collaborate with in a songwriting role whilst providing occasional vocals.

Virgins & Philistines contained all original material except "The Hammond Song" (a cover of The Roches song), and "Can’t Get Enough of You Baby" (written by Linder/Randell), which was the only track that received much airplay. The album was recorded at Strawberry Studios in Stockport (near Manchester) and was produced by Hugh Jones and Jeremy Green, and engineered by Chris Jones.

Additional personnel featured on the album included Pete de Freitas (Echo & the Bunnymen) on drums, Paul Burgess (ex-Camel, also drums), Preston Heyman (percussion), Ian Nelson (clarinet), Katrina Phillips (background vocals).


From the 1987 album Deception

well i
sat around on the 15th floor
amongst the factory clouds
feeling free to fall
with a twisted, burning, bending head
the police cruised by
the sky turned red
i moved away from the barricades
where people hung their heads in shame
i kissed goodbye to an ugly youth
leapt off the world and followed you

the sweetest sight
was burning bright
in your eyes
you took my hand
and led me to
a magic sign
and we found love on a stained glass plate
you touched my head and gave me faith
and said i must be strong in this world of hate
you kissed my lips and took my breath away

well we soldiered on for 15 days
and met a million people on our way
we held their hands, to steal their land
and turn our bibles into building plans
we gave them beads and a t.v. set
and turned their babies into fighting men
we took no blame for the lives we lost
because we did it all in the name of god

the greatest thing
was a new born king
with a million by his side
we were high on prayers
climbing golden stairs
when we took the magic ride

and we found love on a stained glass plate
you touched my head and gave me faith
and said i must be strong in this world of hate
you kissed my lips and took my breath away

we found love on a golden day
you touched my head, you gave me faith
and said i must be strong in this world of hate
you kissed my lips and took my breath away
took my breath away
you touched my head
and gave me faith
you said i must be strong
in this world of hate
so kiss my lips and take my breath away
kiss my lips and take my breath away

1986 - The Colour Field (EP)

The Colourfield Colour fieldJanuary 1986 saw The Colourfield become a four-man group, adding Gary Dwyer (ex-The Teardrop Explodes) on drums. Around the same time, the band's U.S. label compiled a six track EP entitled The Colour Field (sic) containing the new UK single and B-side "Things Could Be Beautiful" / "Frosty Morning" produced by Ian Broudie; two live tracks recorded at the Hammersmith Palais, "Pushing Up The Daisies" and "Yours Sincerely"; and two older tunes produced by Hugh Jones, "Armchair Theatre" and "Faint Hearts". "Things Could Be Beautiful" did not make the UK or U.S. charts and it was another year before the public would hear anything new.

1987 - Deception

The Colourfield DeceptionThe Colourfield returned in the spring of 1987. They were now just a duo augmented by Raquel Welch's band and session musicians. Hall had to hire Welch's band after Lyons left during the sessions. The content of Deception was different from Virgins & Philistines. It is almost as if Hall formed a new band but kept the same name. Since then Hall has voiced his displeasure with the recording of the album, because he did not feel he had control of the session musicians and producers the way he needed to preserve The Colourfield’s sound. Deception was produced by Richard Gottehrer and Jeffrey Lesser at Wool Hall Studio, New York City.

The first two singles released from Deception were both covers: "Running Away," an original by Sly & the Family Stone, from the album There's a Riot Goin' On, released in 1971 on Epic; and "She," a song composed by the songwriting duo of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. "She" was released as a 12” and contained the additional track "Monkey in Winter" with lead vocals by SinĂ©ad O'Connor. The track "Miss Texas 1967" is considered Hall’s best vocal performance on the album.[citation needed]

Additional personnel featured included Gregg Mangiafico (keyboards); Sammy Merendino (drum programming); Roland Orzabal (Tears for Fears) (guitar on "Running Away" and "Confession"); Dollette McDonald; Deborah Malone and Janice Pendarvis (background vocals on "Digging It Deep").

After The Colourfield

Hall has gone on to do many other projects since The Colourfield. In 1990, with a few ladies under the name of Terry, Blair and Anouchka, he released the album Ultra Modern Nursery Rhymes which contained a cover of the Captain & Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together". In 1992 he collaborated with Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) under the name Vegas. In 1995 he released his first solo album, Home. He has worked with The Lightning Seeds, Stephen Duffy, Gorillaz, and Tricky. He has also appeared live with The Ordinary Boys.

On 21 July 2003, Hall released his album The Hour of Two Lights which is a collaboration with Mushtaq (Fun-Da-Mental), a twelve-year-old Lebanese girl singer, a blind Algerian rapper, a Syrian flautist, Hebrew vocalists, a group of Polish Gypsies and Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz).

Lyons is now a university tutor of graphic design at Sheffield Hallam University in South Yorkshire.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...