Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
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. However, Duffy was able to carve an audience for himself, releasing numerous albums that ventured into various forms of pop music. In 1978, Duffy formed Duran Duran with John Taylor (guitar) and Nick Rhodes (keyboards) in Birmingham, England; Duffy sang and played bass. A year later, Duffy left the band for a solo career. While Duran Duran conquered the charts in England and America, Duffy started writing songs. In 1982, Duffy collaborated with other musicians as Tin Tin. Duffy's first single with Tin Tin, "Kiss Me," was only a minor hit in England, peaking at No. 155 on the chart. In America, though, "Kiss Me" became a club favorite and a staple on alternative radio stations. In 1984, Duffy released his first album, The Ups and Downs, on Virgin 10 Records in the U.K. While much of Duffy's earlier work embraced the wistful synth-pop of Soft Cell, he explored British folk rock and jangle pop when he helped create the Lilac Time in 1987. In 1988, the Lilac Time signed with Mercury Records in the U.S. and released their self-titled debut LP. The Lilac Time attracted a college radio following and produced a few albums before breaking up in 1991. Duffy released a solo effort in 1998 called I Love My Friends and a year later he recorded Looking for the Day in Night with the Lilac Time.