The Colourfield swore they were innocent and piled on the agony with drops of tenderness for the understated romanticism of this organic armchair theatre. After successful stints with The Specials and Fun Boy Three, Terry Hall formed a new group with Toby Lyons and Karl Shale from The Swinging Cats.
Hall reveals: "I first met Toby when he was in the Swinging Cats. We didn't see each other for a while while I got on with being a rock star."
Lyons adds: "I'd been playing in 'basement' groups. Working on the Paris Theatre, "(a Coverntry arts project)" and being a full time statistic. I was a rock'n'roll tramp...We met again when the Fun Boy Three toured America, they needed a keyboards player and guitarist, so I went. I'd worked with Karl before, so when Terry formed the Colourfield he joined us."
'Virgins and Philistines' was recorded at Strawberry Studios in Stockport and was produced by Hugh Jones and Jeremy Green, and engineered by Chris Jones. The album credits Terry Hall, Toby Lyons, and Karl Shale on all instruments and voices; with additional contributions from Camel's Paul Burgess and Echo & the Bunnymen's Pete de Freitas on drums; Ian Nelson on clarinet; Pete Barrett on keyboards; Preston Heyman on percussion; and Katrina Phillips on backing vocals. Overdubs and mixing were done at The Garden in London.
Hall admits: "Nothing's forced, just very easy going, no pressures, we don't have to live up to anything. I didn't think the Specials or Fun Boy Three was important; it was always very petty...[It would be an achievement] not to be embarrassed by any of it. With the other two groups, I look back on some of it and I'm totally embarrassed...It's based on vocals, keyboards, guitar, and bass - you can't play synthi-stuff with those instruments. Our songs are like building blocks starged from simple things ... When you form a band and people see and hear you for the first time, you get this flash. It might last 10 minutes or it might last three years, it doesn't often last longer than that, but to get over the flash and carry on doing things for the right reasons is very difficult...Even as early as The Colour Field, age had started to become a big thing with me. I remember going into a rehearsal once with a picture of David Hunter from Crossroads and saying 'This is how we should look.'...Well, they didn't agree."
'Virgins and Philistines' charted at number twenty-eight in New Zealand and number twelve in the UK.
"Thinking of You" became Hall's last hit song, going to number twelve in the UK and eleven in Ireland. It features Katrina Phillips on background vocals.
"Castles In The Air" floated to number fifty-one in the UK.
Their debut single "The Colour Field" hit number forty-three in the UK. It appeared on the US version of the album.
"Hammond Song" was a cover of the song by The Roches.
"Pushing Up the Daisies"
"Thinking of You" / "Faint Hearts"
"I Can't Get Enough of You Baby" was a cover of the song by ? and the Mysterians. It was added to the US release as the leadoff track and was the only song to get any airplay in the States; but it did not chart. It became a hit for Smashmouth fourteen years later.
'Virgins and Philistines'
All tracks written by Terry Hall and Toby Lyons, except as indicated.
1. "Thinking of You" 3:32
2. "Faint Hearts" 4:20
3. "Castles In The Air" 3:43
4. "Take" 4:09
5. "Cruel Circus" 4:02
6. "Hammond Song" (Margaret Roche) 4:29
7. "Virgins and Philistines" 3:56
8. "Yours Sincerely" 3:41
9. "Armchair Theatre" 5:02
10. "Sorry" 3:19
bonus tracks from Japanese reissue
11. "The Colour Field" 2:55
12. "Windmills of Your Mind" (Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman and Michel Legrand) 3:00
13. "Pushing Up the Daisies" 4:06
14. "Thinking of You (Singalong Version)" 6:38
15. "My Wild Flame" 6:02
16. "Little Things" (Bobby Goldsboro) 2:31
17. "Castles in the Air (Extended Version)" 7:02
18. "Your Love Was Smashing" (Terry Hall, Toby Lyons and Karl Shale) 3:55
19. "I Can't Get Enough of You Baby"(Denny Randell and Sandy Linzer)2:21
20. "Things Could Be So Beautiful" 3:24
1. "I Can't Get Enough of You Baby" (Written By Denny Randell and Sandy Linzer) 2:21
2. "Pushing Up the Daisies" 4:06
3. "Faint Hearts" 4:20
4. "Castles In The Air" 3:43
5. "Take" 4:09
6. "Thinking of You" 3:32
7. "The Colour Field" 2:55
8. "Cruel Circus" 4:02
9. "Hammond Song" (Written by Margaret Roche) 4:29
10. "Your Love Was Smashing" (Written by Terry Hall, Toby Lyons and Karl Shale) 3:55
11. "Virgins and Philistines" 3:56
12. "Sorry" 3:19