The Colourfield

The Colourfield was an English sophisti-pop band that released the 1985–87 Chrysalis albums Virgins and Philistines and Deception. They featured ex-Specials and Fun Boy Three singer Terry Hall and onetime Swinging Cats guitarist–keyboardist Toby Lyons.

Members: Terry Hall (vocals, guitar), Karl Shale (bass), Toby Lyons (guitar, keyboards), Gary Dwyer (drums, 1986-87)


Terry Hall formed The Colourfield in late 1983 after his two-album stint with Fun Boy Three, an offshoot of his first band The Specials. He settled in Manchester with two fellow Coventry transplants: guitarist–keyboardist Toby Lyons and bassist Karl Shale. Lyons hailed from The Swinging Cats, which cut one 1980 single on the Specials’ 2 Tone label.

Early Singles

In January 1984, The Colourfield debuted with “The Colour Field” backed with “Sorry,” both Hall–Lyons originals.

A. “The Colour Field” (2:56)
B. “Sorry” (3:20)

In July, The Colourfield released their second single: “Take” backed with “Pushing Up the Daisies,” both Hall–Lyons originals. The 12″ contains an extra track, the Noel Harris cover “Windmills of Your Mind.”

A. “Take” (4:09)
B1. “Windmills of Your Mind” (2:57) originated as the theme to the 1968 heist film The Thomas Crown Affair, starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway. British actor–singer Noel Harris sings the UK Top 10 original, written by French composer Michel Legrand with lyrics by the American husband–wife team Alan and Marilyn Bergman.
B2. “Pushing Up the Daisies” (4:03)

Virgins and Philistines

The Colourfield released their debut album, Virgins and Philistines, in April 1985 on Chrysalis. It features nine Hall–Lyons originals, including two pre-released sides (“Take,” “Sorry”) and the followup singles “Thinking of You” and “Castles in the Air.” Side Two opens with “Hammond Song,” originated by the American sister folk trio The Roches.

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” (4:29) Margaret Roche
7. “Virgins and Philistines” (3:56)
8. “Yours Sincerely” (3:41)
9. “Armchair Theatre” (5:02)
10. “Sorry” (3:19)

Recorded 1984-1985
Studio Strawberry Studios, Stockport

Paul Burgess – drums
Pete de Freitas – drums on “Take” and “Cruel Circus”
Katrina Phillips – backing vocals on “Thinking of You”
Ian Nelson – clarinet on “Virgins and Philistines”
Preston Heyman – percussion

The Colourfield first issued “Thinking of You” in January 1985 as an advance single, backed with the non-album original “My Wild Flame.” The single also appeared as a four-song double pack with an alternate ‘singalong’ “Thinking of You” and the Bobby Goldsboro cover “Little Things.”

B. “My Wild Flame” (4:20)
C. “Little Things” (2:31)

In April, “Castles In the Air” became the album’s third a-side, backed with the group-written “Your Love Was Smashing.” The double-pack release also contains an instrumental “Castles” and the ? and the Mysterians cover “I Can’t Get Enough of You Baby.”

B. “Your Love Was Smashing” (3:55)
C. “I Can’t Get Enough of You Baby” (2:21)

In North America, Chrysalis issued a twelve-song Virgins and Philistines that omits “Yours Sincerely” and “Armchair Theatre” and adds “I Can’t Get Enough of You Baby,” “Your Love Was Smashing,” “The Colour Field,” and “Pushing Up the Daisies.”

The Colour Field [EP]

In January 1986, The Colourfield released a self-titled EP with four new studio tracks and two live numbers. (The EP title, like their 1984 theme song, stylizes the name as two words: Colour Field). They’ve expanded here to a four-piece with ex-Teardrop Explodes drummer Gary Dwyer.

1. “Things Could Be Beautiful” (3:24)
2. “Frosty Morning” (4:21)
3. “Armchair Theater” (4:58)

4. “Faint Hearts” (3:55)
5. “Pushing Up Daisies” (Live at Hammersmith Palais) 3:50
6. “Yours Sincerely” (Live at Hammersmith Palais) 3:33

A. “Things Could Be Beautiful”
B. “Frosty Mornings”


The Colourfield released their debut album, Deception, on March 23, 1987, on Chrysalis.

1. “Badlands” (4:47)
2. “Running Away” (3:56) Freddie Stewart, Sly Stone 
3. “From Dawn to Distraction” (3:42)
4. “Confession” (4:37)
5. “Miss Texas 1967” (4:13)

6. “She” (3:22) Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart
7. “Heart of America” (5:01)
8. “Digging It Deep” (3:54)
9. “Monkey in Winter” (5:16)
10. “Goodbye Sun Valley” (4:42)

Terry Hall – all instruments and voices
Toby Lyons – all instruments and voices

Additional personnel
Gregg Mangiafico – keyboards
Sammy Merendino – drum programming
Roland Orzabal – guitar on “Running Away” and “Confession”
Dolette McDonald, Deborah Malone, Janice Pendarvis – backing vocals on “Digging It Deep”

A. “Running Away”
B. “Digging It Deep”

Jul 1987
A. “She”
B. “Monkey In Winter”



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