Chris Difford – Chris To The Mill: The Solo Recordings

Chris Difford

Chris Difford’s place in the pantheon of great English songwriters is assured – surely nearly everyone can sing along to at least one Squeeze song.

Watch the exclusive acoustic performance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrJ6qk7SZps&feature=youtu.be

With Glenn Tilbrook supplying the tunes, Difford has written some of the most memorable pop lyrics of the last forty years, across thirteen Squeeze albums and one credited to Difford & Tilbrook. So in the wake of the success of the first new Squeeze album in 17 years, 2015’s CRADLE TO THE GRAVE (which received across the board rave reviews, including 5 stars in Metro and the Mirror), now is the time to re-visit Difford’s three solo albums: I DIDN’T GET WHERE I AM TODAY, THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIS and CASHMERE IF YOU CAN, gathered together in one box, with bonus tracks and previously unreleased demos, a DVD, and Difford’s personally penned, track-by-track sleevenotes.

I DIDN’T GET WHERE I AM (2002) was produced by, and mainly written with, Francis Dunnery. Dunnery first came to prominence as the leader of It Bites, but his career also encompasses work with Robert Plant, Ian Brown, Lauryn Hill, Santana and Anderson Bruford Wakeman & Howe. The album succeeded in sounding nothing like Squeeze, showcasing a smoother and gentler style throughout this decidedly more adult and nuanced collection of songs, which tackle affecting, personal middle-aged themes with wry humour and emotional depth.

Difford’s vocals too were a revelation – a departure from his voice on Squeeze recordings, they were much warmer and inviting. I DIDN’T GET WHERE I AM TODAY revealed there was much more to this master of observation and vignettes character than what he’d become known for over the previous three decades. I DIDN’T GET WHERE I AM is arguably Difford proving he can stand on his own two feet beyond the comfort of being in Squeeze.

THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIS (2008) was produced by, and mainly written with, Boo Hewerdine, best known for his group The Bible and his songwriting association with Eddi Reader. Continuing his evolution as a solo artist, THE LAST TEMPTATION finds Difford in subtler and sharper form. Focusing on his remarkably precise and incredibly moving stories, the album vividly captures past memories, all the while avoiding cliché, with unique and inimitable tales of life and the human condition. An incredibly well crafted album, it rewards the listener with every play, getting better and better each time.

CASHMERE IF YOU CAN (2011) was produced by, and mainly written with, Leo Abrahams (although there are four Boo Hewerdine co-writes). Abrahams has worked with dozens of artists, including Brett Anderson, Brian Eno, Jarvis Cocker and Paul Simon. Difford’s third solo album is a more celebratory affair, encompassing stomping glam rock, rockabilly and even disco pastiche, with rich musicality throughout. Although the album is autobiographical, it constantly draws comparisons between Difford’s past and present, with perceptive songs about parenthood and other middle-aged (mis)adventures.

CHRIS TO THE MILL: THE SOLO RECORDINGS comprises:

Three CDs and a DVD in mini cardboard sleeves and booklet, in a clamshell box
• I DIDN’T GET WHERE I AM
• THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIS
• CASHMERE IF YOU CAN
• bonus tracks and previously unreleased songs and demos
• booklet with original artwork, track-by-track annotation, lyrics

DVD
• Brand new interview filmed at the ENO – Chris interviewed about a selection of songs from the three albums
• Chris performing a selection of songs acoustically

Chris’s track-by-track sleevenotes and lyrics available on request.

TRACKLISTINGS:

I DIDN’T GET WHERE I AM (November 2002)
Tight Rope
For A Change
Cowboys Are My Weakness
No Show Jones
A World That Passed Me By
One Day
Playing With Electric Trains
Lamas Fayre
Trafalgar Square
Parents
Bonus tracks
Black Coffee [version]
Lamas Fayre [alternate version]
Pole Star
Under The Moon Over You
For A Change [demo] 4.59
Cathy Come Home 4.28
A World That Passed Me By [demo]
Take Me I’m Yours [Mix 1]
Cowboys Are My Weakness [demo, sung by Gary Clark]

THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIS (April 2008)
Come On Down
Broken Family
Battersea Boys
On My Own I’m Never Bored
Julian And Sandy
The Other Man In My Life
My Mother’s Handbag
Fat As A Fiddle
The Gates Of Eden
Reverso
Never Coming Back
Good Life
The Party Is Over
Bonus tracks
Piece Of Cake ‘It’s All About Me’ compilation (2009)
It’s All About Me ‘It’s All About Me’ compilation (2009)
Gates Of Eden [early version]
Never Bored [demo]
Walrus [demo]
Penny For Your Thoughts [demo]
What Goes On (Lou Reed song)   ‘1969: Key To Change’ VA comp for Centre Point (2010)

CASHMERE IF YOU CAN (May 2011)
1975 (CIYC)
Like I Did
The Still And The Sparkling
Back In The Day
Sidney Street
Cottontops
Upgrade Me
Who’d Ever Want To Be
Passion Killer
Goldfish
Wrecked
Happy Once Again
Bonus tracks
All My Loving ‘We’re With The Beatles’ Mojo VA comp (2013)
Passion Killer [Boo Hewerdine demo]
Upgrade Me Please [Boo Hewerdine demo]
Tears [Boo Hewerdine demo]
Wonderful Surprise [Boo Hewerdine demo]

For more information regarding Chris Difford, visit: http://www.chrisdifford.com/

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