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Friends - Best Of

  by Tommy Gunnarsson

published: 7 / 8 / 2002

Friends - Best Of
Label: Summerhouse
Format: CD


Eclectic and examplary retrospective on the Summerhouse label of the 15 year long career of cult indiepop group, Friends

Those great 'The Sound of Leamington Spa' indiepop compilations have introduced me to a lot of new bands that I had never heard of before I put those CDs into my CD-player. Yes, I know I go on and on about those comps, but if you have heard them you will know what I’m talking about, and why I constantly mention them in my reviews. On the second, and latest, volume of 'Leamington Spa' you could, among others, find Friends, a band that has been everything from a seven-piece band in 1987 to a duo in the present time. So, to coincide with their new album 'Beautiful You', which is due for release soon, Summerhouse have decided to release a retrospective of the band’s 15 year long career. And a fine job they have done too. First of all, the album ought to be a standard piece of work when it comes to making compilations, as the booklet has all the information you would ever want on the band, with an extensive history written by Mr Friend himself, William Jones. So, what is the music like then? Well, the band has obviously gone through many musical transitions, from the jangly indiepop of 'You’ll Never See That Summertime Again' and the Prefab Sprout-esque, well-produced pop of 'Day By Night' to the more acoustic, laidback sound of 'Hey Jo' and 'Butterfly Man' (inspired by John Fowles’ fabulous novel 'The Collector)' , both of which appeared on their last album, 'Folk Songs', which was released in 1995. The choice of songs can not be faulted, as there are songs from every album they have ever released and also some singles. But I quite soon realised that it is Friends' early period that I like best. The aforementioned 'You’ll Never See That Summertime Again', 'Every Summer 'and the title-track off their debut album, 'Let’s Get Away From It All,' are all wonderful,. The latter has a boppy rhythm and great trumpet. I think I will try to find that first album actually. It sounds really good. But so does most of this compilation, despite the fact that it is a bit over-produced and too radio friendly sometimes.

Track Listing:-
1 Day By Night
2 That's The One
3 Were We Really There?
4 Lies Lies Lies
5 Over And Over
6 Let's Get Away From It All
7 Hey Jo
8 Many Places
9 The First Day Of Spring
10 That Faraway Look
11 Everyone Knows
12 Far And Away
13 Butterfly Man
14 Thinking Of You
15 Every Summer
16 Everywhere
17 You'll Never See That Summertime Again

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Interview (2007)
Friends - Interview
In our third interview with them, Sarah Johnson speaks to William Jones from durable indie pop group Friends about the band's just released ninth album, 'Spangleland', and recent return to live work after an absence of nearly 15 years
Interview with William Jones (2004)
Interview Part 3 (2003)
Interview Part 2 (2003)
Interview Part 1 (2003)

digital downloads



The Zen House (2011)
Flawed acoustic tenth album from long-term London-based indie-pop outfit, Friends
Single Friends (2009)
Spangleland (2007)
Late Night Early Morning (2004)
Beautiful You (2002)

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