A Beginner’s Guide To… The Psychedlic Furs
We head back in time to a band time forgot and bring you some much needed, need-to-know information on The Psychedelic Furs
Who They Are
London new wave group, The Psychedelic Furs, are one of the most underated and under referenced British bands of the 'new wave' movement. Formed in 1977 by brothers Richard and Tim Butler, the group lasted for fourteen years before disbanding in 1991, only to return in 2000 to tour sparodically. In their original fourteen years they managed to do everything from helping kick start the new wave art rock scene to hitting the US Top 40 after director John Hughes named one of his films after one of the tracks from their 'Talk Talk Talk' album, 'Pretty In Pink' (is that a euphemism?). For their self titled 1980 debut and 1982 follow up, Talk Talk Talk, they were a sextet, featuring added guitars and sax, before reducing themselves to a four piece and then a three piece for subsequent releases.
Why You Should Love Them
You know all those bands you currently love? They sound like The Psychedelic Furs, in some way. From The Horrors to The Maccabees, and a lot of the early 90s Brit bands owe them a mention. Their first two albums are tour de forces in art driven alternative pop music. While their later stuff gets a bit more generic 80s sounding (although partly a fault semi of their own design), they manage to do the interesting and exhilirating all at once. Richard Butler's lyrics are almost unsurpassed in terms of subtlety, intelligence and humor.
Our Favourite Album
Talk Talk Talk, their second album, is a brilliant example of taking the punk attitude and adding some much needed love and melody to it. Sprinkle in a touch of experimentalism and you're there. Butler's angsty, paranoid, drug addled lyrics of stoner parties in crumbling flats ('Dumb Waiters') and affairs with older women ('Mr Jones'), are nearly timeless and put a shining, pessismistic light on nearly everything. It is essentially a love album, but aren't all the best? 'Into You Like A Train' is an ode to a shambolic romance, while 'She Is Mine' crackles with the emotion of the end of a night out, all broken dreams and greasy hair. Oh, and there's that song 'Pretty In Pink', that's a good 'un and all.
Top Five Tracks
Pretty In Pink
Into You Like A Train
She Is Mine