The Psychedelic Furs


Phases and Stages

The Psychedelic Furs


The Psychedelic Furs

Talk Talk Talk (Columbia/Legacy)

The Psychedelic Furs

Forever Now (Columbia/Legacy) For a band whose sound was distinctive but not innovative, the Psychedelic Furs' music had impressive depth. Their self-titled 1980 debut remains a glorious salute to New Wave at its best, 10 crushing, throbbing, thundering songs of the era. Aside from the annoyance of having the original track order juggled, the addition of bonus tracks such as "Mack the Knife" are potent reminders that innovation is not the end-all and be-all of rock & roll. With lush, slightly ominous production numbers such as "India" and "We Love You," the London sixpiece proved that a signature sound -- in this case singer Richard Butler's gravelly monotone -- was well worth cultivating. What's best about these reissues is the renewed appreciation for rough gems like the beautifully evocative "Imitation of Christ" and the all-together-now sing-along "Fall." Talk Talk Talk, from '81, polished their sound with dance-floor spectaculars, but the Furs were clearly headed toward a more commercial sound like "Pretty In Pink," which inspired the film of the same name. By the time Forever Now came out in '82, the Furs had shrugged off two members, stripping the band down to a fourpiece. It didn't hurt their popularity, as "President Gas" and the MTV hit "Love My Way" ably demonstrated, but their sound lost some of its fullness. Still, the third album shook the band out of its dark origin and placed them squarely in the limelight, where they thrived until about 1991. Restored with the original UK-issued cover art, the romantic melancholy of the Psychedelic Furs is displayed in gorgeous clarity in these reissues. Steve Lillywhite's production of the first two albums contrasts nicely with the Todd Rundgren-produced third, and bonus tracks abound. The Furs' heyday was long past when they split up by the early Nineties, but this trio of LPs capture their dreamy dance-rock at its best.

(Psychedelic Furs) ****

(Talk Talk Talk) ***

(Forever Now) **.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Margaret Moser
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?
Did I Know Bruce Springsteen Was Going to Play 2012?

March 3, 2017

Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
Adult Audio Coloring Book Sampler
A look back at illustrated album covers old and new

July 29, 2016

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle