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|The Psychedelic Furs
(Richard Butler & Co)
"The Psychedelic Furs were at the
forefront of defining a new genre of music, rebels against the aesthetic
narrow-mindedness of punk. While the band's rise paralleled the first wave of
MTV, the Furs had little in common with the prepackaged, fashion-oriented acts
who dominated the music video channel for much of the 1980s. Too far ahead of
their time to reach a modern-rock audience that didn't really exist yet, the
Furs were progenitors of the guitar-based alternative rock that would,
ironically, begin to find a mass audience at the same time that the band was
-- Scott Schinder, CD liner notes
1980: The Psychedelic Furs
"This self-titled album, at first listen, is uncomfortable yet very commanding. You know these guys are on to something but you're not sure exactly what. It's as if you've shown up to a party, and you're ready to let loose and get shitty, but everyone there is having a blast in a language you don't speak. As much as you feel this music beckoning, The Psychedelic Furs at first leaves you out in the cold. It's a new groove, baby, a whirlpool in fact. After a few listens you will be drawn in."
-- Mark, Raptorial.com
¾ 1981: Talk, Talk, Talk
"Talk, Talk, Talk's Pretty in Pink may have spawned the hideous film of the same name, but one listen to this trashy milestone will prove all is forgiven. Richard Butler and the boys made an instant punk rock classic with Talk before promptly becoming a parody of themselves on future releases. Powerhouses like the raging Into You like a Train, All of This and Nothing, the frank I Just Wanna Sleep with You, and sax-twisted Dumb Waiters retain the Velvets/Bowie fixation of the Furs' debut, but temper it with John Ashton's huge guitar riffs and Butler's slightly less atonal singing. The Furs would never sound this glorious or this raw again."
-- Michael Ruby, awesome80s.com
¾ 1982: Forever Now
"Cut down to a quartet, The Furs released their third album off of the back of moderate success for 'Talk Talk Talk' but more importantly added the production skills of Todd Rungren. He brought in some horns, additional backing vocals and opened out The Furs' post punk sounds. Danger is an absolute stonewall example of this - check out the screaming sax solo, wall of keyboards and driving bassline from Tim Butler. Brother Richard's vocals sit on top of this setting and sounds all the better for it. Of course, the whole thing is driven by the quality of songs and you've got Danger, No Easy Street and big tracks Love My Way and President Gas but there are no dud spots on the album. Good to the last drop. "
1984: Mirror Moves
"Having completely lost any connection to the edginess of their early days, the Furs here have streamlined themselves into just another competent MTV pop group, circa '84: synth textures dominate the way the beat did early on, and the whole thing sounds blow-dried in a pricey salon. (...) The Furs, while too commercial and blandly mainstream for their own good, haven't lost the hooks. The Ghost In You sets the pattern by beginning the album with a song that sounds blandly soft rock, Butler crooning "love is all we need" instead of "we are so stupid" like he did in the early days, but it possesses a great melody and once the chorus sets in you're hooked. Here Come Cowboys is even better, perhaps because it has real drive, as does my third favorite, Alice's House. Like A Stranger continues the string of good Furs ballads."
¼ 1987: Midnight to Midnight
"This sounds a lot like 'Mirror Moves' except that it really is all shallow surface with no substance. Highly listenable, and highly bland and forgettable, just like concurrent INXS: sounds pretty good if you're halfway listening to it on the car radio, but once you take it home you've got no use for it, and anyway you can't even remember the song you heard on the radio, anyway. Heartbreak Beat was the single and I suppose will pass for the highlight; none of these songs are really that bad, but there's no reason to remember any of them. Shock has a good guitar riff that it's built on. Angels Don't Cry sounds as bland and manipulative as its title, and might as well be Debbie Gibson.."
-- Brian Burks
1989: Book of Days
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1991: World Outside
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¾ 2001: Greatest Hits
"Most great rock has embraced the influences of the past with a contemporary urgency and seldom an eye on the future. And if Richard Butler and the Psychedelic Furs took critical heat for fusing the pulsing darkness of the Velvet Underground with Iggy Pop edginess and a few mid-'70s U.K. art-rock flourishes (most notably Berlin-period Bowie and Roxy Music), they were only doing what rock artists had already been doing for decades; their chief sin seemed to be doing it in an era when musicians seemed expected to reinvent themselves every six months. This single disc effectively documents the Furs' canon from the droning menace of Sister Europe through the original, nonsoundtrack version of Pretty in Pink, and on to an increasingly pop-influenced body of '80s work (Love My Way, Heaven, The Ghost in You). Ironically, as they distanced themselves from the late-'60s through mid-'70s influences they'd been criticized for aping, their sound took on the synth- and production-heavy trappings of '80s pop clichés."
-- Jerry McCulley, amazon.com
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