The Psychedelic Furs/ Greatest Hits


Greatest Hits

The Psychedelic Furs are an English rock band founded in 1977. Led by singer Richard Butler and his brother Tim Butler on bass guitar, the Psychedelic Furs are one of the more successful acts spawned from the British post-punk scene. Their music went through several phases, from an initially austere art rock sound, later touching on new wave and hard rock.

They scored several hits in their early career, but were launched to international attention in 1986 when movie director/writer John Hughes borrowed their song title “Pretty in Pink” for his movie of the same name. A newly recorded version of the song became the Psychedelic Furs’ biggest hit to that time. “Heartbreak Beat” from the 1987 album ‘Midnight To Midnight’, was to be the Furs’ biggest top 40 entry in the US.

The Psychedelic Furs went on hiatus in 1991, and the Butler brothers formed a new band called Love Spit Love. The Psychedelic Furs later regrouped in 2001 and continue to perform around the world.

Sister Europe—-Beginning with huge drums and bass, the band….in the beginning lacked some of the finesse that they later developed. This is pretty much true to form though…the charming and remarkably accented vocal of Richard is in full effect. This track has a swelling synth lines that runs through the backdrop and brings you sadness and a calm that is not always expected. This is masterful….the Butlers…when in tandem created some pretty remarkable and memorable music.

Mr. Jones—-This is nice example of the earlier days of the band as they were emerging from the Post-Punk movement of the UK. Although the guitars show a remarkable bit of melody, there is a nice underlying noise that is magnificent. Richard delivers a vocal that is a bit rougher around the edges and more frantic in pace. This is wonderful…I have not listened to this in quite sometime!!!

Dumb Waiters—-Delivering a much more trademark sound as far as underlying synths go, the vocal is pretty rough. this sounds like a really bad mix of this song…the voice is pushed way to the back of the sound and the horns or simulation of such is smack in the front of the mix. this is nice, but they should have remastered this before adding it to this set. I love how Butler never looses his accent…usually when really British people sing they lose that…he seems to make an effort to keep it and that fact helped make this band even more unique. Bad mix, but really great song!

Pretty In Pink—-Thanks to John Hughes, this band enjoyed a pretty long life cycle once this song was included on the OST of the same name. This really did catapult the band into another realm…but caused a lot of internal conflict in the process. This is a wonderful 80’s memory that never really gets old for me…despite hearing it 100’s of times. The magical rhythm of the guitars on this song suck you in all over again every single time you hear this. The voice is a magnificent as ever and the lyrical imagery is perfect. This was almost made for the movie, although it was constructed before. It was a match made in heaven…this is a true piece of musical history.

Love My Way—-Perhaps even bigger in sales and popularity than the previous song, this is a the signature track of the band. With a remarkable 80’s sound that has carried itself well into the New millenium, this is another of those songs that I never seem to get tired of. The whole thing for me is Butler’s voice!!! This is marvelous, wonderfully fresh and always relevant to me. Outstanding!!!

President Gas—-Richard delivers a vocal that seems to almost drip with seduction from the very first notes…even though the music is a bit rough around the edges. The chorus is a huge affair that starts out a bit quiet and seems to grow and grow as it moves along. the song becomes this huge loud and somewhat aggressive track that leaves your breathy and wishing for more JUST LIKE THAT!!!

Here Come Cowboys—-With a huge marching bass line from the other Butler, Richard delivers a vocal that is almost actual singing…missing some of the accent that is his trademark. This has that classic 80’s synth line all over it…this is huge fun even though the song is a bit of a downer lyrically. this has great energy…despite the fact that the voice is almost secondary on this track. The music is so addictive that I turn to this track over and over for that aspect of it alone. This is brilliant!

Heaven—-This track moves the band into the stage where they were delivering a magnificent form of almost Dream Pop. This song has so many layers to it..overall leaving you with a wonderful feeling after the whole damn thing has wrapped up. The synth line that runs through the song is classic 80’s video fair that has kids shoe gazing before they even knew what it was. This is one of those tracks you can lose yourself in on the dancefloor…push your hands in your pockets and give into the smooth and mysterious synth line…dance by yourself and find joy in the whole damn thing. This is just WONDERFUL!!!!

Heartbeat—-All of these horns and jazz influences really did nothing for me….this has never been a favorite track of mine…I generally skip over this but I persevere for the sake of the review. The horns on the song almost drowns out everything else going on in the song. This is a disappointment for me, but this is The Furs…so you be the judge.

The Ghost In You—-Delving back in the more synth based sounds that the band explored in the mid 80’s, butler delivers a vocal that is so damn pleasant you fall in love all over again. The chorus is a magnificent affair that is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. This is wonderfully delicious, well-played and the overlayed vocal makes it even more addictive than it could have been. Great!!!!

Heartbreak Beat—-Although this song begins with a rather sedate intro, the track becomes literally huge by the time the chorus is delivered. This is smooth, emotional and sometimes noisy. Butler continues with that signature vocal of his…it warms you and makes you instantly comfortable. This is great…I never tire of this stuff.

Angels Don’t Cry—-Although I was not immediately familiar with this song when i first heard it, it quickly became one of those songs that you must have and cannot live without in your collection. this is beautifully preformed…although the synths are at the under belly of the song, the stars of the song are the wonderful band members that deliver the backing to the remarkable tender vocal from butler. This is fabulous!!!

All That Money Wants—-This is much louder in volume, the instruments moved much further forward in the mix and delivered with more aggression. The vocal is important as hell, but almost secondary to the overall emotional quality of the song. This is brilliant….combining a trademark throwback 80’s sound with the smooth and accented vocal of Butler is like a crash that produces a beautiful and fascinating fire. I love this.

Sometimes—-Smooth and mellow, the vocal enters almost from the onset with a rather somber tone. The synths are magically bright but somehow produce a quiet and somber tone. This is remarkably beautiful…I hate the fact that many people only know this band for two songs and have never discovered all of the other gems that were produced. This is magical.

Until She Comes—-Delivered later in the band’s career, there is almost a faux bagpipe that runs through the song. this is airy and full of atmosphere. the vocal is moved to the back and delivered with a slight echo that adds layers to an already textured song. This is a brilliant love song that leaves you hanging your head and again allows you to shoe gaze with only yourself for a wonderful 3 minutes. the overlayed vocals only add to the devastating beauty of the track. Kudos!!!

There’s A World Outside—-Wrapping up the band’s career before the ‘resurrection’, this single is adequate but feels a bit empty to me until the chorus really kicks in. this is nice and layered, but there is a tension in the music that the listener can almost feel. I love the airy and moody texture of the song, but you can feel a disconnect in the song.

Only You And I—-This live track is delivered with amazing energy and accepted by the crowd in a huge way. This is synth based with a pretty great bass line and some really magnificent drums. Richard sounds a bit hoarse and i am not sure why they chose to put this on here, but who am I?

****3/4 out of 5

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