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The Psychedelic Furs

The Psychedelic Furs

Biography

Richard Butler began his mythmaking early, telling interviewers that he'd borrowed the first part of the Psychedelic Furs' name from Iggy Pop's earliest incarnation of the Psychedelic Stooges. Not true, as it happens, but the Furs did honor the old school's sturm und drone with their own aplomb. Along the way, they became one of the most emblematic bands of '80s English rock.

By the time "Love My Way" achieved saturation play on the relatively new MTV in early 1983, the band was a firm critical favorite. After forming in punk-drenched London in 1977, they signed with CBS (Columbia in the U.S.) and shortly concocted a self-titled debut that matched single-length rockers ("We Love You") with epic-minded explorations ("India"). But it was 1981's Talk Talk Talk that really earned a buzz; the album's "Pretty in Pink" was a Blonde on Blonde-esque examination of a lonely girl's romantic stumbles.

"Love My Way" (from Forever Now, which saw Todd Rundgren taking over as producer from a young Steve Lillywhite), "Heartbreak Beat" and a remake of "Pretty in Pink" for its namesake John Hughes film all helped move the Furs toward the American mainstream. Personnel changes had begun much earlier, but the core of brothers Richard and Tim Butler (bass) and guitarist John Ashton remained steady. The albums Mirror Moves (1984) and Midnight to Midnight (1987) were must-haves for suburban hipsters of the era, and the band continually toured to great success.

After two more discs, Book of Days and World Outside, which didn't do nearly as well, the act split up. Richard Butler went on to Love Spit Love's moderate popularity before re-teaming with brother Tim and Ashton in 2000. The Psychedelic Furs have since been a fixture on the nostalgia circuit, with the live Beautiful Chaos getting a 2001 release.

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