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The Psychedelic furs are a british rock band formed in 1979. Members are Richard Butler (vocals), Roger Morris (guitar), John Ashton (guitar), Duncan Kilburn (woodwinds), and Tim Butler (bass). Their name was inspired by the 1966 Velvet Underground song Venus In Furs. Their music is quite dark and cynical, but very distinctive, especially Butler's vocals.

They parted ways in the early 90s but have recently re-formed and are currently touring in the United States.

Talk about a band for which both The Sex Pistols and Roxy Music are considered influences and you get something very strange indeed. You get a band that created "the eighties sound" before that sound became the stuff of kitsch.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s I found myself most closely associated with the "punk" scene and many of my contemporaries were looking for something they could bring to their friends and say "listen to this." The Furs bridged that gap and gave us the sneer of punk mixed with pop sensibility. "Love My Way" became the first real hit for The Furs in the United States and became possible after an unlikely teaming of the band with Todd Rundgren as producer.

They'd put us
On a railroad
They'd dearly
Make us pay
For laughing
In their faces
And making it our way
There's emptiness
Behind their eyes
There's dust
In all their hearts
They just want to
Steal us all
And take us all apart

The unspoken anthem of those of us who claimed to be the counterculture in the early 1980s, Love My Way found a way to secretly rail against the system. We were rejecting tradition and trying to tear down the system. Then it all became a parody of itself. By the time we reached the mid-1980s punk was mainstream and commercially viable. There was too much sugar in the water. We lost sight of it all. The Furs just rode the wave. By the time "Pretty In Pink" was spawning film soundtrack notoriety, along with Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)," we knew it was over.

All of her lovers
All talk of the notes
And the flowers
That they never sent
And wasn't she easy
And isn't she
Pretty in pink

The Psychedelic Furs originally consisted of brothers Richard and Tim Butler, Duncan Kilburn and Roger Morris. They formed as a group in 1977. By the time they reached their peak of popularity, Kilburn and Morris would depart and John Ashton and Vince Ely would jump in. By the time The Furs were charting all over the place with "Pretty In Pink," "The Ghost In You," "Heaven" and "Heartbreak Beat" they had become "just another eighties band." The Furs split up in the early 1990s and Richard Butler went on to found Love Spit Love, record a solo effort and then reunite The Furs before the end of the 1990s.

The Psychedelic Furs are together now and touring. They released a live compilation in 2001 entitled Beautiful Chaos which including a new song which is supposedly faithful to The Furs of old. I just remember the days of All of This and Nothing and how we thought these boys would become remembered for far more than they are...

Dominoes, a pack of cards
A picture of the queen
A dress to wear on Sundays and
A handle for the door
A letter that I sent to you
A note you left for me
A wave, a pack of cigarettes
A pocket full of beads

You didn't leave me anything
That I can understand
Hey, I never meant that stuff
I want to turn you on.

Has it really been twenty years?


Lyrics copyright 1981, 1982, 1984, 1986 SBK Songs Ltd.
Used without permission.

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