ARTIST: The Psychedelic Furs
TITLE: The Psychedelic Furs
YEAR RELEASED: 1980
CHART ACTION: #140 US, #18 UK
SINGLES: We Love You (#77 US Dance), Sister Europe
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: India, Imitation of Christ
LINEUP: Richard Butler, John Ashton, Tim Butler, Vince Ely, Roger Morris, Duncan Kilburn.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Gloomy yet arty post-punkers release first record full of imagery, saxophones and semi-monotone intonations from Richard Butler.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: First albums are always interesting. The Psychedelic Furs first record is miles away from what they became, but in a sense this is a more compelling vision than their late 80’s incarnation. The sound, with two dark-shaded guitars and sax fills, is spooky and arty. It’s not quite goth but it’s on the highway towards goth.
The one drawback at times is that Butler’s singing style tendstorunwordstogetherwithhistwonoteincantations. Yeah. He’s not the most musical of front men, but he’s evocative nonetheless. He’s at his best on “Sister Europe” and “Imitation of Christ”, though on “The Wedding Song” his bleat of “It’s useless” is compelling.
NOTES & MINUTAE: There are two versions, of course. The UK version has nine songs, the US ten with one song jettisoned and two added (and it’s reordered). A shame since “Blacks/Radio” was one of their better album cuts, but the US never got it under the CD era.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, the current version has all of the US and UK songs (it keeps the UK running order and appends the two extra US songs at the end), plus a demo.
GRADE: A- : Over half of the record is top-notch. Just beware that it’s not at all polished and shiny like their later stuff.