Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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PSYCHEDELIC FURS, The

UK new wave group formed in London '77 by Richard 'Butler Rep' Butler, vocals; brother Tim Butler, bass; Duncan Kilburn, sax; Roger 'Dog' Morris, guitar: name inspired by Velvet Underground's 'Venus In Furs'; the wilfully unfashionable adjective cost the drummerless band lots of gigs. Picked up ex-Photons John Ashton, guitar, and Vince Ely, drums, '79; by then session for John Peel's BBC show had brought notoriety and a deal with CBS. Steve Lillywhite-prod. Psychedelic Furs '80 and more melodic Talk Talk Talk '81 were top 30 LPs; Butler's monotone aligned him with John Rotten/Lydon, music owed debt to Velvets, other '60s sources. Singles like their first 'We Love You' were entertaining but flopped. Butler streamlined band, shedding Kilburn and Morris: Forever Now '82 prod. by Todd Rundgren in USA, spawned near-hit 'Love My Way' which together with (temporary) name-change to Furs suggested commercialization, with overdubbed brass and strings. Ex-Birthday Party drummer Phil Calvert joined on Mirror Moves '84, prod. by Keith Forsey, incl. long-awaited top 30 (UK) hit 'Heaven', with Euro-disco infl. suggested new horizons for band; Midnight To Midnight '87 incl. re-recording of hit film theme 'Pretty In Pink'. The Butlers, Ashton and session players carried on stylized in Bowie mould with Book Of Days '89, World Outside '91. Compilation All Of This And Nothing '88, others on Columbia and Relativity in USA.