Reason Number 424-B Why The 80’s Didn’t Suck

Album: Talk Talk Talk

Artist: The Psychedelic Furs

Release Date: 1981

Track Listing: Mr. Jones; No Tears; Dumb Waiters; She Is Mine; Into You Like A Train; It Goes On; So Run Down; I Wanna Sleep With You; All Of This And Nothing

The Furs are probably best remembered for providing the title song for the John Hughes teen angst epic (and Molly Ringwald vehicle)  Pretty In Pink. The film came out in 1986, a full 5 years after the original song was released on it’s parent album Talk Talk Talk. As a matter of fact, Hughes forced the Furs to re-record the song for his film because he thought that the guitars were “out of tune”. The real reason, I’m quite sure, for the re-record was that the original was perceived as too raw and not palatable for the teen demographic Hughes sought. Of course it made them huge stars, but as is so often the case with bands unlucky enough to have participated in a John Hughes movie soundtrack they lost all credibility with their fans and died an agonizing, but mercifully quick, death.

Talk Talk Talk, and to a lesser extent their follow up Forever Now, is the Psychedelic Furs absolute artistic peak. Fuelled by punk, glam (particularly Bowie) and the Velvet Underground, TTT contained the full on guitar assaults of Into You Like A Train and Mr. Jones, the slow dirge of No Tears and the Television inspired epic All Of This And Nothing. Inexplicably slagged by critics for being sexist (lyricist and lead singer Butler always wrote from the perspective of both the male and the female), the album didn’t make the guys stars. Forever Now, released in 1982 and especially Mirror Moves (with help from the monster singles Heaven and The Ghost In You) with it’s softer 80’s production and a stronger reliance on the technology of the day (read: dated) shot them into the pop stratosphere.

I was lucky enough to see them twice: once for the “Forever Now” tour, and once for Mirror Moves. By the time of Mirror Moves the band were pretty slick, but the Forever Now concert was gloriously sloppy and powerful. Although there are many best of compilations out there none of them do much justice to the Furs legacy. You’re better off getting these two albums, but start with Talk Talk Talk. It is, and will always remain, their masterpiece.