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Psychedelic Furs Biography

Home > Music > P > Psychedelic Furs > Biography

Birth Place: London, England
Years Active: 1977-1991, 2000-Present
Genres: Post-punk, New Wave

The Psychedelic Furs are an English post-punk/new wave band that formed in 1977 when lead singer Richard Butler and his guitarist brother, Tim Butler decided to form a band. The Furs' initial sound began as austere art rock which morphed into new wave, and then hard rock. The band was catapulted into the limelight when their song “Pretty In Pink” was featured in the 1986 John Hughes film of the same name. The Furs maintained steady popularity through the 80s until 1991, when the Butler brothers formed the new band, Love Spit Love. Ten years later the band resurfaced in 2000 and began recording and touring again.

When The Furs first came together in England the punk scene was vibrant, however, the band decided to go for a different sound, despite the obvious. The band initially consisted of Richard Butler on vocals, Tim Butler on bass, Duncan Kilburn on saxophone, Paul Wilson on drums, and Roger Morris on guitar. 1979 saw the addition of John Ashton on guitar and Vince Ely replacing Wilson on drums. A year later, The Furs' self-titled debut album appeared, peaking at #18 on the U.K. Albums chart. However, the album failed to have a strong commercial impact in the U.S. A year later, The Furs found success in the U.S. with 1981's “Talk Talk Talk.” The album was also a hit in New Zealand, peaking at #8 on the Album chart; while in the U.K. the album produced two hit singles with “Dumb Waiters” and “Pretty in Pink.”

1982 marked the departures of Morris and Kilburn and the release of their third offering, “Forever Now.” The album was a commercial success in both the U.K. and the U.S. Ely left band during the recording of this album and returned in 1988 for the single “All That Money Wants.” The band continued to achieve success throughout the 90s and was an established band both in the U.S and the U.K. The success of the single “Pretty in Pink” prompted the record label to cash in on the band's popularity and push them to churn out their next record sooner than they wanted to. “Midnight to Midnight” appeared in 1987, and despite its commercial success, the brothers were unhappy with the way they were being marketed by the record label and did not agree with the direction their music was taking.

1989 saw the release of The Fur's sixth studio album, “Book of Days” and the return of Ely. The band's final album together emerged a year later in 1991, “World Outside,” which marked the end of the band. The Butler brothers went on to form a new band, Love Spit Love with Richard Fortus and Frank Ferrer. After a decade with their new band the brothers decided it was time to get The Psychedelic Furs back together in 2001, and released the live album, “Beautiful Chaos: Greatest Hits Live,” which included the new song “Alive (For Once In My Lifetime).” Richard Butler released his solo album, “Richard Butler” in 2006, but continues to tour and perform with The Psychedelic Furs.