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Biographies: Psychedelic Furs

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Reviewer: Iluvthe80s

Until the recruitment of a drummer (Vince Ely) in 1979, Richard Butler (b. 5 June 1956, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, England; vocals), Roger Morris (guitar), ex-Photon John Ashton (b. 30 November 1957; guitar), Duncan Kilburn (woodwinds) and Tim Butler (b. 7 December 1958; bass) had difficulties finding work. The band was also dogged by an unprepossessing sullenness in interview, an equally anachronistic name - inspired by the 1966 Velvet Underground track, "Venus In Furs' - and Richard Butler"s grating one-note style.

It was not until a session on John Peel's BBC Radio 1 programme that they were invested with hip credibility - and a CBS Records recording contract. Under Steve Lillywhite's direction, their bleak debut album was followed by minor singles chart entries with "Dumb Waiter" and "Pretty In Pink", both selections from 1981's more tuneful and enduring Talk Talk Talk. Creeping even closer to the UK Top 40, "Love My Way" was the chief single from Forever Now, produced in the USA by Todd Rundgren.

On replacing Ely with Philip Calvert (ex- Birthday Party ) in 1982, the outfit traded briefly as just "the Furs" before Mirror Moves emitted a UK Top 30 hit with "Heaven" (which was underpinned with a fashionable disco rhythm). Lucrative too were "Ghost In You" and a re-recording of "Pretty In Pink' for inclusion on 1986"s movie of the same title. That same year, they appeared at the mammoth Glastonbury Fayre festival - which, to many of their fans, remains the most abiding memory of the Psychedelic Furs as performers. By 1990, Ashton, the Butler brothers and hired hands were all that remained of a band that had become mostly a studio concern. Three years later the band were just a very fond memory, with Richard Butler moving on to recapture "the spark of surprise" with new outfit Love Spit Love. The two Butlers and John Ashton re-formed the Psychedelic Furs at the end of the decade.

Credit: sonicnet (Psychedelic Furs-bio)

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