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Talk Talk Talk

The Psychedelic Furs

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Album Review

This time working solely with Steve Lillywhite, the Furs introduce a brighter, poppier side to their underground rock edge, with smashing results throughout. The group produces some powerful songs, even more rough-edged than before. Especially striking is "Dumb Waiters," with its queasy, slow-paced arrangement that allows both Kilburn's sax and Ashton's guitar to go wild. However, the six still create some undeniable pop classics. Most well-known is the lead track, "Pretty in Pink," inspiration for the iconic John Hughes film years later and re-recorded as a result. The original is still where to go, though, with Butler's catchy description of a romantically unsure woman matched by a killer band performance. Similarly lighter numbers on the record call to mind a rockier version of Roxy Music's output in later years: elegant, romantic angst given a slightly rougher edge in both music and vocals. "She Is Mine" is especially fine as a gently swinging number with some of Butler's best, quietly ruminative lyrics. Straight-up anthems abound as well, the best being the amazing "Into You Like a Train," which mixes the blunt desire of the title with a sparkling Ashton guitar line and a fast rhythm punch. Talk Talk Talk ends on another high with "All of This and Nothing." A soft, acoustic guitar-sax-rhythm combination introduces the song, then fades away for the main section to begin; Butler details bits and pieces from a lost relationship over a sharp full-band performance, and a final drum smash leads into a reprise of the start — a fine way to end a fine record.

Biography

Formed: 1977 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The Psychedelic Furs, whose name was inspired by the 1966 Velvet Underground song "Venus in Furs," were formed in England in 1977 by brothers Richard Butler (vocals) and Tim Butler (bass), along with saxophone player Duncan Kilburn and guitarist Roger Morris. By the time they released their self-titled debut album in 1980, the group had become a sextet, adding guitarist John Ashton and drummer Vince Ely. That album, featuring Butler's...
Full bio

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