Chart-topping British rock band The Psychedelic Furs perform at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe on Oct. 28
From a press release:
It was announced today that chart-topping English rock band The Psychedelic Furs, known for hits throughout the ’80s and ’90s like “Pretty in Pink,” “Love My Way,” “Heaven,” “The Ghost in You,” and “Heartbreak Beat,” will play at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 8 p.m.
Tickets, which are $25 in advance and $30 the day of the show, go on sale this Friday, Aug. 24 at 10 a.m. at ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster outlets, the Penn’s Peak box office (325 Maury Rd., Jim Thorpe), and Roadies Restaurant and Bar (325 Maury Rd., Jim Thorpe). Penn’s Peak box office and Roadies Restaurant ticket sales are walk-up only; no phone orders.
If you sit and talk to many of the alternative rock artists dominating today’s music, you’ll find that many of them pay homage to The Psychedelic Furs. Led by frontman and songwriter Richard Butler, the Furs won over fans and critics alike by combining poetic lyrics with innovative rhythms and melodies driven by an aggressive punk desperation. Through it all, the band scored major hits with “Love My Way,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Heaven,” “The Ghost in You,” and “Heartbreak Beat,” releasing seven studio albums and spawning several compilations, a boxed set, and a live concert DVD.
The Psychedelic Furs came together in England’s emerging punk scene in 1977, initially consisting of Richard Butler (vocals), his brother Tim Butler (bass guitar), Paul Wilson (drums), Duncan Kilburn (saxophone), and Roger Morris (guitars). By 1979, this lineup had expanded to a sextet with Vince Ely replacing Wilson on drums and the addition of John Ashton on guitar.
The Furs’ debut, a self-titled album from 1980, was produced by Steve Lillywhite. The LP quickly established the band on European radio and was a Top 20 hit in the United Kingdom. The album also found success in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, New Zealand, and Australia. The United States version of the album was resequenced, yet failed to have as strong a commercial impact.
The Furs did find success in the U.S. with their next release, 1981’s “Talk Talk Talk,” which saw the band making its debut on the U.S. album charts. In New Zealand, meanwhile, the band became immensely popular, as “Talk Talk Talk” charted in the Top 10, the first in a string of Furs’ albums to chart in the New Zealand Top 10.
In the U.K., the album spun off two charting singles, “Dumb Waiters” and the original version of “Pretty in Pink.” The latter song served as inspiration for the 1986 John Hughes film of the same name and was rerecorded for the film’s platinum-selling soundtrack.
In 1982, the Furs, now a four-piece with the departures of Morris and Kilburn, recorded “Forever Now” with producer Todd Rundgren in Woodstock, New York. This album included “Love My Way,” which became yet another U.K. and U.S. chart hit.
Ely left the band after “Forever Now,” although he would return for the 1988 single “All That Money Wants” and the 1989 album “Book of Days.”
The Furs’ 1984 release “Mirror Moves” was produced by Keith Forsey and featured the songs “The Ghost in You” and “Heaven.” Both charted throughout the world, and “Heaven” became the band’s highest-charting U.K. hit at the time. Strangely, however, “Heaven” was never released as a single in the U.S. Instead, Columbia Records opted for “Here Come Cowboys” despite both international success and heavy MTV airplay for “Heaven.” “Here Come Cowboys” failed to chart, but “The Ghost in You” was a hit single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
By the mid-’80s, the band had become a staple on both U.S. college and modern rock radio stations. Simultaneously, they were experiencing consistent mainstream success, placing several singles in the pop charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
In 1986, the band recorded a sax-infused version of “Pretty in Pink” for the soundtrack of the film of the same name. Butler later claimed that the success of “Pretty in Pink” caused the band to be pressured into entering the recording studio to record a follow-up release before they were ready. The result was “Midnight to Midnight,” their biggest Top 40 success to date, but also a more overtly commercial effort than the Furs had ever recorded before. The album also featured the single “Heartbreak Beat,” which became The Psychedelic Furs’ biggest hit yet on the U.S. Top 40. The album also featured drummer Paul Garisto and sax player Mars Williams, both of whom continue to tour with the band.
In the wake of “Midnight to Midnight,” the Furs found themselves dissatisfied with their new commercial direction and subsequently returned to a rawer sound with “All That Money Wants,” a 1988 track especially recorded for a best-of compilation album “All of This and Nothing.” 1989’s “Book of Days” and 1991’s “World Outside” also saw a return to the earlier Furs’ style.
The group’s steady chart success continued with three No. 1 hits on the newly-established U.S. Modern Rock chart between 1988 and 1991. “All That Money Wants” was a No. 1 hit in 1988, while “House” topped the chart in 1990, and “Until She Comes” was No. 1 in 1991.
The band went on extended hiatus in the early 1990s, with the Butler brothers going on to create the band Love Spit Love along with guitarist Richard Fortus and drummer Frank Ferrer. Love Spit Love released two albums and enjoyed some chart success as well.
After spending most of the decade apart, the Butlers and Ashton reignited The Psychedelic Furs in 2000 and released a live album, “Beautiful Chaos: Greatest Hits Live,” which also featured a new studio recording, “Alive (For Once in My Lifetime).” A DVD version of the performance included live versions of “Alive” and three other previously unreleased songs: “Anodyne (Better Days),” “Cigarette,” and “Wrong Train.” Since then, lead singer Richard Butler has released an eponymous solo album produced by Jon Carin and has hinted at the possibility of a new Psychedelic Furs album.
These days, the band continues to tour around the world. The current Psychedelic Furs touring lineup remains Richard Butler (vocals), Tim Butler (bass), Rich Good (guitar), Mars Williams (saxophone), Amanda Kramer (keyboards), and Paul Garisto (drums). They recently released a series of limited edition color vinyls of some of their biggest singles from their first five albums, and “The Ghost in You” was featured in “Stranger Things” on Netflix and on the soundtrack available through Sony Legacy. “Love My Way” is also featured in the critically acclaimed film “Call Me by Your Name.”