Best known for “Pretty in Pink,” the theme song from the iconic ’80s film by the same name, the Psychedelic Furs formed in 1977, when the English punk scene was at its apex.
Headed by founding members Richard and Tim Butler, the band has changed lineups several times, but the current touring lineup has been consistent for the past few years.
The band has seven studio albums under its belt, including Forever Now, spawning the ’80s classic single “Love My Way.” The single also appeared on the soundtrack of the hit HBO show “Hung.” The band’s use of synths and saxophone, as well as Richard Butler’s vocals, became its trademark, often attracting fans with an eclectic use of multiple instruments.
The biggest commercial success came in 1987 with Midnight to Midnight, the band’s biggest Top 40 release, ranking 29th on U.S. Billboard charts. Saxophonist Mars Williams and drummer Paul Garisto contributed to the album and remain an integral part of the band’s current touring lineup. Although it received commercial success, the band was unhappy with the album’s vibe and sought to reawaken earlier influences to reach a purer sound. Released in 1989, Book of Days was moderately successful, ranking 138th on Billboard’s Top 200. Despite its lack of popular acclaim, the band has said that the album became a pillar for the kind music it was aiming to make.
While the band was an integral part of ’80s culture, members disbanded in 1990 and were broken up for nearly a decade before reforming in 2000. Since then, they have toured frequently and used the live footage from their travels to record Beautiful Chaos: Greatest Hits Live.
While the band’s sound may be construed as cheesy, it is reminiscent of the time in which it was made. Their success came at a time when music was delving into more experimental aesthetics, such as the introduction of new wave and the use of synthesizers. What sets Psychedelic Furs apart from a number of ’80s bands is their punk mentality and confidence.
To this day, the band remains a staple of ’80s punk culture.
If you are feeling nostalgic, or just feel like looking ‘pretty in pink,’ it would do you good to catch the Furs at Emo’s tonight.