Greatest hits prepares for new launch of Psychedelic Furs


Psychedelic Furs - Greatest Hits The Psychedelic Furs
Greatest Hits

The Psychedelic Furs were one of those true originals — one of the few groundbreaking groups of the Ď80s like The Cure and New Order that created dark, edgey, avant alternative sounds, built rabid cult followings and then slowly moved from cult to mainstream Top 40 acceptance. The music of The Furs helped define the era, and the power of their droning vocals and alternately melodic and dissonant guitar and horn chaos still holds up today.

There have been a handful of Psychedelic Fursretrospectives over the past 15 years, in addition to a 1994 collection of B-Sides & Lost Grooves, thanks to the staying power of their mid-í80s singles "Love My Way,""Pretty In Pink,""The Ghost In You" and "Heartbreak Beat" (their biggest hit). In 1988, in what now appears as the close of their successful period on the pop charts, we got All of This & Nothing (the only collection to date on which the title track appears) followed by 1989ís Crucial Music collection which featured 10 songs chosen by The Furs themselves as their favorites (most of which were not on All of This and Nothing). Then in 1996 came another 10-song collection, In the Pink, a great complement to All of This and Nothing, since it only duplicated one song ("Love My Way"). It also included a couple of tracks that were on Crucial Music.

In 1997, the most comprehensive Furs package appeared in the 33-track, two-disc collectorís edition of Should God Forget - A Retrospective. Including all of their hits, plus a selection of their best-loved early songs and some rare and live versions of cuts spanning their entire seven-studio album career, this remains the best Furs collection for the true fan. However, for those who just want to get the bandís big hits, thereís now a fifth entry into the Fursí "greatest hits" CDs — the new 17-track Greatest Hits disc from the Columbia Legacy label. Pretty soon this band will have more compilation discs available then albums!

2001ís Psychedelic Furs Greatest Hits doesnít offer a lot of meat for the longtime fan; the only new or rare things here are a live version of "Only You And I" (recorded in 1987) and the single version of "Mr. Jones" which features tighter, sparser guitar work than the album version from 1981ís Talk Talk Talk.

All the hits are here, from "Pretty In Pink," "Love My Way," "Here Come Cowboys" and "The Ghost In You,"to "Heaven,""Heartbeat,""Heartbreak Beat," "All That Money Wants," and "Until She Comes."

The new collection completely ignores the bandís sixth album, Book of Days, which was the bandís "return to roots" reaction to their most pop-oriented album, Midnight To Midnight (which spawned "Heartbreak Beat"). While Book was probably the bandís least successful disc, it did include three tracks that were both innovative and catchy ("Shine," "Torch" and "Should God Forget"), any one of which should have been included on Greatest Hits, especially since the collection includes three tracks from their last album, 1991ís World Outside, including "Until She Comes," their last mildly successful radio single.

Itís been 10 years since The Furs recorded a new album; in the interim, a solo initiative of singer Richard Butler turned into another band, Love Spit Love, which released two albums in the Ď90s and charted one single (1994ís "Am I Wrong"). Last year the band regrouped for a reunion tour and is currently planning a new studio album. Greatest Hits may turn out to be the prelude to a new chapter of innovative Furs music. Letís hope so. If not, it is a solid look back at one of the most innovative and original acts to navigate the Ď80s.