Themes From Great Cities

It might have come to your attention that I'm not a regular poster of love and understanding, which you will just have to get used to. I will however, have bursts of creativity where I move completely randomly from post to post with no rhyme or reason. I have recently posted a few singles (7 & 12”) and the odd bootleg which have been received very well by all who visit. More of the same will continue as you, dear readers, seem to be enjoying them.

Some of the rips are my own, but many more are from other blogs and I’m just sharing the wealth. If other bloggers out there wish to share the rips from my posts, please as I do, host them yourself. To combat this, the FLAC files that are over 6 months old will be replaced with MP3 files.

Finally I am happy to re-up old posts where the link has expired. Please comment in the relevant posts comments box.


Sister of Mine

The Thin-White-Duke-after-smoking vocal rasp…

I took some time off last week to get my first taste of 21st Century Psychedelic Furs. Worth every penny...Glasgow is still one of the greatest cities to see live music, in the world!

To celebrate this, I'm reposting the Furs' debut album, with a review of their opening gig courtesy of the Guardian...enjoy!
With his wide-lapelled tailcoat, oversized shades and impressive repertoire of vaudeville hand twirls, Richard Butler looks every inch the regal new wave rock singer – while also giving the impression that he might have left a team-building group to fend for themselves in a Crystal Maze. The Psychedelic Furs, the group Butler formed in London with his bassist brother Tim four decades ago, are now more than 15 years into their re-formation, longer than their first burst of punk-inspired creativity in 1977 and their 1991 dissolution. But the 2017 incarnation looks and sounds tremendous, a seamless six-piece creating a dense wall of noise reinforced by righteous saxophone skronk from the seemingly indefatigable Mars Williams.
If most of the crowd at this sold-out gig appear to be of a similar vintage to the band – evidenced by a refreshing lack of glowing smartphones bobbing in the air – they seem as invigorated as the vamping Butler brothers by the racket. Their current conceit is to hopscotch through their singles, as good a way as any to trace the Furs’ evolution from drone-heavy art-rock to proto-shoegazers via shimmering 1980s bagatelles. By rights they could justifiably play Pretty in Pink twice, to mark both the echoey single that inspired the John Hughes movie and the slightly more antiseptic rerecorded version that became their calling card on both sides of the Atlantic in 1986. (In the end, they play it just the once, and sonically it leans more toward the 1981 original.)
The other big hits sound terrific – the cosmic swells and glottal keyboard of Love My Way, the limber sax backflips of Heartbeat – but they also blow the dust off some 45s that have rarely had a live runout. The billowing, urgent chorus of 1983’s Run and Run hints at why the Killers are such devoted fans, while Butler is at his most theatrical on 1988’s swooning All That Money Wants, hanging off the mic stand and acting out every line. After a climactic Heaven, still a gleaming beacon of synth poptimism, they are lustily encouraged to return for a double encore. The inclusion of 1982’s President Gas – a scabrous protest song written to skewer Ronald Reagan – seems both pointed and timelier than ever.

Emerging from the incipient post-punk London scene with a healthy fascination for late-'70s Bowie, the then-sextet kicked up a slightly monochromatic but still attractive storm on their debut. Richard Butler's Thin-White-Duke-after-smoking vocal rasp has a surprising appeal, serving up a wry, slightly detached series of lyrics on life. The members of the core band, meanwhile, had clearly honed their chops well on-stage; Ashton's lead guitar work avoids both wankery and simplicity in favour of a balanced, artistic power.
The Furs' eponymous first offering sets the base for the future; it defines post-punk to the same extent as Joy Division, Gang of Four, Teardrop Explodes and Echo and the Bunnymen. It is raw and heavy, with driving original bass and drums. "India" is a good example; it has a brooding, quiet beginning with strange telegraphic signals and turns into a brawling rocker. The record comes off as serious without being self-consciously deep, occasional toe-dipping into humorous aside ("We Love You" has Butler idly listing off things he loves, sometimes with appropriate if sarcastically delivered song quotes: "I'm in love with Frank me to the moon..."). "Imitation of Christ" is the most frazzled, with lyrics detailing someone else metaphorically nailing himself up over a light but still strange guitar line. "Wedding Song" is amusingly prescient as one of the first "white rockers go hip-hop" numbers of its kind, along with Blondie's "Rapture," though its inspiration could equally be dub. Ely lays down a pounding funk beat while Butler breaks into a midsong rap no better or worse than most such efforts of the time.

The Psychedelic Furs never sounded so good.

One of the greatest debut albums, by any band, from any time.

Taken from the 2002 US remastered release to MP3 @ 320kbps and FLAC

The Psychedelic Furs; The Psychedelic Furs

1.     India
2.     Sister Europe
3.     Imitation of Christ
4.     Fall
5.     Pulse
6.     We Love You
7.     Wedding Songs
8.     Blacks/Radio"
9.     Flowers
10.  Susan's Strange (Bonus)
11.  Soap Commercial (Bonus)
12.  Mack the Knife (Unreleased B Side)
13.  Flowers (Demo)

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