Psychedelic Furs, Forever Now (CBS)
*From the vaults of Carl Meyer, and original album review written in October 1982.*
The sound of Psychedelic Furs, led by Richard Butler’s rickety, world-weary voice, is David Bowie reincarnated. An updated Aladdin Sane surfacing from a thick, electric stew. Irresistible. I have to admit that.
The xylophone intro and Butler’s cracked voice turns “Love My Way” into an “Ashes To Ashes” overlap, but Psychedelic Furs are so skilful they get away with it, and it’s impossible not to get hooked, that’s how brilliant they are, the copycats.
Electrifying ambiance, cunning arrangements, a pumping rhythm section that is both fat and focused, clever song structures that accelerate you into the choruses, and there’s a battalion of guitars snapping at you, cursing and humming and blasting off into the high heavens like epic fireworks, overwhelming. And then there’s Bowie’s vocal doppelganger, Richard Butler.
Their third album, “Forever Now”, is all this and more. It shakes you up, its sucks you in, it gives you the shivers, it puts you in a trance-like celebration mood. And even if the Furs have vanishingly little of interest on their minds and despite Butler’s obvious, brazen thefts (his phrasing sometimes is even more Bowie than the master himself), you don’t feel disappointed. OK, Bowie writes much better songs and lyrics, so what? When a record sounds as great as this, it deserves your attention.
Released: September 25, 1982
Produced by: Todd Rundgren
Contents: President Gas/Love My Way/Run and Run/Merry-Go-Round/Sleep Comes Down/Forever Now/Danger/You and I/Goodbye/No Easy Street
Richard Butler – vocals
John Ashton – guitars
Tim Butler – bass guitar
Vince Ely – drums
Gary Windo – horns
Donn Adams – horns
Ann Sheldon – cello
Flo & Eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan) – backing vocals