Forever Now, Talk Talk, Talk and The Psychedelic Furs

THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS The Psychedelic Furs REISSUE PRODUCER : Bruce Dickinson ORIGINAL PRODUCERS:various Columbia/Legacy CK 85918 THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS Talk Talk Talk REISSUE PRODUCER : Bruce Dickinson

The Psychedelic Furs' evolution—one common to many acts born in the punk era that later found commercial success—is clear on these expanded reissues of the band's first three discs. On their eponymous 1980 debut, the Furs travel from the raucous simplicity of "We Love You," the first song the group recorded, to the subtle sophistication of "Sister Europe," the album's first single. Talk Talk Talk (1981) showcases more mature Brit-rockers who still make a lot of noise ("Dumb Waiters," "Mr. Jones") but are gradually moving toward more restrained, melodic work ("Pretty in Pink," "No Tears"). On 1982's Forever Now, the Furs hold on to their punk credentials with such rowdy tracks as "Danger" and "President Gas," but it's clear that they've crossed the rubicon into mainstream (or at least radio-friendly "alternative") territory with a single like the sing-along gem "Love My Way"—a trend that would progress further on the band's kinder, gentler 1984 set, Mirror Moves. When Furs albums came across the pond, their songs were frequently re-sequenced and occasionally changed altogether. These reissues contain the original British sets; Forever Now is unaffected, Talk Talk Talk is dramatically rearranged, and The Psychedelic Furs includes the previously omitted "Blacks/Radio" while excluding U.S. additions "Susan's Strange" and "Soap Commercial." (Fans of those numbers needn't worry, though, since they're included as bonus tracks.) Other extra tracks include demos, B-sides, and live versions of album tracks; several have already appeared on other Furs collections, but a few are heard here for the first time, including early versions of "Flowers" on the self-titled disc and "So Run Down" on Talk Talk Talk. The reissues also feature cover art from the British originals, which was changed for the first and third releases. Whether the British covers are an improvement is debatable, but they're certainly a curiosity for serious fans. Tony Fletcher's concise, informative liner notes will also interest Furs followers. But the biggest selling point is the music—full of raw energy and unexpected hooks—which has aged remarkably well, still sounding fresh and original.—WH

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