Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Psychedelic Furs - The Ghost in You

The Psychedelic Furs are another in a growing list of under-appreciated bands on ERV; highlighting videos like "The Ghost in You" is one of the reasons why I started the blog.  In the Furs case, I think the combination of a relatively short period when they were at the top of their game and a somewhat evolving sound combined to limit their success.  However, at their peak (say from 1981-84), they made some of the strongest music of the decade.

The band started in England in 1977 and was formed around the Butler brothers (Richard sang and Tim played bass).  Their name was an allusion to a Velvet Underground song "Venus in Furs."  Some readers may be surprised at how little commercial success the band had in the U.S., where they are an official one hit wonder.  Yes, the Furs only had one top 40 hit ("Heartbreak Beat"), although they did have three other charting singles in the top 60, including "The Ghost in You," which hit #59.

"The Ghost in You" was written by Richard and Tim Butler, and was the second single off the 1984 album Mirror Moves.  It is a lush, atmospheric song, with interesting, ambiguous lyrics.  The mostly monochromatic video tries to capture the atmosphere, with some success.

Although their 1987 LP, Midnight to Midnight was a commercial success, the band seemed to have lost their way musically -- something that Richard Butler has admitted in recent interviews.  The Furs released two additional albums that did not do as well, before breaking up in 1991.  Richard and Tim Butler would go on to form Love Spit Love before reforming the Psychedelic Furs in 2001.


  1. My favorite 80s song of all time. A truly great band.

    Drums beat time in you and I
    and rain don't fall down here no more
    it's coming down to losing it in you

    1. Ah yes, the "hidden" part of the chorus -- nice quote. I totally agree about the band -- they made a ton of just wonderfully moody new wave and by all rights should have had more success. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.