Psychedelic Furs to end the working week. Recorded by the BBC for Radio 1’s In Concert series (as well as transcription Service), on May 28, 1984 – this concert comes right during the time of the release of their 4th album Mirror Moves, putting them right in the middle of their post-Punk/New Wave period. Mirror Moves was produced by Keith Forsey, and featured the songs “The Ghost in You” and “Heaven”. Both charted throughout the world, and “Heaven” became the band’s highest charting UK hit at the time. Strangely, however, “Heaven” was never released as a single in the U.S. Instead, Columbia Records opted for “Here Come Cowboys”, despite both international success and heavy MTV airplay for “Heaven”. “Here Come Cowboys” failed to chart, but “The Ghost In You” was a hit single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
By the mid-80s, the band had become a staple on both U.S. college and modern rock radio stations. Simultaneously, they were experiencing consistent mainstream success, placing several singles in the pop charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
In 1986, the band recorded a sax-infused version of “Pretty in Pink” for the soundtrack of the film of the same name. Butler later claimed that the success of “Pretty in Pink” caused the band to be pressured into entering the recording studio to record a follow-up release before they were ready. The result was Midnight to Midnight, their biggest Top 40 success to date, but also a more overtly commercial effort than the Furs had ever recorded before. The album also featured the single “Heartbreak Beat”, which became the Psychedelic Furs biggest hit yet on the U.S. Top 40. The album also featured drummer Paul Garisto and sax player Mars Williams, both of whom continue to tour with the band.
In the wake of Midnight To Midnight, the Furs found themselves dissatisfied with their new commercial direction, and subsequently returned to a rawer sound with “All That Money Wants”, a 1988 track especially recorded for a best-of compilation album “All Of This And Nothing”. 1989’s Book of Days and 1991’s World Outside also saw a return to the earlier Furs’ style.
Because the band went through numerous style and genre changes over the years, it’s sometimes hard to pinpoint a particular favorite period, or period that made the biggest impression. In a way, that’s good because it makes the band a kind of “all-things-to-all-people” – although there are periods, say the Post-Punk period, which stand out, while losing fans in the process when they went the Hard Rock route. But then there are fans of The Furs during their Hard Rock period which they weren’t during their New Wave period. At least with Psychedelic Furs you had a choice.
So to give you an idea of where they were during 1984 and their New Wave period, hit the play button and have a listen to May 28, 1984.