The Psychedelic Furs

The Psychedelic Furs

If you were to dissect the alternative rock dominating today’s music, you’ll find that much of it pays homage to The Psychedelic Furs. Led by vocalist and songwriter Richard Butler, and his bass-wielding brother Tim, the Furs won over fans and critics alike by combining poetic lyrics, innovative rhythms and melodies driven by an aggressive, punk desperation. Through it all, the band scored major hits with "Love My Way," "Pretty In Pink," "Heaven," "The Ghost In You," and “Heartbreak Beat” in all releasing seven studio albums and spawning several compilations, a boxed set, and a live concert DVD.

The Furs debut, a self-titled album from 1980 was produced by Steve Lillywhite. The LP quickly established the band at radio in Europe and was a top 20 hit in the UK. The album also found success in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, New Zealand and Australia.

The Furs found success in the U.S. with their next release, 1981's Talk Talk Talk, which saw the band making its debut on the US album charts. In New Zealand, meanwhile, the band grew immensely popular, as it reached the top of the charts, the first in a string of Furs' albums to chart in the New Zealand Top 10.

In the UK, the album spun off two charting singles, "Dumb Waiters" and the original version of "Pretty in Pink". The latter song served as inspiration for the 1986 John Hughes film of the same name, and was rerecorded for the film’s platinum-selling soundtrack.

In 1982, the Furs recorded Forever Now, with producer Todd Rundgren in Woodstock, New York. This album included "Love My Way", which became yet another UK and US chart hit.

The Furs' 1984 release Mirror Moves was produced by Keith Forsey, and featured the songs "The Ghost in You" and "Heaven". Both charted in throughout the world, and "Heaven" became the band's highest charting UK hit at the time. Also, "The Ghost In You" was a smash 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. Released as a single, it became their biggest hit to that time in the U.S., and their biggestever UK hit. On the heels of the successful soundtrack, the ban immediately recorded “ 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 featured the single "Heartbreak Beat", which became the Psychedelic Furs biggest hit 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 ill at ease 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.

The Furs' steady chart success continued with three #1 hits on the newly-established U.S. Modern Rock chart between 1988 and 1991. "All That Money Wants" was a #1 hit in 1988, while "House" topped the chart in 1990, and "Until She Comes" was #1 in 1991.

The band went on extended hiatus in the early 1990s, with the Butler brothers going on to create the band “Love Spit Love” along with urrent Guns ‘N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus and drummer Frank Ferrer. Love Spit Love released two albums and enjoyed some chart success as well. After spending most of the decade apart, the Butlers reignited The Psychedelic Furs in 2000, and released a live album Beautiful Chaos: Greatest Hits Live, which also featured a new studio recording, "Alive (For Once In My Lifetime)." Since then, lead singer Richard Butler has released an eponymous solo album produced by Jon Carin, and has hinted at the possibility of a new Psychedelic Furs album.

Currently, the band continues to tour around the world. The Psychedelic Furs touring lineup remains Richard Butler (vocals), Tim Butler (bass), Rich Good (guitar), Mars Williams (saxophone), Amanda Kramer (keyboards), and Paul Garisto (drums).

A vortex of happenstances occurred in 1994, when four expats from Leeds collided to become Spacehog. Brothers, Royston Langdon (Vocals and Bass Guitar) and Antony Langdon (Guitar and Vocals), Jonny Cragg, (Drums) and Richard Steel (Lead Guitar) found themselves gathering the force that occurs when stars properly align.

The band became quickly infamous; their situationist concerts were legendary in the East Village. Their sound so very different from the neo-grunge movement of the early 90's, that within a short time, after the signing of a cocktail napkin deal with the prolific Seymour Stein, Spacehog entered the airspace of nineties rock stardom on the Sire label.

On October 24, 1995, Spacehog released their debut album, Resident Alien, produced by Bryce Goggin. Resident Alien was widely received, selling a million copies, and spawned the hit single and video "In the Meantime". Spacehog created their own genre of sound challenging the moniker of glam-rock by rounding out to a whole new identity, carrying forth the profound influences of T Rex, Iggy Pop, Queen, David Bowie & the Spiders, by colliding these influences with a wall of distorted guitars, and the stupendous daring of their lead vocals. It was a musical statement that seemed to say, life is too serious to be taken seriously, and was a welcome reprise from the levity of late-90's alt-rock.

The band's second album, The Chinese Album, was released on March, 1998. The Chinese Album featured a more ambitious symphonic sound in the spirit of British psychedelic rock, garnering critical acclaim. Where the evolution of Spacehog did not always meet with the same commercial viability as the band achieved with Resident Alien, the band evolved and its sound matured. Spacehog signed with upstart label Artemis Records, and released its third album in February, 2001, "The Hogyssey" produced by Paul Ebersol, in Memphis Tennessee. Life and its trappings ran fiercely concurrent with the severe mood of the world in September 2001, and Spacehog disbanded.

It's been 10 years, and Spacehog is back. The years that have passed delivered them to a whole new level of sound through experience. Given the lessons of time and the longing to evolve furthur as a group, Spacehog found their alignment once again, by force of will and gravity, reuniting with Bryce Goggin to create "As It Is On Earth" , the long awaited 4th album. At once rebellious and repentant, the sound transforms the emotive to the auditory, insistently driving the landscape of the listener as if to say "life is much too serious to be denied."

As the band prepares to invade our airspace once again, a series of residencies are being planned for NYC this winter with Timo Ellis, the multiinstrumentalist of Netherlands fame. Timo has stepped in on guitar and vocals for Antony Langdon, whilst he pursues celluloid success out west. Jonny, Richard and Royston are geared up and ready to remind us, that after all, the essence rock and roll is drama. "As It Is on Earth" promises to deliver.

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The Psychedelic Furs with Spacehog

Friday, July 26 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at Plaza LIVE Orlando