Saturday, September 20, 2014

Classic Album Review: Psychedelic Furs – Forever Now (1982)

The Psychedelic Furs’ third album, Forever Now, is another one of those albums you’d not normally associate with the label, “classic album”. It makes the everythingsgonegreen cut only on account of the nostalgia factor it offers your blogger. It’s that old familiarity thing again. It just sort of fits ... a bit like a comfy old sock, or an old grey jersey.

Or something …

The album was recorded in New York and produced by Todd Rundgren, yet it remains quintessentially English in mood and atmosphere, and delivers something of a prototype four-piece post-Punk/”new wave” sound.
 Although the band had already enjoyed some limited chart success – and would enjoy considerably more once American teen movie director John Hughes (RIP) got his hands on an earlier release called ‘Pretty In Pink’ – the Furs were at the time of Forever Now’s release still very much in the “cult band” category and not taken especially seriously by the notoriously hard to please British music press.

The singles, ‘Love My Way’ – complete with Richard Butler’s trademark almost Bowie-esque vocal and that memorable if (now) slightly dated synth line – and ‘Run And Run’, with the memorable lyric “I’ve been waiting all night for someone like you … but you’ll have to do” … are probably the best known tracks off the album, but it’s solid throughout and Forever Now is devoid of obvious filler.

The increased preference for synthesisers over guitars on Forever Now was a welcome development generally, adding a more chart-friendly formula, and helping to flesh out several tracks; making the music fuller and less sparse than it might previously have otherwise been, while Rundgren himself also contributed keyboards on the album. In saying that, there is no question that Tim Butler’s fretwork remained every bit as pivotal an element to the band’s overall sound.

Forever Now hasn’t aged particularly well, it is VERY Eighties, and yes, the more familiar stuff like ‘Love My Way’ sounds a touch flawed today, but on the whole the album remains very listenable and has much less of the cheese/cringe factor than you might imagine.

The aforementioned singles are definite highlights, ‘Love My Way’ in fact became a global hit, but the title-track (and album opener) itself is a great scene-setter, and ‘President Gas’ remains a personal favourite if only for the fact that a local covers band I once knew did such an awesome version of it.

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