Most of us tend to think of music in a kind of binary context: Good and bad. Or maybe put in a different way: Overrated and underrated. Everything that we don’t like? Overrated. Everything we do like? Underrated. Of course, that’s not really how it works. Someone like Beyonce might be spectacular as an artist and performer, but she’s also one of the biggest celebrities in the world, so it’s hard to say something like Beyonce’s underrated.
So, sometimes an artist is, simply, adequately rated. When I started thinking about this post on the Psychedelic Furs, I was going to say something about how they’re sort of an underrated post-punk band. But that’s not true. That’s not even close to true. They’re actually one of the more successful bands of the early ’80s post-punk era, had their share of hits, and had critical success at that. So I revise my position: The Psychedelic Furs are adequately rated.
It sounds backhanded, but it isn’t. Any acclaim they’ve received has been well deserved, and if they’re not the biggest band in the world, well, they don’t need to be. To paraphrase Wayne Campbell, The Psychedelic Furs didn’t make music that everybody loved, they left that to the Bee Gees. They did however make music I love, and while Forever Now is best known for its big single “Love My Way,” the album as a whole is loaded with gems. “President Gas” is an outstanding post-punk gem, abrasive and eerie yet melodic and catchy—the band has a knack for making anthems. “Danger” is one of those moments of indulgence that works better than it should, with squealing saxophone and some over-the-top ’80s production. And “Only You and I” is a darkly subtle highlight that used to make its way onto mixtapes I made in high school.
I picked up this copy used at M Theory, with the initials “JTV” written in ballpoint pen on the front cover, and it wasn’t very expensive, which is part of why I picked it up. Maybe it’s not in near-mint condition or anything like that, but I still was happy to put it back on the turntable and dive back into its many highlights—underrated, adequately rated or otherwise.
Of course “Love My Way” is still the song people remember, because it’s great of course, and people used to request it when I DJed a goth night in San Diego. And I’d be happy to play it, of course. People know the hits, and those hits were good. Should anyone dig a little deeper though, there’s some great deep cuts to be found.
Sound Quality: Great