Say It's Your Birthday: Psychedelic Fur's Richard Butler

The Psychedelic Furs, whose name belies their punk-influenced music,

were formed in England in 1977 by brothers Richard Butler (vocals),

and Tim Butler (bass), along with saxophone player Duncan Kilburn and

guitarist Roger Morris. By the time they released their self-titled

debut album in 1980, the group had become a sextet adding guitarist

John Ashton and drummer Vince Ely. That album, featuring Butler's

hoarse (John Lydon-influenced) voice was a bigger hit in England,

where it reached the Top 20, than in the United States. Talk, Talk,

Talk did better, reaching the U.S. Top 100 and producing two

British singles-chart entries, one of which was "Pretty In Pink,"

also a hit in the United States when a new version was used as the

title song of the film. Their third album, Forever Now, saw

them reduced again to a quartet with the departure of Kilburn and

Morris. The others moved to the United States, turned to producer Todd

Rundgren, and scored a US Top 50 hit with "Love My Way." Ely then left

and the remaining two Butlers and Ashton made Mirror Moves, the

biggest Psychedelic Furs hit yet. The band released three more albums,

Midnight To Midnight, Book Of Days, and the soundtrack

World Outside released in 1991. By this time they had lost much

of their core-audience and then broke up shortly after the album came

out. It is also the birthday of Laurie Anderson, and Tom Evans.