The leadoff track of the Psychedelic Furs' 1980 self-titled debut LP takes the lead of Brian Eno's influential work with David Bowie and his own Roxy Music and merges it with the energy, attitude, and bombast of punk rock. After a stark and sublimely beautiful synthesizer-soundscape introduction, Vince Ely's drums abruptly pound in with echoing tom toms. The rest of the band launches into a one- or two-chord assault that gives little indication of the poppier direction the group would take on later records. But the power demonstrated here on "India" remained as an undercurrent of almost all of the band's later work, even if only implied at times. And if one listens closely, there is even a bit of melody amidst the Fall-like (and by extension, Stooges and Can-like) rhythmic pummeling. Producer Steve Lillywhite was already enjoying an early peak in his recording career with this album and U2's 1980 debut, Boy, forging a sound that bridged late-'70s punk with 1980s shine and texture.
from The Psychedelic Furs (Columbia CK-36791), available on CD (Sony)
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