Wednesday, February 26, 2020

"Heartbreak Beat" by Psychedelic Furs

Song#:  3055
Date:  03/14/1987
Debut:  87
Peak:  26
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Alternative Rock

Pop Bits:  The Furs were pushed into a more mainstream spotlight when their 1981 song "Pretty in Pink" got revamped and included on the soundtrack to the popular teen rom com flick of the same name. It got issued out as a single and would become their highest charting one to-date for the band reaching #41 on the US Pop chart and #18 back in their UK homeland. With their record company wanting to pounce on the band's higher profile, they were pushed back into the studio to usher out a new album pronto. Working with producer Chris Kimsey (The Rolling Stones, Marillion), the band busted out a set of songs that would form their fifth album Midnight to Midnight. This song would be issued out as the first single. It would nearly crack the Rock Top 10 at #11 while a remix of the tune would make it to #14 at Dance. It would then become their biggest hit on the Pop chart getting inside the Top 30. The song ended up being the band's last to reach the Pop chart. A second single, "Angels Don't Cry," would fail to reach the charts, but another track, "Shock," would make it to #30 on the Dance chart. The Furs would put out two more albums before taking an extended hiatus that would last nearly twenty years.

ReduxReview:  The Furs go (a bit unwillingly) for a more commercial sound on the album and it is on full display with this single. I absolutely loved it and thought for sure it was headed to the Top 10. I was disappointed when it stalled before that mark. Was it overproduced? Yeah. Did it really reflect the Furs' sound. Not really. Apparently, the band was not happy they were being forced to rush out a more commercial album and pretty much dismissed it a while after its release. I can understand that, but in general the album wasn't all that bad and on some of the songs you could hear elements of their writing/sound. The thing was, they were already heading towards a more mainstream sound with Mirror Moves and something like this was really the next step. I just think they wanted to do it on their own terms. Instead, they got paired with the wrong producer and weren't given the time to refine their tunes or write ones they liked better. Regardless of the issues they had, I'm glad they came up with this song. I love the big chorus on it and the excessive production. I still include it on several of my playlists.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) While Midnight to Midnight would be their highest peaking effort at #29, it would not be their best selling album. Their previous two, 1982's Forever Now and 1984's Mirror Moves, would both end up being certified gold records. Forever Now would turn gold in 1991 while Mirror Moves would do it in 1994.  2) In 1988, Billboard would introduce a new chart called Modern Rock Tracks (later renamed Alternative Songs). It was developed to list the popular songs being played on alternative and modern rock radio stations, a good chunk of which were college-based. It was different from the Mainstream Rock chart that tracked action on the bigger rock radio stations. The market for alternative/modern rock had grown and the chart was to help reflect that and the artists getting exposure on the stations that might not get airplay on the more commercial rock stations. The Psychedelic Furs would benefit from the new chart. Their albums Book of Days (1989) and World Outside (1991) would feature between them five tracks that made the new chart. Three of the songs would hit #1. None of the tunes would make any other US chart, but having hits on the Modern Rock Chart showed that the band still had a good following and that people were paying attention to their music.


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