The Psychedelic Furs’ third outing, 1982’s ‘Forever Now’, sees the band building upon the brighter aspects that had been shown on their previous record ‘Talk Talk Talk’. Adding to the mix this time, of course, the production of legendary popular music figure Todd Rundgren, it’s needless to say that the general vibe of this record is quite positive. After producing such classic records as the New York Dolls’ self-titled record and Meat Loaf’s ‘Bat Out of Hell’, it’s not too difficult to understand why he was heavily pursued as a producer at this time. Not surprisingly, his touches are all over this record. It’s a style that the Furs mingle well with, too.
The opening track, which is the title track (U.S. release), lets the Rundgren influence shine bright right from the very beginning. It’s quite refreshing to hear a post-punk band so genuinely uplifted and positive, especially in 1982, when the vast majority of the genres’ practitcioners were creating, generally, records that were more on the morose side of things (excluding Adam & the Ants). Quite so, much of this record keeps up the same vibe. The following track, “Love My Way”, remains one of the Furs’ most popular songs alongside “Pretty in Pink”. Not only does the vibe of this record remain consistent, but so does the quality of the tracks! The very next track, “Goodbye”, stands out as a highlight on the record as well, even bringing horns into the mix. Another stand out track is “Run and Run”, once again giving off that Rundgren-influenced pop sensibility that is so infectious.
Another thing that is clear to note, is how far the Furs have gone since their self-titled debut record two years prior. That record, staying the course of post-punk at the time, maintained a rather detached emotional state (close to acts like Joy Division, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Public Image Ltd.). Given the timing of this record, the Furs, one could argue, were the first major post-punk band (outside of Adam & the Ants, as mentioned earlier) to inflict such brightness onto the landscape of the music. Sure, a lot of this had to do with the production of Rundgren, but after all, the Furs were the ones who executed the music. Production alone doesn’t make a record. These guys deserve a ton of credit for being able to pull such a bold move as this off. Some thought that this was perhaps a presumptuous approach. Why would this type of commercial approach appease the underground post-punk scene? It’s precisely the point that it didn’t. This record represents a turning point for the scene. It’s where it would become a viable pop product, polished and cleaned for the masses. Yet, it accomplishes this without sounding too contrived or too easy. This record’s calculations are just so that it works. It works, in fact, for the vast majority of record. Very rarely does this record drop off its wonderful vibe. Even when it does, it easily manages to pull itself back up. This is a highly underrated record. Few would maintain that this record belongs in the same caliber as the band’s previous two records. Well, that’s exactly what you’re being told from this corner (and probably Robert Christgau’s). In fact, in its own way, it might be the best Furs record. Might.