The Psychedelic Furs were formed in England in 1977. Brothers Richard Butler and Tim Butler got together with saxophonist Duncan Kilburn and guitarist Roger Morris to bring their eclectic punk sound together. Three years passed before they released their first album. At the time of their self-titled album's release they had added two more musicians to their lineup. John Ashton and Vince Ely, on guitar and drums respectively, joined the group in 1980 before the album was cut; it hit the top 20 in England, but was not a large success in the United States.
Their next album, Talk Talk Talk, was released the following year. It charted in the United States and produced two hit singles in Great Britain. One of the hit singles was titled Pretty in Pink. The song was also a hit in the US, only years later when it was re-released as the title song of a film. Their next album, just a year later, found the band reduced to a quartet: Forever Now was released without the help of Kilburn and Morris. The remaining members moved to the United States to try to make a name for themselves in the most prominent music industry in the world. The group turned to producer Todd Rundgren, who eventually helped them score a top 50 hit with the single Love My Way. Ely left the group shortly after their big hit. The two butler brothers and Ashton stuck with it and released Mirror Moves in 1984: the album put the Psychedelic Furs on the map.
The success of their album as well as the release of the film 'Pretty in Pink,' which featured their hit single, boosted the band to international fame. They toured to sold-out crowds nationwide to promote their album. Their music reached a vast array of music fans. In 1987 they released another album, Midnight to Midnight, which hit number 12 on the UK charts and made the top 30 in the US. The single 'Heartbreak Beat' also reached the top 30 in the US. Ely returned to the band before the release of the 1989 Book of Days. The album was a commercial disappointment, but ticket sales for tours did not fall. Their next album, World Outside, was also commercially unsuccessful.
At that point, the Furs decided to call it quits. Richard Butler launched a new group called Love Spit Love. That band lasted through the release of two albums but never reached the success of the Psychedelic Furs. Butler kept trying to make it big again. He continued writing songs and promoting a solo career. The new millennium crashed upon him and he still had not reached his previous high. He brought Ashton and brother Tim together again for a Psychedelic Furs reunion in early 2000. The trio jumped back into the groove and joined a summer tour with the Go-Gos. Fans were right back in the ticket lines. A year later the Furs were joined by guitarist Richard Fortus and drummer Earl Harvin. They were soon headlining a North American tour. They released a live album, Beautiful Chaos, in 2001. It featured their first new song in a decade. Alive was a success with old loyalists and new fans alike.