If you've been reading the latest edition of Vive Le Rock!, you'll know by now that we've made THE PSYCHEDLIC FURS' Made Of Rain our Album Of The Year.

The Vive Le Rock! team includes several ardent Furs-watchers, some of whom have been following the band since their earliest days, and the album has been unanimously greeted with approval since it first dropped onto the office Radiogram last spring. We reckoned it was a masterpiece at the time and we're not going back on that now.

Since their beginnings in Surrey via Muswell Hill in '77, the band have gone through several guises, from their Velvets-inspired self-titled 1980 debut, to the raised eyebrow art-punk of Talk Talk Talk and its to-die-for hit single 'Pretty In Pink', then courting the US market with the Todd Rundgren-produced Forever Now.

There have been blips along the way: some left-turns, right-turns and u-turns, 'til things went quiet after World Outside in 1991. There were two albums from spin-off band Love Spit Love and a solo album from Richard Butler. But there was always a sense of unfinished business...

The Furs reconvened in 2000, touring the hits, which seemed like a dream come true at the time. But so successful was the return that, from a fan's view, new music seemed the logical next step. But dared we hope...?

Hope we did, and we were rewarded. Released in July through Cooking Vinyl, Made Of Rain is not so much a return to form as a new form, its lush, haunting, sometimes quite intense, soundscapes the work of an older, wiser band who, looking back on their career, recognise the best in themselves and build on it, making something greater.

"It's awesome," Richard Butler told us. "I am thrilled that the general reaction has been really good but when a magazine gives your release its Album Of The Year award, there is no greater accolade than that. It is just amazing!"

Like we said, a masterpiece. Welcome back!

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Read a full feature on The Psychedelic Furs in the latest edition of Vive Le Rock!

Pic by Matthew Reeves

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