March 08, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST
We gave it a B

Burdened with a lame name and a famously bad saxophonist, this English quartet got by on Richard Butler’s charismatic warble and biting lyrics. On their first three albums — reissued here with spiffed-up sound and superfluous bonus tracks — the band grew from a sludgy singles act (Furs’ ”India” and ”We Love You”) into a sharp, but strange, rock band. Talk is the best by far, with ”Pretty in Pink” (later rerecorded for the movie), ”No Tears,” the ever-charming ”Into You Like a Train,” and other nasty classics. The Todd Rundgren-produced Now marks a shaky move toward their eventual mainstream success. Furs: B Talk: A- Now: B

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