Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Steve Lillywhite, XTC, and The Psychedelic Furs

Steve Lillywhite

One of my favorite albums of the early 1980’s is the debut album by the Psychedelic Furs. No, that album does not contain their hit song Pretty in Pink. Their first disk was a darker, more powerful piece of work with songs like Imitation of Christ, Susan’s Strange, and Sister Europe. But this post is not so much about the Furs as it is about the man who produced those first two albums. His name is Steve Lillywhite.

Steve Lillywhite is one of those guys whose name is on album covers of The Smiths, XTC, Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel, Morrissey, and U2. I’m barely scratching the surface here, but you get the picture. Since the late 1970’s Lillywhite has guided bands to various levels of success.
Black Sea by XTC

Another favorite album that Lillywhite produced was Black Sea by XTC. I took a chance when I picked up that album. I had never of XTC, but the album cover that featured the band in old fashioned bell diving outfits was unique enough to catch my attention. That was well before the internet age, so if you wanted to know who produced an album, you had to head to the record store, and flip the back cover.

Steve Lillywhite continues to work today. He even made a go at convincing the folks at American Idol to let him take Simon Cowell’s spot. That never came to be, but Steve is probably better off in the background anyway.

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