All Of This And Nothing

Album: Talk Talk Talk (1981)
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Songfacts®:

  • In this song, Psychedelic Furs lead singer Richard Butler lists off a number of seemingly random items ("a heavy rain," "a handle for the door"...) that we then find out are what his girl has left behind now that they've split up. None of this stuff has any value for him because it can't bring her back or help him make sense of it:

    You didn't leave me anything
    That I can understand
  • This was released on the band's second album, Talk Talk Talk. They had six members at the time and had refined their "beautiful chaos" sound with help from producer Steve Lillywhite, who also worked on their first album. The song wasn't released as a single and they didn't play it much before breaking up in 1991, but they came back to it quite often after they regrouped in 2000.
  • Richard Butler considers this the definitive Psychedelic Furs song. He told Songfacts why.

    "It pulls it all together," said Butler. "Musically it's very Psychedelic Furs and I like the way it comes in with the acoustic guitar and also leaves with an acoustic guitar, and in between, it's very, very Psychedelic Furs-sounding. It has all the musical elements that you associate with this band.

    And lyrically, I like the fact that the verses are very abstract and they're pulled together by the chorus. You only realize what it's really about when you listen to the chorus, because before the chorus comes in it's just a list of really odd things."
  • Running 6:25, the song starts with an instrumental lead-in before fading out at 1:10. The vocal doesn't come in until 1:35. It fades out a second time at the 4:50 mark before returning with another instrumental passage. The band did something similar on the song "India" from their 1980 debut album.
  • All Of This And Nothing was used as the title to The Psychedelic Furs 1988 greatest hits compilation. By that time, the sentiment rang true for the band: They had become quite popular, but felt it was all for nothing because they were burned out and struggling to make music on their terms.

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