Wrong Train

Album: Made Of Rain (2020)
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Songfacts®:

  • Psychedelic Furs lead singer Richard Butler was enthralled by New York City and moved there from England in 1983 after the band's third album, Forever Now. He indulged in his celebrity, and in what the city had to offer, but after the band called it quits in 1991, he got married and took a crack at laid-back life in the suburbs.

    Butler moved to Cold Springs, New York, a leafy suburb of New York City where life moves at a much slower pace. He and his wife Annie had a daughter, Maggie, in 1997, but not long after, their marriage started to fall apart.

    When Butler wrote "Wrong Train," he was expressing his frustration through a character who was in far worse shape than he was. The guy in the song has "a wife that hates me," and
    "so does her boyfriend." In a Songfacts interview with Butler, he cited the song as one where he was revealing his personal truths.

    "My first and only marriage was sort of crumbling, and it made me examine in a very negative, pessimistic kind of way the whole move to the suburbs," he said. "It made me imagine somebody else's life perhaps, who had moved out and had a similar or perhaps more tragic time of it than I had."
  • The Psychedelic Furs started playing this song in 2001, a year after they re-formed. It became a regular part of their concert repertoire and a fan favorite, but the song wasn't released until 2020 when they included it on Made Of Rain, their first album since 1991. By this time, The Psychedelic Furs were a six-piece that had been together since 2009.
  • Artist, photographer and filmmaker Hans Neleman directed the music video. He explained that he took inspiration from Richard Butler's paintings.

    "Wrong Train' explores the theme of a disintegrating relationship and the idea was to deliver something rooted in a more abstract realm rather than illustrating the lyrics literally," Nelemann said. "I photographed and filmed Richard while painting his face as if he were delivering an art performance."

Comments: 2

  • Susan from ChicagoJust heard this song for the first time on one of my Spotify Daily Mix playlists. I recognized Richard Butler's voice immediately. Always loved Psychedelic Furs and especially his voice. When I was in college I ran hospitality for one of their shows when they visited our campus in '87. It was eye-opening for sure (one word: Darcy). He and John Ashton were the only friendly ones in the bunch, although he kept mostly to himself. I can easily see the autobiographical flashes in this song. Glad I stumbled upon this one...love it.
  • Ken from Austria Thx so much for the backstory. The song is brilliant, albeit a bit sad. Anyhow, your explanation is really helpful to understand the song better.
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