Album: Mirror Moves
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It’s not a hard-and-fast rule, but in general, beware the album by a band that with a cover that features only the lead singer. Especially when their previous records always featured the full band. For example, the first Rolling Stones album to to have just Mick Jagger on the cover was Goats Head Soup, nobody’s pick for the best Rolling Stones album. Obviously, there are exceptions — there are always exceptions — but outside of (ironically) Tattoo You, I can’t think of any.
So in retrospect, the fact that Mirror Moves features only a frowning, posing Richard Butler on the cover and the other two Furs, Tim Butler and John Ashton — Vince Ely having left in the wake of Forever Now — was probably the first clue as to the album’s un-goodness. The second clue was, of course, on the inner sleeve, as well as the record label: “Produced by Keith Forsey,” who at that point was primarily known for smoothing out Billy Idol’s punk sneer with a pop sheen, and, oh yeah, Flashdance.