Dumb Waiters (song)

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"Dumb Waiters"
The Psychedelic Furs - Dumb Waiters.jpeg
Single by The Psychedelic Furs
from the album Talk Talk Talk
Released 1981
Genre Post-punk
Length 3:35
Label Columbia
Producer(s) Steve Lillywhite
The Psychedelic Furs singles chronology
"Mr. Jones"
"Dumb Waiters"
"Pretty in Pink"
"Mr. Jones"
"Dumb Waiters"
"Pretty in Pink"

"Dumb Waiters" is a song by English band The Psychedelic Furs from the band's 1981 album Talk Talk Talk. Written by the band and produced by Steve Lillywhite, it was released as a single in April. The New York City dance-punk band The Rapture recorded a cover of the song, which was included on the B-side of their 1998 debut single "The Chair That Squeaks".


To help promote the band's Talk Talk Talk album, the UK single for "Dumb Waiters" was packaged in an embossed plastic sleeve, playable at 33-1/3 rpm on a turntable, which contains a track with excerpts from the songs "Into You Like a Train", "I Wanna Sleep With You" and "Pretty in Pink".[1] Singer Richard Butler opens the track by saying "This is a Psychedelic Furs commercial. Buy Talk Talk Talk".[1] "Dumb Waiters" was the first Psychedelic Furs single to chart in the UK, peaking at number 59.[2] It also reached number 27 on the U.S. Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

AllMusic writer Dave Thompson said the song "captures the band at its most frenzied, a state of mind which subsequent live versions only amplified".[4] AllMusic's Ned Raggett called the song "especially striking. . .with its queasy, slow-paced arrangement that allows both [Duncan] Kilburn's sax and [John] Ashton's guitar to go wild".[5]

Track listing[edit]

7" Vinyl
  1. "Dumb Waiters" - 3:35
  2. "Dash" - 3:06
  • Playable sleeve contains "A Psychedelic Furs Commercial" - 4:39

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
UK Singles Chart[2] 59
U.S. Dance Music/Club Play Singles[3] 27


  1. ^ a b Rosen, Craig (1997-08-09). "Re-discussion". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 109 (32): 65. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  2. ^ a b "Chart Stats - The Psychedelic Furs". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 2011-09-08. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b "The Psychedelic Furs - Charts & Awards - Billboard Singles". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  4. ^ Thompson, Dave. "'Dumb Waiters' - Song Review". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  5. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Talk Talk Talk - Overview". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2010-01-31.