Pretty in Pink (song)

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"Pretty in Pink"
Single by The Psychedelic Furs
from the album Talk Talk Talk
Released 1981 (original version)
1986 (re-recorded version)
Recorded 1981 (original version)
1986 (re-recorded version)
Genre Post-punk, new wave
Length 3:57 (1981 version)
3:53 (1986 version)
Label Columbia
Writer(s) John Ashton, Tim Butler, Richard Butler, Vince Ely, Duncan Kilburn, Roger Morris
Producer(s) Steve Lillywhite (1981 version)
Charles Harrowell (1986 version)
The Psychedelic Furs singles chronology
"Dumb Waiters"
"Pretty in Pink"
"Love My Way"
"Pretty in Pink" (1986 version)
The Psychedelic Furs chronology
"Here Come Cowboys"
"Pretty in Pink"
"Heartbreak Beat"

"Pretty in Pink" is a song by the English rock band The Psychedelic Furs, originally released in 1981 as a single from the band's second album, Talk Talk Talk. The 1986 film was named after the song and a re-recorded version of the song was included on its soundtrack.

Release and reception[edit]

The original version of "Pretty in Pink" peaked at number 43 on the UK Singles Chart in July 1981.[1] Allmusic writer Bill Janovitz credits producer Steve Lillywhite for finding "the ideal sound for the band, with a perfect blend of classic pop, punk, and art rock elements".[2] Janovitz called it "the definitive take" of the song.[2]

The 1986 version reached number 18 in the UK[3] and number 41 on the United States Billboard Hot 100 chart.[4] Janovitz described this version as "ho-hum, streamlined, (and) radio-ready".[2]

Music video[edit]

The video for the song features the band in a room similar to that shown on the cover of the single. Singer Richard Butler alternates between dancing throughout the room and singing while sitting on a pink couch. Other band members appear outside the windows or in the room with their respective instruments, but they are not played. Various busts and statues are placed throughout the room, along with a guitar and drum set. A blonde female appears at certain parts of the video, along with a male with a top hat and fan. Their clothes appear to be inspired by Victorian fashion.

A second video for the re-recorded version of the song primary features close-up shots of Richard Butler in front of a screen showing pictures from the film with colorized and black and white special effects. Certain scenes are replaced by full screen clips of the film. The version of the song featured in the video is shorter in length, running 4:03, and does not feature the same fade out ending, providing a full version of the end section of the soundtrack version.

Track listing[edit]

7" Vinyl (1981)
  1. "Pretty in Pink" - 3:57
  2. "Mack the Knife" - 4:18
12" Vinyl (1981)
  1. "Pretty in Pink" - 3:57
  2. "Mack the Knife" - 4:18
  3. "Soap Commercial" - 2:55
7" Vinyl (1986) [UK, Japan]
  1. "Pretty in Pink" - 3:53
  2. "Love My Way" (U.S. remix) - 3:38
7" Vinyl (1986) [U.S., Europe]
  1. "Pretty in Pink" - 4:01
  2. "Pretty in Pink" (dub version) - 3:21
12" Vinyl (1986)
  1. "Pretty in Pink" - 4:01
  2. "Pretty in Pink" - 3:21
  3. "Love My Way" (U.S. remix) - 3:38

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
UK Singles Chart[1] 43
Chart (1986) Peak
UK Singles Chart[3] 18
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[4] 41


A cover of the song is performed by Automatic 7 and is featured on the Before You Were Punk compilation album.

The Dresden Dolls covered the song for the 2005 compilation "High School Reunion", a compilation of covers of popular songs featured in "Brat Pack" movies.

Brooklyn-based indie rock band The National covered the song for their 7/9/2007 Daytrotter session.

The Killers performed the song (in the style of the re-recorded version) with the band at their concert at the Hollywood Bowl on September 16, 2009. The Killers' Brandon Flowers sang the second verse and certain lines of the third verse, while providing backing vocals on the rest of the song.[5]

I Like It When You Die, Boston-based band Anal Cunt's fourth full-length album (1997), contains a song called "Richard Butler", which is a novelty grindcore medley of "Pretty In Pink" and "Love My Way" by the Psychedelic Furs, and "Mental Hopscotch" by Missing Persons.


  1. ^ a b "The Psychedelic Furs - 'Pretty in Pink'". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  2. ^ a b c Janovitz, Bill. ""Pretty in Pink" - Review". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  3. ^ a b "The Psychedelic Furs - 'Pretty in Pink' (1986)". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  4. ^ a b "The Psychedelic Furs - Charts & Awards - Billboard Singles". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  5. ^ "The Killers & The Psychedelic Furs 'Pretty In Pink' @ the Hollywood Bowl". September 17, 2009. Retrieved June 10, 2011.