|Single by The Psychedelic Furs|
|from the album The Psychedelic Furs|
|Genre||Post-punk, gothic rock|
|Label||CBS UK; Columbia US|
|Writer(s)||John Ashton, Tim Butler, Richard Butler, Vince Ely, Duncan Kilburn, Roger Morris|
|The Psychedelic Furs singles chronology|
"Sister Europe" is a song by the English band The Psychedelic Furs from the band's 1980 first album, The Psychedelic Furs. Written by the band and produced by Steve Lillywhite, it was released in February 1980 as the album's second single.
Singer Richard Butler recalled Steve Lillywhite's directions to him regarding the vocals: "He told me, 'Go down to the pub, have a couple of beers, and when you come back, I want you to sing like it's three in the morning, and you're talking on the telephone to someone'". According to Butler, the lyrics conveyed sadness over his then-girlfriend moving away, and were written using imagery, "instead of saying 'My bird's gone to Italy and I miss her'".
"Sister Europe" was first released as a single in the UK in February 1980. The initial 7-inch release was on the Epic label, but this was withdrawn and replaced by a CBS version. Both releases had the unusual feature of a double A-side featuring two versions of the song, short (3:45) and long (4:13). In the US, the song was not released as a single but was used as the B-side for Columbia's 12-inch promo single of "We Love You".
The Psychedelic Furs traditionally opened their live shows with "Sister Europe" during the early part of their career. The single reached number 47 on the New Zealand charts. Writer Alex Ogg called it "an intoxicating song that announced the group's distinctive style", comparing it to The Velvet Underground mixed with David Bowie. Indeed, the saxophone is faintly reminiscent of Bowie's "Sons of the Silent Age". AllMusic writer Dave Thompson described Butler's vocal as "a masterpiece of understatement, whispered intimacy".
Jazz tenor saxophonist Gary Windo performed a cover version of the song on his 1985 album Deep Water. Iva Davies and Icehouse recorded their rendition on the 1995 album Berlin. Foo Fighters released a cover of "Sister Europe" as the B-side to the 2002 single "All My Life". This version also appeared as a bonus track on the French release of the band's One by One album.
The Italian synthpop band Bluvertigo also covered this song in 2001, as the B-side to their single "L'assenzio (The Power of Nothing)".
- 7" Vinyl
- "Sister Europe" - 4:13
- "****" - 3:45
- 12" Vinyl (US Promo)
- "We Love You" - 3:26
- "Sister Europe" - 5:39
|New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart||47|
- Thompson, Dave. ""Sister Europe" - Review". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2010-01-31.
- Thompson, Dave (2004). Beautiful Chaos: The Psychedelic Furs. London: Helter Skelter. p. 199. ISBN 978-1-900924-47-4.
- Thompson, p. 204.
- Thompson, p. 214.
- "Charts - The Psychedelic Furs - 'Sister Europe'". Ultratop. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
- Buckley, Peter (Ed.) (2003). The Rough Guide Rock: The Definitive Guide to More than 1200 Artists and Bands (3rd ed.). London: Rough Guides. p. 826. ISBN 978-1-84353-105-0.
- "Deep Water - Overview". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2010-01-31.
- "The Berlin Tapes - Overview". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2010-01-31.
- "'All My Life' - Overview". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2010-01-31.
- "One by One - Overview". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2010-01-31.