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
ReleasedApril 1981
Producer(s)Steve Lillywhite
The Psychedelic Furs singles chronology
"Mr. Jones"
"Dumb Waiters"
"Pretty in Pink"

"Dumb Waiters" is a song by English rock band the Psychedelic Furs, released as a single in April 1981 by Columbia Records. Written by the band and produced by Steve Lillywhite, it was included on the band's 1981 album Talk Talk Talk.


To help promote Talk Talk Talk, the UK single for "Dumb Waiters" was packaged in an embossed plastic sleeve, playable at 33⅓ RPM on a turntable, which contained 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 opened 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 No. 59.[2] It also reached No. 27 on the U.S. National Disco Action Top 80 chart.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

AllMusic writer Dave Thompson said that 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]

Cover versions[edit]

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".

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
US National Disco Action Top 80[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.