Freur is the name of the second band (following the art school collaboration, The Screen Gemz) of Karl Hyde and Rick Smith, who went on to found the successful electronic act Underworld. The band was formed in the early 1980s in Cardiff, Wales by Hyde, Smith and Alfie Thomas.

It originally had only a graphic 'squiggle' for a name. In 1983, after recruiting John Warwicker and drummer Bryn Borrows (formerly of the Fabulous Poodles), they got a recording contract with CBS Records, and met the label's insistence on a pronounceable name, with the compromise that the squiggle was pronounced Freur.

Their first and only hit single (number 59 in the UK Singles Chart), was "Doot Doot" (1983). It was recorded and co-produced by Alex Burak at The Point studio in London, which was controlled by Rupert Merton of Point Music publishing.
Merton (who also had an early version of the Thompson Twins on his roster of artists) signed Freur.

The band released five further tracks after "Doot Doot", between 1983 and 1985: "Matters of the Heart", "Runaway", "Riders in the Night", "Devil and the Darkness" and "Look in the Back for Answers". All failed to dent the UK chart.

Freur released two albums: Doot Doot (1983) and Get Us Out of Here! (1985). The second LP was only released in Germany and the Netherlands.
Freur also composed and performed the soundtrack to the movie Underworld (aka Transmutations), written by Clive Barker.
Warwicker left the band in 1986 and Freur went into recess. In 1987, Hyde, Smith, Thomas and Burrows, along with bassist Baz Allen signed to Sire Records under a new name, Underworld, and found some success with the single "Underneath the Radar" (1988) (it peaked in Australia at no. 5, before initially folding in 1990, re-forming in 1991 under the same name as the successful dance and electronica act responsible for a number of well received albums and the 1996 hit single "Born Slippy".
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Freur Discography Tracks


Freur Doot-Doot (Album) Epic Netherlands 1983 Sell This Version
Freur Get Us Out Of Here (Album) CBS UK 1984 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

Freur Doot-Doot (Single, Maxi) CBS Canada 1983 Sell This Version
Freur Runaway (Single) CBS UK 1983 Sell This Version
Freur Doot-Doot / Runaway (Single, Maxi) CBS, CBS Europe 1983 Sell This Version
Freur Matters Of The Heart (Single, Maxi) CBS Spain 1983 Sell This Version
JC 15096 Freur / Fausto Leali Freur / Fausto Leali - Doot Doot / Canzone Amara(7", Jukebox) CBS, DDD JC 15096 Italy 1983 Sell This Version
JC 15111 Freur / Irene Cara Freur / Irene Cara - Runaway / Why Me(7", Jukebox) CBS, Epic JC 15111 Italy 1983 Sell This Version
Freur The Devil And Darkness (Single) CBS UK 1984 Sell This Version
Freur Riders In The Night (Single, Maxi) CBS US 1983 Sell This Version
Freur Look In The Back For Answers (Single) CBS UK 1985 Sell This Version
A 7136 Freur The Piano Song(7", Single) CBS A 7136 Netherlands 1986 Sell This Version


CDM RED 419 Freur Get Us Out Of Here & Doot-Doot(CD, Comp) Cherry Red CDM RED 419 UK 2009 Sell This Version


XPC 4002 Freur Freur(Cass, Smplr, Promo) CBS XPC 4002 UK 1983 Sell This Version

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January 25, 2017
My guess is that Freur is a mix of "frere" and "soeur", French for sister and brother...brilliant, experimental hybrid of styles, underrated band!


April 23, 2005
edited over 13 years ago
Freur were an early '80s band formed by Rick Smith & Karl Hyde (AKA Underworld).

One thing of note is how they predated Prince's use of a glyph as a name; they too were represented by a squiggly line. However, in order to better sell records they assigned the sound Freur to the glyph, had a minor hit with the song Doot-Doot, and then pretty much disappeared until the debut of Underworld MK1 in the late '80's.

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