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Freur is the name of the first band of Karl Hyde and Rick Smith, of present band Underworld.

Formed in the early 1980s in Cardiff, Wales by Karl Hyde, Rick Smith and Alfie Thomas, this band originally had only a graphic 'squiggle' for a name. In 1983, after recruiting John Warwicker and drummer Bryn Burrows (formerly of the Fabulous Poodles, they struck a recording deal with a major label, CBS Records, and met the label's insistence on a pronouncable name with the compromise that the squiggle was pronounced "Freur".
Their first and only hit (number 59 in the UK charts), "Doot Doot" (1983), was typically eighties pop, with drum machine, reverse live drums and phased vocal. It was recorded/co produced by Alex Burak at The Point studio in Victoria, 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's look was a cross between goth, rock, glam and new romantic - a combination that eighties chart favorites Sigue Sigue Sputnik pulled off to greater success not long after Freur attempted it.

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 charts.

There were also two albums: Doot Doot (1983) and Get Us Out of Here! (1985). The second LP was only released in Germany and Holland and is now a rarity.

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 minor success with the single "Underneath the Radar" (1988) before folding in 1990. This incarnation is now remembered as "Underworld Mk.1", in the shadow of Hyde and Smith's later worldwide fame under the Underworld moniker. See: Underworld (band)

Band members
Karl Hyde (b. 10 May 1957, Worcester, Worcestershire) - vocals, guitars
Rick Smith (b. Richard Smith, 25 May 1959, Ammanford, Wales) - keyboards
Alfie Thomas - bass, keyboards
Bryn Burrows - drums
John Warwicker - keyboards


    • The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles would list Freur under the symbol, with the translation by the side, until the late 1990s.
    • John Warwicker is a video artist in the graphic design collective Tomato, whose founders include Hyde and Smith.
    • 'Doot Doot' was used in Cameron Crowe's Vanillia Sky (2001)


  • Doot Doot (1983) (Reissued 1994)
  • Get Us Out of Here! (1985) (Not released in the UK)
  • Transmutations (Underworld) (1985) (A film soundtrack; unreleased)


  • Doot Doot (1983)
  • Matters of the Heart (1983)
  • Runaway (1983)
  • Riders in the Night (1984)
  • The Devil and Darkness (1984)
  • Look in Back for Answers (1984)
  • The Piano Song (1986)


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