Siouxsie and the Banshees
Siouxsie and the Banshees (1976-1995, 2002) is a Punk band from London, UK.
That was when Susan Ballion (a.k.a. Siouxsie) and Steven Bailey (a.k.a. Severin/a.k.a. Steve Havoc), along with two other friends including Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, played a punk festival at London's famous 100 Club (apparently still in existence today), including a 20 minute rendition of The Lord's Prayer. Indeed, Siouxie's presentations were always over the top including going on stage topless or in tight vinyl clothes. In 1977 they made their first garage/demo recording, later released as Track Rehearsals 77; their name chosen from a Vincent Price film titled Cry Of The Banshee.
In 1978, they landed a deal with 'Polydor' and their first album The Scream followed soon after with Jigsaw Feeling, a track within, making the top 10. It got them enough popularity that in 1979 they went on tour outside the country for the first time.
The following year, Join Hands followed with their version of the Lord's Prayer on it. Budgie (drums) joined them after the original other two members suddenly up and left right before a show; the guitar was then taken up by Robert Smith (of The Cure), who would work with them for a long time.
1980 saw Kaleidoscope arrive with two tracks within reaching top 10 for Happy House and Christine. The following year JuJu, the album many consider was the Siouxsie And The Banshees' breakthrough from their punk roots, and taking of new unique styles that would be the mold until their demise. This year also Siouxsie and Budgie started the Creatures parallel project with the EP Wild Thing.
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Shortly after A Kiss In The Dreamhouse (1982) was released their guitarist John McGeogh collapsed and was hospitalized in Madrid, Spain, Robert Smith took over the guitar again for an extended temporary job. Following the subsequent support tour, a break ensued that was used by Siouxsie and Budgie to release their next Creatures album The Feast. The break was also used by Severin to partner with Robert Smith for a side project of their own called The Glove.
In 1983 their rendition of The Beatles' Dear Prudence reached 3 in the UK charts. Later that year, they opened their own label 'Wonderland', whose first publication would be their video and live album Nocturne.
Their Gothic leanings were now taking control in early 1984. But Robert Smith left to work with his act The Cure, a band that would see it's own success as the 1980s grew on. Hyaena (1984) would follow, the last for Smith who would not be seen with them again until 1987. Indeed, the album is considered one of the band's best featuring classic tracks like Burn the House Down, Swimming Horses, Dazzle and the previously released "Dear Prudence". But the most popular sales wise was the follow-up, Tinderbox (1986), featuring the track Cities In Dust, a track that remains their only representative on the radio.
In early 1987, Through The Looking Glass was released featuring only covers of other bands and singers like Television, Kraftwerk, Bob Dylan and even a Disney and a Billy Holliday song. Peek-A-Boo (1989) followed, while the side-project Creatures released Boomerang. Kiss Them For Me was the hit on their follow-up Superstition (1991) after two-year break. 1992 to 1995 was a quiet time for the act with Siouxsie doing a duet with Morrisey in the single Interlude, and theirFace to Face track would be incorporated into the Batman Returns soundtrack.
It would be 1995 when the whole operation was finally shut down with their final album, Rapture (1995). Many consider this album to be one of their best featuring dark tracks like Rapture, Not Forgotten, and Oh Baby. Their very last effort was the Showgirl's movie soundtrack New Skin and after, with the announcement declaring that the music industry "proceeded to sign anything with a safety-pin that could spit", they got fed up and decided to throw in the towel.
The split lasted for less than a decade, however, for in 2002 they got together for some US gigs including the Seven Year Itch tour that spawned the Seven Year Itch Live live album and DVD in 2003.
In 2004, Downside Up, a box set that collected all of the band's B-sides and The Thorn EP originally recorded back in 1984, was released.
In 2006, the band's first four records were remastered and compiled with previously unreleased bonus tracks. Several recordings made for the John Peel Radio Show from 1978 to 1986 were also compiled on Voices on the Air: The Peel Sessions based on two recordings (part 1 and two) from that show recorded in 1987 and 1988 respectively. The At the BBC box set, containing a DVD with all of the band's UK live television performances and three CDs with in-concert recordings, was released that June.
In April 2014, their debut single Hong Kong Garden was reissued on double 7" vinyl, this would turn out to be a part of a three-year plan with 'Universal'. In October of that year, their last four studio albums (Through the Looking Glass, Peepshow, Superstition and The Rapture) were reissued in remastered versions with bonus tracks.
In 2015, the compilation Spellbound: The Collection was released and included singles, album tracks and B-sides. A CD box set, Classic Album Selection, Vol. 1 was released in January 2016, containing their first six albums newly remastered. The part two, including the other last six albums, followed in April. In November, a vinyl picture disc edition of The Scream was released.
In the meantime, Siouxsie and Budgie continued on with The Creatures, and Severin released the album Visions only available over the Internet.
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Artists mentioned in this article: