Thursday, September 20

A Beginner's Guide to Siouxsie and the Banshees

...or, 'Why Juju should be subtitled Greatest Hits'.

Siouxsie and the Banshees formed part of the gothic vanguard of the early 1980s, forming a Big Three with Bauhaus and The Cure. Therefore you should, if you haven't already, listen to them.
Now, you could go and get their compilation, The Best of Siouxsie and the Banshees, to get a taste of them, and you'll find it gives a fair representation of the Banshees' entire career. And that is exactly the problem: by including tracks recorded as recently as 1997, the compilation is weighted against quality.

Yes, to accurately represent the Banshees' career, you apparently have to include dross like 'Dizzy' and 'Stargazer'. In fact, only six of the fifteen songs there were recorded by the Banshees at the height of their chilly gothic splendour, when they made three albums that everyone should have: The Scream in 1978, Kaleidoscope in 1980, and Juju.

What that all boils down to is this. The official Best of Siouxsie and the Banshees has two tracks from Juju on it. It deserves to have at least another six, since, of Juju's nine tracks, only 'Into The Light' isn't quite up to best-of quality.

Basically, I'm trying to say that if you're new to the Banshees, you should buy Juju instead of a best-of. It'll give you a much better idea of what the band are about, and how good they really were when Siouxsie Sioux was Queen of Goth, and a band could have a drummer called 'Budgie' and still be taken (semi-)seriously.

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