Monday, November 19, 2007

Siouxsie and the Banshees

Siouxsie and the Banshees were a punk/goth band that formed in the late 70's. The lead singer Siouxsie Sioux (Susan Ballion) formed Siouxsie and the Banshees with Steven Severin and Budgie. It was a rough start, but by the early 80's some hits began to come out. With each album, Siouxsie and the Banshees got bigger and bigger and racked up more and more hits, with each album becoming more successful and popular than the last. They weren't quite as mainstream as their counterband, The Cure. But instead kept their own style and were rather original. Siouxsie, with her wild hair and severe makeup, became an 80's signature band. From albums like "Kaleidoscope"," "Ju Ju" and "Tinderbox" came some even bigger hits like "Happy House, ","Spellbound" and "Cities in Dust". In the late 80's, Siouxsie and the Banshees produced an album called "Peepshow" featuring the hit song "Peek-a-boo", which quickly rose to the top of the charts and reached #1 in Europe. In the early 90's, Siouxsie and the Banshees changed their image a little. Siouxsie's makeup and hairstyle had been tamed quite a bit and for once we saw how beautiful she actually was. Their new album "Superstition" was much tamer than previous albums, but still another great success, with it's #1 hit "Kiss them for me" (a ballad to Jayne Mansfield). The band was bigger than ever and was asked to be one of the performing bands at the first Loolopalooza Festival along with bands like "Living Color", The Jesus and Mary Chain" and "Jane's Addiction". When the movie "Batman Returns" was being made, Siouxsie was approached to play the part of Catwoman. She declined stating that she was a singer, not an actress. Instead she composed the movies theme song "Face to Face" and the part went to Michelle Pfeifer. This was to be their last big hit and sadly, their follow-up album "The Rapture" failed to deliver any hits and by now, the band was getting kind of old and facing extinction. Siouxsie and the Banshees called it quits after over 20 years on the billboard charts. Siouxsie married the bands drummer Budgie and started a new band called The Creatures. Not much success there, due to the constant comparison to the Banshees. In 2003, the band reunited for a filmed concert called "The Seven Year Itch" in which despite of the amazing performance that it was, it was quite apparent that Siouxsie was losing her voice. High notes in songs became flat and painfully low baritone. It would appear that this was the end of the story of Siouxsie Sioux and her Banshees. Then a surprise. Siouxsie (alone, no Banshees or Creatures) has a new album coming out November of 2007 called "Mantaray". I'm not sure if she regained her voice or it's just some studio magic, but she looks and sounds great. A new video has been released for a song called "Into a Swan", with Siouxsie looking her gothic best. Sure, she's a little older, but as they say.. "Like fine wine". Welcome back Siouxsie!! We missed you!!


StinkyBeetle said...

I love your blog! I will defintely stay tuned in. Nice work writing about lipstick.

Cultfiend said...

Thanks, StinkyBeetle! I appreciate the kind words. Stay tuned for more cult news from Cultarama!

Drew said...

There are a number of serious factual errors in your blog that need to be corrected. First Siouxsie's real surname is Ballion (not Ballian). Secondly, Siouxsie was never a member of 'The Glove'. In fact, 'The Glove' was just a one-off side project in 1983 between Steven Severin (the Banshees' bass player) and Robert Smith (temporary guitarist who had formed 'The Cure' a long time ago) while they were BOTH member of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Siouxsie was never in a band before The Banshees and the only band she has been in besides the Banshees was 'The Creatures' which was a side project started with the Banshees' drummer Budgie ALSO in 1983. Siouxsie and Budgie continued with 'The Creatures' after the Banshees broke up in 1996 until the end of her relationship with him this year.

Secondly, you don't match the correct albums to songs. You make it sound like 'Happy House' was a bit hit from one of the mid-80's albums you mention but it's not. It's a song from their 3rd album from 1980 'Kaleidoscope'. You mention 'A Kiss in the Dreamhouse' and 'Juju' but not any songs from them.

Anyway, I hope this helps you to correct your text. If you need any further information, just ask!

Cultfiend said...

Granted, there were some inconsistencies in my original post. Although I don't consider a one letter difference in her name to be a serious mishap (sounds the same either way). I altered my post using your suggestions that I've researched to be true. And even though I may have appeared to insinuate "Happy House" to be a big 80's hit. Well, it was a hit and it was released in the 80's. The thing is, almost all of their hits came out in the 80's, it's easy to pigeon hole most of them, because in the 70's, they were just getting started and in the 90's they were starting to die out. I'm still convinced that Siouxsie was a member of "The Glove" because her official website discography lists her as such. The dates on those songs predate most Siouxsie and the Banshees albums as well as The Cure's. As I have always heard from many sources, The Glove seems at least to have sealed the early relationship between Siouxsie and Robert Smith. They have even referred to The Glove as "the good ol' days".

I respect your criticism and added info. It's people like you that keep an interesting blog going! Thanks again and please feel free to always add your 2 cents to any post.

Thanks again, Cultfiend

noel said...

i m the owner of 'blue sushine'
which is the only album from the
band "the glove". i have to tell
you that the cover shows steven severin on the left and robert smith
on the right. the inner sheet mentions steven severin + robert smith and special guests :
guest singer Landray
real drums Andy Anderson
real strings Hewes, Stephenson, McCarrick
No mention about Siouxsie Sioux
all the books i own about the Cure
and the Banshees tell the same :
the glove is a side project by
Severin and Smith.
i think you've been reading about a special time i've been living these special days.

Cultfiend said...

Interesting. I really wanted that album, but only for Siouxsie and if she isn't on it, I really don't care. Another poster bitched me out for including Siouxsie in a band called The Glove, and even though I'd always heard that it was the starting point for Siouxsie and Robert Smith... She split and formed the Banshees and he formed The Cure, many people have said otherwise. Seeing that I was only about two years old when this all happened, I have to rely on others for information. Like I said, I altered my original post to exclude all references to the The Glove because I cannot verify it. This post is about Siouxsie, that's all.