Themes From Great Cities

It might have come to your attention that I'm not a regular poster of love and understanding, which you will just have to get used to. I will however, have bursts of creativity where I move completely randomly from post to post with no rhyme or reason. I have recently posted a few singles (7 & 12”) and the odd bootleg which have been received very well by all who visit. More of the same will continue as you, dear readers, seem to be enjoying them.

Some of the rips are my own, but many more are from other blogs and I’m just sharing the wealth. If other bloggers out there wish to share the rips from my posts, please as I do, host them yourself. To combat this, the FLAC files that are over 6 months old will be replaced with MP3 files.

Finally I am happy to re-up old posts where the link has expired. Please comment in the relevant posts comments box.


You Ain’t No Fuckin’ Dancer…

The first wave of punk was becalmed in the doldrums by November 1978. Post punk was still a figment of some prepubescent journalist’s imagination. Politically, the UK was part grey Orwellian uber-state, part suburban dream zone, part police state. As with many groups from the punk era, Siouxsie And The Banshees are primarily remembered as a “singles” band but this ignores the absolute crucial impact The Scream had on UK music at the time. Sheet metal guitar, pounding, tribal drums and Siouxsie’s part Nico-esque dominatrix meets primal yelp vocals made The Scream unlike anything else released that year.
The Banshees had left punk pogoing and spitting firmly in their rear-view mirrors, with an album as unexpected as it was ground-breaking. To paraphrase Paul Morley, The Banshees were punk like Pharaoh Sanders or Miles Davis were punk. They were squalling, uncompromising, visceral, energetic, spacey and melodramatic all at the same time.
Opener Pure sets the tone. A whirling dervish of a song with nods to Can and the Velvets, it spirals in and out of control as Siouxsie’s paranoid lyric leads the charge. Metal Postcard is perhaps the central song on the album. John Mackay’s screeching guitar intro hints at Hitchcock’s Psycho soundtrack while Kenny Morris’s thunderous attack gives the song a primitive air. Dedicated to anti-Nazi John Heartfield, Metal Postcard lays waste any hint that The Banshees had fascist overtones.
The Beatles-slaughtering cover version of Helter Skelter has an almost joyful glee in its climbing, fluttering changes. There is clearly a reverential tone to Siouxsie and friends with nods to their musical heritage, but this is all something very new. Switch, the longest and perhaps most complex song on the album closes. A claustrophobic, creeping dread lingers throughout before it lunges breathlessly to an end.

Despite The Banshees next incarnation following the split of The Scream/Join Hands line-up enjoying huge success, it’s interesting to wonder “what if” the original band had survived.

Taken from the 2005 Deluxe Remastered 2CD edition to MP3 @ 320kbps and FLAC

Siouxsie And The Banshees; The Scream (Disc 1)

1.        Pure
2.       Jigsaw Feeling
3.       Overground
4.       Carcass
5.       Helter Skelter
6.       Mirage
7.       Metal Postcard (Mittageisen)
8.       Nicotine Stain
9.       Suburban Relapse
10.    Switch

Rarities, Sessions, and Singles (Disc 2)

1.      Make Up or Break Up (Riverside Session)
2.      Love in a Void (Maida Vale 4, Nov. 29, 1977)
3.      Mirage (Maida Vale 4, Nov. 29, 1977)
4.      Metal Postcard (Mittageisen) (Maida Vale 4, Nov. 29, 1977)
5.      Suburban Relapse (Maida Vale 4, Nov. 29, 1977)
6.      Hong Kong Garden (Maida Vale 4, June 2, 1978)
7.      Overground (Maida Vale 4, June 2, 1978)
8.      Carcass (Maida Vale 4, June 2, 1978)
9.      Helter Skelter (Maida Vale 4, June 2, 1978)
10.   Metal Postcard (Pathway Session)
11.   Suburban Relapse (Pathway Session)
12.   The Staircase (Mystery) (Pathway Session)
13.   Mirage (Pathway Session)
14.   Nicotine Stain (Pathway Session)
15.   Hong Kong Garden (7" Single Version)
16.   The Staircase (Mystery) (7" Single Version)


  1. Never been a fan of Her voice... BUT what a Band!
    I've seen the Banshhes in the Rapture's tour (1994-95)... not only
    Music but Real Magic.
    I really dig the live boot you've posted some time ago!

    1. The Banshees bootleg is brilliant, and I have some more for later. I've always been a fan of the Banshees so I've had a passion for Siouxsie since I was a spotty teenager

    2. Eagerly awaiting... if you will post some more Banshees!
      Even if I doubt there is something of that Quality...
      Real professional recording.

    3. There are a couple that were for radio broadcast so they're not to bad.

  2. if I can reciprocate the exquisite kindness
    here is a group that I recently discovered:


    1. Thanks Fabio, I'll have a listen to their album while I'm working this evening

  3. a singles band for me. albums go on a bit and ultimatley i found that bands influenced by the banshees i.e. goth bands were more to my liking, like xmal deutcshland and the veil.
    and susie terrified me. don't know why. seems nice in interviews. cold fear.

    1. The Veil. Now that is a blast from the past...

  4. Absolutely love them and this album!

    1. One of a few bands that I grew old with Jorge

  5. Many thanks! - Stinky

  6. This album absolutely floored me when it came out, and still thrills me today. People talk about what a brilliant guitarist John McGeoch was (and it's true), but John McKay's playing on The Scream is astonishing.

    1. PS - I'm listening now to McKay's mid-80's goth rock group Zor Gabor. The singer owes a lot to Siouxsie, but it's good stuff! It might provide a clue to your question of "what if the original Banshees had survived?"

    2. I've always found John McKay's playing to be frightening, disturbing and awesome all at the same time. It's a shame he took so long to return and for only one single.

      Had the Banshees survived as the original 4some then I think that their career would have been much shorter. Siouxsie's voice was fucked and she knew she had to change her style of singing, which meant a change in the way that the Banshees crafted their songs and of course, I'm sure that I read somewhere that she was known to be a complete bitch to work for. Band arguments aside, that we are not privy to, there was too much tension for the band to have continued much longer.