SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES – PEEPSHOW
Released September 5, 1988 – 27 years ago
Siouxsie and the Banshees’ 9th studio album is the last great release from one of the most prominent 1980s gothic post-punk bands. Dark, sensual, and sophisticated with a crazed array of carnival accordions, exotic rhythms, abrupt horns, haunting operatic warbles, and distant to-and-fro vocals, it stands as their most musically complex work.
The Classic Pick is a weekly feature at 4pm M-F on The Home Stretch, sponsored by the Good Oak Bar. Each Monday at 4pm Kris Kerry stops by KXCI to give us insight on this classic album.
Siouxsie and the Banshees were among the longest-lived and most successful acts to come out of the London punk community. Over the course of a career that lasted two decades, they evolved from an abrasive, primitive art punk band into a stylish, sophisticated group.
Critical reception for Peepshow was warm from the on-set. However, the band drew more praises in their native UK than the US. In general, critics note that Peepshow highlighted the bands development from early punk and post-punk into a more sophisticated indie-pop act, developing a more distinct sound.
Siouxsie and the Banshees influenced a slew of artists, showing that dark music could be deeply powerful.
Peepshow specifically has been cited by many artists including: Bloc Party, The Decemberists, Arcade Fire, and DeVotchKa, who covered “The Last Beat Of My Heart” in 2008 (Curse Your Little Heart EP).
Peepshow was relatively successful. It charted as high 68 on US Billboard 200 and 20 on the UK Albums Chart.
The Banshees were founded by Siouxsie Sioux (vocals) and Steven Severin (bass) in the mid 70s. Following drumming with The Slits, Budge (Peter Clarke) joined the band in 1979. Jon Klein (guitar) appeared in band replacing John Carruthers who had played on the previous two releases. Martin McCarrick joined the band in 1987, making the group a quintet. He played a number of instruments including keyboards, cello and guitar.
Martin McCarric had played with many other artists prior to and after his stint w/ the Banshees, including: This Mortal Coil, Nick Cave, Dead Can Dance, Gary Numan, The The, Marianne Faithful, Throwing Muses, and Bryan Ferry among others.
Stewart Copeland of the Police hailed Budgie as one of the “16 most interesting drummers” Spin named him no. 28 in their list of the “100 Greatest Drummers of Alternative Music.”
Production credit goes to the band and Mike Hedges, who worked on nearly all their releases. He had also worked with The Cure on all their early releases (Boys Don’t Cry, Seventeen Seconds, etc.), The English Beat, Bauhaus, and Thomas Dolby, among others.
Peepshow was recorded at Marcus Music Studios in London, a small studio where The Alarm, Robert Plant, Nitzer Ebb, Killing Joke, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Jam and Gary Numan recorded.
In 1991, Siouxsie and the Banshees hosted an hour-long feature on MTV’s 120 Minutes called “Scream Superstition.” This special was a mix of clips and videos from the bands career. The interview portions were filmed in Phoenix AZ while there for Lollapalooza.
Siouxsie and the Banshees are NOT in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. They have been eligible since 2003. Probably won’t get in due to the fact they weren’t commercially successful enough in the US.