Gothic rock? Call it what you want, this is a simply brilliant album. The presence of the extra tracks is welcome, especially the cover of Emma (originally by Hot Chocolate), but it's the classics that make this worth your money. All three of the Sisters' LPs have their moments. For me, the absolute standout tracks on First and Last and Always were Nine While Nine and Some Kind of Stranger, with the title track and Marian bringing up the rear. On Vision Thing, the mighty I Was Wrong and Something Fast were the two that really stayed with me, with a tip of the hat to When You Don't See Me and More. Everyone has their favourites, but I believe Floodland's highpoints stand comparison with the Sisters' very best work. I'm thinking in particular of Lucretia My Reflection, Driven Like The Snow and 1959 - written after someone suggested to Eldritch that he try composing something on the piano.
While I've never been able to separate their very best tracks, I will say that I think Floodland ranks as the band's strongest album overall. It's the one I come back to again and again. It has everything: bitter, sweet and bittersweet lyrics worthy of Philip Larkin, driving bass rhythms, and a masterclass in production atmospherics. The only gothic rock album by anyone else that even comes close, in my humble opinion, is Bloody Kisses by Type O Negative. Oh, and if anyone's interested, the videos made to promote this album, and available on the Shot collection, are terric too.