22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Banshees box is cascading sweet rarities, 15 Jun 2009
Having seen The Banshees at the peak of their career two times in Finland during their 1982 Scandinavian tour, which at the same time was the band's live intermission between JuJu, which I still rank, alongside The Scream and A Kiss In The Dreamhouse, on the trilogy of the Banshees's most brightest and innovative musical moments. Especially the 1982 Dave Jensen session with very raw versions of the songs like Cascade or Green Fingers, before the band lost themselves into psychedelic depths with producer Mike Hedges on Dreamhouse, and painted the songs with more Klimtian colours using flowerish and very rich, keyboard- and loop-orientated production colouring the songs which the band composed during their 1982 spring break, to follow up the single Fireworks, which still had the unique 1980-1982 era Banshees's trademark with Steve Severin's pulsating bass, John McGeoch's flangered guitar parts and Budgie's tumultous drumming.
Beside this unique four songs session you will find the 3 CD + DVD box set including all the Banshees's Peel sessions, on which it is verty easy to see, how the band's musical evolution on the Chuck Berry or T Rex -orientated glam/rock riffs of the first ever recorded version of Love In A Void from 1977 to the final echoes of ecstatic Into The Light from spring 1981. The production quality on the 1981 Richard Skinner session is a bit poorer compared to the others, but the raw version both on Arabian Knights and Head Cut are just worth of checking, beside the other pearls. Even with the 1979 Peel session Banshees show their music rooting more on the early 1970's glam or psychedelia than punk rock, with the Edgar Allan Poeishly horror-echoing lyrical alienation no progressive rock band could had ever been able to create. What is so strange, that the band never did a Peel session at 1980, with their musical enflowerement and new enlightment, but at least we see the band doing playback version of Happy House on TOTP at 1980.
Live Warwick thing was available even as a video bootleg back to late 1980's, and I am happy the recording with the best Banshees line-up and the set list that makes anyone to gasp from the excellent live version of Israel to the nightmarish noise of the final guitar flanging of Voodoo Dolly. It's really shame that the band never did a live record with guitarist McGeoch, because he actually was the innovative power on the band from 1980 to 1982, and was the one, who re-created the band sound (he was into th 1979-1980 Nigel Gray -produced The Police, which you can hear on the guitar and drum sounds especially on the Kaleidoscope -era songs) into the new heights.
The two BBC live concerts are also great, thre 1985 Oxford Apollo show shows the greatness of the guitarist John Valentine Caruthers, and the power of Tinderbox album, and 1988 show's the band more as a theatrical, but still interesting and innovative group. My top 5 unavailable from anywhere else (like last year's Banshees's Peel sessions CD)from the box are:
1) Fireworks TOTP 1982
2) Green Fingers Jensen 1982
3) Israel Warwick 1981
4) Jigsaw Feeling OGWT 1978
5) Happy House TOTP 1980