11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2007
First of all the typographical error has been corrected on the spine and the skipping on Something Fast doesn't exist now.
A good album, but not as essential as First and Last etc and Floodland. I could never ever get to grips with the track Ribbons on the original LP, but listening to this song now gives me goosebumps. What was mainly of interest to me was the additional tracks, especially the remix of When You Don't See Me and the two live tracks of which all formed the German import single of 1991.
The tracklisting listed here is incorrect and the second version of More should read When You Don't See Me (see image for further proof).
This CD lasts for just over 67 minutes and what would have made this album greater would have been to include the live bootleg tracks originally included on the Doctor Jeep b-side.
A good album to have, but buy First and Last etc and Floodland albums first.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 24 December 2002
vision thing is the sound of a rock band at the height of its powers - an intellectual and visceral tour de force. it takes a different direction to other sisters output, with a clear metal inlfuence. but don't be fooled by the initially quite superficial sound, which will soon begin to reveal many layers and subtleties. this is a record fuelled not by testosterone and angst but by irony, wit and venom. never has a songwriter produced such astonishing lyrics: "her lovers queued up in the hallway/ i heard them scratching at the door/ i tried to tell her about marx and engels, god and angels/ i don't really know what for/ but she looked good in ribbons/ SO JUST WALK ON IN" and allied them to such a pounding, savage sound. it's not all amps turned up to 11, however, as a couple of more reflective songs shows. don't listen to those that will tell you the sisters are goths. they're not (although quite a few of their fans are). this is more than just a rock record. this is an example of rock band at its most audacious, its most ambitious. it's a towering achievement.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 16 January 2007
I'm happy to see this album re-issued with the B-sides (and the alternate mix of "When You Don't See Me"), but the initial pressing has two flaws which mar it for me:
(1) The spine misspells the album title as "Visioin Thing". Okay, not a huge deal, but it would have been nice to get it right.
(2) More significantly, the final track, the live version of "Something Fast", has some skipping. This is not due to damage to the disc: it's on the master.
Rhino UK has supposedly issued a second pressing which corrects these flaws, but I'd suggest hunting for this disc at your local dealer rather than at an online store, since there's no way to know which version you'll get from the latter. Which is a shame.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2010
I got into the Sisters of Mercy around 1984. I followed them from pre FALAA when they released some very good EPs (Alice, Temple of Love, Reptile House, Body and Soul) to the excellent First and Last and Always (for me their best ever record). Eldritch then kind of lost the plot a bit and whilst Floodland is still a classic, it has aged. For me the Sisters died in 1987. Vision Thing is OK but it doesn't feel like a Sisters' album. There are no truly great songs on it. They remain an excellent live band and often the live versions are better than the studio ones.
I'd recommend starting with FALAA and Floodland if you want definitive Sisters. Some Girls Wander By Mistake for those wanting to discover the real roots. Vision Thing is very far from where they began and maybe if it was my first Sisters' listening experience then my opinion would differ .......
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2004
And continues in that vein, dismissing US politics and personal relationships with much the same contempt. On this album the Sisters Do Rock better than most mainstream rock bands could ever hope to while keeping up the lyrical standard.
And then you've got Ribbons, an intense burst of cold controlled violence- beautiful and spine chilling in equal measure.
One day they may drag themselves back to the studio but in the meantime tracks like Vision Thing remain scarily relevant to the international political situation.
Great riffs too.
on 8 August 2009
I won't comment on the music itself, my little review is aimed at those who already have this in its previous incarnation and are considering buying this new remastered edition. I would say go for it. The sound is not really any better. It's louder for sure, but that doesn't necessarily make it better. Perhaps a little crisper sounding, but that just might be the extra loudness playing tricks on the ear. What made it worth it for me is the inclusion of You Could Be The One, an awesome b-side that I used to have on vinyl many years ago. A fantastic track.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Sisters of Mercy, essentially the name of Andrew Eldritch, drum machine Doktor Avalanche and whoever's in the band at the time, had another line-up change in the period following second LP `Floodland.' Guitarist Andreas Bruhn joined, not long after bassist Patricia Morrison left - the personnel soon expanded with former All About Eve-guitarist Tim Bricheno (ironically he had also played with The Mission!) & former Generation X/Sigue Sigue Sputnik bassist Tony James completing the line up (the live version at the time also featured former Big Audio Dynamite keyboard-player Dan Donovan, son of famous photographer Terence and brother of the gorgeous Daisy, swoon...).
Vision Thing extended on the obvious rock vision that Eldritch had been moving towards over the years, the reason why Ben Gunn left the band after Temple of Love remember! There had been a shift to obvious rock in the late 80s - The Cult double-whammy of Electric and Sonic Temple, Def Leppard's Hysteria, Jane's Addiction's Nothing's Shocking, Iggy Pop's Instinct, and the dire Tin Machine. Some of it worked better than others, Vision Thing certainly doesn't match either of its predecessors but has aged quite well when much of it is so obvious and probably ironic. I recall Bowie's Cat People (Putting Out the Fire) getting mentioned lots at the time, which is about right...
The first single from the 7th incarnation of the Sisters of Mercy was the epic More - definitely the bridge between Floodland and this album, being co-written by Eldritch with Jim Steinman who'd previously worked on `Dominion/Mother Russia' and `This Corrosion.' It's a huge song that feels immensely shallow and desperately emotive at the same time - a central synth refrain dominates much of the song along with some huge female backing vocals that should probably be on a Meat Loaf, Pandora's Box, or Bonnie Tyler album! The concluding part where it strips to Sun Always Shines on TV-style piano, the backing vocals and Eldritch's trademark moan is fantastic, clearly an idiotic masterpiece!
There are a few standard rockers here, which I guess was fitting with the new line-up and the idea of having rawk-material to tour with - the title track, `Detonation Boulevard' and `Doctor Jeep' all fit this description. The latter two are quite similar to each other, fantastic paranoid zeitgeist lyrics with a minimal rock arrangement and female backing vocals (former Only One John Perry also features amid the OTT guitars, Eldritch even playing guitar too!). The title track is slightly better, sounding not far from Sonic Temple-Cult and predicting the obvious rock-elements in the Prodigy in the mid to late 90s. The title comes from a vacuous comment from then American president George Bush, Eldritch nodding to Panama shortly after Bush attacked it and nodding to a new depravity from the word go, a snort of cocaine is followed by the opening line "Twenty-Five whores in the room next door/Twenty-five floors and I need more." Like parts of the apocalyptic `Floodland' or an earlier song like `Black Planet', there seems to be something very now about the lyrics - "another black hole in the killing zone" and "one blinding flash of sense/just like the president's."
Second track `Ribbons' is one of the best tracks here, combining the new rock sound with the wired rap of `Flood I' and the style of earlier Sisters material - the line about Marx and Engels singled out in Michael Bonner's excellent sleeve notes is as great as anything Von Eldritch has penned in the past (as with the previous two reissues, the packaging is both comprehensive and excellent).
There are a few ballads or less Tap-like moments; `Something Fast' is the kind of song Bowie should have been recording from 1984 to 1993, while `When You Don't See Me' recalls the obvious MTV-era work of the Psychedelic Furs. The remixed version of it doesn't add much to it, the bonus tracks aren't as exciting as the other reissues, `More'-b-side `You Could Be the One' sounds like one of the worst tracks from `Midnight to Midnight', the live version of `Ribbons' is just a bit faster, the extended `Dr Jeep' is dull & the live `Something Fast' less exciting than the studio original. Shame `Knockin' on Heavens Door' or `Jolene' didn't make the bonus sequence! `Under the Gun' or `Alice `93' might have made more sense too...
The final track proper `I Was Wrong' is certainly the most pleasant song here, the riff does appear to originate from The Cure's 1980 track `In Your House' - a song The Cure would rip off themselves with 2004's `Alt-End'! One of the great Eldritch ballads to file alongside `1959', `Driven Like the Snow', `Nine While Nine' & `Some Kind of Stranger.'
Sadly the band disintegrated following an epic tour and after the `Under the Gun'-single and compilations `A Slight Case of Overbombing' and `Some Girls Wander By Mistake' all has been quiet on the Eldritch front. An XTC-like strike apparently went on until the record company Eldritch was signed to let him go, there have been regular tours over the last decade with a shifting line-up, several new songs, and a tendency to focus on the band's more obscure side. I'm sure a lot of stuff wouldn't exist or wouldn't exist how it does now without a record like this - Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, The Prodigy, Monster Magnet, Muse, various Nu-Metallers the suspects in this case? Now apparently out of contract, perhaps Eldritch, Doktor Avalanche and whoever else could think about an e.p. or album? You'd think Mr Eldritch would have much to say about the current state of things, despite the fact he predicted most of it sometime ago!