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Great songs that improve with age
on 17 February 2004
This collection is ideal for the casual listener or those who wish to investigate the work of Siouxsie And the Banshees based on what they have heard on the radio. As such, it is a more than satisfying collection that offers the greatest hits from 1978’s Hong Kong Garden up to 1991’s Kiss Them For Me and 1995’s Stargazer. It includes two cover versions: The Beatles’ Dear Prudence and Julie Driscoll’s hit This Wheel’s On Fire, both competent if not brilliant interpretations.
Of course the 1980s was their most fruitful period with UK hits like Happy House, Israel, Christine, Spellbound and Arabian Knights. Most of these are atmospheric numbers with just a hint of The Banshees’ proto-goth dark side shining through. Their debut album The Scream still remains one of the most psychotic statements in rock but is not a piece of music that lends itself to hits compilations. Well, perhaps Helter Skelter should have been considered …
My favourites include their first hit, Hong Kong Garden, a powerful punk number with absolutely blistering guitar work and an exotic touch, Kiss Them For Me, their lilting, swaying 1991 hit about a doomed actress, Peek-A-Boo from the 1988 Peep Show album and Stargazer from their last, under-appreciated album The Rapture. Great songs and an innovative edge lend a timeless quality to the music. Those who want more of this great band are advised to investigate the compilations Once Upon A Time (1981) and Twice Upon A Time (1992).