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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of the ashes...
After the loss of guitarist and drummer at the beginning of the 80's, I was one of many who sat on the edge of my seat whilst Siouxsie and Steve Severin looked for replacements. Then there was the news that there was an album coming out...
There are tracks with no guitar, tracks with Siouxsie or Steve Severin playing guitar, tracks with sessions guitarists - it was...
Published on 12 Jan 2001 by michael_m

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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars buy it on vinyl
This is one of my favourite albums. I have just sat thru the cd and am now very disappointed, it is a poor copy of the vinyl, it sounds drab and all the emotion of the vocals is missing....who ever remastered this album should go get their ears waxed..
Published on 13 Jan 2011 by chokesrule


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of the ashes..., 12 Jan 2001
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This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
After the loss of guitarist and drummer at the beginning of the 80's, I was one of many who sat on the edge of my seat whilst Siouxsie and Steve Severin looked for replacements. Then there was the news that there was an album coming out...
There are tracks with no guitar, tracks with Siouxsie or Steve Severin playing guitar, tracks with sessions guitarists - it was an album borne of confusion, improvisation and perseverance. It spawned their most commercial material to date (Happy House, Christine), but probably some of the most subtly dark material that they have ever produced. An album of hidden menace rather than the overtly dark songs of the earlier albums, it both showcased the drumming talents of new drummer Budgie and let the world see the growing musical abilities of Siouxsie and Steve Severin.
Never have synthesizers been so dark; never has understated guitar been so in your face; and never has a vocal been so midway between whispered and sung as on this album. Like dark albums? Like eclectic new wave? Like good music? Buy it!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good album, mixed extras, 4 Sep 2007
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This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
Given that my previous copy of 'Kaleidoscope' was a slightly scratchy 2nd hand vinyl copy bought in the mid 80s, I was pleased to see the re-release of the Banshees earlier albums. 'Kaleidoscope' was the first that marked the evolution away from their punk roots, and into a more skewed art-rock band. The lead track 'Happy House' and original side two opener 'Christine' are the best known and most accessible tracks on the album. Overall, however, the feeling is much more stripped down and lighter than 'The Scream' or 'Join Hands', especially during the first half of the album. Anyone expecting the wall of noise generated by much of the first two albums will be surprised by the calm, but menacing sound of much of this one. The exception to the lighter tone comes in the final two tracks, where Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols lent some crushing guitar on 'Paradise Place' and 'Skin', the original album closer. The extras come mainly in the form of five early demo versions for Warner Chappell, three later ones for Polydor. My main problem lies with the Warner Chappell demos, which are minimalist to the extent of being unlistenable in a couple of cases. The Polydor demos are more interesting in showing how 'Desert Kisses', 'Hybrid' and 'Happy House' sounded in earlier evolutions. The package is rounded off with the post-album single 'Israel', a much louder almost anthemic song which almost acts as a bridge into the next album Juju. Overall a decent re-release of a very good album, although you'll probably skip through most of the bonus tracks.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this............., 12 Jun 2005
This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
As a big big Banshees fan, this album is one I return to time and time again. It's a shame that this band so often get labled with the dreaded 'goth' tag, as the sound (as on so much of their other stuff)goes unrivalled by their contemporaries.
Post punk, the Banshees slipped up a gear to knock out stuff like this...... dark though inspiring, melodic but challenging. Siouxsie's trademark vocal swoops and swirls through a variety of sinister backdrops and experimental arrangements.
Highlight for me?? Gotta be 'desert kisses'.... sounds like a twisted take on long lost desire.... with some kind of choir thrown in for good measure....
This album has stood the test of time well, a testament to this accessable but experimental album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it a twirl, 18 Mar 2014
By 
Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles "FIST" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
Wasn't sure when I first heard this when it came out - 1980? Seemed to lose something between the first two albums and then this - a little over produced perhaps. It still had some stirring moments on it. So returning back over 30 years what do I make of it now? The themes are a continuation but the musical delivery has changed - as it would when two of the key architects disappeared.

Happy House is anything but, an opening up of the doors and windows of suburbia to allow the light to enter and illumination to see that all was never that well. Despite appearances the song flicks on the switch. Counterpointed with an uplifting beat sung with the most dead of female vocals, she provides the antidote to the sugar filled female roles which poured off the production line in the 1960's. Prescient in its depiction. Who knows what went on behind closed doors in the late 70's? There was a considerable silence around the family dynamics. This was the era before child abuse was even imagined to exist.

Tenant only made sense after being there and the feeling of being watched and waiting the tap on the door. Some songs only grow through the lifespan and you have to experience it first. Now I can see what she meant.

Trophy seems to be about memories - perhaps the tension between the colonial past and the present needs of young people and the desire for their voices to be heard. Yesteryear people seemed to live in glass bubbles which they fervently believed in as if they were real.

Hybrid - relationships and how people get them wrong? Otto Rank stated people search for their double in relationships. This song seems to speak about how people get the copies wrong, sung in a heartfelt paen to some form of yearning. Trademark flanged guitar and saxophone echo the reverberating sadness which flows through the song. Can someone ever be comprehended by another within a relationship?

Desert Kisses however makes up for more than anything that is amiss within the record. It is a huge swirling tidal wave of a song which surges with an undercurrent of emotion which will suck you in and perhaps release you into an alternative state. Because this also happens to be the main theme of the song.

Christine the Strawberry girl with multiple personalities was one of the singles which defined the era, the beginning of the 1980's when identities would fracture according to the dictates of consumerism. It was a singalong anthem.

The demos are interesting, in how the songs eventually evolved into those sparkling gems from these rough elements. Shows those who want to be musicians it is the idea which counts rather than the technique, a message which needs to be hailed before the current generation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spacey Sioux, 1 Jan 2010
This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
Along with 'Join Hands' this is my favourite of the Banshees' albums.
It's 'spacey' - 'sparse' & 'haunting' & as such is one for those quieter, slightly dark contemplative moments that we all should cherish.
Most notably of all it is by far the most 'individual' & 'different' of their albums from the rest of their reportoire. I've owned all their CD's at one time or another but I think it speaks volumes that the two I am left with, that I simply cannot bear to part with is 'Join Hands' & 'Kaleidoscope'.
So if you're going for the whole collection, or just want the very basics, either way you NEED this album!
It's BRILLIANT!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John who?, 1 Feb 2006
This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
This was album from a band that continued to produce some of the greatest music, it was born out of the ashes of punk.
Though I've noticed no mention of John McGeogh, Which has to be more that a tad strange because "Happy house" was his audition piece for the band, they put him in the studio with the track that had everything except guitar on it and he just played it, the end result being a pretty amazing piece of work.
He stayed with the band for several great albums, and this was the first of them.
John McGeogh was an innovator of a guitarist.
He began with Magazine, forming the band with Devoto & Adamson, and left shortly after the release of "The correct use of soap".
He was a member Magazine, Visage & the Banshees at the same time, deciding to devote his full attention to the banshees before the release of their "Spellbound" single.
He played on what were probably the best Banshees albums, "A kiss in the dreamhouse" has his stamp all over it, and having seen them on their "Juju" tour I can't imagine how anyone could forget that he played guitar for them, But most importantly how can you not realise he played every lick (if that's the right expression) on "Kaleidoscope".
This album proved they had new life in them, a new guitarist who played with more talent than Mr McKay, and a new drummer Budgie who was also a more talented and varied drummer than Mr Morris, McKay & Morris leaving was the best thing that could have happened to the band, this album sees them emerge as a broad winged butterfly with wings of steel.
Every track on here has something special From "Happy house" all the way through the eerie paranoia of "Tenant" which gives way to "trophy" which is equally eerie in subject matter dealing with dead keep-sake's of the past (among other things.
Every track on this album is so well put together "Hybrid" has got a great almost military drum intro followed by some sweeping guitar & rumbling bass which is then overtaken by Saxophone that sounds almost like a hunting horn (it may be more than a little intentional I think) a haunting song to say the least.
Even the almost instrumental (except for the woah woah ah's) "Clockface" has some great work in it's 1 minute 53 seconds, while "Lunar Camel" is a real dreamscape of a song almost hypnotic. "Christine" opens with a chord from a 12 string guitar a split second later drums a driving bass line join the almost harp like 12 string guitar as Siouxsie sings with a kind of play gound menace of The Strawberry girl whose personality changes tear her apart as she struggles with them.
"Desert kisses" has the most amazing Arabian type feel to it some great almost phased guitar and siouxsie's vocal which verges on the operatic make it like sinking into a hypnotic sonic sandstorm.
"Red light"'s backdrop of synthetic percussion deals with what appears to be the camera's theft of more than a persons image in a pornographic sense with siouxsie menacingly almost whispering the words, giving way to "Paradise place" which has a really upbeat guitar hook laden rhythm it is a catchy little tune dealing which the paranoia of plastic surgery gone wrong a very upbeat tune.
"Skin" is the albums closing track, and what closing track it is on first listen it appears to be a sort of animal rights song about rich smelly people wearing fur but there is something more sinister in it than that and it has some great guitar on it as well as some truly amazing drums, every track on this album is a gem, and it is where they left their punk roots way behind.
One of their best, but seemingly almost ignored albums, heaven knows why, but I'm wondering why in hell it should be so, but it & you won't regret it.
You miss out this Banshees album and you miss one of their best, this is their butterfly from chrysalis stage.
When McKay & Morris left I though the banshees would be sunk, however thanks to John & Budgie consolidating what Siouxsie & Steve were capable of we had a band reborn, thanks John I'm glad you were there, as everyone who loves this album is.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Transitional and experimental - The real Banshees have begun, 8 April 2010
By 
Scott Davies - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
Kaleidoscope is a very transitional and experimental album. Siouxsie and Severin regroup, adding Budgie and John McGeoch in what would be remembered as the classic Banshees line up. I don't understand why Sioux and Sev have been so bitter about the split of the original band, especially since it seems to have been only for the better. Nothing against McKay and Morris, but the albums that came after them were much better.

Kaleidoscope was The Banshees' highest charting album, thanks to the inclusion of the two previously released hit singles, 'Happy House' and 'Christine'. Though I still somewhat enjoy 'Christine', I find 'Happy House' bland and cheesy. Elsewhere on the album, you'll get great songs with a dark edge, adding more towards the band-despised Goth labeling. 'Tenant' and 'Red Light' show growth, experimentation and improvement, and hint in the direction the band will be moving. 'Skin' retains some of the aggression from past records, while 'Paradise Place' and 'Trophy' shows more of the poppy side of the band. 'Lunar Camel' is an odd bit of experimental New Wave, while 'Clockface' could have been a great song with a proper set of lyrics. The only bad song, aside from 'Happy House', is the annoying and over-long 'Hybrid'. Regardless, Kaleidoscope is the most satisfying Banshees release up to this point.

The bonus material is surprisingly plentiful, though much of it is unessential. Many of the demos are instrumentals with poor sound quality and very bad attempts at tape hiss reduction. The best extra is the demo version of 'Desert Kisses', which may even surpass the final version. Also included is the obligatory and very overrated 'Israel'.

The remastering on Kaleidoscope is very disappointing. There are sections throughout many songs in which you can hear the tape fluctuating, which is best heard on headphones. I think they should have left the tape in the oven a little longer because inconsistent stereo fluctuations are constant throughout. 'Israel' also has a nasty channel drop at one point, which is not present in this song on the 2002 remastered Best Of CD. For the best sound quality of this album, I find I have stuck with my original U.S. Geffen CD release, as the original UK Polydor release from the late 80's suffered from low fidelity and some early fades.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER MASTERPIECE !!, 9 Jun 2007
By 
JUAN MARTIN GABASTOU (Weston Hills, FL United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
After their mediocre but all the same enjoyable sophomore effort ¨Join Hands¨, came this gem of a record. It's polished, calmer and more introspective than its predecessor and points in the darker direction of its follower ¨Ju Ju ¨, just a little less furious than it. The drumming on this record is superb ( Budgie the new guy) as it's its sound. The energy is still there but they let it out in installments, kinda restrained if you know what I mean. Even if you don't buy this remastered edition the sound will floor you. To round up an already attractive package, there are a lot of bonus tracks like B sides and demos. Can't understand why none of these tracks made into the Nocturne concert. It woulda been a blast. Early Siouxsie at their very best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Ice Madien at her Primitive best, 21 Jan 2010
This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
A member of the 'Bromley' contingent, responsible for the birth of London's early punk explosion, Siouxsie Sioux was foremost a scenester, but by 1979 she was older and wiser in many ways. Her band, The Banshees, had fought tooth and nail for their recording contract, following John Peel's championing.;

After a number of line up changes and using the talents of Nigel Gray (Police producer, they smoothed out the edges, Kaleidoscope was to propel the Banshees into the major league and to also prove that they had chart potential aplenty.

Every track is taut and smoothly seductive. Kaleidoscope was where Siouxsie came of age...
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5.0 out of 5 stars a welcome Kaleidoscope, 8 Dec 2014
By 
H. van den Berg (Amsterdam, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kaleidoscope (Audio CD)
this remaster of one of the best Siouxsie and the Banshees albums has been greatly welcomed in my collection.
this is one of the darkest albums (together with 'Join Hands') apearing in a period when punk was declining. Siouxsie and the Banshees became with this album the precursor of what is now Gothic. and Siouxsie Sioux became one of the greatest voices in the alternative scene.

The remasters of all the Siouxsie and The Banshees has been completed in 2014 and I recommend each and every remastered album.
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Kaleidoscope
Kaleidoscope by Siouxsie & The Banshees (Audio CD - 2007)
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