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4.4 out of 5 stars
28
4.4 out of 5 stars
Some Girls Wander By Mistake
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on 22 September 2017
Amazing record!!!
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on 23 July 2010
In my opinion most post punk bands released their best work in the earlier part of their careers. The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Cocteau Twins and Killing Joke spring to mind.

The Sisters of Mercy were no different and this compilation pulls together the singles and EPs from 1980 to 1983 that were previously only available on vinyl.

The group's sound is characterized by Andrew Eldritch's deep voice, cynical lyrics and stripped down rock sound. The minimal drum machine rhythms and Craig Adams distorted bass drive the songs forward with real purpose. The guitar playing throughout is stripped back only kicking in where necessary.

I personally much prefer this period of the band to the later more commercial records. I just feel that the early records have more menace, intensity and atmosphere despite the smaller recording budget. I find Floodland a little overblown at times and Vision Thing never really did it for me.

Most of the tracks are really strong particularly Alice, Floorshow, Body Electric and Burn. Temple of Love is perhaps too long and I'm not sure about their cover of "Gimme Shelter" but the rest are very enjoyable.

I grew out of "Goth" years ago but this collection still has something about it. My only big complaint is that they should have extended the time period to include the "Body and Soul" EP as this included an excellent version of Body Electric plus a chilling track called "Afterhours".
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on 4 September 2017
Had two copies both had no MP3 code (replied the first with the second) Really peed off
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on 29 May 2017
Shame body and soul weren't included. Nice trip down memory lane.
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on 9 November 2012
Great album love the songs and the band didn't even know this albumn existed . Very glad I found it on your site
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#1 HALL OF FAMEon 27 January 2007
The Sisters of Mercy are a reminder that like Cocteau Twins & The Smiths of the potency of the single/e.p. format in the 1980s - building their sound over the releases compiled here and waiting five years before releasing their debut album `First and Last and Always.' Not something you'd get from bands these days or even in the last decade or so...

Some Girls Wander By Mistake was the compilation of their early years and a companion to the major label compilation A Slight Case of Overbombing. It includes their 1980 debut single The Damage Done, which became very collectable and was rumoured to have been paid for by the Psychedelic Furs' singer Richard Butler. I can't say that any of the three tracks are that exciting - The Damage Done is slightly better than the Gary Marx-compositions Watch and Home of the Hitmen.

The band expanded with the arrival of Craig Adams, later followed by guitarist Ben Gunn - a series of classic singles and e.p.'s were released. 1982's Body Electric b/w Adrenochrome was great stuff - drug inflected goth that nodded to their influences with included Motorhead, the Stooges & Suicide. Body Electric would be re-recorded for 1984's Body & Soul e.p., possibly in a superior version - while Adrenochrome remains a favourite, despite the fact its central guitar riff is a speeded up version of Bela Lugosi's Dead by Bauhaus!!!

The Furs' John Ashton produced the next wave of material - 1983's Anaconda b/w Phantom, the Alice/Floorshow/Phantom/1969 single, and the Reptile House e.p. Anaconda is a demented version of pop which some object to, I think it's fine, but do wonder why Good Things (which featured in a Peel Session of the era) didn't make the cut? Phantom is an extended soundtrack companion to the later Floorshow that featured on both the Anaconda and Alice singles and suggests the eclectic qualities that would become apparent in the "band" from 1983 to 1987.

Alice (later re-recorded in 1993) was a definite Sisters' classic, as was its companion Floorshow - both songs would survive in their live-sets over the following years. Alice is a chiming, spectral joy that sadly gave influence to a wave of bad goth acts with songs that have girls names in the title; while Floorshow has a primal dirgey bass that goes wonderfully with the Iggy-vocals and the lyrics that might be about a World War I trench or a moshpit at a Sisters concert! The cover of The Stooges' 1969 is sterling stuff, though sadly Adams and later Sisters' member Wayne Hussey would perform a dire version of it with their band the Mission. This one feels like Iggy fronting Suicide, which was probably the point.

The epic Reptile House e.p. was far more difficult and less catchy than its predecessor, though it appears to be a real fan's favourite and the six-tracks are probably the band's darkest collection of songs. Kiss the Carpet is an epic, slow approximation of metal whose lyrics fit with the narcotic haze of much of the band's material - it would be the common set opener for their concerts of the era. Lights is another ballad, Eldritch's whine "in the rain/in the rain" and the feel of the song would get extended on with later material like Afterhours & Some Kind of Stranger. Valentine is probably the most up-beat song here, which isn't saying much, and displays a more subtle sound that would give way to the joy that is Heartland on the next single. Fix is a junky-themed dirge with sinister moaning vocals followed by the circular guitars and pulsing drum machine of Burn and Eldritch's gothic moan...this is hardcore! Finally a brief reprise of Kiss the Carpet occurs, closing the densest release from the band called the Sisters of Mercy.

The compilation (non-linear) closes with 1983's final Merciful Release/indie single Temple of Love - this is the epic extended version of the title track, which again, would be re-recorded almost a decade later with guest vocals from the late Ofra Haza. It's much more epic and probably more rock and certainly lead to the exit of Gunn from the band (to be replaced by Hussey), later songs like This Corrosion, Dominion/Mother Russia and More came from this place! I always preferred the b-side Heartland which is a subtle refinement of material like Lights and Valentine, the Marx-Eldritch writing team clearly worked well, reaching its zenith on the second side of First and Last and Always. Finally there is a cover version of the Stones' Altamont anthem Gimme Shelter, which hasn't dated well but was one of their many notable cover versions played at the time (see Emma, Jolene, Gimme Gimme Gimme, Sister Ray, Ghost Rider , Teachers etc).

Some Girls Wander By Mistake is an enjoyable trawl through the early indie releases prior to the band signing up to Warners and disintegrating/metamorphosing soon after. Probably the best place to start with a band that seems to exist in a vague live form these days and were inescapable in the decade we call the 1980s.
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on 1 June 2006
I lived through this period with a pallid complexion, big black hair and the miserable demeanor that comes rather naturally to me. Goth ranged from the comedy of the Damned to the deadpan Sisters. Serious goths took the Sisters seriously. This album contains the tracks that enabled the orthodox goths to believe. David Butcher's review is not helpful. 'Real fans' will already have these tracks on 12" and welcome the opportunity to buy the songs on CD. The production on the very early tracks does not have the quality of the album 'First and last and always' but the songs are as good and perhaps more accessible. Everyone should buy this album, dye their hair black, take themselves very seriously and sit back and wait for the end of the world.
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on 17 December 1999
The album is a collection of all the Sister's 12" singles up to 1984 and shows how the band developed before releasing its first album in 1985 (First last and always), the contrast in experimentation is easily spotted between tracks from the first E.P (The Damage Done {1980}), the 1983 'Reptile house E.P' (featuring some very slow drum and vocal melodies) through to the almost Dance-like Tracks such as 'Floorshow' (Alice E.P {1983}) and the original version of the 90's Classic 'Temple of love' (Temple of Love E.P {1983}- which also includes an excelent cover of the rolling stones song-'Gimme Shelter').With the progresively intermingling melodies and imaginitive Drum beats this compilation of E.Ps is a must for anyones' Rock collection, as it contains very influential material that still influences Rock, Indie and Even Dance artists even today. Verdict-Recomended.
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on 22 March 2005
As compilations go, this is the biography of one of the most important bands ever to release a record. In a world of New Romantics, Electro-Funk and the growing "Goth" genre, Sisters Of Mercy provided a passage into darkness;a bridge across the Styx to a place where love and loss were one, where the soulless beat of Doktor Avalance lead the Danse Macabre that was carried by Gary Marx and Craig Adams, with guitar and resonant bass chords and given voice by the Master of Darkness; Andrew Eldrich. Alice swings and sings to us of love and loss and the killing apathy of life, but this is swiftly picked up by the Doktor's death rattle pulse and his cold heart beats life back into us, to reanimate us in our final moment as Floorshow shakes us from our reverie. Amongst other great tracks, including brilliant cover of Gimmie Shelter and 1969, Heartland and Temple Of Love thrust us back into the land of the livid, back to a place where hope can sometimes matter, but only sometimes. This is the landmark and the legend that was the Sisters Of Mercy.
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on 21 December 2016
A very handy compilation of the early stuff. There were a few great bands in the 80s who didn't see the need to endlessly repeat tracks on releases and the single releases remained the only sources for certain tracks. I think it took Eldritch and Co. 5 years of singles before their debut album. My problem with this release is the sound quality. The band had definitely produced a much fuller sound on their debut album, but I had most of the early singles on vinyl and they didn't sound tinny and weak as they often do here. Still, this is a good release as for many fans, the glory period was from their beginning up to the release of the debut album. Hopefully there will one day be a remastered version that returns the power to these tracks.
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