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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 17 August 2017
A great debut album from Siouxsie & banshees I have had a copy of this album since Christmas 1978 on Vinyl, CD and now on remastered vinyl and this vinyl copy is the best. The CD version was "overloud" and with the vinyl you hear everything as you should. .Contains some of the Banshees best work = Mirage, Switch, Jigsaw Feeling & the Beatles cover Helter Skelter. Carcass & Suburban Relapse are particular favourites of mine. This is still the best all round album they have done although Juju comes a close 2nd.
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on 24 March 2000
Whilst Siouxsie was one of the original punks, being part of the "Bromley Contingent" and appearing with the 'Pistols during a TV interview, her band were one of the last from the scene, to be signed, following an intensive and long running "sign the Banshees..." graffitti campaign by disgruntled fans.
Despite having to wait to unleash their music, the ultimate results were not in any way diminished by this lapse of time. In fact, this album is an absolutely groundbreaking collection of music, that went on to influence the whole alternative movement throughout the 80's and 90's.
"The Scream " opens with the slow burning and rolling bass lines of "Pure". An uneasy nightmarish atmosphere, is splintered by fractured high frequency guitar sounds. Initial signs of the tribal beats that became the "Banshees" trade mark are also apparent.
Every one of the 10-tracks on here is a triumph, from the reelings of "Jigsaw Feeling" to the slow overtures of "Overground". Siouxsie chants and barks over the (then) futuristically twisted and bent slant on New Wave - part arthouse and part street culture, The Banshees could almost lay claim to having invented "the loop", evidence of which is found on the repeating guitar phrase on "Metal Postcard".
This album is a piece of history and firm evidence of the effect that the late 70's had on modern music and culture. Play this album today and it is still relevant and timeless.
- Soviet Union
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on 23 April 2017
Excellent Album. Before they turned into a POP band. Every track is brilliant. Everybody should own a copy. CD and packaging all very good but they should have added the b side to Hong Kong Garden.
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on 8 May 2017
I bought this in the 1970's on cassette which over time has become warped and in need of urgent replacing
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on 22 August 2017
another one of my all time favourite bands and I love eveything they have done
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 August 2017
I must admit I was slightly surprised by just how fresh, certainly (still) original and consistently good Siouxsie and the Banshees’ 1978 debut album still sounds. I remember (cassette) taping many of these songs from the original John Peel sessions at the time and, unlike many other albums of the period, Steve Lillywhite’s production here stands up very respectably in comparison with the ‘live feel’ of the radio recordings. Alongside the consistent song quality, the other thing that stands out for me is the power of the band’s playing and sound generally. There was always an argument that the mesmeric playing of John McKay’s guitar and Kenny Morris’ drums might have a relatively short 'shelf-life’ – and, of course, this proved to be true, their replacements John McGeogh and Budgie, in effect, reinventing the band’s sound barely a year later – but, here, any reservations are well and truly consigned to the bin, as it is McKay and Morris’ playing, plus Siouxsie’s searing vocals, that provide the band’s most memorably distinctive qualities. Even now, it’s difficult to quantify quite where the band sprang from, sound and influence-wise – as Nick Kent said, perhaps a kind of Can-Velvet Underground combo. And, as for the band’s future influence, almost everyone (of note) seems to have name-checked them, with (for me) Joy Division being perhaps the closest comparator.

Song-wise, everything here still resonates. In keeping with the 'punk’ ethos – even if the band were about as far from being 'one-chord wonders’ as you could get – youth disaffection (particularly as it applied to the band’s suburban roots) is to the fore on Jigsaw Feeling, Overground, Carcass, Mirage and Suburban Relapse ('I was washing up the dishes, minding my own business….’). Specific issues inform Metal Postcard (the noted anti-Nazi artist John Heartfield), Nicotine Stain (smoking as a proxy for a wider malaise?) and Hong Kong Garden (a Chinese take-away on Siouxsie’s patch – Chislehurst), whilst there is also a stunning cover of The Beatles’ Helter Skelter. The album probably finds the band at their most commercial (unsurprisingly) on the two singles added to the CD re-issue – Hong Kong Garden and The Staircase Mystery – however, the album closer, Switch, also contains a sublime melody, is one of the most sophisticated songs here and is something of a pointer to the band’s subsequent incarnation. My only minor criticism of the album would be the omission of the song (a personal favourite) Love In A Void. Nevertheless, a band, and album, well worth revisiting.
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on 3 July 2013
Firstly, I've noticed that some reviewers are complaining about the sound quality etc. Luckily for me mine is the first release on CD which does not suffer from the same issues and that replaced vinyl which was purchased immediately after seing Siouxie live at what was then Tiffany's in Coventry, I think it was 1978, and as is usually the case she looked stunning! I never thought they were true punk, hence the review title and am certainly not a goth. As one reviewer correctly states 'it can be hard to take for the first time', but it simply gets better and better the more you play it. Every track has now become regarded as a classic and few female vocalists either before or since have the sheer power of Siouxie. Unles you are a die-hard fan no other Banshees album is necessary so buy it!
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on 6 October 2005
For those of us Siouxsie-philes eager for remastered Banshees albums the wait is over with the release of this splendid deluxe edition of the classic debut album. The sound certainly brings out the magnificent rhythmn section of the original band, especially the drums which was an important element in the Banshees early recordings; just listen to "Mittageisen", "Switch" and "Jigsaw Feeling". The bonus disc is the one which Banshees fans have been waiting for and it doesn't disappoint as it includes early live favourite and previously unreleased "Make Up To Break Up", and the Peel Session(and better) version of "Love In A Void" It's great to hear the early versions of Banshees songs which have an edge which the official versions lack. Included here are two John Peel sessions which are absolutely indispensable. Hong Kong Garden is particularly worthwhile since it is a restrained and rougher version compared to the official release. Also included are four early demos of The Scream album recorded at Pathway studios. These aren't as good as the Peel sessions, the sound is too muddy, but what is of interest is an early version of the single "The Staircase Mystery" which, sound apart, is certainly a rockier take than the lacklustre single release. The bonus disc is really a must have for any Banshees afficianado and fills in the gap between early contract-less Banshees and what was to become their first album proper. Also included are the original singles versions of "Hong Kong Garden" and "The Staircase Mystery." As for the main album itself, it still sounds exceptional and "Mirage" remains one of the great Siouxsie songs, and one in which the bridge between punk and pop was crossed. The Scream still has punk credentials in tracks like "Carcass" and "Nicotine Stain" but it's also clear that the Banshees had tired of the formula and were keen to explore other musical landscapes. Listen to the six minutes of "Switch" which has more in common with the Velvets than the Pistols, and "Suburban Relapse" a response and natural successor to Roxy's "In Every Dream home A Heartache." This album is a perfect soundtrack to J.G.Ballard novels and to a late 70s Britain in the grip of an economic recession and a huge cultural shift. Post Punk and Industrial music began with The Scream; it's an important album.
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on 5 October 2005
Aah...this conjures up the great night when John Peel played "The Scream" in its entirely, and shocked those of us who had only just heard the "Hong Kong Garden" with a mighty "What was THAT !!!". However by the time virtually all of "The Scream" appeared in that year's Festive Fifty we had been bent forever to Siouxsie's iron will. This album was the first of many to teach me that sometimes you may not like or understand an album first time, but that sometimes it is you that must change.
I bought the single disc version just there, not knowing about this 2-CD set was on the way. Does the "The Scream" still cut it ? Oh yes...surprisingly fresh and young-sounding and it can still roar. Not everything works, but its best things. "Jigsaw Feeling", "Mirage" and the Banshees take on "Helter Skelter" are still the dogs'.
However, this "Deluxe" edition has missed the odd trick.
It is great to have the Peel Sessions out there again, reminding us of when The Banshees were the most famous unsigned band in the UK way into 1978. But where is the German version of "Mittageisen", even fiercer than the English version, and "Voices", the flip of "Hong Kong Garden", fondly remembered by me for completely baffling my friends, let alone my parents, and much beloved of pub landlords who would keep it on their jukeboxes for years afterwards in order to drive out the punters at closing time. Though they made some great things in later years, especially the singles, they never matched the power of this.
Will I be rushing to buy this set, despite this? Just try and stop me.. Hopefully the liner notes will tell us what became of John McKay and Kenny Morris, who walked out the band after a fight in Aberdeen, never to be seen again...
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on 14 July 2011
Released in 1978, this was the Banshee's first outing and, like their second album, it really doesn't fit neatly into the can't play-thrashy-rocky-protesty punk archetype. The opening wail of Pure sets an eerie tone that comes and goes throughout this supremely competent and highly distinctive album. Jigsaw Feeling adds frenetic urgency to the affair and, for me, Mirage stands out as a a much more "typical" girl-punk anthem with an intimate seam that had an electric effect on this listener as a teenager and still does so many years later.

My favourite track has to be the cover of the Beatles' Helter Skelter which seems, in this manifestation, to owe more to Manson than McCartney.

Overall it's a more commercial album than its successor, an album that I prefer, but only just. It's also interesting to note just how much S&TB influenced later acts including Toyah and Hazel O'Connor. Although purists will certainly froth at the mention of such callow pretenders and fakes in the same breath as the Bashees, /this/ is where it all started!

"My limbs are like palm trees swaying in the breeze, my body's an oasis to drink from as you please.
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