Thursday, 10 July 2014

Last four Siouxsie and the Banshees reissues coming September 15

Four years ago, Siouxsie and the Banshees' label Universal pulled the plug on the band's album reissue campaign midway, meaning that their last four albums were left without remastered editions. Their previous albums from 1978's The Scream to 1986's Tinderbox were all treated with reissues, with the former even getting a deluxe 2CD release with a bunch of demos and live versions. Said Severin:
“Universal have decided not to release any more single disc remasters. As the final four albums don’t have enough extras to warrant the double disc ‘deluxe’ treatment, they have halted our programme four albums short. They have given us the opportunity to license the last four (Peepshow, Glass, Super, Rapture) to another label. We are looking into this.” (source)
Since then, however, things have changed. First there was the reissue of the group's debut single "Hong Kong Garden" earlier this year, and Severin wrote that it wouldn't be a one-off thing, revealing that "Once we start — we will be putting things out on a regular basis. Universal have a 3 year plan proposed". Someone over at Universal must've really taken a liking to the band! Proceeding with the remaster campaign must also be easier now that the feud between Siouxsie and Severin is finally over, as well:

Then, five days ago, Severin teased the fans with a game of hangman over at the band's Facebook fan group:

After the fans succeeded in guessing the correct letters, the mysterious sentence turned out to spell "FINAL/FOUR/DUE/FIFTEENTH/SEPTEMBER". In other words, the Banshees' last remaining albums Through The Looking Glass (1987), Peepshow (1988), Superstition (1991), and The Rapture (1995) will finally get their reissues in no more two months! Brilliant news!

There's been no news regarding the extras yet, though Severin did confirm on Facebook that all the reissues will have additional material. As the Banshees rarely made demos in advance, it's unlikely that there will be any entirely unreleased songs in the mix, save for Through The Looking Glass: considering it's an album consisting entirely of cover versions, there might be some unreleased covers that never saw the light of day. But we'll see. Their 1987 stand-alone single "Song from the Edge of the World" has become quite the rarity because it was never released in a digital format in its original version - it was omitted from their 1992 singles collection Twice Upon A Time, included on another compilation album only in a remixed version, and resurfaced on the remastered Tinderbox in an unreleased version that featured guitars by John Valentine Carruthers rather than Jon Klein, who played on the single release of the song - so it might also make an appearance among the extras.

The band has often made it very clear they have a strong aversion to remixes so none are to be expected as extras. I'd predict most of the extra material to be live performances - especially with Superstition, their 1991 KROQ Acoustic Christmas performance would be a highly appreciated gem, should it exist as a professional recording. Out of the 11-song setlist, two tracks have actually been released already: "Swimming Horses" and a cover of "All Tomorrow's Parties" by The Velvet Underground both appeared as B-sides to the band's 1994 single "O Baby". The Rapture might feature initial versions of the album tracks that predate John Cale's involvement in the production work. A live concert from the Peepshow tour has already appeared on the band's "At The BBC" box set, so I have no clue of possible extras there.

Well, two months (and five days) to go! Meanwhile, why don't you check out my reviews of the four albums in question while you're waiting?

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