Siouxsie and the Banshees - The Early Years by Laurence Hedges

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Monday 20th September 1976 saw one of the most unexpected moments in music history when what was to become one of the most iconic, important and mimicked bands of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s took to the stage at The 100 Club in Oxford Street, London. A last-minute addition to the '100 Club Punk Special' that included The Clash, Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and The Damned, an unknown Siouxsie and The Banshees, comprising Sid Vicious, Steve Severin, Marco Pirroni and Siouxsie Sioux, unleashed twenty minutes of 'performance art' improvisation, featuring fragments of 'Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles', 'Twist And Shout' and 'Satisfaction'. 'The Lord's Prayer', which was to become a staple of Siouxsie and The Banshees' early live repertoire, was a white-noise assault on the senses and a barometer of the alienation many teenagers felt from the bloated nature of mid-1970s 'arena rock'. Several line-up changes later, in 1978, Siouxise and The Banshees were propelled into the pop stratosphere. Signed to a major record label, the band released 'Hong Kong Garden' and wrote one of the most influential post-punk albums of all time, The Scream, a savage critique of curtain-twitching suburbia, the cheap titillation of the tabloids, and the dangers of believing and following any one doctrine. 1979's Join Hands, influenced by the political landscape in Britain and further afield, and the catastrophic loss of life in World War One, was a milestone of the band's increasing maturity, from the adrenaline-fuelled stomp of 'Icon' to the phased guitar, saxophone and bells of 'Playground Twist'. After a tour fraught with fractiousness, a new line up with Slits' drummer Budgie and Magazine guitarist John McGeoch, together with Siouxsie Sioux and Steve Severin, released the band's most experimental album, Kaleidoscope, which was a heady mix of psychedelia and sonorous adventures including the singles 'Happy House' and 'Christine'. Siouxsie and The Banshees The Early Years explores the adventures, trials and tribulations of a band defying categorisation. Their uncompromising brilliance is exemplified by three unique albums, which are chronicled in the pages of this authoritative survey.
Binding: Paperback / softback

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