The Best of Siouxsie and the Banshees

Siouxsie and the Banshees

2002: Polydor/Wonderland/Geffen 440 065 152-2

  1. Dear Prudence
  2. Hong Kong Garden
  3. Cities in Dust
  4. Peek-a-Boo
  5. Happy House
  6. Kiss Them for Me
  7. Face to Face
  8. Dizzy
  9. Israel
  10. Christine
  11. Spellbound
  12. Stargazer
  13. Arabian Knights
  14. The Killing Jar
  15. This Wheel’s on Fire

Although I spent a few years sharing a mighty fun house on Capitol Hill (Seattle) with a Goth or two (and associated friends/hangers-on, especially at our many parties), I never really acquired a taste for Siouxsie et al…a familiarity, perhaps, but not an appetite. Still, I got a good exposure to this milieu and found some aspects that I did connect with.

I’d encountered “Peek-a-Boo” before this, even bought a 12" single version, but the only other track of Siouxsie and the Banshees that has ever caught my attention so is the captivatingly well-crafted “Kiss Them for Me,” which churns along at a steady pace amidst swoopy melody and swirly decorative flourishes. That it’s essentially a portrait of Jayne Mansfield just intensifies the sparkle of each heavily-hammered-in spangle. (To my surprise it is even better on headphones, because there you can hear clearly that the opening’s main drumbeats contain Siouxsie’s “K” of :”kiss,” and of course the interweaving of all those swirling thematic musical elements just makes the shiny parts more shiny.)

“Dear Prudence” is a quite decent alternative to the Beatles original, and I don’t at all dislike it. As for the rest of the album, I listen to it now and then but don’t dwell on most of it aside from the tracks I’ve mentioned here: it’s like someone else’s party, and I just happen to like a little of the music I’m overhearing.