As a result, twinkling pianos and keyboards parallel steel-cutting guitars and low-tuned bass lines that, in combination with Eldrtich's baritone, suggest glimmers of hope among the decay. Songs such as the shaking "Possession," dramatic "Some Kind of Stranger," and desperate "Marian" remain models of the gothic and post-punk disciplines more than 25 years after their debut. It's no surprise that, given all of the tension and personality that infuse the album, Sisters of Mercy disbanded just months after its release.
It's unlikely that any goth-rock album has ever sounded this good. This Silver Label LP will turn your room into rainy, dreary England, circa , and expose you to one of the most harrowing vocal performances on record.
The song features an all-encompassing bass rhythm that, with every strike, infects the tune like mustard gas unleashed in a trench. On a poor master, the bass would threaten to suffocate the rest of the arrangement. But Mobile Fidelity keeps it in check with a distinct, sparkling, upper-mid sensitive guitar; the bass merrily sits on the edge of the soundstage. But if it's love songs that you're after then look no further than 'Marian' and 'Some Kind Of Stranger', the two tracks that bring their respective sides to a close.
Both songs are the flipside to the same coin. Over Hussey's chimed guitar work, Marx's elongated e-bow drone and Craig Adams' throbbing bass guitar, Eldrtich lays himself bare as he pines for sanctuary and stability and these are sentiments that are repeated on 'Nine While Nine', albeit after the fact.
Yet that philosophy finds its way into the rock piggery of 'Some Kind Of Stranger'. One of Gary Marx's finest riffs, this album closer is an epic musical and lyrical journey that's monolithic in its approach. The feeling that Eldritch is wallowing in groupie action is evident throughout, a broken man seeking solace where and when he can find it with the minimum of emotional attachment.
For sheer decadence then it's pretty hard to beat 'Amphetamine Logic'. This is the track that harks back to the band's earlier sound with Marx's spidery guitar lines weaving an intricate web around Craig Adam's bottom end as Hussey punctuates the music with rhythmic stabs.
Though Eldritch was dismissive of David Allen's production of the album, the producer's touch gives the record a panoramic quality that had missing from their earlier releases. The sound is richer and fuller and the interaction between the guitars is fully in evidence. Witness the title track, a song that would go on to open their live shows. Marx reigns supreme here with a Celtic influenced riff that's utterly seductive and Doktor Avalanche being given special attention. First And Last And Always cracked the UK album charts and peaked at number 13, a remarkable achievement given that daytime airplay for the band was an impossibility.
By the time the 80s came to a close, The Sisters Of Mercy's debut album had been certified gold. Sadly, the band didn't hang around too long to savour their success. Within a month of the album's release, Gary Marx left the band after the finishing the tour on April 1 and making an appearance on BBC2's The Whistle Test the following night, his relationship with Eldritch apparently at an end.
What followed was a slow grinding down as the remaining members carried on without their original guitarist. Though Marx was slated to return for one final gig on his birthday on June 18 at the Royal Albert Hall, his absence ensured a thin sound and, coupled with an undersold venue and a set that started and finished at a ridiculously early hour, The Sisters Of Mercy came to ignominious end.
An attempt to start work on a follow-up album, provisionally entitled Left On Mission And Revenge , came to an abrupt halt when Craig Adams left the band, soon to be followed by Wayne Hussey. In a way, it's a shame that the band's story didn't come to an end there.
This incarnation, though fragmenting at an accelerated pace, managed to pull in the same direction long enough to create an album that crowned the Herculean efforts they'd made before. Their humour was so dry as to be parched. Only The Sisters Of Mercy could've thought up the idea of rock music as an ironic vehicle for their bile.
And only The Sisters Of Mercy could've been consumed by the very thing they were mocking. After the end of the tour, the band returned to Genetic Studios without bassist Craig Adams or producer Dave Allen to mix the album. At the end of , Eldritch also produced the mini-album Clash of Dreams by Salvation at Strawberry Recording Studios in Stockport, which was intended for a March release on his Merciful Release label.
The album was shelved. The artwork was completed and delivered, and various tapes with different mixes to pick circulated at the WEA offices. Around that time, lead guitarist and band co-founder Gary Marx decided to leave the group. I wrote a lot of songs but they weren't used. For the album sessions the band had acquired a new drum machine, an Oberheim DMX.
The one lyric which always bugs me is the line from 'Some Kind of Stranger' which says 'careful lingers undecided at the door', which I definitely took as a shot at me. On 8 March , the single "No Time to Cry" was released, which did not make the Top 40 and stalled at no.
To coincide with the album release, a UK tour began on 9 March. On 1 April, Marx played his last concert with The Sisters of Mercy, followed by a TV appearance the day after, during which the band played live in the studio versions of "First and Last and Always" and "Marian".
Gary Marx, who was announced to take part, didn't show up. The video was released in by PolyGram. He agreed with me but he was booked out. And then the band broke up. The split came at a time when it wouldn't do us any damage.
In July Warner-Pioneer Corporation in Japan released a version of the album that contained different mixes of some tracks "Black Planet" features slightly different instrumentation and is 10 seconds longer, "No Time to Cry" features different opening and ending instrumentation and sound effects, "A Rock and a Hard Place" features additional guitar tracks and a slightly different drum track, while "First and Last and Always" features a totally different drum track as well as a totally different arrangement and has an intro which is 15 seconds longer; the remaining tracks are identical to the standard vinyl release.
In May a digitally remastered version of the CD was released, again using the Japanese version. In October a remastered version of the original vinyl album was released for the first time on CD.
On 24 July , a 4-LP vinyl box set was released by Warner Music International that included the original version of the album with three EPs from the era, all with reproduced artwork in a slipcase. The set was also released digitally. The production of the album left the band initially in enormous debt. Regarding the failure of the band's singles to crack the Top 40 , Eldritch later commented: "We came close.
Our failure to crack it wasn't anything to do with us. I think the band did everything required, although we weren't prepared to package ourselves in the way other acts were". Andrew Eldritch did not considere the sisters as gothic rock band, and instead wanted them to be classified as a continuation of s classic rock music:.
We come from ; we are the children of Altamont. We don't know who the fuck Alien Sex Fiend are and we don't want to know. Throughout our career we've had to fight against the preconception that most of the public has of us as being something that sprang out of post-punk. We regard ourselves as having sprung from pres rock music, as the inheritors of that tradition and the only people with any chance of propagating it further.
They may not be tremendously optimistic Gloomy and doomy suggest an air of apathetic resignation, which I don't think we're prone to. In , a retrospective by the Sonic Seducer magazine called the album a "pillar of the goth culture" and included it in a list of "10 Key Albums for the Gothic Scene". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article's lead section may be too short to adequately summarize the key points.
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