Siouxsie And The Banshees - Once Upon A Time The Singles - Cassette tape on PVC Records

Siouxsie And The Banshees – Once Upon A Time The Singles – Cassette tape on PVC Records

 

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Siouxsie And The Banshees – Once Upon A Time: The Singles – Cassette

Once Upon a Time: The Singles collects all ten of Siouxsie and the Banshees’ A-sides spanning the years 1978-1981, with four songs otherwise unavailable on LP. It’s a neat and accessible encapsulation of the group’s early guitar-driven sound — a frosty, dissonant art punk that had a tremendous impact on the emerging goth rock scene. Unlike similarly forbidding work by such proto-goth contemporaries as Joy Division or the Cure, the early Banshees were tense and visceral; the darkness of the Once Upon a Time singles doesn’t come from a sense of downcast gloom so much as it does from a jittery angst. Yet as challenging as the music is, it’s also accessible enough for eight of these singles to have charted in the British Top 50. The melodies are angular and almost alien, yes, but oddly memorable once the listener has assimilated them. Starting shortly after the period covered by this collection, Siouxsie Sioux’s icy detachment would be fused with an elegant romanticism and lusher, smoother arrangements. Which means that Once Upon a Time isn’t the one, definitive Banshees compilation, but it is a cohesive and essential overview of the band’s edgy, influential peak

Song List
1. Hong Kong Garden
2. Mirage
3. Staircase, The (Mystery)
4. Playground Twist
5. Love In A Void
6. Happy House
7. Christine
8. Israel
9. Spellbound
10. Arabian Knights

If you’re searching for a concise, straight to the point overview of the early singles by goth rock innovators Siouxse & the Banshees, then their ten track compilation from 1981 (released right around the same time as their classic fourth studio album, JUJU), ONCE UPON A TIME: THE SINGLES, is highly recommended. Although they were never considered a singles band in the U.S. (they barely ever got beyond cult status in the U.S.), Siouxse & the Banshees were one of the top alternative/new wave bands of the early 80’s back in their homeland of England, where they racked up a decent amount of hit singles early in their career, all of which are included here. Included are such goth classics as the album opening “Hong Kong Garden,” “Happy House,” “Christine,” and “Spellbound,” to name but a few. Along with its follow up collection, 1992’s TWICE UPON A TIME: THE SINGLES, the earlier ONCE UPON A TIME: THE SINGLES are two indispensable Siouxse overviews.

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