Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Siouxsie & the Banshees - Superstition (1991)

This, on the other hand, was mostly chug but it fills a gap in the collection. My girlfriend owned a copy back in the early nineties and she used to play it a lot. All I recall of this is a vague impression of Superstition not making much of an impression on me, but I'm a list-making completist at heart so I wanted to see whether it would sound better with the benefit of hindsight, or whether my aforementioned first impression had been accurate; and it seems that it had indeed been more or less on the money.

Should it need stating, Siouxsie & the Banshees tend to make more sense if you think of their career as parallel to that of Roxy Music - which was probably who they were listening to back when everyone else was banging on about the Dolls and the Stooges - in which case, Superstition was probably where they entered their smooth period as did Roxy with Avalon and the like. 1991 was apparently all about those shuffling baggy types, seemingly obliging everyone else to make themselves appear ridiculous by claiming there's always been a dance element to our music, and so on top of the technological studio smoothery, Superstition was the Banshees demonstrating that they too were mad for it, as the kids of the time would have it.

Well, maybe not, but this record does chug quite a lot, and there's the peculiar use of a Schoolly D sample on Kiss Them For Me - although I'm probably just showing my ignorance of what is either some preset drum pattern or something Schoolly D nicked from elsewhere.

So, is it actually a bad album?

Not really. It creeps up on you after a while, which is mostly the songs taking their time to emerge from Stephen Hague's efforts to make them sound like New Order; but emerge they eventually do, and the differences slowly become apparent, allowing the ear to hear something beyond what initially resembles an hour long version of Dazzle. Silly Thing sadly isn't a cover of the Cook and Jones classic - and Lordy what I would have given to have heard that - but was the first tune to break cover, revealing Superstition as more than simply Kiss Them for Me plus eleven b-sides. The whole is too slick, too smooth and too electronic - as the Banshees themselves apparently thought - but remains a lesser record by what was still a great band, the Banshees equivalent of a stadium-era Simple Minds album, which I propose as someone who nevertheless quite liked stadium-era Simple Minds.

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