YinPop: Siouxsie & the Banshees/Creatures History

Siouxsie and the Banshees/The Creatures/Siouxsie Sioux History

Siouxsie & The Banshees formed in London in 1976. On September 20, 1976, they played their first gig at the 100 Club in London, supporting the Clash, the Sex Pistols, and the Damned. In addition to Siouxsie singing and Severin on bass, Sid Vicious played drums and Marco Pirroni played guitar. The set consisted of a lengthy version of "The Lord's Prayer," with interludes of "Twist and Shout" and "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." Vicious and Pirroni departed, to join the Sex Pistols and Adam & the Ants, repectively. The Banshees hired drummer Kenny Morris and guitarist Peter Fenton. It wasn't long before Fenton was replaced by guitarist John McKay.

The band toured regularly, building a loyal following, but could not get a contract with one of the major record labels. A session for influential BBC DJ John Peel broadcast in December, 1977 increased their visibility, and they were invited back in February of 1978. The band were finally signed by Polydor, and the band was sent into Trident Studios with producer Bruce Albertine. The Banshees were unsatisfied with the results, and of their own accord went to work with producer Steve Lilllywhite at Island studios to re-record the single.

In August of 1978 the Hong Kong Garden single was released, becoming Single of the Week in Melody Maker and Record Mirror. The single reached Number 7 on the British charts. After intensive work in the studio with Lillywhite the band's first LP, The Scream, was released in November, 1978. Curiously, the album omitted their successful "Hong Kong Garden."

The band's manager, Nils Stevenson, began working as producer. The first results of this pairing was The Staircase (Mystery) single, in March of 1979, with a cover of T.Rex's "20th Century Boy" on the B-side.

In April of 1979 the band recorded their third Peel session, performing songs that would appear on the upcoming album: "Playground Twist," "Regal Zone," "Placebo Effect," and "Poppy Day."

The band's third single, Playground Twist, was a careening tune that presented a twisted take on the imagery of childhood games. The childhood theme continued on the B-side, "Pulled to Bits," a track made strangely ominous by the inclusion of the sounds of children playing on a playground.

The second album, Join Hands, came out the following month. The Banshees have never been an overtly political band, although the inspiration for some of their songs has come from politics and social issues: "Regal Zone," written about the conflict in Iran, "Placebo Effect," a critique of Western medicine, and "Poppy Day," with lyrics drawn from a poem by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, In Flanders Field, about war graves from the first World War. The album closed with an extended studio version of "The Lord's Prayer."

The band released the non-album single Mittageisen 7" in September, 1979. An English version of the song had been on The Scream as "Metal Postcard (Mittageisen)," but the band chose re-record the track with German vocals. The A-side was dedicated to anti-Nazi photomontage artist John Heartfield; the cover of the single was an edited version of a 1935 Heartfield piece called Hurrah, Die Butter Ist Alle! ("Hurray, the Butter is Finished!")."Mittageisen" literally translates as "Noon Iron," consistent with the family eating various kinds of metal in Hartfield's artwork, and is also a play on mittagessen, German for "lunch." The flip-side of the single was "Love in a Void," an exceptionally strong track which would have done well as a single A-side in its own right.

In early September, 1979, during the tour for Join Hands, drummer Morris and guitarist McKay abruptly left the band. Disaster was averted when Budgie (Peter Clarke), who had been drimming for the Slits, agreed to join the band, and Robert Smith of the Cure, who had been opening for the Banshees, agreed to perform two consecutive sets a night on the tour. Following the tour Smith turned his energies to the Cure full time, leaving the band again in need of a guitarist.

Sioux and Severin approached John McGeoch, guitarist with the band Magazine, who had recently left that group to pursue other interests. McGeoch agreed to work as a session guitarist, but declined to join the group full time. Producer Nigel Gray was hired to try to capture the elusive sound they sought in their recordings. Steve Jones joined these sessions briefly, but it was McGeoch that the band chose to court. After some persuasion he agreed to formally join the band.

The first result of this collaboration was the delightfully sinister Happy House single, released in March, 1980. McGeoch's guitar was a noticeable departure from their previous sound, and Budgie's drumming added much more sophisticated percussion to their musical palette. The record-buying public appreciated the change as well, and the single reached Number 17 on the charts. The ersatz optimism of the A-side was tempered by the invective of the B-side, "Drop Dead/Celebration," a not-so-veiled kiss off to their former bandmates, who had acquired the mocking nickname "blackheads." Etched into the vinyl was a message to McKay and Morris: "Bye Bye Blackheads."

At the end of March the band performed in Glasgow, Scotland. Months before, a local unsigned band had sent them a demo tape and asked if they could open for Siouxsie when they played Glasgow. The Banshees had liked the demo, so when they played Tiffany's in Glasgow they chose Altered Images as their opening act. It was the start of an enduring friendship between the bands.

Recording was completed in May, 1980, and the next single reinforced the idea that the Banshees had a new vitality. Reflecting Siouxsie's fascination with dissociative identity disorder (also known as multiple personality disorder), Christine described Christine Costner Sizemore, a woman with 22 alter identities, portrayed under the pseudonym "Eve" in the book/film The Three Faces of Eve and Sizemore's biography, I'm Eve. The lyrics reference some of Sizemore's alters, including "Strawberry Girl," "Banana Split Lady," "Purple Lady," and "Turtle Lady." The flip-side of the single, "Eve White/Eve Black," was another description of Sizemore's experience.

By summer their third LP was complete. In addition to "Happy House" and "Christine," Kaleidoscope featured several strong album tracks, particularly "Paradise Place," "Red Light," and "Skin." While the majority of the album's guitar was provided by McGeoch, ex-Pistol Steve Jones contributed guitar to three tracks ("Clockface," "Paradise Place," and "Skin").

After playing some warm up dates under the pseudonym Janet & the Icebergs, the band embarked on the Kaleidoscope tour, which would stretch from September to December, 1980. During their tour the Israel single was released, backed with the haunting B-side "Red Over White." The single was issued as a 7" and for the first time as a 12" with extended mixes of both songs.

In part the single was a deliberate attempt the counter the charges of anti-Semitism that had dogged the band from the beginning, thanks to Siouxsie's early use of a Swastika, the fatuous "too many Jews" lyric from the original version of "Love in a Void," and even misinterpretation of their previous attempt to put this controversy to rest, the Mittageisen single. The band was finally able to put this issue behind them at a show in Derby, when a large group of skinheads in the audience began sieg-heiling. In a definitive moment, the band walked off the stage after one song, only to return minutes later clad in Star of David T-shirts, then launched into a pointed rendition of "Drop Dead." Their point was made, and the controversy subsided.

The Spellbound single, released in May of 1981, emphasized Sioux's increasingly melodic vocals and demonstrated that the band's former successes were no accident. The B-side, "Follow the Sun," employed a simple tribal drumbeat and eerie lyrics to chilling effect. The 12" added the experimental "Slap Dash Snap," a synthesizer-based track with largely indecipherable lyrics.

The string of strong singles continued two months later with Arabian Knights, which criticized Arabic treatment of women, among other practices. "Supernatural Thing," a cover of Ben E. King, of all people, graced the B-side of the single. The 12" added the bonus song "Congo Conga." Juju was the band's stunning fourth album. Released in June of 1981, the imagery of the album did nothing to dispel the band's gothic image, centering on magic, mystery, and the supernatural. Song titles spelled out the territory the band was exploring: "Spellbound," "Halloween," "Night Shift," and "Voodoo Dolly." The seeds of greatness that had been apparent on the last album had bloomed into a masterpiece of precision. Balancing melody and dissonance, the songs were instantly memorable and uniquely their own.

The tour for Juju was a marathon three-leg journey that stretched from June to November, 1981, including Europe, the UK, and North America. During the tour fans began to hear a pair of new songs, "So Unreal" and "But Not Them," which were noteworthy in that they just employed vocals and drums. Siouxsie and Budgie had begun experimenting with developing some songs outside of the traditional four-piece band structure, and prior to the tour had recorded them during the sessions for Juju.

Adopting the name The Creatures, and the first results of this side-project were available in September, 1981, when the Wild Things EP was released as a double 7", featuring a cover of "Wild Thing," along with the original songs "Mad Eyed Screamer," "So Unreal," "But Not Them," and "Thumb." The single reached a surprisingly high Number 24 on the charts.

The rigorous tour and the Creatures project had left little time to record new Banshees material, so in the absence of a new album Polydor put together a singles collection for a November, 1981 release. Once Upon a Time/The Singles featured all of the band's single A-sides, with the exception of "Mittageisen" (replaced on the collection by the B-side, "Love in a Void"), and added "Mirage" from The Scream album. A companion "Video EP" videocassette was also released.

A March, 1982 tour of Asia, included dates in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Yokohama, followed by three weeks in Scandinavia.While the band was touring Scandinavia their Fireworks single was released back home. Like The Staircase (Mystery) and Israel before it, Fireworks did not belong to an album. Frank Herbert's book The Green Mind was the inspiration for the B-side, "Coal Mind," while the 12" added the bonus track, "We Fall."

The Slowdive single, from October, 1982, featured the B-side "Cannibal Roses," with the bonus 12" track "Obsession II" (an instrumental version of "Obsession"), and Melt! from November offered the traditional French song "Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant" and "A Sleeping Rain," an instrumental bonus track on the 12" single.

John McGeoch collapsed after two warm-up dates in Madrid in October and was hospitalized. leading Robert Smith to once again fill in on guitar. After learning the band's new repertoire Smith joined the band in November and December for the UK and European legs of their tour for the new album.

The album, A Kiss in the Dreamhouse, produced by Mike Hedges, was released in December, 1982. Inspiration for the songs came from similarly far flung sources, ranging from a book by Jerzey Koskinski ("Painted Bird") to family systems theory ("Circle") to a Night Gallery episode ("Green Fingers"). The instrumentation was noteworthy for adding a string section to certain songs. The end of 1982 would see the Banshees put on hold while different members pursued side projects.

Siouxsie and Budgie worked in Hawaii with producer Mike Hedges, recording their first full album as The Creatures, the exotic Feast. Using a variety of instruments found at the studios, the pair created a sound very unlike the fuller sound of the Banshees.

The first new single, Miss the Girl, reached Number 21 on the UK charts, surprisingly high for such a spare recording. This was followed by Right Now, a lavish cover of the Herbie Mann/Mel Torme song. The record-buying public seemed to appreciate this sound even more, as the new single reached Number 14 on the charts.

Drawing their name from a character in the Beatles' Yellow Submarine, and titling their sole album after a 1970s B-movie, Steven Severin and Robert Smith recorded as the Glove. Their sole album, Blue Sunshine, yielded two singles, Like An Animal in August and Punish Me With Kisses in November.

Side-projects out of their systems, the Banshees reunited for a cover of the Beatles' "Dear Prudence" in September, 1983. The single was a unequivocal hit, reaching Number 3 on the charts. Building on this renewed vitality, performances were recorded at the Royal Albert Hall and released in November as a double live album, Nocturne.

The year closed with a small treasure for those who belonged to Siouxsie's fan club, The File. Each member received an exclusive 7" single with live versions of "Head Cut" and "Running Town" drawn from the Albert Hall performances.

The following year was a difficult one for the Banshees. While Robert Smith had been an effective collaborator on "Dear Prudence" and on tour, his energies increasingly seemed to be going toward the Cure rather than the Banshees. Swimming Horses and Dazzle, the first two singles from their upcoming album, failed to garner much commercial success. Consistent with the Banshees' complex lyrical concerns, "Swimming Horses" referred to the Les Sentinelle organization that works to aid women in the Middle East.

In May of 1984 Smith indicated he would have to bow out of future Banshees activity, as The Cure demanded his attention. Once again the band would have to scramble to find a guitarist for an upcoming tour. They soon found their man in John Carruthers, formerly with Clock DVA. After intensive training to learn the songs for the tour Carruthers joined the band on a successful tour of the UK and North America.

The Banshees' experience using a string section on Hyaena inspired them to re-record some of their songs with acoustic arrangements, recording with the Chandos Players Symphony, including Ginny Ball, Anne Stephenson, Martin McCarrick, and Bill McGee. The Thorn EP from October, 1984, collected four of these new acoustic recordings: "Overground," "Voices," "Placebo Effect," and "Red Over White."

The Cities in Dust single, released in October, 1985, was inspired by a trip to Pompeii. The single was a well-crafted pop song with unusual chime percussion and an unforgettable vocal chorus. Despite its enormous potential the single only reached Number 21 on the British charts, though it dramatically raised the band's profile in the United States. The bonus tracks on the single brought out the Banshees' experimental side, with the spoken-word "An Execution" (inspired by Countess Bathory) and the rare instrumental "The Quarterdrawing of the Dog."

The follow-up to Cities in Dust was the chilling Candyman single in February, 1986, recounting a tale of "grown ups' abuse of children's trust." A little more comforting was the B-side, the gentle "Lullaby," written about King Ludvig II, the "mad king" of Bavaria who built Neuschwanstein Castle. The 12" featured the bonus track "Umbrella."

That April, the self-produced Tinderbox was released. It was an impressive album both musically and lyrically, with a cohesion that some previous albums lacked. Anchored by the Cities in Dust and Candyman singles, the album featured "Cannons," based on a T.S. Elliot poem which described the firing of a cannon into the air to end a drought, "Lands End," originally planned as the first single from the album before "Cities in Dust" took shape, and the memorable "92¼," which begins with a sample from the 1953 movie It Came From Outer Space, suggesting that more murders occur at 92 degrees than any other temperature.

From May to June, 1986, the band undertook a North American tour to promote the album, giving them a chance to develop live performances of the new material, and further solidifying their fan base in the US and Canada.

Even under the best of circumstances the life of a Banshees guitarist is a short one. At the beginning of 1987 John Carruthers and the Banshees parted ways. This split occurred just as the new single, a cover of the Bob Dylan song by The Band, "This Wheel's on Fire," was being released. A single with the Banshees' version of Iggy Pop's "The Passenger" quickly followed.

The album from which these singles were drawn, Through the Looking Glass, included covers from some longtime Banshees idols (Iggy Pop, John Cale, Roxy Music, The Doors), their contemporaries (Sparks, Kraftwerk, Television), and also drawing from some less intuitive sources (The Band, Billie Holiday, and even the soundtrack of Disney's The Jungle Book).

In April multi-instrumentalist Martin McCarrick joined the band (previously working with Marc Almond, and later part of 4AD's This Mortal Coil), and in May former-Specimen guitarist Jon Klein joined. The new band's first song came in July, "Song From the Edge of the World." In contrast to the optimism of the title track, "The Whole Price of Blood" revisited human rights concerns. This single would be the last new material the Banshees would release for a year.

In July of 1988, the Peek-A-Boo single was released. A condemnation of the use of sexual imagery in advertising, the song was a revolutionary hybrid of the classic Banshees sound and a host of new elements: a backwards horn section and percussion, keyboard strikes, McCarrick's accordion, and painstakingly multi-tracked vocals. The single was released in a vast array of formats, and reached number 16 on the UK charts.

The Peepshow album from September, 1988, was a new revelation about what the Banshees could sound like. Thanks largely to McCarrick's contribution of accordion, cello, and keyboards, the band's musical pallette had grown. The album featured strong singles, but beyond this the album featured consistently strong material throughout.

The Killing Jar single was also released in a variety of formats, with the B-sides "Something Wicked (This Way Comes)," "Are You Still Dying Darling?", and mixes of the title track including the 7" mix and the Lepidopteristic Mix.

Beginning in September with a warm-up date at the Hot Point Festival in Lausanne, Switzerland, the band commenced a world tour that would take them from the UK to Europe to the US and Canada and ending back in the UK in December.

Flying in the face of commercial expectations, the band released The Last Beat of My Heart as a single in December, 1988. While the song was strikingly beautiful, it was certainly not a traditional choice for a single. The non-commercial intent was underscored by the video, essentially consisting of a single shot over the entire duration of the song, a repudiation of MTV-style quick edits if there ever was one. As was becoming the norm, the single was released in several formats. B-sides included "El Dia De Los Muertos," "Sunless," and the Espiritu Mix of "El Dia De Los Muertos." The end of 1988 would be another hiatus for the Banshees, as Siouxsie and Budgie revived the Creatures.

Working with producer Mike Hedges, the pair started recording at La Pe–uela ranch, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Spain. La Pa–uela is a ranch in southern Spain built on the site of an 11th century convent. The location provided inspiration for the music. While Feast had absorbed Hawaiian touches, many of the new tracks incorporated elements of traditional Spanish music.

In October of 1989, a month in advance of their new album, they released the Standing There single, a blistering attack on men who persecute those who are different. The 7" featured the B-side "Divided," which would have been at home on Feast, while the 10", 12", and CD single added "Solar Choir" and the 10-minute remix "Standing There (Andalucian Mix)."

By December, 1989, the album was ready for release. Boomerang was unlike previous Creatures projects, employing a more produced sound with an emphasis on keyboards along with vocals and percussion. In addition to "Standing There," highlights included "Fury Eyes," "Speeding," and Budgie's first foray into lyric-writing, "Pluto Drive."

Within the span of two months the Creatures toured the UK, Europe, the US, and Canada, from February to March, 1990. By the end of the tour the second single was available. The Fury Eyes 7" included the instrumental "Abstinence," while the 12" and CD singles featured several versions of the song remixed by Pascal Gabriel including the Remix, 20/20 Mix, Dub Mix, and Fever Mix, as well as a long version of "Abstinence." The Creatures closed their Boomerang activities with a short five-date tour of Italy in September, prior to joining back up with the Banshees.

Siouxsie & The Banshees were chosen to perform on the first Lollapalooza tour in 1991. After completing a few June warm-up dates in the UK and Paris the band embarked on a 26-date tour from July to August, to generally positive press reviews.

From December 1990 to March 1991 the band was recording at RAK studios in London with the unlikely choice of Stephen Hague as producer. The initial release from this pairing was Kiss Them For Me in May, 1991. The song, which references the death of actress Jayne Mansfield, was released as a 7" single, two 12" singles, and a CD single. The B-sides included "Staring Back" and "Return," as well as several mixes of the title track, including the Snapper Mix, Kathak Mix, Loveappella Mix, and the Ambient Mix.

In the midst of this activity Siouxsie and Budgie married on May 25, 1991, at St. John's Church, Notting Hill, London. Their musical activities left little time to celebrate their union. Their next album was about to be released, and as Siouxsie told the London Guardian, the pair had to rush back from their honeymoon to perform on Top of the Pops.

The new album, Superstition, had as unlikely a cover as could be imagined: Siouxsie in a shockingly bright yellow dress against a pink background. Though the band had hoped that their work with Hague would be an effective collaboration, ultimately the experience was unsatisfactory. Looking back at the process of making the album, Siouxsie told Billboard that the album "was all computers and technology and, I'm afraid, not very much of us. It made us feel a bit like we hadn't made an album at all."

And indeed, just as the album did not look much like a Banshees album, it didn't sound much like one either. The second single from the album, Shadowtime, was enjoyable if not memorable, and the B-sides, "Spiral Twist" and "Sea of Light," were mere trifles in comparison with past non-album tracks. In contrast to the multiple mixes of "Kiss Them For Me," there was only the Eclipse Mix of "Shadowtime."

The Superstition tour began in October, 1991 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The last several dates of the European leg of the tour had to be canceled, but the US leg picked up at the Austin Opera House in late November, and the tour concluded at the Acoustic Christmas show for Los Angeles alternative radio mainstay KROQ.

In a sign of her shifting fan base, the follow-up single, Fear (Of the Unknown), was only released in the US. It included the B-sides "Spiral Twist" and "I Could Be Again," and a promotional CD which featured a full six remixes of the title song, including the Vertigo Mix, CHR Mix, Urban Fear Edit, House of Fear 7", Urban Fear Extended, and House of Fear Extended. In the video for the song the band looked stiff and uncomfortable, as they were placed in a variety of silly situations.

Freshly wary of strange bedfellows, the Banshees found a more sympathetic collaborator in Danny Elfman, who solicited the Banshees' contribution of the song "Face to Face" for the 1992 film Batman Returns. In addition to its inclusion on the film soundtrack, the Hague-produced track was released on a 7", cassette single, 12" picture disc, and CD single, which collectively included the Catatonic Mix and 7" Remix of "Face to Face," and the B-sides "I Could Be Again," and "Hothead" (about drugs and violence in Manchester).

In October, 1992, a second Siouxsie & The Banshees singles collection was released. Twice Upon a Time/The Singles spanned 1982 to 1992, and beginning with "Fireworks," featured the title tracks from the band's singles from this period (with the exception of the Head Cut fan club single, and Song From the Edge of the World), replacing the studio version of "The Last Beat of My Heart" with a live version recorded at Lollapalooza, and including a Junior Vasquez remix of "Fear (Of the Unknown)." The collection illustrates just how strong much of the band's work during this period was.

After the unsatisfactory experience of working with producer Hague, the Banshees were determined to do it differently. Beginning work on their new album as a self-produced effort, they had an opportunity to work with a long-time idol, John Cale, most famous for his work with the Velvet Underground. Recording for their next album began at Studio de Manoir in Leon, France, and Wessex, London.

The first of these new recordings was released at the end of 1994, the return-to-form O Baby single. Bonuses between the 7" and two CD singles included "B Side Ourselves," live versions of "Swimming Horses" and the Velvet Underground's "All Tomorrow's Parties," and the Manhattan Mix of "O Baby."

The Banshees final album, The Rapture, from February, 1995, was generally hailed as a solid effort. From the radio-friendly "O Baby" and "Stargazer" to the album tracks "Tearing Apart" and "The Lonely One," the album offered a variety of sounds and styles. The one track that was generally panned was the nearly twelve-minute title track, which unsurprisingly was seen as somewhat indulgent.

The second and final single from the album was Stargazer, featuring an enjoyable but less commercial title track. Released as a 7", 12", and two CD singles in February, collectively featuring the B-sides "Hang Me High" and "Black Sun," and three "Stargazer" mixes (Mambo Sun Mix, Planet Queen Mix, and the Mark Saunders Mix).

To support the album the band undertook a lengthy tour of the UK, Europe, and North and South America, closing with a number of dates in Eastern and Western Europe. Former Psychedelic Furs guitarist Knox Chandler joined the band for the tour, replacing Jon Klein, who was reportedly fired from the band due to contact disputes prior to the release of The Rapture.

The following year the Banshees chose to celebrate their 20th anniversary in an unexpected way. They broke up. Partly in response to the The Sex Pistols re-forming, the band decided to say "thank you and goodbye," in a brief press release which thanked their fans, Polydor, and their musical collaborators. "Siouxsie and the Banshees, 1976-1996, RIP."

The end of the Banshees also sparked a retrospective of the Creatures' early '80s work. The 1997 collection A Bestiary Of collected the Wild Things and Miss the Girl singles, the Feast LP, and the Right Now single. This collection served to whet the appetite for a series of Creatures releases the following year: the Sad Cunt limited 7" in May, followed by the four-song Eraser Cut 10"/CD EP in August, both of which featured exclusive non-album tracks.

October saw the release of the first new material from their forthcoming album. The 2nd Floor single was issued in several formats, including a fluorescent 7", three promotional 12" singles (two from the UK and one from the US), a UK CD single, and two promotional UK CD singles. Among them they featured an array of remixes of "2nd Floor" (the Girl Eats Boy's Remix, Girl Eats Boy's Back For More Mix, Siouxsie, Budgie and Warne's Club Mix, Promo Mix, Club Mix, and Radio Mix) and the B-side "Turn It On" (Bound Ôn' Gagged Mix, Emperor Sly's Elemental Mix).

As in the past, the new Creatures album, Anima Animus, from February, 1999, was a departure from their previous efforts. While Feast included Hawaiian influences and Boomerang incorporated elements of Spanish music, the new album was recorded at the "House of Creatures" (the pair's home studio), and had no ethnic influence, instead creating a more electronic sound. Though various elements of electronica had been incorporated into the work of the Banshees and the Creatures over the years, the new material embraced this sound to an unprecedented degree. The album was issued on Instinct Records in the US.

The following month the second single, Say, was released as a 7", limited UK 12", and 2 CD singles, featuring three mixes of "Say" (Witchman's 4x4 Mix, Witchman's Radio Friendly Mix, and Witchman's Very Long Remix). Additional tracks included "All She Could Ask For" (also available as the Justice & Endemic Void's Dope Remix), "Broken," and "Thank You (Dub Pistols Bring You Joy Mix)."

A marathon 1999 tour took the Creatures all over the world, beginning in the UK, and traveling to continental Europe, the United States, two dates in Japan, back to Europe, and ending in November in the US. During this tour the band began offering limited edition releases, including an EP sold only on the tour featuring live versions of "But Not Them," "Pinned Down," and a cover of the Velvet Underground's "Venus In Furs." The Zulu box set, available only to fanclub members or by the Internet, included a live album recorded September 12, 1998, at the University of London Union, with badges, cards, and stamps.

The Prettiest Thing single blitz took place in September, with promotional pink, blue, and black 10" singles, a promotional 12", and two CD singles, offering several "Prettiest Thing" mixes (Super Chumbo's Waking Dream Mix, Subsonic Legacy Mix, Howie B's Hormonal Mix), with B-side mixes "Turn It On" (Emperor Sly's Elemental Mix), "Guillotine" (Bitten By The Black Dog), and "Disconnected" (Beloved in a Void Mix).

Continuing the remix trend, the Hybrids collection featured remixes of several tracks from Eraser Cut and Anima Animus.

From January, 2000 to December, 2001 the Creatures began issuing a series of limited and/or Internet-only single releases including the Take Mine 7" single (on the Sub Pop label), and the CD singles Sad Cunt, Murdering Mouth, Rocket Ship, and Red Wrapping Paper, as well as the Sequins in the Sun live CD.

In 2000 the Gifthorse fan club issued four mailings over the course of the year, "Born," "Eat," "Fuck," and "Die." Issues 1, 2, and 4 (Born, Eat, and Die, respectively) were newsletters in a CD-sized sleeve, and issue 3, Fuck, contained the Murdering Mouth CD single.

In December of 2000 the US got a chance to catch up with the Creatures on the US Retrace album on Instinct Records, featuring several tracks from the Eraser Cut EP, and B-sides from the 2nd Floor and Say singles.

The Gifthorse fan club mailings continued in 2001, this time taking the theme "Earth," "Air," "Water," and "Fire." Issue 5 was the Earth newsletter, issue 6 was Air with the Rocket Ship CD single, issue 7 was the Water newsletter, and issue 8 was Fire with the Red Wrapping Paper CD single.

A brief Siouxsie & The Banshees reunion was held in 2002, as Sioux and Budgie were joined by Steven Severin and Knox Chandler for "The Seven Year Itch" tour. A handful of shows were played in the US in April and the UK in July, capped by performances in California in August. A CD and DVD were released drawing from the July 9th and 10th shows at the Shepherds Bush Empire. Also issued this year was The Best of Siouxsie & The Banshees, the first collection to draw from their entire career. A limited edition added a bonus disc of remixes.

In August of 2002, immediately following the end of the Seven Year Itch tour, Siouxsie and Budgie met Leonard Eto, a taiko (traditional Japanese) drummer from the famed group Kodo. In a spontaneous marathon recording session they laid the groundwork for the Creatures' next album. The first release from these sessions was the October, 2003, single Godzilla! The music harkened back to a more organic Creatures sound, focusing on drums and vocals, with unobtrusive production. B-sides on the CD single included "The Temple of Dawn" and "Attack of the Super Vixens." A second CD single featured the video version and instrumental video version of "Godzilla!", and a third featured three versions of the title track, "Budgie's Tokyo Fist Mix," "Tokyo Session," and "Instrumental."

That same month saw the release of the fourth studio Creatures album, Hai! The sound of "Godzilla!" was a representative sample of the album, classic Creatures with Japanese accents. Two UK limited editions of the album were available, one a double CD with a bonus disc of instrumental versions, as well as one featuring a DVD of the "Toyko Drumming Session," Budgie's marathon drumming workout. The album was released on Instinct Records in the US, available with a bonus DVD of the "Tokyo Drumming Session" and the "Second Floor" video. Finally, a limited, Internet-only 1,000 copy Drumming Session album was available, with 11 instrumental tracks of Budgie and Leonard Eto's collaborative drumming.

In the midst of recording and touring for Hai! Siouxsie worked with British house musicians Basement Jaxx, providing lyrics and vocals for "Cish Cash" on their 2003 album Kish Kash.

Siouxsie and Budgie undertook a short tour of the US in the middle of 2004, followed by two final dates in London. The tour setlists were a special combination of songs from the Banshees ("Christine," "Happy House," "Arabian Knights") and the Creatures ("Miss the Girl," "Killing Time," "Godzilla!"). During the tour a limited gatefold 7" of Attack of the Supervixens was available, including a postcard and poster.

A September, 2004, performance in London, backed by the Millennia Ensemble orchestra, again featured a mix of Banshees and Creatures songs. The show was released on the Dreamshow DVD in August, 2005.

The end of 2004 saw the release of a collector's dream. Downside Up was a four-CD box set featuring 55 tracks of Siouxsie & The Banshees single B-sides as well as the rare EP The Thorn, including full lyrics and commentary on the tracks by Sioux, Severin, and Budgie. In 2006 Polydor began a series of remastered Banshees CD reissues with bonus tracks, including The Scream, Join Hands, Kaleidoscope, and Juju, which would be followed in 2009 by remastered versions of A Kiss in the Dreamhouse, Hyaena, and Tinderbox.

At the beginning of 2006 TheCreatures.com website produced the live album, Tivoli Utrecht, featuring a selection of tracks from across the Creatures' career. It would be the last Creatures release during the group's lifetime.

During an August, 2007 interview with The Sunday Times Siouxsie confirmed that she and Budgie had divorced. The following month Siouxsie celebrated her 50th birthday by releasing her first solo album, Mantaray on the W14 Music label. Featuring a backing band of Steve Evans on guitar and programming, Charlie Jones on bass and synthesizer, Clive Deamer on drums, and a number of guest musicians, Mantaray was produced by Steve Evans and Charlie Jones.

Any doubts about whether Siouxsie could persevere post-Banshees and post-Creatures were quickly allayed. Mantaray was an exceptionally solid release, leading with the thundering single "Into a Swan," which, along with the second song, "About to Happen," reflects themes of survival and rebirth.

Ultimately three singles would be released from the album, Into a Swan, Here Comes That Day, and About to Happen, as well as Le Tour Eiffel, a digital EP available in December 2007 through iTunes, featuring versions of "About to Happen," "If It Doesn't Kill You," and "Here Comes That Day" recorded in Paris, along with a cover of the Doors' "Hello, I Love You."

In 2008 Sioux appeared on the soundtrack to the World War II period film on the life of poet Dylan Thomas, The Edge of Love. The soundtrack was scored by Angelo Badalamenti, with Sioux singing "Careless Love," also performed on the soundtrack by Madeleine Peyroux.

Reissues of Siouxsie and the Banshees recordings continued in April, 2014, with a double 7" reissue of the band's debut single, Hong Kong Garden. On October 13, 2014, Polydor/Universal finally completed the Banshees album remasters series, releasing Through the Looking Glass, Peepshow, Superstition, and The Rapture, all with deluxe packaging and bonus tracks.

It would have been impossible to predict what would follow the Banshees' debut at the 100 Club in 1976 and the Hong Kong Garden single in 1978, but what we received was more than we had any right to expect. It remains to be seen what comes next for Siouxsie, Budgie, and Severin, but it is clear that the collective musical influence they have had is incalculable.

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