I'll start with an anecdote, then get to the news.
While at Iowa, one of my closest pals and fellow musical geeks was a chap named James. We were also neighbors, and countless nights were spent at my apartment getting sloshed and listening to oodles of music. From the getgo, we bonded over garage rock, the Talking Heads, Gary Numan, Zappa, etc.
One night [after a sweltering summer day, and I had no a/c at the time], James and I watched Frank Zappa's Baby Snakes. After enjoying that and downing quite a few mojitos, James pulled out a VHS tape of Siouxsie and the Banshees, the visual companion to their first singles collection, Once Upon a Time.
I admit I was hesitant. As far as I knew, this was "goth" music. I didn't like "goth" music. My college roommate listened to that stuff constantly. But I humored James, and we popped it in.
And I was shocked.
First of all, as later conversations with he and other folks brought out, Siouxsie and the Banshees are really not a "goth" band. They're heavily influenced by punk (see The Scream LP) and new wave, so-called alternative, and a number of other styles. However, Siouxsie's persona is decidedly of the goth ilk, and her persona has superseded their music in popular culture. So I was pleasantly surprised in hearing songs like "Hong Kong Garden," "Christine" and this, which is probably my favorite Siouxsie track:
I'm not even sure why (but I'm guessing it was based on my reaction to the Siouxsie video), but at some point James made me a tape (yes a tape!) of what can broadly be labeled as British alternative of the 1970s-1980s.
As a genre, I admit that this is something I've come to with age. Earlier, I couldn't get much into bands like The Cure. Too whiny for me at the time, I think. But in late college I very superficially revisited some of that material, and warmed up to it quite a bit.
But anyway, this tape (and the volumes that followed) did much to reintroduce to this music, as well as introducing me for the first time. Siouxsie, Simple Minds (pre-Breakfast Club), Chris & Cosey, etc. I was definitely most taken with Siouxsie, and bought most of the reissues that were available.
I threw on the Once Upon a Time album tonight while doing some work, and thought "will they ever reissue the rest of the Siouxsie albums? Is this going to be another Madonna situation where the first three discs get reissued, but the rest of the catalog sits idle?"
Lo and behold, on the official Siouxsie and the Banshees MySpace page, the following blog post:
The next set of Siouxsie & The Banshees albums to be remastered, 'A Kiss In The Dreamhouse', 'Nocturne', 'Hyaena' and 'Tinderbox' are set to be released on 6th April 2009. Watch this space.
Score! And another post indicated that the band is in talks with Universal to put out a DVD of their videos (finally!).
So I'm pretty excited for these reissues, so that I may explore the Banshees' catalog further. I'm particularly looking forward to Hyaena, purely for "Dazzle," which is one of the most gorgeous songs I've ever heard: