|Through the Looking Glass|
|Studio album by|
|Released||2 March 1987|
|Studio||Abbey Road, London|
|Siouxsie and the Banshees chronology|
|Singles from Through the Looking Glass|
Through the Looking Glass is the eighth studio album by English rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees. The album is a collection of cover versions. It was co-produced with Mike Hedges and released in March 1987 on Polydor. Through the Looking Glass was preceded by the single "This Wheel's on Fire". It was the second and final album recorded with guitarist John Valentine Carruthers. Some of their cover songs were praised by the original artists themselves.
The title of the record, Through the Looking Glass, referred to Lewis Carroll's book of the same name. The band had already been inspired by Carroll's work when naming their label, Wonderland, which was derived from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland .The record was also an ode to David Bowie's Pin Ups , a covers album recorded in the early 1970s. After spending more than a year working on 1986's Tinderbox , the Banshees wanted spontaneity, and quickly returned to the studio after the tour, to record their own covers album. It was a project they had been considering since recording a version of the Beatles's "Dear Prudence" in 1983.
For the Through the Looking Glass sessions, which took place in September and October 1986, they chose material mainly dating from the first half of the 1970s, from an era preceding the 1976 formation of their band. Most of the songs were from artists who had influenced them: Roxy Music, John Cale, Iggy Pop, the Doors and Kraftwerk. Producer Mike Hedges, who hadn't worked with them since 1984, was called back. The instrumentation was different; for this album, they hired other instrumentalists including a brass section and a harpist. Musician Martin McCarrick, who would become an official member of the Banshees after this album, created string arrangements for several tracks.
The band's version of Iggy Pop song "The Passenger" featured brass arrangements played by Pete Thoms and Luke Tunney, who had already worked with Siouxsie and Budgie on the Creatures' single "Right Now".
Through the Looking Glass was released on 2 March 1987 on Polydor. A few weeks after, Bowie contacted them to be the special guests at two shows on his Glass Spider Tour in Anaheim.
The album was reissued on CD with bonus tracks in October 2014.
A 180g vinyl reissue of the album, remastered from the original ¼” tapes and cut half-speed at Abbey Road Studios by Miles Showell, was released in August 2018.
|LA Times||very favourable|
Ralf Hütter of Kraftwerk lauded the version of "Hall of Mirrors" and stated: "In general, we consider cover versions as an appreciation of our work. The version of 'Hall of Mirrors' by Siouxsie and the Banshees is extraordinary".Iggy Pop said of their cover of "The Passenger": "That's good. She sings it well and she threw a little note in when she sings it, that I wish I had thought of. It kind of improves it [...]. The horn thing is good".
In their contemporary review, LA Times stated: "These songs are superbly rearranged, retaining enough of what was special about the originals and adding just the right new twists." Critic Terry Atkinson wrote about their cover of "Strange Fruit": "Only someone as brash as Siouxsie Sioux would re-record Lewis Allan's "Strange Fruit," a song so strongly identified with Billie Holiday. And only someone as serious and sensitive could bring it off like this. A solemn string section behind the vocals and—best of all—a bridge of New Orleans funeral-march jazz enhance Siouxsie's evocative interpretation". Atkinson then concluded emphasising, "Such inventive touches permeate a great album".Sounds praised the rendition of "Trust in Me" as "quite astonishing. Whereas once it was about a python getting ready to crush a little boy to death, now it's a harp-laden lullaby of rampant, swirling eroticism".
In a retrospective review, AllMusic said: "The inspired range of covers reaches from glam-era landmarks (Roxy Music's 'Sea Breezes', John Cale's 'Gun') to Billie Holiday's sorrowful touchstone 'Strange Fruit' to, in one of the best such efforts ever (and a year before Hal Willner's Stay Awake project), a Disney classic—namely the slinky 'Trust in Me', originally from The Jungle Book and given a spare, mostly-Budgie backing that could almost be a sparkling Creatures outtake".Mojo included their version of "Strange Fruit" on the 2007 CD Music Is Love: 15 Tracks That Changed the World Recovered By.... Writing in the 2004 edition of The Rolling Stone Album Guide , Mark Coleman and Mac Randall gave Through the Looking Glass a rating of 2.5 stars out of five, saying that it contains "overpolished covers of the group's obvious influences". In an article about "Records Turning 30 Years Old in 2017", Paste included it in their top fifteen saying that it was, "an eclectic and adventurous album of Siouxsie-fied takes on a diverse collection of songs", with "interesting and engaging choices". Journalist Will Hodge concluded: "this album is a prime example of the value of artistic merit not being accurately measured by mainstream successes".
|1.||"This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us"||Ron Mael||Sparks||3:09|
|2.||"Hall of Mirrors"||Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider, Emil Schult||Kraftwerk||5:03|
|3.||"Trust in Me"||Sherman Brothers||Kaa (voice by Sterling Holloway) in The Jungle Book||4:06|
|4.||"This Wheel's on Fire"||Bob Dylan, Rick Danko||Bob Dylan & The Band||5:17|
|5.||"Strange Fruit"||Lewis Allan||Billie Holiday||3:53|
|6.||"You're Lost Little Girl"||John Densmore, Robbie Krieger, Ray Manzarek, Jim Morrison||The Doors||2:57|
|7.||"The Passenger"||Iggy Pop, Ricky Gardiner||Iggy Pop||5:10|
|8.||"Gun"||John Cale||John Cale||5:06|
|9.||"Sea Breezes"||Bryan Ferry||Roxy Music||4:15|
|10.||"Little Johnny Jewel"||Tom Verlaine||Television||4:56|
|11.||"She Cracked"||Jonathan Richman||The Modern Lovers||3:07|
|12.||"Song from the Edge of the World" (Single Version)||Siouxsie and the Banshees||3:45|
|13.||"This Wheel's on Fire" (Incendiary Mix)||7:27|
|14.||"The Passenger" (Locomotion Mix)||8:05|
|Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)||62|
|European Albums ( Music & Media )||28|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||59|
|New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)||46|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||23|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||29|
|UK Albums (OCC)||15|
|US Billboard 200||188|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||60,000^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Siouxsie and the Banshees were a British rock band, formed in London in 1976 by vocalist Siouxsie Sioux and bass guitarist Steven Severin. They have been widely influential, both over their contemporaries and with later acts. Q magazine included John McKay's guitar playing on "Hong Kong Garden" in their list of "100 Greatest Guitar Tracks Ever", while Mojo rated guitarist John McGeoch in their list of "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" for his work on "Spellbound". The Times called the group “one of the most audacious and uncompromising musical adventurers of the post-punk era".
Nocturne is a live double album and video by English rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees, released on 25 November 1983 by Polydor Records. Co-produced by Mike Hedges, Nocturne featured performances recorded at two shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London, on 30 September and 1 October 1983, featuring Robert Smith on guitar.
The Creatures were an English band formed in 1981 by vocalist Siouxsie Sioux and drummer Budgie of the group Siouxsie and the Banshees. The Creatures released their first EP Wild Things in 1981. They recorded four studio albums: Feast in 1983, Boomerang in 1989, Anima Animus in 1999 and Hái! in 2003.
Susan Janet Ballion, known professionally as Siouxsie Sioux, is an English singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. She was the lead singer of the rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees (1976–1996). They released 11 studio albums, and had several UK Top 20 singles including "Hong Kong Garden", "Happy House" and "Peek-a-Boo", plus a US Billboard Top 25 hit, "Kiss Them for Me".
Once Upon a Time/The Singles is Siouxsie and the Banshees's 1981 compilation album featuring the band's UK single releases to date. The album featured several songs that had been released as singles yet had not appeared on any of the Banshees' four albums. Once Upon a Time/The Singles spent twenty six weeks in the UK albums chart. The sleeve was designed by Stylorouge.
Kaleidoscope is the third studio album by British rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees, released in 1980 by record label Polydor. With the departure of John McKay and Kenny Morris and their replacement by two new musicians, Budgie on drums and John McGeoch on guitars, the band changed their musical direction and offered an album containing a wide variety of colors. "It was almost a different band", said Siouxsie.
Juju is the fourth studio album by English rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees. It was recorded at Surrey Sound studio with Nigel Gray as co-producer, and was released on 19 June 1981 by record label Polydor. Two singles were released from Juju: "Spellbound" and "Arabian Knights".
A Kiss in the Dreamhouse is the fifth studio album by British rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees. It was released on 5 November 1982 by Polydor Records. The record marked a change of musical direction, as the group used strings for the first time and experimented in the studio. Guitarist John McGeoch played more instruments, including recorder and piano. For Julian Marszalek of The Quietus, the release proved the Banshees to be "one of the great British psychedelic bands."
Hyæna is the sixth studio album by British rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees, released in 1984 by Polydor. The opening track, "Dazzle", featured strings played by musicians of the (LSO) London Symphonic Orchestra, a 27-piece orchestra called the "Chandos Players"; it was scored from a tune that Siouxsie Sioux had composed on piano. Hyæna is the only studio album that guitarist Robert Smith of the Cure composed and recorded with Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Tinderbox is the seventh studio album by English rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees. It was released on 21 April 1986 by Wonderland and Polydor Records in the United Kingdom and by Geffen Records in the United States. It was the band's first full-length effort recorded with then-new guitarist John Valentine Carruthers; Carruthers had previously only added a few parts on the 1984 EP The Thorn. The first recording sessions for the album took place at Hansa by the Wall in Berlin in May 1985.
Peepshow is the ninth studio album by English rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees, released in September 1988 on Polydor. It was their first record as a quintet. With the arrival of multi-instrumentalist Martin McCarrick and guitarist Jon Klein, the group recorded a multifaceted album with a variety of influences. It included the singles "Peek-a-Boo", "the Killing Jar" and "The Last Beat of My Heart". The record was a commercial success, peaking at No. 20 in the UK, and No. 68 on the US Billboard 200 chart in the week of 3 December 1988. It spent a total of 20 weeks on that chart. "Peek-a-Boo" reached number one on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart and "the Killing Jar" got the number two spot.
"The Passenger" is a song written by Iggy Pop and Ricky Gardiner, recorded and released by Iggy Pop on the Lust for Life album in 1977. It was also released as the B-side of the album's only single, "Success". It was released as a single in its own right in March 1998, reaching number 22 in the UK charts.
The discography of Siouxsie and the Banshees, an English rock band, consists of eleven studio albums, three live albums, four compilation albums, one extended play (EP), and thirty singles. This list does not include material recorded by band members with the Creatures or the Glove, or solo work by Siouxsie Sioux and Steven Severin.
"Happy House" is a song written by Siouxsie Sioux and Steven Severin and recorded by their band Siouxsie and the Banshees. It was released as a single in March 1980 by record label Polydor, then later included on the band's third album, Kaleidoscope. "Happy House" was the group's first record made with guitarist John McGeoch and drummer Budgie.
"Spellbound" is a song by English rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees. It was written by the group and co-produced with Nigel Gray. It was released in 1981 by record label Polydor as the first single from the band's fourth studio album, Juju.
"Slowdive" is a song by English post-punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees. It was released in 1982 by record label Polydor as the first single from the band's fifth studio album, A Kiss in the Dreamhouse.
"Song from the Edge of the World" is a song written and performed by English rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees. It was released as a stand-alone single in 1987. The song had been premiered live in the UK during an appearance at the WOMAD Festival in July 1986. The song was recorded with new members Martin McCarrick on keyboards and Jon Klein on guitar.
Hái! is the fourth and final studio album released in 2003 by British duo the Creatures, composed of Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie. The album was recorded in two parts: the drums were recorded by Budgie and Kodo drummer Leonard Eto in Tokyo in August 2002 and the rest of the recording was done in Europe. During their stay in Japan, the band was inspired and "touched by the delicate snowfall imagery of Akira Kurosawa's Ikiru (1952), absorbing the vibrancy of Tokyo's Roppongi district, and spiritualised by the ancient Shinto shrines and tranquil shores of Lake Ashi."
Feast is the debut studio album by British duo the Creatures, composed of Siouxsie Sioux and musician Budgie, then-members of the band Siouxsie and the Banshees. It reached No. 17 in the UK Albums Chart and the "Miss the Girl" single peaked at No. 21. With their first album, the band embraced exotica, including "waves crashing on beaches", "found-sound effects from nature" and local Hawaiian chanters. Critic Ned Raggett described it as "a lush, tropical experience".
In genere lo consideriamo un apprezzamento per il nostro lavoro. La versione di Siouxsie di "Hall Of Mirrors" è straordinaria, come gli arrangiamenti di Alexander Balanescu per quartetto d'archi. Anche il disco di Señor Coconut ci è piaciuto molto.