5. Wasteland – The Mission (1986, Mercury Records, Taken from ‘God’s Own Medicine’)
In Leeds (where else)?) in the early part of 1986, Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams left the Sisters of Mercy to form a band called The Sisterhood, that quickly evolved into The Mission and they recruited a member of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and a sometimes member of Pulp on the way. I’m not sure why Hussey and Adams left the Sisters of Mercy, lets say it was musical differences, because their styles are quite different.
Certainly, The Mission were more accessible, and they had almost instant success with ‘Wasteland’ (although I think the band might have been all mysterious and called it ‘IV’ or something) climbing to Number 11 I the UK Charts in 1986. A debut album ‘God’s Own Medicine’ followed.
By 1990, the band were pretty popular in the UK, and were like The Cure (see below), even appealing to an audience who were some distance from the Goth scene. They supported U2, they played festivals, and at times, very nearly released pop music and for a period of time the band were one of a few that stepped out from the Goth scene – they were really popular amongst fans of bands like the Wonderstuff for instance. This in itself was the reason that ‘Carved in Sand’ the third album, was passed around the alternative set in my school like it was popping candy.
Butterfly on a Wheel – The Mission (1990, Mercury Records, Taken from ‘Carved In Sand’)
4. A Forest – The Cure (1980, Fiction Records, Taken from ’17 seconds’)
I may have said elsewhere that the Cure pretty much invented Goth as we knew it in early part of the eighties. They did this by slightly abandoning their post punk roots, buying a smoke machine and recording the albums in the dark to say money of the electricity. The result of all that was the release of ’17 Seconds’. A dark, gloomy masterpiece that paved the way for so much more.
Yes you could argue that bands like the Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus were already making this type of music, but it was The Cure who opened the door and if you ask ordinary non music folks to name a Goth band – they will say The Cure. It was The Cure that made it, by and large what it is today.
‘A Forest’ was the only single to be released from ’17 Seconds’ and it saw The Cure crack the Top 40 for the first time. Of course a few years later, the band would sell their smoke machines and invest in a couple of trumpets but not before they had released two more distinctly Gothic album, one of which was ‘Pornography’ an album which manages to out Goth even ’17 Seconds’.
A Figurehead – The Cure (1982, Fiction Records, Taken from ‘Pornography’)
3. Spellbound – Siouxsie & the Banshees (1981, Polydor Records, Taken from ‘Juju’)
Again, like so many others in this series, Siouxsie and the Banshees started out in life as post punk band. As music progressed, they changed their musical style and by album three, ‘Kaleidoscope’, they were already being hailed as a major influence on the emerging Gothic scene. In 1981, they recorded a bunch of new songs for their fourth album ‘Juju’ – one of those was ‘Spellbound’. A song that was described by the NME at the time as being “A glorious electric storm”. The NME would about a week after ‘Juju’ was released claim that the Banshees were “one of the greatest bands on the earth”. It remains to this today one of the greatest Goth anthems of one time.
More than half of the Musical Jury included ‘Spellbound’ in their Top Five Goth Anthems, and the ones who didn’t, picked this slice of dark electro pop instead.
Cities in Dust – Siouxsie and the Banshees (1986, Polydor Records, Taken from ‘Tinderbox’)