In October 1985, Siouxsie & The Banshees released what is probably their last great single Cities In Dust. The bands best days were behind them but as an impressionable 15-year-old the single was a must buy with my pocket-money.
The single initially appeared to be a stand alone record until it eventually appeared on the bands 7th studio album Tinderbox almost 6 months later. It is by far and away the best song on that album. I saw the band on the accompanying tour at the Birmingham Odeon and again, despite their best guitarist having left some considerable time before they were an awe inspiring sight and sound.
Rather like The Cure, Siouxise & The Banshees have a three album spree spanning three years that cements them as one of the most important alternative outfits of the 80’s. Their 3rd, 4th & 5th albums, Kaleidoscope (1980), JuJu (1981) and A Kiss In The Dream House (1982) are head and shoulders above anything else they would release either preceding or afterwards.
Ironically Robert Smith from The Cure would join to temporarily replace John McGeoch on guitar and I have mused that he is one of the most under rated and influential guitarists before (McGeoch). Smith himself left to concentrate on The Cure and the band were arguably stretching it by continuing.
That said, Cities In Dust is far better than it has license to be. The imagery and clear, catchy sound saw the single achieve a respectable chart position not only in the U.K. but uniquely, for this band, in the States too.
Had Cities In Dust remained a stand alone single, and it been the bands swan song, it would have left a very, very respectable legacy. I’m nit-picking – they still were a great band…