Superstition (Siouxsie and the Banshees album)

Superstition is the 10th studio album by English rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees, released in 1991. The first single, "Kiss Them for Me", gave the band its first top 40 Billboard Hot 100 hit in the United States, peaking at No. 23, with the album peaking at No. 65 on the Billboard 200 chart.[1] The band widened their musical influences with the arrival of Indian musician Talvin Singh, who played tablas on the songs "Kiss Them for Me" and "Silver Waterfalls".

Superstition
Siouxsie & the Banshees Superstition.jpg
Studio album by
Released10 June 1991
RecordedDecember 1990 – April 1991
StudioRAK, London
Genre
Length48:21
Label
ProducerStephen Hague
Siouxsie and the Banshees chronology
Peepshow
(1988)
Superstition
(1991)
The Rapture
(1995)
Siouxsie Sioux chronology
Boomerang
the Creatures

(1989)
Superstition
(1991)
The Rapture
(1995)
Singles from Superstition
  1. "Kiss Them for Me"
    Released: 13 May 1991
  2. "Shadowtime"
    Released: 1 July 1991
  3. "Fear (of the Unknown)"
    Released: 26 November 1991

Background and promotionEdit

The album was produced by Stephen Hague, known for working with New Order and Pere Ubu. Hague used techniques that Siouxsie Sioux did not approve of later, such as computer-based production. She stated: "There are still songs I like on it, like 'Kiss Them for Me' and 'Drifter', but we were trying a different kind of working style, a different kind of discipline, during which I really built a strong case against computers."[2]

In 1991, the band spent two months on the road, from July until August, in the United States as second headliners of the inaugural Lollapalooza tour. The last date took place in Seattle on 31 August. Two weeks later, the album reached its highest position at No. 65 in the Billboard 200 for the week of 14 September;[3] it spent 21 weeks total on that chart.[4] It remained their best selling album in the US, with 358,000 sold copies as of 2004, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[5]

ReleaseEdit

This album was reissued in a remastered CD version with bonus tracks in October 2014.[6] A 180 gram Double-Vinyl reissue of the original edition, remastered from the original ¼” tapes and cut half-speed at Abbey Road Studios by Miles Showell, was released on 14 September 2018.[7]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [8]
Melody Makervery favourable[9]
Q     [10]
Select     [11]

Superstition was well received by critics. Q gave it a 4-star rating, saying: "They pop it up with sweet string textures on the single 'Kiss Them for Me', bear down on the maritime metaphor of 'Drifter' with doomy foghorn and bells effects, give it the all but Twin Peaks dreamscape for 'Softly'."[10] Melody Maker highly praised the first single: "'Kiss Them for Me' is gorgeous, wicked and glamorous".[12] In the same paper, reviewer Jon Wilde described Superstition as "a giant record about obsession, phobia, perspective and emotional tyranny". Wilde said that the song "The Ghost in You" was "a furiously pretty six note refrain that haunts long after the needle has returned to safety".[9] In a 4 out of 5 review, Select praised the album, saying that "Kiss Them for Me" was a "passionately laidback" single, "exotic" and "funky", with "an underlying hush of electro pulsebeat" making it dancefloor friendly. The rest of the album was also reviewed favourably. "Drifter" was compared to the soundtrack of a Sergio Leone film with a touch of "ethereal sensuality", and "Silver Waterfalls" was qualified as "gorgeous". The reviewer noted that the album ends with the "delicate" "Softly", with lyrics bare and tender enough to be almost like Scott Walker. Glyn Brown concluded: [It is] "ambitious".[11]

LegacyEdit

Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio was inspired by the song "Kiss Them for Me". Sitek stated: "I've always tried to make a song that begins like "Kiss Them for Me". I think songs like "I Was a Lover" or "Wash the Day Away" came from that element of surprise mode where all of a sudden this giant drum comes in and you're like, what the fuck?! That record was the first one where I was like, okay, even my friends're going to fall for this. I feel like that transition into that record was a relief for me. Really beautiful music was always considered too weird by the normal kids and that was the first example where I thought, we've got them, they're hooked! I watched people dance to that song, people who had never heard of any of the music that I listened to, they heard that music in a club and went crazy."[13]

Track listingEdit

All music composed by Siouxsie and the Banshees.

All lyrics are written by Siouxsie Sioux, except where noted.

Side one
No.TitleLyricsLength
1."Kiss Them for Me" 4:37
2."Fear (of the Unknown)" 4:10
3."Cry" 3:33
4."Drifter" 4:43
5."Little Sister"Steven Severin3:21
6."Shadowtime"Severin4:28
Side two
No.TitleLyricsLength
7."Silly Thing" 4:41
8."Got to Get Up" 3:17
9."Silver Waterfalls"Budgie4:24
10."Softly" 6:00
11."The Ghost in You"Severin5:01
2014 CD remastered reissue bonus tracks
No.TitleLyricsLength
12."Face to Face"Sioux4:25
13."Kiss Them for Me (Snapper Mix)" 6:24
14."Kiss Them for Me (Kathak #1 Mix)" 8:55

PersonnelEdit

Additional personnel
  • Talvin Singh – percussion, tabla, tavil
  • Stephen Hague – producer
  • Mike "Spike" Drake – engineer
  • Nigel Godrich – assistant engineer
  • Abdul Kroz-Dressah – assistant engineer
  • Will O'Sullivan – assistant engineer
  • Nigel Vichi - design
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees – design
  • Donna Francesca – photography

ChartsEdit

Album

Chart Position
European Albums (Music & Media) [14] 39
UK Albums Chart 25
US Billboard 200 [1] 65

Singles

Year Single Chart Peak
position
1991 "Kiss Them for Me" US Hot Dance Music/Club Play 8
US Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 9
US Modern Rock Tracks 1
US Billboard Hot 100 23
"Shadowtime" US Modern Rock Tracks 13
1992 "Fear (Of the Unknown)" US Hot Dance Music/Club Play 6
US Modern Rock Tracks 12

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Siouxsie and the Banshees – Awards". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 23 October 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2012.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ Gülden, Gitti. "If you knew Siouxsie". Rock World. 1 October 1992.
  3. ^ Billboard 200 - week 14 September 1991. Billboard. Retrieved 15 August 2015
  4. ^ "Siouxsie and the Banshees - Chart History Billboard 200", Billboard.com, archived from the original on 13 May 2016, retrieved 15 August 2015CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  5. ^ Schwartz, Missy (17 December 2004), "Sioux City; New-wave goddess Siouxsie Sioux led the way for kick-ass frontwomen with bold style. And the Queen Banshee is still wailing", Entertainment Weekly
  6. ^ "Siouxsie and the Banshees relaunch archival campaign, new reissues due out in October". Consequenceofsound. 22 August 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Superstition - Double Vinyl LP". Thesoundofvinyl. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  8. ^ Chris True. "Superstition – Siouxsie and the Banshees". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
  9. ^ a b Wilde, Jon. "The Mirror Crack'd" [Superstition - review]. Melody Maker. 8 June 1991.
  10. ^ a b Sutcliffe, Phil. Superstition review. Q. June 1991
  11. ^ a b Brown, Glyn. "Siouxsie and the Banshees Superstition - review". Select. July 1991.
  12. ^ The Stud Brothers. Melody Maker. 11 May 1991.
  13. ^ "Icon: Siouxsie", The Fader Magazine, The Icon Issue 67, April/May 2010. Page 74
  14. ^ "European Hot 100 Albums" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 8 no. 26. 29 June 1991. p. 21. Retrieved 11 December 2018 – via American Radio History.