Saturday, March 9, 2013


YEAR:  1978
LABEL:  Polydor
TRACK LISTING:  Pure,  Jigsaw Feeling,  Overground,  Carcass,  Helter Skelter,  Mirage,  Metal Postcard (Mittageisen),  Nicotine Stain,  Suburban Relapse,  Switch
BONUS TRACKS:  (On Deluxe Edition):  Makeup To Break Up (Riverside Session),  Love In A Void (John Peel 29/11/77),  Mirage (John Peel 29/11/77),  Metal Postcard (John Peel 29/11/77),  Suburban Relapse (John Peel 29/11/77),  Hong Kong Garden (6/2/78),  Overground (John Peel 6/2/78),  Carcass (John Peel 6/2/78),  Helter Skelter (John Peel 6/2/78),  Metal Postcard (Mittageisen) (Pathway Session),  Suburban Relapse (Pathway Session),  The Staircase (Mystery) (Pathway Session),  Mirage (Pathway Session),  Nicotine Stain (Pathway Session),  Hong Kong Garden,  The Staircase (Mystery)
IMPRESSIONS:  Truth be told; 1978 was a shit year for me.  I was the "new kid in town" for about a year when a number of things went wrong for me in my middle year of middle school.  But one thing I could rely upon was music.  And truth be also told; 1978 had some good music in it.  Disco, of course, was riding high and, while I was never a huge fan of disco I liked the "really good" disco.  I picked up the SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER soundtrack at the Sound Odyssey in the Cherry Hill Mall when it came out and its still a pretty interesting record.  However, through my friend Chris in Marlton Middle School I had gotten into AC/DC, Black Sabbath and Monty Python records (not necessarily in that order).  Besides that, there was the K-Tel (or somebody's) compilation THE MAGIC OF ABBA which I played to death as well as Parliament's MOTOR BOOTY AFFAIR, THE BEST OF EARTH WIND & FIRE VOL. 1 and Paul McCartney's WINGS GREATEST.  1978, for me, was also the year of The Alan Parsons Project's PYRAMID, Al Stewart's TIME PASSAGES and Steve Martin's A WILD AND CRAZY GUY.  This was a year of Blondie, Cheap Trick and The Cars for me as well.  This was also the year of Kate Bush's THE KICK INSIDE and LIONHEART, Rush's HEMISPHERES, Bob Marley's KAYA, Funkadelic's ONE NATION UNDER A GROOVE and the Walker Brothers' NITE FLIGHTS; none of which I heard in the year 1978.  It would take a couple years for me to get around to them.  And Siouxsie & the Banshees' debut album THE SCREAM is also in this latter category.  I would be a fan of Adam & the Ants and Lene Lovich before I got around to Siouxsie; and both these acts owe a lot to Ms. Dallion.  Formed out of a group of kids known as the "Bromley Contingent" that circled around the Sex Pistols, Siouxsie & the Banshees would make a debut album which Garry Mulholland refers to as "a darkly comic storm of musical innovation and youthful dread".  Mulholland also describes Siouxsie as a sort of punk rock version of Liza Minnelli in CABARET; "...innocent decadents in a fascist nightmare".  Whether or not you can lay the birth of "goth" at their feet (and Mulholland keeps insisting it ain't their fault!), THE SCREAM is a seminal album of 1978.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS:  Jigsaw Feeling, Overground,  Helter Skelter,  Metal Postcard (Mittageisen),  Nicotine Stain,  Switch,  Hong Kong Garden,  The Staircase (Mystery)
FACT SHEET:  THE SCREAM is Siouxsie & the Banshees' first album.  The album was produced by Steve Lillywhite.  "Helter Skelter" is a cover of the Beatles song written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney. 


  1. Absolute belter of an album. They used to open with Jigsaw Feelings when playing live and the Kenny Morris John McAy Sioux Severin line up were a blistering live act who I was fortunate enough to have seen many times (memorably at the Hammersmith Odeon in 78). The beauty of The Scream is it's cohesiveness and stripped back simplicity. I put it right up their as an example of a perfect debut. Good choice sir.

  2. Thank you, sir! I too think that THE SCREAM is a perfect distillation of that time and that sound - post-punk or whatever they're calling it. It's like a perfect warped gem. And good on ya for having seen them live!