The Best of Siouxsie and the Banshees is a decent look into the eclectic world of Siouxsie Sioux.
Once Upon a Time: The Singles collects all ten of Siouxsie and the Banshees' A-sides spanning the years 1978-1981, with four songs otherwise unavailable on LP. It's a neat and accessible encapsulation of the group's early guitar-driven sound – a frosty, dissonant art punk that had a tremendous impact on the emerging goth rock scene. Unlike similarly forbidding work by such proto-goth contemporaries as Joy Division or the Cure, the early Banshees were tense and visceral; the darkness of the Once Upon a Time singles doesn't come from a sense of downcast gloom so much as it does from a jittery angst. Yet as challenging as the music is, it's also accessible enough for eight of these singles to have charted in the British Top 50. The melodies are angular and almost alien, yes, but oddly memorable once the listener has assimilated them. Starting shortly after the period covered by this collection, Siouxsie Sioux's icy detachment would be fused with an elegant romanticism and lusher, smoother arrangements.
Years after the breakup of Siouxsie and the Banshees, the three core members (Siouxsie Sioux, Steven Severin and Budgie) plus final Banshees guitarist Knox Chandler reunited for an abbreviated tour of the US and the UK in 2002. The Seven Year Itch is a live album composed of performances recorded at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire on July 9 and 10, 2002. Released by Sanctuary Records in 2003 (in CD and DVD formats), both critics and fans praised the tour and album as the Banshees concentrated not on radio hits, but both popular and obscure B-sides and album tracks, many pulled from their early albums.
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" of the post-punk era. In August 2007, it was ranked No. 1 on Mojo magazine's list of the best albums of 1982.
It would have been easy to write off the Banshees after the so-so Superstition, especially given the fact that it came after two uneven and disappointing albums (including the unnecessary covers collection Through the Looking Glass) Frankly, one of punk's most consistently invigorating acts seemed to have run their course. Sure enough, The Rapture proved to be their final recording. The surprise is that it's a career highpoint. The band deny, incidentally, that they knew this was to be their last album. Quite how Siouxsie, Severin and Budgie rediscovered their chemistry is a moot point - some credited producer John Cale, who worked on four tracks - but rediscover it they did. Despite nods to the band's past in the savage "Not Forgotten," the real gems are the sunny-side-up "O, Baby" (when did Siouxsie ever sound so genuinely happy?) and an 11-minute title-track that is as dazzling as anything they have ever performed. A classic case of leaving the scene on a high note, and a fitting final chapter from one of punk's finest, and most dignified, bands.
Tinderbox is the most musically up-tempo of all Siouxsie and the Banshees' albums and the most stylistically consistent one since The Scream and Join Hands. Most of the selections here feature urgently rocking drumming, drivingly aggressive yet fully textured guitar playing, and masterful, gutsy singing. The songs here are intense and unfold slowly, some starting off less vigorously but becoming hard rockers further along. There is of course a fine line between consistency and lack of contrast, but this album stays firmly on the side of the former; in fact, there's a certain satisfying feel to the musically uniform wall of sound here. The arrangements are less complex than in immediately preceding albums, but there are still plenty of subtle, effective production touches to be found throughout, most notably in the song "Cannons." "Cities in the Dust," a dance-pop number with a bell-like synthesizer opening section, stretches the above-mentioned boundaries the most, though typically bleak lyrics keep this selection from any sense of vacuity. This excellent release is well worth purchasing.
After building up an intense live reputation and a rabid fan base, Siouxsie and the Banshees almost had to debut with a stunner – which they did, "Hong Kong Garden" taking care of things on the singles front and The Scream on the full-length. Matched with a downright creepy cover and a fair enough early producing effort from Steve Lillywhite – well before he found gated drum sounds – it's a fine balance of the early band's talents. – Allmusic 4/5
The Very Best of Adam And The Ants is a greatest hits compilation album. It includes songs from Adam and the Ants & Adam Ant's solo works, with all their hits and pop faves, like "Stand & Deliver", "Dog Eat Dog", "Prince Charming", "Goody Two Shoes", "Puss N Boots", "Friend Or Foe" and many more. 22 tracks.
The definitive Jay & the Americans collection, Come a Little Bit Closer: The Best of Jay & the Americans, collects the highlights of the band's career with each of its lead singers, Jay Traynor and Jay Black. Traynor was the voice behind the group's first big hit, 1962's "She Cried," as well as singles like "Dawning," the melody of which cleverly mimics Edvard Grieg's "Morning Mood" and a laid-back version of "Tonight" from West Side Story. It's too bad that the Americans didn't wait to record that last song until Black had entered their fold. His impressive range and theatrical delivery made songs like "Only in America" sound like they were from some forgotten musical and made the band's version of "Crying" closely rival Roy Orbison's original. Along with the title track, "Come a Little Bit Closer" also features the hits "Cara Mia" – one of the best showcases for Black's vocal prowess – and "This Magic Moment," as well as sound-alike follow-ups like "Let's Lock the Door (And Throw Away the Key)," "Some Enchanted Evening," and "Sunday and Me".