80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Sisters Of Mercy

SOM_a

[Author’s edit: I see that the greedy suits at Warner Music Group are sticking it to the people that pay their elaborate salaries – they have taken down the “This Corrosion” video from YouTube. Someday the music companies will realize what a mistake they made when they no longer benefit from the free advertising that fan videos give them. Feh!]

As many of you know, I missed out on a lot of vital 80’s Post-punk and New Wave because during that time, life very much got in the way. It was more than a decade later, with the encouragement of several 80’s-philes, that I became totally enthralled and immersed in the best music that the 80’s had to offer.

The first time I recall hearing Sisters of Mercy was a few years ago. At that time, I was driving down US Highway One in Ft. Lauderdale, listening to Sirius-22 First Wave. This song came on that jolted me like an electric shock. Of course, no one back-announced the band/song name, and knowing that they probably wouldn’t, I had found a slip of paper and a pen in my purse and was madly scribbling lyrics as I drove. Later that evening, I Googled the lyrics, looked the results up on YouTube, and thus began my late-in-life love affair with Goth rock. The song was “This Corrosion,” and the band was Sisters of Mercy.SOM_b

Sisters of Mercy began life in 1980 in Leeds, UK with Andrew Eldritch (vocals, keyboards, guitars), Gary Marx (guitars), and Doktor Avalanche drum machine. The band went through many line-ups, break-ups and assorted other drama throughout the decade. At one point, American bassist Patricia Morrison joined the group and added a strong visually appealing component to the band’s gothic theme with her sultry Mistress of the Dark, vampiric beauty. The band’s history reads like a soap opera and the details can be found here.

I confess that much like Barry Andrew’s (Shriekback) deep, throaty singing, Andrew Eldritch’s baritone sends tingles down my spine. It is not overdone. In fact, my biggest complaint with groups such as Type O Negative and 69 Eyes is that the deep lead voices are so overplayed that they become obvious caricatures, rather than plausible and vital parts of the music.

The bottom line is, Goth rock gained a strong foothold alongside the New Wave and Post-punk scenes of the 80’s. Fueled by early Post-punk talent such as Bauhaus, The Cure, and Sisters of Mercy, the genre grew its followers and enjoys great popularity even today. Sisters of Mercy was an important part of this cycle of birth and evolution, and remains a top influence for current Goth bands.

The following videos will give you a sense of the music, but try to keep an open mind. Forget the Michael Jackson-esque shades and the legions of undead. Forget the campy costumes and the very 80’s hair. Close your eyes, if need be, and just soak in the energy of pure, cutting edge Goth. Back then, no one did it better.

Lucretia, My Reflection” via YouTube user rhubarbcream:

“This Corrosion” via YouTube user MilenaSartoratti:

More” via Youtube user rhubarbcream:

 “Dominion” via YouTube user MilenaSartoratti:

Purchase Sisters of Mercy music here.

Discography

SOM1First and Last and Always (1985)

 

SOM2Floodland (1987)

 

SOM3Vision Thing (1990)

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14 thoughts on “80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Sisters Of Mercy

  1. I was just talking to a friend of mine about this band last week….lol A mutual frined got an ipod and asked him to load it with music. He was coming up blank on a lot of bands and asked me to come up with some. This was one of the ones I specifically told him that she could not do without!

    Cheers,

    Moe

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  2. Hey ((((((Moe))))))

    That was a great call on your part. Definitely an influential band as far as Goth (and eventually) Industrial go. As Gary Numan moved more towards goth/industrial, the influences are apparent in his music, only heavier on the synths.

    Cheers!
    MissP
    xo

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  3. I don’t think of the Sisters as underrated as much as I consider the critics of the day to often be a little thick and glaringly simple.

    The Sisters of Mercy is one of the greatest bands to come out of the post-punk era. While it is unfortunate they were stuffed into the Gothic and Darkwave genres, SOM stand far apart from other acts in those veins. In fact, I can’t think of a single sisters lyric that is ‘gothic’ — but I feel the same way about Joy Division. SOM made it’s place in music history without singing about vampires or demons.

    Andrew seemed set in his vision of the band, while Wayne and Craig (imho) wanted to focus a bit more on the fame aspect and didn’t seem to mind the gothic associations (aside from their personal issues with Eldritch). Whatever my personal opinions of Hussey and Adams are, that era of Sisters was perhaps the best incarnation. That said, I do feel that Floodland (and that era of the Sisters) was an excellent album — just very different in it’s style and structure, which was very thematic. I often refer to it as their “Wish You Were Here”, “The Wall” or “Tommy.”

    Sisters of mercy (and Sisterhood) has been a huge inspiration in my life, beginning in 1988 when I first heard First, Last & Always. I will always be grateful for the void in my life that the music and lyrics help fill, and still continue to fill.

    Here’s to 30 years of beautiful music.

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  4. Bunny,
    I appreciate the wonderful and heartfelt summation. You have written a fabulous testimonial to a top-notch band. There are songs that have carried me through my darkest times, very much as you have described – and although I can’t say those songs were by SOM, I can certainly relate to the gratitude that you feel.

    I don’t know how people get through their days without meaningful music.

    Thank you for taking the time to write. All the best to you,

    MissP
    xo

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  5. I know a few people who are indifferent to music. They like it well enough, I suppose, but they probably wouldn’t miss it, if music were suddenly gone for good.

    I wouldn’t know how to live like that.

    Cheers, MissP

    ~Bunny

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  6. I agree – sad, indeed. But at least we can still enjoy the music they made.

    Thank you for your comment!

    Cheers,
    MissP
    x

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  7. Well, technically they didn’t stop making music. They just stopped making Albums. There’s quite a few songs that have been written since Vision Thing (and I’m not speaking of the tanked SSV release that was done to get out of their label contract).

    I would like to have studio versions of the new songs, at some point. May or may not happen, but perhaps one day!

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  8. Pingback: 80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ Mission UK « Rave and Roll Blog

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