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Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Siouxsie and The Banshees- The Best of Siouxsie and The Banshees


  Artist: Siouxsie & the Banshees
CD Title: The Best of Siouxsie & the Banshees [limited edition]
Label: Universal
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 12/29/02

With two successful singles compilations (Once Upon a Time and Twice Upon a Time) under their belts, the Banshees decided to put out a condensed 1 CD "best of" disc with a limited edition second CD for the hardcore fans. While the 2 singles compilations, each comprising a certain era in Banshees history, seem to flow smoothly and almost have the cohesion of solid studio albums, the "best of" disc shows why these 2 eras should not be represented on one CD.

The 15 non-chronologically-ordered tracks found here haphazardly jump stylistically and sonically from one to another, giving the album a disjointed and highly uneven feel. This actually causes some of the material (mostly the songs from the Once Upon A Time era) to be perceived as much weaker than it would be if it were in its proper element. The remastering helps to accentuate this by making the more modern or upbeat rock/pop material sound great while revealing flaws in the recording/performance of some of the earlier songs... It's hard to understand the purpose of a "best of" album that puts many of your "best" in a bad light.... Fans will still find some positives on the hits disc. As I mentioned, some of the remastered tracks sound great. You'll also find the single mix of "Stargazer" (from The Rapture, which was not represented on either previous singles compilation), a slightly extended version of "This Wheel's on Fire", and a chopped-down 3 minute version of the great new track "Dizzy" (a song that I believe dates back to the early-mid 90s and was sold as a single on the band's 7 Year Itch reuinion tour in 2002).

The bonus disc contains 9 remixes that clock in at a little over an hour, including the previously unreleased "Kathak #2 mix" of "Kiss Them for Me" that spans nearly 10 minutes. Unfortunately, with the exception of finally having a version of "Song from the Edge of the World" on CD, most of the remixes here are unexceptional and way too long and repetitive (many of them pushing well over the 7 minute mark by repeatedly recycling the same sections). Hardcore fans might want the remixes for their collection, but newcomers and casual fans probably wouldn't find the bonus disc very rewarding.

If you're a newcomer to the band, get Twice Upon a Time and Once Upon a Time. They'll give you a much clearer picture of what Siouxsie and the Banshees are about than this watered down and inconsistent compilation. If you're a casual fan, you might want to pick up the single disc version just for "Dizzy".. The bonus disc found here is only for hardcore fans (most of whom would still rather have a disc of some of the band's many out-of-print b-sides than one of mediocre remixes)..


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