Epitome: Siouxsie – “Israel (live)”, from the Nocturne video, Royal Albert Hall, September 1983

As I said in this post over here, 1983 was a hectic time for the Siouxsie and the Banshees and Cure families.  Robert Smith was cosied up with Steve Severin, consumption and creativity levels were high and thus was formed the Glove.

Smith still found time to play guitar with Siouxsie and the Banshees on tour.  He’d played with the Banshees before in 1979, when the Cure had also supported them – busy night for Bob.

So, the Banshees toured and played the Royal Albert Hall on September 30th and October 1st 1983.  Both nights were recorded and the best tracks selected for Nocturne – on video, double LP (with four extra tracks), later on CD, and latest on DVD (along with the 45min Channel Four music show “Play at Home” [discussed here, with the entire show via YouTube] and the Dear Prudence promo video).  The opening track is “Israel” – another of those pesky standalone singles which were released between LPs (like “Fireworks”) – and it really sets the bar high for quality – both of song and delivery.

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Epitome: Sisters of Mercy – “Good Things”, 1982 John Peel session

Because out there the snipers work the ridges,
Building bombs and blowing bridges,
Out there on a darkened road,
The lines are dead and the cars explode.

But in here, there’s nothing but the good things.

This track – Good Things, by the Sisters of Mercy – is the very fabric of goth itself.  Black fabric, of course.  Fuck knows what Eldritch is trying to say here (if anything at all, but it checks all the necessary post-industrial, post-apocalyptic, death/gloom/despair, military boxes necessary for any archetypal goth epic), but man, this is my kind of song.

If you like the Sisters, you probably know the Alice EP intimately.  It was recorded before Wayne Hussey joined, and the sound was spikier, more angular, more urgent.  Good Things was never released officially, although it did appear in their debut 1982 Peel session, and this, for many reasons, is the best version.  The Sisters’ Radio One sessions (Peel and Kid Jensen) have never been released officially, but this session was re-broadcast by Radio 6 via DAB (digital radio) and was sucked up by the vast internet MP3 Hoover.

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Epitome: The Cure – “a Forest”, live from Glastonbury, June 1986

A Forest is probably the most iconic track that the Cure have released.  Do I think it is their finest hour?  No, although I am sure many would disagree with me, but it is definitely up there (personally I am more of a Pornography man).

So why, if I am writing articles about bands’ finest moments why am I starting with a Forest by the Cure?  Well, it’s because this version of a Forest – live at Glastonbury 1986 – is, in my humble opinion, the BEST version of a Forest (well, that I have heard, to date, anyway).

Have a listen to all of the glorious 9 minutes and 32 seconds of it and judge for yourself.

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