Peek-a-Boo (song)

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Not to be confused with Peekaboo.
Single by Siouxsie and the Banshees
from the album Peepshow
B-side "False Face", "Catwalk"
Released 11 July 1988
Format 7", 12", CD
Recorded 1988
Genre alternative rock
Length 3:10
Label Polydor (UK), Geffen (U.S.)
Writer(s) Siouxsie and the Banshees
Harry Warren
Johnny Mercer
Producer(s) Siouxsie and the Banshees
Siouxsie and the Banshees singles chronology
"Song from the Edge of the World"
"The Killing Jar"

"Peek-a-Boo" is a song by English alternative rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees. It was released in 1988 as the first single from the band's ninth studio album, Peepshow. Melody Maker described the song as "a brightly unexpected mixture of black steel and pop disturbance" and qualified its genre as "thirties hip hop".[1] "Peek-a-Boo" was rated "Single of the Week" in Sounds magazine; reviewer Peter Keane wrote that it was a "brave move", "playful and mysterious".[2]

Bloc Party praised "Peek-a-Boo" and their singer Kele Okereke said: "It sounded like nothing else on this planet. This is just a pop song that they put out in the middle of their career that nobody knows about, but to me it sounded like the most current but most futuristic bit of guitar-pop music I've heard."[3]


The song's peculiar sound is due to its experimental recording which was based on a sample. The song was built on a loop in reverse of a brass part with drums which the group previously arranged a year before for a cover of John Cale's "Gun".[4] The band selected different parts of that tape when played backwards, editing them and re-recording on top of it, adding a different melody plus accordion, a one-note bass and discordant guitar. Drummer Budgie also added another beat. Once the instrumental parts were finished, Siouxsie sang her lyrics over it. The lyric track was further manipulated by Siouxsie's use of a different microphone for each line of the song.[4] It took the band a year to arrive at this result. When initially composed to be an extra track for 1987's "The Passenger" single, the band realized that the song was too good to be relegated to B-side status and deserved better exposure.

"Peek-a-Boo" was one of Siouxsie and the Banshees' most recognisable and popular singles; it was also the group's first to chart in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, where it reached number 53.[5] The song was very popular on alternative rock radio and received heavy play on MTV. In September 1988, Billboard magazine premiered a new Modern Rock Tracks chart which measureed radio airplay on USA modern rock stations; "Peek-a-Boo" was the chart's first No. 1 song. "Peek-a-Boo" also became their fifth Top 20 UK hit, peaking at number 16 in the UK singles chart.[6]

A minor controversy ensued after the single's release, as the lines to the chorus ("...Golly jeepers/Where'd you get those weepers?/Peepshow, creepshow/Where did you get those eyes?...") were found to be too similar to the lyrics in the 1938 song "Jeepers Creepers". To remedy the situation and to avoid legal action, the band gave co-songwriting credit on "Peek-a-Boo" to Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer.

On the Beavis & Butt-head episode "Sperm Bank," Beavis noted that "this is music for people who don't have any friends, because people would leave when the song is playing".[7]

The music video was chosen by The Chart Show to be their "Best Video of the Year" for 1988.

"Peek-a-Boo" was covered in 2010 by Australian artist Bertie Blackman.

The song was made available as downloadable content for the Rock Band platform on 20 April 2010.

The song was used in the 2001 movie Jeepers Creepers, playing on the radio in a police car.


Chart (1988) Peak
Irish Singles Chart 18
UK Singles Chart 16
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 53
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 14

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mathur, Paul. "Born Again Savages". Melody Maker. 9 July 1988.
  2. ^ Kane, Peter (23 July 1988). single of the week. Sounds. 
  3. ^ O'Kane, Josh (18 September 2008). "Talking Bloc during Harvest Jazz". [Here] New Brunswick. Retrieved 2012-03-17. With the new record, he said he was inspired by a song written years ago by Siouxsie and the Banshees called Peek-a-boo. "I heard it for the first time, and it sounded like nothing else on this planet. This is just a pop song that they put out in the middle of their career that nobody knows about, but to me it sounded like the most current but most futuristic bit of guitar-pop music I've heard. I thought, that'd be cool, to make music that people might not get at the time, but in ten years' time, people would revisit it." 
  4. ^ a b "The Music Producers, Part Two". The Word. 14 June 2008. 
  5. ^ "Siouxsie & the banshees Billboard singles". Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  6. ^ "Siouxsie & the Banshees [uk charts]". Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Beavis and Butt-head - PEEK A BOO (Siouxsie & the Banshees)". 

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