The Creatures

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The Creatures
Siouxsie Creatures PromoPhototwo 1989.jpg
The Creatures in 1989. Left to right:
Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie
Background information
Origin London, England
Genres Alternative rock
art rock
Years active 1981–2005
Labels Polydor, Geffen, Sioux Records, Instinct Records
Associated acts Siouxsie and the Banshees
Website Official site
Members Siouxsie Sioux
Budgie

The Creatures was a musical act formed in 1981 as a side-project for Siouxsie and the Banshees members Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie. With the dissolution of Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1996, The Creatures graduated from an occasional side project to a full-time concern. The duo released four studio albums: Feast in 1983, Boomerang in 1989, Anima Animus in 1999 and Hai! in 2003. They disbanded in 2005.

Their music was hailed by Jeff Buckley[1] and PJ Harvey.[2] The Times described their music as "adventurous art rock built around Siouxsie's extraordinary voice and drummer Budgie's battery of percussion".[3]

Wild Things era (1981)[edit]

Singer Siouxsie Sioux and drummer Budgie created The Creatures while recording the Banshees' Juju album. During one session, they discovered by accident that the association of just the voice and the drums suited to the track "But Not Them". A recording session was organized with the aim of recording five songs. This project was released in the form of an EP titled Wild Things. The title track was a reworking of a hit by The Troggs and the other numbers were Creatures compositions. The EP reached number 24 in the UK Singles chart and the pair performed "Mad-Eyed Screamer" on Top of the Pops.

Feast era (1983)[edit]

In 1983, The Creatures released their first full length album Feast. The band decided where to record the album by randomly placing a pin on a map of the world. The result was Hawaii, which led to the featuring of The Lamalani Hula Academy Hawaiian Chanters on some tracks. In the week of its release, the band was on the front cover of both the Melody Maker and the NME.[4][5] The Melody Maker described Feast as "an album of filtered brilliance, fertile, sensual and erotic"[6] and the NME accentuated "The humours of Sioux's frosty larynx are nakedly outlined against skins of sometimes fabulous quality"[7] The album reached number 17 in the UK Albums Chart. The hit single "Miss the Girl" took its inspiration from the book Crash by J. G. Ballard. Shortly after its exit from the charts, a follow-up "Right Now" was recorded: that song was initially performed by Mel Tormé. The Creatures revamped it by adding a brass section, and it became their most successful single, reaching the top fifteen.

Boomerang era (1989)[edit]

The Creatures came back six years later. Siouxsie and Budgie went to a stone barn in Jerez, Andalucia, Spain to record Boomerang. Brass arrangements were used on some tracks and Anton Corbijn took colour pictures for the sleeve. The record was critically acclaimed[8] and widely regarded as Siouxsie and Budgie's crowning achievement as The Creatures. NME wrote : "it's a rich and unsettling landscape of exotica".[9] One of the bluesy songs of Boomerang, "Killing Time", would be later covered live by Jeff Buckley.[10][11] In late 1989, The Creatures made their live debut appearance on U.K television and went on tour shortly after for the first time, visiting Europe and North America. In 2012, the jazzy song "You!" would be used by two dancers in the Us TV'show So You Think You Can Dance.[12]

Collaboration with John Cale and Eraser Cut EP (1996-1998)[edit]

When Siouxsie and the Banshees called it a day in 1996, The Creatures had already begun composing new material. At the same time, the long-out-of-print Wild Things EP and Feast album were remastered and re-released through the compilation A Bestiary Of.

In February 1998, John Cale contacted them for a future collaboration. He was the organizer of the "With a Little Help from My Friends" festival that took place at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. The concert was shown on Dutch national television and featured a Siouxsie song (made for The Creatures) especially composed for the event and still unreleased, "Murdering Mouth" sung in duet with Cale.[13] That night, the Creatures also premiered a live orchestra version of "I Was Me". During mid-1998, the pair toured with John Cale in the U.S, playing yet unreleased material to their audience.

During that period, Siouxsie and Budgie created their own label, Sioux Records, and became an independent act. The Eraser Cut (an anagram of The Creatures), was released in July followed in October by the single "2nd Floor".

Anima Animus era (1999-2002)[edit]

Early in 1999, the Creatures released Anima Animus, the first studio album in just under a decade. Its urban sound was an important departure from Boomerang's very organic atmosphere. The Times wrote: "It's entrancing, hypnotic and inventive",[14] and PJ Harvey selected Anima Animus in her ten favourite albums released in 1999.[15] Other singles from the album were "Say" (dedicated to Billy Mackenzie) and "Prettiest Thing". The song "Another Planet" was included on the soundtrack to the film Lost In Space in a version radically reworked by Juno Reactor. Live albums Zulu (London'98) and Sequins in the Sun (Glastonbury'99) were also released on limited editions via The Creatures website.

In June, The Creatures appeared on Marc Almond's Open All Night; Siouxsie sang in duet on the track "Threat of Love". Late 1999 saw the remix album Hybrids, which featured tracks remixed by other acts including The Beloved.

In 2000, a compilation of unreleased Anima Animus-era tracks was released as U.S. Retrace : it featured the b-side "All She Could Ask For" which was the opening number of all their concerts during that period. Three one-track CDs, ("Murdering Mouth" - live version, "Rocket Ship" and "Red Wrapping Paper"), were also edited to fan club members.

Hai! era (2003-2004)[edit]

Siouxsie and Budgie returned with a full-length album, Hai!, in 2003. The drum sessions were recorded in Japan less than 24 hours after the Banshees had completed their reunion tour Seven Year Itch. Budgie first worked with the Japanese taiko drummer Leonard Eto, the basis of the album being a spontaneous drum duet between the two. The rest of the sessions were done in France over a period of several months. The single "Godzilla!" was described as "spookily brilliant" by the NME[16] and the reviews were favourable for Hai!.[17][18] The opening track "Say Yes" was used during the trailers of The Sopranos 2004 season.[19][20][21]

That same year, Siouxsie was asked to be the guest vocalist on the Basement Jaxx's "Cish Cash": she wrote the lyrics and the electronic musicians composed the music for the track. This record was crowned at the 47th Grammy Awards.[22]

In 2004, Siouxsie toured for the first time billed as a solo act but with Budgie still as drummer and musical arranger. The setlists combined Banshees and Creatures songs. A live DVD called Dreamshow depicted the last London concert of September 2004 performed with the Millennia Ensemble. Released in August 2005, this DVD reached the number one position in the UK music DVD charts.[23]

This was the last release by the pair, as Siouxsie announced publicly during an interview with The Sunday Times in 2007 that she and Budgie had divorced.[24] Their musical partnership has been discontinued for the foreseeable future and, thus, The Creatures have disbanded.

Siouxsie celebrated her 50th birthday in May 2007, and released the first solo album of her career, MantaRay, in October 2007, to critical acclaim.[25]

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Song UK singles U.S. Modern Rock Album
1981 "Mad Eyed Screamer" 24 Wild Things EP
1983 "Miss the Girl" 21 Feast
"Right Now" 14 -
1989 "Standing There" 53 4 Boomerang
1990 "Fury Eyes" 81 12
1998 "2nd Floor" 119 Anima Animus
1999 "Say" 72
"Prettiest Thing" 91
2003 "Godzilla!" 53 Hai!

Albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions
UK Album Chart
[26]
US Billboard 200
[27]
NZ
[28]
1983 Feast 17 - 28
1989 Boomerang - 197 -
1999 Anima Animus 79 - -
2003 Hai! 153 - -

References[edit]

  1. ^ Untiedundone.com archives Jeff Buckley covered "Killing Time" at the radio WFMU Studios, East Orange, NJ, 10.11.92. "Killing Time" is a Siouxsie's song from The Creatures's Boomerang album. Buckley also performed it for his first major gig in London at The Astoria in January 1995.
  2. ^ "7th January 2000 PJ selects her Top 10 Albums of 1999" Pjharvey.net. 7 January 2000. Featuring The Creatures aka Siouxsie and Budgie with the LP Anima Animus.
  3. ^ Williamson, Nigel. "Siouxsie". The Times — Metro. 10 October 1998
  4. ^ "Once A Fakir Always a Fakir". NME. 10 May 1983. Creatures on the front cover, full page.
  5. ^ "The Creatures Siouxsie & Budgie". Melody Maker. 10 May 1983. Creatures on the front cover, full page
  6. ^ Sutherland, Steve. Melody Maker. 14 May 1983
  7. ^ Cook, Richard. "All Creatures Great And Small". NME. 14 May 1983.
  8. ^ Reynolds, Simon. Boomerang review. Melody Maker. 11 November 1989. "'Boomerang' abounds with scarcely anticipated brilliance".
  9. ^ Morton, Roger. "Peek-A-Boom" [Boomerang review]. NME. 11 November 1989
  10. ^ Untiedundone.com archives Jeff Buckley covered "Killing Time" at the radio WFMU Studios, East Orange, NJ, 10.11.92. "Killing Time" is a Siouxsie's song from The Creatures's Boomerang album. Buckley also performed it for his first major gig in London at The Astoria in January 1995.
  11. ^ Jeffbuckley-fr.net list of songs covered by jeff buckley
  12. ^ "So You Think You Can Dance, Week 3 (July 25, 2012)". Fox.com. Retrieved 29-7-12
  13. ^ Siouxsie and John Cale. "Murdering Mouth". Amsterdam, Paradiso (With the Metropole Orchestra). 25 February 1998
  14. ^ "Anima Animus" review. The Times. 2 February 1999.
  15. ^ "7th January 2000 PJ selects her Top 10 Albums of 1999" Pjharvey.net. 7 January 2000. Featuring The Creatures aka Siouxsie and Budgie with the LP Anima Animus.
  16. ^ The Creatures Godzilla NME comment
  17. ^ Watts, Peter. Hai! review. Time out. November 2003. "It's a virile, sultry salute to lust and bondage, and will cure anybody of their hangover. A spine-tingling achievement."
  18. ^ Paytress, Mark. Hai! review. Mojo. November 2003. "Guaranteed to re-ignite the enthusiasm of lapsed Banshees devotees, it'll likely prompt more than a few disbelievers to take note, too. Those big, Bonham-like beats are Sumo-sized headlocks. But Hai! boasts more than a few moments of jasmine-scented intimacy, where Sioux's inimitable Banshee yelp does daintily nuanced dances to Budgie's intricate marimba manipulations. A robust return".
  19. ^ Sopranos 01.03.04 The Creatures.com. Retrieved 1 August 2012
  20. ^ "Sopranos promo music". TheChaseLounge.net. 24 February 2004. Retrieved 1 August 2012
  21. ^ "The Sopranos". AD Tunes. 5 September 2004. Retrieved 1 August 2012
  22. ^ "47th Annual Grammy Awards Winners". BillBoard. 13 February 2005. Best Electronic/Dance Album : "Kish Kash," Basement Jaxx (XL Recordings/Astralwerks
  23. ^ "Siouxsie Number One in UK Music DVD chart". The Creatures Web Site. 30 August 2005. "Dreamshow" Siouxsie Number One in UK Music DVD Chart
  24. ^ Cairns, Dan.Siouxsie Sioux is back in bloom. The Sunday Times. 26 August 2007
  25. ^ Mantaray reviews - Siouxsie Metacritic.com
  26. ^ The Creatures in the Charts theofficialcharts.com
  27. ^ The Creatures in the Billboard www.billboard.com
  28. ^ The Creatures in the Australian Charts australian-charts.com

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]