Tinderbox (Siouxsie and the Banshees album)

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Studio album by Siouxsie and the Banshees
Released 21 April 1986
Recorded 1985
Genre Alternative rock
Length 38:21
Label Polydor (UK)
Geffen/Warner Bros. (USA)
Producer Siouxsie and the Banshees
Siouxsie and the Banshees chronology
Through the Looking Glass
Singles from Tinderbox
  1. "Cities in Dust"
    Released: 18 October 1985
  2. "Candyman"
    Released: 28 February 1986
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]

Tinderbox is the seventh studio album by the English alternative rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees, released in 1986. It was the first effort recorded with new guitarist John Valentine Carruthers on a LP; until then, Carruthers had only added a few parts on 1984's The Thorn EP. The recording sessions for this album took place at Hansa Studios, by the Berlin Wall in May 1985.

Tinderbox peaked at number 13 in the UK albums chart:[2] it was reissued, remastered and expanded in 2009, featuring among the bonus tracks an unreleased version of 1987's "Song from the Edge of the World" non-album single, and an unreleased song with lyrics by Steven Severin called "Starcrossed", recorded in May 1985. The B-sides of "Cities in Dust" and "Candyman", initially included as bonus tracks on the 1986 CD, were also included in the Downside Up B-sides box set.

Critical reception[edit]

Sounds magazine praised the album on its release. Kevin Murphy wrote, "Tinderbox romps and swoons with all the majesty of Dreamhouse", and added, "it's a refreshing slant on the Banshees' disturbing perspective and restores their vivid shades to pop's pale palette."[3]

Jon Savage also hailed the record in Spin magazine:

"its scope, ease, and assurance make it a good collection for the Banshees to relaunch themselves into the international market this spring. Carruthers fits in to the point that you wouldn't know there was a change, and Budgie's drumming is superb. Apart from the singles "Cities in Dust" and "Candyman" (which perpetuates the Banshees' sinister view of childhood), the sparks fly on the crystal clear "Cannons" and the unsettling "Parties Fall".[4]

AllMusic reviewer David Cleary retrospectively gave the record a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating and applauded the band for

"rocking drumming, drivingly aggressive yet fully textured guitar playing, and masterful, gutsy singing. The songs here are intense and unfold slowly, some starting off less vigorously but becoming hard rockers further along. There is of course a fine line between consistency and lack of contrast, but this album stays firmly on the side of the former; in fact, there's a certain satisfying feel to the musically uniform wall of sound here. The arrangements are less complex than in immediately preceding albums, but there are still plenty of subtle, effective production touches to be found throughout."[1]

The Quietus also praised the reissue of the album and said:

"By removing the focus from the guitar, Siouxsie & The Banshees forged a sound that was totally their own. Rhythmic and percussive, the rock idiom of old was eschewed in favour of a sound that was wholly their own. "Cities In Dust", the first taster from Tinderbox, found the band moving into more electronic climes as Severin's recently purchased DX-7 synth discovered new territories to explore."[5]

Tinderbox would be later hailed by the singer of Suede, Brett Anderson.[6]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks by Siouxsie and the Banshees.