Cities in Dust

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Cities in Dust"
Siouxsie Cities.jpg
Single by Siouxsie and the Banshees
from the album Tinderbox
  • "An Execution"
  • "Quarterdrawing of the Dog"
Released 18 October 1985 (1985-10-18)
Recorded 1985
Length 4:06
Label Polydor
Producer(s) Siouxsie and the Banshees
Siouxsie and the Banshees singles chronology
"Cities in Dust"

"Cities in Dust"

"Cities in Dust" is a song by English rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees from their seventh studio album, Tinderbox (1986). It was released on 18 October 1985 as the album's lead single. The "Cities in Dust" 12-inch vinyl was the first Banshees' single release in the United States, on Geffen Records.

Background and composition[edit]

"Cities in Dust" is a dance-rock and dance-pop song.[1][2] The song describes the city of Pompeii, destroyed in a volcanic eruption in 79 AD. Imagery describing the volcano and its magma chamber, the condition of the victims of the eruption, and the subsequent discovery and excavation of the city comprises the bulk of the lyrics. The lyrics mention a shrine to Lares Familiares.


"Cities in Dust" peaked at No. 21 on the UK Singles Chart.[3] Although not Siouxsie and the Banshees' first song to enter the US Hot Dance/Disco chart, it was their first significant success, climbing to No. 17.

Spin hailed the group for creating "this intoxicating wonderful commercial dance record without losing their edge". Reviewer John Leland said, "In a month of good dance rock records, this is the best", and noted that it was "full bodied, dense, with layers of chugging funk guitars, toy piano, and various electronic things". He concluded with praise for Siouxsie's performance: "It's rare these days to find a full production job that draws its identity from the voice".[2]

In 2011, singer Brett Anderson of Suede cited "Cities in Dust" as one of his favourite songs.[4]

In popular culture[edit]

The song was featured in the 1997 film Grosse Pointe Blank,[5] the 2017 spy film Atomic Blonde and its soundtrack,[6] and the 2018 second season of the Netflix teen drama series 13 Reasons Why and its soundtrack.[7]

Cover versions[edit]

A cover by Brazilian band Pato Fu was included on their album Daqui Pro Futuro (2007).

"Cities in Dust" was covered live by theStart during numerous concerts in 2007 and 2008.[8]

A cover by electronic artist Junkie XL was released as a single in 2008, and included on the Booming Back at You album; the soundtrack for the racing video game Burnout Paradise and the compilation album OMFGG – Original Music Featured on Gossip Girl No. 1.

A cover of the song by the Everlove was used in the trailers for the 2012 video game Transformers: Fall of Cybertron; that cover was also featured in a 2014 trailer for the fourth season of the HBO series Game of Thrones.[9]


Chart (1985) Peak
Ireland (IRMA)[10] 22
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[11] 37
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[12] 21
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[13] 17


  1. ^ Clearly, David. "Tinderbox – Siouxsie and the Banshees". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 June 2018. 
  2. ^ a b Leland, John (March 1986). "Singles". Spin. Vol. 1 no. 11. ISSN 0886-3032. Retrieved 16 June 2018 – via Google Books. 
  3. ^ Johns, Brian. Entranced : the Siouxsie and the Banshees story. Omnibus Press, 1989. Page 94. ISBN 9780711917736
  4. ^ "Culture (by Brett Anderson)". 20 July 2011. Archived from the original on 11 September 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "Grosse Pointe Blank Soundtrack". Retrieved 2017-10-15. 
  6. ^ "Atomic Blonde Movie Soundtrack". Retrieved 2017-08-02. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Avery, Dan. HBO Releases Second "Game Of Thrones" Season 4 Trailer, "Vengeance". 18 February 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014
  10. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Cities in Dust". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  11. ^ " – Siouxsie & the Banshees – Cities in Dust" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 30 October 2010.
  12. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Siouxsie the Banshees Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 15 June 2018.