Juju (Siouxsie and the Banshees album)

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Siouxsie & the Banshees-Juju.jpg
Studio album by Siouxsie and the Banshees
Released 6 June 1981
Recorded 1981
Length 41:06
Label Polydor
PVC (original US release)
Geffen (1984 US reissue)
Siouxsie and the Banshees chronology
A Kiss in the Dreamhouse
(1982)A Kiss in the Dreamhouse1982
Siouxsie Sioux chronology
(1981) Juju1981
Wild Things
The Creatures
(1981) Wild Things1981
Singles from Juju
  1. "Spellbound"
    Released: 22 May 1981
  2. "Arabian Knights"
    Released: 24 July 1981

Juju is the fourth studio album by English alternative rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees. It was recorded at Surrey Sound studio with Nigel Gray as co-producer, and was released on 6 June 1981 by record label Polydor. Two singles were released from Juju: "Spellbound" and "Arabian Knights".

The album was commercially successful in the UK. It was acclaimed by critics upon its release, with praise given particularly to John McGeoch's unconventional guitar playing and Siouxsie's vocal performances. It remains a critical favourite and is seen as a landmark album of post-punk.


Siouxsie and the Banshees in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, after the release of Juju, left to right: John McGeoch, Budgie, Steven Severin and Siouxsie

After the slightly electronic bent of their previous album, 1980's Kaleidoscope, Siouxsie and the Banshees returned to a guitar-based sound for Juju, due to the presence of now-official guitarist McGeoch. The album also prominently featured the intricate percussion work of band member Budgie. According to Steven Severin: "Juju was the first time we'd made a "concept" album that drew on darker elements. It wasn't pre-planned, but, as we were writing, we saw a definite thread running through the songs; almost a narrative to the album as a whole".[1]

The album was recorded at co-producer Gray's Surrey Sound studio. There, McGeoch experimented with a rarely used guitar effects device called the Gizmo for the album track "Into the Light". Attached to the guitar's bridge, the Gizmo used keyed wheels to press the strings, giving a McGeoch's guitar the sound of a classical string instrument.[2] For "Arabian Knights", McGeoch transformed a tune by Siouxsie, initially in waltz rhythm, that she had composed on a Vox Teardrop guitar.[2]

The sleeve reproduced a picture of an African statue that the group found at the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill.[1]

Musical style[edit]

Juju is a post-punk album, and was listed solely as such by AllMusic.[3] The record was also qualified as "art rock" by The Guardian, which also dubbed the two singles as "pop marvels".[4] However, Juju has also been cited by certain critics as gothic rock,[5] though the band dispute such categorisation.[1]


Juju reached No. 7 in the UK Albums Chart, remaining in the chart for 17 weeks.[6]

A 180g vinyl reissue of the album, remastered from the original ¼” tapes and cut half-speed at Abbey Road Studios by Miles Showell, is scheduled to be released on 17 August 2018.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[3]
NMEvery favourable[8]
Sounds4.5/5 stars[9]

Upon its release, Juju received critical acclaim. Sounds hailed the album, observing that Siouxsie's voice "seems to have acquired a new fullness of melody" with "a rich, dark smoothness". Assessing the band's music, writer Betty Page noted: "The way this unit operates is impressively cohesive, like one brain the inventive musical talents of [guitarist] McGeoch, [drummer] Budgie and [bassist] Severin mesh perfectly with Siouxsie". She also praised McGeoch as being "the only man who can make an acoustic guitar sound foreboding".[9] NME considered that "Juju, their fourth LP [might be] their second best", qualifying it as "a peak in entertainment". Critic Paul Morley noted that Siouxsie "exult[ed] with priceless poise". He concluded, naming all the songs, saying : "Side one's highlights – 'Spellbound', 'Into the Light', 'Arabian Knights', 'Halloween' and 'Monitor'. The most consistent side since The Scream. Side two's highlights – 'Night Shift', 'Sin In My Heart', 'Head Cut' and 'Voodoo Dolly'. Juju is the first integrated and sparkling-complete Banshees since The Scream."[8]

In a retrospective review, AllMusic wrote, "The upfront intensity of Juju probably isn't matched anywhere else in the catalog of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Thanks to its killer singles, unrelenting force and invigorating dynamics, Juju is a post-punk classic."[3]

In 2007, The Guardian placed Juju on its "1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die" list, writing, "Perennial masters of brooding suspense, the Banshees honed their trademark aloof art rock to its hardest and darkest pitch on Juju."[4] Juju was also featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[10]


In 1995, Melody Maker writer Cathi Unsworth described Juju as "one of the most influential British albums ever".[11]

McGeoch's guitar playing in particular was singled out for praise by critics and musicians. Mojo honoured him in 2006 by placing him in their list of the 100 greatest guitarists ever for his work on "Spellbound".[12] Johnny Marr of the Smiths said on BBC Radio 2 in February 2008 that he also rated McGeoch highly for his work on "Spellbound". Marr qualified it as "clever", with a "really good picky thing going on which is very un-rock'n'roll".[2] In Uncut, Marr also rated McGeoch as his 10th favourite guitarist for his work on Juju and Real Life by Magazine.[13] Another member of the Smiths, singer Morrissey, commented on "Spellbound" during an interview for the US KROQ-FM radio station in 1997: "Another great single. A hit in England. Certainly not here, I don't think. But they were one of the great groups of the late '70s, early '80s. [...] Siouxsie and the Banshees were excellent [...]"[14] Morrissey later named Juju as a major album of the Banshees.[15]

Radiohead cited Juju, with Thom Yorke, Ed O'Brien and Colin Greenwood all mentioning their liking for the album.[16] O'Brien remembered recording "Spellbound" on a tape recorder after listening to the charts, noting that "it was a great era of music".[17] John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers mentioned it as one of his influences for the album By the Way. He said: "John McGeoch is a guitarist I want to be. He's got a new brilliant idea at each song. I generally listen to the records he recorded with Magazine and Siouxsie and the Banshees, Juju".[18] Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins selected "Arabian Knights" when he talked about some of his favourite music on BBC radio:[19] commenting the song, he said that "Siouxsie and the Banshees were able to unlock certain rhythms and feelings that are still in alt rock today".[20] Suede's singer Brett Anderson cited Juju as a reference point for Black Rainbows while composing material.[21]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Siouxsie Sioux, except where noted; all music composed by Siouxsie and the Banshees (Sioux, Steven Severin, Budgie and John McGeoch).

Side A
2."Into the Light" 4:15
3."Arabian Knights" 3:05
5."Monitor" 5:33
Side B
1."Night Shift"6:06
2."Sin in My Heart"3:37
3."Head Cut"4:22
4."Voodoo Dolly"7:04
2006 reissue bonus tracks
10."Spellbound" (12" extended mix)Severin4:41
11."Arabian Knights" (12" vocoder mix) 3:09
12."Fireworks" (Nigel Gray unreleased version)Severin4:13


Siouxsie and the Banshees


  • Nigel Gray – production
  • Rob O'Connor – sleeve design
  • Joe Lyons – sleeve photography


  1. ^ a b c Paytress 2003, p. 106.
  2. ^ a b c Mitchell, Pete (February 2008). "Spellbound: The Story of John McGeoch". BBC Radio 2. YouTube. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c DiGravina, Tim. "Ju Ju – Siouxsie and the Banshees". AllMusic. AllRovi. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Petridis, Alexis (21 November 2007). "Artists Beginning with S". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Blackmore, Neil (2003). Buckley, Peter, ed. The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. pp. 941–942. ISBN 1843531054. 
    Reynolds, Simon (2005). Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–1984. Faber and Faber. ISBN 0571252273. 
  6. ^ "Siouxsie & the Banshees [uk charts]". officialcharts.com. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Join Hands Siouxsie and the Banshees Vinyl". Udiscovermusic. Retrieved 1 July 2018. 
  8. ^ a b Morley, Paul (27 June 1981). Juju [album review]. NME. 
  9. ^ a b Page, Betty (27 June 1981). "Siouxsie & The Banshees: Juju ****1/2". Sounds. Rock's Backpages. Retrieved 5 June 2013.  (subscription required)
  10. ^ Dimery, Robert (2005). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Cassell Illustrated. 
  11. ^ Unsworth, Cathi (14 January 1995). "Baby, Come Back". Melody Maker. 
  12. ^ "Mojo – 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time", Mojo, June 1996 
  13. ^ Marr, Johnny (November 2004). "Top Ten Guitarists". Uncut. 
  14. ^ "Morrissey – KROQ Interview, 7-6-97 (pt. 4/4)". morrissey-solo.com. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  15. ^ Deevoy, Adrian (October 2005). "Men of the Year". GQ. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  16. ^ Ryan Dombal. "Radiohead interview". Pitchfork. 28 March 2008. Retrieved 16 May 2016. "Yeah. In rehearsals yesterday, Thom, Ed and I were running through a Siouxsie and the Banshees cover called "Happy House" and Jonny [Greenwood]-- the young one-- was like, "What the fuck is this?" And we're like, "You know, Siouxsie and the Banshees! Check out Juju."
  17. ^ Casandra Scaroni and Samuel Dietz (2 September 2011). "You've got to find a voice". Al tuntún. Retrieved 10 May 2016. 
  18. ^ Borjesson, Tore S (23 March 2003). "Red Hots verkliga frontman". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  19. ^ "6 music playlist Billy Corgan". BBC.co.uk. Broadcast on 7 December 2014. Retrieved 15-5-2015
  20. ^ "Billy Corgan plays X tracks while hosting SiriusXM Lithium station". crestfallen.com. 28 October 2011. Archived from the original on 31 August 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  21. ^ "The Best Thing I've Heard – Brett Anderson Suede head". Mojo. Archived from the original on 16 March 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2012. I've been listening to lots of my old records, like... Siouxsie & The Banshees' Ju Ju 


  • Paytress, Mark (2003). Siouxsie & the Banshees – The Authorised Biography. Sanctuary Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-86074-375-7.