Kiss Them for Me (song)
|"Kiss Them for Me"|
|Single by Siouxsie and the Banshees|
|from the album Superstition|
|B-side||"Staring Back", "Return"|
|Released||13 May 1991|
|Format||7" and 12" vinyl, CD, cassette|
|Genre||Alternative dance, art pop|
|Writer(s)||Susan Ballion, Peter Edward Clarke, Martin McCarrick and Steven Severin|
|Siouxsie and the Banshees singles chronology|
"Kiss Them for Me" is a song written and recorded by English rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees and produced by Stephen Hague. It was released in 1991 as the first single from the band's 10th studio album, Superstition.
Upon its release, the single received enthusiastic reviews. "Kiss Them for Me" became their most successful single in the US.
Background and lyrics
The song presented a change in musical direction for Siouxsie and the Banshees, adopting a much more straightforward pop-oriented feel than previous efforts, due in part to Hague's production work. Siouxsie Sioux's cryptic lyrics were an ode to actress and sex symbol Jayne Mansfield – using the actress' catchword "divoon", referring to her heart-shaped swimming pool and her love of champagne and parties, and to the grisly automobile accident which claimed her life in 1967. Kiss Them for Me was also the name of a 20th Century Fox motion picture made in 1957 starring Mansfield and Cary Grant.
A mid-tempo track with an uplifting melody, it was influenced by Asian music and featured South Asian instrumentation, which had become popular in the UK club scene due to the growth of bhangra. Tabla player Talvin Singh (future percussionist for Björk on her 1993 Debut album) took part in the sessions and also sang during the bridge. The beat was taken from a Roland TR-909 drum machine stock beat that had previously been used on Schooly D's 1985 single "P.S.K. What Does It Mean?".
Melody Maker wrote a rave review, calling it "sublime", but noting that some listeners would be "horrified by its baggy backbeat and sheer unashamed danceability. It doesn't just groove, [...] It floats almost imperceptibly to its ecstatic climax, each sweet verse and saccharin chorus a tantalising hint of what's to come. And when it comes, by Christ your knees give way".
"Kiss Them for Me" was released on 13 May 1991, and was Siouxsie and the Banshees' biggest hit in the United States. It became their second and last entry on the Billboard Hot 100 and their first single to hit the top 40, peaking at No. 23 in the week of October 19. It also became the band's second chart-topper on the U.S. Modern Rock Tracks chart, spending five weeks at No. 1 during the summer of 1991. "Kiss Them for Me" was the first Banshees song to hit the top 10 on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart, peaking at No. 8. It also spent several months in heavy rotation on MTV. In the UK, "Kiss Them for Me" peaked at No. 32, the band's 16th top 40 single.
Cover versions and legacy
The song was covered by School of Seven Bells in 2010 and by Anna Nalick in 2011. It was occasionally used as background music on the CBC Radio One program Q and was used in the Daria episode "Ill". "Kiss Them for Me" was the last song played on MTV program 120 Minutes.
US CD maxi single (GEFDS-21650) on Geffen Records
- "Kiss Them for Me (7" Version)" – 4:29
- "Staring Back" – 3:16
- "Return" – 5:02
- "Kiss Them for Me (Kathak Mix)" – 8:56
Tracks 2 and 3 were produced by Siouxsie and the Banshees and engineered by Charles Gray
|Australian Singles Chart||40|
|Irish Singles Chart||29|
|UK Singles Chart||32|
|US Billboard Hot 100||23|
|US Modern Rock Tracks||1|
|US Hot Dance Club Play||8|
|US Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales||19|
- The Stud Brothers. "Kiss Of The Spider Woman". Melody Maker. 11 May 1991
- The Stud Brothers. "Single of the week (Kiss them for me by Siouxsie and the Banshees)". Melody Maker (18 May 1991).
- Johnson, Paul Anthony. "The 20 Most Memorable Songs of 1991". Popmatters.com. 2 October 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2016
- "Hot 100 - week 1991-10-19". Billboard. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
- "Siouxsie & the Banshees [uk charts]". officialcharts.com. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- "School of Seven Bells // kiss them for me". YouTube. 18 September 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
- Anna Nalick web site Broken Doll & Odds & Ends