Nocturne (Siouxsie and the Banshees album)

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Nocturne
Siouxsie and the Banshees - Nocturne.jpg
Live album by Siouxsie and the Banshees
Released 25 November 1983
Recorded 1983
Genre Post-punk
Length 76:47
Label Polydor
Geffen (US)
Producer Siouxsie and the Banshees, Mike Hedges
Siouxsie and the Banshees
live albums chronology
Nocturne
(1983)
Seven Year Itch
(2003)

Nocturne is a live double album by English rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees, produced by Mike Hedges. It was released 25 November 1983 and remastered in 2009. Nocturne featured performances recorded at two shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London, on 30 September and 1 October 1983, featuring Robert Smith (of the Cure) on guitar.

Most of the material came from 1981's Juju and 1982's A Kiss in the Dreamhouse. It also contained a couple of B-sides ("Pulled to Bits" and "Eve White/Eve Black") as well as a live version of the Beatles' "Dear Prudence", a song the Banshees had recorded in the studio earlier that year in Stockholm and issued as a single in September.

A video version of Nocturne was released on DVD in 2006. Bonus features included the Play at Home TV special from 1983, the "Dear Prudence" music video and performances from The Old Grey Whistle Test.

The music heard at the introduction of "Israel" is an excerpt of "The Rite of Spring", composed in 1913 by Igor Stravinsky, in a version later performed by the London Philarmonic orchestra.

Background[edit]

Siouxsie and the Banshees with Robert Smith and the Cure outside Morgan Studios, London in September 1979, left to right: Robert Smith, Laurence Tolhurst, Michael Dempsey, Budgie, Steven Severin and Siouxsie

The Banshees had already performed live with Smith on guitar in September and October 1979, when he and his band the Cure served as tour support for the Banshees. A friendship had started at the time between the members of the Cure and the Banshees. In late 1982, when guitarist John McGeoch left the band prior to the A Kiss in the Dreamhouse tour, Steven Severin asked Smith to join the band for the British and European tour. In 1983, the band toured in Japan for the second time in less than a year and also visited Australia and New Zealand. With the September 1983 release of the "Dear Prudence" single, Smith became an official member of the Banshees; a few weeks later, they recorded Nocturne in London.

Reception[edit]

Nocturne was retrospectively hailed by critics. AllMusic said the album "serves as an excellent, no-nonsense introduction to the band's music for neophytes, while fans of the group will appreciate the tight, gutsy, stripped-down performances," also describing it as "top-notch".[1] In 2013, the album was included in The Quietus' list of its writers' 40 favourite live albums.[2] Julian Marszalek wrote: "Nocturne stands as both a representation of where they were at that point in their career and their status as an incredible live band. Be it Budgie's precise and muscular rhythms, Steven Severin's flanged bass, Siouxsie's commanding presence or Robert Smith's interpretation of other guitarists' material, the performance is magnificent and convincing throughout. By cherry picking their finest material, Nocturne was – and still is – a kind of alternate Greatest Hits that acts as a gateway to their kaleidoscopic world".[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Siouxsie and the Banshees except * by Sioux & Severin and ** by Lennon & McCartney.

  1. "Israel" (6:45)
  2. "Dear Prudence" ** (3:55)
  3. "Paradise Place" * (4:28)
  4. "Melt!" (3:48)
  5. "Cascade" (4:35)
  6. "Pulled to Bits" (4:03)
  7. "Night Shift" (6:27)
  8. "Sin in My Heart" (3:31)
  9. "Slowdive" (4:18)
  10. "Painted Bird" (3:56)
  11. "Happy House" * (4:39)
  12. "Switch" (6:35)
  13. "Spellbound" (4:31)
  14. "Helter Skelter" ** (3:42)
  15. "Eve White/Eve Black" * (2:58)
  16. "Voodoo Dolly" (8:42)

Live performances of "Head Cut" and "Running Town" from the 1 October show were not included on the release of Nocturne, but in December 1983, a double A-side 7" vinyl single featuring both tracks was given away as a Christmas gift to members of the band's fan club, The File. To date, these Nocturne performances of "Head Cut" and "Running Town" have not been released in any other format.

DVD[edit]

  1. "Israel"
  2. "Cascade"
  3. "Melt!"
  4. "Pulled to Bits"
  5. "Night Shift"
  6. "Sin in My Heart"
  7. "Painted Bird"
  8. "Switch"
  9. "Eve White/Eve Black"
  10. "Voodoo Dolly"
  11. "Spellbound"
  12. "Helter Skelter"

DVD Bonus[edit]

  1. Bonus 1: Play at Home ( a 45-minute show broadcast on Channel 4, also featuring the Creatures and the Glove)
  2. Bonus 2: Old Grey Whistle Test
  3. Bonus 3: "Dear Prudence" (promotional film)

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ David Cleary, Nocturne - Siouxsie and the banshees review, Allmusic, retrieved 25 February 2015 
  2. ^ a b Julian Marszalek (5 February 2013). "The Quietus Writers' 40 Favourite Live Albums". The Quietus. Retrieved 24 February 2015.