Playground Twist

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"Playground Twist"
Siouxsie Playground.jpg
Single by Siouxsie and the Banshees
from the album Join Hands
B-side "Pulled to Bits"
Released 28 July 1979
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1978
Genre Post-punk
Length 3:00
Label Polydor
Songwriter(s) Susan Ballion, Kenny Morris, John McKay and Steven Severin
Producer(s) Nils Stevenson, Mike Stavrou
Siouxsie and the Banshees singles chronology
"The Staircase (Mystery)"
"Playground Twist"
"The Staircase (Mystery)"
"Playground Twist"

"Playground Twist" is a song by English post-punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees. It was released in 1979 by record Polydor as the sole single from the band's second album, Join Hands (1979).

Production and content[edit]

The track was produced by the band's manager Nils Stevenson and Mike Stavrou, a recording engineer on T. Rex's final album, Dandy in the Underworld (1977)

"Playground Twist" features a 3/4 time signature, which is unusual for rock music. The pacing of the song gives it a childlike (i.e. "playground") feel (along with references to childhood nursery rhymes), although the lyrics provide a much more sinister picture.[citation needed]

Critical reception[edit]

NME's Roy Carr hailed the single and wrote: "If Ingmar Bergman produced records, they might sound like this. The listener is immediately engulfed in a maelstrom of whirling sound punctuated by the ominous tolling of church bells, phased guitars, thundering percussion, a surreal alto sax and the wail of Siouxsie's voice. It demands to be played repeatedly at the threshold-of-pain volume to elicit its full nightmarish quality".[1]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Playground Twist" shows the band performing on an indoor playground with several children running from one end to another, climbing on the surrounding equipment, and even a few of them mimicking the saxophone solo with plastic toy instruments. At the end of the video, the children run toward Siouxsie and playfully pull her to the floor as she lip syncs the final word "drown", and the final shot shows them laughing and carrying on with her.


Released on 28 July 1979, the single became Siouxsie and the Banshees' third top 40 hit, peaking at No. 28 in the UK Singles Chart.[2] The band performed the song live on Top of the Pops.[3]

The B-side, "Pulled to Bits", was released as part of the Downside Up compilation. A live version was included on the 1983 Nocturne live album and DVD.


  1. ^ Carr, Roy (30 June 1979), "Playground twist Singles review", NME 
  2. ^ Johns, Brian (1989). Entranced: The Siouxsie and the Banshees Story. Omnibus Press. p. 94. ISBN 0-7119-1773-6. 
  3. ^ AT The BBC - Siouxsie and the Banshees [boxset], Universal, 2009