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Siouxsie & the Banshees: The Authorised Biography

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This offical biography documents Siouxsie and the Banshees unsteady birth through their creative height with 1993's Superstition album and their split in 1996. Now reformed, they are launching their Best Of... album in 2002. The book features exclusive interviews and photos and is written by personal friend and journalist Paul Mather, from London. This offical biography documents Siouxsie and the Banshees unsteady birth through their creative height with 1993's Superstition album and their split in 1996. Now reformed, they are launching their Best Of... album in 2002. The book features exclusive interviews and photos and is written by personal friend and journalist Paul Mather, from London.


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This offical biography documents Siouxsie and the Banshees unsteady birth through their creative height with 1993's Superstition album and their split in 1996. Now reformed, they are launching their Best Of... album in 2002. The book features exclusive interviews and photos and is written by personal friend and journalist Paul Mather, from London. This offical biography documents Siouxsie and the Banshees unsteady birth through their creative height with 1993's Superstition album and their split in 1996. Now reformed, they are launching their Best Of... album in 2002. The book features exclusive interviews and photos and is written by personal friend and journalist Paul Mather, from London.

30 review for Siouxsie & the Banshees: The Authorised Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    David

    A holiday read which I was glad I had with me. Enlighting insight into the London scene of the 1970's and the life and times of the woman who introduced a strong female somewhat gothic dimension to the male dominated UK punk scene. Unlike many others she is still around today and producing great music. The biography comes right up to 2002. A holiday read which I was glad I had with me. Enlighting insight into the London scene of the 1970's and the life and times of the woman who introduced a strong female somewhat gothic dimension to the male dominated UK punk scene. Unlike many others she is still around today and producing great music. The biography comes right up to 2002.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Juju

    Immensely enjoyable. Siouxsie, The Banshees, and their inner circle in their own words. Like Brendan Mullen's rock bios Whores and Lexicon Devil, this is an oral history told entirely through interviews with those who lived through these strange times. Reading this book has changed the way I see The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Cure and The Banshees. Immensely enjoyable. Siouxsie, The Banshees, and their inner circle in their own words. Like Brendan Mullen's rock bios Whores and Lexicon Devil, this is an oral history told entirely through interviews with those who lived through these strange times. Reading this book has changed the way I see The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Cure and The Banshees.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jayne Lamb

    Ah Siouxsie , how i dreamed to as cold=as=ice like you when I was a teenager. This book is written in the 'oral history' style and as with most books about bands, there's not enough talk about the music itself. Still a great read and one hell of a Gen X icon. Ah Siouxsie , how i dreamed to as cold=as=ice like you when I was a teenager. This book is written in the 'oral history' style and as with most books about bands, there's not enough talk about the music itself. Still a great read and one hell of a Gen X icon.

  4. 5 out of 5

    DJ Yossarian

    Less a biography a more an oral history, Mark Paytress's book is a fascinating read, especially if you're well acquainted with the Banshees output. I laughed out loud about every ten minutes, although some of those laughs were in disbelief at yet another horrible situation some character or another had gotten themselves into. I still await the definitive Siouxsie and the Banshees overview. This one really needed to be about three times longer, have tons more photos, and have some small narrative Less a biography a more an oral history, Mark Paytress's book is a fascinating read, especially if you're well acquainted with the Banshees output. I laughed out loud about every ten minutes, although some of those laughs were in disbelief at yet another horrible situation some character or another had gotten themselves into. I still await the definitive Siouxsie and the Banshees overview. This one really needed to be about three times longer, have tons more photos, and have some small narrative interludes to either fill in gaps between the interviews or make a bit more sense (using actual research) to make sense of the conflicting accounts. Still, it's great to hear the band and their entourage tell their stories in their own voices, and relive decades of Banshee experiences from the perspectives of the protagonists.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chris Blythe

    An honest bio by the 3 long term members of the banshees. They would have been a tough band to be in!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    Biographies of musicians always have to walk a tightrope between covering the personal lives of the musicians and their careers as artists, the ideal way being show how each of the two influence the other. If I have to prefer one of the two rather than the middle ground, I have to take the path focusing on the music so I'm surprised how much I enjoyed this one, which takes the middle ground but with a definite focus on the personal lives of not just Siouxsie Sioux but also her bandmates. This boo Biographies of musicians always have to walk a tightrope between covering the personal lives of the musicians and their careers as artists, the ideal way being show how each of the two influence the other. If I have to prefer one of the two rather than the middle ground, I have to take the path focusing on the music so I'm surprised how much I enjoyed this one, which takes the middle ground but with a definite focus on the personal lives of not just Siouxsie Sioux but also her bandmates. This book is structured around a series of interviews arranged by the time chronologically referred to and discussed. It starts out with some rather disturbing stuff, as Siouxsie had an extremely traumatic childhood which in part formed her outlook on life and also her philosophy when it comes to music writing. What I suppose will make or break this for most people will be her infamously trollish sense of humour, from dressing in Fascist and Soviet regalia on alternating days of the week over intentionally acting creepily towards strangers in order to scare off potential rapists to her eagerness to share embarrassing anecdotes about the private lives of musicians she had toured with and fellow scenesters in generally. While Siouxsie comes across as a somewhat difficult person to be around especially to people who aren't longtime acquaintances, as readily attested by the Banshees' high turnover rate of guitarists and the testimony of other bands she toured with, I find her interviews as entertaining as her music output. She's a paragon of virtue next to Mark E. Smith from The Fall anyway. There is also plenty of interesting sociological information about S&TB and the context of their place in music history: The amount of influence the Banshees took not just from 1960s psychedelia in general and the German "Kosmische Musik" scene even before they moved away from their early noisy punky sound to a poppier and more overtly psychedelic style, but also horror/science-fiction film soundtracks with much of the group's musical outside-the-box-thinking coming from an attempt to adapt the avant-garde compositional techniques found there into the context of rock instrumentation; Siouxsie feuding on a personal level with almost every foundational Oi! band, when I was surprised to know they even had been on each others' "cultural radars"; the aforementioned shift in style on "A Kiss in the Dreamhouse" being motivated in a large part by the band's dislike of most musicians citing them as inspiration. Indeed, one gets the impression that Siouxsie and the Banshees always kind of felt like outsiders to the musical cultures they were categorized under. Quite a bit of time is also spent on the sideproject The Creatures, which I need to listen to more. I've been informed elsewhere that Siouxsie has a reputation for exaggerating, embellishing or otherwise having a rather creative approach to the band's past in interviews - something that does not surprise me considering her aforementioned trollish (bansheeish?) sense of humour. As necessary as it might have been to keep a proverbial intellectual saltshaker handy, this book has nonetheless made a satisfying companion piece to my appreciation of yet another post-punk group I'm kind of regretting not hearing earlier.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jane Ritchie

    Siouxsie Sioux is definitely up there with the top female icons of the late 70s/80s; her signature jet-black spiky hair, red lips, heavy kohl eye make-up was much copied by goths but she was the original. What's fantastic about this book is that Siouxsie and the rest of the band are refreshingly candid about the various bust-ups, recriminations and fall-outs during their 20-odd year history. They have no qualms about admitting that Robert Smith was their 'whipping boy' when he was a Banshee who Siouxsie Sioux is definitely up there with the top female icons of the late 70s/80s; her signature jet-black spiky hair, red lips, heavy kohl eye make-up was much copied by goths but she was the original. What's fantastic about this book is that Siouxsie and the rest of the band are refreshingly candid about the various bust-ups, recriminations and fall-outs during their 20-odd year history. They have no qualms about admitting that Robert Smith was their 'whipping boy' when he was a Banshee who they referred to as 'Fat Bob' (well I'm sure he's having the last laugh now). As music biography's go this zipped along at a nice speed which held my interest and made feel quite regretful that I've never seen the Banshees live. However I live in hope that Siouxsie will return to the stage soon.

  8. 4 out of 5

    思源 杨

    Chronological documentation of the band, about which I knew little except that I liked their music, mostly through their own words. Lots of information from Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Severin and Budgie, demonstrating the chaos within the band and predilection for particular vices. Nothing much particularly memorable, but also nothing obviously deficient in this book. Recommended for fans of the music who want to add an extra dimension to their appreciation.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chriso

    The interview style of this book makes for a great, fast read. Instead of some author's interpretation you're simply reading about the history of the band from its members, their musical cohorts, former managers and friends. It's a great little time capsule for a band I still love today and it nourished the music geek in me big time. The interview style of this book makes for a great, fast read. Instead of some author's interpretation you're simply reading about the history of the band from its members, their musical cohorts, former managers and friends. It's a great little time capsule for a band I still love today and it nourished the music geek in me big time.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Roy

    Being a big big Banshee fan , I actually waited years for a book like this and ws not disappointed in the resulting book . Sanctioned by the group it does not hold back in the downs as well as the ups , especially when mentioning John Mcgeoch and his sad demise . I would have liked a large format style book too with pictures as an accompanying book , but that's just me . Being a big big Banshee fan , I actually waited years for a book like this and ws not disappointed in the resulting book . Sanctioned by the group it does not hold back in the downs as well as the ups , especially when mentioning John Mcgeoch and his sad demise . I would have liked a large format style book too with pictures as an accompanying book , but that's just me .

  11. 4 out of 5

    kate

    siouxsie's always been one of my idols, like many other girls of the black-hair dyeing persuasion, and the banshees were always one of my absolute favorites. this book is full of drama, arrogance and shit-talking as well as music, love, friendships, clashing personalities, and it made me laugh a lot. perfect. siouxsie's always been one of my idols, like many other girls of the black-hair dyeing persuasion, and the banshees were always one of my absolute favorites. this book is full of drama, arrogance and shit-talking as well as music, love, friendships, clashing personalities, and it made me laugh a lot. perfect.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katrina

    Although I love SATB, this is a bit hard to follow. It is a collection of several members and peripheral figures who were close to the band. I would like to have had a but more cohesion, but it was nice to get more insight into the band and it's history. Although I love SATB, this is a bit hard to follow. It is a collection of several members and peripheral figures who were close to the band. I would like to have had a but more cohesion, but it was nice to get more insight into the band and it's history.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Johnny D

    wonderful backgrounding for any siouxsie fan, real human insight, and further confirmation that today's rock and indie scene owes an enormous debt to the freaky lady from bromley wonderful backgrounding for any siouxsie fan, real human insight, and further confirmation that today's rock and indie scene owes an enormous debt to the freaky lady from bromley

  14. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Love the music. Drop the attitude.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bobbers

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Whitcher

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mathilde

  19. 4 out of 5

    andrea

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  21. 5 out of 5

    Khalid Al-Babtain

  22. 4 out of 5

    MacKenzie Wilson

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  24. 5 out of 5

    Doc Savage

  25. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Baller

  27. 4 out of 5

    Missi

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rodney

  29. 5 out of 5

    ENE

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

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