When Susan Ballion decided that enough was enough, a moment of realisation that she’d spent far too much time watching a stage and not enough time on one, she did so with little to no training. But, of course, this was Britain in the seventies and punk was proving that literally anyone could do it if they wanted to. With that, Siouxsie Sioux was born.
While her first gig with the band that would eventually become the Banshees wasn’t exactly a classic it did so off one thing, Siouxsie Sioux, had guts and the chops to pull it all off. Sometimes this attitude overshadows her incredibly unique vocals. Below, we’re looking at Sioux’s isolated vocals for the Banshees song ‘Kiss Them For Me’.
The band were so deeply entrenched in the punk and then post-punk movement that it was only natural Sioux would become a cult icon. Her striking looks were enough to do that on their own. Sadly, they were so striking that sometimes people forgot to embrace the music and let the looks of the group write their reviews.
To do this now is an even easier feat. Looking back at images of the group, and especially their leader, it’s easy to get caught up in the visuals and forget the sonics. But to do so would be a huge mistake, Sioux has one of the most idiosyncratic voices of the era and this isolated vocal proves it.
‘Kiss Them for Me’ is arguably one of the band’s most famous songs. Released in 1991 as part of the band’s tenth studio record Superstition, it saw The Banshees take on a new direction and train their crosshairs on the charts. It was the moment the band decided to capitalise on their mystique and cash in on their cult success.
Naturally, the lyrics within the song don’t follow the identikit poptastic songs of the eighties. Instead, they stay ambiguous and dark but a clear ode to the Hollywood sex symbol Jayne Mansfield. But the music had definitely evolved into something a little more glitzy. It’s why removing those instrumentals allows us an unusual look at the track.
The isolation of the vocal allows us to see most clearly the evolution and maturation of Siouxsie Sioux. Not only through the content she created—lyrically she had surpassed herself with every offering—but also her now-sumptuous vocal tone, which had developed form the naturally spiky punk sound she began with.
If you ever needed proof that Siouxsie Sioux was every bit as good as any other rock singer then you will find it below, in the isolated vocals of her song ‘Kiss Them for Me’.