First and Last and Always (Deluxe Version)
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There are interesting questions that come to mind in the remastered, expanded and reissued Sisters of Mercy catalog. First and Last and Always was originally issued in 1984. The band was far from a household name due to its theatrically spooky live performances and ever shrouded in mystery; no small thanks to Andrew Eldritch, the Sisters' lead vocalist, and their original graphic scheme that was almost uniform for the band's early singles and this album, and the British music press that followed Eldritch's every slithery strut and menacing utterance (never had anybody wanted to be Iggy so badly; the band even covered the Stooges "1969" on one of its singles) with fervid devotion. As always, however, it comes down to the music. Does this recording sound as fresh now that Rhino UK has issued it in this manner with six bonus cuts (four are single B-sides; one, "Long Train," was originally issued as a free flexi-disc; and one is an unreleased outtake of the album's closer, "Some Kind of Stranger"). No doubt gothic music lovers with find this irresistible, because it is part of their music's canon. But how does it hold up as rock & roll? Sonically, there is more reverb, but the sound is still a bit thin, even through headphones. Musically, it sounds dated, nor does necessarily measure up to the band's run of early singles, from "Anaconda" through to their inimitable cover of the Rolling Stones "Gimme Shelter." The music on this set was indeed a sound exactly of its time. The melodies aren't particularly imaginative, but the lyrics are wonderful, and the cuts are solid when all the parts are assembled; they are undeniable as great, subterranean '80s rock. The Sisters will not necessarily be remembered for their subsequent recordings — which were basically Eldritch with whatever lineup he could come up with — here the classic lineup remains with him, Wayne Hussey, Craig Adams, Gary Marx (all of whom later became the Mission UK) and Doktor Avalanche (the band's metronomic drum machine). If you have the standard Warner edition, pick it up. This is as good as it gets apart form the singles collection, which should also be remastered if there is any justice.
Gegründet: 1980 in Leeds, England
Jahre aktiv: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s
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