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First and Last and Always (Deluxe Version)

The Sisters of Mercy

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iTunes Editors' Notes

With their name inspired by the Leonard Cohen tune and their sound engineered by the electronics of the era, the Sisters Of Mercy were a band meant to define the ‘80s. Except that the band’s endless personnel, production and label problems made them a band with a greater legacy than hits. Singer Andrew Eldritch denied the “Gothic” tag, calling the group “children of Altamont” and recording covers of the Stooges’ “1969” and the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” on their way to their debut album. First and Last and Always is, quite simply, brilliant. A challenging modern sound that battled between the inhumanity of a technological world and a basic human dread that the group turned beautiful with their synthesizers and drum machines. “Black Planet” is a simple anthem. “No Time to Cry” aches with a sense of futile urgency. “A Rock and A Hard Place” sounds like a mammoth hit. “Marian” is an obsessive-compulsive love song. “Possession” and “Some Kind of Stranger” solidify the group’s intensity even as the group was falling to pieces. This "Remastered” version of the album includes an even more desperate-sounding version of their epic, “Some Kind of Stranger.”

Biography

Formed: 1980 in Leeds, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of England's leading goth bands of the 1980s, the Sisters of Mercy play a slow, gloomy, ponderous hybrid of metal and psychedelia, often incorporating dance beats; the one constant in the band's career has been deep-voiced singer Andrew Eldritch. (There is some disagreement as to whether the group took its name from an order of Catholic nuns or from the Leonard Cohen song of the same name.) Eldritch originally formed the band in 1980 with guitarist Gary Marx and recorded its first single with...
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