Downside Up

Downside Up

by Siouxsie and the BansheesSiouxsie and the Banshees

CD

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Overview

A long time ago, back in late '80s or so, CD box sets were unleashed upon the music-buying public. Box sets like the Led Zeppelin box or Aerosmith's Pandora's Box were mostly hits affairs, with a few rarities (B-sides, live tracks, demos) to entice both fan and newcomer. In later years, however, a new concept in anthologizing a band's career came to the multi-disc format: the B-side box set. This new and more complete way of packaging the lesser-known moments of a long-running band walks a fine line between a treasure trove of great material with better sound on a better format and just plain overkill, the kind of collection that no one but the most rabid fan would care about. In the case of Downside Up, Siouxsie and the Banshees' contribution to the box set world, it's a little bit of both. On the one hand, there are not many newcomers to the band who need to hear the chaotic sound sculpture of "(There's A) Planet in My Kitchen," much less four discs of totally unfamiliar music. On the other hand, it would be a shame to miss out on some incredibly great music, albeit rather experimental and, at times, difficult. The first disc, especially, is loaded with what could arguably be some of the Banshees' finest moments. The rocking cover of T. Rex's "20th Century Boy," the better (and somewhat more fitting in German) than the original English version "Mettageisen (Metal Postcard)," "Drop Dead/Celebration," "Eve White/Eve Black," and the synth-based "Snap Dash Snap" are more than enough reason to invest in Downside Up. From then on, it gets a bit spotty, but the quality is still evident. Any band that is able to stay together for 20 years is going to have some weak moments. Over time Siouxsie and the Banshees would put their more experimental side to rest on album and single releases, but it didn't disappear completely. While some of discs two and three are a bit more straightforward than the earlier stuff, the experiments and lesser-known tracks such as "She's Cuckoo," "Mechanical Eyes," and "El Dia de los Muertos" are better than some of what ended up on the full-lengths. Disc four, however, does not play into the chronology of the rest of the set. Rather, it is the first official CD appearance of The Thorn EP, which was originally released in 1984. Here the band re-recorded some of its best early songs in a more updated and orchestral light. "Overground" especially takes on a whole new life as a strings-driven piece. So what's the final verdict on Downside Up? Does anyone really need "(There's A) Planet in My Kitchen"? No, not really, but the amount of killer well outweighs the filler here. It may be a bit much to invest, but for a moderate to rabid fan, it's damn worth it. Simply put, it's a collection of great songs from a great band, and that's what really matters.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/14/2004
Label: Universal Uk
UPC: 0602498218235
catalogNumber: 9821823

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Siouxsie and the Banshees   Primary Artist
John Carruthers   Guitar
Nigel Gray   Loops
Jon Klein   Acoustic Guitar
Martin McCarrick   Piano,Cello,Keyboards
John McGeoch   Guitar,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Guitar Effects
John McKay   Guitar,Saxophone
Talvin Singh   Tabla
Anne Stephenson   Strings
John Valentine Carruthers   Guitar
Budgie   Organ,Percussion,Piano,Cymbals,Drums,Timbales,Kalimba,Noise,Hand Clapping,Waterphone,Foot Stomping,Synthesizer Percussion,Vocal Percussion,Jaw Harp,Roland TR-808
Kenny Morris   Drums

Technical Credits

Gwen Guthrie   Composer
Jonathan Richman   Composer
Marc Bolan   Composer
Bruce Albertine   Producer
Nigel Gray   Producer,Fader Engineer
Martin McCarrick   String Arrangements
Rob O'Connor   Cover Design
Steven Severin   Composer
Siouxsie and the Banshees   Composer,Liner Notes
Mike Stavrou   Producer
Anne Stephenson   String Arrangements
Mike Hedges   Producer
Siouxsie Sioux   Composer
Mark Paytress   Liner Notes
Nils Stevenson   Producer
John Heartfield   Montage
Traditional   Composer
Zoe Roberts   Tape Sources
Rocking Russian   Cover Design
Budgie   Composer,drum programming
Patrick Grant   Composer

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Downside Up 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Many harcore Banshees fans have been waiting for more than a decade for a release of what Siouxsie Sioux, Budgie, & Steve Severin claim is thier best work; the non-album tracts and 'B' sides. Having downloaded off of pirate file share groups, I am Excited to finally have CD quality Banshees 'rarities' available. Even better is included the E.P. 'Thorn' which only limited copies reached the U.S. Also Lyrics and liner notes are included. If you are no more than a 'Kiss Them for Me', 'Peek-a-Boo' fan forget this release. This is for the truly 'rabid' fan.