Post Punk Postscript: Siouxsie and the Banshees – Juju song-by-song

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by stoneage romeo, Mar 27, 2024.

  1. stoneage romeo

    stoneage romeo Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I am always intrigued by the song-by-song threads on the forum but rarely have the time to stick it out for the long haul. With that in mind, I wanted to start what I hope will be a series of threads that focus on a single album by an artist. More like a bite sized song-by-song outing with the same rating and discussion. I will focus on the album proper as well as any related material such as B-sides, extended mixes, etc. The title of my thread is a dead giveaway to the types of releases these threads will explore, but, in addition to post punk, I will likely venture into adjacent genres.

    I am kicking things off with Juju by Siouxsie and the Banshees which is at the top of my list for favorite post punk albums.

    [​IMG]

    Background

    The Banshees fourth studio album Juju was released June 19th, 1981 on Polydor Records. Like Kaleidoscope before it, Juju was produced by Nigel Gray and recorded at his own Surrey Sound Studios. Spellbound was the first single released from the album, roughly one month before the album. Arabian Knights followed in July of 1981.

    Juju seems to have garnered almost universal positive press, and rightfully so. Though John McGeoch and Budgie both joined the band just in time to record Kaleidoscope, their contributions really shine here. In my opinion, this is the album that cemented the bands legacy.

    Personnel

    Siouxsie Sioux – vocals, guitar

    Steven Severin – bass guitar

    Budgie – drums, percussion

    John McGeoch – guitar

    Nigel Gray – production


    Album Proper Track Listing

    Side A

    Spellbound

    Into the Light

    Arabian Knights

    Halloween

    Monitor

    Side B

    Night Shift

    Sin in My Heart

    Head Cut

    Voodoo Dolly


    Extras

    Spellbound 12” Extended Mix

    Follow the Sun

    Slap Dash Snap

    Arabian Knights 12" Vocoder Mix

    Supernatural Thing

    Congo Conga



    I will kick off the discussion tomorrow with Spellbound.
     
  2. jimod99

    jimod99 Daddy or chips?

    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    You are missing the Israel single, copies of which were also included with the first US vinyl pressing on PVC
     
  3. Sit back and enjoy the real McCoy...................
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2024
  4. hutlock

    hutlock Forever Breathing

    Location:
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    One of my favorites too. I’m in for the thread.
     
  5. Flaevius

    Flaevius Left of the dial

    Location:
    Newcastle, UK
    I'm in for this thread and likely the series.

    Juju is thereabouts a Top 10 album for me. Fantastic.
     
  6. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer The Great CD in the Sky

    Location:
    Málaga, Spain
    Count me in. Juju is a masterpiece!
     
  7. stoneage romeo

    stoneage romeo Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Did not know that, thank you for the heads up. I always associate it with Kaleidoscope but will throw it on the list with extra tracks. Also meant to include the Nigel Gray version of Firewoks. Will get to both of these at the end.
     
    Putrifiers II likes this.
  8. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer The Great CD in the Sky

    Location:
    Málaga, Spain
    Actually I like the OPs philosophy. I participate in several of these song-by-song threads because it always seems a great idea to reacquaint oneself with an artist's entire oeuvre, but it can be hard going when you hit a rough patch of mediocre / bad albums. It's also a major time commitment.
     
  9. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Location:
    Planet Earth
    Great idea, love the album! Into the light!!!!
     
  10. Knot The Freize

    Knot The Freize Well-Known Member

    Location:
    USA
    Landmark album and one of my favorites also, everything John McGeoch did w/ the Banshees was spectacular. I’m not really into the whole YouTube reaction thing, but I did commission one of them to react to all of Juju just recently.

     
  11. stoneage romeo

    stoneage romeo Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Let’s go! Spellbound is Juju’s lead-off track and first single. It was released on May, 22nd 1981 in both 7” and 12” formats. The original LP and single releases credit the song to the band but later reissues attribute the lyrics solely to Steven Severin.

    The song also makes appearances on the live album Nocturne and the Once Upon a Time, Best of, At the BBC and All Souls compilations.

    [​IMG]

     
  12. stoneage romeo

    stoneage romeo Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Live at Rockpalast, 1981

     
  13. acetboy

    acetboy Forum Resident

    The only time I was able to see the band was on this album’s tour.
    That was in Chicago. Great show!
    I had been buying their music since the earliest recordings.
     
  14. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer The Great CD in the Sky

    Location:
    Málaga, Spain
    "Spellbound"

    What sets Juju apart from its peers is the relentless drive of some of the songs. "Spellbound" is one of them. Budgie's tribal drumming is out of this world. What a way to open an album! You immediately know you're in for a wild ride and so it is.
     
  15. TonyCzar

    TonyCzar Forum Resident

    Location:
    PhIladelphia, PA
    The single was released in the UK before juju, and when they played US dates in November 1980 for Kaleidoscope, "Israel" was in the setlists. Don't know whether it was a part of the work done for juju, but I also have that Kaleidosdcope association in my brain.
     
    Putrifiers II and stoneage romeo like this.
  16. Kesse

    Kesse Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Denmark
    A masterpiece
     
  17. Flaevius

    Flaevius Left of the dial

    Location:
    Newcastle, UK
    Spellbound: Exhilarating way to open Juju. A brilliantly balanced song between McGeoch's glistening acoustic work, Severin's persistent bass, Budgie's punchy drumming, and Sioux's gravitas on vocal and the open-to-interpretation lyrics. Yet even with that high bar set, 'Spellbound' is likely only halfway down my pecking order on this album.

    John McGeoch - The Light Pours Out of Me, film Kickstarter

     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2024
  18. Knot The Freize

    Knot The Freize Well-Known Member

    Location:
    USA
    ^^^ I’m looking forward to seeing it, I have the book of the same name. As far as Spellbound, I agree w/ everything @Flaevius said, it’s a brilliant and apt opener but not my favorite track overall…would be very difficult to rank the Juju songs, they’re all superb. But still, I do have my overall favorite.
     
  19. stoneage romeo

    stoneage romeo Forum Resident Thread Starter

    This album has so much forward motion. It just never lets up. McGeoch gets spoken about in reverential terms a lot and rightfully so, but Budgie is an equally great musician. He brings so much of the drive you speak about to the album. Love the “throw them down the stairs” tom fills.
     
  20. stoneage romeo

    stoneage romeo Forum Resident Thread Starter

    These two guys brought so much to the band, especially on this album. They undoubtedly lit a fire in Siouxsie and Severin pushing them to be better than they ever were before. How fortuitous was it for them to find both of these guys at the same time?
     
  21. stoneage romeo

    stoneage romeo Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Same.

    Agreed. Even though Spellbound is not my favorite track on the album it is easily a 5/5 for me. But then so are at least 2/3rds of the rest of the tracks.
     
  22. lechiffre

    lechiffre Forum Resident

    Location:
    phoenix
    No joke this guy can actually play the song:

     
  23. Knot The Freize

    Knot The Freize Well-Known Member

    Location:
    USA
    I think what’s even more important w/ an album like Juju than the individual songs (at least for me), is the whole mood and flow of the album. In that sense, all the songs are equally important…the entire album is a masterpiece and work of art. Kaleidoscope has a particularly great flow too, but I think Juju kicks it up just a notch. I do love the earlier albums also, but when John and Budgie came aboard something magical happened re: the chemistry…as you alluded to earlier.
     
  24. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Location:
    Planet Earth
    From the cradle bars
    Comes a beckoning voice
    It sends you spinning
    You have no choice
    You hear laughter
    Cracking through the walls
    It sends you spinning
    You have no choice
    Following the footsteps
    Of a rag doll dance
    We are entranced
    Spellbound
    And don't forget
    When your elders forget
    To say their prayers
    Take them by the legs
    And throw them down the stairs
    When you think
    Your toys have gone beserk
    It's an illusion
    You cannot shirk
    You hear laughter
    Cracking through the walls
    It sends you spinning
    You have no choice
    Following the footsteps
    Of a rag doll dance
    We are entranced
    Spellbound
     
  25. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Location:
    Planet Earth
    The Banshees usually had great album openers and “Spellbound” is no exception , love the way the pace quickens and the song gains momentum. I also love the bands usage of language, always suspected it was heavily influenced by Marc Bolan. Some words would be only in their because of their sound.

    After “Kaleidoscope”s modern minimalism “JuJu” would be the closest the band came to creating a “Goth” album.
     

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