Sunday, August 3, 2014

Siouxsie and the Banshees - Peek-A-Boo

"Peek-A-Boo" was Siouxsie and the Banshees first charting U.S. single, although it was the band's 15th top 40 song in their native Britain.  Led by their dramatic frontwoman Siouxsie Sioux (Susan Ballion), the band came out of the Bromley Contingent -- a group of hardcore Sex Pistol fans.  However, instead of becoming a straight up punk band, Siouxsie and the Banshees found their own sound, which fused punk with art house and postmodern elements.

The band's unique sound and appearance quickly found an audience in the U.K.  In fact, "Peek-A-Boo" was off the group's ninth studio album (Peepshow); all of the previous eight LPs broke the top 15 on the U.K. album charts.

The song also showed Siouxsie and the Banshees' continued sonic experimentation.  The idea for "Peek-A-Boo" began during the band's previous album, when they began writing a song based on playing John Cale's "Gun" backwards.  A year later, the song, with its layered instruments and cutting lyrics was ready, and became the lead single off Peepshow.

Ironically, the success of "Peek-A-Boo" came back to haunt the band, as the song was found to infringe on the 1938 standard "Jeepers Creepers." In response, Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer (who wrote "Jeepers Creepers" ) would go on to receive songwriting credit for "Peek-A-Boo."

Siouxsie and the Banshees would remain together until 1996, although the members (including Siouxsie Sioux) remains active in the industry as of this writing.

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Cool trivia fact:  Siouxsie and the Banshees is an official one hit wonder, as only 1991's "Kiss Them for Me" (#23) broke the top 40 in the U.S.

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