Thursday, April 16, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 64)

64. "Kiss Them For Me"
Artist: Siouxsie & the Banshees
Year: 1991

Here is another in a long list of examples illustrating why the Billboard singles chart is a travesty. Siouxsie & the Banshees first charted in the UK with the divine "Hong Kong Garden" in 1978. There would be nearly two dozen hits to follow before the band so much as smelled the chart here in America. In case you're curious, it was "Peek-a-Boo" at No. 53 in 1988. In many cases, deep down, I didn't mind when a band I loved didn't "make it" here. They would be my little secret. I never felt that way about this band. The chart only told part of the story. Siouxsie & the Banshees always felt like a big deal to me. No, you couldn't find them on the radio, but their videos got quite a bit of play on cable channels, particularly late-night MTV (in its infancy), USA's "Night Flight" and TBS' "Night Tracks," among others. I'm guessing regular readers like Echorich and Uncle E remember seeing "Dear Prudence," "Christine" and "Cities in Dust" on the tube as much as I do.

So, I was quite happy to share Siouxsie with the rest of America when you could turn on the car radio and sing "kiss them for me, I may be delayed" right along with her. (I have a silly recollection of doing this in tandem with my pal Jeff on the way to an Elvis Costello show that summer.) This was no "Hong Kong Garden," but it was a fine pop song worthy of a mainstream audience. It would be the only Billboard Top 40 appearance for the band, peaking at No. 23.

Because you're such a loyal reader, today you get a twofer. If you like four minutes of "Kiss Them For Me," wouldn't you enjoy six-and-a-half minutes even more? I also have the 12" single featuring the "Snapper Mix." Personally, I do prefer this extended version. I think it's the '80s in me creeping into 1991. Actually, even now, I can't seem to shake that decade.

Bonus: "Kiss Them For Me" (Snapper Mix)


Echorich said...

I have to agree Brian, by the early 90's I was willing to "grant access" to my favorites by a larger American audience. Not only did I also consider these bands my (and my friend's) secret, but with all the access I had in NYC to seeing my favorites over and over, sometimes twice in a tour, it felt like they were just as big here as over in the UK.
Siouxsie and The Banshees never made music that I would consider aimed at charting here, but I think music did catch up with them by the early 90's and their sound was accessible to a wider audience because of prevailing musical winds. Lots of people I know think Superstition a sell out album, but I feel it's the same band broadening the scope of their sound. Siouxsie was still a shiny object of a singer, still able to lead you to her spider's web and get you in her clutches and nothing on the albums sounds like it's pandering to the market. Take a track like Silver Waterfalls - it's creepy and dark yet fascinating at the same time. I miss The Banshees...can you tell?

Swiss Adam said...

I blogged this single myself a while back. Love it. And the 12" version.

Brian said...

I can tell, Echorich, I can tell. You bring up a great point about the winds of change during this time period, and Siouxsie was a beneficiary of that. Of course, I know you feel by '91 we were already at least a couple of years into a musical desert, and I completely agree. I miss the band too, but they left us quite a bounty.

Adam, I remember that post well. Never miss a day at your place. I was thinking of you in particular when I put up the Snapper Mix.

Echorich said...

One of SATB's greatest achievements is the quality of their B-Sides. Most if not all are equal to the impct of the singles and albums they were recorded around. The B-Sides around Kaleidoscope and Juju are especially amazing.

kevinpat said...

Sorry. A little late for the party….. But I had to throw my three cents in for Siouxie. And I concur. "Stargazer" still makes me want to learn to ice skate just so i could to this swirling, hypnotic track. Masterful. And the B-sides! Who doesn't love a band that backs up (literally and musically) their jewel offering with something equally intriguing just for those willing to buy and turn it over?? Their "Supernatural Thing" is still a playlist favorite. Great stuff. Once again America's loss. Although I can't hear the post any longer thanks for highlighting this band….and all the great stuff here!!! Your narrative is alone worth the ride!! Yay!