85 Years Of Music: Siouxsie & The Banshees

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 85 Years Of Music: Siouxsie & The Banshees

To celebrate 85 years of music at Abbey Road we recently launched three playlists on Spotify and Apple Music of tracks recorded over the years in Studio One, Studio Two and Studio Three. 

As the playlists continue to grow, we are sharing the stories behind some of the most famous recordings.

Though recording for their 1982 album A Kiss In The Dreamhouse started at London’s Playground studio, goth rockers Siouxsie & The Banshees were forced to switch studios two days in to recording when drummer Budgie spilt a bottle of warm champagne all over their mixing desk.

They relocated to Abbey Road’s much larger Studio Two, where they immediately began recording guitar and piano parts for what would become album tracks Cascade and later Melt!. They also began experimenting with some of the vast selection of percussion that had been left around the studio at the time.

The resulting percussive experiments involved tubular bells, various drums being banged at with feet and hands, handclaps, heavy breathing and Siouxsie spinning a mic around her head to produce an eerie ‘whooshing’ sound after she had pressed record on the tape in the control room. The results can be heard on the track Obsession, and especially clearly on the instrumental version Obsession II, an extra track on the 12” version of their single Slowdive.

Eerily, while recording the guitar parts for Obsession in Studio Two, the band also experienced the guitar sound slowing down before returning to normal speed again, seemingly with no explanation. Clearly someone in the band had been channelling some of the reticent psychedelia leftover in the walls of the room from some of the studio’s previous clients in the 1960s…

Listen to Siouxsie & The Banshees' track 'Cascade' now on our Studio Two playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.