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All Killer – Juju (1981)

July 6th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music · No Comments · Music

Juju by Siouxsie & the Banshees is one of the few albums that I can remember buying on the day of release. I can even remember where I bought it – the WH Smiths at London Bridge station on the way home from work. To be fair though, I only realised afterwards that it was the release dy. It isn’t as if I queued up for it or anything, but it is such a brilliant album that it would have been worth queueing up for.It starts strongly with the the song Spellbound, a song that begins with some delicate guitar work from John McGeoch, combined with some precision notes on the bass guitar, then the tambourine comes in and then it explodes with frantic acoustic guitar as the drums kick in, and finally Siouxsie starts singing as the drums settle into a typical Budgie unorthodox pattern. The song comes to a satisfying climax too; none of that fading out nonsense. It was the lead single from the album, and rightly so.

Side one (this was a vinyl album of course) continues at this high level of quality and variations on the same formula of interesting drum patterns, ominous basslines and jangly guitar that often gives mood rather than tune.

Side two starts with the brooding Night Shift which leads into Sin In My Heart which starts slowly before bursting into life. The last track, Voodoo Dolly also starts slowly, with lots of atmosphere, building up gradually until, the drums enter the mix. The drums start as a fairly quiet, steady pattern, but the whole thing just winds itself up to a frenzy about four minutes in and it turns into a fairly epic track, and at seven minutes it is an epic by punk standards.

The album reached the top ten although its a crime it wasn’t number one because it is the epitome of all-killer-no-filler. When Paul Morley reviewed it he listed the highlights, which was a list of all nine tracks, which is a pretty fair summary of it.

Even the record itself was a thing of beauty. Such a wonderful glossy sleeve. Here is the video for Spellbound to give a taster of the majesty of this record.

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