I just read a quite scathing review that someone left on The Sister of Mercy’s “Floodland” album from 1987. Quite obviously, I didn’t agree with the negative criticism because… well, I’ve been there. I bought that album after I heard “This Corrosion” and saw the video. It was 1987, I was 16. And I was hooked. I bought the Floodland album, and I love it, to this day.
I do have to say that I like the slightly shorter 12″ single version of This Corrosion better. The album version is too long and the way it begins just doesn’t sound right. 🙂
Which shines an interesting light on taste, and how time may or may not change it. I still love Floodland, but there’s plenty of other music which I liked at the time, and find annoying, ridiculous or embarrassing today. Don’t ask… 😉
I guess this explains the reaction that I have quite often when someone mentions or plays “this total classic from this and that era” when I don’t already know it: just a shrug (I guess I could be a dick and write scathing reviews then too, but I don’t). It’s hard to appreciate something that sounds old and dated and “out of sync” with my current taste, and perhaps even our time. I guess there has been a time for certain music in our lives, and then we moved on.
Taste evolves. I guess it’s actually a small and logical step from Sisters to dark ambient. Throw any other Sisters-like 80ies wave/goth pop at me, and I probably wouldn’t like it either. But Sisters? Maybe they’re cheesy, tacky, cliched. But they’re sacred. :-} Taste is a funny thing.
The Floodland era Sisters sound is dark, dramatic, somewhat desperate, disenchanted – and that way, enchanting in itself. I guess that’s what makes Sisters so appealing for me, after all. I listened to Floodland on the way home from a private goa trance party in the mid 90s, totally disillusioned because I learned there how “peace, love, unity, respect” (PLUR) was just a hollow phrase – most people were simply totally spaced out from either shrooms or LSD, and that was it. There was no community, there was no partying and happiness together, there were just plenty of zombies on the dancefloor. I cried a little bit to “Driven Like the Snow” because in that moment, it made so much sense. And all was good then. Floodland was the dark soundtrack to my disenchantment. Simply perfect.
Music resonates on so many levels, it’s more than just the sounds of the instruments and the voice and the words of the lyrics.
FWIW, here’s the Sisters’ take on Hot Chocolate’s “Emma” and I can’t help it – this is really what it should sound like (this cover version appears on the “remastered extended deluxe edition” of Floodland, finally making it available in CD quality).