Edsel continue their superb curation of Bananarama‘s back catalogue with what is probably the dream set for fans – a 33CD Singles box with a disc devoted to each 45 that includes “absolutely every B-side and remix originally issued around the world” along with many previously unavailable instrumentals and other rarities…
Siouxsie Sioux has always maintained that it was not her intention to create the goth rock movement. While that lofty statement may be a little self-serving, it's partly right. The Banshees' post-1982 singles (documented in entirety on Twice Upon a Time) have a lush and expansive sound that directly influenced the goth sound. From the opening of "Fireworks" it is immediately apparent that Siouxsie and the Banshees were growing up. By the time of "Peek-a-Boo," the band had learned how to incorporate its early dissonance with its majestic, late-'80s sound. The Twice Upon a Time collection is one great step after another, with the only drawback being a poor remix of 1991's "Fear of the Unknown." A solid introduction for the unknowing.
Once Upon a Time: The Singles collects all ten of Siouxsie and the Banshees' A-sides spanning the years 1978-1981, with four songs otherwise unavailable on LP. It's a neat and accessible encapsulation of the group's early guitar-driven sound – a frosty, dissonant art punk that had a tremendous impact on the emerging goth rock scene. Unlike similarly forbidding work by such proto-goth contemporaries as Joy Division or the Cure, the early Banshees were tense and visceral; the darkness of the Once Upon a Time singles doesn't come from a sense of downcast gloom so much as it does from a jittery angst. Yet as challenging as the music is, it's also accessible enough for eight of these singles to have charted in the British Top 50. The melodies are angular and almost alien, yes, but oddly memorable once the listener has assimilated them. Starting shortly after the period covered by this collection, Siouxsie Sioux's icy detachment would be fused with an elegant romanticism and lusher, smoother arrangements.
The Singles is exactly what the title says – a collection of the Clash's U.K. single A-sides. The Singles does illustrate the progression of the Clash's music from raw, energetic punk to eclectic dabblings in rockabilly, reggae, and dance-rock (even if it doesn't do so as seamlessly as London Calling), and so far, it is the only single-disc Clash comp to feature the original version of the non-LP single "Bankrobber" (the one on Super Black Market Clash is a dub version with most of the lyrics missing).