last updated 6/1/92 _______________________________________________________________________________ A Brief History of the Sisters of Mercy by Corey W. Nelson "...and in the beginning there was a squalid hole in Leeds." or so goes the official Merciful Release handbook. In reality, the Sisters of Mercy were formed by Gary Marx and the only drummer in the whole of Leeds who could be relied upon never to hit the cymbols or do tom tom rolls, a young man named Andrew Eldritch. Gary decided he couldn't sing and since they could get a machine to play drums, Andrew was drafted on vocals. They recorded Damage Done/ Watch and released it on their own label, Merciful Release. A few gigs with Jon Langford on bass follwed and permanent bass player Craig Adams and guitarist Ben Gunn were recruited. Several singles and many gigs followed, until the surprise departure of Ben Gunn due to differences with Andrew after the release of Temple of Love. His replacement was Wayne Hussey, ex-Dead or Alive. The Sisters then signed a deal with WEA and after a few warm-up gigs released Body and Soul. In March 1985 the Sisters released their first album, First and Last and Always, and embarked on the "tune in, turn on, burn out..." tour. Halfway through, Gary Marx announced his departure from the band. Upon completion of the tour, work commenced on the new album, tentatively titled 'Left on Mission and Revenge'. Work soon stops however due to musical differences with Andrew (again). Craig Adams departs, soon followed by Wayne Hussey. The parting is amicable, but soon gets ugly when Andrew catches Wayne and Craig trying to use the Sisters of Mercy name, and then calling themselves the Sisterhood. Andrew puts out his own Sisterhood project and wins the legal battle with Wayne and Craig, forcing them to pay 25000 pounds for the trouble they caused him. Wayne and Craig rename their new band the Mission. Patricia Morrison is confirmed as Andrew's new partner and the Sisters of Mercy remain relatively quiet until the release of Floodland in 1987 to great success. A second period of inactivity follows and then the inevitable departure of Patricia Morrison. Andrew regroups in 1990 with a full band again consisting of Tim Brechino, Andreas Bruhn and Tony James (possibly the most reviled man in British rock by the UK press). The new album, Vision Thing, is released in November to the disappointment of many fans with its heavy metal tinges. The album is succesful nonetheless and the first Sisters tours in five years commence. The band toured throughout '90 and most of '91 to packed houses every where and had settled down to recording a new album (slated for a late spring release) when Tony James announced his departure. They remain on good terms and no replacement has been reported. The new album is entitled "Some Girls Wander by Mistake". It features 19 of the pre-WEA singles tracks. No word on when the next album of new material will be released has yet been given. The US release date will be some time in June. Useful Information 1. Andrew's real last name is Taylor 2. Wayne Hussey's real name is Jerry Lovelock 3. Gary Marx's real name is Mark Pairman 4. Going prices for SOM releases. [prices are variable other prices seen are noted after in ()] (autographed copies of anything are pretty much whatever the market will bear. Autographed listings are just reported prices from a few list members' personal sightings) I. Damage Done/Watch 150 pounds II. Body Electric/Adrenochrome 75 pounds($60)(50 pds) set seen for 500 pounds III. Alice/Floorshow in white sleeve 7" 30 pounds IV. the Reptile House w/lyric sheet 15 pounds V. Walk Away 7" 10 pounds VI. Long Train flexidisc 30 pounds(but _extremely_ variable, i've seen it for 10 US) VII. Body and Soul 7" 15 pounds VIII. No time to Cry 7" 10 pounds IX. FALAA gatefold 15 pounds X. This Corrosion CD single(english, not german)20 pounds XI. FALAA gatefold fully autographed 65 pounds XII. FALAA autographed by WH 15 pounds XIX. Dominion box sets $20 5. Going prices for some rare bootlegs I. Halloween's Day 100 pounds II. Armageddon Outtakes 65 pounds III. the Lights Shine Clear 75 pounds 6. Bands related to the Sisters of Mercy I. Mekons & the Three Johns- Jon Langford played bass for the Sisters briefly. Keith Mekon guested on Floodland II. the Expelaires-Craig Adams pre-SOM band III. Ghostdance- Gary Marx's post-SOM band IV. Walkie Talkies,Knopkov,Dead or Alive, Hambi and the Dance,the Ded Byrds, Pauline Murray & the Invisible Girls-Wayne Hussey's pre-SOM bands. V. the Mission-Wayne and Craig's post-SOM band VI. the Gun Club,Fur Bible-Patricia Morrison's pre-SOM bands VII. All About Eve-Tim Brechino's pre-SOM band VIII. Generation X,Sigue Sigue Sputnik-Tony James' pre-SOM bands IX. the Only Ones-Jim Perry guested on Vision Thing 7. Other related bands I. the March Violets-first singles on Merciful Release II. Salvation-first singles produced by AE and on Merciful Release Daniel Mass guested on Floodland III. the Sisterhood-AE sideproject with Patricia Morrison,Lucas Fox, Alan Vega and James Ray IV. James Ray & the Performance- on Merciful Release Carl and James guested on Floodland V. James Rays Gangwar-on Merciful Release, recently departed 8. Lyrics most of the lyrics are available from firstname.lastname@example.org by e-mail request. or preferably by ftp from uwp.edu or mail from datta@ uwp.edu 9. Discographies Discographies are availble from email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. the first is in Albums/singles format. the second is in strictly chronological format. both contain the same information as we collaborate and have different aesthetic senses :-) mine is also available by ftp or mail from uwp.edu.(mail is datta@ uwp.edu) 10. How do i get those early SOM eps? Try special ordering them. most are still in print except for the Damage Done/Watch and Body Electric/Adrenochrome 7"s. Rumor has it MR has taken the 12"s out of print for a CD reissue program. This has yet to be confirmed by a second source. The new album however contains most of these tracks so it seems unlikely. The only way to get ToL 7" bury me deep and emma on CD is the bootleg Black October which is out of print so good luck finding one. 11. What the hell is They Shall Not Pass? TSNP is a compilation of some singles released on CNT from 82-84 and includes Body Electric and Adrenochrome. it's in print and on CD so special order it if you can't find it. abstract records aabt 400 CD or LP. 12. How the hell do i _get_ any of those bootlegs listed in the discog.? Keep your eyes peeled and hope for the best. Bootleg availability is _extremely_ variable. Things common someplaces are extremely rare elsewhere. arrange tape trades with e-mail friends, ask friends to be on the lookout etc. and i've got a few dozen shows on tape or disc and would be more than happy to trade tapes(not necessarily SOM) :-> OTHER THINGS:1> Nine while nine is a northern phrase meaning from X til Y, in this case 9 am til 9pm, or the other way 'round. thanx fer this info pete!
2> The Sisters of Mercy mailing list is Dominion.
3> Alt.gothic on internet is also a good place for goth discussion not necessarily appropriate to the Sisters list.
4> the address for Heartland is: Heartland 2 North Row Warminster Wiltshire BA12 9AD Tel: 0985 215883 Fax: 0985 217680 5> the address for the Reptile House Ltd.(the SOM fanclub) is: the Reptile House P.O. Box H.P. 29 Leeds 6 EnglandCorey