The Sisters of Mercy Mailing List FAQ Version 6.2

Last Update: 1/95

Maintained by Brian A. Singerman ( and 
              Todd R. Eigenschink (

Originally by Corey W. Nelson


The authors of this FAQ are not associated with The Sisters of Mercy,
The Reptile House, Eldritch Blvd. Ltd., or any other Sisters of Mercy
orginization except for Dominion, The Sisters of Mercy Internet
Mailing List.  Any questions, observations, comments, or complaints
should be directed to the authors/maintainers listed above.


What is a FAQ?  FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Question.  This file
has been produced in an effort to forestall the appearance the same
questions over and over every time a new person subsribes.  Please
read it over to see that your question can't be answered by simply
referring to the FAQ.  It is also to give you a rough idea as to the
sort of the topics that have been done to death or are not considered
appropriate on the list (unless you want grumpy old-timers jumping on

		   History of the Sisters of Mercy
			 by East West Records
                      Updated by Brian Singerman

The Sisters of Mercy are formed in Leeds by Andrew Eldritch (drums,
guitar) and Gary Marx (guitar, vocals).  With one guitar, a three-watt
practice amp and no money, they record a single "to hear ourselves on
the radio."  The Merciful Release label is founded to issue it and one
thousand copies are pressed.  The record gets played on the radio.

Described by the band as "unobtainable and even more unlistenable,"
"THE DAMAGE DONE / WATCH / HOME OF THE HITMEN" is now worth a small

Sensing that something horribly huge is within their grasp, the duo
decides to "start again, properly."

Andrew Eldritch, by his own admission "a very bad drummer," becomes by
default the band's lead singer as Gary Marx concentrates on guitar and
Craig Adams is recruited on bass.  An essential move seems natural to
The Sisters but is to set them crucially apart from (and ahead of)
their peers: they are now anchored and driven by the legendary Doktor
Avalanche, drum machine.

The band make their live debut on February 16th.  Marx has wired his
guitar to a record-player pre-amp which feeds back uncontrollably and
Eldritch has turned the space-echo onto maximum.  Their first ever set
kicks off with a twisted cover of Leonard Cohen's "Teachers" and ends
with a juggernaut howl which might have been "Silver Machine" but was
in fact "Sister Ray".  The audience gets the point.

The Sisters of Mercy gradually refine their noise and their ability to
be loved and hated.  Towards the end of the year Ben Gunn is added as
a second guitarist.

The second record, "BODY ELECTRIC / ADRENOCHROME", is Single Of The
Week in the Melody Maker.  It will be almost three years before one of
their singles does not make Record Of The Week somewhere.  The Sisters
Of Mercy deign to play London, and Tony James of Generation X asks Mr. 
Eldritch to join a band.  Offer to declined, with thanks.

A radio session for the BBC foreshadows the next classic single and
The Sisters tour Britain with the Psychedelic Furs.  November sees the
release of "ALICE / FLOORSHOW", that now-familiar blend of persistent
and irresistable melody, hypnotic technoid riffing and a vicious hook
shining seductively above the riptide...  From now on, the band will
dominate the independent chart until a major label meets their terms.
Such is their reputation, however, that not one indie label will ever
approach them.  Self-managed, they continue to "borrow" cigarettes and
miraculously put out their own records with faith and dole money.

Early months are spent touring the country with their now huge army of
supporters.  A set of Sisters standards is variously spiked with an
audacious selection of covers including "Gimme Shelter", "Jolene" and
even Hot Chocolate's "Emma".  A second BBC session follows the release
in March of the new single, "ANACONDA / PHANTOM".

The twelve-inch EP "ALICE / FLOORSHOW / PHANTOM / 1969" is also the
band's first American record.

In May, instead of capitalising on their notorious brand of melodic
overdrive, The Sisters Of Mercy issue "THE REPTILE HOUSE EP", some of
the finest and most haunting Sisters songs swamped in a magnificently
perverse mix of slithering cruelty.

After the first extensive tour of Europe, before a short series of
dates in America (Ben Gunn's last), it is decided to spend the
proceeds on the band's first trip to a 24-track studio.  Despite every
effort to invest the whole sum in multi-tracking guitars, The Sisters
come out with a three-track single in October.  "TEMPLE OF LOVE" is in
every respect a monster.  Backed with "HEARTLAND" and "GIMME SHELTER",
it is destined to be their last independently released record.

Wayne Hussey joins The Sisters.  Concentrating upon acoustic and
twelve string guitars, he makes his debut in April.

Prior to a UK tour in May, the band announces that it has signed to
WEA, although the production and design of all its records will still
be controlled by Merciful Release.

four track single described by Eldritch as "a vision of heaven with
everyone on speed", narrowly misses the UK Top Forty, and a third BBC
session showcases some of the material which will later comprise The
Sister's first album.

Demos are recorded for the album and the band travel to New York in
August to play two sell-out dates.  Work on the LP is postponed due to
Eldritch's ill health but the band continue to play live, culminating
in the "Black October" tour.  The Sister's European audience continues
to grow, particularly in Germany and the UK.  "WALK AWAY / POISON DOOR
/ ON THE WIRE" is released.

There are, however, barely concealed tensions within the band.  Many
are tempted to read into the lyrics of "WALK AWAY" a public appeal to
Gary Marx.  Worries about Eldritch's exhaustion and his not-so-private
leisure pursuits are fuelled by the lyrics to "ON THE WIRE".

"NO TIME TO CRY / BLOOD MONEY / BURY ME DEEP" is issued in February
and the "Tune In, Turn On, Burn Out" tour opens in March.  Gary Marx's
departure is announced and the debut album goes straight into the Top
Twenty.  Flawed and scarred it may be, but "FIRST AND LAST AND ALWAYS"
went gold and is still regardedas a collection of classic songs.

To mark the event, The Sisters stage an end-of-tour concert in July at
London's Royal Albert Hall.  Eldritch, Adams, Hussey, and the Doktor
play loud, hard, and flawlessly, and the atmosphere in the auditorium
is charged as seldom before.  The Sisters Of Mercy are celebrating the
first pinnacle of their existence.

Eldritch is expected to leave the stage with his usual "Goodnight!"
but tonight it's "Goodbye."  He has already decided that this will be
the only Sisters performance to be filmed and that the resulting film
will be titled "WAKE".

It will be five years before The Sisters Of Mercy play live again.

Craig Adams and Wayne Hussey have left the band; disagreements over
matters of writing and touring were understandable, and the departure
was amicable enough.  Nevertheless, an understanding was breached when
their demo tapes began to re-appear under various permutations of the
Sisters' name.

Eventually (to cut a long story short) they decide to play live as The
Sisterhood, but by swift coincidence Merciful Release unleashes
"GIVING GROUND", also by The Sisterhood.  An Eldritch production, the
single streaks to the top of the independent chart.  Now there is only
one Sisterhood.

The album "GIFT" follows quickly.  It is rumoured that "GIFT" was
recorded impossibly fast, and writted to be unlistenable in order to
escape the publishing contract with RCA music, who had unhelpfully
sided against Eldritch in The Sisterhood dispute.  It certainly
shocked the short-sighted.  Eldritch was promptly dropped.

Eldritch had thrown everything in the air and it had not come down.
The Sisters Of Mercy were the most bootlegged band of the decade, but
had completely stopped playing live when they seemed at the height of
their power.  Eldritch had moved to Hamburg in Germany and the English
press pronounced him either retired or dead.

After "GIFT" they should have known better.  Ahead of its time, this
dense soundscape took to the extremes some of the most important
elements of The Sisters' psyche.  Without losing sight of the original
Sisters' vicious aesthetic, is assimilated the advances in continental
dance music.  The layers of ersatz Elgar and chant added an aching
poignancy to the terse and savage wit of the lyrics.  Insistent and
tuneful, the songs were harnessed to a menacing synthetic groove
somewhere between the New York underground and the hardcore
techno-beat of Brussels and Berlin.

Eldritch was enjoying his new-found freedoms.  Rumour fed on rumour,
and in the absence of the band the legend just grew.  The Sisters were
bigger than ever before, and in a position to refocus with confidence
on the future.  Expectations rose to a fever pitch as the next phase
was launched.

"THIS CORROSION / TORCH" is released by WEA.  The single enters the UK
Top Ten at number 7 and becomes the #1 Alternative Record in America.
It is also announced that Patricia Morrison has been recruited and
that the band will not be enlarged further.  On TV screens all over
the planet, the torrential rain of "THIS CORROSION" sets the pace for
a series of spectacular videos.

The "FLOODLAND" album is released in November.  A world-wide hit in
critical and commercial terms.

"FLOODLAND" places the acoustic / electric guitars of the first album
on a backdrop of keyboards inspired by the experimentation of "GIFT".
A fifth generation Doktor Avalanche drives a selection of songs which
highlight Eldritches maturity as a singer and a songwriter.

A dramatic video set in the ancient Jordanian city of Petra heralds
"DOMINIAN / EMMA" which charts at number 13.  "LUCRETIA MY REFLECTION
/ LONG TRAIN" provides The Sisters with their third chart single from
the "FLOODLAND" LP.  The album goes gold and proceeds to sell over
200,000 copies in the U.S.A.

A compilation video ("SHOT") is issued, featuring the three singles
>from "FLOODLAND" and an additional clip of "1959" which was filmed on
location in India during the shooting of the "LUCRETIA" video.

Andreas Bruhn (guitar) joins the band; he and Andrew Eldritch write
songs for the next album and Tony James (bass) replaces the recently
departed Patricia Morrison as The Sisters begin recording in Denmark.

Tim Brechno (formerly guitarist with All About Eve) completes the
line-up as the LP, "VISION THING", is being finished.

"VISION THING" is released in November.  It is preceded by a single,
"MORE / YOU COULD BE THE ONE", which continues the band's heard-earned
tradition of international chart success, particularly in W.Germany,
where the album achieves gold status (250,000 copies).

Compared to its predecessor, "VISION THING" is a much more
stripped-down affair.  Half of the finished mixes for the album are
shelved in favour of rough mixes from earlier in the recording
session: "monitor mixes" which retain the immediate feel of the songs.

The guitars are more direct than they were on "FLOODLAND" and there is
far less emphasis on the layering of sound which characterised the
last Sisters album.  The keyboards are kept to a bare minimumm, and
the baritone voice of Eldritch is clear amid the storm.

The lyrics retain their usual oblique sub-texts, but there is a new
directness of language on the surface.  It has been noticed that there
is no sense whatsoever of "victim" on the "VISION THING" album.  It is
confident to the point of arrogance, commanding to the point of sheer
callousness.  An intellectual tour-de-force of beautiful cruelty.

The band play surprise concerts in Ireland.  "DOCTOR JEEP" is issued
as a single, coupled with rare live tracks.

Brazilian warm-up dates are followed by a Europeen tour which stars
two dates at London's 11,000 capacity Wembley Arena.

The Sisters Of Mercy mark the tenth anniversary of their live debut
with two shows for members of The Reptile House, The Sisters Of Mercy
information service, in their birthplace, Leeds.  There is a tour of
southern Europe.

released as a single in Germany.

A North American Tour opens on March 25th in Ontario.  The first Gig
sells out in two hours.

Shows completely sell out in Waterloo, Toronto, Montreal, New York,
Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Boulder; two at the Warfield Theatre in San
Francisco.  There is a prestigious debut at the Universal Amphitheatre
in Los Angeles.  The Sisters concerts at Irvine Meadows and the Q-Fest
in Phoenix attract twenty thousand fans.

Another trip to northern Europe follows in April and May, including
wildly received shows in Poland and Hungary and an arena-tour of

With the encouragement of agents and promoters the bands returns to
the States for an arena-tour on which they are to be supported by
special guests Public Enemy.  By the time the tour starts the American
concert industry has slumped.  Consequently the last leg of the tour
is cancelled and many take the opportunity to overlook the fact that
everybody had a great time at some truly ground breaking concerts.
"Serious entertainment", as the band put it, "without any of the
ersatz hippy bullshit that passes for an attitude in so much of
today's 'scene'."

The Sisters eventually make it out of Miami, and seal their year with
a guerilla-raid on the European festival circuit, most particularly at
Rock Am Ring (second on the bill, attendance 60,000) and Reading,
where they headline in front of 30,000.  Tony James decides this is a
suitable moment to move on in his quest for Showbusiness Valhalla.

Eldritch achieves one of his ambitions by recording with Yemenite
superstar Ofra Haza.  The recording was a totally new version of the
Sisters classic "TEMPLE OF LOVE".  The new version features Andreas
Bruhn and Tim Bricheno on guitar.  Released on April 20th the single
"TEMPLE OF LOVE (1992)" - Touched By The Hand Of Ofra Haza, crashes
into the UK chart at #3.

A compilation album "SOME GIRLS WANDER BY MISTAKE" appears in Spring
and enters the UK album chart at #5.  The title is taken from Leonard
Cohen's "Teachers", which the band crucified in a storming howl of
feedback during their first ever gig in 1981, while the album itself
traces the band's early history from 1980-1983.  Featured are all the
A and B sides from the first six releases including the much sought

A one off sell out show is played at the Birmingham NEC on June 27th.

The Sisters Of Mercy play three UK shows.  One as special guests to
Depeche Mode at Crystal Palace on the 31st July.  The lineup for this
show is Andrew Eldritch, Andreas Bruhn, Adam Pearson and the long
standing Doktor Avalanche.  Other 1993 gigs included Brixton and the
NEC.  Andy plays a couple of gigs with the Utah Saints, one in Leeds
and one in London.  This is foreshadowing of Andrew's future musical

A single "UNDER THE GUN / ALICE (1993)" is released on August 16th,
with a compilation album "GREATEST HITS VOLUME ONE: A SLIGHT CASE OF
OVERBOMBING" following on the 23rd of August.  The compilation is a
collection of the band's singles from 1984 to the present.

Shot Rev. 2.0 is released.  It contains the post-FALAA videos
including TOL '92 and UTG.

Nothing happens.  Andrew does a mix for the Die Krupps song
'Fatherland' but that's it.  No tour, song, or anything.

	      Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions

"Nine while nine" is a northern (England) phrase meaning from X til Y,
in this case 9 am til 9pm, or perhaps the other way around.

Isabelle is the name of a girl that wrote Andrew a letter asking him
why he didn't write a song that was just his voice and piano.  Thus
came 1959.

Andrew's real last name is Taylor.

Wayne Hussey's real name is Jerry Lovelock.

Gary Marx's real name is Mark Pairman.

The name the Sisters of Mercy was taken from the Leonard Cohen song of
the same name.  The Sisters of Mercy is a real order of nuns as well
as a common term for prostitutes.  ("It's meant to evoke an image
somewhere between a nun and a prostitute...and we think that's a
pretty good metaphor for a rock band." -- AE)

The female singer in Temple of Love (1992) is the Yemenite singer Ofra

The female singer in Under the Gun is Terri Nunn from the group Berlin.

You can subscribe to The Sisters of Mercy mailing list by sending a
request to Dominion.

The internet newsgroup alt.gothic is a good place for goth discussion
not necessarily appropriate to the Sisters list.

Underneath the Rock is the Sisters fan club magazine put out through
the Reptile House every (so they say) 3 months or so.  It contains
lots of stuff written by Andrew Eldritch himself, along with up-to-
date news on the sisters.  You can subscribe by writing to the Reptile
House at the address listed below.

The address for the Reptile House Ltd. is:
  The Reptile House
  PO Box HP 29
  Leeds 6
  West Yorkshire

		    Going prices for SOM releases

Prices are variable, of course.  Other prices seen are noted in
parentheses.  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.

  Damage Done/Watch                    150 pounds
  Body Electric/Adrenochrome           75 pounds ($60, 50 pounds, 500 pounds!)
  Alice/Floorshow in white sleeve 7"   30 pounds
  Reptile House EP w/lyric sheet       15 pounds
  Walk Away 7"                         10 pounds
  Long Train flexidisc                 30 pounds ($10)
  Body and Soul 7"                     15 pounds
  No time to Cry 7"                    10 pounds
  FALAA gatefold                       15 pounds
  This Corrosion CD single (English)   20 pounds
  FALAA gatefold fully autographed     50 pounds
  FALAA autographed by WH              15 pounds
  Dominion box sets                    $20

Some boolegs:
  Halloween's Day                      100 pounds
  Armageddon Outtakes                  65 pounds
  The Lights Shine Clear               75 pounds

		Bands related to the Sisters of Mercy

The Mekons, The Three Johns: Jon Langford played bass for the Sisters
    briefly.  Keith Mekon guested on Floodland.

The Expelaires: Craig Adams' pre-SOM band.

Ghostdance: Gary Marx's post-SOM band.

Walkie Talkies, Knopkov, Dead or Alive, Hambi and the Dance, the Ded
    Byrds, Pauline Murray & the Invisible Girls: Wayne Hussey's
    pre-SOM bands.  (You get the idea he had trouble working with
    people! -Todd)

The Mission U.K.: Wayne and Craig's post-SOM band.

The Gun Club, Fur Bible: Patricia Morrison's pre-SOM bands.

All About Eve: Tim Brechino's pre-SOM band.

Generation X, Sigue Sigue Sputnik: Tony James' pre-SOM bands.

The Only Ones: Jim Perry guested on Vision Thing.

CNN, XC-NN: Tim Bricheno's post-SOM bands.

Broon: Andreas's post-SOM musical effort.

3000 Revs, Loose, Hearts On Fire: Adam Pearson's pre-SOM bands.

The Cult: Craig currently plays bass for Ian and the boys.

Other related bands
The March Violets: first singles on Merciful Release

Salvation: first singles produced by Eldritch and on Merciful Release.
    Daniel Mass guested on Floodland.

The Sisterhood: a Sisters side project with Patricia Morrison, Lucas
    Fox, Alan Vega and James.

James Ray & the Performance: on Merciful Release.  Carl and James
    guested on Floodland.

James Ray's Gangwar: on Merciful Release, recently departed and returned.

La Costa Rosa: new Merciful Release band.

MK Ultra: a James Ray band on Merciful Release.


Most of the lyrics are available by FTP from or by any of
the other sites listed below, or by mail from  If
neither of those methods work for you, *then* mail us (Brian or Todd)
and we can make some arrangements.  We have Microsoft Word and
WordPerfect lyrics files available.  The official place to get lyrics
is from Andrew Eldritch's book entitled "Postcards from above the
Chemist".  This, however, does not cover all of the songs.  "Postcards
..." is available through The Reptile House; contact them for more

Discographies are availble from the ftp sites listed below.  They are
in albums/singles format and in strictly chronological format.  Both
contain the same information as the authors collaborate and have
different senses of aesthetics.
How do you 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.  SGWBM, however contains most of these
tracks.  The only way to get ToL 7", Bury Me Deep, and Emma on CD is
the bootleg Enter the Sisters/Black October which is out of print.  A
new boot called "Some Boys Wander by Mistake" is out featuring the
post-WEA tracks not covered by SGWBM.

How do you get any of those bootlegs listed in the discography?  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.

			Mailing List Etiquette

Appropriate topics for the list are, naturally, anything to do with
the Sisters of Mercy.  This is not a general gothic chat list.  Ask
yourself if this is Sisters related or might be more appropriate to
alt.gothic.  We realize that not everyone has access to the alt.*
groups however, and SOME off-topic chat is ok, but if it goes on for
more than a few days, consider taking the discussion to e-mail.

Please do NOT post GIFs (or other large files) to the mailing list
without first posting a notice to determine interest.  If there is
enough interest that it is easier to post it than simply mail it to
the interested parties, THEN post it.  Many people have disk quotas
for their incoming mail and/or pay for their Internet access.  You're
only costing your fellow list members money by posting things that may
only have a very limited appeal to the membership at large.

Information about particular bootlegs can easily be obtained from the
discographies.  Chances are very that, unless it's been released in
the last month, the information you're looking for is in the
discography.  The individual parts are available separately and any
part may be obtained via ftp or mail without having to obtain the
other parts as well.  So think carefully about what you're doing.  Are
you simply being to lazy to get the information yourself, or have you
tried and not found what you're looking for?

		  Internet Sites with Sisters stuff
The Sisters Of Mercy WWW Site, managed by Ian Grimstead, You should be able to find just about everything you need here, with links to everywhere you'd want to go. Great page. Lots of pictures, lyrics, discography, and some song samples. The biggest source for Sisters stuff. General music ftp site.

		       Songs which have videos

  Body and Soul
  Walk Away
  No Time to Cry
  Black Planet
  This Corrosion
  Lucretia, My Reflection
  Dr. Jeep
  Detonation Boulevard
  Temple of Love (1992)
  Under the Gun

	       Songs the Sisters of Mercy have covered

  1969 (The Stooges)
  Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd)
  Emma (Hot Chocolate)
  Ghostrider (Suicide)
  Gimme Gimme Gimme (a Man After Midnight) (ABBA)
  Gimme Shelter (The Rolling Stones)
  Hey Joe (Jimi Hendrix)
  He's Got the Whole World in His Hands
  Jolene (Dolly Parton)
  Knocking on Heaven's Door (Bob Dylan)
  Louie Louie (cover of The Stooges' version)
  On the Bright Side of Life (Monty Python)
  Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix)
  Sister Ray (The Velvet Underground)
  Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin)
  Stop Dragging My Heart Around (Stevie Nicks w/
                                 Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
  Teachers (Leonard Cohen)

	      Songs That Have Never Been Performed Live

This list does not include any demos or remixes!

  Black Planet
  Blood Money
  Bury Me Deep
  Driven Like the Snow
  Finland Red, Egypt White
  Flood I
  I Was Wrong
  Neverland (A Fragment)
  Rain From Heaven
  When You Don't See Me
  You Could Be the One
All other songs have been performed live at some point in time.


Thanks to everyone who contributes to this file.  We'll try to update
it whenever something new happens.  Rise and Reverberate!!