Why is Siouxsie and the Banshees’ Through the Looking Glass on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Not your typical album of cover songs. Just ask Alice, I think she’ll know…
What does Siouxsie and the Banshees’ Through the Looking Glass mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
When a band or artist I like produces an album of covers, I’m typically both excited and nervous. Excited because it’s always interesting to see how bands will interpret other material. Nervous… because in many cases an entire album of cover songs signals that it’s closing in on the end of the era of their peak creative output or simply the end, period.
See: Guns n’ Roses’ The Spaghetti Incident for an example that checks off both of those boxes rather definitively.
But that’s not always the case, and with the wildly eclectic new wave and post-punk sensibilities of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Through the Looking Glass’ roster of cover songs became my favorite album of theirs and therefore found a place in the best 1,000 albums ever project.
Years before Iggy Pop was thrust into the mainstream spotlight by way of the incredible Trainspotting soundtrack (#470 of best 1,000 albums ever), Siouxsie and crew do an amazing job of translating Pop’s spare and cool “The Passenger” into a bouncier, jangle popped up number, replete with a very 1980s horn section. It all works, and it’s fabulous.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge Doors fan, so you’ve immediately got my attention if there’s a Doors cover involved. Make it a Doors deep cut off Strange Days, and you’ve really got my attention. And then it’s a fascinating interpretation that totally works, and it’s what??
And such is the case with the cover version of The Doors’ “You’re Lost Little Girl,” which becomes an oddball goth-meets-indie rock song gem in Siouxsie and the Banshees’ hands.
One of the reasons why cover songs tend not to be successful is when they are competent enough re-creations of the original but do very little (or nothing at all) to re-interpret the source material and make something new and interesting out of it. In my experience this is often the case. And it’s something that Through the Looking Glass avoids entirely, to its great credit.
An outstanding example of this: the cover of Kraftwerk’s “The Hall of Mirrors,” which is titled “Hall of Mirrors” on Through the Looking Glass. Here’s the Kraftwerk version.
And here’s the kinda much better overall in my view Siouxsie and the Banshees version.
Some stats & info about Siouxsie and the Banshees – Through the Looking Glass
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, College Rock, Post-Punk, Dance Music, Pop Music, Alterative Pop
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 3 out of 5 stars
- When was Through the Looking Glass released? 1987
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #762 out of 1,000
Siouxsie and the Banshees’ Through the Looking Glass on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.