It’s easy to forget that the Sisters of Mercy were something of a seminal band in certain circles in the 1980s. No recorded material has been released since 1993, and their influence is seldom referred to in any meaningful way. They exist entirely as a touring band, with singer Andrew Eldritch (plus drum machine) the sole original member.
This book, written by Trevor Ristow over many years, serves as both an exhaustive intro and a primer for the hardcore. It covers the band’s early period, from their unpromising beginnings to the split with Craig Adams and Wayne Hussey departing to eventually form The Mission.
The book captures the atmosphere of the band’s music and the dry lyrical wit of Eldritch. Ristow is not uncritical of the band, perfectly prepared to point out material of theirs which doesn’t quite convince.
The author is given to his own analyses of Eldritch lyrics, the book is very much from the point of view of the singer rather than the rest of the band, fans would say rightly so.
Though the band never quite measured up to how Eldritch described them, they did have more than an ounce of originality. An entertaining read, the book goes into plenty of detail charting the rise of the band and then descent into out and out bitchiness. A must-read for anyone who remembers The Sisters of Mercy with any degree of fondness.
Photo Credits –
For the cover photo: © 1985 Ulf Berglund
For the back cover photo: © 1983 Daryl-Ann Saunders.