KALEIDOSCOPE - TRIVIA

 
 
  Musicians:

Producer:

  • Nigel Grey

Kaleidoscope:

  • Influences during the writing and recording were Pink Floyd's 'Arnold Layne' and The Rolling Stones' 'Satanic Majesties'.
  • During the recording sessions for the 'Kaleidoscope' album Siouxsie and Steve were contemplating whether to record a cover of the Pink Floyd song 'Arnold Layne' to release as a single.  Sadly this never came to fruition.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • The highest charting album by Siouxsie & The Banshees or The Creatures, hitting No. 5 in the UK chart in August 1980.
  • "The new album's tentatively called 'Kaleidoscope' because of the nature of the situation we are in.  It's all quite fragmented but every fragment is strong, bright and positive, but nevertheless fragmented."  Source: Zigzag 05/80.
  • The original running order for the album was to be:-

    Side One
    Happy House
    Tenant
    Hybrid
    Clockface
    Trophy

    Side Two
    Christine
    Desert Kisses
    Red Light
    Skin
    Paradise Place 

    Source: 
    The File, Phase 1.

Happy House:

  • Inspiration/Influence/Band Comment:  
    SIOUXSIE: 'Happy House' started off as a title, as a name for our fan club, the Happy House you see, and it became a song. It was the first thing we wanted to record and we had the bass, drums and vocals worked out for it so we used it in auditions as a test. So no-one did anything off pat, it was used as a guide to try out new guitarists and they had to work out their own sound." Source:  Sounds 05/04/80.
    SIOUXSIE: I got an idea for a song. It's really just a happy song. The kind you make as you go along when you're happy, for no real reason. Y'know, when you're sitting in the bath or when you're walking home late at night." Source:  Smash Hits 01/05/80.
    BUDGIE: "I think Happy House was where I really kind of, you know, started to say something about where I felt like, somewhere between Keith Moon, Ginger Baker and me." Source:  Punk Top Ten Interview 08/06/0.
  • Demo recorded 16/01/80 at Polydor Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Recorded 25-26/02/80 at Phil Mansanera's Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Film promo video 15-16/03/80.  Source: The File, The File, Phase One.
  • Covered by Hot Gossip.
  • Covered by Ginger Ale - Happy House CD Single.
  • Sampled by Cappella on U Got 2 Know - Cappella The Remixes.
  • 7" vinyl A Side has  'Hello Budgie ' edge into the run out groov.e
  • 7" vinyl A Side has 'Bye Bye Blackheads ' edge into the run out groove.
  • Performed on Top Of The Pops 10/04/80.
  • Performed on Top Of The Pops 27/03/80.
  • Performed on Top Of The Pops 13/03/80.
  • While the Banshees were away on tour in the States at home in the UK on the Tom O'Connor show the Joe Loss Orchestra played 'Happy House', whilst Hot Gossip sang and performed a dance routine.  Source:  Sounds 28/02/87.
  • Used as an audition piece for a replacement guitarist.
  • Live debut 19/03/80, Osborne Club, Manchester.  Source: The File, Phase One.

Tenant:

  • Inspiration/Influence/Band Comment:  
    Inspired by the Roman Polanski's film of the same name, exploring themes of alienation, isolation and a breakdown in modern communication. 
    SEVERIN: "All our influences come from completely different areas. Yet we spend most of our life involved in this world in one way or another, albeit isolated maybe." Source:  Option 03/98.
  • Recorded 13-30/05/80 at Surrey Sound Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.

Trophy:

  • Inspiration/Influence/Band Comment: 
    SEVERIN: "John and Kenny are going to recognise a few of the titles of the new songs, I think. Old lyrics that they've seen and turned their noses up at.... 'Trophy' was nearly on 'Join Hands'." Source:  Zigzag 05/80.
  • Recorded 13-30/05/80 at Surrey Sound Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.

Hybrid:

  • Inspiration/Influence/Band Comment: 
    SIOUXSIE: "It's a love song really. You read about how love's supposed to be, but in the papers you see all these other things that people do to get their certain kicks. More people seem to have those sort of kicks than meeting the girl next door. It's an angle of looking at things and they are there - it's not purely fictional." Source:  Melody Maker 09/12/78.
    SIOUXSIE: " ‘Hybrid’. . .that’s about what the name implies. That was formulated when we were on the last tour with Robert Smith, in soundchecks. Steve had the bass line and I had the lyrics. Budgie invented the drum beat." Source:  Zigzag 05/80.
  • Demo recorded 16/01/80 at Polydor Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Recorded 25-26/02/80 at Phil Mansanera's Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Live debut 19/03/80, Osborne Club, Manchester.  Source: The File, Phase One.

Clockface:

  • Inspiration/Influence/Band Comment: 
    The original title of this song was 'Kaleidoscope'. Source:  T
    he File Phase One
  • Recorded 13-30/05/80 at Surrey Sound Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.

Lunar Camel: 

  • Inspiration/Influence/Band Comment:
    Written as the result of a dream Siouxsie had. SIOUXSIE: "I think a lot of interesting things come out in your dreams and sometimes you don't fully understand them and it's just the imagery or the suggestion from them that can lead you down a very interesting path." Source:  The Sun Webchat 2003.
    SEVERIN: "Dreams have always been important in the work of the band. Around the time of 'Kaleidoscope', Sioux had a period when she kept as notebook by her bed and started writing things down." Source:  Deadline 08/91.
    SIOUXSIE: "People who consider dreams to be nothing to do with reality are being narrow-minded. At least a quarter of your life is dreaming; how can you dismiss it? You're a fool not to be affected by it. It's usually quite harrowing, and it's usually telling you something..." Source:  Melody Maker 10/01/87.
  • The working title of this song was 'Arabia'. Source:  The File Phase One.
  • Demo (at this stage called 'Arabia) recorded 14/02/80 at Chappell Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Recorded 13-30/05/80 at Surrey Sound Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Never performed live.

Christine:

  • Inspiration/Influence/Band Comment: 
    SIOUXSIE: "It’s about Christine Seisnal (adopts country accent): She’s got twenty two personalities! She don’t know who to play with!" Source:  Zigzag 05/80.
    STEVE: "All twenty two personalities had different names, which was a really good source for the lyrics - the Strawberry Girl, Banana-split Lady . . .they were either names by her or the family. There’s a book called The Three Faces Of Eve about her, which is more like a biography she wrote with a friend of hers from her childhood, a cousin. She turned out to go to college and become some sort of knob on psychiatry." Source:  Zigzag 05/80.
    SIOUXSIE: "Part of that oppression comes over in our number ‘Christine’. She became a textbook case ‘cause of the traumas she’d been through as a child. She witnessed many violent acts." Source:  Sounds 28/02/80.
  • Demo recorded 14/02/80 at Chappell Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Recorded 04/80 at Surrey Sound.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Filmed promo video at Battersea Studios 06/80.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Covered live by Red Hot Chillii Peppers V2001 Festival.
  • Covered by Battery - Cop Compilation.
  • During their set at the V2001 Festival, Flea from the Red Hot Chillii Peppers announced that they were going to perform 'your national anthem' and the band launched into a cover of 'Christine'.
  • The real Christine Sizemore recently appeared on TV with her son. Her son was quoted as saying that as a child he liked the Purple Lady as it usually meant they would be spending lots of money, but he hated the Strawberry Girl.
  • Initial copies of the 7" vinyl B-side are wrongly labelled as being produced by Nigel Gray.  It is in fact produced by the band and the label was corrected on future pressings.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Live debut 19/03/80, Osborne Club, Manchester.  Source: The File, Phase One.

Desert Kisses:

  • Inspiration/Influence/Band Comment:
    SIOUXSIE: "It’s Banshee-ballad. Not wet. It’s a romantic, lonely song. Casablanca. . ." Source:  Zigzag 05/80.
    SIOUXSIE: "That's about a lonely cancer crab after the fallout." Source:  Unknown source 1982.
  • Demo recorded 16/01/80 at Polydor Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Recorded 25-26/02/80 at Phil Mansanera's Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Backing vocals provided by 'The Sirens'.
  • Live debut 19/03/80, Osborne Club, Manchester.  Source: The File, Phase One.

Red Light:

  • Inspiration/Influence/Band Comment:
    The lyrics started out life as a piece of automatic writing by Steven, who then used cut ups which resulted in the phrases 'kodakwhore' and 'shutterslut'.
  • Recorded 13-30/05/80 at Surrey Sound Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Filmed promo video at Battersea Studios 06/80.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Covered by Clan of Xymox - Kindred Spirits.
  • Covered by Waiting For God - Reflections In The Looking Glass.
  • First Banshees' song Budgie played drums on.  Source:  BSIDE 02/95.

Paradise Place:

  • Inspiration/Influence/Band Comment: 
    SIOUXSIE: "There's one song that I've recently done called 'Paradise Place' which is about plastic surgeons in the Beverley Hills, that operate a a cut price (slice), very cheap, and they end up messing up someone's features at the cost of how cheap it is." Source:  Zigzag 05/80.
  • Demo recorded 08/05/80 at Chappell Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Recorded 13-30/05/80 at Surrey Sound Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Live debut 09/09/80, Brady's Club, Liverpool under the pseudonym Janet & The Icebergs.  Source: The File, Phase One.

Skin:

  • Inspiration/Influence/Band Comment: 
    SIOUXSIE: "It sounds really wet when you talk about animals, but it’s exactly the same sort of emotion that you feel when you read about a kid being battered to death, a really defenceless four year old kid and it’s been battered to death. It’s just unthinkable that they’ve been treated like a little doll and slung about. It builds up a real sense of how could they?" Source:  NME 15/08/81.
    SIOUXSIE: "We’re against their pathetic arguments about the culls, saying there are too many animals. The one thing there is too much of is people". Source:  New Women In Rock 1982.
  • Recorded 13-30/05/80 at Surrey Sound Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Covered by Sin - Reflections In The Looking Glass.
  • Live debut 09/09/80, Brady's Club, Liverpool under the pseudonym Janet & The Icebergs.  Source: The File, Phase One.

Sitting Room:

  • Recorded 13-30/05/80 at Surrey Sound.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Unreleased track from the 'Kaleidoscope' sessions.  Now available on the remastered and expanded 'Kaleidoscope'.

Drop Dead/Celebration:

  • Inspiration/Influence/Band Comment: 
    A scathing attack on deserters Kenny Morris & John McKay.
  • Demo recorded 16/01/80 at Polydor Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • When Boy George was in the process of splitting up from boyfriend Jon Moss, he used to leave extracts of 'Drop Dead/Celebration' on Jon’s answering machine. Boy George's biography 'Take It Like A Man' is published by Sidgwick & Jackson.
  • First song produced entirely by the band.
  • The scream at the beginning made its way to University Challenge in 2003 in the form of a question.  The contestants had to identify four screams, the one at the beginning of 'Drop Dead/Celebration' being one of them.
  • Live debut 19/03/80, Osborne Club, Manchester.  Source: The File, Phase One.

Eve White/Eve Black:

  • Inspiration/Influence/Band Comment: 
    Based on a real woman Christine Sizemore who suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder.  The inspiration for this song was the book I'm Eve by Christine Costner - Sizemore & Elen Sain - Pittillo.  Written after reading The Three Faces Of Eve by Thigpen & Cleckley  Source: Zigzag 05/80 & The File, Phase One.
  • Demo recorded 19/02/80 at Chappell Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Demo recorded 27/04/80 at Polydor Studios.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Recorded 04/80 at Surrey Sound.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Initially intended to be a double A side with 'Christine'.
  • Initial copies of the Christine 7" single state that Nigel Grey produced 'Eve White/Eve Black'.  This is in fact incorrect, the song was produced by the band and later pressings of the single were corrected.  Source: The File, Phase One.

Israel:

  • Inspiration/Influence/Band Comment:  
    SIOUXSIE: "No it's not about religion as such, it’s more general. A disillusioned person, or whole race who’ve ceased to understand or believe in what they held to be the truth. It tries to put across, you shouldn’t cover what you feel inside by teaching or attitudes imposed on you. It emphasises the strength of the individual." Source:  Sounds 28/02/81.
    SEVERIN: "We wanted to do a Christmas single, and to get it out on time we had to write it on the road, which was quite unusual for us. We wrote it in a hotel room in Amsterdam (11-12 October 1980), and it came together very quickly at the sound checks." Source:  The Authorised Biography 2002.
    SIOUXSIE: " 'Israel' says that religion is good if it brings disillusioned people together, but without the dogma that usually goes with religion. Source:  Trax 17/02/81.
    SIOUXSIE: "I don't have faith in organised religion. I believe that everyone is different and you've got to work out how to impress yourself, and you know that better." Source:  Record Mirror 15/05/86.
  • Recorded 03-05/11/80 at Surrey Sound.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Covered by Mephsito Waltz - Reflections In The Looking Glass.
  • Covered by Linus Loves
  • Covered by Nouvelle Vague - Bande à Part
  • The first Banshees single to be released on 12".
  • Features a 30 strong Welsh choir providing the backing vocals.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Made it's live debut on TV programme 'Something Else' on 15/11/80.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Live debut 16/11/80, Palladium, New York.  Source: The File, Phase One.

Red Over White:

  • Inspiration/Influence/Band Comment: 
    Partly inspired by The Benefactor, a short horror story by Walter Winward.
  • Recorded 03-05/11/80 at Surrey Sound.  Source: The File, Phase One.
  • Recorded for a BBC Session 06/81.
  • Covered by The Shroud - Reflections In The Looking Glass.
  • Live debut 16/11/80, Palladium, New York.  Source: The File, Phase One.

Budgie: 

  • Born (Peter Clarke) on 21/08/57.
  • Before his introduction to The Banshees, Budgie played with the groups The Spitfire Boys and The Slits.  The Spitfire Boys released one single 'Mein Kampf/British Refugee'.  And during his time with The Slits they released the album 'Cut'.  He has since contributed drums to the Indigo Girls album 'Rites Of Passage'.
  • As a child, other people in the street where Budgie lived bred pigeons, Budgie bred Budgerigars and was known locally as 'Bird Man Of Morley Street'.
  • In the early part of his career Budgie's nickname was 'Blister'.

The Skids:  

  • 15/09/80, Severin adds backing vocals to The Skids John Peel session.

Exhibition:

Government:

  • In February 1980 during a rally at Westminster in opposition to a movement to change the 1967 Abortion Act (therefore making it virtually impossible to obtain a legal abortion in the UK),  a message of support was read out from Siouxsie & The Banshees to loud appreciation.

Star Of David:

  • "We picked up another symbol, the Star Of David, which seems the antithesis (of the Swastika). But if you want to take that symbol literally, it can represent the same kind of nationalism. I was also really into John Heartfield's artwork at the time (as used for the cover of Mittageisen), and I naively assumed all these elements would be taken the way I meant them to be. I was really stupid".

Janet & The Icebergs:

  • Siouxsie & The Banshees performed 4 gigs in 1980 under the non de plume 'Janet & The Icebergs'.