The Sisters of Mercy

Some Girls Wander By Mistake

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For over a decade, the early singles of Andrew Eldritch's goth crew, the Sisters of Mercy, existed only in a limited-edition vinyl format. They also went for fairly high prices, something that led to extensive bootlegging. Thankfully, in 1992 head honcho Eldritch decided to release all of the Sisters' pre-major-label material on a single compilation CD. He was rewarded with a U.K. number one album, and the opportunity to buy himself a new Porsche. The title comes from a Leonard Cohen song, "Teachers," which was the first song performed by the fledgling Sisters. All five early singles/EPs are here, from 1980's "The Damage Done" to 1983's "Temple of Love." The material is not presented chronologically, which is fine since the band's first two singles are the weakest on the album. "The Damage Done" might command a high price on vinyl but isn't a particularly good song, and the 30-second B-side "Home of the Hit-Men" is entirely pointless. Follow-up single "Body Electric" is better, featuring the classic punk workout "Adrenochrome," but it wasn't until 1982's "Alice" that the band hit its stride. The title track is an instant classic, while "Floorshow" became a live show staple. The Reptile House EP, featuring tracks five to ten on the CD, saw the Sisters take a turn into more overtly dark territory, featuring some of their bleakest and most anguished work. Their final indie release, "Temple of Love," continued this trend, with Eldritch turning in an impressive vocal performance. The cover of "Gimme Shelter" doesn't entirely work, but it's an interesting glimpse into the band's roots. Some Girls Wander By Mistake captures the Sisters of Mercy at their most ferocious and angry, in the years before the band became weighed down by over-produced synth-based efforts. As a look at the formative years of a still-popular band, it's great, but as a reminder of the punk roots of the goth movement, it's priceless.

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