The Sisters of Mercy


Composed by Andrew Eldritch

Song Review by

First heard on a John Peel/BBC radio session in September 1982, "Alice" was released as the Sisters of Mercy's third single two months later. Constructed around the merciless metronome of drum machine Doktor Avalanche and a darkly spiraling guitar line, "Alice" was recorded with the Psychedelic Furs' John Ashton in the producer's chair -- after two self-produced, self-recorded 45s, it emerged the band's most conventional sounding single yet: Melody! Chorus! Intelligible lyrics!

It remains one of their most intriguing releases. The lyrics are a wealth of ambiguities, shot through with knowing references to sex, drugs, and Tarot -- Alice herself is a person who will do whatever is necessary to make reality appear bearable, to "promise her a definition." It remains a firm fan favorite.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Alice 1982 Brain Eater
Disguised in Black 1985 Antilles 3:23
Psychedelic Sessions 1991
Some Girls Wander By Mistake 1992 Elektra / Rhino
Under the Gun 1993 Merciful Release 3:57
Maxi Pop Oro 2005
Various Artists
All That Punk 2006
Various Artists
WEA International
Some Girls Wander by Mistake/Vision Thing 2008 Warner Music 3:34
Under the Influence of Alice: Music Inspired by the Classic Tale 2010
Various Artists
Rhino 3:31
Original Album Series Warner Music 3:35
blue highlight denotes editor's pick