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.