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The Creatures was a musical act formed in 1981 as a side-project for Siouxsie and the Banshees members Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie. With the dissolution of Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1996, The Creatures graduated from an occasional side project to a full-time concern. The duo released four studio albums: Feast in 1983, Boomerang in 1989,Anima Animus in 1999 and Hai! in 2003. They disbanded in 2005.
Their music was hailed by Jeff Buckley and PJ Harvey. The Times described their music as "adventurous art rock built around Siouxsie's extraordinary voice and drummer Budgie's battery of percussion".
- 2 Feast era (1983)
- 3 Boomerang era (1989)
- 4 Collaboration with John Cale and Eraser Cut EP (1996-1998)
- 5 Anima Animus era (1999-2002)
- 6 Hai! era (2003-2004)
- 7 Discography
- 8 References
- 9 Sources
- 10 External links
Singer Siouxsie Sioux and drummer Budgie created The Creatures while recording the Banshees' Juju album. During one session, they discovered by accident that the association of just the voice and the drums suited to the track "But Not Them". A recording session was organized with the aim of recording five songs. This project was released in the form of an EP titled Wild Things. The title track was a reworking of a hit by The Troggs and the other numbers were Creatures compositions. The EP reached number 24 in the UK Singles chart and the pair performed "Mad-Eyed Screamer" on Top of the Pops.
In 1983, The Creatures released their first full length album Feast. The band decided where to record the album by randomly placing a pin on a map of the world. The result was Hawaii, which led to the featuring of The Lamalani Hula Academy Hawaiian Chanters on some tracks. In the week of its release, the band was on the front cover of both the Melody Maker and the NME. The Melody Maker described Feast as "an album of filtered brilliance, fertile, sensual and erotic" and the NMEaccentuated "The humours of Sioux's frosty larynx are nakedly outlined against skins of sometimes fabulous quality" The album reached number 17 in the UK Albums Chart. The hit single "Miss the Girl" took its inspiration from the book Crash by J. G. Ballard. Shortly after its exit from the charts, a follow-up "Right Now" was recorded: that song was initially performed by Mel Tormé. The Creatures revamped it by adding a brass section, and it became their most successful single, reaching the top fifteen.
The Creatures came back nine years later. Siouxsie and Budgie went to a metal wagon house in Jerez, Andalucia, Spain to record Boomerang. Brass arrangements were used on some tracks and Anton Corbijn took colour pictures for the sleeve. The record was critically acclaimed and widely regarded as Siouxsie and Budgie's crowning achievement as The Creatures. NME wrote : "it's a rich and unsettling landscape of exotica". One of the bluesy songs of Boomerang, "Killing Time", would be later covered live by Jeff Buckley. In late 1989, The Creatures made their live debut appearance on U.K television and went on tour shortly after for the first time, visiting Europe and North America. In 2012, the jazzy song "You!" would be used by two dancers in the Us TV'show So You Think You Can Dance.
When Siouxsie and the Banshees called it a day in 1996, The Creatures had already begun composing new material. At the same time, the long-out-of-print Wild ThingsEP and Feast album were remastered and re-released through the compilation A Bestiary Of.
In February 1998, John Cale contacted them for a future collaboration. He was the organizer of the "With a Little Help from My Friends" festival that took place at theParadiso in Amsterdam. The concert was shown on Dutch national television and featured a Siouxsie song (made for The Creatures) especially composed for the event and still unreleased, "Murdering Mouth" sung in duet with Cale. That afternoon, the Creatures also premiered a live orchestra version of "I Was Me". During mid-1988, the pair toured with John Cale in the U.S, playing yet unreleased material to their audience.
During that period, Siouxsie and Budgie created their own label, Sioux Records, and became an independent act. The Eraser Cut (an anagram of The Creatures), was released in July followed in October by the single "2nd Floor".
Early in 1999, the Creatures released Anima Animus, the first studio album in just under a decade. Its urban sound was an important departure from Boomerang 's very organic atmosphere. The Times wrote: "It's entrancing, hypnotic and inventive", and PJ Harvey selected Anima Animus in her ten favourite albums released in 1999. Other singles from the album were "Say" (dedicated to Billy Mackenzie) and "Prettiest Thing". The song "Another Planet" was included on the soundtrack to the film Lost In Space in a version radically reworked by Juno Reactor. Live albums Zulu (London'98) and Sequins in the Sun (Glastonbury'99) were also released on limited editions via The Creatures website.
In June, The Creatures appeared on Marc Almond's Open All Night; Siouxsie sang in duet on the track "Threat of Love". Late 1999 saw the remix album Hybrids, which featured tracks remixed by other acts including The Beloved.
In 2000, a compilation of unreleased Anima Animus-era tracks was released as U.S. Retrace : it featured the b-side "All She Could Ask For" which was the opening number of all their concerts during that period. Three one-track CDs, ("Murdering Mouth" - live version, "Rocket Ship" and "Red Wrapping Paper"), were also edited to fan club members.
Siouxsie and Budgie returned with a full-length album, Hai!, in 2003. The drum sessions were recorded in Japan less than 24 hours after the Banshees had completed their reunion tour Seven Year Itch. Budgie first worked with the Japanese taiko drummer Leonard Eto, the basis of the album being a spontaneous drum duet between the two. The rest of the sessions were done in France over a period of several months. The single "Godzilla!" was described as "spookily brilliant" by the NME and the reviews were favourable for Hai!. The opening track "Say Yes" was used during the trailers of The Sopranos 2004 season.
That same year, Siouxsie was asked to be the guest vocalist on the Basement Jaxx's "Cish Cash": she wrote the lyrics and the electronic musicians composed the music for the track. This record was crowned at the 47th Grammy Awards.
In 2004, Siouxsie toured for the first time billed as a solo act but with Budgie still as drummer and musical arranger. The setlists combined Banshees and Creatures songs. A live DVD called Dreamshow depicted the last London concert of September 2004 performed with the Millennia Ensemble. Released in August 2005, this DVDreached the number one position in the UK music DVD charts.
This was the last release by the pair, as Siouxsie announced publicly during an interview with The Sunday Times in 2007 that she and Budgie had divorced. Their musical partnership has been discontinued for the foreseeable future and, thus, The Creatures have disbanded.
- Main article: The Creatures discography
|Year||Song||UK singles||U.S. Modern Rock||Album|
|1981||"Mad Eyed Screamer"||24||—||Wild Things EP|
|1983||"Miss the Girl"||21||—||Feast|
|1998||"2nd Floor"||119||—||Anima Animus|
|Year||Album||Peak chart positions|
|UK Album Chart
|US Billboard 200