Episode 10: JUJU


Juju – Siouxsie and the Banshees – Polydor – 1981

In 1981, British rock was in a transitional phase. Punk had, by then, all but completely faded out, and new wave and post-punk were shaping fresh ideas of how rock could sound. It was in this environment that Siouxsie and the Banshees were set to record their fourth album Juju. After going through a lineup change before their previous release, and with guitarist John McGeoch now cemented as an official member, the band was ready to experiment with their sound, to create lyrical and melodic concepts that would mesh together cohesively as one work. The band created and molded the songs for Juju while on tour, working the songs out live and letting them take the dark, theatrical, romantic shape that would give the album its singular sound, the final product of which would help define the subset of post-punk that would come to be known as “goth rock.”

In this episode, we discuss this move from punk to post-punk, detail the Banshees’ stylistic choices and conceptual soundscapes, and (surprise) have a conversation about feminism and punk rock.

Listen to Juju: iTunes | Spotify | YouTube

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Episode notes and postscript corrections


One thought on “Episode 10: JUJU

  1. Can we talk for a moment about that album cover? If you’re like me, the first several listens of a new album take place with the sleeve in hand, poring obsessively over the tiniest details, memorizing the credits, and ultimately burning the cover art into your brain. Like few other darkwave/goth rock/post-punk albums (a notable exception being The Cure’s “Pornography,” as you mentioned), “Juju” signifies dread and sinister intents before the needle hits the groove, and I maintain that it’s due to more than the woodcut head and the mess of cut-out notations and tablature: the whole damned image is printed in the negative! In addition to (or, heck, in spite of) the simultaneously confusing and otherworldly collage, negative-print images convey an unsettling mood—color is reversed, otherwise-subtle details are brought to the fore, even shadows are more disturbing.

    I really enjoyed this cast and firmly agree that “Pop-Up Video” should be resurrected with you two as permanent hostesses!

    Liked by 1 person

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