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Album Kaleidoscope front

Release Date:
Vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Finger Cymbals:
Guitar, Saxophone, Farfisa organ, Sitar, String Synth:
Drums, Harmonica, Bass Guitar:
Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Piano, Synthesizer:
Album Tracks:
Contributing Artists:
Nigel Gray (producer), Steve Jones (lead guitar on "Clockface", "Paradise Place" and "Skin")
Happy House 7 March 1980
Christine 30 May 1980

Album Sequence:

Preceded by:
Join Hands
Followed by:
See all albums...

Kaleidoscope is the third studio album by English rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees. It was released on 1 August 1980, through Polydor Records.

Following the departure of two band members, the band regrouped and redirected their sound for their third record. Departing from their previous work, the Banshees incorporated synthesizers and drum machines for the first time. They particularly experimented in electronic music on a couple of tracks: the electro-dance minimalism "Red Light" and the atmospheric synth-based piece "Lunar Camel". Kaleidoscope also marks the debut of guitarist John McGeoch and new drummer Budgie.

The album peaked at number five in the UK Albums Chart, the highest position the band has achieved.[1]

Critical reception Edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 [2]

Melody Maker's Paulo Hewitt praised the album, and qualified "Paradise Place" and "Skin" as "classic Banshee pieces. Hypnotic, relentless and incisive, both feature Steve Jones on guitar, revealing a hitherto unknown side of the (S)ex-Pistol".[3]

AllMusic described it as a "strong record" with "extraordinarily imaginative production values, featuring intricate synthesizer-flecked arrangements; psychedelic touches in "Christine", spaceship synthesizer swoops in "Tenant" and rhythmic camera clicks in "Red Light" all enliven their respective songs".[2]

Legacy Edit

Kaleidoscope had an impact on several critically acclaimed musicians.

The Cure frontman Robert Smith named the album to Steve Sutherland in 1985 to describe The Head on the Door: "It reminds me of the Kaleidoscope album, the idea of having lots of different sounding things, different colors."[4]

Johnny Marr from The Smiths stated on BBC Radio 2 in February 2008 about John McGeoch's contribution on "Happy House":

Quote before

What is it about "Happy House" from a guitar player point of view. For start, it's modern. It's not going in any of these creaky or rock'n'roll aspects to it and it still sounded like the Banshees, or even more so. That's when I really began to become a fan of John McGeoch. It was a extra bonus for me. They had got a great guitar player who had left another band and came in. Not surprisingly, that to me was a very good scenario. I've always liked that. It was like get John's best on the guitar.[5]

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Santigold said that she took inspiration from the song "Red Light". "'My Superman' is an interpolation of a Siouxsie Sioux song, 'Red Light'", she explained. "I love her song and I love this song."[6] Santigold also later sampled another song off Kaleidoscope, "Lunar Camel", on her Top Ranking remix album. Jeremy Jay covered the same song on his Airwalker EP.

Kaleidoscope was also praised by the singer of Suede, Brett Anderson.[7]

Track listing Edit

All lyrics written by Siouxsie Sioux, except where noted, all music composed by Sioux and Steven Severin, except where noted.
Original release
No. TitleLyricsMusic Length
1. "Happy House"     3:52
2. "Tenant"     3:41
3. "Trophy"   Sioux, Severin, John McGeoch 3:19
4. "Hybrid"     5:31
5. "Clockface"     1:53
6. "Lunar Camel"     3:02
7. "Christine"  Severin  2:59
8. "Desert Kisses"     4:15
9. "Red Light"  Severin  3:21
10. "Paradise Place"     4:34
11. "Skin"     3:49

Personnel Edit

Siouxsie and the Banshees Edit

Additional personnel Edit

References Edit

  1. "ChartArchive - Siouxsie and the Banshees - Kaleidoscope". Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cleary, David. "Kaleidoscope - Siouxsie and the Banshees". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  3. Hewitt, Paulo (26 July 1980). "Siouxsie's Sketches". Melody Maker. Retrieved 2 September 2012.  Template:Subscription required
  4. Sutherland, Steve (17 August 1985). "A Suitable Case for Treatment". Melody Maker. 
  5. "Spellbound: The Story of John McGeoch (4/6)". YouTube. 7 January 2010. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  6. Hresko, Lisa (28 April 2008). "All That Glitters Is Santogold". CMJ. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  7. "Some Current Fascinations". Retrieved 1 November 2011. 

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