The Collegian : the weekly newspaper of Behrend College. (Erie, PA) 1989-1993, April 25, 1991, Image 8

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    Page 8
Radio fans cry for mercy
English band finds a home on college airwaves
"Cult"-bound: Since the release of their third album, Vision Thing,
steadily increasing requests have landed Sisters of Mercy a solid spin on a
host of college radio stations.
(CPS) - Stare, for a moment,
into the fire. Look past the
flames, to the embers burning
ever so brightly, performing
the mesmerizing final dance of
their short lives as they turn
and soar toward their infinite
sleep, burning ever toward
darkness. That's the dark,
somber sound of The Sisters of
With the release of Vision
Thing, the band's third album,
The Sisters is building upon a
cult status that has elevated
vocalist Andrew Eldritch, his
work, and his offstage antics
to near-mythical proportions.
Eldritch, who has a deep,
growling, tortured vocal style,
is the brains behind The
Sisters of Mercy, as well as its
founder, songwriter and
constant focal point.
He started it all in 1980 in
Leeds, England.
"There was a gap," Eldritch
explains. "Everybody in
London. which is where the
whole English music industry
is, was promoting at the time,
very much like they are today,
in fact, a rather hideous blend
of cocktail and disco music.
"Nobody I knew up in
Northern England could relate
to that," he remembers. "We
had our own different thing
So Eldritch, along with
original guitarist Gary Marx,
formed The Sisters of Mercy.
"We had a fuzz bass, a very
cheap drum machine, and I used
to shout a lot through an echo
machine," he recalled. "People
really got off on it."
A few months later,
"Damage Done," the Sisters'
first single, was released on
their own Merciful Release
label, to instant acceptance.
"We spent the following 10
years trying to keep as much
of that as possible," says
Eldritch of the early sound,
"while fitting it into song at
the same time, which is not
Eldritch originally got into
music, he says, "because it
seemed the natural thing to do
if you were a punk rocker,
Everybody was in a band then.
Someone asked me to play on
their record, so I did and it just
kind of grew from there."
"Long after that," Eldritch
continued, "people started
saying, 'Andrew, you're
actually quite good at certain
elements of this,' and people
started encouraging me. That's
when we started taking it
seriously. That would have
been about 1982, when we
started realizing the potential
power of what we had."
A handful of singles and
live performances won the
Sisters a small, though loyal
European following,
prompting Warner Brothers to
offer the band worldwide
distribution of the band's
records in 1984.
The spring of 1985 saw the
release of the self-titled
Sisters' debut album, which
jumped immediately into the
U.K. Top 20 album chart,
yielding a number of hit
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singles in the process
It wouldn't be until two-and
a-half years later, with the
1987 release of the single
"This Corrosion," that the
Sisters would become known
The alternative music scene
happily embraced The Sisters
of Mercy, the album release
that followed. The enigmatic
Floodland came next, selling a
respectful 200,000 copies in
the U.S. market and providing
college radio with two
additional hit singles,
"Dominion" and "Lucretia My
Of Vision Thing, Eldritch
says, "it's loud and it's
exciting and it's very funny."
Shooting more than a few
poetic arrows at both American
and English cultures, Vision
Thing is a creative reflection
of the ills of a world gone
But Eldritch maintains he's
not trying to wake people up
with his startling lyrics and
apocalyptic vision. "I don't
think that there's much that
you can do. I just make a
soundtrack for people who feel
the same way that I do.
"I don't think that rock
music, certainly not the way
that I do it, is in the business
of converting people or
persuading them of anything
that they don't know already.
One, I think that that's a
conceited thing to do, and
secondly, I just don't think
that I'm very good at it."
Up Close With...
DliaAafa,,_ Th
Name: Laurie Ann O'Sullivan.
Birthdate: January 23, 1965.
Birthplace: Staten Island, New York.
Current job position: Coordinator, Campus Residential Life
Very first job: Waitress in a coffee shop (at the age of 12).
Secret vice: Bubble baths by candlelight.
Three things that can always be found in your refrigerator:
Hershey's Chocolate Syrup, popcorn, wheat bread.
Movie you could see again any time: It's a Wonderful Life.
Book you could read again any time: "Oliver Twist" by Charles
Whom you would most like to have dinner with: Kevin Costner.
Your ultimate dream vacation: A trip to a secluded cabin in New
Hampshire - equipped with a fireplace - in the wintertime.
What actress would you have portray yourself in a movie based on
your life?: Shelley Long.
Behrend's best kept secret: No, I'm not a student; I actually do work
Accomplishment you are proudest of:• I paid my own way through
college and grad. school.
People may be surprised to know that: I write poetry for Blue
Mountain Arts (Greeting Card Company).
Things you could do without: People who don't recycle, mornings,
credit card bills, gossip.
Catch the Lions'
latest sports scores
each week in
The Collegian
r •
• Italian Restaurant
3512 Buffalo Rd.
Large Cheese and PepperOni Pizza for
Only $6.99 plus tax
Expires 5/2/91
Thursday, April 25, 1991
Fresh Flowers for all your
floral needs.
Behrend Students • 10% Off