The Five Most Disappointing Goth Albums: Sisters of Mercy, Vision Thing
All this week we're going to look back over albums from undeniable goth icons and talk about their failures.
Both music editor Chris Gray and I agreed that the debut Sisters of Mercy album First and Last and Always was simply the greatest goth album in existence. While we were compiling the list that it topped, we both confessed that we preferred Floodland as a work, even though FALAA is clearly the better and more influential album.
So now, let's talk about Floodland, the first album Andrew Eldritch put out after the departure of Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams to form The Mission. It's just a spellbinding work that succeeds not only as a dance single generator with "Dominion/Mother Russia, "Lucretia, My Reflection," and of course and forever "This Corrision," but also a driving narrative opus that moves along magically throughout it's length like a Del James short story.
That's what Floodland was in 1987. Then Eldritch, ever the monomaniac, fired a bunch of people and birthed Vision Thing in 1990 through a hard and painful labor. Of the three Sisters albums it remains the worst, at least until Uncle Andy finally stops pouting at the recording industry and gives us the album for which we've been waiting for 25 years and can in no way live up to expectations.
On the surface, Vision Thing is great. It's certainly listenable. "Something Fast" is my favorite Sisters slow number, and "When You Don't See Me" always packs the dance floor. As a singles generator, it's better than Floodland.
However, once you peel back the surface you realize that the album is completely empty. Obstinately it was inspired by the policies of the George Bush Sr. administration, something that we can look back on with hindsight and say was heaps better than some of the crap we're living through now.
But OK, so Eldritch was getting political. That's cool enough, but after literally hearing this entire album over a dozen times from front to back I can sadly conclude that it isn't really about anything at all. The lyrics are just a random collection of political buzzwords meant to invoke emotions without having any real substance behind them at all. Andrew Elritch invented the obnoxious political meme before the internet even happened.