35 Years Ago: SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES release Hyaena

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35 Years Ago: SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES release Hyaena

SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES released their sixth album on this day in 1984.

Hyaena is the only album with Robert Smith (THE CURE) as a composer and member. Former guitarist John McGeoch left the band in 1982, Smith joined, as he had in 1979, and also collaborated with bassist Steven Severin in THE GLOVE. During this period the band recorded their cover of THE BEATLES "Dear Prudence" which was released as a single in the UK and included on the North American version of Hyaena.

It was an insane period for us, extremely busy. We were just being totally hyperactive. I think it took its toll maybe a year or so later. John had been hospitalised for stress and overworking, so he was suffering a bit. Robert stepped in, for the second time, as he did in '79, so the show was still going on, and the touring was all pretty intense and crazy. We went on to record Hyaena together, and then he imploded as well. He just couldn't cope with it.

Siouxsie Sioux / Siouxsie and the Banshees interview, Louder, 2018

The first single from Hyaena was "Swimming Horses", released in March 1984.

It has to do with a program about Les Sentinels I saw on TV. The group is a French organization, mainly men, which rescues women from honor killing. In certain parts of the world - Greece, and maybe Morocco - if a man looks at a young girl the wrong way, the rumor spreads around town that they have kissed or slept together. No matter if it's true or not, the girl is maimed for life or killed by her brother or father. The custom's quite horrific. So our fascination for the bizarre is still there, but I want to conceal the identity of the pain and not leave it a gaping or a laughing matter.

Siouxsie Sioux / Siouxsie and the Banshees interview, Spin, June 1986

The second single, and album opener, "Dazzle", was released in May. The single version is a couple of minutes shorter, so be sure to play the excellent full version with complete intro and outro. One of their best.

The string intro-outro melody was written by Siouxsie on piano as "Baby Piano". It was later developed by The Chandos Baroque Players ensemble. Their complete recording can be heard as a bonus track on some reissues of Hyaena, titled "Baby Piano Pt.2". The Chandos Players collabortaed with the band again in 1984 for The Thorn EP.

Siouxsie and the Banshees - Baby Piano (Original)
Siouxsie and the Banshees - Baby Piano (Orchestral)