Siouxsie and the Banshees – ‘Cities In Dust’ (Bob Rock Remix) US 7” (Wonderland/Geffen, 7-28813, 1986)

This little curio has passed me by until recent times I must admit, since to my knowledge this particular remix has never been re-issued on CD format at all. For its release in the United States, Geffen Records had a remix of ‘Cities In Dust’ made and it found its way on to this 7” single as well as a regular edition 12” EP edition and promo-only 12” single. Given that the sleeve and label credits quite clearly namecheck the ‘Tinderbox’ LP, I would wager that this single release is from 1986 rather than the UK’s original late 1985 debut – but as I say, this particular variation passed me by altogether, so anyone else who knows for sure is more than welcome to comment.

Siouxsie and the Banshees - ‘Cities In Dust’ (Bob Rock Remix) US 7” - front sleeve design

^ Siouxsie and the Banshees – ‘Cities In Dust’ (Bob Rock Remix) US 7” – front sleeve design

The remix itself is quite subtle and you really get the benefit of it if you break out the headphones and give it a listen, since the main difference lies in much greater stereo separation – it’s a ‘cleaner’ mix in that respect – whereas the standard single and LP mixes are quite compact, punchy and bunched together in the stereo field, this mix spreads the instruments apart, particularly the guitars and keyboards.  The most noticeable differences lie with John Valentine Caruthers’ guitars. On the intro build up, there is a subtle, dampened ‘chug’ rhythm guitar (more what you’d hear from David Gilmour on e.g. ‘Run Like Hell’) present – can’t be sure it’s a whole new overdub or just an earlier appearance of what is already present but buried right down in the mix of the original mix. His main guitar contribution is panned hard left, while the ‘bell’ keyboard is hard right, with stereo ping-pong echo used occasionally on the final guitar strike at the end of the chorus. The whole mix itself is a good deal shorter than the regular single mix, by around half a minute (mostly sliced off the ‘noise’ intro).

Siouxsie and the Banshees - ‘Cities In Dust’ (Bob Rock Remix) US 7” - rear sleeve design

^ Siouxsie and the Banshees – ‘Cities In Dust’ (Bob Rock Remix) US 7” – rear sleeve design

As to why it was remixed… who knows? Perhaps Geffen felt it needed a bit more of a rock ‘oomph’ to it, perhaps it was something to do with the track’s appearance (as well as the band on screen) in the movie ‘Out Of Bounds’? I’ve never heard any of the band members make reference to this mix in any interviews I have come across, nor in any of the various Banshees biographies that are on the go.

Siouxsie and the Banshees - ‘Cities In Dust’ (Bob Rock Remix) US 7” -label side A

^ Siouxsie and the Banshees – ‘Cities In Dust’ (Bob Rock Remix) US 7” -label side A

If you fancy tracking down a copy of the mix, watch out if buying the 12” EP editions – it looks as if some of them have the regular single version ‘Edit’ as it is referred to, rather than the ‘Remix’ – check out discogs.com for more on that.

Siouxsie and the Banshees - ‘Cities In Dust’ (Bob Rock Remix) US 7” -label side B

^ Siouxsie and the Banshees – ‘Cities In Dust’ (Bob Rock Remix) US 7” -label side B

One Response to “Siouxsie and the Banshees – ‘Cities In Dust’ (Bob Rock Remix) US 7” (Wonderland/Geffen, 7-28813, 1986)”

  1. How embarrassing to learn of this US remix from abroad! But that’s the “buried treasure” of different mixes for the American market for so many bands! Serious collectors should always try to get US pressings after they snap up the original UK pressings. There are lots of events like this one.

    The commercial US 7″ as well all US promo copies on 7″ and 12″ feature the Bob Rock remix. There were 2 commercial US 12″ers; One was the same as the UK 12: and the other had the Bob Rock US remix as well as the Steve Churchyard 12″ mix. The single color POPS Geffen US 12″ version goes for the most money, but the 4 minute mix will be across a single side of the 12″ slab with the widest grooves, so the sound will be absolute best fidelity. Even at the US 33 RPM standard.

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