Friday, April 20, 2012

20 Essential Albums: First and Last and Always

First and Last and Always - TheSisters of Mercy

The Sisters of Mercy’s first full-length album First and Last and Always, released in 1985, has been played so often in my life that I cannot even recall when it first came to my attention. What I do know is how influential the album was, how the driving beat of a song like “Walk Away”, or the space and emotion of “No Time to Cry”, reached a particular strain of my own emotion.  The music expressed something that I was unable to express.

This is late-night driving music, something played loud in the next room.  Characterized by a bass that sets the course of the song, drums that keep the quick pace, twelve-string guitar that gives the songs depth, and an electric guitar that comes in high and thin.  And then there’s the thickly reverbed vocals of Andrew Eldgridge.  The song “Logic”, titled “Amphetamine Logic” on other releases, while not as strong as the singles mentioned above, is true Sisters’ style, complete with lines like “Nothing but the knife to live for / one life all I need / give me one good reason / give me more amphetamine logic.”

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