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|It's heaven on earth when you
Take my hand and lead me
To the garden of delight
|The Mission UK
Wayne Hussey & Co
After their split from
The Sisters Of Mercy in 1985, Wayne Hussey
(guitar/vocals) and Craig Adams (bass) decided to pursue their own dreams
escaping Andrew Eldritch's tremendous ego. They joined forces with Simon
Hinkler (guitar/keyboards) and Mick Brown (drums) and hit the road performing
as Sisterhood, in support of The Cult.
Soon after Eldritch stripped them from their initial chosen band name, they
released their first singles as The Mission. Songs like A Serpents Kiss,
Wake, and Garden of Delight, introduced The Mission as worthy
leaders of the dark movement, stealing Sisters
followers, and producing melodramatic rock tunes in line with the
Sisters First and Last and Always. During
their 1990 tour to promote the album 'Carved in Sand', Simon Hinkler decided to
walk off stage midway through their performance, never to return again.
Up till 1991, The Mission (known as The Mission UK in the US) continued producing solid gothic rock albums, influencing a generation. In 1992, their album 'Masque' introduced a drastic change in style, moving towards more pop-oriented tunes and stripping down the gloomy elements of their previous work. Craig Adams called it quits in 1993, and was replaced by former All About Eve bassist Andy Cousin. Two more pop-rock albums were released in 1995 ('Neverland') and 1996 ('Blue'), both of which contributed to the alienation of their early gothic fan base.
In 1997, The Mission UK were no more.
In 1999, and following other major gothic band reunions, like Bauhaus, Fields of the Nephilim and Garden of Delight, Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams reformed the band for a major world tour. The Mish are currently working on a new album to be released in the Fall of 2001.
-- Said Sukkarieh, Musicfolio, 3/01
1986: Gods Own Medicine
Featuring backing vocals by All About Eve's Julianne Regan.
".... their sound soars to new gothic heights, the spires of gothdom becoming eclipsed in the dark swirls of these children of the English dark side. Lofty, penetrating vocals sink their teeth into a methodic instrumental throb highlighted by ephemeral strings, mystical slides and poignant guitar that gives rise to a lush, at times polished quality."
-- College Media Inc, via CDnow.com
1987: The First Chapter
Including their first singles prior to Gods Own Medicine and cover songs of The Beatles, Neil Young, Free and Patti Smith.
"...The best moments of The First Chapter are found in the Mission's own compositions, especially the single Serpents Kiss and The Crystal Ocean, both of which shimmer with Hussey's signature 12-string sound, and one of the best non-drum machine rhythm sections that came out of the English goth rock scene. "
-- Chris True, AMG
"... It includes many classic Mission favorites such as Fabbiene, the sublime Zepplinish Tower of Strength and Wing and a Prayer. From the opening of distant children's voices (on a playground?), then into the pulmonar ripping 'best Mission song in this writer's opinion' Beyond the PALE- Julianne from All About Eve's background warbling counter-balancing Husseys' deep gothic voice: instantly you can tell the band is pulling NO punches. (...) Hymn(for america) is a rewriting of Zeppelin's Immigrant song, ending a truly fantastic record as it began-with the eternally hopeful sounds of children voices in the background, full of the hopes and dreams soon to be and already shattered in a neat album. Definitely recommended. "
-- Jay Pendragon, via dooyoo.co.uk
¾ 1990:Carved in Sand
"... Carved in Sand pretty much picks up where Children left off; with grandiose, shimmering arena rock-style songs like Deliverance, only this time Wayne Hussey tries to extend his lyrical ability to encompass social issues. Songs like Into the Blue, which has a light environmental theme, and Amelia (touching on the issue of child abuse and molestation) are two of the strongest tracks, musically speaking. Hussey almost pulls off the role of social commentator, but his dramatics get in the way. The rest of the album is a typical Mission album: great music, great production, mediocre lyrics."
-- Chris True, AMG
1990: Grains of Sand:
An album made from the remains of the recording of Carved in Sand. Includes the hit Hands Across the Ocean.
¾ 1992: Masque
The first pop-rock oriented album marking a new era of the Mission's existence. Includes the hits Never Again and Like a Child Again, both songs that introduced the Mission to a whole new audience, and estranged their hardcore goth fans.
¾ 1994: Sum and Substance
Gathers some of the more accessible Mission hits, but definitely not their all time best. A good place to start for new Mish fans.
1994: Salad Daze (BBC Sessions)
BBC Sessions recorded in 1986, 1988, 1990.
½ 1995: Neverland
"Neverland and Blue, were veritable snoozefests, sorely lacking in the sort of epic goth-pop that brought the band to prominence in the first place. Hussey, as a former member of the Sisters of Mercy, used to know how to blend melody with gloom, but, somewhere along the line, he lost sight of the trail he'd been following, and the magic seemed to depart rather abruptly when Neverland was released."
-- Will Harris, popmatters.com, 10/02
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1999: Resurrection/Greatest Hits
"... just an interesting experiment by Wayne Hussey. I also found it surprising that Wayne, who personally put this collection together, left off tracks like Tower of Strength and Into the Blue. If you're a devout fan of The Mish, Without You and 1969are worth the price of admission; if you're new to the Mission, then I'd advise buying the 1994 "Sum & Substance" Greatest Hits package instead because it has the original recordings and a stronger track selection."
--Gary Rzepka, via amazon.com
2000: Ever After - Live
A collection of some of The Mission's jewels, recorded on their 1999/2000 resurrection tour. Includes also the previously unreleased studio track Crazy Horses.
"The Mission are back. And 'Aura' is pretty much what you could expect. Sentimental gloomy rock, very much like what they have produced previously. Many of the songs echoes from albums like "Children" and the earlier material. Come to think of it, it's really good!
(...) The Mission are back. For all of you who have never heard them before, they sound something like a mix of The Cure, The Sisters of Mercy and old U2. Crying, making love and living out your life are things you should do to this music.
The Mission are back. And there are some truly superior songs on 'Aura'. You should take a closer listen to the single Evangeline, (Slave to) Lust, Dragonflyand the exceptional Trophy/It Never Rains. An odd thing is the resemblance between Burlesque and Depeche Mode's Dead of Night. Truly a coincidence."
--Anders Wiik, releasemagazine.net
½2007: God is a Bullet
Tracklisting: 01. Still Deep Waters 02. Keep It In The Family 03. Belladonna 04. To Love & To Kill With The Very Same Hand 05. Aquarius & Gemini 06. Blush 07. Chinese Burn 08. Father 09. Headshrinker 10. Draped In Red 11. Running With Scissors 12. Silhouette 13. Dumb 14. Absolution 15. Grotesque
"'God Is A Bullet' is immediately recogniseable as a Mission album - something of a return to their roots compared to some of the more dance-inspired ventures of the 1990s. Hussey's rich baritone immediately sets the tone for the sophisticated, crafted arrangements that probably sit s them alongside the likes of Marillion and their ilk: unfashionable bands appreciated by fans unswayed by the vagaries of the latest trends. This renewed vigour comes at a price, however. Some of the weaker, more generic numbers would've previously ended up as single b-sides. Here they pad the running time to nearly 70 minutes, almost as if Hussey simply wanted to find them a home. A tighter collection would almost certainly have proved more satisfying - albeit denying the listener the likes of Grotesque, a heartfelt but clumsy animal-rights-inspired number that closes the album. Ironically, the highlights are sometimes those that sound least Mission-like: the single Keep It In The Family has a 'Joshua Tree' air to it and Blush comes straight from the James Dean Bradfield school of driving AOR... (...) Those looking for more classic Mission numbers are well-served by the likes of "Hdshrinkerea" and the ballad "Father", that again has a U2 feel to it. 'God Is A Bullet' may not be a latter-day triumph, but there's enough decent material at its core to encourage long-time fans to re-acquaint themselves with the band.
-- Douglas Baptie, cdtimes.co.uk, 04/07
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