Fun fact is: the frontman of the band, Andrew Eldritch speaks over 5 languages and one of them is Croatian band came to life in Leeds, the UK in 1980
and it is still active today.
The original line-up consisted of:
- Andrew Eldritch (frontman)
- Gary Marx (guitar and vocals)
- Craig Adams (bass)
- Doktor Avalanche (drum machine).
After the failed debut single, the band was playing covers in local Leed clubs. After hearing their cover of "1969", Iggy Pop greeted them personally since the song was originally performed by his former band "The Stooges".By the end of 1981, the band got a new member, a guitarist Ben Gunn
April of 1982, they released their second single "Body Electric"
which was successful (hello, Lana Del Rey) their own record label "Merciful Releases", the band released more hit singles including "Alice" and "Good Land"
British music magazine calls them the leaders of the gothic scene and Eldritch becomes the only possible successor of Peter Murphy (Bauhaus frontman).
In March of 1983, the band released their first EP and two months later another one which becomes their first success with the hits "Lights" and "Fix" among others.
The same year, the band got their first international tour in Europe and their first American tour in Los Angeles.
During this time, they had released a legendary single "Temple of Love" which meant the end of their independent label and the commercial success was on the rise.
Gunn decided to leave the band because of disagreements with other members and was replaced with Wayne Hussey on guitar.
In March of 1985, the band released their first debut album (five years after their existence!), "First And Last And Forever".
Being the peak of Hussey and Marx's composition powers and Eldritch's dark vocals, the album reached number 4 in UK music chart.
Two months of the album's release, Marx leaves the band saying that he couldn't take Eldritch's controlling behavior in the band, soon after the recording of the "Black Planet" music video, Adams leaves the band, too.
Marx and Adams decide to form their own band called "The Mission".
Eldritch forms a new line-up under the name of "The Sisterhood" (the name stood for the fanbase of "The Sisters of Mercy"):
- Andrew Eldritch (songwriter and composer)
- Doktor Avalanche (drum machine)
- Lucas Fox (drums)
- Patricia Morrison (bass and vocals)
- James Ray (vocals and guitar)
- Alan Vega (synthesis and vocals).
And with his label "Merciful Release" they release the single "Giving Ground" which will be number one on the British independent chart.
In October of 1987, the new "The Sisters of Mercy" are formed (with the same members as "The Sisterhood") and they release a hit single "This Corrosion" (number 7 in UK official music chart).
The second album "Floodland" would be released the following month. Album was well received with both public and the critics and by the end of the year, it was claimed as the best album of the year by most of the British music magazines (number 9 at UK music chart and number 101 in the US) single from the album, "Dominion/Mother Russia" reached success (number 13 at UK official music chart). The music video had a high budget and it was filmed in Petra, Jordan last single, "Lucretia My Reflection" (one of my favorites, btw) peaked at number 20 at UK chart.
By the end of 1989, Patricia Morrison left the band. Because she didn't receive the amount of money she was supposed to get (she got only £300). Still, she didn't even play bass on the album and overall, didn't have many credits.
In the new decade, October 1990, Eldritch got Tony James (bass) and Andreas Bruhn (guitars) as the new members the hit single "More" (number 14 at UK music chart), the band introduced the new line-up November of the same year, the band released their third album "Vision Thing".The album had many guest stars including Dan Donovan (keyboards), John Perry (guitars) and singer Meggy Reilly.
With heavy rock sound and Eldritch's brilliant sense of humor, the album peaked at number 11 in the UK music chart.
The same month, they went to their completely sold-out tour
called "Tour Thing
". They were also in Zagreb (for my Croatian readers on November 11, 1990). The tour ended with a concert in London Wembley Arena where they performed with the former member Wayne Hussey
to end the "corporate war".The second single "Doctor Jeep"
reached number 37 at music chart playing at Leeds University in February of 1991, they celebrate their 10th anniversary
March 25, 1991 (my birthday, only eight years later!), they start their American part of the "Tour Thing" tour.
In August of 1991, they perf
as a leading group at the Reading Festival in the UK.
In October of the same year, Tony James left the group and started his solo career.
In 1992, the band decides to re-release their first independent singles from 1980-1983.
With the re-release of "Temple of Love", the band reaches their greatest success. The single would be played in radios all over Britain and further and would go straight at number 3 at the UK music chart.
Not only would it be the most listened song of the year, but it would become one of the most played singles of the 1990s.
"Some Girls Wander by Mistake" would also be a success with peaking at number 5 at UK music chart.
Because of the disagreements between Eldritch and American label EastWest, the singles were never released in the US.
In June of 1992, Tim Bricheno left the group to start a solo career.
In 1993, Merciful Releases and EastWest get together as labels. The single "Under the Gun" reaches number 19 at the UK music chart. During this time, Adam Pearson would replace Bricheno.
In September of the same year, their greatest hits compilation ("A Slight Case of Overbombing... Greatest Hits Volume One") reached number 14 at UK music chart.
In December of 1993, Andreas Bruhn left the band while Andrew Eldritch stopped being in control of the band thanks to his feud between the American record label.
There starts a four-year-long feud between Eldritch and record label EastWest.
After that period, "The Sisters of Mercy" still remain active, but their fame has never even come close to what it used to be.
For that matter, I think it's not needed to talk about the following years, there are still there with remaining members being the everlasting Andrew Eldritch, Chris Catalyst, and Ben Christo.
During the present days, a band is a concert group and they had still performed at major venues. In 2011, the band had their 30th-anniversary tour across Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. But America, America is forever dead for "The Sisters of Mercy".