Signed to Polydor a year later, the group's first single, "Hong Kong Garden," reached the U.K. Top Ten. The following debut record, Scream, produced by future perfectionist Steve Lillywhite, was recorded in seven days, but set the standard against which all subsequent Banshee releases would be measured. In 1981, Juju hit the U.K. Top Ten, and Budgie (Peter Clarke) from Big in Japan and the Slits now played the skins permanently. Sioux and Budgie formed a percussion-crazed off-shoot called the Creatures. A cover of the Troggs' garage staple drives the Wild Things EP by the Creatures. The full-length Feat attempts Hawaiian and marimba. Back with the Banshees, Sioux and company covered "Dear Prudence" and snagged another U.K. smash, featured on 1984's Hyaena. The album's lyrics remained sour with cuts like "Bring Me the Head of a Preacher Man" and "Pointing Bone," but her singing reached surprisingly sublime plateaus (as on the haunting "Dazzle").
The music now courted a sophisticated gloss corresponding with Sioux's detached image of splendor. Her frigid sexuality and Brechtian aloofness created a vampiric dominatrix who struck a cord with the hip and the alienated. As the icy video age dragged on, soon anyone with a TV screen knew of Sioux. Moonlighting Cure mastermind Robert Smith, ex-Magazine member John McGeoch, and John Carruthers, formerly of Clock DVA, all played guitar through the band's extended commercial and artistic renaissance. At the dawn of the '90s, Sioux married Budgie, and the Banshees performed in the inaugural Lollapalooza tour. Siouxie and the Banshees still embraced many Eastern nuances, but configured all eccentricity into a complex commercial capacity. The Banshees even supplied sonics for Batman Returns.
Sioux now evolved into an unreachable Hollywood starlet. The long-delayed Rapture appeared to sellout accusations in 1996. With the Sex Pistols reuniting for purely monetary reasons, Siouxie and the Banshees folded in an effort to disappear with dignity. The Creatures became the primary focus of Sioux and Budgie. In addition to 1989's Boomerang, since the Banshees' demise, the Creatures released another EP, Eraser Cuts, the full-length Anima Animus, and a remix collection, Hybrids. Us Retrace, dropped in 2000, collects unrecorded Creatures' scraps. It wasn't until years later, however, that the iconic frontwoman finally released her solo full-length debut, Mantaray, which dropped in 2007. ~ Doug Stone, Rovi