Why I Love… The Scream – Siouxsie And The Banshees

By Shirley Manson

Shirley Manson

Garbage singer, songwriter and producer Shirley Manson tells Why Vinyl Matters author Jennifer Otter Bickerdike why Siouxsie And The Banshees’ debut album, The Scream, had a profound effect on her both as a musician and a woman in the music industry…

“Your first record is like losing your virginity, in a way. It stays with you forever more. I got my first record when I was on holiday with my family up north in Scotland; it may have been Inverness, I’m not 100% sure. We were walking along the street and there was a record store. They used to display LPs in little revolving display units outside the shop. My favourite television show in Scotland at the time was called White Horses. It was a story about a girl called Julie who lived in the stables and rode this incredible horse. The theme tune was also called White Horses. It was sung by a woman called Jackie Lee. To this day, it is one of my all-time favourite songs. 

“I want it played at my funeral, as they’re lowering the coffin into the incinerator; I want them to play White Horses. It’s divine and it’s the greatest investment I ever made. I still have the original. Back in the day, records had pictures on the back of the vinyl that you could colour in. Mine is all coloured in. That was the first record I bought.

Siouxsie And The Banshees – The Scream

Role model

“I’ve thought about what record has had the biggest influence on my music and why. I have to admit, I find it difficult to really pinpoint one single record. And to be honest, I probably don’t have one. But if forced, under duress, I would probably say The Scream by Siouxsie And The Banshees. There are a lot of reasons why this particular album has been so important to me. I just fell in love with this record when I first heard it. I really responded to the aggression in it. I really responded to the darkness of it. I was intrigued by the lyrics which, to me, still have a lot of real intelligence and complexity, even after so many years and so many listens; she painted pictures with her words. 

“The cover of the record was so dark and mysterious to me; it felt erotic. It just permeated my own consciousness, my own taste and my own style. She is a figurehead. She felt so powerful to me, so different as a female to all the other embodiments of womanhood I had encountered up to that point. 

“Siouxsie has remained a muse for me. She taught me a lot about not presenting myself as meat to the public. As a woman, I believe still to this day, you have to be very careful about how you message yourself to the world. Because you will be held accountable for it. I understood very early on I had to safeguard myself, not just in the moment, but down the line. I didn’t want to present myself as a sex symbol. I always tried to be photographed holding something a little unexpected or a little off-putting.

“That’s all education from Siouxsie Sioux, for sure. The Scream has stayed with me.”

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