Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Shakespears Sister


Shakespears Sister is a synth pop rock band formed in 1988 by former Bananarama singer/songwriter Irish-born Siobhan Fahey (born as Siobhan Máire Deirdre Fahey on September 10, 1958 in Dunshaughlin, Ireland) and former member of Eric Clapton's band the American Marcella Detroit (born as Marcella Levy on June 21, 1959 in Detroit, Michigan). Marcella even wrote Lay Down Sally for Eric Clapton, when she was only 17. After Fahey left Bananarama in early 1988, she decided to create a new musical vehicle for herself, as a solo artist. This came in the shape of Shakespears Sister (accidentally misspelled due to one of Fahey's friends carving a wooden cut logo of the band's name and dropping the "e" in Shakespear and with no apostrophe), named after The Smiths' hit of the same name, in which in turn was named after an essay written by famed British feminist writer Virginia Woolf. In October of 1988, Fahey released her first Shakespears Sister single the double A-sided Break My Heart/Heroine. The single made it to #64 in the U.K. charts and was considered a flop and London Records opted for hiring someone who had been around in the music business and that was when Detroit entered in the scene. However, Marcella herself has said in the past that she actually came to be part of Shakespears Sister when Siobhan Fahey moved to Los Angeles with her family after leaving Bananarama and she started writing songs with Richard Feldman, who was Detroit's boyfriend at the time. Fahey and Detroit met and found out that they shared common ground in what they wanted to do musically speaking. Fahey at first told Marcella that she was gonna be the one to be in charge of the creative aspects of the band, which Marcella accepted. Detroit originally was hired as backing vocalist and occasional guitar and harmonica player. In 1989, Shakespears Sister released their smash hit You're History which made it to #7 in the U.K. charts. Their first album Sacred Heart was subsequently released. In 1991, both Fahey and Detroit became pregnant and started to write material for what was gonna be their follow up album. Since they felt connected with each other due to the fact that they were both future mothers (unfortunately, including one abortion from Marcella's part) they decided to name the album Hormonally Yours (Marcella's idea). Another idea the band had in mind to further promote the album was to shoot a 3-D film movie about a catwoman in space, as a tribute to one old B movie that was named Catwomen in the Moon. However, their record company, London Records, rejected the idea justifying that a 3-D film would be too expensive and that they were a record company and not a film company. The aborted 3-D film was gonna include 3 songs: Stay, Catwoman, and Moonchild. Hormonally Yours was finally released in early 1992, and spawned many of their best known, including their mega smash hit, the ballad with lead vocals from Marcella, Stay, accompanied by a surreal video set in outer space, featuring Siobhan portraying the evil angel of death. This video, like all their other ones were directed by highly respected video director, Sophie Muller (No Doubt, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Shakira, among others). Further singles like I Don't Care and Hello (Turn Your Radio On) further cemented their popularity. Nevertheless, 1992 saw many problems within the band. Marcella demanded a 50/50 recognition for her contributions to the band, suddenly changing the firstly established rules of the game about her being just a backing vocalist and Siobhan being the leader and creative force of the band. Siobhan turned Marcella's demands down and as a result Marcella hired a manager for herself behind Siobhan's back. This caused rifts between the two girls to the point that they barely talked to each other during this period. Siobhan developed some habit of drug use, problems in her back, and started developing a severe case of depression, by alienating herself from attending award events and interviews and adding to the fact Marcella's abandonment of the band in early 1993, Siobhan admitted herself into a psychiatric unit. Siobhan and Marcella reportedly have not spoken to each other at all ever since Marcella left the band. Up to this day, Fahey drops her name in interviews and refuses to talk about her or know about her. She had her demons sorted out and as a result Siobhan recorded another album under the name of Shakespears Sister but with Siobhan as its only member. She released a single I Can Drive in 1996, which made it to #30 in the U.K. charts. The single sounded more rockish than ever and a bit indie, which London Records opposed and aborted the album explaining that the type of music Siobhan was doing was not suitable for a woman of 38 years old and with two kids. In this same year, her contract with London Records expired and the record company bought the rights of the album leaving Fahey's album unreleased. However, in 2004, Fahey regained the ownership of the album and released it under the name of #3, a collection of songs she wrote between 1995-1997, including the single I Can Drive. In November 2009, after a much awaited expectation of her releasing her first studio album as a solo artist, she finally released an album of new material, under the name of Shakespears Sister. This was the album Songs from the Red Room. The album includes previously released singles as Siobhan Fahey like Bitter Pill, Pulsatron, plus previously unreleased solo tracks and remixes and new versions of some of her singles. Her move of releasing a new album under the name of Shakespears Sister when she was a solo artist was hugely criticized by many people, including some of her fans. On the other hand, many fans have defended Fahey for her decision saying that Shakespears Sister has always been HER project from day one and that it was natural for Fahey to make this decision. You be the judge. Post-Shakespears Sister, Siobhan has continued recording and even DJing. She also has her own record company, SF Records. She has written songs for many artists including Kylie Minogue. Two Bananarama reunions (1998 and 2002) have happened. Marcella has continued recording, including her duet with Elton John Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing. She even appeared in one episode of the heavily popular British comedy Absolutely Fabulous, and recently participated in the celebrity reality T.V. show Popstar to Operastar. An unlikely duo, with two very distinct voices (Detroit's falsetto and soprano voice with Fahey's sinister and distinct growl), with two very different musical backgrounds, with brilliant and smart lyrics, great melodies, eye-catching videos occasionally spoofing classic movies like Sunset Boulevard and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? are just a few descriptions that are short to describe the story of a short-lived and rocky yet highly interesting chapter in music history.

Trivia:

Siobhan Fahey has said that her look for the Hormonally Yours era was based on famed silent movie star, Theda Bara.

In 1989, Shakespears Sister along with Dave Stewart played in Russia as special guests for Russian guitar player, Boris Grebenshikov.

Marcella's vocals for Goodbye Cruel World were recorded separately on the phone when she was in Los Angeles expecting her baby, Maxwell.

Siobhan Fahey's sons are Samuel and Django and both are musicians.

Siobhan Fahey thanks to the single Stay, achieved what Bananarama hasn't achieved up to this day: A #1 hit in their native country.

Before the filming of the video for Stay, Siobhan had drunk a whole bottle a vodka. That's why she looks tipsy at times.

Marcella Detroit is currently married to the brother of Bucks Fizz star Jay Aston, Lance Aston.
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Sacred Heart (1989)

This is Shakespears Sister debut album released in 1989 through FFRR Records. Originally, this album served as a solo vehicle for Fahey. After meeting Marcella, Fahey asked her to form part of the band not as a full member but as a backing vocalist and co-writer. The album charted to #9 in the U.K. and received a gold disc, for sales over 100, 000 copies. This album is synth-pop with Siobhan as lead singer and frontwoman of the band and Marcella in backing vocals. Fahey mainly and Detroit wrote the songs, with others having a hand by Dave Stewart (yes, that Dave Stewart from Eurythmics), Fahey's husband at the time, under the pseudonym of Manu Guiot. Singles spawned from this album were: Break My Heart/Heroine (#64 in the U.K. charts), You're History (regarded as an attack to Fahey's former bandmates from Bananarama themselves, but Fahey has always denied this) (#7 U.K.), Run Silent, Run Deep (#54 U.K.) and Dirty Mind in 1990 in the shape of a remixed version (#71 U.K.). This album also includes a cover of Bob Marley's hit Could You Be Loved? A VHS featuring the videos for the singles of this album was accompanied to promote this album.

video

Tracklist:

1-) Heroine.
2-) Run Silent, Run Deep.
3-) Dirty Mind.
4-) Sacred Heart.
5-) Heaven Is in Your Arms.
6-) Twist the Knife.
7-) You're History.
8-) Break My Heart.
9-) Red Rocket.
10-) Electric Moon.
11-) Primitive Love.
12-) Could You Be Loved?
13-) You Made Me Come to This. (CD version only).

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Hormonally Yours (1992)

Shakespear's Sister second studio album was released in early 1992. Due to the fact that both members were pregnant and their state of mind at the time, they decided to name this record Hormonally Yours, Marcella's suggestion. The album is not synth pop but it's more rock/pop, with shades of glam rock at times (Catwoman). Here, Marcella demanded 50/50 recognition, Siobhan turned it down and Marcella got her own manager for herself behind Siobhan's back. Both members barely spoke to each other during this period, hence the dark mood of this album. Siobhan was fighting with depression, drug use, and back problems at the time, as well.
About the record, Shakespears Sister conceived this project originally as a 3-D film about catwomen in the moon, which would've included 3 songs: Catwoman, Stay, and Moonchild. London Records, their record company opposed to this idea claiming that they were a record company not a film company. However, for their videos, ever since Sacred Heart, Shakespears Sister hired Sophie Muller, who directed all of their videos and for Hormonally Yours, she directed Shakespears Sister most famous, recognizable, elaborated, and even iconic videos of their career, such as in the case of Stay video, which has even made it in MTV's lists of best videos. BTW, Siobhan Fahey hates the song Stay as she has said that that song doesn't represent what Shakespears Sister is. The album spawned the following singles: Goodbye Cruel World in 1991 (#59 U.K., 1992 reissue, #32 U.K.), Stay (#1 U.K. for 8 weeks, #4 U.S.), I Don't Care (#7 U.K., #55 U.S.), Hello (Turn Your Radio On) (#14 U.K.), and My 16th Apology (#61 U.K.). A VHS compiling all of the videos shot for this album was accompanied with the album for further promotion. This album charted at #3 in the U.K. and #56 in the U.S.

video video

Tracklist:

1-) Goodbye Cruel World.
2-) I Don't Care.
3-) My 16th Apology.
4-) Are We in Love Yet?
5-) Emotional Thing.
6-) Stay.
7-) Black Sky.
8-) The Trouble with Andre.
9-) Moonchild.
10-) Catwoman.
11-) Let Me Entertain You.
12-) Hello (Turn Your Radio On).

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#3 (2004)

Shakespears Sister's third studio album was released in 2004, but the music was recorded between 1995-1997, after Marcella's departure. In 1996, Fahey released her single I Can Drive, with a new backing band and with a more rockish sound. The single made it to #30 in the U.K. charts. Since her contract with London Records was about to be expired, the record company shelved the album claiming that the music she was recording wasn't suitable for a woman her age (38). Fahey tried for years and years reclaiming her rights over the album and the record company finally relented in 2003 and in 2004 Fahey distributed this album via her official website. This album is regarded by many Shakespears Sister fans as their best material.

video

Tracklist:

1-) Go.
2-) I Can Drive.
3-) Do I Scare You?
4-) Opportunity Knockers.
5-) Can U Wait That Long?
6-) Oh Dear.
7-) Excuse Me John.
8-) The Older Sister.
9-) Singles Party.
10-) I Never Could Sing Anyway.

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Songs from the Red Room (2009)

Songs from the Red Room is Shakespears Sister fourth album, released on November 16, 2009. After two cancellations of what would be her solo album and releasing some of her solo singles via downloads, Fahey decided to release this album as a collection of her solo material which hadn't appeared in any of her previous albums but under the name of Shakespears Sister, which was considered as a controversial move. Singles like Bitter Pill (which was used as a sample in the Pussycat Dolls single I Want You Back) , Pulsatron, and Bad Blood appear here, though many of these singles appear in the shape of rerecorded versions, dramatically different to the original version with the addition of more guitars. This album is electronic and indie rock-ish at times. As Fahey revealed during her appearance in U.K.'s Loose Women TV show, she named her album Songs from the Red Room because her room, the place where she wrote the songs, is painted red. Siobhan besides doing the vocals she also played the guitar and keyboards in this album.

video

Tracklist:

1-) Pulsatron (Whitey Mix).
2-) Bad Blood.
3-) Was It Worth It? (ft. Terry Hall).
4-) It's a Trip.
5-) Hot Room.
6-) A Man in Uniform.
7-) You're Alone.
8-) Bitter Pill.
9-) Cold.
10-) You're Not Yourself.
11-) A Loaded Gun.
12-) Bad Blood (Jagz Kooner Mix -AC Edit).
13-) Pulsatron (Gully Mix).
14-) Cold (Death in Vegas Mix).

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Shakespears Sister Plus


This is a self-made compilation that includes Shakespears Sister non-album tracks plus a couple of alternative versions for a couple of their hits, including Stay and Hello (Turn Your Radio On). It's worth listening to!!!

Tracklist:

1-) Dirty Mind (1990 Version).
2-) Mr Wrong.
3-) Prehistoric Daze (with The Holy Ghost).
4-) Pretty Boy.
5-) Remember My Name.
6-) Suddenly.
7-) Waiting.
8-) I Don't Care.
9-) Hello (Turn Your Radio On).
10-) White Rabbit.
11-) Was It Something I Said?

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1 comment:

  1. Wow vengo buscando la discografia de esta banda hace rataso y no la habia encontrado -.- muchisimas gracias por haberla subido!!! :D

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