Today is the birthday of the Sisters' co-founder Andrew
Eldritch (given name: Andrew Taylor), who was born in 1959 in Ely, England.
Sisters of Mercy came to fame in the 1980s at the forefront of England's gothic
music scene, combining dark psychedelia with dance rhythms to create a potent
Eldritch formed the Sisters with guitarist Gary Marx as a studio
project. After a year of tooling around with keyboards and drum machines, the
duo hired on bassist Ben Gunn (who was quickly replaced by ex-Dead or Alive
bassist Wayne Hussey) and drummer Craig Adams. The group released a string of
EPs, including The Reptile House in 1983 and Body and Soul in
1984, but it wasn't until 1985 that the Sisters released their first
full-length effort, First and Last and Always, by which time guitarist
Jerry Lovelock had joined the group.
First... jumped quickly up the
charts, peaking in the top twenty. That same year the Sisters played a concert
morbidly entitled "Altamont: A Festival of Remembrance," but the group's
success couldn't prevent Marx, Hussey and Adams from leaving the group; the
former joined Ghost Dance while the latter duo formed the Mission U.K.
Eldritch suffered through this musical turmoil, managing to release an EP
titled Gift under the name Sisterhood in 1986. Soon enough he hooked up
with ex-Gun Club bassist Patricia Morrison and a new era of the Sisters was
born. They recorded 1987's Floodland as a duo, then added bassist Tony
James, guitarist Andreas Bruhn and drummer Tim Bricheno to the lineup for
1990's Vision Ting. However, the new lineup was quickly disbanded, and
as of 1994 Eldritch was again the Sisters' only member.
Brian Eno, actor Lee Horsley, Prince Be (P M Dawn), the late Eddy Arnold, Trini
Lopez, Graham Goble (Little River Band), Dennis Fredericksen (Toto), Mike
Oldfield and Dave Abbruzzese (ex-Pearl Jam). -- Beth Winegarner