Among the many titles celebrating a 30th anniversary this year is the album debut from the British rock band The Sisters of Mercy. To commemorate that milestone, Rhino Records has just announced a new 4-LP box set due for release on July 24: the First and Last and Always Vinyl Collection.
Coming out of the independent U.K. rock scene of the early 1980s, The Sisters of Mercy signed their record deal with WEA in 1983 and their first album was released two years later: First and Last and Always. However, behind the scenes problems had plagued the band and would continue to plague them. Amid a string of personnel changes and lawsuits, The Sisters of Mercy only managed to record two more studio albums: Floodland (1987) and Vision Thing (1990). Two of their biggest chart hits involve Jim Steinman who produced “This Corrosion” (#7 U.K.) off of Floodland and co-wrote and produced “More” (#1 U.S. Modern Rock) off of Vision Thing. Their highest charting U.K. single at #3 was the 1992 re-recording of their early 1980s independent single “Temple of Love” from the compilation A Slight Case of Overbombing. Relations with their record label (by then, EastWest, a subsidiary of WEA) grew more contentious and the band was dropped in 1997. The Sisters have not signed a new deal or released any new recorded material since but have continued to tour in the last two decades and have premiered new material in concert. While associated with the goth movement and darker rock in general, that is a label that Andrew Eldritch rejects. Most recently in pop culture, the band’s music featured in the 2013 Simon Pegg movie The World’s End.
All three of their albums have been previously reissued on CD, some with bonus tracks. This new vinyl collection brings together their debut LP and three twelve-inch singles from the time. These will also be available on individually on digital platforms. Several of the songs have not seen re-release before. More details can be found in Rhino’s press release which we’ve got below along with links to order this new release!
LOS ANGELES – The Sisters of Mercy mastered the art of dark and foreboding rock in 1985 with the band’s influential major-label debut, First and Last and Always. To commemorate the album’s 30-year anniversary, Rhino will release a vinyl boxed set that includes the original album together with three 12″ EPs from that era: Body And Soul, No Time To Cry and Walk Away.
First and Last and Always Vinyl Collection will be available at retail outlets on July 24 for a suggested retail price of $74.98. The set contains four LPs, all pressed on 180-gram vinyl, and comes packed in an attractive card slipcase. On the same day, the set will also be released digitally. The album and EPs that make up the set will also be available for download individually.
When The Sisters of Mercy signed with WEA in May 1984, the band consisted of Andrew Eldritch (vocals), Gary Marx and Wayne Hussey (guitars), Craig Adams (bass), and a drum machine named Doktor Avalanche. The group’s first release for the label was the 12″ EP Body and Soul . Eldritch once described the release as: “a vision of heaven with everyone on speed.” Two of its four-tracks-“Body Electric” (1984 Version) and “Afterhours”-have only been available on the original 12″. This new release makes these songs available digitally for the first time ever.
In March 1985, almost a year after Body And Soul, The Sisters of Mercy released its landmark album, First and Last and Always . It climbed to #14 on the album charts in the band’s native England. Among the standout tracks are “Marian,” “Rock And A Hard Place,” and the ominous “Black Planet,” which was released as a single in the U.S. Even though the album was enthusiastically embraced by goth rock culture, Eldritch has steadfastly rejected the label, saying the band has more in common with classic rock from the Sixties than the post-punk scene of the Eighties.
Also featured in this set are two singles from First and Last and Always that were issued as 12″ singles with multiple B-sides. “Walk Away” was backed with “Poison Door” and “On The Wire.” With was followed by “No Time To Cry,” which was backed with “Blood Money” and “Bury Me Deep.”
LP – First and Last and Always (Originally released on Merciful Release/WEA MR 337 L, 1985)
- Black Planet
- Walk Away
- No Time to Cry
- A Rock and a Hard Place
- First and Last and Always
- Nine While Nine
- Some Kind of Stranger
12″ Single #1 – Body and Soul (Originally released on Merciful Release MR 029, 1984)
- Body and Soul
- Body Electric (1984 Version)
12″ Single #2 – Walk Away (Originally released on Merciful Release MR 033, 1984)
- Walk Away
- Poison Door
- On the Wire
12″ Single #3 – No Time to Cry (Originally released on Merciful Release MR 335T, 1985)
- No Time to Cry
- Blood Money
- Bury Me Deep