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Today it’s 31 years since Siouxsie & The Banshees released their single Peek-a-Boo.

18th of July 2019, 12:21

Today it’s exactly 31 years since Siouxsie & The Banshees released their single Peek-a-Boo. It was released on 18th July 1988 as the first single from the band's ninth studio album, Peepshow. Peek-a-Boo was rated "Single of the Week" in both Sounds and NME.

The song's peculiar sound is due to its experimental recording which was based on a sample. The song was built on a loop in reverse of a brass part with drums which the group previously arranged a year before for a cover of John Cale's 'Gun'. The band selected different parts of that tape when played backwards, editing them and re-recording on top of it, adding a different melody plus accordion, a one-note bass and discordant guitar. Drummer Budgie also added another beat. Once the instrumental parts were finished, Siouxsie sang her lyrics over it. The lyric track was further manipulated by Siouxsie's use of a different microphone for each line of the song. It took the band a year to arrive at this result.

Peek-a-Boo was one of Siouxsie and the Banshees' most recognizable and popular singles; it was also the group's first to chart in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 53 in the week of 3rd December. The song was very popular on alternative rock radios and received heavy play on MTV. In September 1988, Billboard magazine premiered a new Modern Rock Tracks chart, which measured radio airplay on US modern rock stations; "Peek-a-Boo" was the chart's first No. 1 song. In the UK, "Peek-a-Boo" became their fifth Top 20 UK hit, peaking at number 16 in the Singles Chart.

The music video was chosen by The Chart Show to be their "Best Video of the Year" for 1988. On the Beavis & Butt-Head episode "Sperm Bank," Beavis noted while watching the video that "this is music for people who don't have any friends”.

Peek-a-Boo (CDS/7”)
a. Peek-a-Boo
b. False Face

Peek-a-Boo (CD Maxi-single)
1. Peek-A-Boo
2. Catwalk
3. Peek-A-Boo (Big Spender Mix)
4. False Face
5. Peek-A-Boo (Silver Dollar Mix)

Peek-a-Boo (Lyrics)

Creeping up the backstairs
Slinking into dark stalls
Shapeless and slumped in bath chairs
Furtive eyes peep out of holes
She has many guises
She'll do what you want her to
Playing dead and sweet submission
Cracks the whip deadpan on cue

Peek-a-boo
Peek-a-boo
Peek-a-boo
Peek-a-boo

Reeking like a pigsty
Peeling back and gagging free
Flaccid ego in your hand
Chokes on dry tears, can you understand?
She's jeering at the shadows
Sneering behind a smile
Lunge and thrust to pout and pucker
Into the face of the beguiled

Peek-a-boo
Peek-a-boo
Peek-a-boo (Golly jeepers)
Peek-a-boo (Where'd you get those peepers?)
Peek-a-boo (Peepshow, creepshow)
Peek-a-boo (Where did you get those eyes?)

Strobe lights pump and flicker
Dry lips crack out for more
"Come bite on this rag doll, baby!
That's right now hit the floor"
They're sneaking out the back door
She gets up from all fours
Rhinestone fools and silver dollars
Curdle into bitter tears

Peek-a-boo
Peek-a-boo
Peek-a-boo
Peek-a-boo
Peek-a-boo (Golly jeepers)
Peek-a-boo (Where'd you get those peepers?)
Peek-a-boo (Peepshow, creepshow)
Peek-a-boo (Where did you get those eyes?)
Peek-a-boo (Golly jeepers)
Peek-a-boo (Where'd you get those peepers?)
Peek-a-boo (Peepshow, creepshow)
Peek-a-boo (Where did you get those eyes?)
Peek-a-boo (Golly jeepers)
Peek-a-boo (Where'd you get those peepers?)
Peek-a-boo (Peepshow, creepshow)
Peek-a-boo (Where did you get those eyes?)

Where did you get those eyes?
Where did you get those eyes?

(Songwriters: N Sioux / Steven Severin / Johnny Mercer / N Budgie / Harry Warren)

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