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Studio Album: Peepshow

Album Peepshow front

Release Date:
5 September 1988
Drums, Percussion, Harmonica:
Keyboards, Accordion & Cello:
Album Tracks:
Singles or B-sides:
Peek-a-Boo 18 july 1988
The Killing Jar 19 September 1988
The Last Beat of My Heart 21 november 1988
Thanks to: Norma-Jean and Noelle Schwartz, Cheeky-Chops, Sammy and Radar (R.I.P.)

Album Sequence:

Preceded by:
Through the Looking Glass
Followed by:
See all albums...

Peepshow is the ninth studio album by the English band Siouxsie and the Banshees and their first as a quintet. With the arrival of multi-instrumentalist Martin McCarrick, Peepshow was one of their most musically complex albums, including the singles "Peek-a-Boo" and "The Last Beat of My Heart".


Peepshow was received very warmly by critics. Q magazine wrote in its five-star review: "Peepshow takes place in some distorted fairground of the mind where weird and wonderful shapes loom."[1] Melody Maker highly acclaimed its first single "Peek-a-Boo" and called it "quite the most astounding British record" of 1988, and "a brightly unexpected mixture of black steel and pop disturbance."[2] The paper also praised the band for the ballad "The Last Beat of My Heart". Chris Roberts said: "the infinite pinnacle is their one joint effort, the bravura hymn "The Last Beat of My Heart". As Martin McCarrick's accordion and Budgie's directly intelligent rhythms underlie its pathos, this elegy is translated by Sioux with capital beatitude. It's the Banshees' most courageous arabesque in some time."[3] Record Mirror also particularly enjoyed that song when reviewing the album. "The highlight is the restrained 'The Last Beat of My Heart', where Siouxsie's voice explores new ground as she caresses a haunting melody."[4] NME noted a change of approach in the musical direction: "Peepshow is the best Banshees record since A Kiss in the Dreamhouse because it's the Banshees deciding to be a pop band rather than a rock group".[5]

Spin published a glowing review of the album in their November issue. Critic Tony Fletcher first insisted on "Peek-A-Boo" and wrote it is "a deconstruction and reconstruction of a backwards Banshees backing track, its mood fell in perfectly with their beloved London's summer fascination with the sparsity and confusion that call Acid House. Psychedelic and how! A crazed assortment of fairground accordions, abrupt horns, distant to-and-fro vocals-exotic, erotic, a dancefloor winner for sure and all of three minutes short. A return so victorious that the Banshees had their biggest homeland hit in years before most of us knew that it was out".[6] Spin then talked about the other tracks in positive terms and said : there is "an almost lilting reggae feel to the beginning of "Killing Jar", a fragile, waif-like Siouxsie backed only by translucent guitar and a keyboard bass on the brief "RawHead and Bloody Bones", and a delightful, majestic ballad the likes of which it had been a safe assumption was beyond their reach on "The Last Beat Of My heart". There is a more familiarly foreboding rock approach to "Scarecrow" and "Burn-Up", which sounds like "Spellbound" reworked into a furiously frenzied finale, angry and unforgiving. As Peepshow ends with the drawn-out "Rhapsody", Siouxsie's operatic flings seem to be a celebration of her reawakened capacity to thrill."[7] Fletcher concluded by this sentence : "she and the band sound as confident, abandoned and excited as when they started.[8]


The band DeVotchKa later covered "The Last Beat of My Heart" on the suggestion of Arcade Fire singer Win Butler.[9] The Decemberists have also praised "The Last Beat of My Heart" as one of their favorite Siouxsie and the Banshees songs.[10] In another genre, Sir Mix-a-Lot used a sample of "Peek-a-Boo" in his song "The (Peek-a-Boo) Game", from his 1989 album Seminar.

Track listingEdit

All tracks written by Siouxsie & the Banshees.

  1. "Peek-a-Boo" – 3:12
  2. "The Killing Jar" – 4:04
  3. "Scarecrow" – 5:06
  4. "Carousel" – 4:26
  5. "Burn-Up" – 4:32
  6. "Ornaments of Gold" – 3:50
  7. "Turn to Stone" – 4:05
  8. "Rawhead and Bloodybones" – 2:29
  9. "The Last Beat of My Heart" – 4:30
  10. "Rhapsody" – 6:23




Year Chart Position
1988 Billboard 200 68


Year Single Chart Position
1988 "Peek-a-Boo" UK Singles Chart 16
1988 "Peek-a-Boo" US Hot Dance Club Play 14
1988 "Peek-a-Boo" US Modern Rock Tracks 1
1988 "Peek-a-Boo" US Hot 100 53
1988 "The Killing Jar" US Modern Rock Tracks 2
1989 "The Killing Jar" UK Singles Chart 41
1989 "The Killing Jar" US Hot Dance Club Play 37


  1. Cooper, Mark. Peepshow review. Q magazine. September 1988.
  2. Mathur, Paul. "Born Again Savages". Melody Maker. 9 July 1988.
  3. Roberts, Chris. Peepshow review. Melody Maker. 10 September 1988. "Peepshow is hesitantly hypnotic. It seduces you back. More than ever, the composition credits go to Sioux or Severin individually, this accounting for the suppliant proximity of their airs. Sioux's 'Turn To Stone' and 'Rawhead And Bloodybones' are simply disquieting, 'Burn Up' is flushed with Eros. Severin's 'Rhapsody' allows some stirring melodrama but the infinite pinnacle is their one joint effort, the bravura hymn 'The Last Beat Of My Heart'. As Martin McCarrick's accordian and Budgie's directly intelligent rhythms underlie it's pathos, this elegy is translated by Sioux with capital beatitude. It's the Banshees' most courageous arabesque in some time. If they have enough majesty in their guts to put it out as a single we really will be witnessing a renaissance."
  4. Murphy, Kevin. Peepshow review. Record Mirror. 10 September 1988
  5. Shelley, Jim. "Ornament Of Gold". NME. 24 September 1988.
  6. Fletcher, Tony. "Peepshow" review. Spin magazine. November 1988. Page 92-93.
  7. Fletcher, Tony. "Peepshow" review. Spin magazine. November 1988. Page 92-93.
  8. Fletcher, Tony. "Peepshow" review. Spin magazine. November 1988. Page 92-93.
  9. biography mentions that Win Butler from Arcade Fire suggested them to cover a banshees song. "The Curse Your Little Heart EP showcases the band’s versatility, reinterpreting tracks by the Velvet Underground, Frank Sinatra, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and others, in addition to taking on one of their own older songs. Could the band itself even have predicted what would transpire of the Arcade Fire’s Win Butler’s suggestion to the band that they take on "Last Beat of My Heart"? The end result is the center-piece of the EP, a grand and soaring take on the song.
  10. Meloy, Colin. Decemberists 15 September 2006. "The Last Beat of My Heart" : "It's one of my favorite Siouxsie and the Banshees songs".