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Album Tinderbox front

Release Date:
21 April 1986
Vocals, Piano, Whistle:
Electric Bass, Keyboards, Drumbox, Emulator:
Guitar, Keyboards, Waterphone:
Drums, Percussion:
Album Tracks:
Cities in Dust 18 October 1985, Candyman 28 February 1986

Album Sequence:

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

Tinderbox is the seventh studio album released by the English alternative rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees. It was the first effort recorded with new guitarist John Valentine Carruthers. The sessions took place at Hansa Studios, by the Berlin wall.

Tinderbox peaked at number thirteen in the UK albums chart in 1986[1] : it was re-issued, remastered and expanded in 2009, featuring in the bonus tracks an unreleased version of the 1987's "Song from the Edge of the World" and an unreleased song with lyrics of Steven Severin called "Starcrossed", recorded in May 1985. The B-sides of "Cities in Dust" and "Candyman", initially included as bonus tracks on the 1986 CD, are now part of the Downside Up b-sides box set.

Tinderbox would be later hailed by the singer of Suede, Brett Anderson.[2]


Sounds magazine praised the album on its release. Kevin Murphy wrote, "Tinderbox romps and swoons with all the majesty of Dreamhouse", and added, "it's a refreshing slant on the Banshees' disturbing perspective and restores their vivid shades to pop's pale palette."[3]

Jon Savage also hailed the record in Spin magazine:

"its scope, ease, and assurance make it a good collection for the Banshees to relaunch themselves into the international market this spring. Carruthers fits in to the point that you wouldn't know there was a change, and Budgie's drumming is superb. Apart from the singles "Cities in Dust" and "Candyman" (which perpetuates the Banshees' sinister view of childhood), the sparks fly on the crystal clear "Cannons" and the unsettling "Parties Fall".[4]

Retrospectively, critic David Cleary gave the record a four and a half star rating out of five and applauded the band for

"rocking drumming, drivingly aggressive yet fully textured guitar playing, and masterful, gutsy singing. The songs here are intense and unfold slowly, some starting off less vigorously but becoming hard rockers further along. There is of course a fine line between consistency and lack of contrast, but this album stays firmly on the side of the former; in fact, there's a certain satisfying feel to the musically uniform wall of sound here. The arrangements are less complex than in immediately preceding albums, but there are still plenty of subtle, effective production touches to be found throughout."[5]

Track listingEdit

All tracks by Siouxsie and the Banshees.

Original releaseEdit

  1. "Candyman" - 3:44
  2. "The Sweetest Chill" - 4:07
  3. "This Unrest" - 6:21
  4. "Cities in Dust" - 3:51
  5. "Cannons" - 3:14
  6. "Party's Fall" - 4:56
  7. "92°" - 6:02
  8. "Land's End" - 6:06

1986 CD versionEdit

  1. "Candyman"
  2. "The Sweetest Chill"
  3. "This Unrest"
  4. "Cities in Dust"
  5. "Cannons"
  6. "Party's Fall"
  7. "92°"
  8. "Land's End"
  9. "The Quarterdrawing of the Dog" (B-side of "Cities in Dust")
  10. "An Execution" (B-side of "Cities in Dust")
  11. "Lullaby" (B-side of "Candyman")
  12. "Umbrella" (B-side of "Candyman")
  13. "Cities in Dust" (extended version)"

2009 remastered reissue bonus tracksEdit

  1. "Cities in Dust" (extended version)
  2. "The Sweetest Chill" (Chris Kimsey 12" - unreleased version)
  3. "Song from the Edge of the World" (John Valentine Carruthers' Version - unreleased version)
  4. "Starcrossed" (unreleased track)


  • Siouxsie and the Banshees - producers



Year Chart Position
1986 Billboard 200 88[6]


Year Single Chart Position
1986 "Cities In Dust" UK Singles Chart 21
1986 "Cities In Dust" U.S. Hot Dance Club Play 17
1986 "Cities In Dust" U.S. Maxi-Single Sales 24

Cover photographEdit

On July 8, 1927 a tornado near the town of Jasper, Minnesota was photographed by Lucille Handberg.[7] Her photograph has become a classic image,[8] and was used on the album's cover. The same photograph was used and edited for Deep Purple's album Stormbringer (released 1974).


  1. "Siouxsie & the Banshees in the UK charts albums and singles". Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  2. Culture. 20 July 2011. Retrieved 1-11-2011.
  3. Murphy, Kevin. "Pop's Royal Couple?". Sounds. 10 May 1986.
  4. Savage, Jon. Spin (magazine). June 1986. Page 81
  5. Cleary, David. Tinderbox review.
  6. "Siouxsie & the banshees Billboard albums". Retrieved 18-3-2012. 
  7. Tornado Historical Photos and Information
  8. Lane, F.W. The Elements Rage (David and Charles 1966), plate 11: "The classic photograph of a tornado"