The Complete Collection: 1985-1989
Cherry Red

choose your own adventure.

#1. It is 1983. Unfortunately.

Rather than getting a proper job, you have decided to gatecrash the curious and seductive world of music. An excellent choice—but you will need a trusty item to aid you in this quest. Select one of the following and note it on your adventure sheet: a dusty book of spells, a silver flute, an 808 drum machine.

I trust you have chosen wisely. Now, what genre of music will you pursue in your search for stardom?

If you wish to form a darkly gothic collective, skulk to paragraph #6.
If you have a burning desire to organise a brass band in a small mining town, march toward paragraph #9.
If you feel that genres are merely the fascistic constructs of a society intent on forcing every aspect of life into identifiable boxes for the consumption of brainwashed slaves, flounce over to paragraph #7.

#2. Although guitarists and bass players come and go almost as they please, the Salvation sound manages to remain remarkably consistent. Your largest step toward sonic jiggery-pokery is the ditching of that old drum machine and the employment of a real flesh-and-blood person who can belt stretched animal skins with some degree of skill. With this act, you instantly step away from any Sisters comparisons but edge ever closer to The Mission. Sensibly, you halt somewhere in between.

A string of lively tracks follows that could probably be loosely gathered under ‘goth-psyche’ if you felt that way inclined. Utilising your pre-issued gothic phrasebook to the full, tales of betrayal, schoolyard massacre, revenge, lust, and kinky shenanigans pour out in a thick river of emotional tribulation. Despite the over-consistency in sound emerging as perhaps your deadliest foe, the majority of these cuts escape from any potential malaise.

At your creative peak, the All And More EP is released—sounding like a thunderously distilled menagerie of all the finest moments from the past few songs squeezed into just three.

Head for paragraph #5 to sprinkle some cover versions around the place.
If you arrived here from #5, your fated destination is paragraph #8.

#3. Those drugs messed you up pretty badly, didn’t they? You knife an innocent passer-by to death and are swiftly arrested. Your adventure is over.

Play again!

#4. To your horror, you find that the book is Under No Illusion—the weak autobiography of Paul Daniels. In desperation, you attempt to use the useless tome as an impromptu projectile weapon. It is the last act of a doomed musician. The hobgoblin clubs you to death with your own arm. Your adventure is over.

Play again!

#5. A fine decision, in the main. Versions of Tom Petty’s “Listen to Her Heart” and Donovan’s “Sunshine Superman” slip neatly through the goth-o-tronic machine and emerge coated in fresh Salvation ethos, with effect-laden guitars to the fore. Alas, “Strange Fruit” gets tragically stuck in the cogs somewhere and limps out sounding rather mangled. Both Siouxsie and The Cocteaus did that song too, and this take compares unfavourably.

If you want to move on from these mixed results and mess with your line-up, perambulate to paragraph #2.
If you just came from there, you’re now pretty much forced to visit paragraph #8.

#6. Your hair is long, you’ve selected a pseudo-religious band name and Andrew Eldritch hasn’t renounced all dealings with you just yet. Indeed, he generously bundles you off to a studio to record the quite marvellous “Girlsoul” for his Merciful Release label—it is wonderfully packed with paranoia, suicide and, yes, cavernous reverb. You manage to avoid any permanent hearing damage when mixing the bludgeoning snare drum chorus assault, but only just.

For good measure, you also complete an EP with The Mission’s own Wayne Hussey. “Jessica’s Crime” is sparser than your previous effort, weaving a twilight tale of illicit liaisons with bonus arty metaphors—a topic that will be returned to throughout your career. From the same EP session, “The Shining” also demands listener attention with Lewis Carroll-esque glee.

You are pleased with your work so far.

If you want to record some cover versions of varying quality, head for paragraph #5.
If you think the current line-up is too stable, switch a bunch of people around at paragraph #2.

#7. You die of pretentiousness. Your adventure is over.

Play again!

#8. Since we’ve finished with all that tiresome exposition, you can fight a random monster. You are approached by a fearsome hobgoblin!


If you have a dusty book of spells, you may attempt to cast something at paragraph #4.
If you’re feeling feisty, draw your sword and charge the foul beast at paragraph #3.
If you think this is just ridiculous and are frankly amazed that you’ve read this far, get your fun-hating self to paragraph #10.

#9. This is not Brassed Off and you are not Pete Postlethwaite. There will be no union hijinx for you, and your adventure is over.

Play again!

#10. Spoil-sport. Now I have to wrap this up.

Oh very well then; The Complete Collection is essentially a re-release of 1997s Hunger Days compilation with “Girlsoul” shoved on the end in chronological order-destroying fashion. If you own that particular release, this probably isn’t worth bothering with (lovely though “Girlsoul” is). However, if you’ve somehow managed not to hear of Salvation despite a deep and terrifying love of bands from the 1980s Leeds goth scene (as was my situation, a week ago), your new quest is to pick up a copy of this album pretty sharpish.

Reviewed by: Peter Parrish
Reviewed on: 2005-08-02
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