The Sisters Of Mercy was a first band that changed my view on some musical sources of Russian Rock bands, especially Alisa. In 1990 I got a cassette tape with 10 or 15 songs of different bands, 3 of them were by Sisters: “Alice”, “Marian” and “First And Last And Always”. Knowing almost all Alisa’s songs by that time, “First And Last And Always” reminded me “Tomorrow Can Be Late” (Завтра может быть поздно…) written by Konstantin Kinchev. Much later, I think in 1998 in Haifa, I asked Kinchev how big was the influence of Sisters on his music. He replied: measuring the influence is up to the audience, but Sisters is the band he very likes. So do I.
Two days later, after getting the tape, I ran to the music store and bought the debut Sisters’s album titled “First And Last And Always”, recorded in 1984. I think this is their best album, because I like all songs on it, it does not work on Floodland or Vision Thing, that also include great songs.
I have this album on two vinyls, the origin one released in 1985 by WEA Records and a limited edition LP released in 2010 by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab. The last one I bought about 3 months ago because the original copy I have is already not in a perfect condition and also I thought that the new release might look different. Actually it does. It comes without the inner sleeve with band’s common black and white picture on one side and four small band’s members pictures with the names and list of credentials on another. Instead of it, the band members pictures were moved to the rear side of the new external sleeve and a big black and white photo was eliminated for some reason.
So, the original design is definitely better. What about the sound? Below is the video of the first song “Black Planet” recorded twice, from both LPs on the same equipment at the exactly same recording level:
Again, as I said before, this is my favorite album of Sisters. Every time I listen to it, I enjoy it as at the first time. It was always my dream to see Andrew Eldritch live, but only in 2008 this dream came true when Sisters came to perform in San Francisco. Wish, they will come here again.