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Music / The Mission UK

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The Mission UK is a Goth Rock band formed in the UK (where they are simply known as "The Mission"- the "UK" was added by the American record label to avoid lawsuits from another group by that name) in 1986. Frontman/guitarist Wayne Hussey and bassist Craig Adams, the two founding members, had notably both been members of The Sisters of Mercy- Hussey had joined in 1984 and played on the "Body and Soul" single and the First And Last And Always album, with his 12-string guitar sound helping to define that era of the band's music, while Adams had been a member of the Sisters practically from the beginning. Hussey had also been in an early version of Dead Or Alive (best known for 80s Pop Hit "You Spin Me 'Right Round"), oddly enough. Both left in '86, when Sisters bandleader Andrew Eldritch's refusal to record Hussey's songs led him and Adams to start their own group.


That group was the The Mission (originally named The Sisterhood, but Eldritch thought that was too similar to his band's name, so he took The Sisterhood name for a project of his own). The duo added guitarist and keyboard player Simon Hinkler (formerly of pre-fame Pulp, oddly enough) and got to work. After recording a few singles with a drum machine (much in the vein of The Sisters of Mercy's previous work), the band recruited a live drummer (one who had previously played with another seminal Goth band, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, to boot) and set about attempting to one-up their former employers. The rest is Goth Rock history.

The band's peak years were the period from '87-'91 (not-so-coincidentally, the band's success started to dry up the year a certain American band changed the rules regarding Alternative Rock forever), during which they released four studio albums and a collection of their earliest singles, went on several HUGE tours and generally lived the Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll to the fullest extent possible (this is not an exaggeration- at their peak, they were well-known for their debauched off-stage behavior, and several band members had collapsed onstage from drug-related health problems). They also managed to get John Paul Jones to produce their second album, Children- appropriate, since The Mission always had distinct Classic Rock influences, unlike many other Goth Rock bands. During this period Hussey and Eldritch regularly baited each other both in song lyrics and in the press (The Sisters' "This Corrosion" in particular is an attack on Wayne Hussey). Basically, it was the Goth equivalent of the Metallica vs. Megadeth rivalry that existed around the same time. Much later, Hussey and Eldritch would patch things up, even touring and performing at festivals together and covering each other's songs.


Their success started to dry up after the twin tides of Grunge and the Rave scene made Goth Rock a lot less profitable, and after a failed New Sound Album (1992's Masque, originally intended to be Hussey solo album before Executive Meddling intervened) and a short-lived, half-hearted return to their signature sound, the band broke up in 1996. The band eventually reformed (minus almost everyone but Hussey) in 1999, and have been together in various configurations ever since, minus a short hiatus from '08-'11. They show no signs of stopping, and their place in Goth Rock history is very much secure. Much like Megadeth, these guys are proof that musical rivalries can produce positive results on occasion.


Primary Discography:

  • God's Own Medicine (1986)
  • The First Chapter (1987) (actually a collection of their pre-God's Own Medicine singles)
  • Children (1988)
  • Carved In Sand (1990)
  • Grains Of Sand (1990) (actually consists of B-sides and leftovers from the Carved In Sand sessions; the two together are basically a Distinct Double Album)
  • Masque (1992)
  • Neverland (1995)
  • Blue (1996)
  • Aura (2001)
  • God Is A Bullet (2007)
  • Dum Dum Bullet (2010) (Another outtakes collection, this one from God Is A Bullet)
  • The Brightest Light (2013)

Associated Tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: "Amelia" is about this. It's also the opening song off Carved In Sand, which may be a little off-putting for some...
  • The '80s
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: "Beyond The Pale", from Children, has one of the longest fade-ins in Rock history, and one that gets pretty awesome by the time it ends.
  • Epic Rocking: Pretty frequently. Some good examples are the extended versions of "The Crystal Ocean" and "Like A Hurricane", "Beyond The Pale", "Tower Of Strength", "Hymn (For America)", "Belief", "Bird Of Passage", "Afterglow (reprise)", "Daddy's Going To Heaven Now" (which is a staggering 11:08!), "Cocoon", "In Denial", 'Grotesque", "Black Cat Bone", "Swan Song" and "Litany For The Faithful". God's Own Medicine and Blue have the distinction of being the only records of theirs not to contain any songs over 6 minutes long.
  • Goth
  • Goth Rock: One of the key examples back in The '80s, albeit more Hard Rock and Psychedelic Rock influenced than most.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Could be anywhere from a 1 to a borderline 6. 4-5 was more typical for them, though. Notably, they had a fair amount of Hard Rock influence in their music.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Wayne always had shades this going on, both in his lyrics and in his overall image.
  • New Sound Album: Masque was a partial one which saw them trying to jump on both the Rave-influenced Alternative Dance bandwagon (think U2 circa Achtung Baby and you'll get what they were going for) on some tracks and a rawer Indie Rock sound on others. It notably didn't work out, and the band tried to go back to their previous sound on their next record. In all fairness, it was never supposed to be a Mission album in the first place.
    • To a significantly lesser extent, Children, with its increased Classic Rock influence and the heavier sound courtesy of John Paul Jones producing.
  • Power Ballad: "Butterfly On A Wheel", full stop. "Tower Of Strength" is another, albeit somewhat stranger, example.
  • Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Unusually for a band as associated with Goth as this one, they were very well-known for this back in the day.
  • Start My Own: What does Wayne Hussey do when can't get his songs to be recorded or played by The Sisters Of Mercy? Leave and start The Mission, that's what...
  • Word Salad Lyrics: A key part of why Andrew Eldritch didn't want to perform Hussey's songs. While not universal, there are enough cases of it to make it clear that he may have had a point.


Example of: