Melt! (1982) :: Siouxsie And The Banshees
“Can you see,
see into the back of a long black car.
Pulling away from the funeral of flowers,
with my hand,
between your legs,
Melt is a song by English post-punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees. It was released in 1982 by record label Polydor as a double A-sided single with the song Il Est Né Le Divin Enfant and is the second and final single from the band’s fifth studio album, A Kiss in the Dreamhouse (Il Est Né Le Divin Enfant does not appear on that album).
The single peaked at # 49 in the UK Singles Chart
The sensual lyrics of Melt! compare an intense sexual interlude with a lover to dying. Its lyrics can also allude to a BDSM type encounter (“…Handcuffed in lace and blood and sperm / Swimming in poison / Gasping in the fragrance / Sweat carves a screenplay / Of discipline and devotion…“).
Dave Morrison of Select observed that “The Baudelairean imagery of ‘Melt’ evokes claustrophobic scents of opium, sex and sickly flowers, and lapses into morbidity with lines like, ‘You are the melting man and, as you melt, you are beheaded’
A Kiss in the Dreamhouse is the band’s fifth album. It was released on November 5, 1982. The record marked a change of musical direction, as the group used strings for the first time and experimented in the studio. Guitarist John McGeoch played more instruments, including recorder and piano.
Both a critical and commercial success, A Kiss in the Dreamhouse peaked at # 11 on the UK Albums Chart. The Banshees claimed it to be their personal best, until the release of Peepshow in 1988. In August 2007, it was ranked # 1 on Mojo magazine’s list of the best albums of 1982. The album was remastered and reissued in 2009.
One of my all-time favorite Siouxsie and the Banshees songs, Melt! reminds me of a past lover who came and went like the wind, always halfway out of the door, and my life, but when we did connect the passion was overwhelming, the kind that makes you completely melt into each other, the kind that steals consciousness. We shared the song with each other, both connecting the us to the feeling of it, both of us sliding it into mix tapes we made for each other.
Other memories this song evokes have to do with late night dancing in clubs in Hollywood in the late eighties/early nineties, primarily Hot Lava, Helter Skelter and Stigmata. It also reminds me of a certain trip to San Francisco, and the copy of A Kiss in the Dreamhouse album that I bought there, along with a wall size poster of Siouxsie and the Banshees that would cover my bedroom wall in my first apartment.
Mostly, though, it is that past lover, and the tumultuous, yet passionate, relationship we had.