About the interpretations
References and Contributors
And I'll live on, he said to himself. That's my gift to you, and remember: in German, Gift means poison.
Philip K. Dick The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
The background of the Sisterhood album deserves some elucidation, as the songs on the album all seem to refer to the episodes surrounding the collapse of the Left on Mission and Revenge incarnation of the band (i.e. Andrew, Wayne and Craig, who had been preparing to record the next Sisters album under this title). Note that despite the fact that we stress the importance of these events, the chronology laid out below is a hodge-podge of rumour, speculation and outright guesswork, with the occasional egg-white of fact chucked in so as to stiffen the mixture up. Reliable accounts of the period would be welcomed.
After the split (initially an amicable separation, by subsequent accounts), Hussey and Adams formed a new band. Unable to secure a record deal, they started using the name 'The Sisters Of Mercy'. Eldritch's lawyers were able to prevent this, but were not able to stop them using the name 'The Sisterhood', which had originally been adopted by a contigent of fans who attended every gig; under this appellation they started to play gigs (supporting some version or other of The Cult?) Aggrieved by what he saw as an attempt to gain a title that was undeserved, Andrew decided to release a spoiler record, on the grounds that the first outfit to publish recordings under the name - rather than simply playing gigs - would successfully stake a claim to the name. The result was the single Giving Ground. Around the same time it transpired that an advance would be made available to the first of the two splinter groups - Andrew's Sisterhood, and Wayne & Craig's band (were they still using the Sisterhood name at the time that the deal came about?) - to record an album. Whilst Wayne and Craig were still involved in gigs and reacting to Andrew's trump card of the single, the album Gift was recorded "impossibly fast" - rumour has it in 11 days.
Ironically for an album which now appears - for all the flaws and papered over cracks - ahead of its time and rather prescient of much of the pop-industrial music that would appear years later, it was greeted with such confusion at the time that it got Andrew dumped from a publishing deal with RCA...
The album bears the following messages in the run-out grooves:
The text, read by Lucas Fox of Motörhead fame, comes from the instructon manual for an AK-47. A design classic, the AK-47 has remained popular and successful (at killing people, or as the manual nebulously has it, destroying personnel) ever since it was designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov in the 1940s. Standard issue throughout most of the Eastern Bloc, it is also one of most well known staples of terrorists across the globe.