Vision Thing (album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vision Thing
Studio album by
Released22 October 1990
StudioPuk Recording Studios (Gjerlev, Denmark)
The Sisters of Mercy chronology
Vision Thing
Some Girls Wander by Mistake
Singles from Vision Thing
  1. "More"
    Released: 1 October 1990
  2. "Doctor Jeep"
    Released: December 1990
  3. "Detonation Boulevard"
    Released: 1990 (US radio single)
  4. "When You Don't See Me (Remix)"
    Released: February 1991 (Germany only)
  5. "Vision Thing (Canadian club remix)"
    Released: 1991 (club single)
  6. "I Was Wrong (American fade)"
    Released: 1991 (US radio single)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Chicago Tribune[4]
Christgau's Consumer Guide(choice cut)[5]
Classic Rock8/10[6]
NME10/10 (tracks 1–2)[7]
4/10 (tracks 3–8)[7]
Record Collector[8]

Vision Thing is the third studio album by English gothic rock band the Sisters of Mercy. It was released on 22 October 1990 through Merciful Release and East West Records,[11] with Elektra Records handling the US release.


Soon after the release of the band's previous album, Floodland, Eldritch approached guitarist John Perry to join them on writing a new album. After Perry turned down the offer to become a full-time member, the band began to search for a new guitarist through their record label. Eventually, Eldritch was forwarded a demo tape by young and unknown Andreas Bruhn. Bruhn was called to audition a week after turning in his tape.[12]

As the band—now composed of Eldritch, Bruhn and bassist Patricia Morrison—was about to enter the studio, Morrison was abruptly replaced by the former Sigue Sigue Sputnik member Tony James. As Perry recalls, "When I first heard the Vision Thing material, Patricia was there; when I did the album, she wasn't."[13] While details on Morrison parting ways with the band have never been fully disclosed, she herself was allegedly hired by Eldritch on the day her predecessor, Craig Adams, resigned.[14]

Morrison later confirmed to have worked with Eldritch up until December 1989. She would go on to say her resignation was linked to her monthly salary of £300, and that she had her doubts on the band's musical direction. "I wasn't too thrilled with the direction the record was going in. There were elements I didn't like that could have gone either way, and now that Tony James is in I want nothing to do with it. It seems obvious what's going on – it's scam time..."[15]

While Morrison's recording input on Floodland has been contested, Perry raised doubts whether either she or James play on Vision Thing. "By the time of the recording, Tony James was in, but I'm not sure either [he or Patricia] actually played any bass on the record – sounds sequenced to me."[13] James has later admitted his parts took some twenty minutes in total to record.[16]

Ultimately, the band spent nine months in the Danish recording facilities, with guitarist Tim Bricheno recruited during the final two weeks.[12] Then-manager Boyd Steemson followed suit at one point to observe the progress. "I remember flying out to the [Puk] studio when they were making Vision Thing, and Tony [James] spoke to me and said: 'Well, I guess it's going to be a five-song album.' And I said, 'No, it will not be a five-song album.' Two days later they had seven-and-a-half songs. It was a very painful process."[13]

According to the official website of the band, the final mixes were not the ones worked on the most. "'Vision Thing' is a stripped-down affair. Half of the finished mixes for the album are shelved in favour of rough mixes from earlier stages of the recording session, 'monitor mixes' which retain the immediate feel of the songs."[17]


The album was designed by songwriter and singer Andrew Eldritch as an attack on the policies of the George H. W. Bush administration (the title comes from an oft-cited quote by Bush).[18] According to Eldritch, the album's artwork features a barely visible image of Detroit's inner-city. The area had been heavily economically impacted during this period.[19]


Described by Andrew Eldritch as "a fine album",[20] it was included by Q magazine on their "Fifty Best Albums of 1990" list. In 1999, Ned Raggett ranked the album at number 69 on his list of "The Top 136 or So Albums of the Nineties".[21]

Track listing[edit]

All songs produced by Eldritch, except "More", produced by Eldritch and Jim Steinman, and "When You Don't See Me", produced by Chris Tsangarides.

1."Vision Thing"Andrew EldritchEldritch4:35
3."Detonation Boulevard"Andreas Bruhn, EldritchBruhn, Eldritch3:52
4."Something Fast"EldritchEldritch4:36
5."When You Don't See Me"EldritchBruhn, Eldritch4:47
6."Doctor Jeep"EldritchBruhn, Eldritch4:41
7."More"Eldritch, Jim SteinmanEldritch, Steinman8:21
8."I Was Wrong"EldritchEldritch6:03
Total length:42:35

2006 reissue[edit]

Along with the group's previous two releases, Vision Thing was reissued in November 2006 with bonus tracks.

No.TitleLyricsMusicOriginal singleLength
9."You Could Be the One"EldritchBruhn"More"4:01
10."When You Don't See Me" (remix)EldritchBruhn, Eldritch"When You Don't See Me (remix)"4:43
11."Doctor Jeep" (extended mix)EldritchBruhn, Eldritch"Doctor Jeep" 12″8:59
12."Ribbons (live)"EldritchEldritch"When You Don't See Me (remix)" 12″4:25
13."Something Fast" (live)EldritchEldritch"When You Don't See Me (remix)" 12″3:02
Total length:64:32


Guest musicians
  • John Perry – guitars, slide guitar on "Detonation Boulevard"
  • Maggie Reilly – backing vocals on "Vision Thing", "More", "Detonation Boulevard", "Something Fast" and "Doctor Jeep"



Certifications for Vision Thing
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Germany (BVMI)[32] Gold 250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[33] Silver 60,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Prown, Pete; Newquist, Harvey P. (1997). Legends of Rock Guitar: The Essential Reference of Rock's Greatest Guitarists. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 238. ISBN 978-0-7935-4042-6.
  2. ^ a b Monger, James Christopher. "The Sisters of Mercy Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
  3. ^ Harper, Jim. "Vision Thing – The Sisters of Mercy". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  4. ^ Kot, Greg (17 January 1991). "Sisters of Mercy: Vision Thing (Elektra)". Chicago Tribune.
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "The Sisters of Mercy: Vision Thing". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 283. ISBN 0-312-24560-2. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  6. ^ Sleazegrinder (December 2006). "The Sisters of Mercy: Reissues". Classic Rock. No. 100. p. 101.
  7. ^ a b Wells, Steven (20 October 1990). "The Sisters of Mercy: Vision Thing". NME. p. 41.
  8. ^ Buscovic, Alix (December 2016). "Vision Thing | The Sisters Of Mercy". Record Collector. No. 460. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
  9. ^ Marlowe, Chris (December 1990). "Prophets of Profit". Select. No. 6. p. 106.
  10. ^ Sutherland, Steve (5 December 2006). "The Sisters Of Mercy – Reissues". Uncut. Archived from the original on 13 January 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
  11. ^ "New Albums" (PDF). Music Week. 20 October 1990. p. 36. ISSN 0265-1548 – via World Radio History.
  12. ^ a b "View topic - Heartland Interview with Andreas Bruhn :: Heartland :: The Sisters of Mercy Forum". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  13. ^ a b c "The Sisterhood". Classic Rock. July 2007.
  14. ^ "Untitled Document". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  15. ^ "The Sisters of Mercy Ultimate Resource Guide - Transcribed articles 1990-1999". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  16. ^ "View topic - Heartland Interview with Tony James :: Heartland :: The Sisters of Mercy Forum". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  17. ^ "Sisters Biography". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  18. ^ "George H.W. Bush and "the vision thing"". This Day in Quotes. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  19. ^ Mark Andrews (11 May 2023). "The Sisters of Mercy's Andrew Eldritch thinks 'Fear of the Dark' by Iron Maiden is like a Sisters cover version". louder. Retrieved 24 August 2023.
  20. ^ "Sisters Discography". Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  21. ^ "The Top 136 or So Albums of the 90s". Archived from the original on 20 January 2000. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  22. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 255.
  23. ^ " – The Sisters of Mercy – Vision Thing" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  24. ^ "European Top 100 Albums" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 7, no. 47. 24 November 1990. p. VIII. OCLC 29800226 – via World Radio History.
  25. ^ " – The Sisters of Mercy – Vision Thing" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  26. ^ " – The Sisters of Mercy – Vision Thing". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  27. ^ " – The Sisters of Mercy – Vision Thing". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  28. ^ " – The Sisters of Mercy – Vision Thing". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  29. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  30. ^ "The Sisters of Mercy | Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 2 August 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  31. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts – 1991" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  32. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Sisters of Mercy; 'Vision Thing')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  33. ^ "British album certifications – Sisters of Mercy – Vision Thing". British Phonographic Industry. 6 November 1990. Retrieved 7 January 2022.