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"Peek-a-Boo"
Single by Siouxsie & the Banshees
from the album Peepshow
B-side "False Face", "Catwalk"
Released 11 July 1988
Format 7", 12", CD
Recorded 1988
Genre Alternative rock
Length 3:10
Label Polydor (UK), Geffen (U.S.)
Writer(s) Siouxsie & the Banshees
Harry Warren
Johnny Mercer
Producer Siouxsie & the Banshees
Siouxsie & the Banshees singles chronology
"Song from the Edge of the World"
(1987)
"Peek-a-Boo"
(1988)
"The Killing Jar"
(1988)

"Peek-a-Boo" is a song by English alternative rock band Siouxsie & the Banshees. It was released in 1988 as the first single from the band's ninth studio album Peepshow. The music paper Melody Maker described the song as "a brightly unexpected mixture of black steel and pop disturbance" and qualified its genre as "thirties hip hop".[1]

The song's peculiar sound is due to its experimental recording. The song was built on a loop in reverse of a brass part with drums that the Banshees previously arranged a year before in 1987 for a cover of John Cale's "Gun".[2] The band selected different parts of that tape when played backwards and re-recorded upon it, adding a different melody plus accordion, a one-note bass and a discordant guitar. Once the instrumental parts were finished, Sioux sang her lyrics over it. The lyric track was further manipulated by Siouxsie's using a different microphone for each line of the song.[3]

When initially recorded to be used a b-side to "The Passenger" single, the band felt the song was too good to be relegated to b-side status and might fare better as a single.

"Peek-a-Boo" is one of Siouxsie & the Banshees' most recognisable and popular singles; it was the group's also first to chart in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, where it reached number 53.[4]. The song was very popular on alternative rock radio and received heavy play on MTV.

"Peek-a-Boo" became Siouxsie & the Banshees' fifth Top 20 UK hit, peaking at number sixteen in the UK singles chart. In September 1988, Billboard magazine premiered a new Modern Rock Tracks chart which measures radio airplay on U.S. modern rock stations : "Peek-a-Boo" was the chart's first number-one song.

A minor controversy ensued after the single's release as the lines to the chorus ("...Golly jeepers / Where'd you get those peepers? / Peepshow, creepshow / Where did you get those eyes?...") were found to be too similar to the lyrics in the 1938 song "Jeepers Creepers". To remedy the situation and to avoid legal action, Siouxsie & the Banshees gave co-songwriting credit on "Peek-a-Boo" to Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer.

Charts

Chart (1988) Peak
position
Irish Singles Chart 18
UK Singles Chart 16
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 53
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 14

References

New chart U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
10 September 1988
24 September 1988
Succeeded by
"Just Play Music!" by Big Audio Dynamite
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