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Sisters of Mercy – This Corrosion (Extended Mix)

Number 48 in an occasional series of reviews of my favourite 80s 12" records.

Chart Number


Track Length – 08:37
Released on Merciful Release
Format – 12″
Year of Release - 1987
1pCD Rating –
– Click to vote
Produced by Jim Steinman
On chart(s) - Top 50 12"s of the 1980s

Sisters of Mercy – This Corrosion (Extended Mix)

The Sisters of Mercy’s ‘This Corrosion’ is a song that stands as a testament to the band’s unique sound and the gothic rock genre. Released as the lead single from their second studio album, ‘Floodland’, in September 1987, it is one of the band’s most well-known songs.

The song was written by Andrew Eldritch and produced by Jim Steinman. It is notable for its use of a 40-piece choir, and the Extended version of the song lasts for nearly 11 minutes, (the one I chose for this chart).

The song’s lyrics concern Eldritch’s previous band members leaving the Sisters of Mercy to form the Mission. The latter’s lead singer, Wayne Hussey, was once a guitarist for the Sisters of Mercy. The lyrics of ‘This Corrosion’ are a parody of Hussey’s style.

Eldritch believed that ‘This Corrosion’ was a parody of the clichéd and empty lyrics he felt were present in the music of The Mission. He viewed The Mission’s sound as a copy, or a corrosive version, of The Sisters of Mercy, hence the title ‘This Corrosion’. Eldritch described the track in a 1987 interview with Sounds magazine

‘It’s about the idiots, full of sound and fury, who stampede around this world signifying nothing. It’s about people who sing about the revolution while selling it short, about people who sing about the corrosion of things while they themselves are falling apart’.

‘This Corrosion’ peaked at number 6 in Ireland, number 7 in the UK, and number 17 in Germany. Its success and enduring popularity are a testament to its unique sound and the band’s influence on the gothic rock genre.

The track was featured in the 2013 science-fiction comedy film, ‘The World’s End’, with star Simon Pegg playing a 40-something who had been a ‘goth’ or alternative rock fan in the 1980s as a youth who still styled himself on Eldritch.

The song has been covered by several artists, including In Extremo, Gerhard Potuznik, Lambchop, Godhead, Unheilig,, Diane Birch, and Maryslim1. Some Sisters Of Mercy shows feature a guest appearance by Irish singer Lisa Cuthbert who performs her cover version of ‘This Corrosion’ on piano.

In conclusion, ‘This Corrosion’ is a song that encapsulates the essence of The Sisters of Mercy’s sound and the gothic rock genre. It is a song that has stood the test of time, remaining relevant and influential in the music scene decades after its release.