The Sisters of Mercy, besides being an order of Catholic nuns and a beautiful Leonard Cohen song, is a gothic band formed in 1980 in Leeds, England. Andrew Eldritch (born Andrew Taylor on May 15, 1959) and Gary Marx put the "band" together as a studio project that amounted to two metal guitarists and a drum machine named "Doktor Avalanche". They also founded the Merciful Release record label and for the next five years released singles and EPs as "Merciful Releases" in England and Europe.

In 1985 the lineup included Wayne Hussey (guitarist from Dead or Alive) and their first full-length album was released. Produced by Dave Allen (a producer for The Cure), First and Last and Always did well in England, making the top twenty. Eldritch recommended that "Hussey" consider changing his name. Hussey was not amused.

1986 had Hussey leaving the band to join/found Mission UK with Craig Adams. They'd originally intended to use the name Sisterhood but Eldritch one-upped them by releasing an EP by the same name called "Gift" which featured the "new member" of the Sisters, bassist Patricia Morrison. Take a look at Finland Red, Egypt White for a lyrical reference.

Eldritch continued working with Morrison for the next album, the goth-pop masterpiece Floodland. With the chart-topper This Corrosion, Floodland opened up an American audience to Morrison's angelic voice and Eldritch's starved scream. Naturally, Morrison left (or was "sacked") immediately.

Enter Tony James (of Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Generation X fame) and 1990 gave us the heavily produced Vision Thing with the very popular More single. The Sisters toured with Public Enemy, Gang of Four, Warrior Soul and Young Black Teenagers in the summer of 1991 and... well... that's pretty much been it.

Since 1994, Eldritch has been the only member of The Sisters and all we've seen in six years was A Slight Case of Overbombing (greatest hits, volume I) and an odd single here and there. There have also been minor American tours in 1997 and 1998 and a "side project" of sorts called $$V ($crew $hareholder Value), which released (digitally) one awful album in 1999, with the express purpose of getting Eldritch out of his contract with Warner Brothers.

If you are a big fan of older Sisters, or just want to check it out, Some Girls Wander By Mistake is available with all of their collected Merciful Releases from 1980-1985. Incidentally, the lyric "some girls wander by mistake" is taken from the Leonard Cohen song "Teachers". Most likely, Leonard Cohen is also the inspiration behind Eldritch naming his band 'The Sisters of Mercy'.

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The Group of Nuns known as the Sisters of Mercy had a convent down in Australia back in the early years of the twentieth century. Their major claim to fame was the eucalyptus tea that the convent sold to support itself. Amazingly enough, the sisters had, through hard work and perseverance, managed to train the native koala bears to gather the leaves from the trees, and bring them to the sisters. In honour of this, the tea was affectionately dubbed "koala tea".

Now, one day in the summer of '08, it just so happened that the archbishop for the area came to visit the Convent of Mercy. The sisters, eager to please the archbishop, gave him a tour of their tea production facility, and of course, offered him a cup of their best tea. The archbishop took the tea, and on his first sip, remarked that it was the most delicious tea he had ever tasted.

However, with his second sip, the archbishop was slightly less pleased.

"Ugh!" he cried, "There's a wad of koala hair in my tea!"

The sisters were all taken aback at this, and no one knew what to say, until one of the youngest girls in the convent piped up:

"Of course!" she exclaimed "Everyone knows that The koala tea of Mercy is not strained!"

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