The first time I heard "Cities in Dust," the lead single off Siouxsie & the Banshees' seventh studio album, Tinderbox (1986), I was hiding (once again) in my room from the horrors of being a weird adolescent in Midwestern suburbia and half-listening to a grainy distant college radio station. It was a Sunday afternoon, springtime, and I remember being in a good mood for once, because the weather outside was slowly turning into spring which meant that in another year or two I'd be on the verge of my long-planned escape to college in the big city.
The song starts off quietly, with what sounds like running water before segueing into some glittering yet ominous chiming. The drums pick up and that angular guitar attacks and Siouxsie starts singing some pretty obscure yet threatening lyrics which turn out to be about the destruction of Pompeii, if you look them up on the internet and then think about it for like, literally a second after watching the official music video. Some critics consider the song a harbinger of the band's still-to-come, more pop-center releases, but come on--this is still a deeply weird song, especially taking into account that it was a hit on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart.
Siouxsie & The Banshees - "Cities In Dust"