The Mission UK Biography

This UK rock band evolved from the Sisters Of Mercy, when Wayne Hussey (Jerry Wayne Hussey, 26 May 1958, Bristol, England) and Craig Adams split from Andrew Eldritch. They quickly recruited drummer Mick Brown (ex-Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry) and guitarist Simon Hinkler (ex-Artery). The original choice of title was the Sisterhood, which led to an undignified series of exchanges in the press between the band and Eldritch. In order to negate their use of the name, Eldritch put out a single under the name Sisterhood on his own Merciful Release label. Thus, the name the Mission was selected instead. After two successful independent singles on the Chapter 22 label, they signed to Mercury Records in the autumn of 1986. Their major label debut, ‘Stay With Me’, entered the UK singles charts while the band worked on their debut album. God’s Own Medicine was the outcome, revealing a tendency towards straightforward rock, and attracting criticism for its bombast. A heavy touring schedule ensued, with the band’s offstage antics attracting at least as much attention as their performances. A particularly indulgent tour of America saw Adams shipped home suffering from exhaustion. His temporary replacement on bass was Pete Turner.

After headlining the Reading Festival, they began work on a new album under the auspices of Led Zeppelin bass player John Paul Jones as producer. Children was even more successful than its predecessor, reaching number 2 in the UK album charts, despite the customary critical disdain. 1990 brought ‘Butterfly On A Wheel’ as a single, providing further ammunition for accusations that the band were simply dredging up rock history. In February, the long-delayed third album, Carved In Sand, was released, revealing a more sophisticated approach to songwriting. During the world tour to promote the album, both Hinkler and Hussey became ill because of the excessive regime. Hinkler departed suddenly when they reached Toronto, leaving Dave Wolfenden to provide guitar for the rest of the tour. On their return, Paul Etchell took over the position on a more permanent basis. Over the Christmas period, members of the band joined with Slade’s Noddy Holder and Jim Lea to re-record ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ for charity.

After signing to Vertigo Records, Hussey, Adams and Brown recorded the dance music -influenced Masque, which featured songs co-written with Miles Hunt of the Wonder Stuff. However, numerous personnel difficulties then blighted the band’s progress. Craig Adams returned to Brighton, while Hussey and Brown brought in bass player Andy Cousin (ex-Sex Gang Children; All About Eve), keyboard player Rik Carter and guitarist Mark Gemini Thwaite. A reflective Hussey, promoting the Sum & Substance compilation, conceded: ‘We had an overblown sense of melodrama. It was great - pompous songs, big grand statements. We’ve never attempted to do anything that’s innovative’. The band returned to a guitar-based sound for two subsequent releases on their own label. Soon after the release of Blue the band announced they were splitting-up. They played their final show on 26 October at a festival in South Africa. They resurrected the Mission name in 2002 to record the surprisingly strong new studio album, Aura.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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