Through The Years

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Through The Years - Box Cover (front)
Through The Years - Box Cover (Spine)
Through The Years - Box Cover (back)
Through The Years - Box Set First Edition with light blue/black splattered vinyls

This is a three record box bootleg that features two full concerts of the Sisters of Mercy.

The first concert was performed in 1983 during the Trans-Europe Excess Tour when Ben Gunn still played second guitar in the band. The other gig is from the Tune In - Turn On - Burn Out Tour in 1985 when Wayne Hussey had already joined the band on guitar, replacing the before mentioned Ben Gunn. It was also the last time that Gary Marx played on tour with The Sisters of Mercy. One day later, on April 2nd, he was still present, when The Sisters of Mercy performed two songs during the Old Grey Whistle Test on BBC TV, but left the band afterwards for good.

This change of personnel through the years obviously changed the sound and the modalities of the songs, too, which is well reflected on this bootleg. Some songs are repeatedly featured on the different sides of the records, and they sound amazingly varied because they were recorded at concerts from different eras.

Another point that was improved (and not only changed) through the years is Doktor Avalanche. At the time of the Trans-Europe Excess Tour the band were still using their initial Boss Dr.Rhythm drum machine, while in 1985 and during the Tune In - Turn On - Burn Out Tour, they had already obtained the more sophisticated Oberheim DMX. This improvement is clearly audible on the records.

Release Notes

  • Label: unknown
  • Catalogue#: SM 8385
  • Run-out Matrix: SM8385-A to SM8385-F
  • Format: 3 x 12" vinyl LP box
  • Released: 1986



  • The box is made of resistant cardboard with a black snakeskin surface. An adhesive, printed plastik layer is glued
to the cardboard in such way that it links the lid to the left side of the box, so that it can be opened as a folder.
  • The cover front shows a group shot of the band taken in 1984 at Leed's cementery.
  • The backcover notes:
and in smaller print: A 3 RECORD SET
  • Spelling mistakes
B1 - Temple Of Love is called "Tunnel Of Love".
B3 - Adrenochrome is misspelled "Adrenachrome".
C1 - First And Last And Always is written "First & Last & Always".
C2 - Body And Soul is written "Body & Soul".
C4 - Marian is listed as "Marianne".
D1 - A Rock And A Hard Place is written "A Rock & A Hard Place".
  • The two reproductions of the concerts are most likely based on audience recordings.
The sound quality of the first (record one) is very good.
The second (record two and three) is inferior to the other as it has several up- and downturns of the volume.
  • This is one of the few bootlegs delivering several quotes from Andrew Eldritch spoken in German.
He introduces Temple Of Love this way, for example:

"Wir sind The Sisters of Mercy. Das heisst die barmherzige Schwester ... err ...
 ... this Song ist ein seeeeehr barmherziges Lied, ein neues: Temple Of Love."

This bootleg exists in basically three editions with different vinyl colours and different labels.

  • The first edition is very rare and comes with three similar clear light blue/black splattered vinyls.
The vinyls have plain black (no) labels, plain white labels or Merciful Release labels.
  • The most common edition seems to be the second one.
It comes with one light green marbled vinyl (record one),
one blue marbled vinyl (record 2) and one black vinyl (record 3).
This edition has black Merciful Release labels with alphabetic numbering.
It does also exist with the first record on dark green instead of light green marbled vinyl.
Here, record three is sometimes made of an extremely dark green, dark red, dark blue,
or dark purple vinyl, all of which easily appearing as black.
On the back of this entire edition, a large Merciful Release logo sticker in orange on black
(same colour as the front cover picture) is glued to the box.
  • The third edition comes with one green, one turquoise and one dark green vinyl with Merciful Release labels.
So far, it is not 100% clear which record of this version is pressed in which colour.
  • An edition with three similar dark purple (also described as red blue brown splattered) marbled vinyls.
does exist as well. The labels show a picture of a dog's head leaning on a table and are alphabetically numbered.
The image of the dog's head is a detail taken from the front cover image of the LP There's One In Every Crowd
released by Eric Clapton in 1975. See pictures down below.
  • Allegedly, one of these edition was limited to 25 copies only.

For recent price developments see sistersbootlegs/Through The Years or popsike/through the years.

Track Lists

Through The Years - Box Back Cover (detail)
Record One
A1   Burn B1   Temple Of Love
A2   Valentine B2   Floorshow
A3   Anaconda                                      B3   Adrenochrome
A4   Heartland B4   Gimme Shelter
A5   Alice B5   Kiss The Carpet
A6   Emma B6   Body Electric

Record Two
C1   First And Last And Always D1   Possession
C2   Body And Soul D2   Walk Away
C3   Train                                             D3   Burn
C4   Marian D4   Emma
C5   No Time To Cry D5   Amphetamine Logic

Record Three
E1   A Rock And A Hard Place F1   Knockin' On Heaven's Door
E2   Floorshow F2   Sister Ray
E3   Alice                                             F3   Ghost Rider
E4   Body Electric F4   Louie Louie
E5   Gimme Shelter

Additional Pictures

- Please click into files for larger views -

First Edition

Through The Years - Box with light blue / black splattered vinyl
Light blue / black splattered vinyl in box
Through The Years - Box (overview)
First Edition - Light blue / black splattered vinyl (Record One)
First Edition - Light blue / black splattered vinyl (Record Two)
First Edition - Light blue / black splattered vinyl (Record Three)

Second Edition

Through The Years - Box, second edition (version with light green marbled vinyl)
Through The Years - Box, second edition (version with dark green marbled vinyl)
Through The Years - Dark Green Vinyl
Through The Years - Dark Green Vinyl
Through The Years - Green Vinyl
Through The Years - Light Green Vinyl
Through The Years - Blue Marbled Vinyl
Through The Years - Blue Marbled Vinyl
Through The Years - BlueVinyl
Through The Years - Blue Marbled Vinyl

Dark Purple Edition with Dog's Head Label

Through The Years - Edition with dark purple marbeled vinyls (overview)
Through The Years - Dark Purple Marbled Vinyl Edition (Side A)
Through The Years - Dark Purple Marbled Vinyl Edition (Label A)