In late 1985 Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams left The Sisters Of Mercy and formed The Mission and in early 1986 embarked on their first European tour, supporting The Cult. They released 2 singles independently, both reaching No.1 in the UK alternative charts, before signing a worldwide record deal with Phonogram (now Universal)
Their first single for the new label, “Stay With Me”, went straight into the UK chart at No. 30 followed by their debut album “God”s Own Medicine” at No. 14. Over the next eight years the band released six more albums and had a further 12 hit singles including anthemic classics such as “Wasteland”, “Tower Of Strength”, “Beyond The Pale”, “Deliverance” and “Butterfly On A Wheel”. Total worldwide album sales to date have now well exceeded 3 million.
During this period, The Mission enhanced their reputation as one of the best and most exciting live bands in the world winning countless accolades, and inspiring both lurid media stories and a fanatical following as they toured constantly including highlights like seven sold out consecutive shows at the Astoria Theatre in London, headlining the famous Reading Festival twice, and also playing with U2, The Cure and Robert Plant.
In 1999, fully reinvigorated, The Mission reunited and after a few spectacularly successful early shows, embarked on a year long tour that saw the band visit places as far flung as Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, USA, South Africa, Greece (Recon 2000 tour), including memorable appearances at the Eurorock and M”era Luna Festivals and which culminated in a successful European tour in November/December 2000.
During the 2005 “Lighting the Candles” tour, a double DVD of the same name was released to coincide with the tour. Packed with footage from live shows, video singles, behind the scenes footage, it has been critically acclaimed as one of the most complete video releases any band has done to date. The tour also saw the return of Mark Gemini Thwaite on guitar as Rob Holliday had prior commitments with The Prodigy.
Early 2006 saw Universal Records release “Anthology – The Phonogram Years” – a compilation of some of the band’s finest work plus some rare and never heard before tracks, plus “Waves Upon the Sand / Crusade” DVD – a re-release of two Mission videos.
2007 saw the 21st anniversary of The Mission. A time to reflect? Maybe…..
Although the band was still split, there had been much activity both in public and behind the scenes. 2010 marked the 25th anniversary of The Mission. To celebrate this momentous time in history, Wayne Hussey announced that he, along with original members Craig Adams and Simon Hinkler and a special appearance at both the London and Leeds shows by long time Mission guitarist, Mark Thwaite would tour around the UK and Europe playing many of the classic Mission songs. Not only that, but both Fields of the Nephilm and Wonderstuff appeared with the Mission on certain dates!
In April 2011, with rumours abound, prayers and wishes were answered and dashed at the same when Wayne announced that he had reformed with Simon and Craig, as well as Budgie (of Sioxsie and the Banshees) to record a new album. It was an April fools joke of course (as is customary with MWIS April announcements) but people were wondering if this was indication of something more to come.
July 2011 saw Wayne state that the XXV shows were a continued celebration of The Mission and the achievements of its’ various incarnations over the years, but The Mission was not his No.1 priority. When answering fans questions from the Mission forum he said “As it stands right now, no I wouldn’t (make another album). It just doesn’t seem to make any sense to me. It would probably cost quite a bit to do and I really don’t think we’d sell enough to make it financially viable. But saying all that we do have a tour coming up and I’m playing together with Simon and Craig again for the first time in many years so who knows?”
A live CD of the XXV London show was released after many requests and the XXV tour itself was extended to include South America, Europe and the 2012 Download festival. 2012 also saw the formation of “Blood Brothers”, an alter-ego of The Mission that played some venues around the UK as warm up for the XXV shows. At the end of 2012, the band released “Silver”, a collection of discs – both video and audio – of the XXV shows, thus drawing a conclusion of the XXV era.
2013 saw more Wayne Hussey solo shows, but the biggest news came April 1st – traditionally a time to announce some April fool by Wayne….
“So, today, this morning, we convene at a rehearsal studio near Bath in the lovely English West Country to start the rehearsals for the recording of our new album. We’re gonna spend 10 days here sifting through the approximately 25 new songs that I’ve written and see what works as a band and what doesn’t. And then we will debut some, or hopefully most, of these songs over the three nights of shows at the Bristol Thekla we have coming up shortly.” Some wondered if this was yet another joke, but when announcements followed of the band signing to SPV and The End Records, sighs of relief that The Mission, a band that had endured almost 28 years through thick and thin, would continue – and continue with three of the four original members. Only Mick Brown (original drummer) was absent, replaced by Mike Kelly, from the XXV shows. Mick had not been in an active band for some time – he had moved on and was in a different place in life and felt it not appropriate to be part of the band.
July 2013 saw the announcement of the new album “The Brightest Light” , available worldwide from September. It coincided with a US tour (also in September) as well as UK tour in December, including some dates with Fields of the Nephilim. Singles released from the album thus far have been “Sometimes The Brightest Light Comes From The Darkest Place” and an already Mission fan classic, “Swan Song”.
Where the band goes from here? Sky’s the limit.