Mission U.K. PhotoFORMED: 1986, Leeds, England

Derided by critics as pompous, melodramatic, and bombastic, the Mission, as they were known in their native U.K. (their name had to be changed in America owing to a Philadelphia R&B band with the same moniker), nonetheless attracted a core audience of goth-rock fans and continues to record today. The Mission was formed in 1986 by guitarist/singer Wayne Hussey and bassist Craig Adams, who both left the Sisters of Mercy to do so. (Hussey had also played with the Walkie Talkies and Dead or Alive.) The two recruited Artery guitarist Simon Hinkler and former Red Lorry Yellow Lorry drummer Mick Brown and called themselves the Sisterhood, to which Sisters of Mercy leader Andrew Eldritch objected strenuously. The Mission released two successful independent singles in the U.K. and signed to Mercury in 1986.

The group soon completed its debut album, God's Own Medicine, which critics lambasted as ponderous and derivative of Led Zeppelin and Yes, but the album produced several U.K. hits anyway. The band toured extensively in the U.K. and America; Adams had to return home from the latter after suffering from exhaustion. Produced by Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, Children widened the band's audience, reaching number two on the U.K. album charts. 1990's Carved in Sand shed some of the Mission's Zep fascination for more refined songwriting. Hinkler left the band midway through the supporting tour and was eventually replaced permanently by Paul Etchells. Meanwhile, several Mission members backed Slade members Noddy Holder and Jim Lea on the Christmas charity single "Merry Xmas Everybody." By 1992, Hussey was the only original member left; following the 1994 Sum and Substance retrospective, he recorded the album Neverland with a new Mission lineup. Blue followed a year later, with the greatest-hits retrospective Ressurection appearing in fall 1999. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide