In late 1985 Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams left The Sisters Of Mercy and, after enlisting the talents of Simon Hinkler and Mick Brown, 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 13 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 four 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 such as 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 1994, the band parted company with Phonogram after a number of contractual disputes and signed their label “Neverland” to Sony Dragnet in Europe. Two years and two more album releases later, the band decided to call a halt to the general craziness of their existence to seek respite and well earned solace.
In late 2001 The Mission released what many considered to be their finest album to date in “AurA”. It marked the beginning of a contemporary and exciting new era for the band and the welcome return of all of the band’s old swagger, relevance and confidence. The album reached No. 1 in the German alternative chart and stayed there for eight weeks. The band also embarked on a German tour as special guests of ”HIM” to coincide with the release of the album, quickly followed by their own very successful six-week tour of Europe in early 2002.
In 2003, the band prepared to embark on their next tour (Pilgrimage) which took them once again across Europe. The new line-up of the band (Wayne being joined by Rob Holliday on guitars, Ritchie Vernon on bass and Steve Spring on drums) brought a new energy and dynamic to the band. They continued to wow crowds and critics alike who could not deny that the power of The Mission as a live band was just as devastating as ever. The band continued to tour during 2003 (Pilgrimage), 2004 (Breathen and Absolution) and 2005 (Lighting the Candles) with the interim periods seeing Wayne working on several side projects including those with Italian musicians, Volita Lux and the film Mercenario, resulting in the limited edition CD Single “Breath Me In”, which reached number one in the German DAC charts.
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 Phonogram period Mission videos, later followed by re-releasing the first four Mission albums, digitally remastered with bonus tracks and sleeve notes. Much as before, these were commercially great successes.
The Mission released their album ‘God Is A Bullet’ on SPV in April 2007. It would’ve been easy for the band to revisit past glories but they resisted. The Mission recorded a ‘forward-looking’ album that was both brave and adventurous. It’s a ‘guitar’ album full of swagger, confidence, good tunes, and, in Wayne Hussey, a songwriter that was at the top of his game.
March 2008 saw The Mission close the curtain – for the time being at least, with Wayne Hussey disbanding the group to concentrate on solo ventures – with a sold-out European tour which culminated with 4 shows at the London Shepherds Bush Empire. The band released ‘The Final Chapter‘ DVD, which chronicled the tour, and charted at number 6 in the UK DVD chart later that year.
Wayne has described the album as a lost link between The Sisters of Mercy’s First and Last and Always album and The Mission’s own first album, God’s Own Medicine. He attributes this in part to his use of the electric 12-string guitar which fell out of favour with the singer-songwriter during the Mission’s interim years.
Produced by Wayne with Tim Palmer, whom also produced the albums God’s Own Medicine, Carved in Sand, and Grains of Sand, and including guest artists such as Julianne Regan (All About Eve), Ville Vallo (HIM), Gary Numan and Martin Gore (Depeche Mode), the album received unanimous critical acclaim and was the band’s first UK Top 40 album in over 20 years!