Throughout the 1980’s the Jesus and Mary Chain forged a sound which would influence a whole new generation of bands such as ‘My Bloody Valentine’, ‘Manic Street Preachers’ and countless others.
The band began in East Kilbride, Scotland formed by brothers Jim and William Reid. The pair quickly recruited bassist Douglas Hart and drummer Bobby Gillespie to complete their line-up.
In the mid 80’s the band released two well received singles ‘Upside Down’ and ‘You Trip Me Up’ both of which attracted comparisons with the Velvet Underground.
This was followed up by the outstanding debut LP ‘Psychocandy’ which won the group a top 20 hit single in the form of ‘Some Candy Talking’.
‘Darklands’ followed in 1987 and charted in the Uk Top 5..The LP was a departure from its predecessor which ditched most of the distortion in favour of a more polished sound which in turn helped to bring the band’s sophisticated melodies to the forefront of the mix.
The Jesus and Mary Chain next full length came two years later in ‘1989’. ‘Automatic’ although arguably not as strong as ‘Darklands’ proved to be another success for the group charting at #11 in October 1989.
What are they most famous for?
The Pixies popular cover version of ‘Head On’ won the band interest from fans who otherwise may not have got to hear the band.
Drummer Gillespie went on to become the leadman in Primal Scream – who went on to achieve world wide recognition with a string of innovative albums throughout the 90’s .
Why aren’t they famous?
The band’s distortion drenched sound never really leant itself to widespread airplay.
Where to start
‘Psychocandy’ although verging upon unlistenable at the first listen contains some well hidden gems in the form of ‘Just Like Honey’, ‘Never Understand’ and ‘You Trip Me Up’.
‘Darklands’ is arguably the JAMC’s most commercial LP which spawned the excellent top 10 hit ‘April Skies’ along with the title track and ‘Happy When It Rains’.