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slàinte


Wednesday

Some Candy Talking



Arguably Psychocandy is an album with one trick and one trick alone -- Beach Boys melodies meet Velvet Underground feedback and beats, all cranked up to ten and beyond, along with plenty of echo. However, what a trick it is. Following up on the promise of the earliest singles, the Jesus and Mary Chain with Psychocandy arguably created a movement without meaning to, one that itself caused echoes in everything from bliss-out shoegaze to snotty Britpop and back again. The best tracks were without question those singles, anti-pop yet pure pop at the same time: "Just Like Honey," starting off like the Ronettes heard in a canyon and weirdly beautiful with its bells, "You Trip Me Up" and its slinking sense of cool, and most especially "Never Understand." Storming down like a rumble of bricks wrapped in cotton candy and getting more and more frenetic at the end, when there's nothing but howls and screaming noise, it is one hell of a track. However, at least in terms of sheer sonic violence and mayhem, most of the other cuts were pretty hard to beat, as sprawling, amped-up messes like "The Living End" (which later inspired both a band and a movie title) and "In a Hole." "My Little Underground" is actually the secret gem on the album, with a great snarling guitar start, an almost easygoing melody and a great stuttering chorus -- not quite the Who but not quite anything else. What the Reids sing about -- entirely interchangeable combinations regarding girls, sex, drugs, speed, and boredom in more or less equal measure -- is nothing compared to the perfectly disaffected way those sentiments are delivered. Bobby Gillespie's "hit the drums and then hit them again" style makes Moe Tucker seem like Neil Peart, but arguably in terms of sheer economy he doesn't need to do any more.


They declared it and it was true. In 1985 The Jesus And Mary Chain were the best band in the world. Their first record 'Psychocandy' was released on Blanco y Negro and it was unlike anything that had ever come before. The mysterious world that they built from their sound and ideology marked the start of a new era.
'Back To The Future' had hit the theatres, Madonna was hot, fluorescent synths and cock metal were blazing, and then there they were. Two dysfunctional brothers from Scotland, Jim and William Reed. Their hair was teased, bodies plastered in black leather, hanging on the beach, and always wearing sunglasses. Their shows would end with crowds rioting and smashing clubs to pieces. They would trash-talk all other music, not give a fuck about anything, and do this all while fabricating beautiful white noise symphonies. They seemed like gods.
When 'Psychocandy' came out it purposefully destroyed all other music that had come before it. The album was loaded with some of the greatest pop songs of all time. Tracks like 'My Little Underground' and 'Never Understand' are annihilated with feedback and ear piercing noise. The art was so pure; they created a baby and aborted it. Usually musicians were trying to get attention by showing off how good they could craft a song or how virtuous they could wank their instruments. This Jesus And Mary Chain seemed like they sneezed out amazing hits and then chose to make them unlistenable. This was the new punk.
I remember when I bought 'Psychocandy'. I was rummaging through a huge bin of gospel records at a church estate sale, bored really. The selection in a bin of religious records is typically more dire than you could possibly imagine, but there it was. 'Psychocandy' was probably mistakenly bought by the church but I didn't care. It was my new soundtrack. The record player I had had at the time was one of those rubbish, all in one, Panasonic, fake wood, tape eating monsters, and it had played so many records that the needle scratched into whatever was placed on it. This record was perfect for it. It was the most fucked up album I had ever heard and it sounded great even under bad circumstances. They had crackles and pops, and the soundscapes were so beautifully arranged that I would even put the record on to cure a headache. I had never heard anything sound like that before and when I found out the sounds were coming from a guitar, I knew it was what I wanted to do.
'Psychocandy' was such an important record for me when I was discovering my absolute love for music. My older brother had just introduced me to Punk and that blew my world apart. I departed from the older 50's and 60's music I had grown up with, to this new aggressive influence. Then The Jesus and Mary Chain married the two. There was something calculated to the chaos. All the songs appeared perfectly crafted like the old pop I used to love and yet sounded so out of control it was hard to tell what was going on. I didn't realize until later in life how awesome the power of ambiguity could be. The overall mood of the music was so mysterious it allowed my imagination to fill in the gaps. It was like the perfect adaptable puzzle piece that would make me sad when I was feeling down and lift me up when I was on fire. It became the most personal experience ever. The Jesus And Mary Chain had just touched my soul.
Now I play, record, write, produce music and engineer devices that create music. It all began with what are now faded memories of bands and styles that crafted my youth. So if you forget what it feels like to be alive, do what this 30-year-old gem did for me. Ditch your friends for one night, get high and turn this album up as loud as it gets. Let the Jesus and Mary Chain trip you up.

Oliver Ackermann


Ripped from the 2011 2 CD Deluxe Edition to staggering beautiful MP3 @ 320kbps

The Jesus And Mary Chain; Psychocandy

Disc 1
1.     Just Like Honey
2.     The Living End
3.     Taste The Floor
4.     The Hardest Walk
5.     Cut Dead
6.     In A Hole
7.     Taste Of Cindy
8.     Never Understand
9.     Inside Me
10.Sowing Seeds
11.My Little Underground
12.You Trip Me Up
13.Something’s Wrong
14.It’s So Hard
15.Suck (B’side)
16.Ambition (B’side)
17.Just Out Of Reach (B’side)
18.Boyfriend’s Dead (B’side)
19.Head (B’side)
20.Cracked (B’side)

Disc 2
1.     Upside Down
2.     Vegetable Man
3.     In A Hole (BBC Radio Session)
4.     You Trip Me Up (BBC Radio Session)
5.     Never Understand (BBC Radio Session)
6.     Taste The Floor (BBC Radio Session)
7.     The Living End (BBC Radio Session)
8.     Inside Me (BBC Radio Session)
9.     Just Like Honey (BBC Radio Session)
10.Some Candy Talking (BBC Radio Session)
11.Psychocandy (BBC Radio Session)
12.You Trip Me Up (BBC Radio Session)
13.Cut Dead (BBC Radio Session)
14.Up Too High (Demo)
15.Upside Down (Demo)
16.Never Understand (Demo)
17.Taste The Floor (Demo)
18.In A Hole (Demo)
19.Something’s Wrong (Demo)
20.Just Like Honey (Demo)
21.The Living End (Demo)
22.My Little Underground (Demo)
23.Never Understand (Alternative Version)
24. Jesus Fuck (Outtake)

 

3 comments:

  1. a lot of you explained is my experience too
    we are like brothers

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi. Turn On Your Record Player blog is back up and running. Was wondering if you would add me back to your bloglist?
    http://yourrecordplayer.blogspot.ie/

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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