16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what has happened to this album
bought this album on day of release in 1985 as a 14 year old just gettin over being into queen and wham.heard never understand and thought what the hell have i been missing .totally changed my listening habits forever.no record before(and none since)has affected me so dramatically.every song on this album is a classic pop song,some are hidden behind layers of feedback...
Published on 14 July 2006 by Mr. P. J. James
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Over-rated slice of British psychedelia
Jesus And Marychain coined 'feedback-pop' which was a variation on the psychedelic revival of the 1980s. The idea was quite simple, certainly not new and clinically cynical in its concept and execution. Rather like the musical version of the alchemist's, the band took the Velvet Underground's 'White Light White Heat', added a catchy melody and Phil Spector's 'wall of...
Published on 5 Sep 2010 by Daniel Margrain
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what has happened to this album,
bought this album on day of release in 1985 as a 14 year old just gettin over being into queen and wham.heard never understand and thought what the hell have i been missing .totally changed my listening habits forever.no record before(and none since)has affected me so dramatically.every song on this album is a classic pop song,some are hidden behind layers of feedback ,others such as just like honey,and taste of cindy are perfect pop tunes.it influenced so many bands since from the brilliant(my bloody valentine)to the awful(black rebel motorcycle club).i stopped listening to this album about 15 years ago cos i had played it almost every day for 5 years.listened to it again last week for 1st time since,still had that same adrenalin rush like when i was a (very)spotty teen.the main point of this review though is ,at the end of the 80s nme did a poll to find the best and most influential album of the decade and psychocandy won ,yet when there is a reader/viewer top 100 poll psychocandy doesnt make the list,how can an album as great as this be so totally overlooked.its as tuneful as the stone roses,and as influential as ok computer ,which seem to dominate the lists now.people should go and listen to this album and give the jesus and mary chain the credit they deserve
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A place in the pantheon of rock.........,
OK, you will of heard that this album is many things; grating, noisy, simple, beautiful whatever. One thing that you have to remember is that when it was released it took apart the music scene at the time. Emerging out of the dross that was electro-pop, thumbing a nose at the pretty boys of DD and Wham etc, this album (and subsequent live shows) defined a whole era of alternative music to follow ( MBV, Pixies et al) that is now going through a re-surgence. The basis of all the songs are simple 12 bar, but it is the imagination of the Reid Brothers to craft something unique at the time that is the genius of this recor. To the generation that heard Psychocandy for the first time, it had the same impact as Nirvana's Nevermind a decade later. Buy it, play it and remind yourself that British Indie music has everything to thank this album for.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A blast,
The first few times you listen to Psychocandy, virtually all you hear are shards of feedback, Jim Reid's monotone mumbling and the echoey thud of Bobby Gillespie's drum. Nothing wrong if you like that kind of thing, but the more you listen, the more you become aware that every song has a tune buried beneath the wall of white noise. Noise-for-noise's-sake is one thing, but using it to cunningly disguise the fact that you are, in essence, a pop band was, and still is, something else entirely.
There has never been an LP quite like Psychocandy. It still sounds as scary now as it did back then. It remains totally unique; oft imitated, but never bettered.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still room in the Stable,
A whole plethora of experimentation went wild on the skin, shredded noise from six metal strings and crooned, screamed, dipped and soared in the 80's, a time of unremmitting experimentation. All drawn from the 50/60's alchemical sounds, the 70's boot into the door and 80's peers.
Jesus and Mary Chain were part of the stable, fitting in with Sonic Youth who supported them at Hammersmith Palais, Fall, Lydia Lunch, Swans, Butthole Surfers, Wire, Big Black, Neubauten, Laibach, Death In June, Nick Cave, Scientists, Moodists, Test Dept were all part of oeuvre.
JAMC built their life raft out of the outer fringes of Glasgow by listening and then becoming a Velvet Underground pathway soothed in big sound reverb. The vocal melodies played along to the bass, a Joy Division innovation taken from reggae, doused in Phil Spector big perfomance sound. The whole package coated in a sneer and powdered in brown dust.
Played it recently and the bottom end failed to shift. Never noticed at the time as the playback equipment was rudimentary, it was the exictement of the innovation that captured the senses. The template even more than the Pistols has been battered to death by a thousand inferior copies. Other peers took elements and reinvigorated the template; Death In June and Nick Cave were darker the Scientists and Moodists were...moodier and more angst ridden. Big Black more ferocious, Swans and Sonic Youth far more experimental. Butthole Surfers far more mad and Wire more sweeter, Lydia more bitter and Mark E Smith out to lunch.
All part of the same supernova. JAMC took one aspect of a wider canvas and then the copyists in the indie cannon fodder who appeared afterwards narrowed their focus even further. This eventually became pastiche, the sweetest of melodies embroiled in the harshest of sound.
Eventually JAMC ditched the noise and sang straight. They lasted for a further 4/5 albums. Experimentation shifted as JAMC raised their arms towards stadium rock. They failed and the whole edifice deflated with the aplomb of a pin pricked souffle.
This album is a diamond amongst the muck of the corporate rock hurbis, the flip side of the 80's.
This music is for sweaty clubs, the squat land of Berlin, the new factory's yet to be be unleashed. It is the noise of love coated in turmoil, just like honey.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If sugar was black...,
Let's put this in perspective. In 1985, the charts were encrusted with soulless, cynical commercialism (sound familiar?)and yet within the potent 'little underground' rock's consistent capacity for rebirth produced at least three of the greatest records of the decade - The Smiths 'Meat Is Murder', New Order's 'Lowlife' and this - certainly a candidate for the top 10 greatest debut albums. Like any perfect debut it draws the listener into a consistent, exhilirating new world that encapsulates a style, a sound and an attitude (black, black and er...black), in short, it blows you away.
The influences may now seem well worn - the quintessential cool of the Velvet Underground, the three chord simplicity and inventiveness of punk and the early 60's beat groups (The Strokes, anyone?), but the combination with elements of Spector's 'wall of sound' and the genius stroke of immersing elegantly constructed gems in shards of feedback was a revelation.
So, let's put this in perspective, back in 1985, I was 16 years old and this record (amongst those others mentioned above) dominated and drenched my life, so much so that I've been unable to return to it until now. I still marvel at the songwriting and amidst any of today's offerings, it more than hold's it's ground. In amongst The White Stripes, Eminem and Gareth Gates, I wonder how it sounds to 16 year old ears today? But this now, buy a guitar and be in black.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most influential and perfect records ever made.,
In 1985 the Reid Brothers emerged after years plotting away in their bedroom exactly how their band would look and sound. They wanted to take the 80's music scene on and destroy it with noise. They took every rock cliché - the shades, the leather, the attitudes and songs about motorbikes - and then blasted it back into relevance with the then radical notion of covering pop tunes with a hideous noise racket. Nowadays Psychocandy sounds conventional such is it's greatness.
The Jesus and Mary Chain took a lot of their blueprints from the Velvet Underground. They used the same simple drumbeats, the feedback and dark lyrics. Behind all the noise and feedback of every song on this album there lies a cracking simple pop tune worthy of the greatest 60's girl vocal group. This album is full of great moments, from the fuzzy melody of the opener Just Like Honey to the way Jim Reid could sing "She takes me back again, and I see something" and somehow make it rhyme. Every single track on this album is a classic, and this is the only album I've owned that I've never skipped a track on it. There is not one dull moment.
One small complaint I have is the presence of Some Candy Talking on this reissue. Some Candy Talking is a fantastic song but I don't really think it belongs here on Psychocandy, poping up halfway through as it does. Some Candy Talking was released as a single between Psychocandy and Darklands and it is much closer in tone to Darklands than Psychocandy. It doesn't fit on this album and it sticks out as a different style. It would have fitted much better on the Darklands reissue, or better still on Barbed Wire Kisses. The song interrupts the flow of the original album. I guess I'm just too used to the original tracklist and I'm nitpicking. Most people who haven't heard this before won't even notice.
This is very probably the best album ever made by anyone. It's influenced just about every indie band who've been around since whether directly or indirectly. It's one of those absolute classic albums that everybody should own and it's still my favourite album ever. Psychocandy manages to be both the noisiest AND poppiest album of all time all at once. Buy it and it will change your world.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy This before you buy anything else,
If God made music it probably wouldn't sound like this however I'm sure even the divine one would try to rip this off. The Marychain are possibly the most important indie band in the last 20 years and this was their launch pad. From the off the album winds its way around your soul speaking to you of your bad days; ; your good days and why it really does feel good to be down. Just like honey really does sound like it was recorded in a tin shed and the opening line "listen to the girl as she takes on half the world" sets the tone for the marychains assault on the musical world. If you plan to buy an indie album start here and then buy the rest of the marychain albums you really will do yourself a favour.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Words - BUY. THIS. ALBUM,
Released in 1985, I wore out the grooves of this album within 6 months, having played it every single day.
Each track has the ability to this day to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
This is as near to perfection as music gets - imagine Brian Wilson writing songs for the Ronettes , which are then covered by the Sex Pistols and remixed by the Velvet Underground.
It is hard to single out any standout tracks, but special mention must go to Never Understand, Just like Honey and Something's Wrong.
One tiny gripe - why bother putting Some Candy Talking on the CD? It was released some time after this album and does not really fit in. Those looking for the best version of this song should search out the version that was given away free with the NME, in early 1986 I think.
You are welcome to your mediocrity (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, anyone?), THIS is the Real Deal.
Anyway, just writing this review has made me want to have the hairs on the back of my neck stand up again...
5.0 out of 5 stars Best pop record of the 80s,
There are insufficient superlatives available to express my deep love for this record. It is quite possibly the very best debut, the coolest LP, the most fully realized vision, very best guitar rock but without any doubt it is the best pop record of the 80s. In terms of lyrics, music and overall song writing sensibilities it is perfect pop. Don't get me wrong this may not be the sweetest bubblegum but it sure beats everything else that decade had to offer.
Many reviewers mistakenly focus on the bands use of feedback on this record - don't be fooled there is real substance behind the noise. That substance is the perfect pop found on "Just like Honey", "You trip me up" and "Cut dead" - genuine teenage melancholy; it's beautiful. Without doubt there is an edgier side to the record found on the likes of "Living end", "Taste the floor" and "Inside me" but the band's pop sensibilities still run strong.
The record isn't a perfect album, it is essentially a collection of tracks that should have been released as 7 inch singles - in true respect to the golden age of popular music.
As a forty something male who is increasingly aware of his own mortality this record serves as a slightly distorted reminder of simpler heady times that still resonate as a blue print for what's cool. I am so happy that the JAMC have never been popular ( in the way of Quasis or Blurt) - it gives me an innate sense of being a genuinely cool curmudgeon.
5.0 out of 5 stars An 80's masterpiece.,
Along with The Smiths these guys are crowned as the savers of 'guitar music' of the 80's. Now everyone rants and raves about The Jesus & Mary Chain but most don't go further than 'they're cool' in way of an explanation as to why they like them, but I'll try and go further than that.
They are punk rock; the sound, the attitude and the live gigs, often played not facing the audience and ending in a riot after only a few songs, all make them unique hailing from an era of New Romantics and Synthpop. And they did guitars like no-one else before them, William made the songs squeal with a thick, reverb ridden, distorted racket. Underneath the layers of fuzz and noise though are absolutely perfect pop tunes, songs like Just Like Honey, Hardest Walk and Cindy wouldn't sound out of place on a daytime BBC radio show if they'd of just been striped of their guitar onslaught. Then with songs like Candy Talking it's already there, really perfect jangle pop (very much what Bobby Gillespie took from JAMC for the first Primal Scream album), these are songs that even my Mum likes, they are that nice to listen to.
Of course there's the heavier tracks as well, these may not appeal to those BBC 2 listeners, but to me the contrast makes the album. Motorbike orientated The Living End is a song that Alex Turner wishes he had the bollocks to write, full on filthy Rock 'n Roll the way it's meant to be done, songs like In A Hole aren't far behind and the ender It's So Hard with the fuzz turned up to a new level, where the guitar screech throughout the short, sharp 2 and a half minutes, but that's all it needs to get the point across.
By the end you know you have listened to something truly unique and that maybe no other band will make such a masterpiece in the same vein again*. The bench mark is up there now still in my mind with no other band yet to top it, it cannot be perfected as the originators perfected it themselves, and with only one record.
*Some may argue Loveless topped this, and in my mind it is a better album, but at the same time I put them in different leagues. My Bloody Valentine made beautiful, lovely dream-pop where as The Jesus & Mary Chain make all-out rock 'n roll. Despite similarities, I struggle to compare the two.
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