22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
One word - 'Essential',
This review is from: Upside Down: The Best Of (Audio CD)
I've got to get right to the point here: This is essential listening for any proper music fan, especially fans of Rock music. I'm not going to list all the influences on The Jesus And Mary Chain's music as there are too many to mention. The band were totally music obsessed, to the point where they spent five years on the dole, sat in their bedroom crafting their genius plan - a combination of pop and chaotic noise - and stockpiled songs onto a 4 track. To give people a quick idea of the bands early sound think; the Ronettes, the Ramones, the previously mentioned Beach Boys and Velvet Underground, a twist of Einsturzende Neubauten and variation of Phil Spector treatment, and you could be close.
Even though the JAMC had an obvious impact on the `Shoegaze scene' I wouldn't really put this band in the same category because I feel they had so much more to offer than just fuzzy distortion and feedback. Much of the criticism of the band is that they didn't often move away from a formula of 3 chords and their trademark guitar noise, but whenever they did make a different record (i.e. Stoned & Dethroned) they got panned for that too! So they really couldn't win either way but what makes this band so special is that they stuck to their guns, did things their own way, and were completely committed to their cause - to make brilliant records!
So... If you're not already accustomed to the band's sound you could be put off by the sheer noise on much of this album, but after a couple of listens the pop melodies and structures will shine through, showing how well the band understood both pop music and the music made by their rock'n'roll predecessors. Also, I will mention that I can't really recommended `Upside Down' to people who worship at the altar of the `guitar', or love Steve Vai, because this band were never technically minded and often sound like they're bashing their guitars against amps (which they probably did). However, if you love chugging power chords, bucket loads of overdrive distortion and reverb, place your order now!!!! I must stress though that the whole album isn't full on noise and there are much lighter moments on tracks like 'God Help Me', 'New York City' and `Drop' (also covered by Hope Sandoval.)
This compilation is a fantastic introduction for new listeners and covers most of their singles, a handful of tracks from each album and a few B-sides. It also contains `All Things Must Pass' from the series `Heroes' and a previously unavailable song (on any JAMC record) `45rpm'. Basically what you've got here is wall to wall brilliant songs and I couldn't pick out a weak track even if I tried, but I am a huge fan of the band so I suppose that's just me. For today's music listeners, this album will be of particular interest to people who like the Ravenottes, A Place To Bury Strangers and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
If you missed out on the previous '21 Singles' or can't afford `The Negative Power Of Thinking' get this because it really does what it says on the tin, it's the best stuff on one album. It's missing a couple of other classic songs, `Taste Of Cindy' and `Snakerdriver', so it's not completely perfect but almost! If I had to make one bad comment about The Jesus And Mary Chain, it's that THEY DIDN'T MAKE ENOUGH RECORDS!!!!!!!!!!!!