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This review is from: 21 Singles (Audio CD)
21 singles, 20 of them ace and only one duff ('Rollercoaster'). Just how great were The Jesus And Mary Chain? Has there ever been a band that so perfectly welded noise and melody?
This blistering compilation captures their snotty inception, their rancorous demise and all points in-between. The first 3 tracks still sound incendiary, erupting from the speakers with squealing feedback and pounding drums and yet, strip 'You Trip Me Up' down to acoustic guitars as the band did on a B side, and you can see the delicate melody at its heart.
The tone changes with 'Just Like Honey' and 'Some Candy Talking' - Velvet Underground-influenced ballads oozing dreamy sexiness. 'April Skies' and 'Happy When It Rains' are classic, chugging pop songs with memorable hooks. 'Sidewalking' is different again, built around a brilliant, twangy T-Rex guitar sound.
Other highlights include the scuzzy shuffle and nihilistic profanities of 'Reverence' - "I wanna die just like Jesus Christ/I wanna die on a bed of spikes", the gorgeous duet with William Reid's ex-squeeze, Hope Sandoval, on the regretful 'Sometimes Always', and the huge, bastardised Bo Diddley riff on one of their last records, 'Cracking Up.'
'I Hate Rock'n'Roll', from 1995, showed the band could still press the button marked 'excess' late in their career, its scathing lyrics and evil guitar break cocking a snoot at radio controllers and TV producers who rarely ventured near JAMC.
The Smiths were the best POP band of the '80s, The Jesus And Mary Chain the best ROCK.