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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 14 July 2006
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
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on 18 December 2005
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.
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on 30 January 2001
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.
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on 3 April 2003
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.
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on 27 June 2003
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.
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on 21 October 2014
About halfway through me playing this album, the other half came in: "What on earth's this? It's just a load of feedback." Er, yes, that's the point. The feedback-drenched equivalent of the chainsaw as a musical instrument, until you burrow beneath the monotone wall-of-noise surface to the melodies and well-hidden commercial touches. The Velvet Underground and Joy Division influences are obvious, but JMC managed to mould these into the antidote to much of what was ghastly about over-produced, glossy, early synth-based '80s music. An acquired taste, certainly, but rarely has so much raw energy been so effectively packaged.
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on 28 February 2013
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.
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on 26 August 2002
In the beginning, there was feedback. Two brothers from Glasgow discovered the power behind it and decided to harness it to benefit all mankind. They wrote a song titled 'Upside Down' and with that, they left a legend...
...The aptly named 'Psychocandy' was the first album from the Jesus And Mary Chain and the most original album ever to have emerged from Scotland. They created an indescribably wonderous sound like no other, which few have attempted to copy.
Anyone who has heard the album's singles: The beautiful 'Just Like Honey', the sweet, sweet 'Some Candy Talking', the whirlwind like 'Never Understand' and the thunderous 'You Trip Me Up' have only scratched the surface of this classic debut. Great album tracks are the true heart of this album. No one will ever write a song as heavy as 'Taste The Floor', or as exciting and adrenaline-pumped as 'The Living End' again.
Loved by magazines and alternative music types alike, this album was a milestone in more than just the Rock'n'Roll genre, but music itself! It is as essential a purchase as Jeff Buckley's 'Grace' or The Super Furry Animals 'Radiator'.
Take it with two hedex and review in the morning.
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on 29 November 2003
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...
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on 30 November 2001
Everything you need to know about the group is captured in the genius polarity of the title'Psychocandy'. Not since the Velvets have the extremeties of relationships-mental knives and entwined tongues, rage and tenderness-been imploded quite so magnificently as in the sound and vision of the unChained. It all fits.
William's re-fused guitar mutilated by electric shocks and screaming streams of white-noise-consciousness, Gillespie and Hart's hollow echo of lost rhythmic innocence, while between the sonic states of heaven and hell Jim Reid murmurs the joy and hate of falling in and out of love with others and himself.
Leather's caress, being a plastic toy, feeling soul clean, the eroticism of motorbikes, walking from A to B just to see, this is a sexy dream of a record. A wonderful soundtrack for romantics everywhere. The kiss in the fist.
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