THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN are a Scottish alternative rock band formed
East Kilbride in 1983. The band revolves around the songwriting
partnership of brothers Jim and William Reid . After signing to
Creation Records , they released their first single
"Upside Down" in 1984. Their debut album
* 1 Biography
* 1.1 Early years
* 2 Discography
* 3 Members
* 3.1 Timeline
* 4 Cultural references * 5 References * 6 External links
Brothers Jim and William Reid had been inspired to form a band as far
back as 1977, having heard groups of the British punk scene; in the
early 1980s they formed their own. William stated, "It was perfect
timing because there weren't any guitar bands. Everybody was making
this electronic pop music." Before forming the band, the brothers had
spent five years on the dole , during which they wrote and recorded
songs at home and worked out the sound and image of the band.
Originally called The Poppy Seeds, and then Death of Joey, they
initially told journalists that they had taken their eventual name
from a line in a
Struggling to get gigs, the band took to turning up at venues
claiming to be the support band, playing their short set and making a
quick exit. After failing to generate any interest from concert
promoters and record labels in Scotland, the band relocated to Fulham
, London, in May 1984, and soon afterwards their demo tape was passed
to fellow Scot
Alan McGee by
Bobby Gillespie . Subsequently, McGee
promoted a gig for the band at the Living Room in London in June 1984.
On the strength of hearing the band sound check, McGee signed them to
Creation Records label on a one-off deal, and McGee also became
the band's manager. The debut single, "
Dalglish left in November 1984 after a dispute over money and was
replaced shortly afterwards by
Bobby Gillespie who had also formed
Primal Scream two years earlier in 1982. In December the band were
arrested for possession of amphetamines , and
Jim Reid also confessed
Playing in front of small audiences, during early shows the Mary Chain performed very short gigs, typically fuelled by amphetamines and lasting around 20 minutes, and played with their backs to the audience, refusing to speak to them. In late December 1984, the band performed as part of the ICA Rock Week. During their performance, bottles were thrown on stage, with press reports exaggerating events and claiming that there had been a riot, and national newspaper The Sun running a story on the band concentrating on violence and drugs, the band attracting the tag "The new Sex Pistols". This led several local councils to ban the band from performing in their area.
"Never Understand" "Never Understand" combines Beach Boys melodies with the distortion of White Light/White Heat
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The success of "
Eager to avoid the violence of earlier gigs and to give an
opportunity for their songs to be heard without distortion and
feedback, the band planned to perform several unannounced acoustic
Sonic Youth , but this was abandoned when the plans
were leaked. Their debut album
When the band signed to WEA subsidiary Blanco y Negro in January 1985, there were stories reporting that they had stolen money from managing Director Rob Dickens's jacket and destroyed his office, all untrue but seen as good publicity by manager McGee. In a performance on Belgian television in March 1985, the band did smash the set and the audio equipment, but this was at the request of the TV producer. Such behaviour became expected of the band and many shows culminated with the Reids trashing their equipment, which was often followed by the audience throwing projectiles onto the stage and damaging equipment.
On 15 March 1985, the
After the success of the album in the UK, the band embarked on a tour of the United States in late 1985 and 1986, followed by a tour of Japan. On returning to the UK they toured the UK, this time without the trouble that had marred earlier performances. The band revived their acoustic intentions with a stripped-down session for John Peel in November 1985, which included "Psychocandy", the original album title track that was omitted from the release, and "Some Candy Talking", a song which they had been performing for over a year, but had left off the album. A second version of "Some Candy Talking" was issued on a free EP issued with the NME in January 1986, and the song was released as the band's next single in July. It reached number thirteen in the UK Singles Chart , but attracted controversy when BBC Radio 1 DJ Mike Smith decided that the song was a paean to illegal drugs (denied by the band at the time, but admitted by William a year later) and convinced the station to ban it from being played.
DARKLANDS AND AUTOMATIC
In September 1986, the band parted ways with manager Alan McGee, and came close to splitting up later in the year, with Jim Reid suffering from "exhaustion". John Moore had become an established member, but moved to rhythm guitar, with former Redskins member Martin Hewes joining the band briefly (although he strongly denies ever joining) and former Dead Can Dance percussionist James Pinker taking over on drums. Blanco y Negro manager Geoff Travis took over management duties, and the band returned in December with two gigs at the National Ballroom in Kilburn , where they premiered new songs including "April Skies" and "Don't Get Hit". Early in 1987, they entered the studio to record their second album. The first fruits of these sessions were released on the "April Skies" single in April, which saw the band have their first top ten hit. The Beach Boys influence was evident on the B-side, which included "Kill Surf City", a reworking of Brian Wilson's "Surf City". The various formats released also included a cover of Bo Diddley 's "Who Do You Love?", a tribute to him with " Bo Diddley is Jesus", and a live version of Can 's "Mushroom ". "Happy When It Rains" was the second pre-album single, strongly influenced by Smokey Robinson 's "My Girl", but it failed to match the success of "April Skies", only reaching number twenty-five. The band set out on another UK tour, this time with sets stretching to 45 minutes, although to a mixed reaction from the music press. They toured without a drummer, instead using a drum machine.
The band's second album, Darklands , was released during the tour, in September, described by writer Steve Taylor as "the definitive blend of light and shade". Featuring a more melodic sound, the album was recorded almost entirely by the Reids themselves, replacing live drums with a drum machine, and received overwhelmingly positive reviews by the British music press. The album's title track was released as a single in October, and the band were thrown off the ITV music show The Roxy when they failed to mime well enough to it.
The band's dangerous reputation culminated at a gig at the RPM club in Toronto in November 1987, when after being heckled throughout the gig by a group in the audience, Jim Reid thrust his microphone stand towards them, hitting one on the head and slashing another on the arm. Jim was arrested and spent a night in jail, before being bailed to return the following February. He was subsequently given an absolute discharge after agreeing to give around £500 to a Salvation Army charity and apologise to the complainants.
With the court case hanging over the band, they compiled a collection of B-sides and rarities for release in April 1988 as Barbed Wire Kisses . They also selected live tracks from a Detroit concert the previous November for release while they planned further studio work. Dave Evans, former Mary Chain soundman and bass player with Biff Bang Pow! (which also featured Alan McGee and Dick Green of Creation Records) and Richard Thomas, were recruited in early 1988 to replace Moore, who formed John Moore and the Expressway, and Pinker. Their next release was the new recording "Sidewalking", released in March 1988, and backed by some the live tracks, followed a month later by Barbed Wire Kisses. Later that year, they did a remix for the single "Birthday " by The Sugarcubes .
The band's third studio album Automatic was released in October 1989, by which time Evans had been replaced by Ben Lurie . Boasting heavy use of synthesized bass and keyboards , the album was not received quite as well as its predecessors. It contained the singles "Head On " and "Blues From A Gun". By this time, the violence that was originally associated with the band was practically non-existent and the Reid brothers were less antagonistic and aggressive in general. The Rollercoaster EP (August 1990) would be their last release for over a year, the band undertaking a tour of the same name with My Bloody Valentine , Dinosaur Jr. and Blur .
Douglas Hart had moonlighted with the Acid Angels in 1988, and left
the band in 1991, to have a career in film making, before picking up
his bass again in 2006, playing with the
Sian Alice Group
The brothers bought their own recording studio in 1991 in Elephant &
South London , which they dubbed The Drugstore, and they
returned in February 1992 with the first fruits of the new studio,
their next single, "Reverence", which gave them their biggest hit
single in almost five years, reaching No. 10 in the UK. Spitting
feedback and punk rock bile in every direction, the track was banned
from being played on
BBC Radio 1
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Immediately after the split, William Reid went solo as Lazycame —having already released a solo EP in April 1998—and Jim Reid founded Freeheat along with Lurie and ex-Gun Club bassist Romi Mori and Earl Brutus drummer Nick Sanderson , although neither act received much attention or found any success. In October 2005, it was announced that the Reids were reunited; Jim Reid's track "Song For A Secret" a duet with his wife Julie Barber, was released as a single, paired up with Sister Vanilla's "Can't Stop The Rock", which was written and produced by William Reid and the brothers' younger sibling, Linda. The single was released by Transistor Records on 17 October. Jim Reid promoted his side of the single with a very rare solo gig at London's Sonic Cathedral club on John Peel Day, Thursday 13 October 2005. He finished this rare live appearance with a performance of the early Mary Chain classic "Never Understand". Jim Reid also performed new material at low-key gigs with a new band comprising Phil King on guitar, Loz Colbert (Ride ) on drums and bassist Mark Crozer (International Jetsetters).
In 2006 five albums were reissued through
Rhino Records :
Psychocandy, Darklands, Automatic,
Honey's Dead and Stoned & Dethroned
on 11 July 2006. Each album was released with a
They performed at Coachella 2007 in April. During their 27 April 2007 main-stage performance, they were joined onstage for the song "Just Like Honey" by actress Scarlett Johansson (the actress in Lost in Translation which featured the song). At the warm up gig on 26 April 2007, in Pomona, California , they were instead joined by Annie Hardy of Giant Drag. The band's first UK performance since reforming was at the Meltdown festival in June .
In an interview to Uncut magazine,
Jim Reid announced that a new
album by the band was in the works. In March 2008, the band released
a studio recording of "All Things Must Pass" on the soundtrack album
In 2010, a greatest hits album, Upside Down: The Best of The Jesus
and Mary Chain , was released via Music Club Deluxe. In 2012, between
March and September, the band went back on tour with a series of dates
through North America, which also included their very first gigs in
China in May. It was confirmed through the band's official website
that John Moore will be returning on guitar, while Fountains of Wayne
drummer Brian Young confirmed via Twitter that he would be replacing
Loz Colbert. The
In 2013, it was announced that a full-discography vinyl box set,
The Complete Vinyl Collection , would be released for the
band's 30th anniversary, via Demon Music Group. In March 2014 the
band signed back to
Alan McGee and became the first artists to sign to
the newly reformed
Creation Management . They announced November 2014
dates in the UK to debut the performance of
In September 2015, Jim Reid announced that the band were recording their first studio album since 1998. The album titled Damage and Joy was produced by Youth and released on 24 March 2017.
On August 24, 2017, Bobby Gillespie joined the band on drums for three songs during their performance at Festival Milar de Mouros in Portugal.
Main article: The
They were referenced in Season 24, Episode 22 of the
Their song "
Just Like Honey " from
They were referenced by their acronym J.A.M.C. by the band Death Cab
for Cutie in the song "
We Looked Like Giants " from their fourth
Jimmy Eat World also referred to the
band and their third album ("The DJ never has it, J.A.M.C. Automatic")
in the lyrics of "The Authority Song" from their fourth album Bleed
American . In addition,
* ^ A B C D Sladeckova, Olga (10 August 2002). "