Thursday, 14 July 2011

#442 - "Darklands" - The Jesus And Mary Chain

Released On:  Blanco y Negro, 1987

In the early part of their career, Scotland's Jesus and Mary Chain were synonymous with epic violence; 20-minute, audience-baiting sets followed by near-riots were quite common, with the band claiming it was "art as terrorism".  They were also synonymous with feedback-slathered noise-pop, where classic pop melodies were buried under screaming guitar noise (something many modern artists - Wavves, Times New Viking, Eat Skull - seem hellbent on emulating).  By Darklands both of those things were virtually gone; the band's inability to get gigs in the UK for most of 1985 had ended the most flagrant acts of artistic terrorism and the feedback had been dialed back to a much more accessible level.  Also gone was drummer Bobby Gillespie, who had gone on to form Primal Scream and was replaced by a drum machine.  The result is much more of a classic pop album than it is a pillar of the post-punk 80s; think of a volumed-up Beach Boys on a Velvet Underground bender through Scotland.  Anyone who claims to dislike this album simply has not loved or drank enough.

Despite the end to the violent reputation, 1987 did hold one notorious incident for the band.  They played a show at the Guvernment in Toronto (then known as the RPM Nightclub) during which singer Jim Reid attacked two audience members with his microphone stand.  I'm sure the night spent in a Toronto jail was fun and educational.

Where You'd Know It From:  Being British in the 80s, when it went to #5 (although it scored a berth at *ahem* #167 in the US).



Track Listing:
1.  Darklands (5:29)
2.  Deep One Perfect Morning (2:43)
3.  Happy When It Rains (3:36)
4.  Down On Me (2:36)
5.  Nine Million Rainy Days (4:29)
6.  April Skies (4:00)
7.  Fall (2:28)
8.  Cherry Came Too (3:06)
9.  On The Wall (5:05)
10.  About You (2:33)


("Happy When It Rains")

("April Skies")


  1. I dig vids that are the vinyl getting played and nothing else. The anticipation when the needle swings over to the disc...

  2. The new Arctic Monkeys employs the same tactic. Hey, when something works...