The Jesus and Mary Chain: Barbed Wire Kisses by Zoë HoweA touching story of kids in the music business, recalled by their adult selves. The Jesus and Mary Chain's debut is a decadent alt rock masterpiece of bubblegum pop' — Rolling Stone naming the band's debut album one of the best albums of all time. Get it read people' — Stuart Braithwaite, Mogwai. Musically, culturally and in terms of sheer attitude, The Jesus and Mary Chain stand alone. Their seminal debut album Psychocandy would change the course of popular music, and their iconic blend of psychotic white noise, darkly surreal lyrics and pop sensibility continues to enchant and confound. This is the fierce, frank and often funny tale of The Jesus and Mary Chain, told by the band members themselves, as well as their associates for the first time.
The Jesus And Mary Chain - Who Do You Love
The Jesus and Mary Chain 'should be up there with the Sex Pistols'
With help from Zoe Howe's newly published history of the band - bunking the biographical trend, pleasingly filled more with anecdotes than footnotes - Hayley Scott unfurls the mystique of the Mary Chain from inception to present day. Instantly drawn to the imperious red and black image of the Reid brothers that adorns the record sleeve, it was the frenetic, hazy dissonance of the Jesus and Mary Chain's Psychocandy that cultivated me, discovering a new-found reverence for music during one of my formative moments in life. The copy of Smash Hits I'd rush to my local newsagents for every week was soon replaced by the seemingly cooler, more rebellious NME. And in an era which thrives on our proclivity for the past, it would be easy to denounce the Mary Chain for cashing in on the perpetual stream of 80s nostalgia: the news of a brief tour which will see the band play Psychocandy in full in November was announced only last week, suitably followed by the news that Alan McGee would revive Creation management and sign the Mary Chain once more. But in Barbed Wire Kisses , the new and long-awaited biography of the Jesus and Mary Chain, Zoe Howe echoes a sentiment that I've always reiterated myself: this band are every bit as vital and relevant today, and though they've never been averse to striving for mainstream success - and certainly never discouraged by fame - the Mary Chain remained defiantly anti-celebrity, staying true to themselves during an era of excess, and as Howe rightly identifies, 'in a current culture of disposability, short attention spans and cynical TV 'talent shows, it's arguable we need them even more. It begins with the early days of their inception as two brothers, William and Jim Reid, living in the less than inspiring, humdrum surroundings of Scotland's first new town East Kilbride. Holed up in their bedrooms, they would obsess over music, TV and books.
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The Jesus and Mary Chain - Don't Ever Change
It was released on 18 April by Blanco y Negro Records. The album contains singles, B-sides and rare tracks. Throughout the s the band was known for their prodigious output in these formats, often in limited editions which quickly went out of print. This album collects many of those releases spanning the band's career up to that point. The title comes from a line in the song "Cherry Came Too" from the Darklands album.
The Jesus And Mary Chain has spent its life cultivating mystery, crafting sweet pop songs that are shrouded in spiky dissonance, delivered behind shadows of swooping hair, Ray-Bans, and black leather. The band has worked studiously hard to avoid looking vulnerable and therefore uncool, from a carefully anti-choreographed stage presence that found the members drunkenly crashing into each other, if moving at all, to interviews where brothers Jim and William Reid hid behind lies and pointed barbs specifically crafted to provoke. Part of the problem is that William Reid, guitarist and chief songwriter behind so many tunes, simply declined to participate. But as much as Jim occasionally feels like sharing, and as wittily pithy as he remains, his is still only half the story. Together they create an oral history of the group that covers more than three decades of Mary Chain activity, from its first, notoriously brief, fully inebriated gigs through its recent reunion tours. But aside from the occasional lament from a now-sober Jim Reid, eventually, inevitably the book becomes a litany of war stories—a series of anecdotes about the Reids being tossed out of this or that club or upsetting this or that radio or TV show, mostly due to their drunken antics and needling, uncompromising sound. In the meantime, the songs—their compositions, inspirations, and recordings—are barely touched on, with every album post- Darklands getting increasingly shorter shrift.