The Jesus And Mary Chain – Glastonbury 2022 – Recorded June 24, 2022 – BBC 6 Music –
The Jesus And Mary Chain – live at Glastonbury this past weekend. Recorded by BBC 6 Music and broadcast live on June 24, 2022.
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 Bing Crosby film, although six months later they admitted that this was not true. Other accounts suggest that the name derived from an offer on a breakfast cereal packet, where customers could send off for a gold Jesus & Mary chain.
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 his Creation Records label on a one-off deal, and McGee also became the band’s manager. Their debut single, “Upside Down”, was recorded in October and released in November that year. The sessions were produced by Joe Foster, but McGee, unsatisfied with Foster’s work, remixed the A-side, although the B-side, a cover version of Syd Barrett’s “Vegetable Man”, remained credited to Foster. The band were gaining increasing attention from the music press at this time with Neil Taylor of the NME describing them as “the best band in the world“.
Following the release of the 1995 compilation Hate Rock ‘N’ Roll, the Mary Chain parted ways with Blanco y Negro, their record label of over a decade, and re-signed to their original label Creation Records, and Sub Pop in America. The band now included former Lush bassist Phil King. They then recorded 1998’s Munki album, which would turn out to be their last before splitting the following year. Munki was commercially the least successful album the band released, peaking at number forty-seven in the UK Album Chart. The album featured the Reid’s sister Linda, who sang on the track “Mo Tucker” as well as vocals from Hope Sandoval on “Perfume”.
Though it was not until October 1999 that the split was made official, on 12 September 1998, William had a falling out in the tour bus with guitarist Ben Lurie before they were to play a sold out performance at the famous Los Angeles House of Blues. Jim appeared onstage apparently drunk and barely able to stand or sing. William walked offstage about 15 minutes into their set, and the show ended. The audience was later refunded the price of their tickets. The band finished up their U.S. and Japanese dates without William, but from that point, it was clear that the band was at its end.
The end only lasted a few years before reuniting again in 2007.
In June 2021, the band sued Warner Music Group for control of their debut album Psychocandy, and later albums, and seeking $2.55 million in damages. Under Section 203 of the United States’ Copyright Act of 1976, artists may reclaim the rights to their recordings after 35 years, provided that they serve timely and proper notice upon the current record label.
In case you missed them last week – here’s a chance to get caught up. Crank it up and feel free to run amok.
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