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I had trouble but I found my star
I found myself an electric guitar
Well I was some kind of messed up kid
Now look what you did
Look what you did
You made me, yeah
You make me, yeah

Well I'm not preaching or making a case
I'm not trying to make the world a better place
Well I ain't evil, but I ain't good
I did what I could
I did what I could
To save me, yeah
To save me, yeah


I love rock'n roll / Munki (1998)
(00:52 sec. - Real Audio soundclip)
William Reid (left) and Jim Reid (right), the rockin' heart of Jesus and Mary Chain

..... Last update : Nov. 15th 2000 a personal fanpage


the brothers William and Jim Reid .
My all time favorites, also personally known as the best band in the world.

Boy, the way their melodies stand so fragile in the midst of those violent guitars... It's so sensual.
They're the best.

I like beautiful things and this band is extremely good in writing beautiful melodies. Although the instruments are in general noisy, the singing that goes along is cool as hell.
I think it's this combination that attracts me. And variation. They have songs hidden in noisy walls of sound and they have those simple fragile acoustic popsongs. I'm a sucker for both of them.
I'm happy.

All soundclips are in Real Audio format. Quality may differ and is generally acceptable - though never as good as CD or MP3 music.

Psychocandy (1985) .
'Just like honey' was the first Jesus & Mary Chain song I ever heard, one evening back in '85.
I liked it immediately. Luckily I was taping that evening a complete radio show, so I could listen over and over and over again to this song.
I liked these cool warm voices, the careful squealing guitars, the drums in control and the girlie backing vocals, it sounded a little bit like X-mas. Peace for everyone and stuff...
Some days later I taped a second album track 'Sowing seeds'. This song was just as interesting as the first one.

A great band had entered my life.

Listen to the girl
as she takes on half the world
moving up and so alive
in her honey dripping beehive
it's good, so good, it's so good
so good
. play... . Just like honey
Psychocandy (1985)
00:35 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. Great opening.

Love these voices.
Just love these voices.


After reading several hot reviews I wanted to buy the forthcoming album 'Psychocandy', but as so many other young students I had a never ending financial problem.
I listened to the album in the record store and I had to discover, most other songs where pretty pretty rough.
So... it was a great band, but not yet worth my little money.

. play... . The hardest walk
Psychocandy (1985)
00:37 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. Hard music and a melody, what more do you need? .

the hardest walk you could ever take
is the walk you take from A to B
to C

I walk
oh honey I talk
don't want you to want me
don't want you to need me

Years later when the band already had seduced me into buying other J&MC albums, I bought 'Psychocandy' too.
It's rough indeed, many songs are buried under squealing guitars and rocking drums, but on every song the melody survives and it's those melodies that make this band so great.

'My little underground', 'Never understand', 'The hardest walk' and many more are just rough musical diamonds.
'Rough' and 'musical' are the keywords here.

Darklands (1987) .
One year later 'Darklands' showed up.
It was the big breakthrough.
The band had discovered how to give their songs a more polished sound. Now their music was perfect.
And it paid off.
The band got themselves a big reputation with this album. It got good reviews everywhere and it was one of the best album released that year. It was not as rough and noisy as 'Psychocandy', it sounded more polished but still rough and heavy enough to be cool.

The first single 'April skies' knocked me right off of my feet. They did it again.
After 'Just like honey' made it to the top of my personal charts, 'April skies' followed without any hesitation. This was real music, music as it was supposed to be.

Hey honey what you trying to say
as I stand here
don't you walk away
and the world comes tumbling down
hand in hand in a violent life
making love on the edge of a knife
and the world comes tumbling down
and it's hard
for me to say
and it's hard
for me to stay
I'm going down
to be by myself
. play... . April skies
Darklands (1987)
00:45 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. Those thrilling and plugging and vivid guitars, those coooooooool melancholic voices, it's a super striking rocksong. .

The alternative music press went hysterical on this new album, as I can remember especially on the title-track 'Darklands', a more balanced rocksong appealing to older folks.

I'm going to the darklands
to talk in rhyme
with my chaotic soul
as sure as life means nothing
and all things end in nothing
and heaven I think
is too close to hell
. play... . Darklands
Darklands (1987)
00:39 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. Cool enough for the music press. .

The second single 'Happy when it rains' was somewhat more explosive.
The lyrics fitted my twisted and confused heart (the pink thing always lost deep inside of me) extremely well. It provided a great soundtrack for my wild teenager-days.

. play... . Happy when it rains
Darklands (1987)
00:45 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

things vaporize and rise to the sky

And we tried so hard
and we looked so good
and we lived our lives in black
but something about you felt like pain
you were my sunny day rain
you were the clouds in the sky
you were the darkest sky
but your lips spoke gold
and honey
that's why I'm happy when it rains

This time I wanted to buy the album and after some saving I could buy my first J&MC album.
We (me and all the dark creatures in my room) feasted for days and days and days.

It contained ten songs, ten beautiful songs. Some songs featured heavy guitars like 'Down on me', others had great melodies like 'Cherry came too' and others were pretty sober (compared to traditional J&MC-songs at that time) like 'Nine million rainy days' (gorgeous song) and a cute 'About you'.

. play... . About you
Darklands (1987)
00:45 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. Romance in the summer rain, we all like it, no? .

there's something warm about the rain
there's something warm
there's something warm
there's something warm
in everything
I know there's something good
there's something good
about you
about you

I was so proud of this album, and I could hardly stop bragging about it.
I had discovered my first cool-as-ice music gods, definitely a change from Olivia Newton John (with all respect).
I was growing up!

. Barbed wire kisses (1988)
In a very short time 'Barbed wire kisses (B-sides and more)' followed.
This album contained B-sides, covers, try-outs and more. It carried a label 'expect to pay as little as possible' and indeed, it was not that expensive. I could buy it without putting up a long term economical plan.
The album was just a collection of left-overs (hence the low price tag). This means in general lesser great songs, the songs that never made it to other albums. Well, the press liked it and one reviewer in a popular mag put it this way: this bands garbage is even better then a lot of other bands diamonds.
He was right.

'Don't ever change', a song that was rumored to be on 'Darklands' graced as a first single and we (me and all the girls in my dreams this time) adored this calm sensitive rocking love song.

Well I guessed
I never saw love in that way
Well I guessed everything
always ends that way
Oh I guess I should have tried
to make her stay
Keep on coming
Keep on coming
. play... . Don't ever change
Barbed wire kisses (1988)
00:39 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

I found 16 more beautiful songs, among them great covers like 'Surfin' USA' and 'Who do you love'. They revealed the bands influences, the boys liked the Beach Boys and Bo Diddley.

Freaking freaking freaking hot is 'Sidewalking' with those gorgeous ass-kicking drums and determined drivin' guitars. This song is still one of my favorites.
Those cool voices again...
Wow man!

. play... . Sidewalking
Barbed wire kisses (1988)
00:33 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

Chilled to the bone
and five miles to home
I'm messing in the dark
and feeling all alone
I got ice in my fire
got the heat in my wire
inject a little heat
I'm burning up the tires



It kicks ass.
It still rages every now and then through my little dark room, kicking energy around. What else could I wish for (besides eternal great sex)?

A part I find irresistible is the 'Surfin' USA' cover followed immediately by 'Everything's alright when you're down'.
The way this song kicks in right after the fading guitars of 'Surfin' USA' is like a thunderstorm. A heavenly melody and rockin' guitars and the message that everything is alright when you're down.
Listen to this when you're feeling down, it's like an aspirin the size of the Empire State Building.
Heyhey hey.

you gotta run
you gotta stay
cause I'll be screaming to have my way
I got my head in the gutter
and it looks as if it's there gonna stay

I... just can't take it
I... don't you say it
I... I can't take it

I... fuck me down now
I... run me down now

. play... . Everything's alright when you're down
Barbed wire kisses (1988)
00:37 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

'Happy place' and 'On the wall (remixed)' embody the perfect pop song and 'Taste of Cindy' is the fragile acoustic bit to cherish.

Unlike the mole
I'm not in a hole
And I can't see anyway
Just like a doll
I'm one feet tall
and dolls can't see anyway


. play... . On the wall
Barbed wire kisses (1988)
00:45 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

Automatic (1989) .

And then there was 'Automatic'.
I bought the album and got disappointed. I didn't like it.
It was different, it was not as previous albums. There still was a lot of guitar noise, but it was different. On earlier albums it was a dark noise, this time it was a more mechanical noise, a cold noise.
But it was my favorite band and I had paid for the album so I listened a few times to it.
And gradually it got deeper under my skin. It became my most favorite album of all time. Well, for the next three years anyway.

Now I find it hard to believe I didn't like 'Here comes Alice' (openingstrack) right away. It sounds perfect.

. play... . Here comes Alice
Automatic (1989)
00:37 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

you got the shakes
and it's gonna get worse
don't you know
it's all a part of the curse

She's got the hit
that takes you into space
suck mud and make a deal
for that taste
you got nothing
but you're riding on a star
you couldn't guess
that she could take you that far

I got used to this new speedy rock sound and... I adored it.
In fact, I got to like it a lot more then all previous J&MC material. 'Blues from a gun', 'Between planets' and 'Coast to coast' became big favorite songs of mine. I could play them time after time after time and not one single soul ever complained.

. play... . Coast to coast
Automatic (1989)
00:39 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

feels like God in heaven's
gone insane

I got a cat scratch engine
takes me on the road
wheels get rolling
back to the world I know
takes me just as far
as I can go

I got my senses
strung out to the sky
that desert city's got me
reaching high

In fact, all songs became big favorites except 'UV-ray' and 'Gimme hell', they're the more experimental kind and they don't have this clean speedy drive other songs have.

Years later I bought the CD version just to discover 2 extra tracks, one of them a major surprise.
'Drop' is a simple astonishing and acoustic love song that's so beautiful... (sigh)... it gets a good grip on you.

The way you drop is like a stone
making out you're flying
but you've just been thrown

Till kingdom comes
and through bitten tongues
these eyes get stung
with every curse that's sung

These twisted times
can't compare to mine
and heaven knows where loving goes

. play... . Drop
Automatic (1989)
00:48 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

This album became my favorite album for years.
Even the Pixies covered one of the tracks ('Head on') on one of their albums, revealing the fact that J&MC in their turn had become an influential band.

I know the album is hard to find but take the risk and buy or steal it if you can. Give it time and find it highly rewarding.

In 1990 the band released the 'Rollercoaster-EP', containing 4 songs.
'Rollercoaster' and 'Silverblade' are fine songs reminiscent to the material on the previous 'Automatic' album, but the 4th song 'Tower of song' was pure gold.
It's brilliant.
I even liked it better than Leonard Cohens original version, which I liked too.

Well my friends are gone
my hair is gray
and I ache in all the places
where I used to play
and I'm crazy for love
but I'm not coming on
I'm just paying my rent every day
in the tower of song
. play... . Tower of song
Rollercoaster EP (1990)
00:35 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

The reverberating guitars and the dragging voices do it again.

. Honey's dead (1990)
Three years 'Honey's dead' made it to the shops.
This album has some great songs, but also for the first time some lesser songs.
It had to happen once.
Even after playing the album several times, there are still some songs that don't grab my attention or anything else for the matter and dully pass me by.
But that's my opinion. It's my least favorite J&MC album.

Most fans went nuts on 'Reverence', the first single from this album and one that became a true J&MC classic.
If the band plays this song on gigs, the crowd usually gets wild.
Okay, it's very easy to sing along and it has cool lyrics, but the guitar drive doesn't exactly keep me awake at night.

. play... . Reverence
Honey's dead (1992)
00:31 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

I wanna die just like Jesus Christ
I wanna die on a bed of spikes
I wanna die to see paradise
I wanna die just like Jesus Christ

Only two songs I really really like : 'Good for my soul' and 'Far gone and out' because they sound more inspiring.
These are high quality pop songs with great melodies showing the poppy side of the band and making most music in pop charts looking like crap.

I can't explain
exactly what I'm doing
standing in the rain
don't do it for fun
do it if you feel it
kiss it on the tongue
I'm taking my thoughts
to a railway station
put 'em on a train
just to see what's coming back
what's coming back
it's coming like a heart attack
. play... . Far gone and out
Honey's dead (1992)
00:37 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

Other tracks were okay, though not that brilliant nor sharp.
For example the second track on the album being 'Teenage lust' has some explicit lyrics but the music doesn't sound as vivid as on previous albums.

Little skinny girl
she's doing it for the first time
little skinny girl
she's doing it and it feels fine
. play... . Teenage lust
Honey's dead (1992)
00:35 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

However, as a fan, I bought all CD singles because usually they contained some unreleased exotic material.
The single 'Almost gold' (finally a good single-choice) featured such a hidden treasure being 'Reverberation' (turned out to be once more a cover), a fine small ass kicking pop-song with some great guitar-chords hidden in it.

. Sound of Speed (1993)
Pretty soon another album was released, again a compilation of B-sides and more.
The sound of speed' contained all the rare B-sides I collected over the years and luckily some new numbers. Even more, one day I discovered in a big record store the Japanese import version of this album, which had a slightly different tracklist. It was quite expensive but I bought it without any hesitation.
Those few new tracks 'I'm glad I never', 'Terminal beach' and 'Subway' are all great songs (amongst the better ones in fact) and I wonder why they're not on the European version.

. play... . Subway
The sound of speed
(Japanese version) (1992)
00:37 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

Some kinda people don't understand
I gotta turn to the sun
I got the upper hand
and when the world turns around
it turns it turns for you

I guess a whole lotta loving
don't mean a thing
you gotta stand another view
don't shout and sing
and when the fight comes to burn
it burns it burns for you
I guess that all that I can say
is just I gotta have my way
and there's nothing
that you can see through

I fell in love with 'My girl', a very sober acoustic cover of a Temptations song with the right feelings in the right place. Ronald White (writer) can be very very proud of this one.
And the song is in fact another one of my J&MC favorites. Can't help it.

I got sunshine
on a cloudy day
when it's cold outside
I've got the month of May
I guess you'll say
what can make me feel this way
my girl (my girl)
. play... . My girl
The sound of speed (1992)
00:33 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

But the kind of song that always works for me is those guitar or drum loaded pop songs with a divine rhythm.
'Something I can't have' (only on the European version), 'Penetration' and 'Snakedriver' or gorgeous examples.

. play... . Snakedriver
The sound of speed (1992)
00:37 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

I won't roll my bones
for every little girl who gets on down
I got space and space got me
I should be selling it by the pound
ever since I heard the voice
I thought I had no choice
but then I kissed her

I don't mind if I get broken
I don't mind if I get fixed
I don't mind if I'm not spoken
I don't mind if I get kicks

Romance in the high speed nineties.

You're in my house you're in my face
you made me hate the human race
I got it good I got it strong
I got it down where it belongs

Aw it's sick and oh it's sad
I think you're something I can't have

. play... . Something I can't have
The sound of speed (1992)
00:37 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

Another song that impressed me is 'Guitarman'.
You hear the frustration burning and the taste of adventure.
Later I found out it's another cover, the original version dating from 1966 and written by Jerry Reed Hubbard. For the curious souls, this song (in a remastered version) became Elvis' last hit, three years after his death!

well I thought my picking
would set them on fire
but nobody wanted to hire
a guitarman

Well I nearly starved to death
down in Memphis
I run out of money and luck
so I bummed me a ride
down to Macon, Georgia
on an overloaded poultry truck
thumbed on down
to Panama City
started picking at some of them all night bars
hoping I could make myself a dollar
making music on my guitar
got the same old story
the moment I'd appear
there ain't room around here for
a guitarman
don't need a guitarman son

. play... . Guitarman
The sound of speed (1992)
00:37 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

It's a real fine album and you can really dig your teeth into it.
Though as I'm getting older now, I usually only play it occasionally, I'm not that speed minded anymore.
It makes me feel so tired and that reminds me of hard work.

Stoned and dethroned (1994) .
'Stoned and dethroned', a brilliant album followed.
It's my favorite Jesus & Mary Chain album.
Again, I didn't like it immediately.
It was different, again. The songs are not that guitar loaded or noisy. No heavy drives anymore, just adorable pop-songs and it took me some time to get used to it. I wonder why because the album doesn't sound complicated at all.
It's simply delicious.
It has beautiful lazy vibes all over... It's a Jesus & Mary Chain in a peaceful and quiet mode.

The single 'Sometimes always' even made it into the national charts (and this when Take That was ruling this world).
It's the kind of song you love immediately.
To be honest, I don't like it that much anymore. It's too sweet in my ears.

. play... . Sometimes always
Stoned and dethroned (1994)
00:39 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

I gave you all I had
I gave you good and bad
I gave but you just threw it back

I won't get on my knees
Don't make me do that please
I've been away but now I'm back

Don't be too sure of that
What makes you sure of that
You went away you can't come back

Like I already said, the album has a very relaxed pop sound.
If there's one album that understands people, it's this one. It calms you down like a cigarette does. It's a pleasure listening to it, it scares away all your problems and strengthens your inner soul.
So calm

. play... . I wish I could
Stoned and dethroned (1994)
00:35 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

We were searching for a fire
and we settled for a spark
sparks glow like stars in the dark
of course they do
just like you

And I wish
that I could fall for you
yeah I wish
that I could fall for you
What makes you sure of that
You went away you can't come back

I like to play it whenever I get a little bit twisted in this world.
Then I take my car and cruise around, listening to this music - it makes me always feel much better. It helps to bring things back to their right proportions.
It has a healing touch... well it has as long as you didn't cut away major bodyparts.

This has been my prison
got no high got no low
this has been religion
took my heart killed my soul
all I want is a dream
give me something to dream

Got myself in a scene
I don't know where I've been
all I want is a dream
something naked and clean

. play... . Hole
Stoned and dethroned (1994)
00:39 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

One time I heard some of the songs as catwalk music on a fashion show.
It was a perfect location. Some of the songs fitted the supermodels very well. It sounded like 'She' and 'Girlfriend' were especially written for stuff like this.

Don't wanna hear
about your sins
dirty little stories
about needles and skin
don't wanna hear
about how you scored
the guys who tripped
how you're dress got torn

Don't wanna speak
in the same old tongue
don't wanna bite
and I don't want burned
don't wanna live
in the same old place
got new ideas
and I got new taste

. play... . Girlfriend
Stoned and dethroned (1994)
00:41 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. .

It's the most underrated album of the nineties.
The way this album is overlooked by the music press makes me believe there's something wrong with all other copies of this album on the planet.
But maybe I got a magical copy?

It's still my all time favorite album (okay, only second to 'Dance remixes' by Mylène Farmer - but still...).

Munki (1998) .
And then, there was silence.
Almost six long years went by before a new album called 'Munki' was released. I even feared the band had split up in the meantime. It was big news in my room when this album got released.
And... damned but not all songs were super stars.
It opens with 'I love rock'n roll' (the first single choice) and 16 songs later, it ends with 'I hate rock'n roll', a song that was released as a single some years earlier.
In-between a wide variety of quality that seemed to improve over the years.

. play... . I love rock'n roll
Munki (1998)
00:45 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. The song that kicks in the album.

I like it, but it doesn't keep me awake at night.


I had trouble but I found my star
I found myself an electric guitar
Well I was some kind of messed up kid
Now look what you did
Look what you did
You made me, yeah
You make me, yeah

Well I'm not preaching
or making a case
I'm not trying
to make the world a better place
Well I ain't evil, but I ain't good
I did what I could
I did what I could
To save me, yeah
To save me, yeah

The 2nd single 'Cracking up' hit the bulls eye with thunder.
What a fabulous bass riff.
Do you believe in bass riffs as good as sex because this one is (now listen and be jealous about my enviable sex life).

. play... . Cracking up
Munki (1998)
00:45 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. The kinda song that makes you tune up the volume.

Way up!


Some said I was a freak
I am a freak
They said I was weak
I am a freak
They said I was in-com-plete
I am a freak
I am a freak

I was sure this would be a massive world hit for the boys.
But somehow somewhere something went wrong.
I never understood why a great song like this never made it to the charts all over the world.
Maybe the pope didn't like it?

Some similar songs appear on the album though they're not that impressive as 'Cracking up but they come close.
'Virtually unreal' and 'Degenerate' are great to sing along 'Looking at the TV... maybe I should blow it away...'.

Most of the songs are in fact.

I think I am going
back to school
cause I'm tired
of being a fool
and I'm tired
of playing it cool
I think I am going back
to school
I never understood the weatherman
I never understood the moon
. play... . Never understood
Munki (1998)
00:45 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. The other side of the boys, a poppy ironic acoustic song. .

Two songs aren't in place.
'Commercial' and 'Perfume' left a very bad impression on me - they dragged the album down.
Now I know to avoid them and doing so, you get an excellent album.

They close the album with 'I hate rock'n roll'.
It's a hell of statement ('I love the BBC, I love it when they're pissing on me, I love MTV, I love it when they're shitting on me... '), what a way to make you popular with the BBC and MTV.
But isn't that real rock'n roll too, bite the hand that feeds you?

. play... . I hate rock n roll
Munki (1998)
00:39 sec. - Real Audio soundclip

. Pure rock'n roll!

Not many bands make this kinda stand, fucking up with mother beeb and MTV.


I love rock'n roll
and all the people with nowhere to go
I love rock'n roll
and all these people with nothing to show
I love the BBC
I love it when they're pissing on me
I love MTV
I love it when they're shitting on me

Sounds like they mean it too.

Then came the bad news. During a gig in September '98 in California the band split up. It seemed like the two brothers had a dispute and both brothers were planning going solo. Although not yet confirmed it seems the band doesn't exist anymore.

For the moment I'm looking forward to the solo-stuff of the two brothers. If we're lucky, we get more good music, if we're not so lucky, the magic is gone.
That 'll be a black day on earth.

My all time J&MC favorites :
All in real audio soundclip format.

Tour ticket - best J&MC I saw


The music...

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