Automatic is the third album by Scottish alternative rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain. The Mary Chain on this record is basically the core duo of brothers William and Jim Reid, with a drum machine providing percussion, and even a synthesizer filling in on bass guitar. The only other credited musician was Richard Thomas, who joined the touring version of the Mary Chain as a drummer. Thomas drummed on "Gimme Hell", and was a former member of Dif Juz. He also made appearances on Cocteau Twins' 1986 Victorialand LP and This Mortal Coil's 1986 Filigree & Shadow.
Although released to generally poor reviews at the time (with the aforementioned synthesized drums and bass being the biggest point of contention), Automatic contains their most successful single up to that point, "Head On" (later covered by the Pixies). Critical and fan reception has improved with the passage of time. Pitchfork Media wrote in 2006: "Conventional wisdom wrongly calls (Automatic) the dud," of the JAMC's discography, but that in hindsight the album "feels like a career peak." and has been a fan favourite.
The last two tracks, "Drop" and "Sunray", were initially only available on the CD release, and not the vinyl LP and cassette releases. Later re-issues on cassette and CD feature all 12 tracks.
Jimmy Eat World mentions this album in on their song "Authority Song". In the song, Jimmy Eat World frontman Jim Adkins sings "The DJ never has it, JAMC Automatic".
The Jesus and Mary Chain
*Jim Reid - vocals (tracks 2, 4 to 10), guitar, synthesizer, drum programming, production
*William Reid - vocals (tracks 1, 3, 11), guitar, synthesizer, drum programming, production
*Alan Moulder - engineer
*Jamie Harley - recording assistant
*Lee Curle - recording assistant
*Dick Meaney - mixing assistant
*Richard Thomas - drums on "Gimme Hell"
*Ryan Art - design
*Steve Mitchell - photography
*Andrew Catlin - photography
Category:The Jesus and Mary Chain albums
Category:Blanco y Negro Records albums
it:Automatic (The Jesus and Mary Chain)
sv:AutomaticThis text has been derived from Automatic (The Jesus and Mary Chain album) on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
The Jesus and Mary Chain are a Scottish alternative rock band formed in East Kilbride, Glasgow in 1983. The band revolves around the songwriting partnership of brothers Jim and William Reid. They released a string of albums, singles and EPs between their 1983 formation and their 1999 breakup, and gained notoriety in their early days for short sets and violence that became common at their live shows. In 2007, the band reunited.
Brothers Jim and William Reid had been inspired to form a band as far back as 1977, having heard groups such as the Sex Pistols, but it would be the early 1980s before they actually 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, and in those five years they wrote and recorded songs at home and worked out the sound and image of the band.Robertson, p.8 Originally called The Poppy Seeds,Wilson, p.226 and then Death of Joey,Sladeckova, Olga. "". Penny Black Music. 10 August 2002. Retrieved on 20 September 2009. 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 wasn't true.Robertson, p.16Strong, p.383 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.
The brothers started recording and sending demos to record companies in 1983, and by early 1984 they had recruited bass player Douglas Hart and teenage drummer Murray Dalglish. Early influences included The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, and The Shangri-Las, William stating in 1985 "We all love The Shangri-Las, and one day we're going to make Shangri-Las records." Early demos displayed a similarity to the Ramones, prompting the brothers to add another element to their sound, in William's words "That's why we started using noise and feedback. We want to make records that sound different."Robertson, p.15 They began playing live in Spring 1984. In the early days Jim Reid's guitar would be left out of tune, while Dalglish's drumkit was limited to two drums, and Hart's bass guitar only had three strings, down to two by 1985; In Hart's words "that's the two I use, I mean what's the fucking point spending money on another two? Two is enough."Sky News interview, 1985
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.Robertson, p. 16 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, McGee subsequently promoting a gig for the band at the Living Room in London in June 1984. On the strength of hearing the band soundcheck, McGee signed them to his Creation Records label on a one-off deal, and McGee also became the band's manager.Robertson, p.17Larkin, p. 227 The debut single, "Upside Down", was recorded in October and released in November that year.Taylor, p.129 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.Robertson, p.18 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".Robertson, p.21
Dalglish left in November 1984 after a dispute over money and was replaced shortly afterwards by Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream. In December the band were arrested for possession of amphetamines, and Jim Reid also confessed to using LSD. "Upside Down" topped the UK Indie Chart in February 1985 and then again in March and stayed on the chart for 76 weeks, selling around 35,000 copies in total, making it one of the biggest-selling indie singles of the 1980s.Robertson, p.19Lazell, p.123
Playing in front of small audiences, during early shows the Mary Chain performed very short gigs, typically fueled by amphetamines and lasting around 20 minutes,Larkin, p.227 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".Robertson, p.22 This led several local councils to ban the band from performing in their area.
The success of "Upside Down" led to interest from WEA-subsidiary Blanco y Negro Records which signed the group in early 1985. The group released the single "Never Understand" in February which reached number forty-seven in the UK Singles Chart. The label had initially refused to press the single due to its B-side, "Suck", but went ahead given the alternative put forward by the band, a song called "Jesus Fuck".Robertson, p.31 The band were eager to get "Jesus Fuck" released, and Alan McGee got as far as producing test pressings of a re-issue of "Upside Down" with the song on the B-side, before the band insisted that Blanco y Negro include the track on their next single. The follow-up, "You Trip Me Up", was delayed due to staff at the pressing plant refusing to press it due to the presence of the song, now re-titled "Jesus Suck"; The single was released in June 1985 with a new B-side, "Just Out of Reach".Strong, p. 383 John Peel got the band to record a second session for his BBC Radio 1 show in February 1985 (the first was only a few months earlier), and the band also made a TV appearance on Whistle Test in March and The Tube the same year.Robertson, p.34 The third single for Blanco y Negro, "Just Like Honey", released in October, gave them their biggest hit to date, reaching #45.
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 sets supporting Sonic Youth, but this was abandoned when the plans were leaked.Robertson, p.48 Their debut album Psychocandy followed in November that year. The album fused together the Reids' two primary influences, the guitar noise of The Stooges and The Velvet Underground with The Beach Boys, The Shangri-Las and Phil Spector; In fact, the album's opening song, "Just Like Honey," borrows Hal Blaine's famous drum intro from The Ronettes 1963 classic, "Be My Baby", produced and co-written by Spector.Robertson, p. 49, 56 The record received unanimously positive reviews and is now considered a landmark recording.Robertson, p.52 Drummer Gillespie announced his departure from the band in October 1985, to concentrate on Primal Scream.Robertson, p.51 He had recorded most of the drums on Psychocandy, with John Moore filling in when Gillespie was unavailable, eventually joining the band to replace him. John Loder also acted as a stand-in drummer when Gillespie was unavailable for live performances.
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' jacket and destroyed his office, all untrue but seen as good publicity by manager McGee.Robertson, p. 23 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.Robertson, p. 24 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.Sinclair, Mick (1985) " (unpublished)
*Honey's Dead (1992)
*Stoned & Dethroned (1994)
*Jim Reid (vocals, guitar)
*William Reid (guitar, vocals)
*Douglas Hart (bass guitar, 1984–1991)
*Murray Dalglish (drums, 1984)
*Bobby Gillespie (drums, 1984–1985)
*John Moore (drums, guitar, 1985–1987)
*Martin Hewes (bass guitar, 1986)
*James Pinker (drums, 1986–1987)
*Dave Evans (rhythm guitar, 1987–1989)
*Richard Thomas (drums, 1988–1991)
*Ben Lurie (rhythm guitar, 1989–1998)
*Matthew Parkin (bass guitar, 1991–1992)
*Barry Blacker (drums, 1991–1992)
*Steve Monti (drums, 1992–1998)
*Nick Sanderson (drums, 1998)
*Phil King (bass guitar) (1998, 2007–present)
*Loz Colbert (drums, 2007–present)
*Mark Crozer (guitar, 2007–present)
*Larkin, Colin (1992) The Guinness Who's Who of Indie and New Wave Music, Guinness Publishing, ISBN 0-85112-579-4
*Lazell, Barry (1997) Indie Hits 1980-1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-95172-069-4
*Robertson, John (1988) The Jesus and Mary Chain - a Musical Biography, Omnibus Press, ISBN 0 7119 1470 2
*Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1 84195 225 0
*Taylor, Steve (2004) The A to X of Alternative Music, Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd., ISBN 978-0826473967
*Thompson, Dave (2000) Alternative Rock, Miller Freeman Books, ISBN 0-87930-607-6
*Wilson, Dave (2004) Rock Formations: Categorical Answers to How Band Names Were Formed, Cidermill Books, ISBN 0974848352This text has been derived from The Jesus and Mary Chain on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0