The Jesus and Mary Chain – Psychocandy (The ’59) #166

The ’59 2018 #166: 180615

The Jesus and Mary Chain – Psychocandy (1985)

Psychocandy is the debut studio album by Scottish alternative rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain. It was released in November 1985 on Blanco y Negro Records.

A landmark recording, its combination of guitar feedback with traditional pop song structures proved influential on the forthcoming shoegazing genre and alternative rock in general.

After quitting their jobs in 1980, brothers Jim and William Reid formed The Jesus and Mary Chain with bass player Douglas Hart. Taking inspiration from German industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten, girl group the Shangri-Las and The Velvet Underground & Nico, they bought a Tascam Portastudio in 1983 when their father lost his job in a local factory and gave the brothers £300 from his redundancy money.

Tascam Portastudios were four-track analogue mixing desks with a cassette recorder built in. Both standard jack and XLR inputs were provided allowing you to record straight to tape via a small studio monitor.

The band recorded a demo tape containing the songs “Upside Down” and “Never Understand” which was heard by Glaswegian musician Bobby Gillespie, who in turn passed it on to his friend Alan McGee of Creation Records. McGee was impressed with the tape and invited the band to play at a Creation Records showcase event in London, becoming the band’s manager shortly afterward.

Psychocandy was recorded in six weeks during March and April 1985 and totalled £17,000 in recording and production costs.

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