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Album Review

21 Singles is a perfect, understated title for a compilation that nonchalantly illustrates just why the Jesus and Mary Chain are revered by post-punk partisans and are considered so influential. Sure, Psychocandy is the masterwork — ground zero for noise pop and shoegazing, a record that helped shift the course of indie rock in the second half of the '80s — but to reduce their career to just that one record isn't fair, since the albums that followed found the Mary Chain exploring interesting ground, whether it was swirls of feedback and noise or dark, haunting soundscapes. Although albums like Darklands and Honey's Dead were consistent works in their own right, the group was often best heard through its singles — and, collected together on this stellar collection, they form a strong canon. Again, Psychocandy remains their masterpiece, but for a summation of their entire career this is first-rate, giving all their best on one collection that is essential for any post-punk or alt-rock library.

Customer Reviews

Late Comer Starter Kit

Having never heard a J&MC album until very recently I thought this a good place to start. What a band. Why have you people been keeping them from me? I demand some of their albums. Happy When It Rains, Some Candy Talking, Blues From A Gun, Head On. These guys are classic.

A Superb Retrospective

Four snotty kids from East Kilbride re-wrote the rule book with Psychocandy. It was a hard act to follow but they did it. April Skies was a top ten hit (for crying out loud it was so druggy you could get high just holding the record sleeve). But thats only half the tale. The pounding Blues From a Gun, the collision of messy guitars that is Snakedriver and the downright blasphemous Reverence. And yes Shirley you might be "Only Happy When It Rains" but these boys got there first so stick that in your sporran! Oh and yes you just know that the surrviving members of Nirvana wished Kurt had penned Cracking Up, "Some say that i'm a freak.............I AM A FREAK!!!" Beautiful!!!!


Formed: 1984 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Like the Velvet Underground, their most obvious influence, the chart success of the Jesus and Mary Chain was virtually nonexistent, but their artistic impact was incalculable; quite simply, the Scottish group made the world safe for white noise, orchestrating a sound dense in squalling feedback that served as an inspiration to everyone from My Bloody Valentine to Dinosaur Jr. Though the supporting players drifted in and out of focus, the heart of the Mary Chain remained vocalists and guitarists William...
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