Artist picture of The Jesus and Mary Chain

The Jesus and Mary Chain

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Dressed in black with wild, back-combed hair, The Jesus and Mary Chain's gothic gloom and static distortion was punctuated by bubble gum heartbreak and girl group harmonies. The abrasive contrast made them one of Scotland's great alternative groups of the 1980s and a huge influence on the likes of The Verve, Glasvegas and The Horrors. Led by scowling Glasgow brothers Jim and William Reid, the band drew comparisons with Velvet Underground and Suicide as their Phil Spector walls of sound and punk attitude produced seminal debut album Psychocandy (1985) and classic single Just Like Honey. Future Primal Scream front man Bobby Gillespie briefly drummed for the band, before follow-up Darklands (1987) made it to Number 5 in the UK charts and April Skies gave the band their first Top 10 hit. Troubled by drug abuse and violent audiences, their output became more erratic in the 1990s, but stripped down fifth album Stoned & Dethroned (1994) won them new fans in the US thanks to Sometimes Always, a duet with Mazzy Starr vocalist Hope Sandoval. They split in 1999 with William Reid going on to record under the name Lazycame and Jim forming Freeheat, but reformed in 2007 to headline the Coachella Festival.

Artist biography compiled by BDS/West 10. All rights reserved