Another one of the greatest bands you've never heard of. The Jesus and Mary Chain achieved relatively little success, but were a major influence to bands such as My Bloody Valentine, The Pixies, Dinasaur Jr, and others. They picked up where the Velvet Underground left off, experimenting with noisy, dense, feedback laden pop.
The band formed in 1984 by Scottish born brothers William and Jim Reid with Douglas Hart on bass and Murray Dalglish on drums (quickly replaced by Bobby Gillespie). Their first single, Upside Down, was released in 1984 and became extremely popular in England. Their live concerts featured a lot of noise, with the band frequently playing with their backs to the audience, and for some reason they tended to end with riots.
In 1985, their first record, Psychocandy, was released. Quite a good album, very straightforward pop with droning guitar fuzz layered on. After a 2 year rest, they released Darklands, which was a bit different. This was almost straight pop, no real interesting production or effects that were what made the first album. Good, but different... In 1989 the band released Automatic, which was more in the style of the first album but with a more tightly controlled sound. After another break, they released Honey's Dead in 1992. In my opinion, this is their finest album and one of the most amazing albums in the history of rock (also one of the most overlooked...). The first time I heart it, I was blown away.
Since then, they've released two albums, Stoned & Dethroned and Munki. I haven't heard these, so I will avoid commenting, but let's just say the reviews have been less than stellar. Besides, I'm having a hard time getting over how great Honey's Dead is. In 1999, the band officially disbanded.
Editor's note: The band reunited in 2007 and toured quite regularly, with their first big outing after reuniting being Coachella that year. Later, they toured "Psychocandy" in its entirety, playing live each song on the record and in the original track list. In 2017, a new album, "Damage and Joy", was released and reached number 16 on the UK album chart.
The ratings are mine for the ones I've heard. Live or compilation albums, singles, EPs and the like are not included.