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The Jesus & Mary Chain – Darklands (1987)

July 8, 2015

[Album 403/1001]

Grandpa Biff’s puzzled comment at 1:02 sums up my Darklands experience:

.

.

“There’s something very familiar about all this.”Darklands

Much like Grandpa Biff, I can’t quite figure out just what it is about Darklands.

It was theoretically ‘new-to-me’ this year but it doesn’t feel that way.

Here’s the closest I’ve come to identifying its familiarity: the whole album sounds like it could have been from the soundtrack of a movie that I liked but can’t remember.

Take the song April Skies: I can totally picture this song playing in the background, accompanying a closing scene where someone is walking away, not pleased necessarily (maybe they didn’t get the girl), but happy with whatever choice they made, ready to move forward.

This specific scene likely doesn’t actually exist; that I started fabricating such movie moments in my head while listening is a credit to The Jesus and Mary Chain.

One of these days I’ll search the world wide web to see if any of the Darklands tunes have been featured in any talking pictures.  Until then, I’ll keep enjoying the pleasant pictures in my mind that these solid songs are conjuring for me!

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From → 1980s

24 Comments
  1. Hi Ian, Nice choice! I’m not sure that I’ve listened to all of Darklands. I already know that I like “Happy When It Rains” so I’ll have to listen to the rest. Do you like Psychocandy? I’m partial to “Just Like Honey”.

    • I imagine I will like psychocandy – it’s on the 1001 as well! I gather it’s a different sound but this seems like my kind of group so far.

      • I’m looking forward to your thoughts. My prediction is that you’ll like it.

      • Geoff, I just noticed that my comment begins with “Hi Ian” — my apologies! It must be the gremlins in my phone :). It would be ok with me if you typed over “Ian” with “Geoff”. It was quite gracious of you not to say anything about it!

      • Haha, not to worry Danica, if it’s Ian from 80sdidn’tsuck, I’ll take it as high praise!

      • That’s the one :).

  2. Perhaps you could write the screenplay?

  3. I had a record by these people back in the mid-90s but the whole thing is lost on me now. Now idea which one it was. I recognize the name, I remember liking the record (I think?) but that’s about it. Your post makes me want to rediscover…

    • Aaron that sounds like how I’ll feel about many records from this list – oh yeah, I remember liking the group, limited details beyond that.
      This one’s got plenty of appealing, straight-ahead, guitar-based tunes. Will I remember the individual song names in a few years? Unlikely! But that’s likely more due to a lack of my memory available than a lack of quality by these guys

      • To be fair, this was half a lifetime ago. That I might remember anything clearly from that long ago is truly a gift…

      • I’d imagine your memory is better than mine. I do like the sounds of appealing, straight-ahead guitar-based tunes, though.

  4. One of my absolute faves, this. I’ve always thought this was just such an incredibly romantic album. Sadly Mrs 1537 hates them with the passion and fire of a million suns! Ah, well maybe my next few wives will dig the JAMC.

    • I’ve only listened to it 4 or 5 times but it didn’t strike me as an album that would lead to such polarizing reactions – I guess that’s the beauty of music, you never know what’s going to speak to you. Sounds like this one spoke to both of you, albeit very different ways!

  5. Hackskeptic permalink

    I’m scared of reviewing the Jesus & Mary Chain. Back in the day I was the only person in the Western hemisphere who didn’t get why everybody loved their bleary dirges. I can remember they did 15 minute gigs of just feedback and then walk off. I’m hoping for some kind of epiphany.

    • I’m with you Geoff on being hesitant about reviewing some groups that most of the world seems to find sacred – fingers crossed that we’ll both have epiphanies with our respective ‘what’s their appeal??’ groups!

  6. This is a great album, eh? I find it paints a lot of pictures, too – really quite emotive one.

  7. ianbalentine permalink

    If April Skies was in a movie I’d wager it was one written and directed by John Hughes (Pretty IN Pink, Breakfast Club, etc). I really like this album but I have to say it’s probably the least played out of all of ’em (including Munki, which I think is a fantastic record).

    • John Hughes jumped to mind!
      But it felt like a song that would work in a movie from ’89 or ’98, didn’t feel dated at all

  8. JMC passed me by, honestly…and I was into this kind of music later than they were popular, so accessibility to their albums in Sudbury was difficult.

  9. Zack permalink

    This is a great way to describe the Jesus and Mary Chain. I just bought Automatic and I can totally relate to this.

    • Thanks Zack – appreciate your comments & that you had a visual experience when listening to them too!

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