the jesus and mary chain
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Jim Reid's Record Collection
David Cavanagh / Q
More songs about "killing and fucking" - that's about the long and the short of it with the junior Jesus And Mary Chain brother. Especially if it's Hank Williams. David Cavanagh gets some feedback about...

Jim Reid in the Drugstore
pic by Frank Noon

"I got high last night on LSD/My mind was beautiful and I was free/Warts loved my nipples because they are pink/Vomit on me baby yeah yeah yeah."
Jim Reid grins maliciously. Not one of his own lyrics, unfortunately. That's from Blind Man's Penis by John Trubee & The Greeks. "Wanna beer?"
The Jesus And Mary Chain's studio - owned, purchased and paid for - is called, with typical waggishness, The Drug Store. At least burglaries are rare; it's next door to a Metropolitan Police station.
Jim, the Mary Chain's main singer and the younger brother of William, does the honours. Here in The Drug Store is where the pair, plus hired hands, made the seventh Mary Chain album, the new Stoned And Dethroned. Originally intended as the JAMC's long-promised acoustic album, it's turned out slightly more electrified - a typically woozy, insidious set of pop tunes, with guest vocal appearances from Shane MacGowan and Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval.
"I've got tons of records," says Jim, "about 500 CDs and 400 vinyl albums. Stacks of singles, as well. I'm a bit of a collector, definitely."
He's gone for the obscure stuff, in the main, by-passing the obviously influential stuff like the Stones and the Velvets. There is not a lot of Eric Clapton.

1. Elvis Presley
Original Soundtrack Recording From His NBC TV Special
"That's the '68 comeback TV special. That's what Elvis should have been like, and I think would have been like, if he hadn't hooked up with the Colonel. This was Elvis making music, not making records to sell millions. Totally against the odds - I mean, in 1968 Elvis was considered by everybody to be totally washed up. A B-movie film star. I love to see people coming back when they've been written off. To me, all Elvis's best records were made in the late '60s - all that stuff like Suspicious Minds - and that TV show was just amazing. The year after that was the Memphis album, which was as good, maybe even better."

2. The Saints
(I'm) Stranded
"I had to re-buy this because I wore out a copy. The Saints are always overlooked. People talk about punk rock, but it's shallow things: they talk about punk as a haircut. Punk rock was music. The Saints were unfortunate that they looked like that (ie four pudgy, long-haired Australians). But punk rock, I mean, was it an idea or was it fashion? I think in the end fashion killed it. But before that, it was music like this. This record was out before the Sex Pistols had a record out - (I'm) Stranded, the single, came out in 1976. And yet people don't seem to remember The Saints. There was more of an attitude about them than most of the punk bands that I can think of."

3. Public Image Limited
Public Image
"It doesn't sound so unusual any more, but at the time, this to me sounded nothing like the Sex Pistols, and I really admired him (John Lydon) for doing that. It would have been really easy for him to get musicians that sound like Guns N'Roses and make millions of pounds touring America for the next 25 years. Instead of which, he put his mates in a band and made cool music. The shame was that he couldn't keep it going. I remember watching the video for Public Image on Top Of The Pops and getting a shiver up my spine. My dad was going, Jesus Christ, what the hell is this? This isn't music!"

4. Hank Williams
Lost Highway (December 1948 To March 1949)
"Hank Williams's lifestyle I thought was quite interesting. He was the first rock'n'roll casualty, so much so that it was before rock'n'roll existed. People didn't really sing songs like this at that time. The only other type of music that dealt with that kind of realism was blues music - you know, people talking about killing and fucking. Hank Williams wasn't just singing about boys meeting girls and going for a dance; he sang about being fucked up and drinking too much. I respect him for doing that."

5. Strawberry Switchblade
Since Yesterday
"That was the big hit. This is actually a single, but we'll pretend it's an album. The thing about Strawberry Switchblade was, well, they kind of blew it. They never fulfilled their potential. At the very beginning, they used to play little clubs in Glasgow and they were almost folky. And then they signed to Warner Bros (smirks) and before you could fart, they were electro-pop. But I still think this record's a really brilliant pop single. I loved their name, as well, and the way they looked. I'd rather have a band called Strawberry Switchblade at Number 2 in the charts, going on Top Of The Pops and then going out and getting fucking whacked out of their heads, shagging loads of guys, than some Kylie these days."

6. Dean Martin
Greatest Hits Volume 2
"It was my dad that got me into this. When I was a kid, we used to have these family parties and people would be up till four in the morning playing Dean Martin records, and then usually a brawl would break out round about five. This is Reid family music; this is what we grew up with. Again, it's that '60s country thing that we're really into, with people singing about getting fucked up and shooting people and stuff."

7. The Monkees
"There are two absolutely classic songs on this album: Porpoise Song and As We Go Along. Porpoise Song is this kind of psychadelic song of the times. This album, this movie, everything about it, it reminds me of the Elvis comeback thing. Everybody took The Monkees as a TV-manufactured joke band, which of course, they were, originally. Nobody would have guessed it, but this manufactured band suddenly took hold of their own career and made a brilliant movie. And whether they wrote their own songs or not, they made a brilliant album."

8. Lee Hazlewood
Love And Other Crimes
"This is '68. Kind of country music again. As no doubt you've guessed, we're quite into country music, and this is definitely leaping in that direction. You just look at the guy, I mean, he looks like John Alderton or something. He was one of these didn't-really-fit-in-anywhere types. He was a songwriter from the '50s and '60s who used to do the cabaret circuit, but they're some of the weirdest lyrics I've ever heard in my life. We actually asked him to sing on the new album. A strang idea, because he's about 65 now, and slightly mental. At first he said he'd love to do it, for no money at all. But he came to see us at Lollapalooza and couldn't get backstage, and I think he was terribly offended by this. He started saying things like $2,000 and he wanted to stay at the Hilton Hotel for three weeks."

9. Nancy Sinatra
How Does That Grab You?
"Lee Hazelwood produced this and wrote most of the songs and the little blurb-y parts like that (from back cover: "Grab us good says all the people. Lovely tunes and marvy melodies. All of them gravid with meaning. All of them like to mess your head forevermore"). It's like something out of Clockwork Orange! The idea appeals to me that Nancy Sinatra was totally mainstream pop music, but the lyrics to some of these songs . . . I like the idea that they can be taken on loads of different levels. The very fact that this stuff could appeal to me and appeal to whoever must have put that record at Number 5 in the American charts or whatever is astonishing. It seems like there's a revival of Nancy. I was going to bring a Frank record, actually, but I couldn't find any."

10. Beck
Stereopathetic Soul Manure
"This is not the record that everybody's talking about (ie Mellow Gold). I'm not absolutely sure what this is. It looks like a collection of bits and pieces, and I think this is better than the other one everybody's buying. There are about four or five country songs on this, with slide guitar. Track number two, Robot, sounds like a Hank Williams song. But he just comes from such a weird angle. It's like country music through some little psychotic America."

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