3934. “Just Like Honey” by The Jesus & Mary Chain

Official video:

The Jesus & Mary Chain could not possibly be more uncomfortable on video. They used to perform with their backs to the audience. Stage fright? Cool pose? Roy Orbison wore those dark glasses all those years because he had stage fright and they helped him go out and perform. I can’t help but think the Reid Brothers were sort of in the same boat, but who knows?

This is the song that made me a lifelong Jesus & Mary Chain fan. I suspect the same is true of many people – so much so that the band named one of their later albums Honey’s Dead just to stress to their fans that that sound was long gone.

The song where its influence on its sleeve – listen to the opening drums on “Be My Baby” and then go back and listen to the start of “Just Like Honey:”

The Jesus and Mary Chain’s only consistent members were the Reid brothers. Their bassists and drummers came and went with alarming regularity. At the time of “Just Like Honey,” their drummer was Bobby Gillespie who soon split to form Primal Scream. You’ll note they only allowed him like two drums. With that in mind, its a wonder that all of their drum tracks didn’t sound like the start of that Ronettes song.

“Just Like Honey” opens Psychocandy and, thus, it was my first exposure to The Jesus & Mary Chain. I played it a ton on WRBC and listened to it with amazement. They made the feedback musical on this one. On some of their tracks, it sounds like the feedback is just happening at random. On this one, its an integral part of the music and its fucking lovely.

And that high voice that comes in singing the title near the end? It sends the song over the top. Everything about “Just Like Honey” is perfect and its no wonder that they spent a portion of their career living this down. You can’t create something perfect and then expect people to be anything other than disappointed with everything else you do, no matter how good.


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