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The Jesus And Mary Chain
Psychocandy, Darklands, Automatic (Reviewed), Honey's Dead, Stoned And Dethroned (re-issues)
Rhino Records
www.rhino.com


Rhino records continues to amaze me. One of their latest and greatest offerings is a series of re-issues of the entire Jesus And Mary Chain catalog previously available on Warner Bros. Records. Each of the five greatest JAMC records are re-issued in their entirety on the fantastic new Dual-Disc format, which features a CD side release of the entire album playable on all standard CD players, and a DVD side that features not only the entire album in DVD audio format, but also a string of videos from the respective release.

I was given a chance to check out the reissue of Automatic, and the sound quality is slightly improved from the original CD release, cleaned up and broadened in the remastering process. The entire DVD side is available in DVD-Audio as well as a version of the album remixed into Dolby surround format, which would be an awesome way to here some of the spacious sonic delights hidden on each of these JAMC releases… unfortunately, I don't have a 5.1 system, so I can't really tell you about that. But I expect it would be awesome.

The real meat of the DVD sides are the videos, at least for technological throwbacks like myself. This disc includes the videos for "Blues From A Gun", "Her Way Of Praying", and "Head On". "Blues Form A Gun" is instantly recognizable, with its swirling epileptic imagery of Jim and William Reid playing their hollowbody guitars while colors change and a sixties-hatted girl moves around behind a brightly lit screen with guns. It's cool… Id' forgotten how cool the graphic imagery was at the tail end of the 80's. "Her Way Of Praying" is a story video, showing the exploits of a cute girl with a movie camera filming the seedy underbelly of the city, complete with neon signs and nudey clubs. I'd never seen this video, and it was nice to recapture those innocent days of post-punk imagery. The straightforward "Head On" video closes out the feature. Classic song and a classicly shot video with lots of simple movement. Cool.

Each package also includes a somewhat lengthy commentary by Kieron Tyler that covers the history of the album and the adventures of the Reid boys at the time the album was made and released. These little snippets of information offer a bit of insight into the musical times when each record was made for those that weren't there the first time around, and a nice little reminder for those of us that were. All told, Rhino has put together a great package in these re-issues, which will hopefully lead to a new generation of youngsters experiencing more of the greatness of the JAMC, as well as reminding us older folks where we came from.

Thanks Rhino.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:
1. Here Comes Alice
2. Coast To Coast
3. Blues From A Gun
4. Between Planets
5. UV Ray
6. Her Way Of Praying
7. Head On
8. Take It
9. Halfway To Crazy
10. Gimme Hell
11. Drop
12. Sunray
13. Blues From A Gun [DVD]
14. Her Way Of Praying [DVD]
15. Head On [DVD]


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Mike Doughty



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