Psychocandy is the debut studio album by Scottish alternative rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain. It was released in November 1985 on Blanco y Negro Records. The album is considered a landmark recording: its combination of guitar feedback with traditional pop song structures proved influential on the forthcoming shoegazing genre and alternative rock in general. The band would move away from its abrasive sound with the release of their second album, 1987's Darklands.


 [hide*1 Background


The band had been signed by Blanco y Negro on the strength of their debut, Slaughter Joe-produced single "Upside Down" and media attention generated by the band's highly charged and energetic gigs.

The album includes the singles "Never Understand", "You Trip Me Up" and "Just Like Honey". Following reissue on CD in August 1986, the bonus track "Some Candy Talking", which was originally released on the namesake EP, was included on the album, only on the UK Blanco y Negro CDs released in 1986 and 1997; in the USA, it was released on CD by Reprise in 1986 and American Recordings in 1993 without the bonus track. In 2006, the album was remastered and released in DualDisc format without "Some Candy Talking" to conform with the original playlist. In 2011, it was re-released (along with the other five studio albums) by Edsel in collaboration with Rhino as a two-CD set with extra tracks (singles, B-sides, demos and Peel Sessions) and a DVD (NTSCall-region).

Recording and production[edit]Edit

Lead vocals are handled by Jim Reid on this album, with the exception of "It's So Hard", sung by William Reid.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [1]
BBC Online positive[2]
Robert Christgau A−[3]
Drowned in Sound very favourable[4]
Pitchfork 9.6/10[5]
Q [6]
Rolling Stone favourable (1986)[7]


Piero Scaruffi 7.5/10[9]

On release Psychocandy received rave reviews. Writing for NME, Andy Gill described it as "a great citadel of beauty whose wall of noise, once scaled, offers access to endless vistas of melody and emotion".[citation needed] Even teen magazine Smash Hits gave it 9½/10 in their review.[citation needed] In the end of year round ups the album placed at number one in NME's list of best albums of 1985 (tied with Tom WaitsRain Dogs),[10] number 3 in The Face[11] and number 5 in Melody Maker.[12]

Subsequently the album has frequently appeared in "best ever" album lists, such as Q magazine's "100 Greatest British Albums Ever", where it placed at number 88 in 2000.[13] In 2006, Qmagazine placed the album at number 23 in its "40 Best Albums of the '80s" list.[14] In 2003, the album was ranked number 268 on Rolling Stone magazine's "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list. The magazine also ranked the album number 45 on its list of the 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time.[15] Allmusic described the album as one that "created a movement without meaning to."[1]

Pitchfork listed Psychocandy as the 23rd best album of the 1980s.[16] Slant Magazine listed the album at number 38 in its "Best Albums of the 1980s" list, saying, "Shaping fuzz into a potent, tactile instrument, The Jesus and Mary Chain helped establish the style of distortion-laden fogginess that would eventually become the foundation for shoegaze."[17]

Track listing[edit]Edit

All songs written and composed by Jim Reid and William Reid, except where indicated. 

No. Title Length
1. "Just Like Honey"   3:03
2. "The Living End"   2:16
3. "Taste the Floor"   2:56
4. "The Hardest Walk"   2:40
5. "Cut Dead"   2:47
6. "In a Hole"   3:02
7. "Taste of Cindy"   1:42
8. "Never Understand"   2:57
9. "Inside Me"   3:09
10. "Sowing Seeds"   2:50
11. "My Little Underground"   2:31
12. "You Trip Me Up"   2:26
13. "Something's Wrong"   4:01
14. "It's So Hard"   2:37
2011 CD-DVD release bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
15. "Suck"   2:08
16. "Ambition"   Vic Godard 3:31
17. "Just Out of Reach"   2:09
18. "Boyfriend's Dead"   1:43
19. "Head"   3:53
20. "Cracked"   3:48

Note: the 1986 CD release contains the extra track "Some Candy Talking", between "Taste of Cindy" and "Never Understand".


2011 CD disc 2
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Upside Down"   Jim Reid / John Loder 3:00
2. "Vegetable Man"   Syd Barrett 3:35
3. "In a Hole" (John Peel radio session, 23 October 1984) 2:41
4. "You Trip Me Up(John Peel radio session, 23 October 1984) William Reid 2:07
5. "Never Understand(John Peel radio session, 23 October 1984) Jim Reid 3:08
6. "Taste the Floor" (John Peel radio session, 23 October 1984) 3:08
7. "The Living End" (John Peel radio session, 3 February 1985) 2:15
8. "Inside Me" (John Peel radio session, 3 February 1985) 3:01
9. "Just Like Honey(John Peel radio session, 3 February 1985) William Reid 2:49
10. "Some Candy Talking(John Peel radio session, 29 October 1985) William Reid 3:13
11. "Psychocandy" (John Peel radio session, 29 October 1985) 2:01
12. "You Trip Me Up(John Peel radio session, 29 October 1985) William Reid 2:41
13. "Cut Dead" (John Peel radio session, 29 October 1985) 2:47
14. "Up Too High" (Portastudio demo, 1984/85) 3:44
15. "Upside Down(Portastudio demo, 1984/85) Jim Reid / John Loder 3:10
16. "Never Understand(Portastudio demo, 1984/85) Jim Reid 3:18
17. "Taste the Floor" (Portastudio demo, 1984/85) 3:06
18. "In a Hole" (Portastudio demo, 1984/85) 2:42
19. "Something's Wrong" (Portastudio demo, 1984/85) 3:27
20. "Just Like Honey (Demo Version, October 1984)" (Alaska Studios demo, June 1985) William Reid 2:58
21. "The Living End" (Alaska Studios demo, June 1985) 2:16
22. "My Little Underground"   2:33
23. "Never Understand (Alternate Version)"   Jim Reid 3:25
24. "Jesus Fuck"   2:30
2011 bonus DVD


All personnel credits adapted from Psychocandy's liner notes.[18]

The Jesus and Mary Chain
Additional musicians
  • Karen Parker – backing vocals
  • Lawrence – backing vocals
Technical personnel
Design personnel
  • Greg Allen – art direction
  • Alastair Indge – sleeve photography
  • Bleddyn Butcher – sleeve photography
  • Chris Clown – sleeve photography
  • Mike Laye – sleeve photography
  • Rona McIntosh – sleeve photography
  • Stuart Cassidy – sleeve photography

Chart positions[edit]Edit

Chart (1985) Peak


UK Albums Chart[19] 31
Chart (1986) Peak


New Zealand RIANZ Albums Chart[20] 35
US Billboard 200[21] 188


Year Single Peak chart positions






1985 "Never Understand" 47
"You Trip Me Up" 55
"Just Like Honey" 45
1986 "Some Candy Talking" 13 11 37
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.


Region Certification Sales/shipments
United Kingdom (BPI)[23] Gold 100,000^
^ shipments figures based on certification alone.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.