1985 was the year that the NME went nuts for the Jesus and Mary Chain.

Psychocandy was placed at #2 in the albums of the year poll, beaten to the top spot by Rain Dogs by Tom Waits.

As far as the tracks of the year went:-

#1 : Never Understand
#2 : Just Like Honey
#6 : You Trip Me Up

Interestingly enough, while three tracks from Psychocandy were among the best six songs of the year, none of the songs found on Rain Dogs made the Top 50. Go figure that one out……………..

You Trip Me Up was released as a single in May 1985. It was the band’s third 45 on the back of Upside Down and Never Understand.

mp3 : The Jesus and Mary Chain – You Trip Me Up

It’s worth recalling that the JAMC enjoyed a certain amount of notoriety at this point in time, partly from the violence that seemed to be present at almost of their live performances (and which was a huge factor in my decision not to venture along to see them) but also for them being bloody-minded and provocative when it came to getting product into the shops.

They had signed a fairly lucrative contract with Warner Bros. but through the subsidiary Blanco y Negro – bands hadn’t forgotten the backlash faced by The Clash when they had signed on the dotted line with CBS and the trick was to try and appear as if you were still of an indie-bent when in fact your paymaster was one of the biggest global operations imaginable.

Never Understand was only eventually issued as a single after much to-ing and fro-ing about the b-side with the label rejecting Suck, no doubt imagining and dreading the backlash from the tabloid press picking up on the closing line of Cunts!Cunts!Cunts!Fuck!Fuck!Fuck!……but eventually giving in when it was indicated that the only alternative would be a new song, still to be recorded, that had the title of Jesus Fuck…..

Everyone seemed OK with the fact that You Trip Me Up would the next single, but yet again the band, egged on by their confrontationally-minded guru Alan McGhee, wanted the newly named Jesus Suck as the b-side and while the record label eventually gave in, the folk at the pressing plant refused to authorise its pressing, on the grounds of blasphemy. It was all great publicity as far as McGhee was concerned and in due course, things were settled with the a much acceptable track offered up as the b-side:-

mp3 : The Jesus and Mary Chain – Just Out of Reach

The 12” came with an additional track, one that made an ICA as selected by swc in November 2016. Here’s his fabulous description:-

“Opening line ‘C…..F!

Some people say that the Marychain did thus sort of thing to be deliberately provocative and to show they were angry but I think on reflection it was weariness and frustration. Its songs like this that give us fans that were too young to witness the early chaotic violent gigs, some impression as to what they actually sounded like.”

mp3 : The Jesus and Mary Chain – Boyfriend’s Dead

It pains me to argue with swc – and I’m doing it from the safety of my bedroom and using a keyboard as he’d wipe the floor with me if we were sitting opposite one another and talking this one through – but it really was all down to provocation. In evidence, I present the song that could have, and in the eyes of the JAMC, should have, been a b-side, finally made available in 2011 when Pyschocandy was re-released as a two-CD edition with the extra tracks consisting of both sides of the debut singles, three separate John Peel sessions, demos and a small batch of previously unreleased material:-

mp3 : The Jesus and Mary Chain – Jesus Fuck

It’s fair to say that the lyric won’t be a candidate for the ‘Some Songs Make Great Short Stories’ series.



  1. I have found that it is best not to look at the Mary Chain’s lyrics in too much depth. But by god they were fucking magic and still are.
    Still smarting at not being able to get a hold of a ticket for Darklands at the Barrowlands.

  2. JAMC at the Ritz in NYC 1987. Loudest show I ever saw in my life. Lyrics? Could have been anything.

  3. Psychocandy is just a joy. All songs featured here are excellent although I agree Jesus Sucks is far better as a b-side. While I appreciate the involvement of Mr McGhee I’ve never been a fan of his one-trick-shock tactics – which dated terribly quickly.

    What I liked about JAMC was that I didn’t (from what I read in the music press) like them as people but I did love the music. I never ventured to see them in the early days because I wasn’t willing to pay for a probable-gig and reviews mainly cited scenes of chaos. Nah!

    Psychocandy and Darklands are magnificent LPs. I enjoyed what came after but I just didn’t love it the way I had the earlier stuff.

  4. I saw them a couple of years back touring the latest album. What an arsenal of tunes they have. Hit after hit after hit (even if some of them weren’t actually hits) they slayed the room.

  5. And not only their gigs were incredibly loud back then in ’86/’87, FlimFlamFan, the 12″ of ‘You Trip Me Up’ surely must be the loudest 12″ in my collection! Still think it’s a masterpiece, certainly Psychocandy’s finest tune …

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