From a band torn apart by drugs to songs about drugs, starting with a 1986 EP from The Jesus And Mary Chain, featuring Bobby Gillespie in his final appearance with the band before hotfooting it over to Primal Scream.
Of course, Some Candy Talking isn’t actually about drugs at all, according to lead singer Jim Reid. Some people got that impression because poppies appeared in the video, and Radio 1 DJ Mike Smith got the wrong end of the stick and declared that he wasn’t going to play the track. Contrary to popular belief, Some Candy Talking wasn’t actually banned by the BBC; Smith was taking a brave lone stance on it. 1992’s top ten hit Reverence, however, was extremely banned by both the beeb and Top of the Pops. It’s just what you should expect to happen if you kick off a very dirty grunge-punk track with the lyric: “I wanna die just like Jesus Christ / I wanna die on a bed of spikes”.
The Jesus and Mary Chain had always exhibited an open disregard for what anyone thought of them, though. A typical live set would last around 20 minutes, rarely more, and sometimes even less. On 9 September 1985 the band played the Electric Ballroom in Camden, and having kept an expectant crowd waiting for an hour, kicked off with 15 minutes of feedback, noise and distortion. An already hyped up crowd had had enough, stormed the stage, and smashed the band’s equipment.