My Bloody Valentine - Loveless (1991) (1 Viewer)

dunderhead

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gun put to my head, favourite album for me. bought it as a 15/16 year old being aware of it's 'classic album' status towards the end of the 90s. remember buying it as one of those 3 for 15 HMV offers or whatever it was. remember hearing the first track for the first time, Only Shallow, and not really knowing what to think. the general feeling was that it wasn't for me. couple of compulsory 'hard-earned money in centra purchase' listens later... Nah, pretty sure it gathered dust for the next couple of years. back to binging on my beatles anthologies tapes for me.

don't recall any great moment of revelation with the album but after revisiting, over the course of a short time the album reeled me in song by song. completely altered my ear for a tune. totally magic on headphones. absolutely fucking sublime with a little joint. the recording process/disaster adds to the legacy. something that on paper should have been a mess, considering how disjointed it seems to have been recorded, ended up a one-off unique beast. went to see them in glasgow back around the first batch of comeback shows, so good. pretty much played every loveless tune aside from track 10. remember they started with track 6, I only said. pleasure overload at that point. (on a side note, Blown A Wish is also one of my faves. Amazing tune).

To finish, a corny analogy that KS used in an interview sometime (possibly featured in the 33 1/3 book) to try and describe what it sounds like but remember thinking it was a good visual representation of the sound of the album; someone smoking a cigarette in a room with a crack of sunlight beaming in through crack in the curtains. smoke clearly visible once exhaled in the sunlight, blowing (smokeless) air warps/shifts and alters the lingering smoke in a really interesting way. smokers will identify, i hope. otherwise i sound like a right tit.

5/5
 

rettucs

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I've loved listening to this again. I don't think I listened since their last album came out a couple of years back and it had even kind of gone out of my head.

I'd never consider this among my favorite albums but I do like it a lot. I came to it in the mid-90s sometime. I don't remember when exactly. It was during college, at a time when most people were listening to Green Day's Dookie, or The Bends by Radiohead. I listened to those too, but I remember getting the bus home one night, listening to Dave Fanning on the radio. He played Loveless. I recall how the song washed over me but when it finished, Fanning was gushing over it. He said it was the best song he'd ever heard, from the best album he'd ever head. In the times before social media you would tend to take notice when you hear a comment like that, from somebody like him.

I picked up a copy of the album not long after. As per what @dunderhead said, it was part of some sale offer so it didn't exactly break the bank.

Its a strange thing to listen to an album that you expect to like, that you want to like, that you know you should like, but that you don't like once you've heard it. It did absolutely nothing for me. I couldn't pick the melodies out, I couldn't make out anything lyrics-wise, there was nothing here that I'd consider 'my bag'.

2 songs started to get some traction with me after a while. 'When You Sleep' (which I'd consider to be one of my favorite songs to this day), and 'Sometimes', but the album never really sat well with me, as a whole.

I wasn't really that big into the shoegaze scene then. I'm still not, but I have listened a bit to other bands from that genre and generally would consider that I like it.

Even now I wouldn't go as far as to say the album is great. Its very good, but it relies on a couple of songs to prop the rest up IMO.

And I was a bit disappointed when I read Alan McGee's Creation Records book, about how the recording of this album was off the scales in terms of cost and Shields being a cantankerous fucker.

I looked it up on wikipedia there now to see if the details were there. 250 grand it says it cost. 250 grand in 1991.

Do I hear 250 grand's worth of production there? I'd never claim to have the most cultured ear ever, but would it have been that much different if they just played the songs live with a few effects pedals? I mean, anyone who saw their live shows recently will attest to how amazing they were.

wikipedia said:
it received enthusiastic reviews from critics, who praised its sonic innovations
Which sonic innovations? Is it not just some guitars and keyboards and a bit of distortion? And the vocals are so understated that I wouldn't see anything to get too excited about there.

I reckon the point I'm getting at is, though I like the album, and now that I know it a lot better than I did when I first got it, I really don't see what the fuss about it is.

It must be great to be in one of these bands that are so cool as to be beyond criticism. I don't know how bands get to achieve that kind of status. Its as if the music is so 'out there' that critics are afraid to diss it for fear of damaging their own cred.

I was a big fan of Primal Scream up until they turned absolute shite (not coincidentally, probably after Sheilds left the band). They had a song on their XTRMNTR album (their best, IMO), called 'Shoot Speed/Kill Light'. Shields' guitar playing on that is incredible. I used to blast it out in the car around the time it came out, when I'd be driving into work at about 6:30am to shake off the cobwebs. And he toured fairly extensively with them at the time too, and it was always a pleasure to see him play (understated and all as his stage presence was).

And of course he turned up on stage with Patti Smith last year too, which was a nice, unexpected treat.

Of the 2 EP gigs, I only saw the first one. I didn't fancy travelling down to Stradbally for their second show, for a fairly light looking lineup for that friday evening (was a bit sick too, if I recall correctly).

The first one was great though. I remember they came on after Grinderman and how almost nobody left the tent between the Grinderman and MBV sets. And other bands who I'd seen playing that day all came over to see them. I guess there was a lot of buzz about them, even from people who might not necessarily have been that familiar with them.

(I got me picture taken with Hercules and Love Affair just before the set!).

I remember David Kitt standing beside me singing out every word to every song (I didn't even know the songs had actual, proper words).

And it was fucking loud. Nearly blew the head off me. And it was amazing. And if it turns out to be the only time I ever get to see MBV play, so be it, at least it was amazing. One of the best things I have ever seen.

I don't think I've ever recommended this album to anyone when they ask me to suggest music to them to listen to. I was asked by someone who had heard of it, who wanted to know what I thought of it, and telling them to go-for-it, but be aware that its not the most instantly-accessible record ever.

I'd consider this comfort listening for me now. I find it very relaxing to listen to. Almost the same way I would when listening to ambient or modern classical.

I don't know when I'll listen to it again. Once in a while I'll dig it out, but it was great to have the excuse to listen to it again for the last week. I enjoyed it as much, if not more, than I ever have.

That isn't the most indepth analysis of an album that there ever was. But, based on the fact that I like it a lot, and that it contains (at least) one of the best songs I've ever heard, it gets a solid 4.5/5 from me (will round down this time though).
 

travispickle

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I've loved listening to this again. I don't think I listened since their last album came out a couple of years back and it had even kind of gone out of my head.

I'd never consider this among my favorite albums but I do like it a lot. I came to it in the mid-90s sometime. I don't remember when exactly. It was during college, at a time when most people were listening to Green Day's Dookie, or The Bends by Radiohead. I listened to those too, but I remember getting the bus home one night, listening to Dave Fanning on the radio. He played Loveless. I recall how the song washed over me but when it finished, Fanning was gushing over it. He said it was the best song he'd ever heard, from the best album he'd ever head. In the times before social media you would tend to take notice when you hear a comment like that, from somebody like him.

I picked up a copy of the album not long after. As per what @dunderhead said, it was part of some sale offer so it didn't exactly break the bank.

Its a strange thing to listen to an album that you expect to like, that you want to like, that you know you should like, but that you don't like once you've heard it. It did absolutely nothing for me. I couldn't pick the melodies out, I couldn't make out anything lyrics-wise, there was nothing here that I'd consider 'my bag'.

2 songs started to get some traction with me after a while. 'When You Sleep' (which I'd consider to be one of my favorite songs to this day), and 'Sometimes', but the album never really sat well with me, as a whole.

I wasn't really that big into the shoegaze scene then. I'm still not, but I have listened a bit to other bands from that genre and generally would consider that I like it.

Even now I wouldn't go as far as to say the album is great. Its very good, but it relies on a couple of songs to prop the rest up IMO.

And I was a bit disappointed when I read Alan McGee's Creation Records book, about how the recording of this album was off the scales in terms of cost and Shields being a cantankerous fucker.

I looked it up on wikipedia there now to see if the details were there. 250 grand it says it cost. 250 grand in 1991.

Do I hear 250 grand's worth of production there? I'd never claim to have the most cultured ear ever, but would it have been that much different if they just played the songs live with a few effects pedals? I mean, anyone who saw their live shows recently will attest to how amazing they were.



Which sonic innovations? Is it not just some guitars and keyboards and a bit of distortion? And the vocals are so understated that I wouldn't see anything to get too excited about there.

I reckon the point I'm getting at is, though I like the album, and now that I know it a lot better than I did when I first got it, I really don't see what the fuss about it is.

It must be great to be in one of these bands that are so cool as to be beyond criticism. I don't know how bands get to achieve that kind of status. Its as if the music is so 'out there' that critics are afraid to diss it for fear of damaging their own cred.

I was a big fan of Primal Scream up until they turned absolute shite (not coincidentally, probably after Sheilds left the band). They had a song on their XTRMNTR album (their best, IMO), called 'Shoot Speed/Kill Light'. Shields' guitar playing on that is incredible. I used to blast it out in the car around the time it came out, when I'd be driving into work at about 6:30am to shake off the cobwebs. And he toured fairly extensively with them at the time too, and it was always a pleasure to see him play (understated and all as his stage presence was).

And of course he turned up on stage with Patti Smith last year too, which was a nice, unexpected treat.

Of the 2 EP gigs, I only saw the first one. I didn't fancy travelling down to Stradbally for their second show, for a fairly light looking lineup for that friday evening (was a bit sick too, if I recall correctly).

The first one was great though. I remember they came on after Grinderman and how almost nobody left the tent between the Grinderman and MBV sets. And other bands who I'd seen playing that day all came over to see them. I guess there was a lot of buzz about them, even from people who might not necessarily have been that familiar with them.

(I got me picture taken with Hercules and Love Affair just before the set!).

I remember David Kitt standing beside me singing out every word to every song (I didn't even know the songs had actual, proper words).

And it was fucking loud. Nearly blew the head off me. And it was amazing. And if it turns out to be the only time I ever get to see MBV play, so be it, at least it was amazing. One of the best things I have ever seen.

I don't think I've ever recommended this album to anyone when they ask me to suggest music to them to listen to. I was asked by someone who had heard of it, who wanted to know what I thought of it, and telling them to go-for-it, but be aware that its not the most instantly-accessible record ever.

I'd consider this comfort listening for me now. I find it very relaxing to listen to. Almost the same way I would when listening to ambient or modern classical.

I don't know when I'll listen to it again. Once in a while I'll dig it out, but it was great to have the excuse to listen to it again for the last week. I enjoyed it as much, if not more, than I ever have.

That isn't the most indepth analysis of an album that there ever was. But, based on the fact that I like it a lot, and that it contains (at least) one of the best songs I've ever heard, it gets a solid 4.5/5 from me (will round down this time though).
Great post as always Scutter -
I'm not getting the time for TAC as much these days but I hope to give this a blast tonight as I haven't played it in years. It's an album I already know, but was never that mad about it, despite it's reputation.
 

Anthony

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Listening to this again now. First time in years.
Back in '91 this was a difficult album at first and sure, now that our ears are fully adjusted this sounds more and more like a rock album with some groovy production.
When You Sleep was definitely my way in. Though the part that first caught my attention was the little guitar into to When You Sleep (interestingly the CD rip of this puts it at the end of To Here Knows When).
Sometimes is probably the album highlight. I can quite happily never hear Soon ever again.
 

diauhdiad?

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I first heard this in college, probably around 96 or 97. A friend had it on tape and I was curious to hear it. Whenever he played it I thought his tape was a bit damaged so I dismissed the album until such a time as I encountered a better copy (it wasn't on my own shopping list at the time) and this week is the first time I listened since. Like scutter, I don't see what all the fuss is about. It sounds like they came up with a a few standard issue indie guitar pop doodle tunes and ran the whole thing through a 90s™ effects pedal. It's decent enough, sounds good, but whatever and stuff.
 

portrid

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Based on all the music things I've heard so far in the universe ever loveless is 5/5 without question - never heard a single note of Bell&Seb thus far so prepared to knock that back to 3/5 if my mind is unexpectedly blown
 

travispickle

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Incredibly hard to be objective about this one, it is just part of the furniture at this stage. But I love it, even my paper thin shitey vinyl pressing.
Ditto. Can't really give it much analysis; very difficult to be objective. I gave it another blast on the bus this morning. It was never an album that was a big deal for me, but it's still sounds pretty good.
 

prefuse

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I probably didn't hear Loveless until 1993 or 94. I got curious after reading interviews with Smashing Pumpkins and Robert Smith where they mentioned it. It still has that old fashioned, in this day and age "album mystique" sometimes the myth or the legend of an album can be BS, but I love all that stuff. There's definitely a "sound sculpture" element to Loveless. Its like a lava lamp or a jellyfish in slow motion. Floating and morphing into different shapes. Are they "great songs" in a traditional sense....not really. But its the sound, it's all about the sound.

1 - Only Shallow
Classic intro, love Belinda's floating through the clouds vocals. The unison guitar bends sound like a stampeding herd of angry elephants. I also love the pitch bend over the snare roll into the chorus.

2 - Loomer
This sounds like it was recorded on a Tascam 4 track. I love the little guitar melody.

3 - Touched
What a weird sounding track. I thinking elephants again. Like the Salvador Dali painting.

4 - To Here Knows When
The definition of "blissed out" I've never done Heroin, and never will. I'd imagine this is what it feels like. One of my favourite parts on the album is the backwards looping guitar growls at the end of this song. I have been known to hum that part.

5 - When You Sleep
This sounds like pop music compared to the previous tracks. I love those creepy Ooooo's. Parts of this song, in fact the whole album is almost like an aural illusion. It plays tricks on the ear & you start hearing parts that may not necessarily be there. Nice heavenly synth part at the end

6 - I Only Said
Love this one. It could go on forever.

7 - Come In Alone
I like this one but it's not a standout. Classic indie downstrum guitars.

8 - Sometimes
Probably the weakest track, has some nice touches though.

9 - Blown a Wish
This is my favourite song on the album. It's just swirling mass of sound. That pitch bending part is quiet disorientating. I think slightly altering a pitch back and forth is quiet trippy. Very cool.

10 - What You Want
Really abrasive guitars. I like the slight pause for the snare roll.

11 - Soon
Heard this one too many times but it is great. The guitars come on like a swarm of killer bees. I love the kick drum pattern and the tamborine part.
 

kavanelli

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This is a album I don't get to listen to enough. I like it but Wifebot hates it.

"It's just noise, why are you listening to noise? Where is the melody? It's just shite" things she says when I listen to it.

It has become an album I listen to when I am driving on my own.

It my lonely long drive album
 

hugh

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I think the wifebot's melody detection needs to be recalibrated. Try listening to Sunn O))) constantly for a few weeks and she'll soon realise MBV is bursting with melody.
 

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