My Bloody Valentine have become a cult band during the last twenty years, no doubt aided by the fact they have not released anything that could be called new material since the seminal Loveless from1991. They were shoegaze pioneers, yet at the same time they were not really of a movement or scene (as acts that are considered pioneers often are, in a strange sort of way). They were a kind of contradiction sort of band. They were unique in sound, and their lack of material and interviews given and so on led to a mystique and no shortage of myths surrounding their recording techniques and all round fussiness etc.
The most famous story, true or otherwise, was how they near had Alan McGee’s Creation label going bust due to the long and expensive studio time required for the making of Loveless. This being a few years before McGee by chance spotted Oasis down the bill one Sunday night in Glasgow during the spring of 1993. Or so that particular story goes. Even little known Irish band from the early 2000’s, PS I Love You, wrote a song with the lyric “where on earth is Kevin Shields”. Look it up why don’t you.
The late 80s/early 90s was the period whenever the Dublin ensemble were at their recording and output peak. This also coincided with the peak of Creation Records. Primal Scream and House Of Love were among the other people on the label at the time. MBV’s brand of originality has been described famously as “beauty under siege”. Some of my favorite bands can be described thus. I am immediately thinking Autechre for one.
Their two studio albums from the period– 1988’s Isnt Anything and 1991’s Loveless (“a much played CD”– John Peel speaking in ’91)– as well as a further CD of early EP tracks, are out now in pristine, remastered (by frontman Kevin Shields himself) and repackaged in the most attractive of quality. Slanting and enchanting.