Thursday, July 28, 2011

1984: Top 50 Singles

Upside Down - The Jesus And Mary Chain (Creation)

1984, the year of The Big Brother, turned out to be a vintage year for noise rock. It seems that underground music was getting more and more fierce and noisy as a reaction to the conservatism of the Reagan and Thatcher era and the tame, plastic pop that was dominating the charts of the time.

Right at the end of that year, the drilling guitars and out of control decibels of "Upside Down" introduced the world to the riotous, groundbreaking noise-pop of The Jesus And Mary Chain, a Glasgow gang of misfits fronted by the brothers Jim and William Reid. Their simple but effective method of songwriting buried catchy '60s pop melodies and primitive garage rock beats to a swelling sea of guitar feedback that mercilessly assaulted the listener’s ears. Once the three minute wild ride of "Upside Down" was over, the buzzing in your eardrums warned you against repeating this ungodly racket, but it was already too late - your brain was already hooked to the thrilling tunes hidden inside the formidable wall of noise.

In the almost three decades that followed, countless bands have based their careers in this glorious noise-pop combination that came fully formed in The Jesus And Mary Chain’s breakthrough 7inch and expanded upon a year later in "Psychocandy", their classic debut album. No wonder that the recent documentary on Creation Records took its title from this very single. Listen once again to "Upside Down", our favorite single of 1984 below and click here for the complete list of our Top 50 Singles of 1984 (most of which you can listen to in the playlist at the end of this post).

The Jesus And Mary Chain - Upside Down

You can also checkout here and here respectively our Vintage Tracks posts on two other top tracks of that year, Sonic Youth’s noise paean "Death Valley '69" and Hard Corps’ pioneering electro "Dirty".

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