Not an obvious choice from this great band, but my personal favourite Jesus And Mary Chain song remains the surf-tastic “Far Gone And Out” from 1992.
Another example where my favourite differs from what may generally be considered a classic band’s “best” song(s), “Far Gone And Out” is my personal number one Mary Chain song, partly because of the memories it evokes, but also because it remains a hugely under-rated blissful pop banger. “Far Gone And Out” was released as the second single (after “Reverence”) from fourth album “Honey’s Dead” in March 1992, at a time when I was very excited about a new Mary Chain record. I’d only recently become a big Mary Chain fan, particularly of the seminal first two albums (1985’s “Psychocandy” and especially 1987’s “Darklands”) and was still just about young and unjaded enough to muster such enthusiastic anticipation.
“Reverence” emerging in February 1992 was therefore an exciting event, especially as it did so on the same day as Ride – another then favourite group – were releasing the “Leave Them All Behind” EP. I can still remember heading out of school down to Chelmsford Our Price on the Monday lunchtime to purchase both on 12 inch and being pleased to get strong approval from the cute indie girl working on the counter. There was further excitement when both singles then entered the UK singles chart in the top 10; fairly unheard of for “indie” acts then, let alone two at once.
“Far Gone And Out” followed soon after, and I managed to snag a limited edition boxset on release day: a 12 inch with postcards, discography and extra “Reverence” remix, a beautifully packaged affair albeit probably not that limited, with an average current selling price of £9 on Discogs. “Far Gone And Out” itself remains a great song albeit noticeably different to most Mary Chain tracks, even those on “Honey’s Dead”. It’s a joyous fusion of many of the classic Mary Chain influences without the distorted fuzz attached; a surf pop Beach Boys flavour pervades, enhanced by typically Scottish jangly guitars which are more prevalent than on any other Mary Chain songs I can recall. Extra charm is provided by the song’s shuffling drumbeats which anchor “Far Gone And Out” firmly in the early 90s, a rhythmic stance that even My Bloody Valentine were partial to at the time (exhibit A: the sublime “Soon”).
“Far Gone And Out” also reminds me fondly of contemporaneous early visits to Essex’s premier indie night club, Rayleigh’s Pink Toothbrush, plus the fantastic Rollercoaster gig in April 1992; headlined by the Mary Chain but also featuring Dinosaur Jr, My Bloody Valentine and Blur. Not bad for £12.50. Returning to the Mary Chain these days, the twin peaks of the first two albums do remain their outstanding achievements, but I’ll always have a soft spot for “Honey’s Dead” and particularly the exuberant pop thrills of “Far Gone And Out”.
VIDEOS AND OTHER STUFF
- Other great Mary Chain songs include: Just Like Honey, Never Understand, Some Candy Talking, April Skies, Darklands, Happy When It Rains, Down On Me
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