by Nina King
It must be hard to be brothers in the music biz. Although there are plenty of brothers who formed bands and still got along (Van Halen, the Bee Gees, Jonas Brothers), there are plenty more who ended up feuding, suing or just plain couldn’t stand their siblings anymore. (Oasis, anyone?)
In The Jesus and Mary Chain’s case, it was Scottish brothers Jim and William Reid, who during five years of unemployment schemed and planned, wrote and recorded songs for their group, even designed their image. It was when they finally got to perform and record professionally in the early ’80s that it all came together and fell apart. The post-punk sound the pair had created, overlaid with a wall of noise and feedback, was not exactly universally embraced.
Debut single “Upside Down” helped them make it, charting in early 1985. That success led to their first album, Psychocandy, which is still cited as an influence by artists today. That success led to a huge tour of the U.K., the U.S. and Japan.
Over the next decade or so, the band put out only five more albums and split up after the last one. For eight years, the brothers headed their own projects before finally reuniting in 2007. Maybe brotherly love has finally won out.