Tuesday, April 1, 2014

UK Indie Hits: 1980-89 (No. 34)

I'm counting down my top 50 singles from the golden age of the UK Independent Charts.

34. The Jesus and Mary Chain - "Upside Down"

Other Contenders: This was the band's only charting indie single, but they seemed to somehow rebound from this disappointment. Within three months of this song the lads would be making appearances on the UK Singles Chart.

Chart Entry: Nov. 7, 1984

Peak Position: No. 1

Comment: What more can I add, really? At 35,000 copies sold, this is one of the biggest indie singles of the entire decade. "Upside Down" spent 76 weeks on the chart and went to No. 1 more than once during that span. This song, and the followup "Never Understand," as well as some legendary shows... for good and bad reasons, had us all buzzing. Yes, you could hear the influences, but the band's sound seemed like something completely new. It only took another year before we got JAMC's masterpiece. You could still hear the noise and fuzz of "Upside Down" on 'Psychocandy,' but it was harnessed in a way that made it accessible to a slew of new listeners. By then the band's Creation years were already in the rear-view mirror, and I have to admit I didn't stick with JAMC much longer, but I'll always think of their brief indie appearance with fondness.

Find "Upside Down" on disc two of the 'Psychocandy' deluxe edition.


george said...

This is a great series Brian. Lots of jangjy guitars, which is no bad thing. But not enough twangy guitars!

Brian said...

I hear you, George. Jangle is sort of my thing, and the bottom half of this list does have a ton of c86-era songs. Almost (but not all) of my list is culled from Creation, Postcard, Cherry Red, Glass, Zoo, Kitchenware, Sarah, Subway Org., Rough Trade and Factory bands. Can't help myself. I love them. Hopefully, I'll make you proud as we move along. Take care.

Dirk said...

Another fine contender! I loved the JAMC to death back then and managed to see them twice at a rather early stage of their career. As much as I adore 'Upside Down', I think 'You Trip Me Up' is their best tune. Even after all these years it gives me enormous pleasure to put the 12" on the record player ... and then to be shocked again about the immense volume it was produced with ... rather scary in comparison to other 12" singles. I am by no means an expert, but is it because it is so short?

Brian said...

A fine choice, Dirk. LOUD! If that one was eligible, I would have had a tough choice. The chart made the decision for me.

Séamus Duggan said...

Great single. Remember hearing this for the first time like it was yesterday...