A few words about the My Bloody Valentine reissues.

A couple of weeks ago both ‘Isn’t Anything’ and ‘Loveless’ were finally reissued along with a double CD collection of the band’s Creation era EP’s, the imaginatively titled ‘EPs 1988-1991’.

Given the rapturous reception to both ‘Isn’t Anything’ and ‘Loveless’ it’s easy to forget sometimes that it was these EPs which sparked the band’s exceptional burst of creativity. And ‘EPs 1988-1991’ is a timely reminder of just how good these records are – with the bonus of some unreleased material.

The EPs chart the move away from the more direct material on critical breakthrough ‘You Made Me Realise’ to the blissful soundscapes on the likes of ‘Gilder’ and ‘Tremolo’. It’s a while since I’ve listened to pretty much all of this stuff but reconnecting with it has just blown me away. It’s not at all surprising that such an innovative band were to inspire a legion of copycats – but none came close to the genius of MBV.

Truth is, whilst the likes of ‘You Made Me Realise’, ‘Feed Me With Your Kiss and ‘Soon’ are clearly lead tracks, these records are genuine EPS – definitely not A-sides with a group of not so good B-sides. The quality of material here is just as high as on the two regular albums.

I love the heavier stuff, YMMR and FMWYK in particular whilst ‘Soon’ also assimilates some of the indie dance culture of the early 90s to produce something new. But trawl through the four EPs collected here and you won’t be in the slightest bit disappointed ‘Slow’, ‘Drive All Over Me’, ‘I Believe’, ‘Don’t Ask Why’ – shit, everything from the 4 EPs is great.

Which brings me to the unreleased stuff. In such exalted company it could disappoint but actually it’s all pretty decent. Sure, at times, it sounds like the copyists trailing in the MBV slipstream, struggling but not quite matching the originals, but it’s kind of new MBV (maybe the closest we’ll ever get).

Change the drumbeat on ‘Instrumental No 2’ and it could be a contemporary tune – I was confused as hell as to what it was (Django Django? Remember Remember?) when I first heard it in the car after work, having forgotten what I’d been listening to on the way in. Not sure of the origins of the 6 other new songs, although a couple definitely sound like ‘Isn’t Anything’ era, and they are very much what you’d expect. But they ain’t half bad.

Not sure of the need for  two further masters of ‘Loveless’ but I’m definitely interested in getting ‘Isn’t Anything’ since I’ve only got it on vinyl. A friendly record store purchase in the near future? Possibly!

You know I’d forgotten that this is actually on ‘Isn’t Anything’!

Buy the MBV reissues in your local record stores.

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