My Bloody Valentine

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I was watching VH1 last night, I think its VH1 Classic or something. They have a show called "The Alternative".

Its basically the same format of 120 Minutes from the old MTV days, and they play some hits & some misses of the 70's, 80's and 90's rock "alternatives" that I absolutely love.

I have this at #2 on my Tivo list right behind "Lost".

Anyhow, i'm watching them play some standard videos, like The Cure, The Smiths - some old one hit wonders from Soup Dragons and The Farm - then comes on a video of a band I never heard before...

My Bloody Valentine

As soon as the song starts I stop what i'm doing and watch the TV. I can't believe what i'm hearing. It was like discovering old book or watching a movie from the past - and my first thoughts were:

"I love this song - how come I never heard of this band before?"

The song was "Only Shallow" from the band's CD "Loveless". It was released November 1991...and I know exactly where I was...

Florence, Italy.

There would have been no chance that I would have seen this video on MTV because Italy was like being in a time vacuum. I didn't have access to any pop culture from September-December 1991. I'm sure when I returned in January 1992 from studying abroad that I could have seen or heard this song - but still...I didn't.

The song is a cool mix of warped guitar riffs, rat-a-tat drum beats and a harmonic blend of vocals (you won't actually hear the words, its very much like they made their vocal tracks like another instrument) that sounds similar to many things I have heard before in the alternative scene (for some reason Cocteau Twins & Smashing Pumpkins both come to mind when I listen to the song - but each artist is much lighter than MBV).

After the video ended I still was like, "What the hell was that?" I still couldn't believe I just heard that song - I was floored on how much I liked it. My only complaint about the song is that it can somewhat drone on - it seemed like a very long song that could have been cut down 25% of its song length.

I just hope that tonight I can download it from ITunes and listen to it again with my headphones. I don't know if you have done this, but listen to a song on the radio or whatever - then grab a pair of $100 headphones (you know the funky 70's looking types from Bose or Sony), and listen to the song again. You will realize how many subtle changes there are with a song.

I did pick up one last tidbit of information from The Alternative. From what I heard - My Bloody Valentine would spend so long in the studio that their label would release their songs piecemeal on EP's, rather than waiting for the album to be completed. I am guessing the band were either perfectionists or just really bad when it came to making up their mind on the final sound of a song.

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on January 20, 2005 10:23 AM.

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