Twenty years of ‘Loveless’

Courtesy of Creation Records

 ”Loveless”

5/5 Pitchforks

Creation Records

Released: Nov. 4 1991

 

 

The unfortunate truth concerning so many extraordinary and important records is there’s no guarantee they will ever receive their proper recognition. Bad timing, poor accessibility and lack of advertising are among a myriad of reasons. Sometimes, acknowledgement is found but only after years of being kept warm under the heat lamps. Such is the case with My Bloody Valentine’s beautifully hazy masterpiece “Loveless.”

Although they have almost always been critically praised for their work, My Bloody Valentine has always relied on more of a cult following and existed a bit too far below the surface, out of reach for the common music listener. In fact, it seems the band is generally only spoken of by those profoundly influenced by the sonic pioneers or others who have given themselves fully to the splintered genres of alternative rock music.

Kevin Shields, My Bloody Valentine’s frontman, spent over two years toiling away on “Loveless” in various studios, skillfully crafting a brilliantly lush sound that would define and transcend a genre in one severe dose of noise and melody. It was also rumored that he nearly bankrupted his independent label, Creation Records, in the process.

“Loveless” is a 48-minute daydream filled with brilliant psychedelic highs and tranquil, occasionally melancholic, lows. For two decades, the album has served as a wellspring from where artists have been inconspicuously drawing inspiration. Whether it be the fuzzed-out bliss of guitars reinterpreted by the Smashing Pumpkins, particularly on “Siamese Dream,” or the dense dreamscapes being conjured up by M83, the extensive musical impact of “Loveless” has been turning up on records since its creation.

My Bloody Valentine has yet to release a follow up to “Loveless.” However, the band did reunite in 2007-08 to tour their notoriously ear-splittingly loud live show as well as play a three-night stint in 2009 at All Tomorrow’s Parties’ “Nightmare Before Christmas” festival. Kevin Shields has also recently formed a new record label and hinted at possibly releasing new My Bloody Valentine material over the past few years.

While this all may sound like elitist rambling — which is highly possible — if “Loveless” isn’t a part of your iTunes or record collection, you are sorely missing out.

 

Reach the reporter at tebrook1@asu.edu

 

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