Automatic (The Jesus and Mary Chain album)

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Automatic
Studio album by The Jesus and Mary Chain
Released 9 October 1989
Recorded 1989, Sam Therapy, West London
Genre Alternative rock
Length 43:26
Label Blanco y Negro Records
Producer Jim Reid, William Reid
The Jesus and Mary Chain chronology
Barbed Wire Kisses
(1988)
Automatic
(1989)
Honey's Dead
(1992)
Singles from Automatic
  1. "Blues from a Gun"
    Released: September 1989
  2. "Head On"
    Released: November 1989

Automatic is the third album by Scottish alternative rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain. The Mary Chain on this record is basically the core duo of brothers William and Jim Reid, with a drum machine providing percussion, and even a synthesizer filling in on bass guitar. The only other credited musician was Richard Thomas, who joined the touring version of the Mary Chain as a drummer. Thomas drummed on "Gimme Hell", and was a former member of Dif Juz. He also made appearances on Cocteau Twins' 1986 Victorialand LP and This Mortal Coil's 1986 Filigree & Shadow.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media (7.8/10)[2]
Q 2/5 stars July 2006 (p.122)
Robert Christgau B−[3]

Although released to generally poor reviews at the time (with the aforementioned synthesized drums and bass being the biggest point of contention), Automatic contains their most successful single up to that point, "Head On" (later covered by Pixies). Critical and fan reception has improved with the passage of time. Pitchfork Media wrote in 2006: "Conventional wisdom wrongly calls (Automatic) the dud," of the JAMC's discography, but that in hindsight the album "feels like a career peak"[4] and has been a fan favourite.

The last two tracks, "Drop" and "Sunray", were initially only available on the CD release, and not the vinyl LP and cassette releases. Later re-issues on cassette and CD feature all 12 tracks.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Jim Reid and William Reid.

LP (BYN 20), limited gatefold LP (BYN 20W) and cassette (BYNC 20)

Side 1

  1. "Here Comes Alice" – 3:53
  2. "Coast to Coast" – 4:13
  3. "Blues from a Gun" – 4:44
  4. "Between Planets" – 3:27
  5. "UV Ray" – 4:06

Side 2

  1. "Her Way of Praying" – 3:46
  2. "Head On" – 4:11
  3. "Take It" – 4:34
  4. "Halfway to Crazy" – 3:40
  5. "Gimme Hell" – 3:20
CD (BYNCD 20)
  1. "Here Comes Alice" – 3:53
  2. "Coast to Coast" – 4:13
  3. "Blues from a Gun" – 4:44
  4. "Between Planets" – 3:27
  5. "UV Ray" – 4:06
  6. "Her Way of Praying" – 3:46
  7. "Head On" – 4:11
  8. "Take It" – 4:34
  9. "Halfway to Crazy" – 3:40
  10. "Gimme Hell" – 3:20
  11. "Drop" – 1:58
  12. "Sunray" – 1:34

Personnel[edit]

The Jesus and Mary Chain[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Alan Moulder - engineer
  • Jamie Harley - recording assistant
  • Lee Curle - recording assistant
  • Dick Meaney - mixing assistant
  • Richard Thomas - drums on "Gimme Hell"
  • Ryan Art - design
  • Steve Mitchell - photography
  • Andrew Catlin - photography

Charts[edit]

Year Chart Position
1989 UK Albums Chart 11
1989 US Billboard 200 105
1989 Swedish Albums Chart 42

Notes[edit]