The Jesus and Mary Chain Made a Deep Departure on 'Honey's Dead'

'Honey's Dead'
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Warner Music UK

While they first reached a larger audience in 1985 with the single "Just Like Honey," The Jesus and Mary Chain's fourth album, released in the spring of 1992, was meant to signify a departure from the title alone: Honey's Dead. The album provided the Scottish band with their second consecutive Top 20 record in the U.K. as well as their third Top 5 single on Billboard's alternative airplay chart.

Produced by brothers William and Jim Reid, the sole stalwarts in the Jesus and Mary Chain lineup over the course of their existence, Honey’s Dead had a solid team of engineers working with the band: Flood and Alan Moulder, both of whom had teamed up with the Reids in the past. Recorded at the band’s Drugstore studio in London, the LP found the band stepping back a bit from the more radio-friendly material on their previous album – 1989’s Automatic, which spawned the hit single “Head On” – even as it also saw them shifting into the utilization of some alternative dance grooves here and there.

Three singles from Honey’s Dead made headway on the charts in various locations. The first single, “Reverence,” took the band into the Top 10 of the U.K. singles chart, which proved to be the highest spot that any of the singles achieved. That said, “Far Gone and Out” and “Almost Gold” did hit No. 23 and No. 41 in the U.K., respectively, and they made it considerably higher on Billboard’s alternative airplay chart, hitting No. 3 and No. 13, respectively.

Conversely, perhaps the worst thing to emerge from Honey’s Dead, at least as far as the band was concerned, was The Jesus and Mary Chain’s decision to join the 1992 Lollapalooza tour.

"That was the worst experience of our lives,” William Reid told Melody Maker in 1994. "We had to play something like 40 dates over two months or something. By the second gig, we realized we'd made a mistake, and we had another thirty-something gigs to play to thousands of Beavises and Butt-heads. We got fucking drunk out of our heads every day, just trying to forget it. But you can't. We just shouldn't have been there. That fucked us up for a long time. It fucked up our thought processes."

So maybe we’ll just say no more about Lollapalooza and instead close on a better note about Honey’s Dead: while the album was only a middling hit in America, topping out at No. 158, it made it to No. 14 in the U.K., providing the band with their second consecutive Top 20 album.

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