Shields/My Bloody Valentine Before and After Loveless (LAST UPDATED December 2016)
"People think its all pedals, but all my pedals are graphic equalizers and tone controls. Its all in the tone." (Kevin Shields to Steve Double, NME November 9, 1991, pg. 14)
"I've always told people exactly how I've made a record. The average My Bloody Valentine track is about one or two guitar tracks: less than a White Stripes or Cramps record...Basically, a My Bloody Valentine record has the same amount of tracks on it as most bands' demos do...I would work with a tremolo to get this other dynamic and suddenly had a language I could kind of express myself with, which I never really had before. I found a voice, and I could do it well...After a while, I was playing in such a way that people thought it was some weird effect or studio manipulation. People in the press couldn't get their heads around it. We were going for a sound that drew you in. When people make records, they add; they try to clarify everything with cue and compression and stuff. Everything has its own space and doesn't sound like it's happening in the same place. We weren't trying to make anything stick out too much. Everything was quite full on... Then we'd get compared to a lot of other shoegazing bands; they were doing everything we hated, using loads of chorus, flanger and all these effects on their guitars and singing genuinely softly and it was all whispery. It was so hard to get away from that. We were singing as loud as we could to sing the way we wanted to." (Kevin Shields to Magnet Magazine, No. 74, Jan/Feb 2007)
Kevin Shields, born May 21, 1963, fronts a band called My Bloody Valentine which reunited in 2008 for its first shows in 15 years.
What this web site contains
Extensive documentation of Kevin Shields' output as guitar player, remixer, and producer under his own name and under the My Bloody Valentine moniker; musical contributions by Bilinda Butcher outside of My Bloody Valentine; any useful links about the band or its other two members, Colm O'Ciosoig and Deb Googe who like Bilinda keep a low profile.
Maybe most useful is item #6 which summarises the career of My Bloody Valentine and highlights their best releases. This is followed by a list Kevin Shields' best solo work as producer, mixer, re-mixer, and guitar player (although the solo work is sometimes attributed to My Bloody Valentine and sometimes to Kevin Shields, e.g some remixes by Shields say the My Bloody Valentine remix while others say the Kevin Shields remix. Both represent solo work by Kevin Shields.)
(CLICK ON HYPERLINKS BELOW OR SCROLL DOWN.)
A. Running News Blog of Shield's Latest Work: Last Updated 12/6/16
I have a huge archive of hard to find print articles on MBV should someone need a particular article for research purposes. Any additions or corrections to the site would be appreciated and can be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A. Latest News about Kevin Shields/My Bloody Valentine (updated 12/6/16)
A round up of some of Kevin Shields work that I've come across or forgot to list on this website previously (updated dec. 2016):
Kevin Shields remixed the Undertones' song "Get Over You" earlier this year to mark the reissue of their first two albums. He worked with Damian O'Neill previously in 1999 on an EP called "No Flies on Frank" which is listed under Section 1 of this website.
A few sites claims Shields made some kinda contribution to the Ping Pong Bitches self-titled five song EP from 2001 from one of Alan McGee's post-Creation labels. His name is nowhere to be found on the cd and I doubt the veracity of this information.
Shields plays guitar on the the single "2013" from Primal Scream from three years back or so from the album "More Light" also released in 2013.
Finally caught up with the documentary "Beautiful Noise" that supposedly focuses on Shoegazing by way MBV, the Cocteau Twins and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Wow, this was so badly done and yet it received such enthusiastic reviews (by a group of self-selected "experts" rather than professional music or film reviewers) despite it not really making much sense or having much understanding of the history of what took place. I was 16 when MBV started to blow people's minds in 1988. The two main filmmakers who directed and edited the film are definitely 10 to 15 years younger than me and don't fundamentally understand what it was like when either the Jesus and Mary Chain hit the scene or the even more massive and prolonged impression made by My Bloody Valentine between 1988 to 1992 with the release of Loveless. Its probably the single worst documentary I've ever scene as it doesn't really have any single story or premise that it sticks to. It doesn't tell any kind of coherent story or make any point. Where to begin? The best coherent story to recount, in my opinion, would have begun with The Velvet Underground and their use of noise, continue to the Jesus and Mary Chain and their more recent combining of harsh feedback that buried pretty melodies and My Bloody Valentine taking it a step further with their totally new take on guitar with the bulk of the movie focusing on MBV's huge influence that transcends the music scene and is a reflection of the times we life in. They really are the most important band at the center of this and without them there really wouldn't have been anything distinct enough for people to think that "shoegazing" is some sort of new point of departure for music. So much was written about MBV in 1992 when Loveless came out that there can be no argument that they are far and away the biggest influence from that period and they said some that distinctly spoke to a generation. That should have been the premise of the film.
I can't imagine these amateurs would have ever gotten this film made without Kickstarter existing and being relatively new. Having no track record, they were able to raise $85,000 basically because people were interested in the topic. People have been learning with time all the various things that can go very wrong when they crowdfund a product of any sort. If you look on their Kickstarter page, people were pissed that the movie was out and available and they didn't get their copy. I wonder how pissed they were when they realized they could have put together a more coherent documentary themselves using youtube than what they paid for. Everything about the movie is second rate. They stole Brian Eno's line about the Velvet Underground (the one about only a hundred people bought their album but everyone of them started a band) and used it for their movie poster which features tons of guitar pedals. Of course, MBV rarely if ever used pedals in the studio. But I doubt the filmmakers knew that. As far as I can tell the movie doesn't reflect any reading of any background material of any sort.
Like many films, they killed any chance this film had in the editing room. You can't just string together 50 interviews into something coherent without a firm idea of what story you want to tell. Footage doesn't magically come together to make your point or explain history if you don't understand the history of the music and have no discernible fundamental point you are trying to make. It has so many random interviews, its so diffuse. What's interesting is that so many amateur reviewers (everyone's a critic on the internet) said it was "must see" and really well done. Yeah, its fun to see footage of bands you like, but that doesn't make it a good documentary. It was the first film by Eric Green and Sarah Ogletree. Boy, even that's no excuse for just how pointless it is. Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins along with Robert Smith of the Cure are the main talking heads who are featured in the editing, I guess to give some context. Billy Corgan is given more face time than anyone. Need I say more. Where are some proper intellectual music journalists when you need them? Its like writing a dissertation without any particular premise. This guy's review on IMDB gets the gist of its many problems, from the mediocre images to the vague terms that fail to make any sort of point:
8 January 2015 | by myownventricle (United States)
I was ridiculously excited for this documentary, which features some of my all-time favorite bands. I bought the blu-ray (as I didn't know how else to see it) and turned it on feeling giddy as a fervent young chappy. And very soon it became disappointingly clear that this was not the documentary I'd been waiting for.
If you are familiar with these bands you will learn nothing new and most of the interviews are cheek-slappingly banal. And even if they weren't, the cinematography is distractingly subpar: bad lighting, often out of focus, low definition. Why in the heavens is there a blu-ray edition if nothing was shot on HD? Crappy SD footage will not look better on a blu-ray, but it sure costs more to the excited fans/suckers!
I essentially felt that I would have derived a richer experience surfing YouTube watching old interviews and live performances of the bands, as I'm sure I could find higher quality and more interesting clips that weren't either far too brief or featured for way too long.
And for a documentary about the shoegaze movement, the word "shoegaze" is never uttered, just "this period" and "these bands." I essentially felt more informed than the filmmakers.
I feel that the shoegaze movement was one of the most fascinating periods of music history and deeply deserves a fresh, beautiful, illuminating documentary. Sadly, this is not it.
END OF REVIEW FROM IMDB
The nicest thing that can be said for Adam Green is that should he ever show any actual skill later in life, he can file this under juvenalia much like the "This is Your Bloody Valentine" when MBV didn't know what they were doing either. Within 5 years of making "This is Your Bloody Valentine", MBV were blowing people's minds. Green has yet to make anything else to my knowledge. And he wasted so much goodwill and excitement about these bands by making something so mediocre. What a waste. Someone needed to tell him he didn't yet have the skills yet to make a coherent documentary. Its just too bad no one mentored him and helped make something with even just a little bit of value albeit -by making the scope of the film much smaller. I could make something so much better, honest to G-d, if he gave me that footage of MBV and JAMC (and got rid of all the footage of Billy Corgan and Robert Smith.) No joke. As they say, youth is wasted on the young. It just would have been cool if Adam Green hadn't also wasted everyone else's money and goodwill so they could pay for him to learn about film making. Aren't there school's for that?
I don't know where their seed money came from but they had to stop in 2008 as they needed more money to finish it and get music releases. They raised additional money from a Kickstarter campaign. Boy, I would have been pissed if I gave them money for this amateur piece of work. It tells the converted nothing new about any of the bands, and it certainly won't convert or interest anyone not already familiar as it doesn't explain what this supposed "movement" is that connects these bands and why we should care. Not so much a bad premise as no premise other than some musicians say how they were influenced by bands that came before them. Can't help but just think about the end of Easy Rider where he says "we blew it". (12/6/16).
Some random stuff I wanted to update that people may not be aware of worth that may want to seek out. One of the best projects I've been listening to recently is Jimi Shield's one off EP project called "All Rise" put out under the moniker The Wounded Knees, which I purchased back in 2010 but filed away and didn't listen to until recently. It was originally put out with 5 songs as a limited edition 10". Kevin Shield's produced it and I love it. Although the 10" had 5 tracks, I found a 6th track from the session called "Blue in the Face" floating around on Soulseek as a release featuing 6 tracks total, the other 5 being the same as on the 10"). I'm guessing all the tracks wouldn't fit on the 10". It is simply excellent particularly the first song, "Mainstream Hate School". Definitely worth seeking out. Tributes to My Bloody Valentine continue to pour out over the years as more and more people get to know the band. "Yellow Loveless" is a Japanese tribute by various artists to My Bloody Valentine's "Loveless". It was released on January 23, 2013 on High Fader (catalog no. HFR-1202; CD). I only casually perused the cd and like most of these projects it seems like a mixed bag. I'm sure there must be at least a couple really inspired covers on it . A Spanish language tribute called "Suicideisfine" also by various artists was released in March of 2001. Samples can be heard on the following web page: https://astronautspain.bandcamp.com/album/vvaa-suicideisfine-un-tributo-a-my-bloody-valentine. And in September 17, 2013, Kenny Feinstein released an album covering all 11 tracks from "Loveless" plus the song "Swallow' as a 12th track. I haven't listened to it yet, but the AV Club (the hip media website that is part of www.theonion.com) had this to say, "It sounds beyond strange, but somehow it works". Hmm. I'll have to check it out. (2/9/16).
I just came across a great article from 2014 at thequietus.com that discuses the innovations Kevin Shields has done in terms of rhythmic invention. And specifically its talks about how he was playing with drum n bass ideas in early 90's (after Loveless), most of which ended up on "m b v" which didn't come out til ten years later. He had talked a bit in the early 90's about what they were trying to do but decided at the time that the tracks were stillborn and he had lost the spontaneity that was so important to him. The article by Ben Cardew deciphers what Shields was talking about in the early 90's and points out what he believes were the results that did end up coming out on the "m b v" album.Kevin Shields has said that most of the "m b v" album was old stuff recorded in the mid 90's rounded out with a couple new tracks. It would sure be interesting to see what happens if Shields ever got really interested in doing all the anal programming necessary to do drum and bass, but you have to be a certain type of person to want to sit alone with a machine for hours all by yourself to really get good at that stuff.Here's the url: http://thequietus.com/articles/14201-my-bloody-valentine-rhythmic-invention (5/10/15).
Kevin Shields turns up on Brian Reitzell's solo album "Auto Music". He plays keyboard on track 5, "Last Summer". Its a kinda Neu thing. Really Nice. Brian Reitzell is the guy responsible for the soundtracks for "Lost In Translation", "The Virgin Suicides" and other Sophia Coppola projects. There's a really interesting article about him in Spin from a little ways back. (http://www.spin.com/articles/brian-reitzell-soundtrack-auto-music/). Its talks about how "City Girl" ended up happening for the "Lost in Translation" soundtrack and how Reitzell has brought other artists back to comfortable surroundings to get them to want to record again. Really Interesting. I really like Reitzell's solo album. Its very unique.. (8/30/14).
For the record, there is one awesome old school sounding unreleased track floating around on peer-to-peer networks that was not included on the series of reissues that harkens back to the sound of My Bloody Valentine when they were on Creation Records - which makes sense as it was recorded during that time from all indications. The track, tentatively called "Kevin Song", appears to have been part of an earlier track listing of the rarities included with the remastered Creation EP's. If you read the paragraph two paragraphs down from this one, you'll see that three of the four tracks from the earlier track listing of the remasters were released. These are not covers or remixes but wholly original My Bloody Valentine tracks never relased anywhere. "Kevin Song" was never officially put out but is absolutely the best unknown track floating around. Three of the four tracks from the original tracklistings were included with the Creation EP's (two were renamed - Cowboy Song and Bilinda Song were early tentative titles. Good for You was a third title.) But for whatever reason, "Kevin Song" was pulled. And its definitely worth tracking down. I recommend using Soulseek to find it. Read ahead a couple paragraphs for a breakdown of what was released and what the unreleased titles were renamed and other info. (4/13/14)
Pitchfork has an excellent interview with Shields explaining what went on that resulted in two different remasters of "Loveless". Very informative. (Here's the long version of the interview: http://pitchfork.com/features/interviews/8809-kevin-shields/.) The second remaster is particularly amazing and different. They didn't have the technology to make the proper analog master back in the early nineties he explains in the interview. Its feels so warm and amazing to my ears, among other things. So worthwhile. And here's their review of the remasters. (http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/16605-isnt-anything-reissue-loveless-reissue-eps-1988-1991/ (5/24/12).
Big News: Everything My Bloody Valentine put out while at Creation Records (and several previously unissued tracks) will be reissued on May 7, 2012. (May 4th in Ireland) These releases were originally announced in April of 2008 and some promo discs were given out several years ago on what was thought to be the eve of their release. Mojo went so far as to review the remasters of Loveless in an article entitled "Crown of Creation." (http://mojomagazine.tumblr.com/). There will be three releases totaling 5 cds. One disc is a remaster of Isn't Anything. Two discs make up of remastered versions of Loveless. (One is labeled as "remaster from original tapes" while the second version is labeled as having been "mastered from 1/2 inch analogue tapes".) The press release explains that there was a previous remastered that was never released and that a new remaster has now been done. There use of the words "remaster" and "master" are kind of confusing leads to several questions that hopefully the liner notes will answer. Hopefully that will be cleared up. Then the remaining two discs contain the four Eps they did for Creation along with 3 unreleased tracks and 4 hard to find tracks. (See announcement and track listing at http://www.sonymusic.ie/news/my-bloody-valentine-new-releases-friday-4th-may). I've downloaded mp3 versions of the two Loveless remasters and the remaster of Isn't Anything. The sounded amazing to my ears. Although the journalist in Mojo couldn't hear much difference between the two versions of Loveless, I sure as hell could. They both sounded amazing, but different things revealed themselves on the two different versions. And there are lots of new things to discover on the remaster of Isn't Anything. Lastly, a two disc set is being sold that contains the four Creation Eps, plus three unreleased tracks, and four hard to get tracks. Of the four hard to find tracks, all have been issued on Cd somewhere with the exception of the Full Length version of "Glider". And note that the remix by Andrew Weatherall of "Soon" is not part of the package, which makes sense as MBV had nothing to do with it once they gave the tapes to Weatherall. The Full Length version of "Glider" is what was used as the b-side, and the songs were only issued on record at the time of their release. (This website will tell you where the other hard to find tracks were first released, which has just become that much more irrelevant with this release.) It should also be noted that this last two disc set has a slightly different line-up of tracks than the track-listing that's been floating around for the last four years. I believe it did originally come from Sony, and it had mentioned four unreleased song. Three of them had temporary titles (Kevin Song, Bilinda Song, Cowboy Song) which have since been changed, as has the breakdown of songs on the two discs. "Good for You" is the only unreleased title seen on the original roster from years ago that appears on the new track-listing. It appears "Bilinda Song" is now called "Angel" and "Cowboy Song" is called "How Do You Do IT?" and "Kevin Song" will not be officially issued. Their first two Creation Ep's were reissued in compilation form on record, but never on cd. For many people, this may be the first time even finding and hearing their Creation Eps, the first two of which never had American distributors [To be clear all the EP's reissued on CD are labeled as having been remastered].
Recently found out about Kevin Shields' role in the making of the the first Silverfish EP (with the four songs Dolly Parton, On The Motorway, Weird Shit, and Don't Fuck) put out by Wiiija Records. Shields took over the mixing board after the original engineer fell asleep. Shields asked not be credited, wasn't paid as the band had no money, but Silverfish was certainly grateful and thanked My Bloody Valentine on the back. This story was told to me by a member of Silverfish who was there, for the record. Here's part of what he said. "The most noticeable of his suggestions was probably on "Don't Fuck", when Fuzz (guitarist) had a level marked for him on the desk, not to exceed. When it came to actually making a mix, Fuzz turned the guitar way up, past this. We all looked at Kevin. He said it was good so we kept it in. I remember telling the engineer we didn't want to sound like anyone else, he ended up falling asleep at the mixing desk. Kevin pretty much took over. We recorded and mixed the four tracks put out by Wiiija Records in the one night" This is of note not just because Kevin Shields work on the Ep but it is one of the few times in recorded history someone profited from a recording engineer's narcolepsy. (3/26/12).
I have yet to see any proper celebration of the fact that four amazing MBV tracks have leaked within the last year or so. This is cause for celebration, or at least cause to get really stoned and listen to the tracks. The four songs (Cowboy Song, Kevin Song, Good For You, and Bilinda Song) sound like first rate material circa 1988-1990 and are listed on a disc of rarities that was slated to come out accompanying another disc with the four remastered Creation EP's, at least according to one source. The other rarities on the disc are better known songs like Untitled A, Untitled B, Sugar, Glider (Long Mix), etc. Rather than download a lot of dubious song that Shields supposedly played a guitar line on or something, get there four tracks first. I see compilations with elaborate lists of songs Shields supposedly played on. Many of the albums, like the one by Undark, or various Dinosaur Jr albums, for the most part don't specify which tracks on the album Shields played on or even whether he played drums or guitar. Unless someone interviewed Shields or Jay Mascis about what exactly went down, its pretty hard to know. I doubt Shields remembers a lot of his more minor contributions. Unless it was a really distinct guitar part, or a remix, or production, or a very specific attribution (which is kinda the whole point of my site), or someone with inside knowledge was interviewed, its impossible to know Shields contribution on many albums. (On my site, I quote the attribution listed on the record or cd verbatim.) So many of the songs I see that Shields supposedly played on among these various compilations seem dubious. Anyway, why waste your time of some of those tracks in which he supposedly laid down a small guitar part when we have four unreleased proper MBV tracks. Just be sure to buy them when they come out, along with the remastered versions of Isn't Anything and Loveless. If ever a band deserves our cash, its MBV. The four members went through a lot to make this great music and I am very sure not one of the four is independently wealthy. So if you've downloaded any of their tracks, and you realized that no one else can do what they do, be fair to them and buy their records and cd's through the proper channels. (2/26/12).
The only MBV news of late can be found in NME back from October of this year. Shields mentions starting a label imprint entitled "Pickpocket" to put out an EP for Le Volume Courbe and possibly at 10" of his guitar noise that he's been working on. Its not the future home for My Bloody Valentine releases. It can be found online at http://www.nme.com/news/my-bloody-valentine/60086 and a longer article/interview appeared in the magazine at the time. On another topic, for those who wondered what happened to the remastered version of Loveless and Isn't Anything, I have no answers. They were reviewed in prominent music magazines but never came out. But they did leak. Soulseek is a great P2P client that is easy to setup and has a lot people who care about music on it. Go to Soulseek.com and download the SoulseekNS client. The trickiest part is opening a UDP port (or is it a TCP port? can't remember) in your firewall. Get a friend to help if necessary. You can definitely get quality remasters of Loveless and Isn't Anything in mp3 form through Soulseek to tide you over until such time as you can properly buy them. There are two remasters of Loveless that Shields did from two different sources, and one Shields did of Isn't Anything.They sound amazing. (12/22/11).
Shields can be seen playing with the Charlatans at an acoustic gig of theirs in a clip on youtube from Union Chapel 16/03/2011 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLcVUc41Pik) He doesn't come on stage until the second song. Also I got the 20th Anniversary version of Primal Scream's Screamadelica. On the front it says "re-mastered by primal scream and Kevin Shields" then in the booklet it specifies "Remastered by John Davis at Metropolis, Remaster approved by Kevin Shields." It does sound great. Its clearer and louder, without any bad compression. Nobody dropped the ball basically. Definitely worth owning. (4/19/11).
Undated footage that appeared on Youtube.com sometime in early 2010 shows Kevin Shields playing with Paul Weller at an NME awards function. A bunch of other notables are also there all playing with Weller on the track "Start", originally recorded by the Jam. (Weller was there to receive NME's 2010 Award for "Godlike Genius".) Shields also makes an appearance playing on Weller's latest album Wake Up the Nation on the track "7 & 3 is the Striker's Name". Have not seen the exact credit so I don't yet know exactly what he contributed. (11/17/10).
This year David Holmes released a 2cd best of compilation entitled The Dogs are Parading and it features a remix of "Living Room" by Kevin Shields. If memory serves, I heard about this remix when it was originally done by Shields around 2000. (It went unreleased until this year.) Th/e original version of the song can be found on the album Bow Down to the Exit Sign. It received 4.5 stars on Allmusic.com and rightly so. The original album from 2000 is without a doubt worth seeking out on its own merits and because it features members of Primal Scream and its revolving cast of contributors. Hugo Nicholson and Jagz Kooner do a great deal of engineering and mixing, and Bobby Gillespie writes and does vocals on two tracks, one of which, "Sick City", would show up re-recorded on the Scream's Evil Heat as "City". The other track which Gillespie co-wrote and sings on is called "Slip Your Skin" and its absolutely killer. Its an all around great modern album worth seeking out. Its no surprise Shields did the remix of "Living Room" because at the time he was hanging out with the Scream, mixing their work, laying down guitar parts, and playing with them live. (Listen to Exterminator, Evil Heat, and Live in Japan to check out the damage)(11/17/10).
Another of Shield's credit I've neglected to mention up to this point was his work for the documentary movie Zidane, about French football star Zinedine Zidane featuring an original soundtrack by Mogwai. Shields is credited as "Noise Consultant" on the film. I have yet to see the movie but I imagine his role had something to do with the mixing of the soundtrack, with its massive crowd noise integrated with the original soundtrack. That's my guess. If anyone knows more, I would appreciate it if they would clue me in by email. (5 minute time lapse) Well I just found this by Johnny Ray Huston at http://www.sfbg.com/noise/2008/02/01/mbv-top-kevin-shields-and-zidane-21st-century-portrait: "Kevin Shields is credited as "noise consultant" for Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno's Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait. That title might seem slightly absurd, but in fact, Shields's contribution to Zidane is anything but inconsequential. Any My Bloody Valentine acolyte that sees the movie in the theater will hear the unmistakable sound of Shields as he wields layers of crowd noise with the same hallucinatory impact he's brought to the electric guitar. His contribution proves to be as important as Mogwai's score, and perhaps a perfect corollary to Darius Khondji's 17-camera cinematography. Shields makes a symphony from stadium noise, and the result lures one deeper into a viewer facsimile of Zinedine Zidane's consciousness." Well there you have it. Thank you Mr. Huston. And how did Mogwai get convinced to do the soundtrack? According to an unattributed anecdote on Wikipedia they were shown footage of the movie projected with music from their Remix EP Fear Satan playing in the background. It doesn't say which song or songs from the EP were played, but coincidentally (or not), one of the remixes was by none other than Kevin Shields. Shields is not credited anywhere on the soundtrack, as it just contains the recordings made by Mogwai without any integration of anything the filmmakers shot. (11/17/10)
Kevin Shields appeared on a new track by Le Volume Courbe (A.K.A Charlotte Marionneau) and is credited as playing guitar, melodica, and glass. Kinda the typical basic straight forward Le Volume Courbe track with acoustic guitar. The track is called "I Love the Living You" and was written by Roky Erickson. It appears on a tribute album to Roky Erickson called The Psychedelic Sounds of the Sonic Cathedral: A Tribute to Roky Erickson and The 13th Floor Elevators. The CD features bands from The Sonic Cathedral label which appears to be based in London. Roky himself actually sings lead in front of The Black Angels for their version of "Rollercoaster" recorded in October of 2008. The CD is product number SCR013 but is also available on vinyl.(11/5/10)
Just came across a new/old Kevin Shields appearance from 2008. Shields mixed a 10" record for Wounded Knees, his brother Jimi's latest project. As far I can tell, they have just the 10" record consisting 4 or 5 tracks and limited to a run of 200. It can be purchased from http://specificrecording.com. The label specializes in one off projects that they hope will result in utterly unique recordings. I just bought a copy so I am waiting for it to come in the mail, at which time I will put up some sort of comment about it.(5/10/10)
It looks like the four unreleased tracks/demos that were supposed to part of the box set finally leaked. The names of the tracks are "Kevin Song", "Bilinda Song", "Cowboy Song", and "Good for You". They appear to just be left over tracks that didn't fit comfortably on the various eps and albums that came out when they were produced or were redundant in some way. The other harder to find tracks scheduled for the box set like "Sugar", "Glider (Long Version), "Instrumental A", and "Instrumental B" have been around in various forms for a long time. "Sugar" and "Instrumental B" are most worth tracking down and have been available in digital format, along with "Instrumental A" for years. I suppose "Sugar" is the best track; its from the flexi released with the Catalogue magazine in 1988. (See this website for where it was released on cd). The "Glider (long version)" has yet to see an official digital release.) (3/19/10)
Here are some tracks to avoid that have no relation to Kevin Shields or My Bloody Valentine but have been mistakenly added to compilations or credited to the band: "I Want to be Adored (My Bloody Valentine Mix)", "Simple Times" by the Frank and Walters -remixed by My Bloody Valentine, and some fabricated project involving Kevin Shields and Thom Yorke. That last one is complete with fake web pages. Someone with more time than me, amazing. Oh, I almost forgot. There is this person, Eva Aguila, from the States who records under the name "Kevin Shields" for all her noise projects that she does with various people. If you ever see the name Kevin Shields next to the name Brian Miller, than it is clearly Eva Aquila performing under her alias. She says she uses the name because it was the most common boring name she could think of. Whatever. Eva, now that you know who Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine is maybe its time to pick another name. Say John Smith. Its like me putting out my records under the name John Lennon because its a common name. And to boot, her noise stuff is just the most boring crap that any aspiring artist could do. (3/19/10)
Run out and get the nice 2 record reissue of the first two creation ep's and their single and mini album for Lazy entitled "Before Loveless". The Creation Ep's have been out of print on record for so long. Grab it while you can. Most everything else important is in print. I would basically avoid all the stuff before the recordings for the Creation and Lazy labels (Bilinda didn't join until they recorded for Lazy in '87. That's when MBV's story really begins). There is also a one disk reissue of some of the stuff before Belinda joined called "Things Left Behind" but its no where near as realized as their later work, features Dave on vocals, and can be classified as juvenalia. Kevin did write all the songs so there is some historical value, but Kevin doesn't sing and Bilinda wasn't in the band. The live versions of songs by this earlier incarnation are definitely worth seeking out and hearing, but don't waste your money on the studio versions.(9/29/09)
There were unanimously good reviews for the tour and I enjoyed the two shows I saw in Santa Monica immensely. From what I've heard, several hundred thousand dollars went toward the amazing combination of cherryed-out amps that the band used. It really sounded first rate, maybe the only one else who could put on a live show like that would be Jimmy Hendrix. A really good guide to their gear can be found at http://guitarplayer.wordpress.com/2007/11/24/my-bloody-valentine-are-back-heres-the-gear-guide/. But you might need a knowledgeable musician to decode it for you. My friend explained Kevin used a combination of different brands of amps with expensive modifications to give great sound at every venue. He spent serious money to make sure the shows were up to his standard (plus he gets to keep the amps).(12/2/08)
Video of Kevin and Colm can be found on the NME.COM homepage. They talk about the tour and playing the old songs. Also articles about MBV can be found in the August issue of Spin and and the August 25th issue of NME. Additionally, the latest issue of Mojo has a review of the remastered albums and a picture of the band receiving an award from Mojo in the category of "classic album" for Loveless. I've seen some reviews of the remastered vinyl also so that's available. Gemm.com and Ebay always have copies of stuff that's available.(7/27/08) *** CORRECTION: I don't think any remastered vinyl versions of Loveless or Isn't Anything have yet to be released. While both albums have been repressed at least once, if not several more times, none of the ones I've heard are remastered and certainly none were labeled as such. The remastered versions of Isnt Anything and Loveless can be found on peer to peer sites like Soulseek, and they sound amazing. But as far as I know, there has been no official release of any remasters in any format. And they are not slated to be released anytime as of now (2/26/12) ***
I just came across an excellent article from May by the consistently persuasive journalist Sean O'Hagan that is a well-researched look at their career that manages to explain why they are unique and puts them in their proper context in history. (I had thought the writer was the guy from the High Llamas, but I found out this was not the case, just a common name.) This is the best short article on My Bloody Valentine that I'm aware of. (And I have a huge inventory of copy about MBV with which to make comparisons). Check out the The Guardian article here: (http://music.guardian.co.uk/pop/story/0,,2279791,00.html) Also worth reading is any writing by Simon Reynolds. He has written uniquely insightful observations about MBV in his books "The Sex Revolts" and "Blissed Out" along with articles in the weekly and monthly music publications. Sean O'Hagan and Simon Reynolds are easily the best writers who have followed MBV. They both combine their very sophisticated views on music with their thorough research to reveal why MBV are so compelling. The one writer and book to avoid at all costs is "Manic Pop Thrill" by Rachel Felder. Just so juvenile and awful. Doesn't get it. Almost as bad and also uniquely awful is "Loveless" by Mike McGonigal from 33 1/3 books. Its really callow and would be useless if not for all the quotes by Kevin Shields where he corrects McGonigal. Kevin Shields has also complained the "My Magpie Eyes are on the Prize: The Story of Creation Records" contains many falsehoods and misquotes. Shields explains that because the author couldn't get hold of him, the author just made stuff up. So there is a lot of misinformation in that book, particularly regarding Creation Record's financial status at various points during the recoding of "Loveless". Also there is an article in this month's UNCUT magazine (with CSN and Y on the cover) but its not on the web so I haven't read it.(7/12/08)
The live shows are getting great reviews. See "http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/news/51307-audience-report-my-bloody-valentine-live-return" for some pictures. A set list can be seen at "http://www.flickr.com/photos/kubacheck/2576669252/". Its a good selection of songs covering all the important albums and eps from the creation years. Everywhere you look tickets are available below their original cost. What's up with that? Were people doing major speculation that they would be able to cash in? If you waited you can get tickets to any show for half price. Just do the transaction in person if possible or take other steps to avoid gettting ripped off. In other news the remasters of Isn't Anything and Loveless have been delayed due to Kevin working on the liner notes. Hey, we've waited this long what's another couple months (make that "years"). (7/6/08)
MBV's warm up gigs got good reviews. If you go to www.theindependent.com and look up My Bloody Valentine you can find a review of their warm up gig and see a recent photo of them from the Mojo awards ceremony this month. They all look great. And the shows got great reviews all over the web. The remasters of Isn't Anything and Loveless have been delayed but Kevin's collaboration with Patti Smith, The Coral Sea has not been pushed back and will come out in July. Also I'm going to track down Kevin's appearance on Gemma Hayes 2008 album "The Hollow of Morning" and put some comments about it up here. And there are clips of him playing with her on Youtube.(6/26/08)
U.S. tour is on and they are curating All Tomorrow's Parties in New York. Loveless is to be remastered and available in two different mixes. Isn't Anything will be remastered and released also on June 16. No bonus track though for either though. And there will be an official release on July 17 of Kevin Shields and Patti Smith's Coral Sea Collaboration. Check out www.pitchforkmedia.com to get the lowdown.(5/23/08)
The first reunion shows are officially scheduled in Europe for this coming summer. And new product should be in the pipeline within the next year or so one would hope. Go to www.mybloodvalentine.co.uk for all the shows. Tickets for sold out shows can be found on Ebay. (2/9/08)
I've heard from friends of Colm that he will be playing with the band. I didn't really see how they could play as My Bloody Valentine without Colm. So that bodes really well for the coming reunion shows. It sounds like all four original members will be participating. Supposedly, there are going to to be shows scheduled for the United States, some kind of short tour only including major cities. But it won't include the Coachella Music Festival.(2/9/08)
Kevin did a long video interview at http://www.vbs.tv/softfocus/ that's worth checking out. He says that one album of old material from the 90's will be rounded out and a new album will be worked in the near future.(12/27/07)
For those who want more of Bilinda's otherworldly voice, I highly recommend you get her two song vocal contribution to the album by Collapsed Lung listed on this page from 1996. It shows how unique she is in any setting and they are the only lead vocals I know of outside of MBV. Its worth tracking down on Gemm.com or Ebay.com and should be very inexpensive. Don't bother with any single remixes of the songs as they offer nothing not already on the album.
Kevin recently told some visiting musicians of his plans to record an album with Bilinda singing. He's always maintained that she was key to the band, specifically her singing and rhythm, so this makes a lot of sense. Whether he'll actually use the MBV moniker is not known (and not important). Let's hope these plans get hashed out before we're all dead.
Kevin backed up Patti Smith while she read poetry called The Coral Sea. Its floating around on the peer to peer networks but one report said they are committing the upcoming performance to tape for a release.
Kevin remixed two tracks for 2006 Sophia Coppola film Marie Antoinette. Tracks are "I Want Candy" by Bow Wow Wow and "Fools Rush In" also performed by Bow Wow Wow. "I Want Candy" is a must have as Kevin improves upon the original by making some nice tweaks to the rhythm among other things.
Also Kevin's remix for The Go Team entitled "Huddle Flash", combining elements from two songs from their debut, has been out for a while but it wasn't anything that held a lot of interest for me.
A little known contribution by Kevin Shields is his co-writing credit on Le Volume Courbe's album "I Killed My Best Friend". He co-wrote, plays acoustic guitar, and did some additional mixing on three tracks. And Colm O'Coisoig also played drums and produced two other tracks. But not the tracks Kevin is on. No reunion here. I don't find the album too interesting but you might. The songs are very basic and the recording has the feeling it was recorded with little fuss, to its credit.
1. Various Contributions by Kevin Shields
Undark: 'sulphur & zugzwang guitars', tracks not specified (3396, Em:t Records
3396, 1996). This record was later re-titled Strange Familiar
- Primal Scream: guitar and mixing (XTRMNTR, Creation CRCD239,
2000)----------This song is mind blowing and a big part of the reason is the mixng by Shields. The only thing that rivals this version is the live recording from their Live in Japan CD, also mixed by Shields---------
- Joy Zipper: mixing on tracks 2,4,7, & 8 and additional production on track 10 (American Whip, Mercury Records Limited 9866090, 2004)----------This is one of my favorite CD's of the last 10 years, or any time period for that matter. Totally unique. Just as amazing is their self-titled debut.---------
Pale" - Experimental Audio Research: 'treated guitar loop' (Beyond the Pale,
Big Cat ABB96CD, 1996)
single - The Beatings (UK): all tracks produced and mixed by Kevin Shields (Bad Feeling single, Fantastic Plastic FPS034, 2002)(Correction: This site previously attributed Kevin Shields as the producer of their single "Jailhouse" and its b-sides. It was actually recorded with Tom Cullinan and Shields had nothing to do with it.)
Black Rays Defence
- The Beat-Ups (formerly The Beatings): all ten tracks produced and mixed by Kevin Shields (Fantastic Plastic, 2005) (Also all singles and b-sides related to the album beginning with Bad Feeling were produced and mixed by Kevin Shields; One Correction: This site previous attributed Kevin Shields as the producer of their single "Jailhouse" and its b-sides. It was actually recorded with Tom Cullinan.)
- Primal Scream: 'skunk guitar' and production (Evil Heat, Sony 508923, 2002)
- Primal Scream: production for tracks 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 (Evil Heat , Sony 508923, 2002)----------The best, most consistent album by Primal Scream in my opinion; the only CDs that rivals it are XTRMNTR which suffers due to a of couple of very weak tracks (e.g. "Keep Your Dreams", "Pills") that could have been replaced by stronger B-sides or omitted altogether and Screamadelica which also suffers from some weak songs toward the end, in my humble opinion---------
of Speech Won't Feed My Children" - The Manic Street Preachers: (uncredited) guitar
(Know Your Enemy, Virgin 10113, 2001)
- Le Volume Courbe: mixed by Brendan Lynch, Andrew Innes, and Kevin Shields (Freight Train 7", Trouble Records Dude 2002, 2007)
Hand it Over
- Dinosaur Jr.: 'some other stuff recorded at MBV studio with Kevin Shields'
(Hand It Over, Reprise 9 46506-2, 1996)
The Hollow of Morning - Gemma Hayes: Shields contributed guitar to tracks 1 and 4 (The Hollow of Morning, Second Mountain Records 001, 2008)
How Do You Do It?
single - The Impossibles (UK): Tracks 2,3,and 4 produced by The Impossibles and Kevin Shields (How Do You Do It? single, Fontana POSCD1, 1990)(contains Dinosaur Jr. cover of "Tar Pit"
Think" - Dinosaur Jr.: vocals (Hand It Over, Reprise 9 46506-2, 1996)
I Killed My Best Friend - Le Volume Courbe: co-wrote tracks 6,8, and 12; mixed track 4 with C. Marionneau; additional mixing on tracks 6, 7, 8 and 9 (I Killed My Best Friend Hot John's Records HJRCD14X, 2005)
The Köner Experiment - Experimental Audio Research: Guitar [Treated] (The Köner Experiment, Mille Plateaux CDMille Plateaux 36, 1997)
Personnel" - Dot Allison: guitar (Afterglow, Arista 16600, 1999)
- Jay Mascis and The Fog: 'Kevin Shields brought Andrew Wilkinson to twiddle
the knobs while they were here. This was a period of about 7 weeks where Kevin
was producing, playing some guitar, percussion, and singing' (More Light, Ultimatum
Music 76665-2, 2000)
No Flies on
Frank EP - O'Neill: mixed by Damian O'Neill and Kevin Shields (No Flies
on Frank EP, Artefact ART16, 1999)
It" - Dinosaur Jr.: vocals (Hand It Over, Reprise 9 46506-2, 1996)
- Curve: guitar (Gift, Hip-O 159819, 2001)
Primal Scream Live in Japan - Primal Scream: guitar on all tracks, mixed by Kevin Shields and Mads Bjerke (Primal Scream Live in Japan, Sony Music International, SIPC 390)----------This CD is mind-blowing and should be owned by anyone with any interest in Kevin Shields, the Scream, or modern rock in general---------
Relight" - DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid: guitar (Subliminal Minded - The
E.P., Outpost Recordings, 1999)
Kill Light" - Primal Scream: produced by Kevin Shields and Tim Holmes (XTRMNTR, Creation CRCD239, 2000)
"Some Velvet Morning " - Primal Scream: Mixed by Andrew Innes, Kevin Shields, and Jagz Kooner (Some Velvet Morning single, Sony 674402 2, 2003)
Need Less" - Curve: guitar (Gift, Hip-O 159819, 2001)
"When the Kingdom Comes" - Primal Scream: guitar credited as 'feedback sonically speaking' (Accelerator single, Creation CRESCD333P, 2000)
by Kevin Shields/My Bloody Valentine
(Kevin Shields Mix) - Archive (12")
"I Want Candy
(Kevin Shields Mix)" - Bow Wow Wow (Marie Antoinettte Soundtrack, Polydor/Verve Forecast, 2006) ----------Absolutely worth seeking out for the tweaks Shields makes in his remix. One can get a good lesson by comparing the original to the remix Shields does. ---------
"Fools Rush In
(Kevin Shields Mix)" - Bow Wow Wow (Marie Antoinettte Soundtrack, Polydor/Verve Forecast, 2006) ---------- Great recording to begin with that Shields improves significantly -----------------
Roses (Kevin Shields Mix)" - Curve (Coming Up Roses single, Universal UMDX80489,
1998) ----------A great noisy remix that features great variations on the rhythm. Shields excels at this kind of thing.---------
Convulsive Mix)" - God (remixed from The Anatomy of Addiction, Big Cat
ABB79XCD, 1995)----------Absolute must have. Very little to do with the original recording as far as I know. The only thing remotely in the same ball park is the track "Glider" from the Glider EP. Makes me think of Can.---------
(My Bloody Valentine Mix)" - Hurricane #1 (The Greatest High single, Creation
CRESCD 309X, 1999) ----------Absolute must have. Huge improvement on the original with amazing rhythm and tonal variations that seems to come very easily to Shields, the kind of thing that he could do in his sleep, but so pleasurable. Makes amazing lemonade from lemons.---------
and Light (The Orange Squash Mix)" - Lush (From soundtrack to the motion
picture Splendor, Astralwerks ASW6282, 1998)
by My Bloody Valentine)" - The Pastels (Illuminati, Domino, 1998)----------Very enjoyable remix the comes in and out of focus. Worth tracking down.---------
(remixed by My Bloody Valentine)" - The Pastels (Illuminati, Domino, 1998) ----------A beautiful short track that stands a unique work of art with little relation to the original. It unfolds and is gone before you know it, leaving a lovely impression.---------
(MBV Remix)" - Placebo (Black-Eyed single, 724389797022, 1998)
Through This Life (Remixed by Kevin Shields)" - The Frank and Walters (Something
Happened to Me single, SETCD074, 1999)----------Must have. Huge improvement on the original, in the same vein as the Curve, Hurricane #1, and Yo La Tango remixes. .---------
(My Bloody Valentine Mix)" - The Little Rabbits (Yeah! and Remixed By,
PY873 ROB9858, 1998)
(Remixed by Kevin Shields)" - Yo La Tengo (Autumn Sweater EP, Matador,
1997) ----------Absolute must have. One of the few times he starts out with an amazing track.-----------
(My Bloody Valentine Remix)" - Mogwai (Fear Satan Remixes EP, EYEUK032CD,
1998) ----------Totally unique, featuring massive bass and drums, and clocking in at over 16 minutes. Very enjoyable and a very good use of 16 minutes.-----------
"MBV Arkestra" aka "If They Move, Kill'Em (MBV Arkestra)" - Primal Scream (XTRMNTR, Creation CRCD239, 2000)----------One of the best things he has done, ever. Starts quiet and by the end you find yourself inside of a hurricane. Almost as pleasurable to me as "You Made Me Realise"-----------
3. Rare Original Recordings Credited to My Bloody Valentine/Kevin Shields
3. Rare Original Recordings Credited to My Bloody Valentine/Kevin Shields
2 - (soundtrack for Édouard Lock's La La La Humans Steps dance troupe show 2, bootleg only, 1995)
(extended mix) - (Glider EP Remixes 12", Creation CRE073X, 1990)
(Free Flexi given out with The Catalogue magazine #67, Catalogue FLX CAT067,
1989) (also available in digital format on rare promo CD given to subscribers
of French magazine "Les Inrockuptibles")----------A great MBV track. Not a throw away by any means.-----------
No. 1", "Kevin Shields No. 2", "Kevin Shields No. 3"
- (soundtrack for Édouard Lock's La La La Humans Steps dance troupe show Salt, 1998)
One" - (Offbeat: A Red Hot Sound Trip compilation, TVT 7238-2, 1996)(A much clearer version of this song is available without Mark Eitzel speaking over it. It was given out as a promo only sampler for the compilation and is 20 seconds longer. This version makes clear what a beautiful little segueway the piece is.)
A"/"Instrumental B" (free 7" given with first 5000 initial
copies of Isn't Anything LP, Creation CREFRE4, 1988)----------Instrumental B is an experimental track that Simon Reynolds has singled out as it sounds like nothing else.-----------
41 North 93 West" - (Whore: Various Artists Play Wire, WMO 2CD, 1996)----------Amazing cover with Bilinda sharing vocal duties. Great addition to their discography.-----------
- (You Don't Need Darkness to Do What You Think is Right compilation, GEOG12CD,
2001) - credits read 'written by Kevin Shields in response to the Pastels "Intro"
'; songwriting credits are McRobbie/Mitchell/Shields
"We Have All the Time in the World" - (Peace Together compilation, Island Records, 1993)----------Beautiful restrained cover. One of the tamer tracks they have done. That may be Shields voice on the lead vocal, sped up.-----------
"City Girl", "Goodybye", "Ikebana", "Are You Awake?" and "City Girl"– (From soundtrack to the motion picture Lost in Translation, Emperor Norton 1993) ----------"City Girl" is a great addition to Shield's discography. Does not have any reverse reverb yet still has all the great qualities one associates with his sound. But he was never dependent on any one guitar sound or anything else other than himself to make great music-----------
of My Bloody Valentine
Peace" (remix of "Incidental One") - My Bloody Valentine meets Skylab (Offbeat: A Red Hot
Sound Trip compilation, TVT 7238-2, 1996)
Weatherall mix)" - Andrew Weatherall (Glider EP Remixes 12", Creation
"Glider (Long Version)"
- (Glider EP Remixes 12", Creation
CRE073X, 1990) (This mix by Kevin Shields is just an extended version of song from the Glider EP. As far as I can tell, Shields just extends the song, which is basically a kind of loop, with different elements of the track being moved around in the mix. No fundamental changes other than extending the track another five and half minutes.) 5.
Contributions by Bilinda Butcher outside My Bloody Valentine "I Don't
Think" - Dinosaur Jr.: vocals (Hand It Over, 9 46506-2 Reprise, 1996) "Ballad Night"
- Collapsed Lung: vocals (Cooler, Deceptive Records 828 780-2, 1996) "Casino Kisschase"
- Collapsed Lung: vocal (Cooler, Deceptive Records 828 780-2, 1996) More than Loveless: A Selected Discography of Kevin Shields and My Bloody Valentine
By Andrew Perer (Published in Filter Magazine in 2003)(Updated November 2010) This is Your Bloody Valentine LP (Tycoon 1985)
Contributions by Bilinda Butcher outside My Bloody Valentine
Think" - Dinosaur Jr.: vocals (Hand It Over, 9 46506-2 Reprise, 1996)
- Collapsed Lung: vocals (Cooler, Deceptive Records 828 780-2, 1996)
"Casino Kisschase" - Collapsed Lung: vocal (Cooler, Deceptive Records 828 780-2, 1996)
More than Loveless: A Selected Discography of Kevin Shields and My Bloody Valentine By Andrew Perer (Published in Filter Magazine in 2003)(Updated November 2010)
This is Your Bloody Valentine LP (Tycoon 1985)Geek EP (Fever 1985)
Kevin Shields has rightfully advised fans to save their money and avoid this early incarnation of the band with Dave Conway on vocals. Although Kevin Shields did write all the songs, these first immature releases represent an altogether different sound than the world would come to know. Out of all the studio recordings listed above, that first mini-lp "This Is Your Bloody Valentine" is particularly boring and derivative and is truly a waste of money and time. What is worth seeking out from this period are recordings of their gigs. Their live playing gives one a much better understanding of where they were coming from as compared to their very unrealized studio recordings of these songs.
Strawberry Wine Single (Lazy 1987)
Ecstasy EP (Lazy 1987)
Ecstasy and Wine LP (Lazy 1989)
The proper story of My Bloody Valentine really begins here with the second single for Lazy records. Dave Conway left to be replaced by Bilinda Butcher who began sharing vocals duties with Kevin. This line-up: Kevin, Belinda, Colm O’Ciosoig on drums, and Deb Googe on bass, would be the team that would imbue the phrase “My Bloody Valentine” with more significance than the cheesy horror flick that is the band’s namesake.
Sweeter than sweet confections like “Strawberry Wine,” “She Loves You No Less,” and “Safe in Your Sleep” remain popular among fans and show the band moments before they would find their own voice. Later they would express unhappiness that they ran out of money to finish the Ecstacy EP properly and mention the difficulty of playing these songs in tune live; both circumstances would help steer the direction of future recordings. Their extended live version of “Claire”, with at least one performance clocking in at over 16 minutes, would be another touchstone that would help solidify their direction, not yet arrived at on record until signing with Creation Records. It was only when Alan McGee saw how ferocious the band was in a live setting that he was impressed enough to offer them a chance to record with Creation. Bootleg live recordings from this period are eye-opening and show just how fast the band was progressing. The Strawberry Wine single and the Ecstasy EP were collected together on one record and CD in 1989 as Ecstasy and Wine.
You Made Me Realise EP (Creation 1988)
Feed Me With Your Kiss EP (Creation 1988)
Isn’t Anything LP (Creation 1988)
The band has called the recordings for Lazy a mistake and the group was left on the verge of breaking up at this point. With nothing to lose and unafraid to indulge their every whim for the first time, they would fire a shot across the bow with the You Made Me Realise EP followed quickly by the Feed Me With Your Kiss EP. You Made Me Realise and Feed Me With Your Kiss paired ferocious music with seductive melodies exemplifying their stated goal of mixing “pure noise . . . with pure melody.” While slower songs like “I Believe” and “Slow” evoked a sense of lust and yearning that spoke distinctly to their generation. Their first real long player, Isn’t Anything, showed their full range leaving critics searching for new ways to combine words like lust, bliss, ethereal, hallucinatory, heavy, ambient, androgynous, and dislocation.
Many would be surprised to find out that these releases for Creation and subsequent recordings would feature on average two or three guitar tracks with the bulk of the sound coming from one guitar. No clichéd guitar pedals or feedback are to be found on these records. Shields has explained that part of what distinguishes his band from most of his contemporaries is what they don’t use: reverb, flangers, chorus, delay or feedback. "People think its all pedals, but all my pedals are graphic equalizers and tone controls. Its all in the tone," Shields explained to NME in 1991. Shields main tools would be his creative use of the studio with help from the unique tremolo mechanisms on Fender Jazzmasters and Jaguars and often reverse reverb from a Yamaha SPX90.
Glider EP (Creation 1990)
Tremolo EP (Creation 1991)
Loveless (Creation 1991)
“Soon,” off the Glider EP, with its hip-hop beat would continue to garner the band new fans with Brian Eno lending his support, calling the song, “a new standard in pop . . . the vaguest piece of music ever to be a U.K. hit.” The following year saw the release of the seven-song Tremolo EP (only four tracks are named), a worthy companion to the forthcoming Loveless. An inordinate amount of time (and money) would be spent on Shields’ pursuit of “textural rhythm” on “To Here Knows When,” with the result being as new and otherworldly as the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” in its day.
MBV’s long-awaited masterpiece Loveless was released at the end of 1991 and was met by near universal praise. Featuring more sampling of guitar and voice and loops as previewed on the Tremolo EP, Loveless had no antecedents in rock. One magazine extolled it’s virtues saying, “My Bloody Valentine has redefined rock…Loveless is not just ‘now’ – its far ahead of its time…Excepting perhaps the Beatles’ wildest sonic flights and the work of minimalist composers Steve Reich and Philip Glass, it simply doesn’t sound like anything else.” Tracks like Only Shallow,” “Loomer,” “To Here Knows When” and “Soon” are wildly avant-garde while still retaining the form of rock songs.
The rumored price tag of between $350,000 to $500,000 for Loveless was closer to $200,000 and actually represented the cost of Loveless plus the two previous EP’s and four accompanying videos. Low quality versions of all six of MBV's videos can be found on youtube.com. But to see the last four videos in all their glory, you will need the only original source available, The History of Creation vhs. Fans of Loveless, Tremolo, and Glider should should do themselves a favor and track down The History of Creation VHS compilation which contains four psychedelic MBV videos, as well as videos by Ride and Primal Scream. "Only Shallow" in particular loses its lustre when you see a low grade version of it.
A meticulous discography of My Bloody Valentine can be found on my site (http://mybloodyvalentine2. tripod.com) and at discogs.com, which also has many rare album covers along with many redundancies. (There are at least two references on that site I am unable to verify. If any credits mention both Kevin Shields and Brian Miller, than you can be sure that the artist is actually referencing the female noise artist Eva Aguila who records under the name "Kevin Shields" for some reason.)
####'Best of' List of Side Projects#### Post Loveless (written in 2003, updated 2011)
If one didn’t follow the music press very closely after Loveless, they may have been under the impression that Shields hadn’t worked on anything until Sophia Coppola’s Lost In Translation this year. Actually Shields (and occasionally in conjunction with sole remaining member of MBV Bilinda Butcher) has worked with over 20 different artists these past 12 years. He has put his inimitable skills to work as composer, guitar player, producer, remixer, and even scored music for a dance troupe. Songs included below take the form of sound sculptures, guitar freak-outs and everything in between. Fans of My Bloody Valentine seeking a fix in the form of new music from Kevin Shields should know that these tracks could very well be what they are seeking.
Guitar and Production: Beyond My Bloody Valentine, those interested in Shield's take on traditional rock songs/structures should check out these tracks that he mixed and/or produced.
“Accelerator” and "Shoot Speed Kill Light" - Primal Scream: guitar, mixing, and production (XTRMNTR, Creation CRCD239, 2000).
Evil Heat - Primal Scream: production and mixing for tracks 1,4,5,6,7, and 9 (Evil Heat, Sony 508923, 2002)
"Bad Feeling" - The Beatings (UK): all tracks produced and mixed by Kevin Shields (Bad Feeling single, Fantastic Plastic FPS034, 2002)
Black Rays Defence
- The Beat-Ups (formerly The Beatings): all ten tracks produced and mixed by Kevin Shields (Fantastic Plastic, 2005)
Remixes: Shields brings his fascination of all things rhythmic to the fore in these recordings without the confines of a four-minute pop song. Many of these songs have little relation to the source material and stand as original works.
"Coming Up Roses (Kevin Shields Mix)" - Curve (Coming Up Roses single, Universal UMDX80489, 1998)
"Tunnel (Electro Convulsive Mix)" - God (remixed from The Anatomy of Addiction, Big Cat ABB79XCD, 1995)
"Rising High (My Bloody Valentine Mix)" - Hurricane #1 (The Greatest High single, Creation CRESCD 309X, 1999)
"Cycle (remixed by My Bloody Valentine)" - The Pastels (Illuminati, Domino, 1998)
"Autumn Sweater (Remixed by Kevin Shields)" - Yo La Tengo (Autumn Sweater EP, Matador, 1997)
"Fear Satan (My Bloody Valentine Remix)" - Mogwai (Fear Satan Remixes EP, EYEUK032CD, 1998)
"MBV Arkestra" aka "If They Move, Kill'Em (MBV Arkestra)" - Primal Scream (XTRMNTR, Creation CRCD239, 2000)
"Take Me Through This Life (Remixed by Kevin Shields)" - The Frank and Walters (Something Happened to Me single, SETCD074, 1999)
Original Recordings as My Bloody Valentine/Kevin Shields since Loveless that don't fall easily into the previous categories
"Map Ref 41 North 93 West" - My Bloody Valentine (Whore: Various Artists Play Wire, WMO 2CD, 1996)
"We Have All the Time in the World" - My Bloody Valentine (Peace Together compilation, Island Records, 1993)
"Outro" – Kevin Shields (You Don't Need Darkness to Do What You Think is Right compilation, GEOG12CD, 2001)
"Magic Nights (remixed by My Bloody Valentine)" - The Pastels (Illuminati, Domino, 1998)
“Are You Awake?” and “City Girl”– (From soundtrack to the motion picture Lost in Translation, Emperor Norton 1993)
7. Other Useful Links and Information
Live Guitar Setup (one correction to this site: previously I implied that the link below on guitargeek.com was incorrect showing a Yamaha SPX 900 in Shields rack. I implied he only used a Yamaha SPX 90. This is a distinction without a difference. The SPX 900 is just a later iteration of the SPX 90 with more features. I would surmise he initially only had access to an SPX 90 having to beg, borrow, and steal equipment early on, and as time went on he has used both models. Corrected on 12/13/09)
Live Guitar Setup
Res Magazine (Computer/Digital Film Production Magazine) Sept/Oct 2002
" RES has catalogued 10 albums that "re-started" music, albums that are progressive in spirit and futuristic in feel. It's a subjective list, but these are seminal records by any standard, and essential listening for any music lover."
(in chronological order)
Underground and Nico (1967)