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My Bloody Valentine Biography

Last updated: 07/31/2011 12:00:00 PM

It took several years for My Bloody Valentine to capture their groundbreaking hybrid of ethereal melodies and studio-orientated, discordant sounds that proved so influential on the independent scene of the late 80s. Their roots lay in Dublin, where singer/guitarist Kevin Shields and drummer Colm O'Ciosoig formed My Bloody Valentine in 1984, before moved to Berlin, to be joined by vocalist Dave Conway (vocals) and Tina (keyboards). A mini-album, This Is Your Bloody Valentine, on the Tycoon label in 1984, made little impression and the band moved to London before recruiting bassist Debbie Googe.

The 12-inch EP Geek! (and the accompanying, 'No Place To Go') emerged on Fever in mid-1986, and, like their debut, was strongly influenced by the Crampsand theBirthday Party. Later that year, the band signed with Joe Foster's fledgling Kaleidoscope Sound label for The New Record By My Bloody Valentine EP, which revealed a new influence, the Jesus And Mary Chain. A switch to thePrimitives' label Lazy, produced 'Sunny Sundae Smile' (1987), which meshed bubblegum pop with buzzsaw guitars. The departure of Conway and the arrival of vocalist Belinda Butcher signalled a change in musical direction. A move to Creation Records enabled a reappraisal of recording techniques, immediately apparent on the You Made Me Realise EP in 1988.

Enticing melodic structures contrasted with the snarling, almost unworldly collage of noise, developed more fully that year on My Bloody Valentine's pivotal Isn't Anything, from which was drawn the barrage of guitars, 'Feed Me With Your Kiss'. At last, the group had unearthed a completely new sound. Since then, their status has mushroomed. The release of an EP, Glider(1990), alongside a remix from the in-demand DJ Andy Weatherall, flirted with both dance music and the charts. My Bloody Valentine's increasing maturity saw the meticulously produced Lovelessalbum reinforce their reputation as one of the prime influences on the late 80s UK independent scene - one to which groups such asSlowdive, Lushand Chapterhouseowe a great deal. However, the massive studio bills run up during that time saw My Bloody Valentine leave Creation, moving instead to Island Records. At this point, another agonising gestation period was embarked upon, allegedly due to difficulty installing equipment in their own purpose-built studio
in south London. Shields, meanwhile, contributed to the 1996 Experimental Audio Research album Beyond The Pale.