The Power of Negative Thinking: B-Sides & Rarities (Rhino)
When considering the work of the Jesus and Mary Chain, most conversations begin and end with the Scottish band's stunning 1985 debut, Psychocandy. Fair enough. With its simple, melodic pop songs dipped in battery-acid guitar feedback, the album is widely regarded as a landmark of the era. Had songwriters Jim and William Reid done nothing more with their band, their place in musical history would be secure. But the brothers hardly stopped there, and it's high time they got more credit for it. This new, four-disc set of B-sides and rarities goes a long way in that regard as it showcases the group's career arc from 1983-98, when the brothers split acrimoniously before reuniting last year. Classic songs, including "Just Like Honey" and "Happy When It Rains," are here in alternate or demo versions, while nonalbum tracks such as "Kill Surf City," "Till I Found You," and the fuzz-pop perfection of "Rollercoaster" rival anything on the group's six studio discs. While there's no denying that Psychocandy is a towering achievement, The Power of Negative Thinking emphatically proves it's far from the only worthwhile link in the Mary Chain.