The Brit Box, Disc 2, Track 3, “Only Shallow,” by My Bloody Valentine

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My Bloody Valentine

My Bloody Valentine are an Irish-English rock band formed in Dublin in 1983. Since 1987, its lineup has consisted of founding members Kevin Shields [who was born in Queens, NY but moved to Dublin at age 6] (vocals, guitar, sampler) and Colm Ó Cíosóig (drums, sampler) with Bilinda Butcher (vocals, guitar) and Debbie Googe (bass). Their music is best known for its merging of dissonant guitar textures, androgynous vocals, and unorthodox production techniques. They helped to pioneer the alternative rock subgenre known as shoegaze during the late 1980s and early 1990s. They have been active from 1983-1997 and from 2007-present.

Heather Phares at allmusic says:

Like the Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, and the Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine redefined what noise meant within the context of pop music.

Only Shallow” is the first cut on Loveless, their second of three studio albums, released in November 1991. Loveless reached number 24 on the UK Albums Chart and was widely praised by critics for its sonic innovations and Shields’ “virtual reinvention of the guitar.” My Bloody Valentine struggled to record a follow-up to the album [after being dropped by the Creation label] and broke up in 1997, making Loveless their last full-length release until m b v in 2013. “Only Shallow” features Shields’ distinctive guitar sound—a technique known as “glide guitar”—characterized by heavy use of a tremolo bar while strumming.

My Bloody Valentine’s sound is a little more frantic and alarming than most of what has been in the series so far. It was very difficult to understand what was being sung so the included lyrics may be incorrect.

My Bloody Valentine’s Official website

Sleep like a pillow
Downward and
Where she won’t care
Anyway where

Soft as a pillow
Touch her there
Where she won’t dare
Somewhere

Sleep like a royal subject
Think that you grew
Stronger there

Speak your troubles
She’s not scared
Soft like there’s silk
Everywhere

Sleep is a pillow
Come where she won’t dare
Anyway where

Look in the mirror
She’s not there
Where she won’t care
Somewhere

Songwriters: Butcher and Shields

Sources:
wikipedia
allmusic

BONUS VIDEO:  documentary on My Bloody Valentine

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Aphoristical says:

    I love this song already – it gets this perfect blend of prettiness and dissonance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It’s different for sure. Glad you enjoyed it, Graham.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aphoristical says:

        I’ve loved it for years – I like a lot of My Bloody Valentine’s stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    I like this…it’s almost hypnotic with the guitar strum up and down… the rawness I like…just wish they would have mixed the vocals a little up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you like it and agree the vocals needed work in production.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

        I can’t believe I”ve never heard of these bands you have on the CD package…most of them anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          It’s a pretty neat package.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Lisa, you’re becoming a shoegaze expert! 🙂

    Call me crazy, soundwise, this tune does remind me a little bit of “Zombie” by The Cranberries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      LOL, Christian, who would have thought it 🙂 I can hear a little of The Cranberries in there now that you mention it…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. memadtwo says:

    I hear the Cranberries too. I’m only so so on this one. I actually like the frantic part the best. The vocals don’t live up to it. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I’m with you on the vocals.

      Liked by 1 person

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