My Bloody Valentine – Loveless

The recording of My Bloody Valentine’s ear-splitting classic nearly saw Creation Records go bankrupt. A first pressing is worth a pretty penny…

From the band’s inception in 1983, My Bloody Valentine had been anything but conventional. The jarring psych/garage-rock sound of their earliest releases failed to lift them off the ground, but over time their music would begin to develop a unique sound of its own. It would be in 1991 that everything changed for the band when they would essentially, and begrudgingly, it seems, invent the shoegaze genre with their magnum opus, Loveless.

The album is built around walls of layered guitar noise from MBV mastermind Kevin Shields, with both his and Bilinda Butcher’s vocals buried in the mix and acting as another instrument. When You Sleep, Soon, Sometimes and Blown A Wish became staples of indie club nights during the nineties.

What makes Loveless even more special is that it is an album made for vinyl. Shields’ meticulous analogue recording, which almost sent Creation Records into bankruptcy (only to be saved by signing a certain Manchester band three years later), brings a warmth that you cannot get with the CD and digital versions.

Until recently, thanks to a new remaster and reissue, Loveless was virtually impossible to find other than on poor-quality counterfeit copies. Less vinyl was being pressed in the early 90s, and the people lucky enough to own originals rarely wanted to let them go, giving the first pressing a £295 price tag in mint condition.

There’s no denying that what My Bloody Valentine did with Loveless was revolutionary. It is an investment any record collector should make given the chance.

Glen Bushell