25 Years later: My Bloody Valentine, Loveless

On November 4, 1991, one of the most seminal and influential albums of all time was released. After nearly bankrupting their label and taking two years to record it, My Bloody Valentine’s second full length album, Loveless, debuted.

The album is sonically seismic and breathtakingly beautiful, innovative and unlike anything before. At a cost of nearly £250,000, it’s one of the costliest albums ever recorded. It took two years, 19 studios, and countless engineers to get it completed. The majority of the album was recorded and performed by Kevin Shields, the band’s central member and guitarist. It eschewed the use of wah wah pedals and flanges to create its signature sound, and rather heavily relied on the tremelo bar to instead create the ‘Glide effect’.

And that sound. It’s the sound that defines the shoegazer movement: Swirling and distorted guitars that seem layered upon layers, buried etherial vocals, samples and feedback, nearly all recorded in mono, just bording on a edge of bliss and cacophony. It’s stunning.

It’s 25 years later, to the day, and Loveless still resonates and remains relatively unparalleled in its genre and by its peers. The album is hailed one of the best of the 1990s, and ranks on many best albums of all time lists. It influenced bands like Sugar, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, Lush and countless others. It also took 22 years to follow up, as the band didn’t relase another album until 2013’s mbv.

Here’s to one of the most definitive albums of all time. Cheers.

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