“I have never taken myself for a being. A non-citizen, a marginal type, a nothing who exists only by the excess, by the superabundance of his nothingness.”—E.M. Cioran (The Trouble with Being Born, 1973)
Loveless is the second studio album by My Bloody Valentine. Released on WBR on 4 November 1991, Loveless was recorded over a two-year period between 1989 and 1991 in nineteen recording studios. Lead vocalist and guitarist Kevin Shields dominated the recording process; he sought to achieve a particular sound for the record, making use of various techniques such as guitars strummed with a tremolo bar, sampled drum loops, and obscured vocals.
A large number of engineers were hired and fired during the process, although the band finally gave credit on the album sleeve to anyone who was present during the recordings, “even if all they did was make tea”, according to Shields.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 219 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Loveless’s influence has grown with time, and the album has impacted a wide variety of other artists.
Music critic Jim DeRogatis wrote in Turn On Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock that “the forward-looking sounds of this unique disc have positioned the band as one of the most influential and inspiring bands since the Velvet Underground.”
Brian Eno has praised the album and said, regarding the song “Soon”, that “[i]t set a new standard for pop. It’s the vaguest music ever to have been a hit.”
Robert Smith of The Cure discovered Loveless after a period of almost exclusively listening to “disco, or Irish bands like the Dubliners” as a means of avoiding his contemporaries, and said, “[My Bloody Valentine] was the first band I heard who quite clearly pissed all over us, and their album Loveless is certainly one of my all-time three favourite records. It’s the sound of someone [Shields] who is so driven that they’re demented. And the fact that they spent so much time and money on it is so excellent.”
Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins told Spin, “It’s rare in guitar-based music that somebody does something new […] At the time, everybody was like, ‘How the fuck are they doing this?’ And, of course, it’s way simpler than anybody would imagine.”
Trey Anastasio of jam band Phish believed that “Loveless [was] the best album recorded in the ’90s”, and wanted his band to cover the album in its entirety for a Halloween show.
Robert Pollard of indie rock band Guided by Voices acknowledged the album as a source of inspiration, noting, “Sometimes when I want to write lyrics, I’ll listen to Loveless. Because of the way the vocals are buried, you can almost listen to the songs as if they’re instrumental pieces.”
“Better to be an animal than a man, an insect than an animal, a plant than an insect, and so on. Salvation? Whatever diminishes the kingdom of consciousness and compromises its supremacy.”—E. M. Cioran, The Trouble With Being Born (via chelleon)
Raw oysters are on a plate. They are a couple, and both have eyes. They are still alive and it looks like they are mating on the plate. After a while, I come back to the plate. The oysters are still there. This time, I grab them and put them in my mouth, but I cannot swallow them, as I feel like their eyes are watching me. With the raw oysters in my mouth, I can’t even chew, and I’m feeling sick in a greasy sweat, but I can’t do anything but to keep just standing there.