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Loveless (33⅓ #36)

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  476 ratings  ·  40 reviews
"Loveless" remains an enigma, 15 years after its release - an album so influential and groundbreaking that its chief creator, Kevin Shields, has been unable or unwilling to release an official follow-up. In his book, Mike McGonigal talks to all the members of My Bloody Valentine, and discovers a whole host of remarkable things: that the well-known story about this album ba ...more
Published January 10th 2007 by Continuum (first published October 1st 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 806)
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Paul Bryant
This album is like being dragged between three giant blue icebergs and having them smash slowly together and then drag you down into the freezing ocean and you drown. Or some such gushing prose. It's great. It's so loud that even when you play it quiet it's loud. It's got a vocalist but that's like having a refereee in a viking raid, superfluous to requirements. It's got a drummer too but he's mixed so far down he may as well have not turned up and just played in his bedroom at home. So this alb ...more
I was leaning towards 3 stars just because I love this album so much, but honestly it really was just okay.

The writing is absolutely terrible and the editing/fact checking seems pretty non-existent. The author inserts his personality pretty heavily at the beginning and he seems like kind of a douche. While doing a track by track rundown of loveless he describes one song as "the most futuristic" and another as "the most from the future". So I guess if these two statements don't mean the same thi
Ettore Pasquini
I had unjustified expectations from this book, and it didn't take long to realize how misplaced they were.

I'll start with the horrible. What annoyed me the most is how amateurishly it is written and how the author repeatedly inserts himself in the narrative. I mean, what the fuck: it is so pathetic, man. How one would do that and not see it is completely beyond me. I get it that he loves the album and the band. I get it that he loves its members, especially -- as I am duly informed -- the female
Sep 24, 2007 Kent rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: loveless nerds
The 33 1/3 book series was initially appealing to me in its selection of albums, pocket size and snappy cover design, but judging by this one and the Pet Sounds one (which I set aside in disgust) I think these books are pretty lame.

Here's a quote: "(I know I keep inserting myself into the narrative here, but I hope I'm not painting myself as some great close friend with insider knowledge. Yeah, they almost gave me a song for free once, and we had a few pals in common, whoop dee doo. Besides, th
the story behind this record is fascinating, and if you enjoy listening to this record as much as i do, then i think it's (ultimately) worth the read.

i can't say either way if this book does mroe to dispel the myths and legnds behind the recording of 'loveless' or if it adds to the lore, but when mcgonigal isn't going out of his way to let everyone know how in he is/was with the paleo-indie rock elite, he reveals some very interesting aspects of a landmark album.

overall, i'd say this book is i
About a week before "mbv" came out, I checked this book out from my university's library. "Loveless" is one of my favorite albums so I was interested to learn more about it.

In that sense, Mike McGonigal's half-review half-oral-history of "Loveless" is kind of disappointing. Half of the book consists of background information on Creation Records and the band whereas the most interesting part (the three year recording cycle for "Loveless") is somewhat glossed over. I mean, I still learned a littl
Dusty Henry
It was a trip reading this book after we finally saw Loveless' follow up last month. Mike McGonigal gets some great details into the record here. He relies heavily on long quotes from Kevin Shields that sometimes take up whole pages of the book (which I guess isn't saying much with the page sizes of the 33 1/3 collection). Hearing Shields talk about his guitar method was inspiring. I wasn't aware of any of the relationship drama going on during production, so that adds another level of depth. Al ...more
This is the first book of the 33 1/3 series I ever picked up and, being a fan of Loveless, I was excited about it. But right from the first page, it struck me as that all too common variety of music writing that focusses far more on the author than it does on the subject.

An awful lot of reviewers, here and elsewhere, have griped about the same thing and, in a way, I feel a little bad for adding to it. I think the author made a perfectly well intentioned attempt to give the book some life by rel
Patrick McCoy
Loveless recorded by My Bloody Valentine and written by Mike McGonigal was an entertaining read. It was another good discussion of a classic album, one, that I have to admit, I didn’t know until many years after it was released. I was aware of the whole shoe gazer scene going on in college, but finances were tight so I wasn't venturing out to buy just anything, so I never go the album, but I remember there was a lot of buzz about this album when it came out in 1991. I guess I finally decided to ...more
Jul 27, 2010 Balloony rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Balloony by: no one
This writer is completely self opinionated but at the same time fails to give valid or any reason for his views. If it makes you feel better to be patronised about the music you like rather than be informed, this is for you.

I found this book to be completely full of false and weak points that really point to the writer attempting to influence the reader rather than inform. Just as one example, at one point he refers to the former Creation releases by The Legend and Les Zarjaz as being 'dreadful'
While passing by Baily/Coy books on Broadway a few weeks ago (six) I spotted their reader board which often has a line from a book. If you can guess which book the line is from you get 20% off a new purchase. On this particular day, wouldn't you know that it was a line from a book I've read ( the wind-up bird chronicle). I rushed in, whispered the answer (though I later found out I didn't have to) and immediately began browsing for a book to which my newly earned discount would apply. Well, I go ...more
The subject matter was the only thing that was interesting, as well as original interviews and some new information. The writer practically wrote half the book in first person or would go off-topic, in a way that was really annoying. If this book was a history of the band, and not this album in particular, maybe the writer would have been less tempted to put in several chapters of filler.
Andrew Stone
I didn't find his self insertions as annoying as you guys. The interviews with Shields and Butcher were both really informative into the techniques used, and the crazy head space it was recorded in.
I don't have a problem with the author's talking about his experiences with the band and the album, but what did sometimes niggle me was the use of American language and the fact that the author is American, and this is an Irish band. I felt like the author should at least have been British. Its still an okay read, I've had it sitting on my shelf for about 2 years. Finally reading it has got me listening to MBV again, especially with the remastered Loveless release and the new album out now. Eve ...more
Matt Harris
Apr 17, 2008 Matt Harris rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: bliss mongers
Well the album is all floaty and marvellous and the book is kind of a fan trip on the album and a bit all over the shop and the Kevin Shields comments about the mixers on the album doing next to nothing are quite funny and I thought perhaps that there would be more depth to the analysis of the music and sounds and influences instead of the authors' top ten list of music which could have inspired the record (though it was a nice High Fidelity idea) but for me it slightly cheapened the record whic ...more
a little clunky as a piece of writing, but its heart is totally in the right place.
The chapters involving specific conversations with Kevin Shields are definitely amazing.. Especially with all of the overwhelming mystique around the album. Unfortunately the author attempts to interject personal musings and weak stabs at his own stamp of personality with 'top 10' lists, etc. Ironically, a real author probably wouldn't have been able to get as candid of interviews with Shields.
This would have been a lot better if the author didn't feel the need to insert his off the topic whims and fancies throughout the book. I don't really care to read about him not wanting to go down the slippery slope of spelling things Anglophone. Those parts of the book just felt contrived. However, when it was just focused on the music, it wasn't that bad.
together with the tape op interview of kevin shields gives a lot of insight into the wacky and not necessarily grounded in reality guitar recording techniques of my bloody valentine. also who knew that loveless was about love falling apart (note sarcasm: sound alchemy plus intense emotional backdrop make for great albums)...use reverse reverb with reverence
As one who arrived a bit late to the MBV party (thanks for the invite, Lauren), I enjoyed this quick history of the band, label, and ordeal of the making of Loveless. It's a short read by an unabashed fan, so don't look for objectivity, just ride on his buzz. He interviewed all four Valentines in 2005/6, so it's not all opinion.
The second of this series for me, Loveless set the bar pretty high for future 33 1/3 books. The author does an excellent job mixing journalistic reportage with personal anecdotes in a style that is 100% conversational - like your best pal telling you everything they know about their favorite album of all time. Essential reading for would-be music writers.

An almost pointless writing on the story behind 'Loveless', it's more about the authors views and experiences from listening to the bands music. There is no real insight into the production of the album. In a way it's better to leave some things remain a mystery.
I'm so grateful Mike decided to include chapters in this book, as it definitely made for an easier read than one might expect from such a hazy album. All in all, it was an interesting read which shone a little bit of light on an album that I enjoy quite a bit.
Ian Hrabe
McGonigal has a hard time getting out of the way of the book he's writing, but the interviews are solid and the fascinating story of this troubled masterpiece shine through the cracks. Still, in more capable hands it could have been so much better.
Goood little series of books this, and thisia the bestguitar albumm ever made. FACT. (No, don't try and disagree.)

However, I DID find this a bit too geeky, lots of talk of the tremelo lever and techy guitar speak that went over my head.
Offers insight into the recording process of one of the most unique albums of all time. If you like the album and want to know why it took so long to record and the story behind the personal relationships that fueled the songs, check it out.
An astonishingly self involved narrator talks about my favorite record for many pages. Little is revealed. A book for fans who would very likely know more about Loveless than the author.
The only genuinely accurate account of the making of MBV's masterpiece album, with liberal use of quotes from the band members from direct interviews.
Loveless is one of my favorite records and this book contained some really interesting information, but goddamn do I hate music writers.
Awesome insight into Kevin Shields' brain - he is insane! A great read about one of the most mysterious classic albums out there.
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