The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Thank God For Mental Illness (Vinyl)

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At the risk of labouring a rather obvious point, with Thank God for Mental Illness, their third collection of absolutely stunning music in 1996, the Brian Jonestown Massacre parallels the prolific and effortless brilliance of the Rolling Stones at their fevered late-1960s peak; the sheer scope of their achievements is stunning rarely are bands quite so productive, or quite so consistently amazing. Thank God is the BJM's down-and-dirty country-blues outing, all 12-odd tracks supposedly recorded on a single July day at a cost of just $17.36 . Originally Newcombe was heavily influenced by The Rolling Stones' psychedelic phase - the name comes from Stones guitarist Brian Jones combined with a reference to cult leader Jim Jones, but his work in the 2000s has expanded into aesthetic dimensions approximating the UK Shoegazing genre of the 1990s and incorporating influences from world music, especially Middle Eastern and Brazilian music.


Initially I was slightly disappointed when I first heard this album. The first dozen tracks are mainly acoustic with influences ranging from Dylan, Donovan to country. However, over the years it has really grown on me. Highlights from me are Ballad of Jim Jones and a second version of Cause I Love Her. Track 13 on the album is a 33 minute combination of 5 electric band tracks, some of which appeared as different version on previous releases. I love the contrast of the album - part acoustic country/folk-rock and then the second part is psychedelic rock. I also really admire the fact that this if the 4th BJM album released with a 2 year period and each is quite different in it's own way. Has any other band released such a stunning set of early albums, especially in such a short period? This is maybe not the best starting point to explore the music of the BJM but it is an essential part of the jigsaw of their early albums.

By: Bigbullyweedave

A1 Spanish Bee
A2 It Girl
A3 13
A4 Ballad Of Jim Jones
A5 Those Memories
A6 Stars
B1 Free And Easy, Take 2
B2 Down
B3 Cause I Love Her
B4 Too Crazy To Care
B5 Talk - Action = Shit
B6 True Love

33 minute closing track "Sound of Confusion" was left off the pressing but a download card is included in the release.