Primal Scream — ‘Screamadelica’


It is one thing attempting to hit upon the zeitgeist, creating sounds, executing ideas, demanding crossover appeal; but quite simply another thing getting it right. Primal Scream certainly hit upon something special when they created their third, and only classic, LP ‘Screamadelica’, that dropped (‘dropped’ being the appropriate term in this case) autumn / fall 1991.

Ah yes, 1991, the year music just got a whole lot better. We never quite appreciated it at the time just how good that year was, while it was going on around us. (Such is the way of life). Well, obviously we sort of did, what with the wonderful scenes and LPs dropping, almost literally, at our feet. Sometimes on a weekly basis; ‘Screamadelica, ‘Nevermind’, ‘Loveless’, ‘Trompe Le Monde’…..

Near unmatched.

Sitting here with my vinyl copy of the record to hand, I can’t help wondering is there a more colorfully striking, immediately identifiable artwork as this. ‘Velvet Underground and Nico’ might be the only other to rival it. In fact, the Primals’ effort might just be the ‘….and Nico’ of its time. Paul Cannell, who designed many pieces of artwork for the Creation imprint, designed the sleeve. And its by far and away his most famous.

The sound of the indie / dance crossover? Certainly. But in some ways that almost clichéd description understates the way this record is at ease with its simple originality, fluid groove, and modern psychedelia; rock music for the rave (or even post-rave) generation. To use another cliche; it all comes together (pardon the pun) so well as an LP.

From C86 to here in as little as five short years. And all because Creation Records boss Alan McGee invited frontman Bobby Gillespie and band mates along to a rave. And then went on to hire respected dub-techno producer Andrew Weatherall (the George Martin figure of the LP) order to aid in the record’s direction.

The resulting record is a trippy, pioneering voyage of electro-rock opulence that remains a classic today. Listen now it takes you back to its time, while also taking you on what seems like a whole new journey. Puresound feelgood music. It’s saying that the world may be far from sound, but there is also room to get away from it all, let yourself positively drift, and, well ENJOY THE MUSIC!! (In a non pretentious way, of course).

A magical mystery tour indeed.

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