Primal Scream Vinyl, CD & tapes by Primal Scream at Norman Records
Who knew that when wee Bobby Gillespie and his sun-glassed comrades emerged out of the traps with their C86 classic jangle Velocity Girl, that thirty odd years later they’d be still at it having gone through more metamorphosis than your average European eel. They’ve made jangle pop, hard rock, acid house, kraut-rock and honky tonk in something like that order and had the likes of Mani (the Stone Roses) and Kevin Shields (My Bloody Valentine) pass through their ever changing ranks.
It all started when Gillespie left his perch as the Jesus and Mary Chain drummer in order to concentrate on his nascent indie-pop band. Their early singles on Creation were justly lauded and debut album Sonic Flower Groove was a granny-glassed Paisley Underground-influenced slice of proto Stone Roses flower pop that the band soon lost interest in. After each member purchased a pair of leather trousers, the band relocated from Scotland to Brighton for a disappointing self-titled follow up that eschewed subtlety for an initially unflattering hard rock sound. If critics were writing them off around this period then Gillespie was ignoring them and busy soaking up the sounds of the UK Acid House and rave scenes and infiltrating them into the band’s sound. They collaborated with DJ Andrew Weatherall on their high water mark Screamadelica album which yielded top twenty hits in 'Loaded' and 'Come Together' and was a landmark album of the era, perfectly soundtracking those hedonistic and genre-splicing times.
The band then set about changing tack on each subsequent album - 1994’s Give Out But Don’t Give Up stripped things back to a blatant the Rolling Stones-aping sound which yielded a hit with the evergreen 'Rocks' but seemed something like a backwards step. Better was Vanishing Point (1997) and XTRMNTR (2000) which both returned somewhat to the more experimental crossover sound of Screamadelica - the former by way of swirling shoegaze and dub influenced sounds, the latter a much more angry and political work. Both albums featured Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine. The addition of his sonic stews and the dub-influenced bass of Mani led to Primal Scream producing some of their most potent work.
Incredibly given their drug intake over the years, Primal Scream continue to this day, a notable stadium draw and an ever shifting collective still led by the charismatic Gillespie who achieved perhaps his biggest audience yet when brilliantly refusing to dance along with smug BBC types on an appallingly misjudged This Week skit in 2018.
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