|1. Movin' on Up|
|2. Slip Inside This House|
|3. Don't Fight It, Feel It|
|4. Higher Than The Sun|
|5. Inner Flight|
|6. Come Together|
|9. I'm Comin' Down|
|10. Higher Than The Sun (Dub Symphony in Two...)|
|11. Shine Like Stars|
The first signs of the genesis of Screamadelica came in Spring 1990 when they released Loaded. Initially something of a dance/rock traitor excursion, Andrew Weatherall took a I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have from their previous album, slipped it a couple of bad things, threw on a Peter Fonda sample and transformed it into a masterpiece of the era. Loaded was the Primal's passport to Top Of The Pops and elevated Bobby Gillespie to Smash Hits poster-boy status. Subsequent singles Come Together (here in a remixed version), Higher Than The Sun (one of the most 'out there' singles to have graced the Top 40, here in both original and epic dub symphony in two parts) and the MC5 meets the rave-up italo sensation Don't Fight It Feel It. Kick off the album with the still-jubilant Movin' On Up, and the ingredients for something very special indeed were there.
Weatherall had loosened up the Scream, and they would never be the same again. A whole new menu of opportunities and sonic exploration was theirs, and allowed them out of the constraints of the 'rock outfit' set-up. That they followed it up with the slightly underwhelming Give Out But Don't Give Up is one for the history books, but proving it wasn't a one-off with the further adventures of Vanishing Point and the seminal Xtrmntr, showed that the Scream were almost chroniclers of the times.
Both of its time yet quintessentially timeless, Screamadelica still sounds like nothing else, yet all things at once. Digestable whether off your nut in a club, soundtracking a barbeque or even indie seduction. 18 years down the line, it's not too much to suggest that it's a solid gold classic. --Ian Wade
Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window
Few albums have been so eclectic, a precursor has to be AR Kane's 1989 double-set 'I', which fused indie, dub, drones, ambient, space-jazz, soul, pop, classical and goth in one place (AR Kane were architects of the approach Primal Scream made here). 'Screamadelica' is similarly eclectic and fuses genres like dub, psychedelia, rave, rock, the blues & ambient.
'Movin' on Up' is the opener, an ecstasy-inflected update of The Stones (& George Michael's 'Faith'?), building into gospel & house and quoting the same Biblical-line used at the end of Scorsese's 'Raging Bull': "I was blind- now I can see." Following the opening climax of soulful-joy (courtesy of Denise Johnson), the album flips into dance-mode with a pulsing-reinterpretation of The 13th Floor Elevators' LSD-soaked psychedelic classic 'Slip Inside This House' (just the words & feeling remain) & then the full on rave-anthem 'Don't Fight It, Feel It', which nods to The MC5.
The album then shifts gear towards the ambient, the great Orb-produced version of 'Higher Than the Sun', which seems like a mantra to the chemicals popular at the time, and spins off into a Sun-Ra-space-jazz utopia, evoking a feeling that you are on drugs (even though you're listening to a record). 'Higher Than the Sun' is one of those records that makes me feel like I'm on drugs - see 'Loomer' by My Bloody Valentine, 'Space Invaders are Smoking Grass' by i-f, 'Halleluwah' by Can, 'Spectral Mornings' by Cornershop, 'The Great Curve' by Talking Heads etc...'Inner Flight' sounds like a post-house-Eno, looping a sample which sounds like Martin Gore's vocal on Depeche Mode's 'Shake the Disease' into an ambient moment...
Next up is 1990-single 'Loaded', Andrew Weatherall's reworking of Primal Scream's Stones-like-anthem 'I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have' fused with a dance-mix of Edie Brickell's 'What I Am' & samples from b-movie 'Wild Angels,' which starred Peter Fonda & Nancy Sinatra. The album then shifts to downer-mode with the bruised 'damaged', which attempts to sound like The Stones anywhere between 'Let It Bleed' & 'Exile on Main Street' (think 'Sister Morphine', 'Sweet Black Angel','Torn & Frayed'), and then drifts back up with the ambient-space-jazz of 'i'm comin' down.' The album concludes on a reworking of 'Higher Than the Sun' ('a dub symphony in two parts') which features ex-PIL bassist Jah Wobble- this reprise works wonderfully here, though as a conceit it didn't work on 2000's 'Xtrmntr' and its lame Chemical Brothers remix of 'Swastika Eyes.' Finally there is the gorgeous, minimal electronic joy 'Shine Like Stars' - the music reflecting the feeling of the drugs (yes, the drugs did work...).
'Screamadelica' still sounds wonderful then and is as classic as any album you can name- it also stands up as one of those records which goes beyond genre and stands on its own terms- think DJ Shadow's 'Endtroducing', AR Kane's 'I', Associates' 'Sulk', Eno/Byrne's 'My Life in the Bush of Ghosts' or Psychic TV's 'Force the Hand of Chance.' It also forms part of a musical history around dance music and related chemicals- Psychic TV's 'Godstar soundtrack' (which fuses Stones-allusions & ecstasy), New Order's 'Technique' (some made in Ibiza & featuring acid-house nodding 'Fine Time'), Happy Mondays' 'Pills, Thrills'n'Bellyaches' & The Orb's 'Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld.'
'Screamadelica' is surely deserving of a deluxe-two-disc reissue, completing the picture with the original-version of 'Higher Than the Sun' (found on the 'Burning Wheel' single), the Terry Farley single-mix of 'Come Together' (a perfect pop-song) or the tracks on the 'Dixie-Narco' e.p., the epic 'Screamadelica' & the fantastic cover of Dennis Wilson's 'Carry Me Home.' Can only wait for such a joy...
This product's forum
Active discussions in related forums
Search Customer Discussions