Time after time Screamadelica is ranked as one of THE albums of all time, but personally Vanishing Point ranks higher than it anyday...Dub beats, fantastic samples, dirty bass and gritty guitar all add to Bobby's fantastic 'stuff you' vocals...I don't like to compare bands, but if you like Death in Vegas...you'll love this. Classic.
If it's really for sale for less than £2, then you can't afford to not own this album. Somewhat undervalued, I bet that in 5 to 10 years time, bands will be namedropping this album as a must-mention major influence.
Brilliant, dark, druggy and unlike anything anyone else was doing (the others were flogging the exhausted pony that was Brit Pop, probably), Vanishing Point was new territory for Primal Scream and for British rock. While the Brit Poppers were riding a cocaine wave of increasingly banal, mainstream success, our then Brighton-based heroes Primal Scream (increasingly seen as veteran rock n rollers even back then) appeared to be exploiting the anxieties, paranoia and 'strung-outness' of a speed/e/whatever comedown to move away from Stones wannabe territory and show their potential, find their voice, and begin mining a very dark and twisted seem indeed. Flashes (flashbacks?) of Screamadelica and Give Out are evident, as are nods to the drrty techno sounds they went on to produce. In this way, VP is something of a link in the Primal Scream evolutionary chain, but it's also much, much more - it's a trip, a dark and twisting road trip.
Primal Scream's music has a reputation for being largely influenced by ecstasy, but thankfully it can be enjoyed by non drug users aswell. This album is a dark fusion between dance and rock, and works surprisingly well when by all principals it shouldn't. Burning Wheel starts off the album by making the listener feel disorientated with its jangly guitars and swirly sound effects, and from then on inwards it's a rollercoaster ride of big beats and motion sickness. The highlight of the album is the 10 minute long Trainspotting, written for the film of the same name, which was about drug addicts....
The addition of former Stone Rose Mani to the line-up certainly invigorated Primal Scream, as did Martin Duffy's contribution to The Charlatans' 'Tellin'Stories.' The mis-fire that was 'Give Out But Don't Give Up' (territory they have mysteriously returned to on new LP 'Riot City Blues')was banished by 'Vanishing Point', an LP that came on the back of their Irvine Welsh/On-U-Sound single for Euro-96 (prediciting the dub-territory of 'Echo Dek') and 'Trainspotting' for the soundtrack of the classy adaptation of Welsh's classic debut novel.
Initial single 'Kowalski' was an odd choice to return with - blending industrial dub (recalling the Adrian Sherwood-produced 'Twitch' by Ministry), the gothic, Krautrock & samples from the classic 1971 road movie 'Vanishing Point' (up there with 'Two Lane Blacktop', 'Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia' & 'Punishment Park'). One of their greatest moments and even better in its live incarnation, which features a more animated Bobby Gillespie and a My Bloody Valentine-style loop of euphoric-sound. Second single 'Star' featured the late Augustus Pablo and applied dub to the Stones-territory of earlier songs like 'You're Just Too Dark to Care' and 'Cry Myself Blind.' It does appear to believe that Rosa Parks was dead - in 1997?
The third single and opening track 'Burning Wheel' is one of my favourite Primal Scream songs, despite the fact its opening appears to have been pilfered from Can's 'Future Days'! A great production that veers from channel-to-channel, featuring some wild organ from former Felt-keyboardist Martin Duffy - in line with the great 'Get Duffy' & his replacement work for the late Rob Collins in the Charlatans. The first half of the album goes out strongly with 'Out of the Void', which is a darker relative of their 'Screamadelica'-era, fitting with their later allusions to Joy Division, PIL and The Pop Group.
'Stuka' appears to reflect Gillespie & co's two decades too late flirtation with WWII imagery (Throbbing Gristle, Siouxsie Sioux, Joy Division & Keith Moon all there first!), though I think this was put down to Andrew Innes then obssession with 'The World at War'! Another hypnotic blend of dub, electronica and psychedelia, fitting well alongside the Chemical Brothers' best moment 'The Private Psychedelic Reel', the great Unkle-remix of The Verve's 'Bittersweet Symphony' & Liam Howlett's remix of Method Man's 'Release Yo'Self.' 'Medication' gets right the Faces/Stones-thing they were doing on the previous LP (only 'Rocks' could be argued to have been a success)- though I'm quite intrigued by its current incarnation that is slower & recycles the 'Keep On Keepin'On'-riff from Joy Division's 'Interzone.' The cover of Motorhead meanwhile, is the sole duff moment and an obvious b-side - I'm sure Lemmy was mortified!
The album goes out strongly with the epic soundtrack piece 'Trainspotting' which sounds like it fuses 'Screamadlica' with dub and John Barry and the bleak 'Long Life' - which feels like a 90s-relative of 'Closer'-Joy Division and sounds like a precursor of 2000's 'Keep Your Dreams' (which was essentially Joy Division do 'Higher Than the Sun' with title from Suicide!). 'Vanishing Point' has dated well and alongside 'Screamadelica' and 'Xtrmntr' stand as their key albums. It was certainly one of the highlights of the late 90s alongside Royal Trux's 'Accelerator', Spiritualized's 'Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space', Screaming Trees' 'Dust', Neutral Milk Hotel's 'In the Aeroplane Over the Sea', The Flaming Lips' 'Zaireeka', Meat Beat Manifesto's 'Subliminal Sandwich', Ghostface Killah's 'Ironman' & baader meinhof's eponymous LP. Pity 'Riot City Blues', 'When the Bomb Drops', is otherwise miles apart from it...
made using a wide range of mind altering drugs, vanishing point is the ultimate fusion of trips, giving the agression,the soul,the speed and the unalloyed mind of prml scrm.the finest track,to me,is kowalski due to the sounds and the sweet drugged up lyrics.amazing.it plays in my mind continuously tripping me out.who needs drugs when they give you every mood and trippy visions i need to pass away my days.let your mind play with your vision and feelings.
Probably one of the best albums from the late 90s, and certainly my own favourite. Perfect for coming down after a heavy night out, or simply lying in the afternoon with your eyes closed. Mani's bass playing is his best ever. A great concept album to go with a great movie (Vanishing Point 1971). Fact - on the cover of "Motorhead," Gillespie sings the first verse through a Darth Vader mask!
Have to agree with other reviewers - this album is awesome - has hardly been out of player since I bought it! Can't believe I left it so long before buying it - may have been put off by their Mcr Apollo show at the time of VP's release - was pretty shambolic compared with their normal first class gigs!! Great stuff - go buy it!...anyway, back to the medication.....
This is somewhere beyond excellent and every year it sounds better and better (just finished listening to the whole album on my Denon headphones, in fact, and it was like hearing it new all over again.)
I'm sure that many will disagree, but I think that this is the best album that Primal Scream have ever made. All the rest fade into insignificance and are pretty damn poor anyway. Instrumentally/Electronically led and not far away from the sound of Death in Vegas. Once you listen, you'll know where many of those old tunes you always hear come from. The dub-version (Echo Dek)is a close second to this album, but if you prefer dub, you may prefer it. I have both, and I love both of them.