Primal Scream’s Screamadelica album was like an event when it arrived in 1991. Nirvana’s Nevermind, My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless and Massive Attack’s Blue Lines all came out that year, but my friends and I could not get enough of Screamadelica. Practically everybody I knew was deeply into that record, even the ones who weren’t druggies…
“Loaded,” “Come Together,” “Higher Than The Sun”—Screamadelica is an album meant to be listened to when you are as fucked up as possible. It’s one of the ultimate soundtracks for drug use. (“Higher Than The Sun” sounds particularly good after you’ve inhaled a lungful of nitrous oxide, but then again, almost anything sounds great when you’re high on nitrous).
I recall meeting band-leader Bobby Gillespie along with Creation Records head Alan McGee in New York City, the year it came out. I think it must have been for the New Music Seminar. I met them in the “Kenny Scharf Room” (basement) of the Palladium nightclub on 14th Street and although the conversation began well-enough as I complimented him on a record I just loved, Gillespie’s Scottish accent was very, very strong at the time and I couldn’t understand more than one word in ten. I lived in the UK for two years and normally have no problem with a Scottish accent, but with Gillespie, I had to admit defeat. From the sound of things in this new documentary, his accent has gotten a bit softer over the course of the last two decades. You won’t need subtitles, I don’t think.
Primal Scream’s seminal album Screamadelica was released in 1991, and synthesized the band’s rock ‘n’ roll roots with the dance culture of that time; for many, the album’s sound and imagery came to be regarded as quintessential symbols of the acid house era, perfectly catching the spirit and mood of the early 90s.
Using rare archive footage and special performances, this film tells the story of Screamadelica and its hit singles and dance anthems “Loaded,” “Movin’ On Up,” “Come Together” and “Don’t Fight It, Feel It.” From the formation of the band in Glasgow to winning the first-ever Mercury prize, the band members explain the record’s inception with insights from main producer Andrew Weatherall, Creation Records founder Alan McGee and many others involved with or inspired by this joyful record.
Screamadelica both defines a generation and transcends its time, and is a true Classic Album.
A new DVD, Screamadelica Live has just been released by Eagle Rock Entertainment.