Screamadelica is an album that still sounds incredibly fresh, ahead of its time and on occasions, like something from another planet. Yet looking through my CD and record collection there are a whole host of albums from that year that I still enjoy playing, many of which could be deemed ‘classics’s or certainly ‘cult classics’.
Gillespe also emplores that ‘I was lost, now I’m found, I believe in you, I’ve got no bounds’. This was an album with no boundaries, encompassing the Scream’s beloved rock’n’roll alongside dub, jazz and acid house. And Gillespie was flying, creatively and through the use of drugs, no bounds indeed.
I know you can, I wish you would
Gonna dance to the music all night longGettin' high, gettin' happy, gettin' goneGonna dance to the music all night longGettin' up , gettin' down, gonna get it onI'm gonna live the life I loveI'm gonna love the life I live
There is a piano break at 3 minutes 25 seconds in that just lifts the song, before the closing refrain/mantra keeps the groove going for another few minutes.
Rama lama lama fa fa faGonna get high 'til the day I die
Come Together is 10 and a half minutes of ecstasy on vinyl. Weatherall remixes the original version, removing Gillespie's vocals completely and including an inspired sample, with someone preaching;
The intro is stretched out to over 2 minutes with a hammond riff played continuously before the beat kicks in at just under 2 minutes 30 seconds and then comes the groove, all the time being underpinned by the hammond riff that kicked it all off. Weatherall's importance to Primal Scream, their sound and Screamadelica cannot be under stated.
The band knew what they were striving for (track down the original demo of Higher Than The Sun for an example) but Weatherall helped them to another level. It was meant to be.
Denise Johnson also deserves credit for her soaring and soulful vocals throughout and when she comes in before 5 minutes urging everyone to 'Come together as one' it just sounds so right.
The original version of Come Together is one of my all time favourite songs, yet this Weatherall version is just perfect for Screamadelica and Gillespie's vision of the track listing soundtracking a trip of the rush of ecstasy.
House piano kicks in, a simple yet funky bass holding it all together, trumpets blast off, the sample kicks back in, Denise Johnson is still singing, there are bongo drums......it is a phenomenal song.
It starts with the famous sample from the film Wild Angels;
And this song is one big party with Weatherall working magic by using the guitar and trumpet riffs from the closing section of the Screams I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have into a monster groove.
Denise Johnson's huge gospel vocals come in immediately, urging 'I don't wanna before the beat drops and things kick off. The bass is deep and funky, there is house piano, slide guitar and soaring trumpets over a 4/4 dance beat.
Weatherall's production and the way he builds the tune up, drops it, only to build it up again is like something he would do on the decks in a club.
It is a sensational 7-minutes that transformed Primal Scream from a cult indie guitar band into the band Bobby Gillespie always believed they could be.
The playing is slow and soulful and Gillespie sings his heart out;
Weatherall's production is all over Screamadelica, other than this stunning ballad. It is a cracker.
Highs and pills won't heal my illsBut they make me feel better for a little while
I'm coming downI can't face the dawnI'm coming downI feel too far gone
At 3 minutes 30 seconds the song just goes off into space, there are echoes of Gillespie's jazz heroes like Coltrane and Davis in the trumpet/clarinet solo.
I still love the cheeky wee sample/dialogue at the end - 'Yep I know that feeling.'
The reintroduction of this song is extremely clever and it again fits in with the old DJ trick of mixing in a tune he played earlier in his set.
The second part of the symphony has Wobble's bass to the fore and it keeps things grounded, allowing all kinds of things to go on elsewhere. The short break just before 5 minutes just lifts the song even higher (than the sun), before Wobble brings it all back down with his bass.
And so we come to the end, with the almost childlike trippy nursery rhyme Shine Like Stars. Yet again Gillespie's lyrics capture the hedonism of 1991;
There we have it, Screamadelica, 20 years on, still remarkably fresh. I've been writing this blog over the weekend and I must have listened to the album 5 times, yet I could easily go back to the start and listen to it all over again.
There is so much going on, so much care and love has gone into it. The band knew they were on to something, they had a great team working with them, from Alan McGee and Creation Records, through to the undeniable talents of Andy Weatherall. Yet the band and the trio of Gillespie, Innes and Young always believed in themselves and Primal Scream as a band, an idea.
With Screamadelica they realised what they were capable of and thankfully they went on to make a number of other stunning albums through the 90's.
Roll on Manchester and 19th March.