With today’s news of the sad passing of Andrew Weatherall, we republish a piece by Abbas Ali from 2011, on the iconic album he produced Screamadelica.
‘The best thing about ‘Loaded’ was that it proved we were right’ Bobby Gillespie, 1990
It was 1991, and bands like the Stone Roses and The Happy Mondays had already made quite an impact on the music scene. The twisted lyrical genius of albums such as ‘Pills ‘N’ Thrills and Bellyaches’ had griped the club cultures and Primal Scream wanted their moment. An already heavily anticipated band on the Creation Record books, Primal Scream released Screamadelica, an album that fused rock and dance and subsequently changed music forever.
Previous to the release of Screamadelica, Primal Scream were a band that failed to make a major impact, although a couple of albums under their belt Bobby Gillespie had at one point shared most of his time between Primal Scream and The Jesus and Mary Chain.Having signed to the iconic Creation Records label, key events such as Alan McGee introducing the band to acid house (something Gillespie was very skeptical of) and the fact that acid house was really taking off in Britain paved the way for the experiment of a lifetime that resulted in the phenomenon of Screamadelica.
‘the ultimate fucked up family’ Alan McGee, 2011
Introduced to DJ Andrew Weatherall at a rave, Weatherall was given the task of remixing their track ‘I’m Losing more Than I’ll Ever Have.’ The result of this was ‘Loaded‘, a track that featured samples of Peter Fonda in the iconic sixties movie The Wild Angels. ‘Loaded’ and it became the bands first major hit record. Screamadelica featured gospel-house with ‘Come Together’ and the dub diffusion of ‘Higher Than the Sun’…a song that Creation Records founder Alan McGee has cited he wants to be played as he leaves this mortal world. Screamadelica was the first album to win a Mercury Prize in 1992, beating the likes of U2 and Saint Etienne. The album was a musical gathering of gospel, psychedelic, bass-driven grooves, a masterpiece, an album that moves around with itself, an esoteric voyage of mind-blowing tunes.
In a way Screamadelica is the most daring album of the 90s, any experiment is risky and this one certainly paid off. Primal Scream proved that dance music and rock could exist alongside one another. Although a collaboration album, one of which can be credited mainly to the magic of Weatherall it was Primal Scream’s vision and sheer imagination that created what I consider to be the most important album of the 90s.