Tag Archives: Primal Scream

Rocks In The Attic #789: Primal Scream – ‘Maximum Rock ‘N Roll – The Singles Volume Two’ (2019)

RITA#789I only bought this record because one of my local record stores got a copy in signed by Bobby Gillespie.

Why else would I buy a greatest hits collection of singles released since I last bought a studio album by the band? I guess it saves buying the individual albums. I picked up the first volume at the same time – a no brainer – but surely the second volume is a pointless barrel-scraping exercise?

It turns out I know – and like – every song on here. Maybe my old man ears are more attuned to contemporary music than I care to let on. It’s a damn-sight more consistent than the first volume, which is all over the place stylistically. Maybe I should pick up some of those post-XTRMNTR albums…

After congratulating me on picking up the autographed copy quickly after they posted it on their Instagram account, the man at the record store delighted in telling me in how good the band were at their recent Auckland gig. This conversation really did show up my lack of knowledge about contemporary music.

Record shop man: Did you see them when they last played in town?

Me: No, I didn’t make it. [Opting not to devalue the coolness of my purchase by admitting that I made the mistake of seeing David Duchovny and band play at the same venue the night before]. Any good?

Record shop man: Aw, man. It was awesome. Our bass player ended up playing bass for them.

Me: Oh, what was wrong with Mani? [The last time I took any interest in them, Mani from Primal Scream was firmly ensconced as their bass player.]

Record shop man: No, she was sick. [She? Huh? Why’s he referring to Mani as a woman? Is this record shop man gay, and he’s referring to other men as ‘she’? Or has Mani had a sex change?]

I took my purchases and made a swift exit, desperate for the anonymity of the streets outside. A quick check on Wikipedia put me right – Simone Butler has been their bass player since Mani left to reform the Stone Roses in 2012. Twenty years ago, I would have been all over this. If Bobby Gillespie had farted, I would have read the headline in the NME. Man, I’m out of touch.

As a further example of how out of touch I am, I stopped in to buy these Primal Scream records on the way to an appointment with my urologist. But that’s a different story…

Hit: Country Girl

Hidden Gem: 2013

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Rocks In The Attic #784: Primal Scream – ‘Maximum Rock ‘N Roll – The Singles Volume One’ (2019)

RITA#784This compilation, with a bizarre cover shot suggesting that Primal Scream = Bobby Gillespie and nothing else, charts the band’s progression from indie shoegazers to acid house crossovers to Stones-esque rockers to whatever genre of noise they’re playing on ‘97’s Vanishing Point and 2000’s XTRMNTR.

I can’t imagine what’s on Volume Two, I only picked it up for Bobby Gillespie’s scrawled signature on the front cover. I haven’t bought any of their records since XTRMNTR, but surely I must have heard some of their singles over the last 20 years? Thankfully Volume Two has a much more democratic band photo for the cover.

But back to Volume One, there’s some real bangers on this…

Hit: Rocks Off

Hidden Gem: Jailbird

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Rocks In The Attic #298: Primal Scream – ‘Vanishing Point’ (1997)

RITA#298Another album with an appearance by the Memphis Horns – those boys sure do get around!

This is a long way from being my favourite Primal Scream album, but somebody bought it for me as a birthday present – and records that I’ve received as gifts are always treasured more than any of my other records.

This album was seen as a return to form after Give Out But Don’t Give Up, but that album was my favourite era of Primal Scream. I can understand why the clubbing and Ecstacy fans of Screamadelica were turned off by it, but Give Out… speaks to the rocker in me. Listening to Vanishing Point, you can hear the natural progression from Screamadelica. In retrospect, the odd-sounding rock album in-between just seems like a misstep.

I do like the strange messages scratched into the run-out grooves on this album. Side A has quotes from the film Vanishing Point: “THE QUESTION’S NOT WHEN THEY’RE GONNA’ STOP…” on side A, followed by “…BUT WHO’S GONNA’ STOP THEM” on side B. Side C has “FREE TITCH”; and side D has “SOMEDAY THIS L.P.’S GONNA END, SON”.

Hit: Kowalski

Hidden Gem: Get Duffy

Rocks In The Attic #85: Primal Scream – ‘XTRMNTR’ (2000)

Rocks In The Attic #85: Primal Scream - ‘XTRMNTR’ (2000)Wikipedia tells me that this album was the final LP released on Creation Records. I don’t remember that at the time – I definitely remember Creation folding, but I think I bought this purely for Kill All Hippies, a great song I would regularly play in my Saturday night DJ set at Oldham’s 38 Bar / The Castle.

I must have met Primal Scream (and ex-Stone Roses) bassist Mani not long after this album was released, down in the basement bar of Corbieres in Manchester’s St. Anne’s Square. He signed my cigarette packet – which I still have – and as I’m not a fan of the band he’s more well known for, his bass playing for Primal Scream will always remind me of that chance encounter. His bass playing on this album, especially Blood Money, is noteworthy – it’s like he’s playing his own tune, keeping the bass driving forward regardless of what the rest of the band are doing.

This version of Primal Scream isn’t my favourite. It’s a bit – dare I sound like an old man – noisy and tuneless. It’s also not the most popular thing to say, but my favourite version of Primal Scream is the Give Out But Don’t Give Up version – where they’re practically doing everything right to appeal to my classic rock leanings. That album almost sounds like a Black Crowes record, and although I’d like them to record another album like that, I guess you just have to admit that they’re a continually evolving band – probably one of the most genre-shifting bands in the last couple of decades.

Hit: Swastika Eyes (Jagz Kooner Mix)

Hidden Gem: Keep Your Dreams