The One Word Countdown – #3

What is it that you want to do…..

Loaded – Primal Scream (1990, Creation Records, Taken from ‘Screamadelica’)

Points 240

It starts, as we all know, with a trumpet riff, a lazy, reverb groove loosely tracked by a guitar.  Then you get that snatch of dialogue from ‘The Wild Angels’ “What is it you want to do…?” and frankly all hell breaks loose. A crash of an electric guitar, a lazy bongo drum beat, more samples (from The Emotions and an obscure Edie Brickell track) and suddenly the UK had its first genuinely brilliant, genuinely genre bending indie dance classic.

When ‘Loaded’ landed in February 1990 it was the band first hit record, and it blew the mind of a certain 14 year old boy who up until that point, only really listened to ‘Now That’s What I Called Music Vol. 8’.

It was everything about ‘Loaded’, the effortless cool nature of the music, the samples that were so perfect, the look of the band.  Everything.  I sat gobstruck as the band appeared on Top of the Pops, as Bobby Gillespie who according to my dad “Looked Half Dead” stood centre stage, clearly miming and pretty much french kissed the microphone as the trumpet riff (despite there being precisely no trumpet players on stage) and the looping shuffle of guitar swirled away behind it.  They didn’t even pretend to play or sing and yet it was so cool.  It was at that point that I knew that I wanted to make as glorious a racket as Primal Scream did, I wanted to have a good time and I definitely wanted to have a party.

‘Loaded’ set the precedent for nearly everything that followed, bands that were usually associated with a scuzzy grunge sound suddenly experimented with dance – The Soup Dragons, The Farm, The Shamen and even The Stone Roses who twisted ‘Fools Gold’ to the point that it also became a rave anthem.  That sound that indie dance sound, was the soundtrack of the next summers and let’s be honest it was brilliant (apart from The Farm) as bands competed to make the next great indie dance record.

Obviously, the Musical Jury agreed it with me.  Because out of all the songs on the list to choose from, none of them was selected by our Musical Jury members as often as ‘Loaded’ was.   If every person who voted for placed it one position higher it would have easily have won the entire thing, but they didn’t. Regardless, ‘Loaded’ is an astonishing piece of work and was a record that seriously changed my life.

There were a bunch of other Primal Scream songs that were considered, none of which I think would have done as well ‘Loaded’.

Rocks – Primal Scream (1994, Creation Records, Taken from ‘Give Out, But Don’t Give Up’)

Accelerator – Primal Scream (2000, Creation Records, Taken from ‘XRTMNTR’)

Kowalski – Primal Scream (1997, Creation Records, Taken from ‘Vanishing Point’)

Its Monday, Let’s Swear – #16

Pills – Primal Scream (2000, Creation Records)

Bobby calm down.  

It’s ok mate, it was only an iPod Nano, seriously I can buy another one in which I can reload all your best songs and jog past the marina in Torquay as you warble on about syphilitic aliens and whatnot and then when I get home, I can continue to tell the world how great you are.  Honestly, it’s ok.  Be Cool.

Slight diversion here, a few years ago me and the wife travelled down to Cornwall to watch Primal Scream at the Eden Project on the 20th anniversary ‘Screamadelica’ tour.  We stayed the night at a Bed and Breakfast in the wilds of the St Austell countryside.  We told the owner we would be back quite late as we were going to the Eden Project to see Primal Scream.  She was pretty oblivious to who they were.  The following morning as we ate our organic granola and drunk our freshly squeezed juice in the rose garden, the owner asked us how our “Primeval Scream” was. 

Oh how we laughed at her ignorance.

But you see, she was clever our hostess, because before asking us that question she had clearly been listening to ‘Pills’ the most furious track on Primal Scream’s most furious album, the vowel hating, government baiting wonder that it ‘XTRMNTR’.  Because folks ‘Pills’ is as close, musically, as you will ever get to hearing an actual Primeval Scream laid down on wax – or whatever it is you lay music down on these days.

Essentially ‘Pills’ is the briefest of glances inside the head of Bobby Gillespie, or perhaps in this case, it’s a glimpse inside his bathroom cabinet.  Based on the final third of ‘Pills’ that ain’t a pretty place, but then again, practically no one expected it to be.  What essentially starts as your average Primal Scream song (one of the weakest on the xcllnt ‘xtrmntr’) descends into a nightmarish clash of sounds, strings, beats, shouts, yelps, but mostly pretty impressive swearing.

Exterminator (Massive Attack Mix) – Primal Scream (2000 Creation Records)