It’s interesting to note that music that is most associated with its time also seems to be the most timeless. I’m thinking of The Beatles’ Rubber Soul, David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and Patti Smith’s Horses, all of which stand up to repeated listens long after the time in which they were recorded and released for consumption. The same can be said for Primal Scream’s Screamadelica. Released in 1991, it became the soundtrack for a very specific place and time…the acid house scene of the early 90s in the UK. The band stumbled across just the right mix of rock & roll attitude and spaced-out dance rhythms with songs like Loaded, Don’t Fight It, Feel It and Higher Than The Sun. Many of the tracks on the album were originally recorded and released as 12 dance mixes to feed to the ecstasy-fuelled party-goers of the time. But as Primal Scream proved with a series of live performances of the entire album, that began late last year, the music is as powerful and relevant now as it was 20 years ago.
The Blu-Ray edition of Screamadelica Live features the band’s first performance of the album which took place in London at the Olympia Grand Hall on November 26, 2010. Original members Bobbie Gillespie (vocals), Andrew Innes (guitar) and Martin Duffy (keys) are accompanied by ex-Stone Roses bassist Mani, who has been with The Scream since the mid-90s, drummer Darrin Mooney and Barrie Cadogan from Little Barrie who replaces original guitarist Robert “Throb” Young, who left five years ago. They are further supported by a gospel choir and a horn section along with a dazzling light show. It’s a big production and it translates well to the screen.
Musically, it’s…a trip. Anyone who saw they perform at the Big Day Out this past January knows how good they sound. If you missed it, this is the next best thing.
But the fun doesn’t end there. The Blu-Ray also features a “rock & roll set” recorded earlier the same evening. It’s a 40-minute run-through of later hits like Country Girl, Jailbird and Rocks. Then there is the Screamadelica Classic Album documentary as well. The album was one of the most unorthodox records to be recorded at the time. Thanks to the presence of just about everyone involved including ex-band members, producers Andrew Weatherall and Hugo Nicolson, even Alex Paterson from The Orb, who produced one track, the viewer gets an intimate and honest look at how the music was inspired, created and then recorded. It really helps to appreciate the album even more after watching this Classic Album episode.
Oh, and I almost forgot…there is a CD that comes with the package featuring the live music.
All-in-all, a most entertaining package. Get your rocks off, baby!
Click here to listen to Don’t Fight It, Feel It from Screamadelica Live: