Sunday, April 10, 2011

It was 20 years ago today - Part 2

While we have already seen that some of the periphery indie bands from the early 90s have been relegated to the budget price second hand bins, others are arriving at their 20th anniversary celebrations in style. Two of these bands are Primal Scream and Ride, who have seen deluxe reissues of their classic albums, “Screamadelica” and “Nowehere”, respectively. The Primals in particular have gone all out with a special tin box, whereas Ride have gone for a remastering and a bonus live CD thrown in.

It is a shame that the footage has been removed for copyright reasons, but there exists some amazing footage of Primal Scream performin “Loaded” on Top of the Pops in 1991. The footage is interesting for two reasons. One, it features a wired band falling all over the stage without even the vaguest intention of miming, while secondly, the nonplussed keyboard player is none other than Ride’s Mark Gardner, roped into the appearance by Creation Record bosses. He too makes no attempt to look authentic and merely stabs at his instrument with a frown.

Two of the standout tracks from the albums are the Primal’s immortal “Higher than sun” consistently praised as the greatest ecstasy song ever written and who could argue, even if Bobby Gillespie does look like Liv Tyler in the video.

… and Ride’s Jonathan Livingstone Seagull-inspired opening track “Seagull” for which sadly there is no proper video.

Those keen for more nostalgia should look out for the recently released documentary about Creation Records called “Upsidedown” which is great on the big screen with a massive sound system, even if it is a bit linear. Sadly the story is a simple one, musicians and managers experimenting with music and dabbling in drugs, become drug addicts experimenting with drugs and dabbling in music, especially by the time Oasis come along. Nonethless, the story is interesting as it parallels the clash of guitar culture with the nascent acid house scene (cue Primal Scream again) and there are also many parallels with the Madchester scene and the Factory Records story told so well in “Control” and “24 Hour Party People”

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