On this day in 1964, Bobby Gillespie, founder of the innovative
techno/rock band Primal Scream and former drummer for the Jesus and Mary
Chain, was born in Scotland.
Gillespie formed Primal Scream soon after joining Jesus and Mary Chain in 1984. Scream's debut album, Sonic Flower Groove, didn't come out until 1987, following Gillespie's departure from JAMC and the addition to Scream of guitarists Andrew Innes and Robert Young. The album featured
guitar-based, melodic pop/rock sung by Gillespie. Primal Scream's
eponymous 1989 follow-up, however, contained rougher rock influenced
by the Rolling Stones, the Stooges and the New York Dolls. By 1990, the
band had teamed with producer Andy Weatherall to create atmospheric dance
rock such as the U.K. top-20 hit "Loaded," a remix of Primal Scream's
earlier song, "I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have."
Primal Scream's 1991 album, Screamadelica, was in this dance vein
and proved to be a milestone in English pop music. Produced by
Weatherall and Hugo Nicholson, the album also contained tracks cut with
the help of the Orb and Jimmy Miller, producer of such Stones classics
as Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street.
Screamadelica was critically hailed, made the U.K. top 10 and proved that techno could be embraced by the mainstream.
Primal Scream's next release, 1994's Give Out, But Don't Give Up, was a detour, finding the band doing bluesy rock a la
the Stones. While Primal Scream fans bought the album, it didn't sell
as much as the band's previous platters and it displeased most critics.
Primal Scream returned to dance music for the dark title track (RealAudio excerpt) to the
1996 heroin movie "Trainspotting." In 1997, the band returned with
Vanishing Point, which took them further into electronica. "We
go into the studio and experiment every day with sounds," Gillespie said
around the time the album was issued. Although Vanishing Point
also had elements of psychedelia and punk, Gillespie indicated that in the future the band might experiment even further with its sound. He
discussed tracks for an upcoming release that the band was working on
with contributions from Jaki Leibezeit, the drummer of German
avant-garde electronica group Can, and My Bloody Valentine's Kevin
Soon after the release of Vanishing Point, Primal
Scream issued -- in the U.K. only -- Echo Dek, a track-for-track dub
meltdown of the previous album, with the exception of the single "Burning Wheel," by dub master Adrian Sherwood. Having reached the peak of their
innovative powers with Vanishing Point, Primal Scream have left
their fans anxiously awaiting their next album to see what musical path
the band will take.
Other birthdays: Kris Kristofferson, 62; Peter Asher (Peter and Gordon), 54; Howard Kaylan (Turtles), 51; Todd Rundgren (Utopia), 50;
Alan Osmond (Osmonds), 49; Derek Forbes (Simple Minds), 42; Green
Gartside (Scritti Politti), 42; Garry Gary Beers (INXS), 41; Alan
Alizojvodic (Cowboy Junkies), 39; Stephen Vaughn (PJ Harvey), 36;
Michael James Edwards (Jesus Jones), 34; and Afrika Baby Bambaataa (Jungle Brothers), 28.