Living with…Primal Scream…for a week
Photo from Dina Regine
Move Like Richards
There’s so much of Primal Scream that sounds like the Rolling Stones, and there’s so much that doesn’t.
So that could be the reason I interrupted my week with Primal Scream, to return to my first ever album on no81bobs world, The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street.
Well that, and I’ve been reading Keith Richards’ autobiography Life squeezing out a measly percent on the Kindle before I fall asleep each night. It’s 1970 and the story has effectively reached it’s musical climax with the creation of their classic double lp in a rambling French chateau.
When Keef calls his story Life, he’s effectively reminding most of us that he’s squeezed more in to a few weeks than most of us manage in a decade. The scene is set early when his mother threatens to put him in to care before he’s even got to school. I’ve found the story of the Stones fascinating, not only for their musical journey but how society reacted and treated them.
By 1970 they are so out of favour in the UK with the establishment (particularly with the tax man) that they retreat to this wonderful but cheap to rent chalet called Nelcote in southern France to restore their reputation and hopefully bank balance. To give life that extra edge Mick Jagger has just married a beautiful Nicaraguan called Bianca at Monte Carlo. Keith puts it nicely “The only drawback was that she was never one for a joke. I’m still trying to find something to make her laugh.” Shame Mick didn’t think of gsoh. So that added a little edge.
Keef was more concerned with stockpiling his drugs and ensuring the 97% 3% mix that is essential when mixing lactose with certain other white powders to ensure the right mix. More edge.
Charlie Watts was more of a 9 to 5 man, the problem being Keith’s definition was 9pm to 5am. Bill just seems grumpy. What with all that and their run-ins with the Marseille mafia somehow out of the chaos came one of the greatest rock albums of all time. The house was their studio and they would pack Charlie off in to corners of the basement to capture those different tones.
So, with the story of Exile on Main Street how could I not return? I’m at about 60% in the book so should finish around Christmas at this rate.
What I say
So back to Primal Scream. I knew this album well at the time and it all seemed so fresh and exciting then. There are moments of pure magic – the opener Movin’ On Up is more Stones than the Stones ever were – bluesy, gutsy and with a wonderful gospel backing.
Loaded, probably the best known track on the album still makes me tingle with those opening words from The Wild Angels:
Just what is it that you want to do?
We wanna be free
We wanna be free to do what we wanna do
And we wanna get loaded
And then there’s Slip Inside the House, Don’t Fight It Feel It. All great house-like tracks that capture that Indie sound of the 90s. The first half is brilliant and makes for a great trip back to that period musically but it does ramble on a bit and I was happy to get distracted by the Stones. But I’ll be back especially for Movin’ On Up and Loaded.
What Adolf says
Youtube fans when they’re not busy laughing at animals falling all over will have noticed a fair proliferation of clips of Der Fuhrer. In those last hours in the bunker he expressed a lot of opinions about a lot of things.
Many football opinions – he was particularly racked off about Germany’s infamous 5-1 defeat to England; the frontline at Arsenal; cricket; social issues. You name it – someone has taken the wonderful rant scene from Downfall and made hay with it.
In this month of Movember it seems appropriate to feature a moustachiod rant. You might not be surprised that the Leader of the Third Reich’s taste stretched to Primal Scream and U2, but the revelation about the pole dancing and the tattoo could be a new one…
Twotes of the week
@sixthformpoet: The England team by nickname: Harty, Johnno, Ash, PJ, Jags, Lesc, Parks, Lamps, Theo, Mils, Benty. Boxers and wrestlers look on, appalled.
@normandiewilson: “Success is stumbling from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill @mattleys: Oh. I thought FIFA had banned the England team from wearing puppies. As you were.