Song Of The Week: “Loaded” by Primal Scream

primalscreamscreamadelica_album_coverSometimes you just have to hand over your art and let someone else get freaky with it.

After releasing a couple of middling, 60s-inspired rock albums which failed to set alight the arts or the charts in their native UK, Primal Scream found themselves at a crossroads towards the end of 1989. Their music displayed flashes of brilliance, but had yet to coalesce into a gem — still more coal than diamond.

Around this time, a new scene emerged out of the clubs, with day-glo parties known as raves, and tripped out dance music called ‘acid house’ serving as the soundtrack. The Wall was about to fall and it was time to be free.

primalscreamRockers generally stayed in their rock lane, but Primal Scream had started hanging out at these raves, digging the scene and soaking up the music, largely played by DJs instead of live bands. They got to know a DJ named Andy Weatherall and discovered a mutual appreciation of each other’s work. Primal Scream’s guitarist had an idea about remixing one of their songs (“I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have”), so they gave the tapes to Weatherall, threw in some suggestions about samples and which bits to use, and told him to do whatever he wanted. Make it sing, make it dance, put some action in the people’s pants.

Weatherall did a standard remix with most of the vocals from the original intact, but when that didn’t sound fresh or startling, decided to utterly “destroy” the original and build it back up. He changed the beat, isolated and spotlighted the musical hooks, added samples (including Peter Fonda’s quotes from The Wild Angels, one of Primal Scream’s suggestions), and produced a cut and paste dance masterpiece.

The new track, titled “Loaded,” combined the sound of late-60s Rolling Stones with an acid house groove. It proved so popular at clubs that the band’s record label decided to release it as a single in February of 1990. It proceeded to shoot into the UK Top 20, becoming Primal Scream’s first big hit, and a revolutionary one at that.

So where’s the party? Well, it’s about to be in your ears and traveling brainward at high velocity. Sorted? Yeah. Everyone is so beautiful!

Where it originated:

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