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Screamadelica album cover.jpg
Studio album by Primal Scream
Released 23 September 1991 (1991-09-23)
Recorded 1990 – 1991
Length 64:48
Primal Scream chronology
Primal Scream
Give Out But Don't Give Up
Singles from Screamadelica
  1. "Loaded"
    Released: February 1990
  2. "Come Together"
    Released: August 1990
  3. "Higher Than the Sun"
    Released: June 1991
  4. "Don't Fight It, Feel It"
    Released: August 1991
  5. "Movin' On Up"
    Released: 1991
  6. "Damaged"
    Released: August 1992 (Japan)

Screamadelica is the third studio album by the Scottish alternative rock group Primal Scream. It was their first to be a commercial success. It was released on 23 September 1991 in the UK by Creation Records,[4] and 8 October 1991 in North America by Sire Records.[5] Screamadelica peaked at #8 on the UK Albums Chart upon its initial release.[6] The album received positive reviews and has been frequently named one of the best albums of the 1990s in critics' polls. Screamadelica also won the first Mercury Music Prize in 1992.[7] It has sold over 3 million copies worldwide.


The album was a significant departure from the band's early indie rock sound, drawing inspiration from the house music scene (and associated drugs) that was becoming popular at the time of its production. The band enlisted house DJs Andrew Weatherall and Terry Farley on producing duties, although the album also contained a wide range of other influences including gospel and dub.

Although the band wrote a track also called Screamadelica, it does not appear on the album. The ten-minute dance track was also produced by Andrew Weatherall and sung by Denise Johnson. It appears on the Dixie Narco EP released in 1992, and is featured in the opening credits of the now rare Screamadelica VHS video tape.

The album includes "Loaded", which was a top twenty hit single in the UK. Dance DJ Andrew Weatherall began remixing "I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have", from their previous album, and the resulting track disassembled the song, adding a drum loop from an Italian bootleg mix of Edie Brickell's "What I Am" and a sample from the Peter Fonda B-movie The Wild Angels. The single "Movin' on Up" was the band's breakthrough hit in the United States, reaching #2 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, and also making #28 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

Screamadelica was influenced by the Beach Boys' album Pet Sounds (1966). The band's Bobby Gillespie says that after discovering the album, their songs became much softer.[8]

Album cover[edit]

The album cover for Screamadelica was painted by Creation Records' in-house artist Paul Cannell.[9] Cannell was allegedly inspired by a damp water spot he'd seen on the Creation Records offices ceiling after taking LSD.[10]

Screamadelica was among ten album covers chosen by the Royal Mail for a set of "Classic Album Cover" postage stamps issued in January 2010.[11][12]

Music and samples[edit]

  • "Movin' on Up" opens the album. It is in the key of C and is similar in style to the Rolling Stones. The song features Bobby Gillespie's vocals in the verse section with a gospel chorus, accompanied throughout by acoustic guitar, electric guitar and percussion. The song originally had a slower tempo and was described as a Ballad, the song only featured a piano and Gillespie's vocals. The song's first verse borrows from the lyrics to Can's "Yoo Doo Right": "I was blind, now I can see / You made a believer out of me". It was produced by Jimmy Miller and is frequently acknowledged as one of the standout songs on the album.
  • "Slip Inside this House" is a version of a 1967 song by the 13th Floor Elevators. Primal Scream's version features Sly Stone's laugh from the end of the song "Sex Machine" (from the 1969 album Stand!)[13] and the Amen break.[14] It is one of the few Primal Scream songs that Bobby Gillespie doesn't sing lead vocals on, guitarist Robert Young sang them instead.[15]
  • "Don't Fight It, Feel It", in the Italo house style, with vocals by Denise Johnson. The refrain "I'm gonna live the life I love, gonna love the life I live" is lifted from the Holland–Dozier–Holland song "(I'm a) Road Runner", which in turn echoes the title of a Willie Dixon composition most famously recorded by Muddy Waters. It is almost certainly intended as a reference to both songs.
  • "Higher Than the Sun" uses a sample of the drum beat from "Wah Wah Man" by the Young-Holt Unlimited Trio.[16] It also has a recurring spoken word sample from "Get Away Jordan" by Take 6. Leader singer Gillespie claimed the single 'Higher Than the Sun' was the most important record since 'Anarchy in the UK'.[17]
  • "Inner Flight" samples the closing sound on Brian Eno's "The Great Pretender" from the album Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy),[18] the drums from Dr. John's "Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya" from the album Gris-Gris,[19] and a brief vocal phrase from Alan Lomax's "Whoa Buck".[20]
  • "Come Together" is the longest track on the album. On the UK version, the track opens with part of a speech given by Jesse Jackson at the Wattstax concert held in Los Angeles in 1972. About half-way through the track, a repeated female vocal line "Come... together as one" kicks in and repeats for the rest of the track. For the US version, the sample of the woman saying 'That's beautiful...that's really beautiful...I like that' is from the film Sex, Lies and Videotape and is spoken by Andie MacDowell. The song's chord progression is based on that of "The Dub Station", a 1975 song by Tommy McCook and The Aggrovators.[21]
  • "Loaded", in E-flat major, features lines spoken by Peter Fonda's character in the 1966 movie The Wild Angels, as well as a drum loop from an Italian bootleg mix of Edie Brickell's "What I Am", and the Emotions' "I Don't Want to Lose Your Love". There are brass pedal notes between the sections with vocals. It is a remix of Primal Scream's own "I'm Losing More than I'll Ever Have", from their second album Primal Scream, which in turn borrows the chord progression from The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil".[22]
  • "Damaged", in contrast to the previous track, has a slower tempo and more reflective mood. Sparse percussion, acoustic guitar and piano accompany quiet vocals. "Damaged" is similar to "Movin' On Up" in the sense that it is produced by Jimmy Miller.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 5/5 stars[23]
Entertainment Weekly B+[24]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[25]
Mojo 4/5 stars[26]
NME 10/10[27]
Pitchfork 9.0/10[28]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars[29]
Select 5/5[30]
Uncut 5/5 stars[31]

Screamadelica was well received by critics. In a contemporary review for Spin, Simon Reynolds found the record "totally mind-blowing" whose best songs were "almost unclassifiable".[32] AllMusic writer Stephen Thomas Erlewine called Screamadelica "an album that transcends its time and influence."[3] Pitchfork praised the album on their 2003 list of the "Top 100 albums of the '90s," saying: "Screamadelica's atmospheric and imaginative hybrid of past, present and future captured its moment in vivid color and splendor, and it still radiates with a kaleidoscopic glow."[33] In a 2009 review, the BBC hailed the album as "a solid gold classic."[34] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice, on the other hand, assigned it a "neither" rating, indicating an album that does not warrant repeated listening despite coherent craft and one or two highlights.[35]

  • It won the first Mercury Music Prize in 1992.
  • It was Melody Maker's album of the year in 1991.[36]
  • It was Select's album of the year in 1991.[37]
  • In 1996, Select named it as the #1 album of the 1990s.
  • NME placed it at no. 3 in its "Best Albums of 1991" list.[38]
  • In 2003, NME placed it at no. 23 in its "100 Best Albums Ever" list.[39] In 2006, the magazine also placed it at no. 15 in its "Greatest British Albums Ever" list.[40]
  • NME also named it the "Druggiest Album Ever" in 2011.
  • In 2000, Q placed the album at #18 on their list of the "100 Greatest British Albums."[41] In 2001, Q placed it at #81 on a list of the "Top 100 Albums of All Time."[42] The album ranked #2 in Q's "Best 50 Albums of Q's Lifetime" list.[43]
  • In 2003, Pitchfork placed it at #77 in a list of the "Top 100 Albums of the '90s."[33]
  • Also in 2003, the album topped The Scotsman's list of 100 Best Scottish Albums.[44]
  • It appeared in Channel 4's list of the "100 Greatest Albums of All Time."[45]
  • According to Acclaimed Music, a site which uses statistics to numerically represent critical reception, Screamadelica is the 84th most acclaimed album of all time, and the 11th most acclaimed of the 1990s.[46]

"Movin' on Up" was used on the previous Telewest Broadband commercials before Virgin Media bought them out. Subsequently, Bacardi spirits used the song on a UK television ad. The song was also featured in the popular game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on fictional alternative radio station Radio X. A Northern soul version was also recorded by the late Edwin Starr for the cult British surfing film Blue Juice.

Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of French electronic duo Daft Punk, who drew inspiration from the rock and acid house in the United Kingdom during the early 1990s, referred to Screamadelica as the record that "put everything together" in terms of genre".[47]

Commercial reception[edit]

The album reached #8 on the UK Albums Chart, and was later certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry. The album has now sold 680,000 copies as of September 2011.[48]


To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the release of the album, Primal Scream performed the entire album live at Olympia London in West London on 26 and 27 November 2010. The performance included a full gospel choir and horn section.[49] The first of these gigs was broadcast live on BBC 6 Music, presented by Steve Lamacq.[50] These gigs were followed by a UK tour in March 2011, where the band performed the album in full.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Bobby Gillespie, Andrew Innes, and Robert Young, except "Slip Inside This House" written by Roky Erickson and Tommy Hall.

No. Title Notes Length
1. "Movin' On Up"   3:47
2. "Slip Inside This House" [A] 5:14
3. "Don't Fight It, Feel It"   6:51
4. "Higher Than the Sun"   3:36
5. "Inner Flight"   5:00
6. "Come Together" [B] 10:21
7. "Loaded"   7:01
8. "Damaged"   5:37
9. "I'm Comin' Down"   5:59
10. "Higher Than the Sun (A Dub Symphony in Two Parts)"   7:37
11. "Shine Like Stars"   3:45
20th Anniversary Limited Collector's Edition

All tracks written by Bobby Gillespie, Andrew Innes, and Robert Young, except "Carry Me Home" written by Dennis Wilson and Gregg Jakobson.

Dixie-Narco EP
No. Title Length
1. "Movin' On Up" 3:48
2. "Stone My Soul" 3:02
3. "Carry Me Home" 5:16
4. "Screamadelica" 10:49
No. Title Length
1. "Loaded" (Terry Farley 12" Mix) 6:02
2. "Loaded" (7" Mix) 4:24
3. "Come Together" (Terry Farley 7" Mix) 4:26
4. "Come Together" (7" Mix) 4:56
5. "Come Together" (Terry Farley Extended 12" Mix) 8:04
6. "Come Together" (Hypnotone Brain Machine Mix) 5:18
7. "Come Together" (BBG Mix) 6:28
8. "Higher Than the Sun" (Higher Than the Orb) 5:02
9. "Higher Than the Sun" (12" Mix) 6:47
10. "Higher Than the Sun" (American Spring Mix) 6:25
11. "Don't Fight It, Feel It" (7" Mix) 4:09
12. "Don't Fight It, Feel It" (Graham Massey Mix) 5:00
13. "Don't Fight It, Feel It" (Scat Mix) 7:57
14. "I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have" 4:39

All tracks written by Bobby Gillespie, Andrew Innes, and Robert Young, except "Cold Turkey" written by John Lennon, and "No Fun" written by Dave Alexander, Ron Asheton, Scott Asheton, and Iggy Pop.

Live at the Hollywood Palladium
No. Title Length
1. "Movin' on Up" 5:05
2. "Slip Inside This House" 5:55
3. "Don't Fight It, Feel It" 5:53
4. "I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have" 4:45
5. "Damaged" 6:41
6. "Screamadelica" 6:14
7. "Loaded" 8:07
8. "Come Together" 8:11
9. "Higher Than the Sun" 8:54
10. "Cold Turkey" 5:02
11. "No Fun" 4:13
DVD 1: The Making of Screamadelica Documentary
No. Title Length
1. "The Making of Screamadelica"  
DVD 2: Screamadelica: The Videos
No. Title Length
1. "Screamadelica" (Promo video)  
2. "Movin' On Up" (Promo video)  
3. "Slip Inside This House" (Promo video)  
4. "Don't Fight It, Feel It" (Promo video)  
5. "Higher Than the Sun" (Promo video)  
6. "Come Together" (Promo video)  
7. "Damaged" (Promo video)  
8. "Loaded" (Promo video)  
9. "Shine Like Stars" (Promo Video)  
10. "Inner Flight" (Promo Video)  
  • A ^ The lyrics of "Slip Inside This House" were truncated and altered in places in comparison to the song's original recording by the 13th Floor Elevators. A notable example of such modification is in the chorus, where "Slip inside this house" was altered to "Trip inside this house".
  • B ^ On the American pressings of the album, the Terry Farley mix of "Come Together" was featured in place of the original UK mix. The Farley mix runs 8:06.

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalogue #
United Kingdom 23 September 1991[4] Creation Records CD CRECD 076
Japan 1 October 1991[51] Columbia Music CD COCY 7985
United States 8 October 1991[5] Sire Records/WEA CD 9 26714-2


Song Release date Release info UK[6]
"Loaded" February 1990 Creation (CRE 070) 16
"Come Together" August 1990 Creation (CRE 078) 26
"Higher Than the Sun" June 1991 Creation (CRE 096) 40
"Don't Fight It, Feel It" August 1991 Creation (CRE 110) 41
"Movin' on Up" (U.S.-only release) October 1991 Sire/Warner Bros.
Dixie-Narco EP January 1992 Creation (CRE 117) 11
"Damaged" (Japan-only release) August 1992 Columbia (COCY-5181)


Primal Scream[edit]


Additional personnel[edit]


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  51. ^ Product details Oricon

External links[edit]