Vanishing Point (Primal Scream album)

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Vanishing Point
Vanishing point album cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released7 July 1997
StudioChalk Farm Studios, London
Primal Scream chronology
Give Out But Don't Give Up
Vanishing Point
Echo Dek
Singles from Vanishing Point
  1. "Kowalski"
    Released: 5 May 1997
  2. "Star"
    Released: 16 June 1997
  3. "Burning Wheel"
    Released: 13 October 1997
  4. "If They Move, Kill 'Em"
    Released: 16 February 1998

Vanishing Point is the fifth studio album by Scottish rock band Primal Scream. It was released on 7 July 1997 in the United Kingdom by Creation Records and in the United States by Reprise Records. The album shows inspiration from genres such as dub, ambient, dance music, and krautrock, as well as bands such as Motörhead, Can, and the Stooges. It was the band's first album to feature Gary 'Mani' Mounfield on bass, formerly of the Stone Roses, although Marco Nelson played bass on "Burning Wheel", "Star", "If They Move, Kill 'Em'", and "Stuka". Other guest appearances on Vanishing Point include Augustus Pablo, Glen Matlock, and the Memphis Horns.


Gillespie has described the album as an anarcho-syndicalist speedfreak road-movie record.[1] It is named after and inspired by the 1971 film Vanishing Point, especially the song "Kowalski", which is meant to be an alternative soundtrack of the movie. Lead singer Bobby Gillespie said, "The music in the film is hippy music, so we thought, 'Why not record some music that really reflects the mood of the film?' It's always been a favourite of the band, we love the air of paranoia and speed- freak righteousness. It's impossible to get hold of now, which is great! It's a pure underground film, rammed with claustrophobia."[1]


The album was written and recorded with the aid of two portable eight-track recording studios at the band's Chalk Farm rehearsal rooms.[1] The entire album was written and recorded in two months and mixed an additional month.[1] On their cover of "Motorhead", Gillespie sung the first verse through a Darth Vader mask.[2] According to an article, much of the album came from live improvisation and, "Then later on we'd layer other sounds and loops over the top, and the vocals," Gillespie said in an interview.[2] The track "If They Move, Kill 'Em" was originally to have included a sample from Sam Peckinpah's film The Wild Bunch (the song title is one of the earliest lines of dialogue spoken in the film), but it could not be cleared in time.[2]


Vanishing Point was released on 7 July 1997 in the United Kingdom by Creation Records and in the United States by Reprise Records. It is the fifth album by Primal Scream.

Author Irvine Welsh scripted the video for the album's first single, "Kowalski," which was directed by musician Douglas Hart. The video features a Dodge Challenger and super model Kate Moss beating up the band. Gillespie described the video as a cross between Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! and The Sweeney.[2]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[3]
Entertainment WeeklyA[4]
The Guardian5/5 stars[5]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[6]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4.5/5 stars[10]
The Village VoiceB+[12]

Vanishing Point received positive reviews from critics, who welcomed it as a return to form after 1994's Give Out But Don't Give Up.[citation needed] The NME called it "a brilliant record",[13] and the album was also included in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[14]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Bobby Gillespie, Andrew Innes, Robert Young, and Martin Duffy, unless noted.

  1. "Burning Wheel" – 7:06
  2. "Get Duffy" – 4:09
  3. "Kowalski" – 5:50 (Bobby Gillespie, Andrew Innes, Robert Young, Martin Duffy, Gary Mounfield)
  4. "Star" – 4:24
  5. "If They Move, Kill 'Em" – 3:01
  6. "Out of the Void" – 3:59
  7. "Stuka" – 5:36
  8. "Medication" – 3:52
  9. "Motörhead" – 3:38 (Lemmy Kilmister)
  10. "Trainspotting" – 8:07
  11. "Long Life" – 3:49



Adapted from the liner notes:[20][21]

Primal Scream[edit]


  • Produced by Primal Scream and Brendan Lynch, except track 10 produced by Andrew Weatherall.
  • Engineered by Max Hayes, except track 10 by Tim Holmes.
  • George Shilling – mix engineer on tracks 2, 3, and 11



  1. ^ a b c d Kessler, Ted (3 May 1997). "Vortex, Drug & Rock n Roll". New Musical Express. Retrieved 17 July 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d Perry, Andrew (June 1997). "Freeze!". Select. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2007.
  3. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Vanishing Point – Primal Scream". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  4. ^ Browne, David (11 July 1997). "Vanishing Point". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  5. ^ Garratt, Sheryl (27 June 1997). "Back to life". The Guardian.
  6. ^ Masuo, Sandy (13 July 1997). "Primal Scream, 'Vanishing Point,' Reprise". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  7. ^ Dalton, Stephen (5 July 1997). "Primal Scream – Vanishing Point". NME. Archived from the original on 15 October 2000. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  8. ^ Wisdom, James P. "Primal Scream: Vanishing Point". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 24 December 2001. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  9. ^ Cohen, Jason (7 July 1997). "Primal Scream: Vanishing Point". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 22 October 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  10. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Primal Scream". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 654. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  11. ^ Hunter, James (September 1997). "Primal Scream: Vanishing Point". Spin. 13 (6): 159–60. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert (21 April 1998). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  13. ^ "Primal Scream – Rank The Albums". 10 January 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  14. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2.
  15. ^ "Primal Scream's 'Kowalski' sample of Can's 'Halleluhwah'". WhoSampled. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  16. ^ "Primal Scream's 'Kowalski' sample of Funkadelic's 'Get Off Your Ass and Jam'". WhoSampled. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  17. ^ "Primal Scream's 'If They Move Kill 'Em' sample of Bill Withers's 'Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?'". WhoSampled. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  18. ^ "Primal Scream's 'Stuka' sample of Lee "Scratch" Perry's 'Upsetting Dub'". WhoSampled. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  19. ^ "Primal Scream's 'Trainspotting' sample of Jean-Jacques Perrey's 'E.V.A.'". Whosampled. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Primal Scream – Vanishing Point (CRECD 178)". Discogs. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2007.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]