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Primal Scream - Vanishing Point

  by Olga Sladeckova

published: 28 / 9 / 2007



Primal Scream - Vanishing Point
Label: Select Label
Format: N/A

intro

In the latest in our Re : View seires, in which our writers reflect upon alnums from the past, Olga Sladeckova looks at Primal Scream's under-rated 1996 album, 'Vanishing Point'


Before I even begin this Re : View I have to admit my addiction to Primal Scream. I go to all their London gigs and don’t miss any of their albums or singles. I have collected all 8 of their albums and have over 20 CD singles and another 10 vinyl singles. ‘Vanishing Point’ came out in 1996. It was the first album that former Stone Roses bassist Mani appeared upon after joining the band. Many people also don’t know it but the Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock also appeared on the album as a guest. The name of the album was inspired by a 1971 American road movie and chase film starring Barry Newman also called ‘Vanishing Point’. Unfortunately I can’t really say what the reaction to this album was when it first came out as I was living in Prague at the time but I am told that it didn’t quite fulfil people’s expectations. I guess that is mostly because Primal Scream have never been able to quite satisfy people after their classic and Mercury Prize winning album ‘Screamadelica’ came out in 1991. 'Vanishing Point' is full of experimental sounds put together in a very clever way with some great lyrics. Proof that the songs on this album are of very good quality is that Primal Scream still play 4 or 5 of them regularly at their gigs. One of those songs that they still play, ‘Burning Wheel,’ opens the album. It starts with a random noise that joins together with a seductive melody. As they merge the volume escalates and the track breaks into one stream of music accompanied by the following lyrics : “Through my diseased eyes I’m sinful, sly I can’t stop stealingI will pay the price of being a thief When I stop breathing If you could see what I can see Feel what I feel When my head is on fire When I’m a burning wheel!” I always fall for this song every time the band play it at a gig. Another great song on the album is ‘Star’. I have never actually heard ‘Star’ at a gig live but the lyrics of this song are some of the best that Primal Scream have ever written : “Are you solid ? Are you solid as a rock ? Have you a strong foundation ? Or can your soul be bought ? It aint true that Everybody’s got a price I sing this song for everyone Who stands up for their rights.” Even though its music is very laid back you can’t help but feel strong. I must admit there a few songs on ‘Vanishing Point’ which probably require a listener to have at least 2 drinks before listening to them as the band get a little carried away with making random sounds. That, for example, is the case on ‘Out of the Void’ and ‘Stuka’. Then the appropriately-titled ‘Medication’ comes on. ‘Medication’ gets played often directly after Primal Scream's best known song ‘Loaded’ at their gigs. It is quite different to the other songs on the album as it has very clear and almost determined tune. As 'Vanishing Point' approaches its end it slows down with a song called ‘Long Live’. This is another song that Primal Scream like to still play. I can’t say it bring as much excitement to people as ‘Loaded’ but if you give it a chance you will find that it’s actually an amazing song. The sound of it is very blurred and you feel as if you are actually swimming im the song’s sound. ‘Vanishing Point’ will never be seen to be the greatest of Primal Scream albums but if you give it a chance I guarantee you that it will surprise you. I guess the question is in what way…



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Primal Scream - Vanishing Point


Primal Scream - Vanishing Point



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