Primal Scream – Maximum Rock'n'Roll: The Singles - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Primal Scream – Maximum Rock'n'Roll: The Singles

by Florian Meissner Rating:9 Release Date:2019-05-24
Primal Scream – Maximum Rock'n'Roll
Primal Scream – Maximum Rock'n'Roll

Singles are an art form by themselves. There is a certain something with a single, especially during their heydays in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, when singles came with b-sides that sometimes were better than the single itself. Artists like Madonna, Prince, or the Sisters of Mercy are great examples for artists that released really good singles with even better b-sides. And even the internet’s all-time favourite band to hate, Nickelback, released a decent b-side with ‘Little Friend’, the b-side to their breakthrough hit ‘How you remind me’. However, none of these artists are as skillful when it comes to beautiful, exciting singles as are Primal Scream.

It’s probably not necessary to talk about Primal Scream’s history. Founded in the early 1980s by Bobby Gillespie and Jim Beattie, the band released 14 albums over the course of 31 years, with over 30 different singles – each of which came with b-sides and remixes. Their oeuvre is impressive, and the 1991 ‘Screamadelica’ is probably one of the most important British albums ever released, alongside such classics as The Smiths’ ‘The Queen is Dead’, the Stone Roses self-titled debut, or Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’.

In the three decades Primal Scream have been making music together, they faced a lot of hardship, the latest one being their beloved guitarist Robert Young dying in 2014 under unknown circumstances, possibly due to alcohol and drug abuse, at the age of 49. They “survived narcotic oblivion, [and] personal trauma”, always capturing the mood of Great Britain at the time, with great singles and even better remixes and b-sides.

Now, after three decades, those singles, some of which have been sought-after for years, have finally been remastered and combined on one album. With “Maximum Rock’n’Roll”, Primal Scream present a sort of best-of of their 30+ year career, exciting fans all over the world with the prospect of a single compilation that was so eagerly awaited.

The 31 songs on two discs span their whole career, from early on hits like ‘Ivy, Ivy, Ivy’ to more recent ones like 2016 single ’100% or nothing’. Sadly, we don’t get all the remixes and reworks that were published with each single, we do however get an extensive overview of the band's workings. Maximum Rock’n’Roll is a great starting point if you’re new to Primal Scream, and perfect for reminiscing if you’ve been following them for a while. And even though I do miss some of the remixes, it does include the highlights, like the 7” version of ‘Don’t fight it, feel it’, The Orb mix of ‘Higher Than The Sun’, and the Brendan Lynch edit of ‘Kill all hippies’.

2019 is already a great year for compilations, and with Maximum Rock’n’Roll, Primal Scream have added to the list of need-to-haves of this still relatively young year.

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