The best of compilation: a time to reflect upon a career, including even the early mishaps that eventually shape one's body of work. That's how it should be, anyway. It's telling reflection on the control freakery and uptight nature of Primal Screen that they've chosen, like some pampered footballer or insecure soap star, to relate a sanitised autobiography with Dirty Hits, ignoring their early but substantial first recordings as both fey indie janglers and one-dimensional rockers.
The best of compilation: a time to reflect upon a career, including even the early mishaps that eventually shape one’s body of work. That’s how it should be, anyway. It’s telling reflection on the control freakery and uptight nature of Primal Screen that they’ve chosen, like some pampered footballer or insecure soap star, to relate a sanitised autobiography with Dirty Hits, ignoring their early but substantial first recordings as both fey indie janglers and one-dimensional rockers. It’s equally telling that they find this the embarrassing chapter of their career and not, say, the recent ludicrous collaboration with Kate Moss on “Some Velvet Morning” Any artist so governed by self-imposed notions of cool is always going to look a bit of an arse when they get it so wrong.
Thus they expinge from Dirty Hits all traces of the two albums they completed before their career-defining “Loaded” single. So be it. We must bow to their vanity. Primal Scream were never an indie band struggling for an identity?they started according to Dirty Hits, with the release of Loaded, a record that seized the ecstatic youthful mood of a generation that had just learnt?with chemical assistance?to dance again as the 1990s dawned invitingly. It was a statement of optimistic intent that they stumbled upon via Andy Weatherall’s remixing, but the Scream core of Bobby Gillespie, Robert Young and Andrew Innes have always realised the power of talented allies, drafting in Martin Duffy from Felt, Mani from The Stone Roses and Kevin Shields to swell the ranks and bolster the sound as their career unfolded.
This also ensures that their sound has evolved throughout their history, delivering with it a string of brilliant singles?the better part of which, post-“Loaded”, are included here. Viewed from a distance, even the long-haired, leather-kecked rocking of their least fondly recalled period, the Give Out, But Don’t Give Up album, cuts quite a dash now.
The Scream, however reacted spikily to the criticism of their retro period and they’ve been pushing themselves further from that straight edge towards more experimental plains ever since. Unlike most, their sound has radicalised with age, as evidenced here by the likes of the neo-mod psychedelia of “Burning Wheel” or the ear-bursting white-out of “Accelerator”, and it takes a perverse bravery on the band’ behalf to trust that their audience won’t be shaken free with each sharp new turn. So far, largely ghastly bonus disc of out-dated dance remixes is a away. Concentrate on the main card.