Best tunes of 1991: #3 Primal Scream “Loaded”

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“Just what is it that you want to do?”

“Well, we wanna be free, we wanna be free to do what we wanna do
And we wanna get loaded and we wanna have a good time
And that’s what we’re gonna do.”

These are the lines, sampled from the film “The wild angels”, that kickstart a revolution.

Prior to this song and the album on which it appears, Primal Scream were just another holdover from the C86 scene that was quickly losing steam. The only discerning difference being that they were led by the former drummer of The Jesus and Mary Chain. Bobby Gillespie and his group approached DJ Andrew Weatherall to remix one of the songs from their self-titled sophomore album, a relatively forgettable track called, “I’m losing more than I’ll ever have”. After two aborted attempts, he came up with what we now know as that hit single and dance floor anthem “Loaded”. Weatherall’s remix essentially remade Primal Scream into a bunch of neo-hippies in the acid house age and set a template for the album that would be “Screamadelica”.

The video for this single would be my introduction to the band. Like so many other songs on this list, I first saw it on CityLimits. But this was one I didn’t record myself but my friend Elliott had caught. We watched it together over and over again, our minds literally blown.

The track is the embodiment of bombast, throwing together sampled horn blares, big bass and drums, gospel choirs and slippery bass lines, piano flourishes and funky guitars and granola crunching bongos, and shaking it all up in a gigantic mixing bowl. Yet somehow it all works as a song for closing your eyes and letting loose, for wiggling and waggling your fingers in front of your eyes and losing yourself in the neon trails, for losing control of all your bodily functions and not caring in the least. A song to replay over and over again as you write incoherent words in a drunken frenzy.

Whoops. Did I just write those words out loud?

No matter. We just wanna get loaded and we wanna have a good time.

For the rest of the Best tunes of 1991 list, click here.

14 Replies to “Best tunes of 1991: #3 Primal Scream “Loaded””

  1. Great tune, JP. Have I ever told you that I largely ignored Primal Scream for years and then got into them in a big way about 8 or 9 years ago? Seriously… didn’t know what I was missing.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It was a combination of Vanishing Point, XTRMNTR, and Evil Heat. I picked them up cheap on CD on a bit of a “let’s see what the fuss is about” type thing. Absolutely fell for them. Particularly Vanishing Point.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Cool. Those are the albums that turned me off of them for a bit at first but then, fell for them after rediscovering them years later. They feel so different from one album to the next sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Aye, I think that’s what I like about them. They’re a bit like U2 with balls. They’re still exploring different stuff, but not just looking to record accessible hooks and music that can be consumed at dinner.

        Liked by 1 person

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