Boasting eleven previously unreleased BBC session recordings plus all five songs from the band’s first two Creation Records singles, ‘Reverberations (Travelling In Time)’ perfectly captures what many believe to be a crucial era for one of the UK’s most important groups as they went on to influence a wave of emerging bands, most notably The Stone Roses. It’s a collection which provides a snapshot of the youthful innocence and uninhibited passion that characterised their early two-minute indie-pop adventures.
Bobby Gillespie says, “This music proves we really had something special going on back then. I'm very proud of this album, I'm glad these sessions are finally being released.”
‘Reverberations (Travelling In Time)’ will be available on limited edition black or clear vinyl, as well as a special gatefold CD edition. Physical formats of the album include a wealth of unseen period photography plus essays by band members Bobby Gillespie and Jim Beattie as well as music historian Bob Stanley. The cover illustration was provided by renowned British illustrator and designer Julie Verhoeven, and each vinyl LP comes in a lavish gatefold sleeve with printed inner sleeve and a large format 8-page booklet.
A recap of the band’s early years provides the context within which the songs on ‘Reverberation’ were written and recorded. Primal Scream were formed in Glasgow during the early 1980s by Bobby Gillespie and Jim Beattie, two music obsessed kids from Mount Florida on the southeastern edges of the city. Initially inspired by punk rock and yet to learn how to play their guitars properly, early Scream home recordings were primitive affairs that often-featured Gillespie shouting into the microphone over droning basslines whilst banging on household objects that came to hand.
By 1983 the band were developing a sound and writing style of their own with Beattie playing an amplified acoustic 12-string on songs inspired by the duo's eclectic music tastes that ranged from PiL through Love, Big Star and The Byrds via the Ramones - beautiful melodies delivered with attitude and intent. The duo became a fully formed band during 1984 with the addition of Robert Young on bass and Tom McGurk on drums, by which time Gillespie had been invited to drum - Mo Tucker style - for East Kilbride pals The Jesus and Mary Chain.
The debut Mary Chain single ‘Upside Down’ - released on Alan McGee’s fledgling Creation Records in November 1984 - caused an overnight sensation upon release and placed Gillespie at the centre of a new and exciting sea change in the UK’s independent scene.
The debut Primal Scream single ‘It Happens’ (backed with ‘All Fall Down’) was hastily recorded at Alaska Studios, London in February 1985 but following its release on Creation in May it caught the attention of John Peel at BBC Radio 1 who invited the band for their first session on his show. Four new songs - heard here for the first time since being initially broadcast - indicated that the band were capable songwriters with a melancholic edge and self assured swagger.
Early Primal Scream shows were special events. The band, now augmented by tambourine player Martin St. John, were one of the most exciting and original prospects in the UK at the time. As Bob Stanley describes in this album’s sleeve notes, “They looked like a gang. More precisely, they looked like a Glaswegian variant of Love, a bunch of hard-nuts playing soft sounds laced with something potentially explosive.”
In May 1986 the NME offered the now legendary ‘C86’ cassette to its readers offering recordings that the magazine felt captured the zeitgeist of the UK indie scene at the time. The opening track - and by far the best thing on the tape - was Primal Scream’s ‘Velocity Girl’, a new recording that featured as a B-side on the group’s second single ‘Crystal Crescent’.
‘Velocity Girl’ sparked an even greater interest in the band including a second John Peel session and four songs recorded for the Janice Long show. Whilst fans eagerly awaited an LP of Primal Scream material, Alan McGee was being courted by major labels who had seen the impact of The Jesus and Mary Chain and were keen to cherry-pick the best candidates from the Creation roster for stardom. The two unlucky groups chosen for McGee’s ill-fated Warner Brothers experiment - Elevation - were Primal Scream and The Weather Prophets. Delays in signing the deal and recording what would become the the band’s October ‘87 debut ‘Sonic Flower Groove’ meant that a crucial part of the Primal Scream story had been overlooked - until now.
Released on Primal Scream’s own Young Tiki label, ‘Reverberations’ is the first in a series of limited edition releases that will explore rare and unreleased archive material. The band’s ‘Sonic Flower Groove’ album - including unreleased recordings and remixed masters - is set for release in 2024.
STAFF COMMENTSAndy says: No early Primals, no Stone Roses! Whilst their first album proper was something of a disappointment, their 2 original Creation Records singles (included here) and magical BBC sessions wrote the book on 80's/60's (what would ultimately be called) indie-pop. 1985-1987; just incredible and even after all these years, still, by far, my favourite era of this brilliant band.
2. Velocity Girl
4. Silent Spring
5. I Love You
6. Tomorrow Ends Today
7. Bewitched And Bewildered
8. Crystal Crescent
12. All Fall Down
13. It Happens
14. Crystal Crescent
15. Velocity Girl
16. Spirea X