On 14th March the Screamadelica 20th Anniversary Box Set was released. Thank you! I had waited patiently since November when this was first announced. When I opened it, I was not disappointed. It truly is a thing of beauty. However, I am not just talking about the great music you will hear when you either put on the lovely double vinyl album or the four CDs within the box set. Also, to be found within this great box set are four pieces of the late and great Paul Cannel’s artwork, a book containing an interview of Bobby Gillespie by James Brown (no not that one, if it was a medium would be required) of Loaded fame/infamy a DVD of the Scream in concert, a T-shirt, and  Screamadelica - 20th Anniversary Limited Collector's Editiona DJ Slip Mat. There is also a DVD included in the Box Set which features the making of Screamadelica and fans will enjoy this I’m sure. The box everything is contained is almost like a piece of modern sculpture and has that wonderful logo on the front. It is well made and looks great.

The remastering of the original album really is fantastic. Listening to the Screamadelica disc I can hear things that I did not hear on the original album and other things much clearly. There is a real depth and clarity to the music and the album really comes alive. I can recommend this remaster to anyone, especially those who have neither heard of the album nor Primal Scream.

So getting to the music, what are the standout tracks. Well perm any one from eleven as there are no bad tracks on Screamadelica which can not be said about many albums. Personally, I love the contrast between the slower tracks Damaged and Higher Than the Sun, whereas tracks like Movin’ On Up and Don’t Fight It, Feel It are more uptempo. The lyrics to Damaged are beautiful and thoughtful and makes me wonder whether they are personal to Bobby or one of the band. This tenderness shows a different side to Primal Scream, whereas  Movin’ On Up and Don’t Fight It, Feel It are feelgood tracks that make you happy and want to dance. When you listen to the whole album it is hard to believe that it is now twenty years old and, unlike many of us, it has aged better.

The Dixie Narco EP is the second disc and is well worth a listen and I love all the tracks. The two slow songs are Stone My Soul and Carry Me Home. Both songs show a different side of the band as both songs are slow and Bobby’s voice sounds world-weary and the lyrics sound personal especially on Carry Me Home. Screamadelica is the last of the four songs and at just under eleven minutes is an intriguing contrast to the slower songs on the EP, and is a joyous journey of sounds that life the spirits and massage the soul.  This second CD is well worth a listen and those unfamiliar with the band will be surprised by variety and quality of the songs.

The third CD contains various remixes of the tracks on Screamadelica and like all remixes some work and others do not. The best of the remixes are the Farley Mix of Loaded, the 7″ mix of Come Together, Higher Than the Sun (Higher Than the Orb) and Don’t Fight It (High, High, High). The one that does not work for me is Come Together (Terry Farley 12′ Extended Mix) which has a somewhat frantic feel to it and the vocals seem to sit to far back in the mix and are overwhelmed by other elements of the mix. That said, there will be some people who love that mix and aren’t keen on the ones I prefer, so each to their own.

The fourth and final disc features the Scream live in LA and kicks off with Movin’ On Up and features amongst others Don’t Fight It, Feel It, I’m Losing More (Than I’ll Ever Have), Damaged and Screamadelica. The first nine tracks I enjoyed but the last two Cold Turkey and No Fun I did not. They to me, seemed out of place on this disc and waste precious space for better tracks. Again, personal opinion so make your own mind up.

So was the wait worth it? Definitely and in my opinion whether you are a Primal Scream fan of old, or a younger fan go out and buy this box set now. Although it’s a bit pricey it is well worth buying but, be quick there are only 5000 out there.  


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