Primal Scream- Give Out But Don't Give Up- The original Memphis Sessions
Picked up a hidden gem on a recent road trip and I wanted to share it with fellow Agon music aficionados. Back in the early 90's U.K.'s Primal Scream was one of the more interesting alternative bands mixing several genres on their "Screamadelica" album. You may remember the instrumental "Loaded" which was popular on the rave scene. After years of touring, the band was burned out, but under pressure from their record label to record a follow up. Primal Scream wanted to do something completely different from club music and they all loved the old Stax/Memphis soul sound, so they hired Tom Dowd in Memphis to produce their next album. Dowd was a legend having produced Idlewild South, Eat A Peach, Fillmore East, Lynyrd Skynyrd's first album, Cream's Disraeli Gears, Clapton's 461 Ocean Blvd., Layla and Assorted Love Songs, as well as albums for the Bar Kays, Rod Stewert, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and many, many more. He is credited with bringing the first 8 track recording set up to Atlantic Records in the 70's allowing for more sophisticated multi track sound. Dowd brought in a couple of Stax session players on drums and bass, the Memphis Horns, and some local gospel singers to add to Primal Scream's British roots. The end result is a soulful Muscle Shoals type vibe much like the "Let It Bleed'/ Beggars Banquet" era Stones. The sound was so radically different from the "Screamadelica' album that Primal Screams' label rejected the album and hired the Black Crowes producer to rerecord it. He said that basically there was nothing he could do to improve the songs, but he could make them "stoopid' meaning increase the compression. The end result was typical of the 1994 era with loud highly compressed songs where the drum track was brought forward with a spine shaking beat. The album did not do very well. Fast forward to 2018. Primal Scream found the original Dowd master tapes and released the original album as it was meant to be. Great musicianship and interesting blend of American soul, British "roots music', and old fashion rock and roll. Both the Memphis Horn guys and Tom Dowd have passed away. Dowd had the ability to get artists to instill soul and feeling into their music and this is a great example of that. The fidelity is fantastic with no compression- finally released as the producer and artist intended..