Open main menu

"Kowalski" is a song by Scottish rock band Primal Scream, released on 5 May 1997 as the lead single from their fifth studio album Vanishing Point. The song contains a drum sample from "Halleluhwah" by Can and an interpolation of the bassline from "Get Off Your Ass and Jam" by Funkadelic, and is named after the main character of the 1971 film Vanishing Point, played by Barry Newman; it also features various dialogue samples from said film.

"Kowalski"
Primal-scream-kowalski-creation.jpg
Single by Primal Scream
from the album Vanishing Point
B-side
Released5 May 1997
Format
GenreIndustrial rock
Length5:58 (album version)
4:19 (radio edit)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Primal Scream singles chronology
"(I'm Gonna) Cry Myself Blind"
(1994)
"Kowalski"
(1997)
"Star"
(1997)

The song peaked at number eight on the UK Singles Chart and became the band's highest-charting single in Scotland, reaching number two. In Australia, the song was a minor hit on the ARIA Singles Chart, peaking at number 79.

Music videoEdit

Irvine Welsh scripted the video for the album's first single, "Kowalski" and was directed by Steve Hanft. The video features a Dodge Challenger being stolen by Kate Moss and Devon Aoki who then track down and beat up the band. The band's lead singer, Bobby Gillespie described the video as "a cross between Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! and The Sweeney."[1]

Track listingEdit

7" single / Europe 2-track CD single
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Kowalski"Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy, Mounfield5:58
2."96 Tears" (? and the Mysterians cover)Rudy Martínez2:57
Europe 12" single
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Kowalski"Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy, Mounfield5:58
2."96 Tears" (? and the Mysterians cover)Rudy Martínez2:57
3."Kowalski (Automator Mix)"Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy, Mounfield5:11
4."Know Your Rights" (The Clash cover)Joe Strummer, Mick Jones4:19
Promo 12" single
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Kowalski"Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy, Mounfield5:58
2."Kowalski (Automator Mix)"Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy, Mounfield5:11
Europe / Australia CD single
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Kowalski"Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy, Mounfield5:58
2."96 Tears" (? and the Mysterians cover)Rudy Martínez2:57
3."Know Your Rights" (The Clash cover)Joe Strummer, Mick Jones4:19
4."Kowalski (Automator Mix)"Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy, Mounfield5:11
US CD maxi-single
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Kowalski (Radio Edit)"Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy, Mounfield4:18
2."Kowalski"Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy, Mounfield5:58
3."96 Tears" (? and the Mysterians cover)Rudy Martínez2:57
4."Know Your Rights" (The Clash cover)Joe Strummer, Mick Jones4:19
5."Kowalski (Adrian Sherwood Dub)"Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy, Mounfield5:01
Japan CD maxi-single
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Kowalski"Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy, Mounfield5:58
2."Star"Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy, Mounfield4:25
3."96 Tears" (? and the Mysterians cover)Rudy Martínez2:57
4."Kowalski (Radio Edit)"Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy, Mounfield4:18
5."Kowalski (Automator Mix)"Gillespie, Innes, Young, Duffy, Mounfield5:11

ChartsEdit

Chart (1997) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[2] 79
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[3] 16
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[4] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[5] 20
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[6] 8

In popular cultureEdit

The song is featured in Olivier Assayas's 2014 film Clouds of Sils Maria.[citation needed]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Perry, Andrew (June 1997). "Freeze!". Select. Retrieved 2007-07-17.
  2. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  3. ^ "Primal Scream: Kowalski" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Primal Scream – Kowalski". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 July 2018.