Screamadelica is the third studio album by Scottish rock band Primal Scream. It was first released on 23 September 1991 in the United Kingdom by Creation Records and on 8 October 1991 in the United States by Sire Records. The album marked a significant departure from the band's early indie rock sound, drawing inspiration from the blossoming house music scene and associated drugs such as LSD and MDMA.

Screamadelica album cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released23 September 1991 (1991-09-23)
Primal Scream chronology
Primal Scream
Give Out But Don't Give Up
Singles from Screamadelica
  1. "Loaded"
    Released: February 1990
  2. "Come Together"
    Released: August 1990
  3. "Higher Than the Sun"
    Released: June 1991
  4. "Don't Fight It, Feel It"
    Released: August 1991
  5. "Movin' On Up"
    Released: October 1991 (United States)
  6. "Damaged"
    Released: August 1992 (Japan)

Screamadelica was the band's first album to be a commercial success, peaking at number eight on the UK Albums Chart upon its release.[9] It received positive reviews from critics, and has been frequently named one of the best albums of the 1990s in various polls. It won the first Mercury Music Prize in 1992,[10] and has sold over three million copies worldwide.


Drawing inspiration from the house music scene, which was blossoming at the time, the band enlisted house DJs Andrew Weatherall and Terry Farley on producing duties, although the album also contains a wide range of other influences including gospel and dub.

Although the band wrote a track also called "Screamadelica", it does not appear on the album. The ten-minute dance track was also produced by Weatherall and sung by Denise Johnson. It appears on the Dixie-Narco EP, released in 1992, and is featured in the opening credits of the now rare Screamadelica VHS video tape.

The album includes "Loaded", which was a top twenty hit single in the UK. Weatherall began remixing "I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have", from their previous album, and the resulting track disassembled the song, adding a drum loop from an Italian bootleg mix of Edie Brickell's "What I Am" and a sample from the Peter Fonda B movie The Wild Angels. The single "Movin' on Up" was the band's breakthrough hit in the United States, reaching number 2 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, and also making number 28 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

Screamadelica was influenced by the Beach Boys' album Pet Sounds (1966). The band's Bobby Gillespie says that after discovering the album, their songs became much softer.[11] Gillespie has also cited Nico's 1968 album The Marble Index as a major influence when they were making Screamadelica, claiming he "listened to [it] all the time."[12]


The album cover for Screamadelica was painted by Creation Records' in-house artist Paul Cannell.[13] Cannell was allegedly inspired by a damp water spot he'd seen on the Creation Records offices ceiling after taking LSD.[14]

Screamadelica was among ten album covers chosen by the Royal Mail for a set of "Classic Album Cover" postage stamps issued in January 2010.[15][16]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [17]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music     [18]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[19]
Los Angeles Times    [20]
Mojo     [21]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [24]
Select     [25]
Uncut     [26]

Screamadelica was very well received by critics. In a contemporary review for Spin, Simon Reynolds found the record "totally mind-blowing" whose best songs were "almost unclassifiable".[27] AllMusic writer Stephen Thomas Erlewine called Screamadelica "an album that transcends its time and influence."[17] AllMusic lists the album as the band's best. It was voted number 135 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums 3rd Edition (2000). Pitchfork praised the album on their 2003 list of the "Top 100 albums of the '90s," saying: "Screamadelica's atmospheric and imaginative hybrid of past, present and future captured its moment in vivid color and splendor, and it still radiates with a kaleidoscopic glow."[28]

In a 2009 review, the BBC hailed the album as "a solid gold classic."[29] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice, on the other hand, assigned it a "neither" rating, indicating an album that does not warrant repeated listening despite coherent craft and one or two highlights.[30]


  • The album won the first Mercury Music Prize in 1992.
  • It was Melody Maker's album of the year in 1991.[31]
  • It was Select's album of the year in 1991.[32]
  • In 1996, Select named it as the number 1 album of the 1990s.
  • NME placed it at no. 3 in its "Best Albums of 1991" list.[33]
  • In 2003, NME placed it at no. 23 in its "100 Best Albums Ever" list.[34] In 2006, the magazine also placed it at no. 15 in its "Greatest British Albums Ever" list.[35]
  • NME also named it the "Druggiest Album Ever" in 2011.
  • In 2000, Q placed the album at number 18 on their list of the "100 Greatest British Albums."[36] In 2001, Q placed it at number 81 on a list of the "Top 100 Albums of All Time."[37] The album ranked number 2 in Q's "Best 50 Albums of Q's Lifetime" list.[38]
  • In 2003, Pitchfork placed it at number 77 in a list of the "Top 100 Albums of the '90s."[28]
  • Also in 2003, the album topped The Scotsman's list of 100 Best Scottish Albums.[39]
  • It appeared in Channel 4's list of the "100 Greatest Albums of All Time."[40]
  • According to Acclaimed Music, a site which uses statistics to numerically represent critical reception, Screamadelica is the 84th most acclaimed album of all time, and the 11th most acclaimed of the 1990s.[41]

"Movin' on Up" was used on the previous Telewest Broadband commercials before Virgin Media bought them out. Subsequently, Bacardi spirits used the song on a UK television ad. The song was also featured in the popular game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on alternative radio station Radio X. A Northern soul version was also recorded by Edwin Starr for the cult British surfing film Blue Juice. Kellogg's used the song in an advert for their cornflakes in c. 2011.

Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of French electronic duo Daft Punk, who drew inspiration from the rock and acid house in the United Kingdom during the early 1990s, referred to Screamadelica as the record that "put everything together in terms of genre".[42]

Commercial performanceEdit

The album reached number 8 on the UK Albums Chart, and was later certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry. The album has sold 707,000 copies as of September 2019.[43]


To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the release of the album, Primal Scream performed the entire album live at Olympia London in West London on 26 and 27 November 2010. The performance included a full gospel choir and horn section.[44] The first of these gigs was broadcast live on BBC 6 Music, presented by Steve Lamacq.[45] These gigs were followed by a UK tour in March 2011, where the band performed the album in full.

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Bobby Gillespie, Andrew Innes, and Robert Young, except "Slip Inside This House" written by Roky Erickson and Tommy Hall.

1."Movin' On Up"Jimmy Miller3:51
2."Slip Inside This House" ([A])
3."Don't Fight It, Feel It"
4."Higher Than the Sun"The Orb3:38
5."Inner Flight"
  • Andrew Weatherall
  • Hugo Nicolson
6."Come Together" ([B])
  • Andrew Weatherall
  • Hugo Nicolson
7."Loaded"Andrew Weatherall7:02
8."Damaged"Jimmy Miller5:39
9."I'm Comin' Down"
  • Andrew Weatherall
  • Hugo Nicolson
10."Higher Than the Sun (A Dub Symphony in Two Parts)"
  • Andrew Weatherall
  • Hugo Nicolson
11."Shine Like Stars"
  • Andrew Weatherall
  • Hugo Nicolson

20th Anniversary Limited Collector's EditionEdit

All tracks are written by Bobby Gillespie, Andrew Innes, and Robert Young, except "Carry Me Home" written by Dennis Wilson and Gregg Jakobson.

Dixie-Narco EP
1."Movin' On Up"3:48
2."Stone My Soul"3:02
3."Carry Me Home"5:16
1."Loaded" (Terry Farley 12" Mix)6:02
2."Loaded" (7" Mix)4:24
3."Come Together" (Terry Farley 7" Mix)4:26
4."Come Together" (7" Mix)4:56
5."Come Together" (Terry Farley Extended 12" Mix)8:04
6."Come Together" (Hypnotone Brain Machine Mix)5:18
7."Come Together" (BBG Mix)6:28
8."Higher Than the Sun" (Higher Than the Orb)5:02
9."Higher Than the Sun" (12" Mix)6:47
10."Higher Than the Sun" (American Spring Mix)6:25
11."Don't Fight It, Feel It" (7" Mix)4:09
12."Don't Fight It, Feel It" (Graham Massey Mix)5:00
13."Don't Fight It, Feel It" (Scat Mix)7:57
14."I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have"4:39

All tracks are written by Bobby Gillespie, Andrew Innes, and Robert Young, except "Cold Turkey" written by John Lennon, and "No Fun" written by Dave Alexander, Ron Asheton, Scott Asheton, and Iggy Pop.

Live at the Hollywood Palladium
1."Movin' on Up"5:05
2."Slip Inside This House"5:55
3."Don't Fight It, Feel It"5:53
4."I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have"4:45
8."Come Together"8:11
9."Higher Than the Sun"8:54
10."Cold Turkey"5:02
11."No Fun"4:13
DVD 1: The Making of Screamadelica Documentary
1."The Making of Screamadelica" 
DVD 2: Screamadelica: The Videos
1."Screamadelica" (Promo video) 
2."Movin' On Up" (Promo video) 
3."Slip Inside This House" (Promo video) 
4."Don't Fight It, Feel It" (Promo video) 
5."Higher Than the Sun" (Promo video) 
6."Come Together" (Promo video) 
7."Damaged" (Promo video) 
8."Loaded" (Promo video) 
9."Shine Like Stars" (Promo Video) 
10."Inner Flight" (Promo Video) 


  • A ^ The lyrics of "Slip Inside This House" were truncated and altered in places in comparison to the song's original recording by the 13th Floor Elevators. A notable example of such modification is in the chorus, where "Slip inside this house" was altered to "Trip inside this house".
  • B ^ On the American pressings of the album, the Terry Farley mix of "Come Together" was featured in place of the original UK mix. The Farley mix runs 8:06.



Primal ScreamEdit


Additional personnelEdit

Release historyEdit

Country Date Label Format Catalogue #
United Kingdom 23 September 1991[46] Creation Records CD CRECD 076
Japan 1 October 1991[47] Columbia Music CD COCY 7985
United States 8 October 1991[48] Sire Records/WEA CD 9 26714-2


Song Release date Release info Peak chart positions
US Alt.
"Loaded" February 1990 Creation (CRE 070) 16 31 19
"Come Together" August 1990 Creation (CRE 078) 26 13
"Higher Than the Sun" June 1991 Creation (CRE 096) 40
"Don't Fight It, Feel It" August 1991 Creation (CRE 110) 41
"Movin' on Up" (U.S.-only release) October 1991 Sire/Warner Bros. 93 2 10
Dixie-Narco EP January 1992 Creation (CRE 117) 11 91 10
"Damaged" (Japan-only release) August 1992 Columbia (COCY-5181)


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External linksEdit