Word doesn’t think that Screamadelica is a word and it is correct in not counting it as such, what it actually is, is one of the best musical experiences known to humankind. Sober or not I assume.
Like myself I am sure that if you have not listened/yet to listen to this album you will certainly recognise its cover, the now iconic blue bodied Sun, the big googly eyes, yellow outline against the red background. Looking like it was drawn by a toddler with all its charm would certainly sell for a lot in today’s Art market, seeing at is genuinely better than some ‘Modern Art’ that sell for ridiculous amounts. It helps that this image is connected to the record that it would add value. I am guessing that someone has/would purchase it for a hefty amount of cash and who could blame them.
Onto the main purpose of a record, the sounds that are trapped within it waiting to be released by someone pressing that triangular magical Play Button. Oh when you do! The joy it brings!
Movin’ On Up starts the whole thing off infusing acoustic guitar slide lead with gospel vocals giving everyone a feel good chorus to sing along to. It is more inline with the bands rockier side that they seem to go to often before and after this record e.g. Rocks, Country Girl and Can’t Go Back.
Slip Inside This House is where it really starts to explore the acid house/Madchester vibes. The reason why the change in sound happened was because Bobby Gillespie and Jim Beattie moved from Glasgow where the band originally formed down to Manchester. Now in what some people call the capital of the North in the early 1990s Gillespie inevitably went to the legendary Hacienda night club, took some acid and saw the Happy Mondays perform. The evening’s events would change his life forever. Slip Inside this House (originally recorded by 13th Floor Elevators on the Easter Everywhere album in 1967) is the perfect cover because it is completely different; seriously you would not guess it is the same song if you did not know the lyrics, look it up or you are a big fan of the 13th Floor Elevators (I am becoming one). Psychodelia is a connection to the original but here it’s the modern 90s type of psychedelic with acid house/rave mixed in for good measure. The bass is infectious in fact every element is and there is a particular emphasise on the TRIP in the title. Don’t Fight It, Feel It has a party feel to it but one that takes place on the sunniest of islands it features vocals from Denise Johnson again mixing genres perfectly.
Higher Than the Sun is one of the best songs ever. If you don’t think that you obviously have yet to listen to it, plus it also boasts the accolade of being the most laid back track as well. Obviously there is no hiding the subject matter of the trip the song takes you on (DRUGS!) soothes and makes you forget about all the troubles of your life. Music is also a great drug in many ways Higher Than the Sun’s proof of that. The calming almost nonchalant attitude backed by the gradual building music/ambience as it goes along truly are transformative, taking one to a place of pure tranquillity.
Loaded and Come Together are by far the most recognised songs from Screamadelica what they offer are the wonders of how effective sampling can be. Loaded uses the now extremely famous lines from the movie The Wild Angles (1966) plus further research shows that almost everything is sampled (it was a large part of the whole record). Another reason to admire it as they have took elements from others and made something new, it’s beautiful. Come Together is a great message of togetherness that needs to be reinforced in today’s climate, also exclaiming that ‘Music Is Just Music’ taken from of a speech given by Jesse Jackson at the Wattstax concert in 1972. At 10:22 it is the lengthiest song but every second is sumptuous.
Screamadelica is a prime example of why music is wonderful and precious to so many people the place it takes you is one of true pleasure. The album is heralded as a classic by many, many fans, music lovers and critics alike I also resonate with them after giving it the time it deserves. No other word can be used to describe it. You won’t want to come down from this one.