Why Stephen Street stopped working with Primal Scream


(Credit: Stephen Parker / Alamy)


The music is full of weird and wonderful stories. There’s something about musicians, especially our favorites, where it almost comes as a guarantee that they have loads of crazy stories to tell, given their inherent penchant for not conforming to social mores.

Although this may not be so much the case nowadays, as the futility of a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle and excessive behavior has been well proven, in the many annals of music, there are still many instances where we as consumers can realize how pervasive this way of life was.

Whether in the 1950s or 2000s, musicians seem to have a strange ability, aggravated by drugs and alcohol, to get involved in antics that even To continue the team would find it inconceivable. The stories of rock ‘n’ roll excess from the heyday of rock music, the ’60s and’ 70s, have been told time and time again and are, frankly, exaggerated.

Then if you step into the more modern decades, that hedonistic spirit still reigned supreme, even though the classic rock generation provided many glaring examples of the dangers of excess. It could even be argued that the 1990s were perhaps the most excessive decade for music and culture to date. Hedonism broke loose and, helped by the optimism brought by the end of the Cold War and the advent of ecstasy, the decade celebrated in the next millennium, with many casualties.

No record company summed up this excess more than Creation Records. Led by the brilliant but maniacal Alan McGee, the label was tasked with bringing us Oasis, My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream and many more. If there was a band or artist doing something worthwhile in the late 80s and 90s Britain, it was inevitable that they would be on Creation.

In his 2013 memoirs, Creation storiesMcGee recounted one of the most bizarre vignettes of his time as the big boss of creation. This one involved the Scottish rockers Primal Scream barricading themselves in a chalet with mattresses and threatening to pour boiling water on anyone who dared to enter.

The band had spent four frustrating weeks trying to record their debut album with famed producer Stephen Street, who helped bring The Smiths records to life. However, nothing was working, and everything became too much. This barricade was the last straw, and Street called time on the project.

Asked about the instance by NME, Street said, “It wasn’t that bad! Even though I erased a lot of it from my mind! It was just one of those sessions that didn’t quite work out. There was a lot of discussion within the group. Being in the middle of this as a producer was hard to deal with and I was still young and learning my craft.

He explained, “The band weren’t quite ready and Bobby (Gillespie) wasn’t the strongest singer at the time either. There was so much negativity flying around that we called it a day. But they proved, in the end, that they could do it – I remember hearing “Velocity Girl” (in 1986) and I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from, because nothing we did was wrong. was approaching it.

It’s a shame that Primal Scream and Street never managed to sort things out, because, on paper, that would’ve made a hell of a record. Nevertheless, both were to have very famous careers. In 1991, Primal Scream released The Catch of the Times Screamadelica, and Street went on to produce all of Blur’s most famous records. Some things just aren’t meant to be.

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