Playing: Big Top

Over the past three and a half decades, Primal Scream have embraced everything from psychedelic pop to degenerate rock’n’roll; euphoric rave to industrial gloom. They have made records with George Clinton and Kate Moss, invited Mani of the Stone Roses and Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine into the fold, survived narcotic oblivion, personal trauma and the death of beloved guitarist Robert “Throb” Young, and captured the mood of the nation several times over. Throughout it all, they have always sounded like Primal Scream. And they have always made great singles.

“Right from our 1985 debut All Fall Down onward we’ve approached singles as an aesthetic choice, a statement of where we are as a band,” says Bobby Gillespie. “We grew up with Suffragette City and Metal Guru flying out of the radio. The four Sex Pistols singles were great. Public Image by PiL sounded like nothing else. Prince and Madonna made amazing hits. That has been our approach. I’ve always loved Top 40 pop radio, I love greatest hits albums like The Who’s Meaty, Beaty, Big & Bouncy. I remember Alan McGee saying of Higher Than The Sun: it won’t be a hit, but it will be a statement. Great singles can get out into the world and show people an alternative way of thinking. They make you feel less alone.”