The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Chris John­ston

Give Out But Don’t Give Up: The Orig­i­nal Mem­phis Record­ings Pri­mal Scream Sony Pri­mal Scream’s epoch-defin­ing Screa­madel­ica was al­ways go­ing to be a tough one to fol­low. Here was an al­bum that em­bod­ied the spirit of Jesse Jack­son’s speech at Wattstax in 1972, sam­pled in the al­bum’s cen­tre­piece Come To­gether: “Gospel, and rhythm and blues, and jazz, all those are just la­bels, we know that mu­sic is mu­sic.” The 1991 re­lease fused this mu­si­cal free­dom with the spirit of the rave, which few artists have done since. What hap­pened next? The Scot­tish band went to Mem­phis to make a soul-rock-coun­try al­bum with At­lantic Records pro­ducer Tom Dowd and the Mus­cle Shoals stu­dio rhythm sec­tion, but it was never re­leased. In­stead, the same songs were rere­corded with pro­ducer George Drak­ou­lias. Dowd’s ver­sions are a rev­e­la­tion. The band’s ven­tures into misty coun­try soul in the vein of the Rolling Stones or the Faces (such as Dam­aged on Screamdel­ica) have al­ways been won­der­ful, and the orig­i­nal Give Out But Don’t Give Up was full of them. Now, un­der Dowd’s spell, the full magic emerges, swathed in sub­tle brass, softly-softly drums, Bobby Gille­spie’s de­liv­ery dou­bly plain­tive and less ur­gent. It’s where songs such as Call On Me, Big Jet Plane and Free — all pretty much from the Ex­ile on Main Street song­book — are al­lowed to soar. It also in­cludes out-takes, de­mos and re­hearsals never re­leased pre­vi­ously. It is a much looser and sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter ver­sion of the al­bum the band in­ex­pli­ca­bly re­placed it with in 1994.

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