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Bobby Gillespie

Principally known as founder and frontman of the Scottish, retro-focused indie rock mainstays, Primal Scream, Bobby Gillespie was also a key player in the Creation Records story. He turned the label's brainchild, Alan McGee, onto numerous acts -- The Jesus and Mary Chain, Teenage Fanclub, My Bloody Valentine and Ride -- all of whom subsequently became household names in discerning indie circles. Gillespie's brief tenure as drummer in an early incarnation of the Mary Chain saw him contribute to their 1985 classic, Psychocandy. Primal Scream's third, and most iconic record -- 1991's pioneering, platinum-selling, acid house-infused Screamadelica -- began their run of seven consecutive albums to reach the U.K. Top Ten. Later, 2021 brought Gillespie's first significant musical project outside of Primal Scream in decades, a jointly billed set titled Utopian Ashes, with Jehnny Beth of Savages fame. Gillespie attended Kings Park Secondary School, on Glasgow's south side, where he formed Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons with McGee, inspired by Iggy Pop, Sham 69 and The Clash. After leaving school, he worked as a roadie for Altered Images, and it was that band's original guitarist, Gerard McInulty, who subsequently asked him to play bass in his next project, post-punk Factory signees, The Wake. Although that role was short-lived, by 1982 Gillespie had formed Primal Scream with Jim Beattie. At this early stage it was only an occasional project and so, when his friend Douglas Hart asked him to join The Jesus and Mary Chain in late 1984 -- fresh from their debut single -- Gillespie jumped at the chance. His rudimentary drumming style, using only a floor tom and a snare, suited a band that gave equal credence to the Velvet Underground and the Shangri-Las. However, the period between the completion of Psychocandy and its release, didn’t just bring Primal Scream's debut single but also brought Gillespie's decision to make his own group his sole concern. It was the inclusion of a Primal Scream B-side, "Velocity Girl," on NME's genre-defining C86 cassette which brought the band a lot of early attention. Then, following their further dalliance with jangle-pop on 1987's Sonic Flower Groove -- and a hard rocking sidestep on 1989's self-titled record -- Andrew Weatherall helped Primal Scream find the sound which would come to define their commercial and critical high point, on 1991's sample and beats-driven, Screamadelica. Notable singles from that record included "Loaded," "Come Together" and "Movin' on Up." However, their highest-charting U.K. singles were still to come, in the form of 1994's Stones-inspired "Rocks," 1997's "Kowalski" and the 2006 number five hit, "Country Girl". Four further Primal Scream albums were released in the decade that followed, helping to consolidate their fanbase in the U.K., Japan and the Nordics. Then, although his 2021 Jehnny Beth collaboration, Utopian Ashes, featured key members of Primal Scream on guitar, piano and drums, the record brought a fresh dynamic to Gillespie's canon, nodding to material from classic male-female pairings such as Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra.
© James Wilkinson /TiVo
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Discography

3 album(s) • Sorted by Bestseller

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