Primal Scream's groundbreaking third album, Screamadelic, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and to mark the occasion, Fender has made a limited edition Stratocaster bearing the iconic cover art.
Screamadelica was a landmark release for indie-rock in the UK. Led by vocalist Bobby Gillespie, the Scottish rock band helped create a pop-cultural zeitgeist in which barriers were coming down between guitar-driven rock 'n' roll and the hedonism of the house and rave scenes.
With the likes of the late, great Andrew Weatherall producing, Screamadelica incorporated more electronic influences; it made rock danceable. The chemical excesses of the time played midwife to this new culture clash. It all went into the stew.
The cover, painted by the late Paul Cannell, has been shrouded in urban myths – was it really inspired by looking at a watermark on LSD? No, but it made a good story, and who could say for sure? What is certain is the Royal Mail put it on a stamp and now it is on a guitar.
The guitar itself is a Mexican-built Strat, with matching pickguard, pickup covers and knobs congruent with the red, blue and yellow cover scheme. Spec-wise, it skews 2021, with a modern “C”-shaped maple neck, a 9.5” radius pau ferro fingerboard and medium jumbo frets. The pickups, however, are vintage-voiced and there is a 2-point synchronised tremolo for applying the whammy bar wobble.
Speaking to MusicRadar in March, BBC Music's Chris Hawkins said that Screamadelica was one of the 10 albums that changed his life.
“My first time with Screamadelica was at a mate's party,“ said Hawkins. “I was a late teen and the party was in a friend’s garden, somewhere in very rural Worcestershire, around the October half term. Music wasn’t a priority for the party host. He was a pretty unusual guy who collected lawnmowers and only wore tweed. He didn’t own a single CD so for the party, he bought one album that he assumed would suffice for the night. That album happened to be the seminal, Screamadelica.
“I heard it for the first time that night. Around eight times. What a phenomenal piece of work. Epic, trippy and sublime. It’s a rock album that’s also a clubbing album and a clubbing album that’s also a rock album. With the untimely passing of Denise Johnson, Screamadelica is also a permanent reminder of her mesmerising contribution to such an enduring album.“
The Fender Screamedica 30th Anniversary Stratocaster is out in November. See Fender for more details.