The Primitives - Lovely: 25th anniversary edition
Our finest indie pop band? Don't snort. For a couple of years (1988-89 specifically) and on the back of four Top 40 singles, The Primitives were flag bearers for 60s-tinged, jangly, fuzz pop in the pages of Smash Hits, on daytime radio and Saturday morning telly. Other contemporaries may have retained a little more cred but however fond we are of The Pains of Being Pure At Heart and their ilk, let's not beat around the bush: The Primitives, armed with leather jackets, polka dots and bottles of peroxide did it first, did it (for the most part) better yet have never quite been recognised as such by the writers of pop history, even though Morrissey was an early supporter.
Lovely was essentially a 'story so far' revamp of earlier singles, plumped up with a few new songs - all under the watchful eye of their new major label, RCA. Apart from an occasional session at Jimmy Page's studio, most of the album was done in the familiar surroundings of their home town of Coventry, meaning the album retains an independent fizz in spite of an admitted push for chart returns. 'Crash' you obviously know. A demo version included on disc two (recorded the same year as TJ&MC's 'Never Understand' and 'You Trip Me') is a good example for laypeople that you don't always just write a hit; they need careful grooming and a not inconsiderable sprinkling of fairy dust. That may be their best known song, but 'Stop Killing Me', 'Out of Reach', 'Thru The Flowers' retain all their original charm. Nirvana wrote 'Token Eastern Song' as a tongue-in-cheek response to the fact every nominally psychedelic band do a trippy, Eastern-tinged number at some point. The Prims are no exception, 'Shadow' being the one detour from the indie pop formula. A second disc rounds-up the period b-sides and bonus tracks, while guitarist Paul Court fills in some background history in the sleeve notes. A solid re-packaging of what remains a fun-filled and entertaining listen and, unlike many albums from the era, Lovely has barely dated at all.