They released six singles with the sixth being a re-recorded version of 'Thru The Flowers' before they eventually signed to RCA in 1987.
In 1988 the album 'Lovely' was released and it is brilliant. It was a night and day change from their early singles. All of the sudden they knew how to play their instruments. The first change they made was getting rid of Pete their drummer. The other key to their sound was producer Paul Sampson who went back through all their old demos and found 'Crash' a song they had scrapped. It was actually recorded at the same session as the first version of 'Thru The Flowers'. Anyway, a little know fact here is that Paul S. sat down with the song which had nothing but simple chords and wrote all the riffs for the song, arranged it and ummm (I'm going to get shot for letting this out) Played them as well. There I said it.
Crash was recorded at Cabin Studio's which at the time was a 16 track studio. Paul S. used a drum machine to keep the time though at about the same time they hired Tig as their new drummer. In the end they took the tapes to a studio in London and transferred it to 24 track and Tig sat down with the already recorded song and laid down a live drum track. They also did some other things to the song at that time such as run the shu shunt sha shu shunt guitar from tape (which was a telecaster btw) through a Boss Heavy Metal pedal and through a Mesa boogie then back to another track. The settings for the Mesa Boogie were as follows - gain 4, treble 7, mid 7, bass 4, presence 6, master 5. Reverb was considered but ended up being added later in the mix.
In between the first album 'Lovely and the second 'Pure' they lost Steve the bass player who was last spotted as the bus driver for Pulp. Since they didn't have a bass player Paul Sampson filled in on bass. They holed themselves up in Cabin for 9 months starting without any song ideas. At the time of the albums release they still didn't have a permanent bass player so Paul S. went on tour with them in Japan.
for the next album 'Galore' they hired Ian Broudie (of the Lightning Seeds) to produce and he also co-wrote some songs with them (see he wanted credit where Paul S. didn't care) anyway, that is where it all fizzled out and the band broke up.
Paul Court and Tig went on to form Starpower (not to be confused with the US band) which released two singles. Tracy sang a bit on the first one. After nothing much happened for them they formed Hedy which hasn't released anything and despite my best efforts I haven't been able to hear any of the demos. I think they are afraid I'll steal their ideas. I guess they found it strange that I could remember all the lyrics to an un-released Starpower song that I was only played once two years ago (yes, when they left the room I dubbed a copy).
And on a final note the Stone Roses asked Paul Sampson to produce their first album but Paul's manager who also managed the Primitives (in the studio recording Pure) didn't tell him until it was too late. What a shame.
Gary (Fuzzbomb@aol.com) for the indiepop mailing-list in June 1997
Update Dec-2009: After nearly 18 years, The Primitives are planning to tour again. After two successful gigs in 2009, they will play several UK shows in April 2010 and possibly something in the US. They are also in the studio with Paul Sampson recording some cover songs. www.primitives-tour.com
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