The Primitives were one of a number of similar-sounding jingly-jangly indie bands form the C86 era but managed to stand out a bit from the crowd, thanks to the presence of the very attractive 20 year-old Tracy Tracy on lead vocals.

As with so many of their peers, the earliest releases came via their own label, in this instance Lazy Records, that led to a fair bit of interest among a number of major labels, leading to them signing with RCA in late 1987. There was instant success thanks to Crash barging its way to #5 in the singles charts in February 1988 and debut album Lovely also going Top 10 the following month.

The follow-up single hit the shops in April 1988:-

mp3 : The Primitives – Out of Reach

A brilliant little bit of pop music, clocking in at under two minutes in length, it was a re-recorded version of one of the album tracks, and one that I thought owed a bit of debt to The Shop Assistants who had come and gone just a couple of years previously:-

mp3 : The Primitives – Out of Reach (album version)

The single got to #25 and there was an appearance on Top of the Pops:-

The album version of the song was actually included on the b-side of the 12″ along with two live tracks that had been recorded at a gig at the Glasgow School of Art in March 1988 – one that had been arranged in advance of Crash being a huge hit and which could easily have sold out a venue two or three times its size:-

mp3 : The Primitives – Really Stupid/Crash (live)

The interesting thing about this is the opportunity to hear the two distinct sides to the band – the first being the buzzsaw sound of one of their earliest indie-hits and the latter being the more polished sound of the RCA era.

The band stuck with it for the next four years, releasing a futher two albums for RCA from which six singles were lifted. It was the failure of their third album and its accompanying singles that led to them calling it a day in 1992.

The Primitives reformed in 2009. It came on the back of the early death, at the age of 45, of bassist Steve Dullahan who had co-written a number of their best known songs, including Crash. The band have kept things going for the past decade, releasing new material at regular intervals and getting themselves slots at events such as Indietracks as well as headlining their own tours across Europe. And Tracy still looks great (as indeed do the rest of the band!!)


4 thoughts on “OUT OF REACH

  1. Well said. And Lovely is a corker of an album
    (so is its sleeve). Caught up with the Lazy-era
    stuff after the fact too, and was bowled over.

  2. The Primitives are a fantastic pop band that never let me down, though the “Galore” album [no. 3] was amazingly hard to source. I got the first two in American CD pressings [and bought all of the singles on UK CD5] but I could only find “Galore” on a Japanese CD that was costly, of course, but another strong album. I liked that guitarist Paul Sampson also took the occasional lead vocal. Alas, I don’t have any of the newer Primitives material as I only ever see it on vinyl, no thank you. “Lovely” was a great debut, but I liked “Pure” even more and at one point, blew off an Erasure concert I had bought tickets to to trek with another friend to Daytona Beach to see a mooted Primitives concert on that tour that we were unable to find, sadly.

  3. A wonderful band that can still put on a vibrant live show. I’m only really familiar with Lovely, Pure and Lazy – which when combined would make a fine name for an album.

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