ROCK / The 1992 Mercury Music Prize: Andy Gill looks at the winner of the inaugural Mercury Music Prize

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The Independent Culture
THE award, at the Savoy on Tuesday night, of the Mercury Music Prize to Primal Scream's Screamadelica album, was the correct choice from a 10-strong shortlist. It avoided the brute heavyweight attractions of both U2's Achtung Baby and Simply Red's Stars, and the elitism that an award to the more alternative acts might have suggested.

With chart success to add to their hard-won indie credibility, Primal Scream are one of the best representatives of the combination of rock guitars and dance rhythms that characterises current pop fashion.

Significantly, the winner is an album which looks both forward to the dance-floor-orientated pop culture of the Nineties, and backward to the glories of Brian Wilson's symphonic productions for The Beach Boys and the golden-era Rolling Stones of 'Gimme Shelter'. The latter's country-gospel-rock flavour is meticulously replicated on a couple of tracks through the group's hook-up with the one-time Stones producer Jimmy Miller. The album's commercial appeal, meanwhile, comes largely from top house producers Andrew Weatherall and Hugo Nicolson, who lubricated tracks like 'Loaded' and 'Come Together' into a chart-friendliness surprising to those who recalled the group's original incarnation as low-level Byrds copyists. For their efforts, the group receive pounds 20,000.