Spacemen 3 - classic or unutterably shite?

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Spacemen 3? any good? intriguing minimalists or spoiled public school junkies?

Hymie, Wednesday, 3 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

brilliantly minimalist public school junkies

cw, Wednesday, 3 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Brilliantly public minimalist junkie schools?

Hymie, Wednesday, 3 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

public spoiled

cw, Wednesday, 3 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I have not heard all that much (playing with Fire LP, Revolution single, a few earlier tracks), but I have to say that most of it has been shite. A thin monochrome drone with boring drugs references plastered on top. Didn't they do a final album where one side was Sonic Boom and the other side was Jason Pierce? I recall hearing that and as far as I remember all the good stuff was on the Jason side. This figures when you consider how spectacularly good (mostly) Spiritualized are. Anybody know what they're up to after Jason fired the rest of 'em? Whaddya reckon about the Spiritualized Live at the Albert Hall album? A classic in my house anyway.

Dr. C, Wednesday, 3 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Gods. Drone drone drone, plus drugs, god, Kraftwerk, Suicide and the Stooges all in somewhat that order. And gospel. Mix well, serves many. Half of American 'post-rock' of the nineties wanted to be them -- the rest signed to Thrill Jockey and thought they were jazz. Poor souls.

Loop added the extra psychosis, it has to be said. And well done for that.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 3 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

execrable shit. since when is adding "gospel influences" to pale imitations of suicide and VU a good thing?

-b., Wednesday, 3 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I was walking with Jesus, and Jesus said to me; "Ere ! comin dahn the market ? they've got cheap mobiles and everyfing". I'm contributing an answer to make questions about to answer in the question that was first answered by making the question.

Barrington Wall, Wednesday, 3 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

"Half of American 'post-rock' of the nineties wanted to be them -- the rest signed to Thrill Jockey and thought they were jazz. Poor souls."

Ned - your statement is the most infuriatingly smug, superior bullshit I have read in a long, long time. You obviously consider yourself on a higher aesthetic plane than our friends over the atlantic. Which is presumably why you are wanking over your keyboard on an obscure mailing list rather than recording joyful music in Chicago. Good that nobody is allowed to make Jazz in your fetid, ignorant world except dead people from the 50s. Carry on keeping it real, mate, one day you'll be writing for Q.

dd, Thursday, 4 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

All well and good, DD, considering I happen to be American. ;-) In the meantime, what burr got up your butt? If I happen to think John McEntire is one of the most boring men on the planet in terms of his performances and production ability, that's my own take. If you're busy lighting candles to an icon of him, hey, that's yours. Relax -- I made an intentionally flip comment and all you can do is complain as if you were hit with a fish.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 4 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

actually sonic's side of recurring is far more interesting than j spaceman's. that said post spacemen 3 sonic has tread a good ways downhill and spiritualized have gotten better with each release. the reissue plague that hit a few years ago was a bit much for me. darkside, slipstream, philosopher's stone et all are complete crap though. pete bassman probably loves john mcentire but i have to side with ned, thrill jockey and everything they stand for is entireley useless.

keith, Saturday, 6 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Essential. One of the greatest rock'n'roll bands ever. In the midst of so much dross in the mid-80s they shone like a beacon.

Stevo, Thursday, 11 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Intriguing to say the least. Still I prefer Spiritualized, wherein the whole dope/lover/God equation is perfected. And that Jason guy always has cool hair somehow.

o.munoz, Monday, 15 January 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
jason have one of the coolest t-shirts "for all the fucked up children of this world we give you spacemen 3" later on the cover of a cd with their first recording sessions.

my favourite songs are walking with jesus (single version), take me to the other side, mary anne, revolution......

Jens, Monday, 5 February 2001 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

one year passes...
I am not overly familar with the Spacemen's oeuvre but from what I have heard I feel confident to make one or two contributions to this board. Firstly, that the Spacemen like to get high, I am in no doubt. Second, that they write intriguing electronic based trip out shit, I am slightly less sure. Third, that Spacemen are as good as Spacemen 3 fans like to sugest, I am distinctly wary of.

That said, a good friend of mine went through a phase of doing hard downers, getting ripped off his head and doing the rounds of the local supermarket at 3 in the morning with stuff like the Spacemen on his headphones. Then he had a heart attack.

Roger Fascist, Tuesday, 30 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I have been on ILM for over a year now, fairly regurlarly contributing and I haf nevah even looked for a spaceman thread. Thanks for reviving it though you'll get no thanks for your childish (troll like?) comments on the band.

Beautiful stuff as Ned put it. The thrill jockey crowd can go fuck themselves and Roger can stuff his led zep where the sun don't shine beacuse this is the stuff.

search: perfect perscription (great blast of psychedelia), playing w/fire (the tunes in here tend to be pretty 'weird' from kember but there's some fantastic tunes from Jason to complement it: it all goes well even though as the writing credits show, they are on the way to splitting up, the lyrics i love too) and also a 'comtemporary evening of sitar music'. This isn't 'self-indulgent'. It shows these ppl believe in their own ideas and are prepared to take 'em to their (logcal) conclusion (yes, droning on and on OBESSESIVELY).

Julio Desouza, Tuesday, 30 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

i can't believe i never answered this thread before!

classic! although my favourite is Recurring which doesn't hold that high a place in sp3 fans eyes? perfect prescription and playing with fire are great too. but i don't understand this thing about droning, theres hardly any droning (well, that sitar thing aside i guess, and that taking drugs to...) but the best stuff isn't particularly drone (esp when you consider the kranky bands and other stuff that came later)

gareth, Tuesday, 30 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

That's it Jules, point the finger at the new boy. Now, before I say something stoopid again, could you explain what you regular chaps mean by 'Troll'.

I mean, if I knew what you were on about, I might not be so quick to splash with the first inane comment that entered my head since they seem to go down about as well as a pork scratching as Bar Mitzvah.

You are firing my enthusiasm for Spacemen though, so it's not all doom and gloom.

That story about the heart attack is true by the way.

Roger Fascist, Tuesday, 30 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Is Rogcello really a new boy though?

awag, Tuesday, 30 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Do you've any other stories about bands that aren't related to the music? Once I read that Jason Pierce smokes gitanes. I think you can hear this in their music. Some of Spiritualized's later stuff is like total nicotine stuff. And hey this one time he bought a cup of coffee, I fucking guarantee you he drank coffee.

Ronan, Tuesday, 30 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

No-one's called me that in years...

Roger Fascist, Tuesday, 30 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

What do you listen to music for Ronan? Please, don't retort something along the lines of "Well not for getting fucked up on pills to like crazy wow yeah man style."

I ask because it seems to upset you on the ocassions I have mentioned music in relation to external stimuli, which I and everyone I know has always taken as pretty much a normal combination - be it getting crazy or driving a car, or just fucking dancing.

+ Are you gonna tell me what a troll is or wot?

Roger Fascist, Tuesday, 30 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

But you're mentioning external stimuli in relation to the making of the music so why are you asking me about listening to music?

And anyway there's no one answer to "what do you listen to music for" besides "because I enjoy it". After that it's all down to what the individual song/album does for me, if you want to check out some reviews I can mail you a portfolio with some lovely reasons.

Ronan, Tuesday, 30 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

''Is Rogcello really a new boy though?''

i thought it was marcello as well.

Julio Desouza, Tuesday, 30 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Also it's not upsetting, I just think you're wasting your time giving a shit what rockstars do in their spare time or in particular picking one activity (drug taking) and becoming so preoccupied with it's effects on music when in reality there's absolutely no way of ever proving it's been involved. I think this point is still lost on you though since you persist with other red herrings like the above.

Ronan, Tuesday, 30 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

That's not very cool and it really yanks my chain.

"wasting your time giving a shit what rockstars do in their spare time or in particular picking one activity (drug taking)"

No-one's wasting their time here except you typing out that crap (and you know it to be crap too kid) and me typing out a response to it.

. . .

"becoming so preoccupied with it's effects on music when in reality there's absolutely no way of ever proving it's been involved."

Who is preoccupied with rock stars and drugs? I think perhaps it might be your good self, since you seem to be in such denial about the role drugs play in creative processes, particularly music. I'm not trying to 'prove' anything nor do I have any interest in doing so. I don't care one iota who does what but when something becomes an aspect to a subject of interest, whther you like it or not, you or anyone would be foolish and ignorant to ignore or disregard such an aspect.

. . .

"I think this point is still lost on you though since you persist with other red herrings like the above."

What red herring are you referring too old chap? The story I supplied - I think it was just for the purposes of being amused, not as a profound explanation of the interpretive necessity when listening to Spacemen.

Perhaps you should post your portfolio of reviews to clarify the point for me.

Roger Fascist, Tuesday, 30 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

two years pass...
phlar

phlar, Saturday, 23 April 2005 20:13 (fifteen years ago) link

that is quite a weird thread. the first ilm thread? and i still didn't get any spacemen 3 albums. the siritualized album i bought a couple of years ago (royal albert hall 97) was pretentious rubbish. i guess sonic boom is more my kind of guy. what i really don't understand: why is there no kate in this thread?

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Saturday, 23 April 2005 21:02 (fifteen years ago) link

The drug-taking mostly seemed to be the least interesting aspect. Still classic!

Similarly classic is Ned's first post on this old thread, which just had me laughing my breakfast out of my nose in a most inelegant fashion. Old threads just keep on giving.

Nag! Nag! Nag! (Nag! Nag! Nag!), Saturday, 23 April 2005 21:21 (fifteen years ago) link

Why thank you!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 21:31 (fifteen years ago) link

"Gods. Drone drone drone, plus drugs, god, Kraftwerk, Suicide and the Stooges all in somewhat that order. And gospel. Mix well, serves many. Half of American 'post-rock' of the nineties wanted to be them -- the rest signed to Thrill Jockey and thought they were jazz. Poor souls."

I don't really agree with Ned's comment but I do agree it's awesome and it STANDS THE TEST OF TIME and stuff! Yes.

Mike McGonigal, Saturday, 23 April 2005 22:02 (fifteen years ago) link

phlar OTM. These dudes define over-rated. They rerecorded old Red Crayola, Suicide, and Stooges songs, and looked good doing it. So what. What's the difference between them and the Killers and the Bravery? "Walking with Jesus" is a good song, and their Evening of Contemporary Sitar Music is a top album to fall asleep to, but these guys otherwise define self-indulgent. How many times does anyone think, You know, I just can't get enough of Spacemen 3? Probably as many as think the same thing about, I don't know, Chrome, another alright band, but better to discuss than listen to. Sorry, but the emperor's got a jock strap on, maybe.

As for the comments above about American post-rock and jazz--Sorry, but Talk Talk and Bark Psychosis were way bigger British influences than Spacemen 3. Which isn't to say they were primary influences. I'll take Slint over Spacemen 3 any hour of the day, and so would many Thrill Jockey people, I bet.

halitosis, Saturday, 23 April 2005 22:20 (fifteen years ago) link

DUD

Mr. Snrub (Mr. Snrub), Saturday, 23 April 2005 22:21 (fifteen years ago) link

x-post:

To me, your post doesn't do their songwriting justice. They were also really into sound and had a lot of cool things going on on their records, tone-wise. I don't know if I like the post-Perfect Prescription records so much.

I was going to say that they had more of a sense of humor than the Killers, too, but actually the Killers are quite amusing (intentionally so, I think).

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 23 April 2005 22:26 (fifteen years ago) link

As for the comments above about American post-rock and jazz--Sorry, but Talk Talk and Bark Psychosis were way bigger British influences than Spacemen 3.

Y'all might want to reread the comment a bit, which while hyperbolic is not claiming S3 influenced *all* bands vaguely or clearly labeled post-rock, and does not automatically deny the potential influence of those two (very fine) bands at all.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 22:27 (fifteen years ago) link

I'm not saying they suck. I'm not saying the Killers suck either. But these guys are over-rated as hell (and maybe the Killers are under-rated, who knows). Every argument I've ever heard directed at bands for being too derivative I've found equally valid regarding Spacemen 3. Personally, I could give a fuck about originality. But I could also give a fuck that Spacemen 3 like such and such cool band so much they had to record ten minute tribute songs to them.

And another thing--they sucked away attention from Sundial, who deserved it more.

halitosis, Saturday, 23 April 2005 22:30 (fifteen years ago) link

I think they had quite a new approach, actually. They certainly didn't really sound like the Stooges or Suicide.

I think the tribute songs were a part of the intentionally stoopid humor in their music along with the drug stuff and the God stuff. They weren't really serious about how their music was intended "for all the fucked up children of the world."

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 23 April 2005 22:34 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't know, dude. Every interview I've ever read with Jason Pierce he comes off like he's god's gift. Keith Richards has a sense of humor about drug abuse. Spacemen 3 made it part of their cooler-than-thou schtick.

halitosis, Saturday, 23 April 2005 22:37 (fifteen years ago) link

Sundial = certainly very good at their best, but just don't connect with me as well or thoroughly.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Saturday, 23 April 2005 22:38 (fifteen years ago) link

But coming off like your god's gift in an interview might be part of the postmodern humor. Spacemen 3 and early Royal Trux both seemed to me like groups where there were actual junkies in the group, but they were still doing the junkie aesthetic partly as humor.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 23 April 2005 22:39 (fifteen years ago) link

"you're"

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 23 April 2005 22:39 (fifteen years ago) link

I myself think "y'know, I just can't get enough of Spacemen 3" all the time. To me they seem to extend--literally and figuratively--a particular aspect of their various influences to its logical (or illogical) conclusion. That's a far cry from Bravery-type copyism, in my book.

Great, great great band. And certainly a bit ridiculous on some level, but its not as if their referents weren't also.

Dark Horse, Saturday, 23 April 2005 22:40 (fifteen years ago) link

They made a great cartoon of it. I mean, come on, they called themselves "Spacemen 3."

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 23 April 2005 22:42 (fifteen years ago) link

Tim, point taken. I like Spacemen 3 too much to keep putting them down. I read interviews of theirs, obviously. But I can't think of another band whose every record has disappointed me. They're like Lucy Van Pelt holding the football and I'm Charlie Brown falling for it. It bugs me. What I kept coming back for is their style and attitude and influences to gel into an album worthy of them, like the Trux eventually pulled off with Accelerator. But all the way up through Playing with Fire, I kept landing flat on my back, so to speak. Who knows though. I've never heard Recurring. Maybe that's the one that would do it for me.

halitosis, Saturday, 23 April 2005 22:44 (fifteen years ago) link

We are like two vectors headed in opposite directions, halitosis! I think the first five Royal Trux albums are great. After that...

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Saturday, 23 April 2005 22:49 (fifteen years ago) link

i read neil haggerty talking about how his heroin use, and to a certain extent the heroin 'scene' in mid90s rock n roll new york as being part of some postmodern exercise in junkie-mythologizing irony. unfortunately that doesnt change the fact that you get addicted.

jake b. (cerybut), Saturday, 23 April 2005 23:12 (fifteen years ago) link

When I first heard Spacemen 3 I was deeply into Red Crayola, 13th Floor Elevators, Stooges and Suicide and I just thought Spacemen 3 sounded like an incredibly weak cover band. A friend of mine claimed they were great and very psychedelic and everything and he would lend me all of their CDs but I just wasn't hearing it. It sounded like such standard boring indie rock with limp, lifeless vocals, shitty sounding drums and none of the intensity of a band like the Stooges.

One night when I was pretty drunk and living in a large loft space I played the Sound of Confusion very loud and it all just clicked. I think they are the band that took me the longest to "get" and probably the biggest 180 degree shift in opinion I've ever had.

walter kranz (walterkranz), Saturday, 23 April 2005 23:27 (fifteen years ago) link

Spacemen 3? any good? intriguing minimalists or spoiled public school junkies?

I was in the same class as Jason Pierce at school and I can assure you it wasn't a public one!

Si Carter (Si Carter), Saturday, 23 April 2005 23:31 (fifteen years ago) link

i was in a record store recently and they had 'taking drugs to make music to take drugs to' playing loud over their system and it sounded great. i'm not keen on their covers at all, esp. the red crayola ones but i wouldn't mind hearing more of this record. also, the recent issue of tape op has a pretty cool interview with sonic boom.

Amon (eman), Sunday, 24 April 2005 01:17 (fifteen years ago) link

Every interview I've ever read with Jason Pierce he comes off like he's god's gift. Keith Richards has a sense of humor about drug abuse. Spacemen 3 made it part of their cooler-than-thou schtick.

Jason is usually quite humble in interviews, you're probably thinking of Sonic, who used to regularly glamourize drugs in interviews (to the point that 85% of the dialogue was centred around drugs).

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Sunday, 24 April 2005 01:34 (fifteen years ago) link

I love this band but getting a handle on how their discography all fits together has always been so goddamn confusing

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:31 (two weeks ago) link

I bought Sound of Confusion when it first released and have no idea how it all fits together either lol

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:33 (two weeks ago) link

I've spent thirty years trying to figure it out and I still quite can't. But I'm glad I've got everything one way or another.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 1 August 2020 17:34 (two weeks ago) link

Nice piece by Will here about An Evening of Contemporary Sitar Music

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/sep/26/spacemen-3-will-carruthers-playing-the-bass-extract

chonky floof (groovypanda), Saturday, 1 August 2020 18:41 (two weeks ago) link

I love this band but getting a handle on how their discography all fits together has always been so goddamn confusing

SP3 is my favorite band, I've worked for Bomp, worked with Sonic, even have my name on a couple of releases - but I don't even know where to start with this. I suppose it's erroneous to consider any track to be the final/definitive version of itself and more of a snapshot of where it's at. There's hours of outtakes from all four albums - no extra songs, but plenty of differing directions something could have takes: real drums vs. drum machine, reverse reverb or not, lyrical changes, etc. etc.

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 1 August 2020 19:28 (two weeks ago) link

they really “got” minimalism and understood how to properly exploit its power

brimstead, Saturday, 1 August 2020 22:01 (two weeks ago) link

For All the Fucked Up Children of this World...: Early (first?) recording session. Copied to tape and distributed around town by the band who are not terribly proud of it now. Their sound hadn't formed yet, it's historically interesting but they are baby spacemen toddling about. Bluesy.

Taking Drugs to Make Music To Take Drugs To: Demos which secured a record deal with Glass. Sometimes I like this as much as Sound of Confusion. Released unofficially and later officially with bonus tracks on Space Age Recordings. Only unique song is "It's Alright" which was later recorded by Spectrum.

Sound of Confusion: First proper album. All UK versions end with "OD Catastrophe." All US versions append the Walking With Jesus single and a demo version of 2:35 that is also found on TDTMMTTDT. Taang! Records put out their early albums on CD in the US. The Taang! covers are ugly and the sound quality is shit. The bonus track "Rollercoaster" has about 20 seconds trimmed off. WTF

Perfect Prescription: Second album. Early versions ended with "Call The Doctor." Since then all versions append "Soul 1" and "That's Just Fine" which are b-sides of the Take Me To The Other Side single. These are nice, if a little slight and they dull the impact of the original ending. Taang! version has a gap between "Ecstasy Symphony" and "Transparent Radiation" where the songs should flow together seamlessly. Unforgivable. Best way to hear it is probably the original Glass vinyl.

Forged Prescriptions: Two cds of alternate takes and demos from PP. A couple of unique songs which aren't terribly exciting, but the alternate versions are sometimes lusher and better than the PP versions. Highly recommended. Demo version of "Come Down Easy" is terrific.

The Singles AKA Translucent Flashbacks: Collects the first three singles including all the SOC & PP bonus tracks, with "Rollercoaster" at its proper length (17:24!!!). "Walking With Jesus" single version is a remix of the TDTMMTTDT track. Good shit.

Playing With Fire: Third album. Should end with "Lord Can You Hear Me?" but most versions add bonus tracks afterward. The 2cd version has loads of great stuff.

Dreamweapon: Technically a live album, sort of the fourth album but not really. Originally just the one track it now always comes with instrumental bonuses that fit nicely. "Spaceman Jam" credits Jason but he's not really on it. Some other dude Sonic was jamming with. It meanders.

Recurring: Fourth album. When I had full on Spacemen fever this was IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND. It drove me nuts and went for $$$. Proper ending is "Billy Whizz." All CD versions have the same bonus tracks. I think.

DJ Tones EP: Random rare tracks that hold together well. Notable for Spacemen 3's version of "These Blues," later performed by Spiritualized.

How The Blues Should've Turned Out: Barrel scrapings sold by Sonic Boom. CDRs maybe? Only a hundred were released and later he could be found on the Spiritualized forum berating people for sharing copies. Some good stuff, but this is where I started losing interest in MORE Spacemen 3.

LIVE STUFF

Performance: An abbreviated PP era show. Taang! version adds the Threebie 3 ep which has live tracks from the same gig.

Live In Europe AKA Spacemen Are Go!: Later live album. Collects tracks from different dates, including a couple of the more delicate PWF cuts. "Bo Diddley Jam" is badass.

Live At The New Morning: Unofficially released and then later put out as a needle drop on Space Age. Avoid the Space Age version. Good show from the PWF tour, although the focus is on the noisier songs.

There are other bootlegs, B-sides, and bits and pieces that I haven't bothered to hunt down. Is there something good I'm missing?

Cow_Art, Sunday, 2 August 2020 06:06 (one week ago) link

Outstanding guide thank you! I have a few CDs and a folder of mp3 albums of which half seemed like bootlegs - now I can figure it out!

assert (MatthewK), Sunday, 2 August 2020 07:24 (one week ago) link

I'd add the Losing Touch With Your Mind comp to that list.

ringworm, Sunday, 2 August 2020 07:30 (one week ago) link

Forgot about that one! More alternates, demos, etc.

There's a live boot that I've seen for sale but never grabbed: Revolution or Heroin.

The tribute album is VERY good. All the way through.

1. Bowery Electric - Things'll Never Be The Same
2. The Asteroid #4 - Losing Touch With My Mind
3. Mogwai - Honey
4. Flowchart - Ode To Street Hassle
5. Accelera Deck - I Believe It 3:31
6. Arab Strap - Revolution
7. Bardo Pond - Call The Doctor
8. Frontier - Hey Man
9. Low - Lord, Can You Hear Me?
10. Amp - So Hot (Wash Away All Of My Tears)
11. Piano Magic - How Does It Feel
12. Transient Waves - Billy Whizz

Cow_Art, Sunday, 2 August 2020 07:44 (one week ago) link

I discovered about five of those bands via the tribute album, I can't speak highly of it enough.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 2 August 2020 07:57 (one week ago) link

There's the All Fucked Up boot in my collection too:

https://www.discogs.com/Spacemen-3-All-Fucked-Up/release/3141260

Per the Discogs notes:

Live recording from Germany during the tour of 1988, or probably recorded live on 11th January 1988 at The Rose Club in Koln, Germany.

There's also Out of It, which I think is just a selection of stuff found on Forged Prescriptions but I'd need to check to be sure. Not even Discogs has that one I think.

And here's the Revolution or Heroin info again via Discogs:

Though sometimes thought to be "live 22. October 1987 University of London", this is actually the soundtrack from a video of a show at The Mean Fiddler.

There was a 3 CDR project of various songs from live shows over the years but I only have a basic rip of the first disc.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 2 August 2020 15:43 (one week ago) link

Highly recommend the cassette (or a digital playlist version) of 'The Perfect Prescription'. The entire proper album is on side A while the flip contains the epic covers from the period - the 17 min version of "Rollercoaster" and the 11 min version of "Starship".

Spencer Chow, Sunday, 2 August 2020 17:03 (one week ago) link

Interesting to see the love for Recurring. I remember being slightly horrified when it came out and found it a big let down after what had come before. Big City in particular seemed cheesily ludicrous. I haven't listened to it in about 25 years - maybe I should give it a chance.

Duke, Sunday, 2 August 2020 19:28 (one week ago) link

Recurring's their best album! That album and the subsequent first albums by Spiritualized, Spectrum, and the Darkside are the high water mark of everyone involved.

avellano medio inglés (f. hazel), Sunday, 2 August 2020 19:43 (one week ago) link

And "Big City" ended up in The Simpsons so hey.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 2 August 2020 19:49 (one week ago) link

xp "Big City" is like... their best song

vision joanna newsom (Stevie D(eux)), Sunday, 2 August 2020 19:55 (one week ago) link

Wasn't there a sonic boom LP (confusingly called spectrum) before a spectrum lp (soul kiss)? Which one do you mean fhazel?

koogs, Sunday, 2 August 2020 20:16 (one week ago) link

(oddly, despite having about 20 LP's by this bunch in various guises, I have nothing by darkside. What am I missing?)

koogs, Sunday, 2 August 2020 20:18 (one week ago) link

I do not get “big city” :-/

brimstead, Sunday, 2 August 2020 20:20 (one week ago) link

probably 15 years or so ago i thought i had a shitty mp3 rip of "the perfect prescription" so i bought the taang! cd version and realized nope! it's actually that bad. also, if i remember they had a truncated version of "starship" on there even though they had the space on it for the full 11 min version which always pissed me off.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Sunday, 2 August 2020 20:25 (one week ago) link

“Recurring” is cool but c’mon ... there’s no way “Big City” stands out as special. Not even the best thing on that album which, in comparison to their preceding albums, stood out as the weakest.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Sunday, 2 August 2020 20:41 (one week ago) link

Sonic's solo album was recorded before Recurring, I'm talking about Soul Kiss by Spectrum which was post-S3 breakup...

avellano medio inglés (f. hazel), Sunday, 2 August 2020 20:49 (one week ago) link

I have relistened a little on Spotify. Recurring is still poor. Big City is still awful. No offence, but claiming Big City is their best song is crazy....

Duke, Sunday, 2 August 2020 21:15 (one week ago) link

To say Recurring is better than PP or PWF is equally crazy, IMO

Duke, Sunday, 2 August 2020 21:16 (one week ago) link

this may be missing the point with Spacemen 3, but always thought the Recurring version of Big City is just too long. the 12" version is about 8.5 minutes and that is just right

Recurring was my first S3 album so I do like it but my heart belongs to Sound of Confusion. listened to Losing Touch With My Mind just now because seemed kind of apt

CP Radio Gorgeous (Colonel Poo), Sunday, 2 August 2020 21:33 (one week ago) link

Big City (Everybody I Know Can Be Found Here), in which Sonic notes the kinship between Dandy Livingstone's Big City and Kraftwerk's Neon Lights and makes a song about it.

Stanley Halfbrick (Noel Emits), Sunday, 2 August 2020 22:08 (one week ago) link

Recurring: Jason's side >>>>>> Sonic's side.

I like Big City quite a bit.

Feeling Just Fine is one of my favorite songs out of all the Spacemen projects.

The only track that I feel inclined to skip is I Love You.

Cow_Art, Sunday, 2 August 2020 23:05 (one week ago) link

I really appreciate some of the recent breakdowns re: pressings and sound, I have Taking Drugs CD on US Bomp, SOC CD on UK Refire, PP CD & LP on US Genius, PWF CD and LP on US Bomp, Dreamweapon CD re on US Sympathy (I regret selling my Fierce OG) and OG Recurring CD on US Dedicated. so I think I'm good except for picking up FP and the singles comp someday. I never really clicked with any of the live stuff but damn do I love their studio work.

sleeve, Monday, 3 August 2020 05:19 (one week ago) link

Recurring: Jason's side >>>>>> Sonic's side.

Yeah, this was the album where Sonic ran out of ideas and began an exercise in self-parody

Duke, Monday, 3 August 2020 11:07 (one week ago) link

Damn y'all I had no idea "Recurring" and "Big City" were so controversial! As a massive Kraftwerk/electronic music stan, it just scratches a very particular itch for me, I guess

vision joanna newsom (Stevie D(eux)), Monday, 3 August 2020 12:15 (one week ago) link

yeh I'm surprised too, every S3 fan I've ever known loved Big City. when those farfisa chords come in halfway thru, it gets me every time.

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Monday, 3 August 2020 12:57 (one week ago) link

As a massive Kraftwerk/electronic music stan, it just scratches a very particular itch for me

This is 100% OTM. It's funny because I think I actually went backwards? That it was Sonic Boom's interest in analogue synths way back in the 90s, that actually opened up the world of krautrock in general and Kraftwerk in particular to me.

My memory of what happened around Recurring was it came out at a point where Spacemen 3 were already breaking up, and there were already solo albums and 12"s floating around. So that in comparison to what had come before, and what came out just after, it felt a little bit of a letdown. It definitely had a sad undercurrent to it, like, "wow, my favourite band is breaking up? Bummer." Which affected my impressions of the album at the time, followed quickly by "wow, I now have TWO favourite bands and they're both amazing?"

I also distinctly recall that when I swapped my (bought on release) vinyl of Recurring for a later CD a few years later, I listened to it again and had a much more positive impression of it - and realised I had been overly harsh towards it. And Big City has aged incredibly well, it has got better with time.

Branwell with an N, Monday, 3 August 2020 13:14 (one week ago) link

Cow_Art thank you for that release breakdown, been dreaming about a simple cribsheet for S3 releases like that for a while

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Monday, 3 August 2020 13:37 (one week ago) link

My own introduction to S3 was the solo Spectrum album Sonic released as discussed a few posts back -- it was a new release at the time and one of the first things I reviewed for KLA at UCLA as a DJ preview. I'm not really sure I'd heard anything quite like it before, honestly, but I was listening to a lot of stuff for the first time all around then, and it was enough for me to get very interested in who he was and this band of his was. Prompted by all this I gave it a relisten yesterday and it holds up very nicely.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 3 August 2020 14:30 (one week ago) link

I'm kicking myself because my first exposure to S3 *was* the fabled Glass vinyl - purple swhirlies, black vinyl - and I have no idea what happened to my record collection, if it's still sitting in a box, or if my Mum has thrown it away. Because it has never quite sounded right in the reissues. (I'm going to cry if I start thinking about all the rare Spacemen/Sonic/Spz vinyl I used to have 30 years ago.)

Branwell with an N, Monday, 3 August 2020 14:34 (one week ago) link

I didn't hear the solo sonic LP until the reissue, hence my timeline confusion above (thanks for clarifying fh). A friend had a copy with the swirly thing on the front but I'm not sure he ever played it in my presence.

(2013 it says. lists Jason in the credits. And Jo wiggs)

koogs, Monday, 3 August 2020 19:04 (one week ago) link

yeah I remember seeing that pinwheel Spectrum LP at the record store but it was too pricey to take a chance on (I snagged the reissue and... it's not my favorite Sonic Boom work)

avellano medio inglés (f. hazel), Monday, 3 August 2020 20:26 (one week ago) link

The only Sonic stuff that I'm fully on board with is Soul Kiss & Highs, Lows, Heavenly Blows. There are lots of other good things scattered across his releases but his range is pretty limited. There's a comp of singles and whatnot called What Came Before After that is pretty good.

I stumbled upon a huge wad of used EAR cds at the Amoeba in LA and I was SO STOKED. Worked my way through them and it was a bit of a slog. Mesmerized is the only one I kept.

Cow_Art, Monday, 3 August 2020 22:21 (one week ago) link

Yeah that one is my fallback -- I do love the rest for different moods but Mesmerized just seemed to get Sonic's ability to embrace warm drift perfectly, not having to worry about creating songs as such.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 4 August 2020 00:42 (one week ago) link

Ned, I read and reread your Spacemen 3 reviews several times back in the day. I came to them through Spiritualized and Allmusic led the way. Thanks for that. In college I would stay up way too late devouring Allmusic.

Cow_Art, Tuesday, 4 August 2020 01:59 (one week ago) link

You're most welcome! Glad to know that was a bridge to more.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 4 August 2020 02:28 (one week ago) link

the first song on that sonic boom spectrum album is so gorgeous and lonely, I think the cover of my vinyl copy had a cardboard roulette wheel you could spin

brimstead, Tuesday, 4 August 2020 03:08 (one week ago) link

forever alien completely blew my mind at the time, I could not comprehend it, it sounded like sonic boom tried to record an album while several ufos were landing all around him

brimstead, Tuesday, 4 August 2020 03:10 (one week ago) link

OMG, Forever Alien is an absolutely astonishing piece of work. It was just kinda... not where my mind was at when it came out, but it was an album I have revisted again and again, and realise just how formative Sonic Boom was, towards shaping everything I love in music. It's so slithery, and alien-sounding - there's this real kinda 80s mythology that synths are supposed to sound clinical and cold. (Actual Kraftwerk... does *not* sound cold, they can sound clinical, but their tone is very warm.) While Pete took the idea of "what if synths were a living alien intelligence" and ran with it!

I'm so lucky I actually got to see him do that shit live when I first moved to the UK, because transporting the gear necessary to generate those sounds was so obviously never going to happen.

So much of the E.A.R. stuff is... patchy, but when it's good, it's amazing. I recently got out a load of E.A.R. records and started re-listening, because when I'm having a bout of really bad hyperacusis, they're one of the few things I can listen to that doesn't trigger it.

Branwell with an N, Tuesday, 4 August 2020 08:28 (one week ago) link

Hm, so out of curiosity, any particular difference between the two versions of Forged Prescriptions? There was that John Rivers-remastered version from two years back, besides the original back in 2003.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 02:36 (one week ago) link

Didn't realize the different cover was supposed to be remastered. I know that when FP was initially released Sonic was involved and seemed rather proud of it. By the time the newer one came out things would have soured between Gerald Palmer and him, so I can't imagine Sonic had anything to do with it. And Space Age hasn't shown any particular inclination towards caring about sound quality.

It would be cool to compare them, but I suspect that the new cover and remastering are geared only toward selling the same album to the same people twice.

Cow_Art, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 04:39 (one week ago) link

Suspected as much!

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 14:16 (one week ago) link

Anyway as long as we're all here, Sterling Roswell has a wonderfully titled Bandcamp site:

https://sterlingroswellvortexionvalveloopdecoderprojectresearchfacilty.bandcamp.com/

And among other things a new album just out (but Bandcamp Friday is about to happen so there's that):

https://sterlingroswellvortexionvalveloopdecoderprojectresearchfacilty.bandcamp.com/album/the-psychedelic-ubik

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 6 August 2020 03:57 (one week ago) link

(Or maybe an old album. He's been adding a slew of stuff over the past few days.)

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 6 August 2020 04:00 (one week ago) link


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