Friday, March 30, 2007


Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (Original Mix)

‘Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space’ by Spiritualized. If I ever have to name my favourite album of all time, I end up naming this one. Everything about it excites me, from the pill-packet packaging to the prescription sleeve-notes. Every track is equally as important and as potentially inspiring the next. It’s a whole album, an absolute classic, and somewhat unbelievably, released ten years ago this summer.

The opening title track to the album is simply breathtaking, and it can still now, practically a decade after I first heard it, have the ability to move my mind to another place, and turn my face into a tear-stained mess. A hushed NASA beep takes me to a star-filled darkness, and a lyrical overlay of such beauty and emotion that all I want is a little love to take the pain away. Could you change what I would consider to be perfect, and still end up with the same result? Well, he already had. Jason Pierce re-recorded his original version for the album, after the Elvis Presley estate refused the use of some lyrics taken from The King’s ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’, and used in the title track, a decision that seems ridiculous when you consider some of the things that have been allowed through the Elvis machine over the years.

This “original” version, including the Elvis lyrics, appeared on some early demo editions of the album and is posted above. I’m not saying that I think it’s better or worse than the album version, just that it’s different, and I think it’s interesting to hear what Jason Pierce’s original ideas for the song were. Obviously, there is the slight lyrical change, but the main difference is the gospel choir. Absent from the album version, this original lends a different ear to the dream, with a busier and fuller crescendo. I cannot state a personal preference for either version; I love them equally, in the same way that I would do my children.

I have since seen Jason perform ‘Ladies And Gentlemen…’ on the recent Acoustic Mainlines tour at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, and again it’s different, although more like the original version, and as always, so very beautiful. Rumoured to have been recorded for release, we could soon have three versions of this perfection to float around to.

There is another Spiritualized Acoustic Mainlines tour in April. Ticket details can be found on the Spiritualized website below. If anyone has a couple of spares for Shepherds Bush, let me know!

The official Spiritualized website
Buy Spiritualized from Norman Records
Spiritualized at My Space
Elvis Presley website