“Without music, life would be a mistake.”
17 years on, spiritualized’s third album is seen as a landmark rock record, a space rock symphony of great scope and emotion that signified frontman Jason Pierce’s ambitions yet seemed both outside and tangentially part of the UK ‘Britpop’ scene of the late 1990’s, both classical and modern. but where it ultimately differs to the more self-conscious magpie affectations of many of the successful groups who emerged in that era is in Pierce’s unique synthesis of myriad influences (psychedelia, classic pop, free jazz, blues, avant-garde minimalism, garage rock, gospel, ambient, symphonic rock) into a distinctly personal whole and a progression of his style which began way back with Spacemen 3.
Ladies & Gentlemen we Are floating in space, like most of the groups output had a long production period owing much to Pierce’s perfectionism and is an intoxicating listen, one that looks back to push forward and takes you on a musical head and heart trip. The album cover itself is a thing of precise beauty, designed by Pierce and graphic artist Mark Farrow to resemble the outer packaging of prescription medication. It explicitly references Pierce’s own well documented drug fuelled past whilst suggesting the powerful healing* properties of the music within… Taking Drugs to Make Music to Drugs to, indeed.
* Like much of what has featured on No Dancing No Satisfaction to date since its modest creation back in 2010, what I write about tends to have some personal significance. I try to be less self-indulgent sometimes and other times I can’t help myself. But if you truly love music and you haven’t heard any of these albums yet, please seek them out. Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space and it’s sounds of heartbreak, redemption and celebration pulled me through several painful, dark periods of my life in the late Nineties. Boo hoo sob.