Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space

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Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
Studio album by Spiritualized
Released 16 June 1997
Recorded 1995–1997 at Moles Studio, Bath; The Church, Rooster and The Strongroom Studios, London; House of Blues, Memphis; The Hit Factory, New York City and A&M Studios, Los Angeles.
Genre Space rock, neo-psychedelia, symphonic rock, gospel
Length 69:41
Label Dedicated
Producer Jason Pierce, John Coxon ("Stay With Me", "The Invididual")[1]
Spiritualized chronology
Pure Phase
(1995)
Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
(1997)
Royal Albert Hall October 10 1997
(1998)
Singles from Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
  1. "Electricity"
    Released: 28 July 1997
  2. "I Think I'm in Love"
    Released: 12 January 1998
  3. "Come Together"
    Released: 17 July 1998
  4. "The Abbey Road EP"
    Released: 14 August 1998

Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space is the third studio album by English space rock band Spiritualized, released by Dedicated Records on 16 June 1997. The album features guest appearances from the Balanescu Quartet, The London Community Gospel Choir and Dr. John.[2]

Background[edit]

The title of the album is taken from the philosophical novel Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder, the context being:

The album itself was written shortly after the break-up of Spiritualized's Jason Pierce and Kate Radley, the band's keyboard player. Radley had secretly married Richard Ashcroft of The Verve in 1995.[4][5]

Original pressings had an alternative version of the title track, incorporating the lyrics and melody of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love."[6] The Presley estate initially objected to this, and a remixed version of the track was included on the commercial release, with new lyrics. However, Spiritualized continue to use both sets of lyrics in live performances. By 2009, they were allowed to use the version of the song with the Presley lyrics on the reissued edition of the album, with the proviso that the song is now titled "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (I Can't Help Falling in Love)." Album closer "Cop Shoot Cop..." references lyrics from the John Prine song "Sam Stone", incorporating variations on a key line from that song's chorus.

Recording[edit]

In the summer of 1995 Jason Pierce and Sean Cook entered Moles Studio in Bath, to start work on demo recordings with resident engineer Trevor Curwen. Pierce would develop his ideas into complete songs during this period.[7]

A few weeks later, recording of the album proper began in earnest, with all of the band members present. Working on 24 track tape synchronised to an Atari sequencer allowed Pierce to build up sequenced tracks from samples of live playing, coupled with some parts gleaned from the demo sessions. The full band line-up, including John Coxon on guitar, performed live over this sequenced backbone.[7]

With the basic framework intact, Pierce moved the project to London to work with producer/engineer Darren Allison on the recording of vocals, guitars, gospel choir and brass at The Church Studios. The pair worked on further vocal recording at Rooster Studios, before moving on to recording Strings with the Balanescu Quartet at London's legendary Olympic Studios. At this point, Pierce made a trip to the USA to record Dr John's Piano and vocal parts on the track "Cop Shoot Cop".[7]

The mixing process involved various studios and personnel. Beginning at House of Blues in Memphis, Pierce returned to work again with Darren Allison at The Strongroom Studios, John Leckie, and Trevor Curwen at Moles Studio.[7]

With the mixing phase complete, Pierce concentrated on post-production and editing with Mads Bjerke, and Ray Staff at Whitfield Street Studios took charge of the mastering process.

Special editions[edit]

The artwork was designed by Pierce in collaboration with Mark Farrow. A special edition of the album was packaged in a box designed to resemble prescription medicine, complete with "dosage advice" and a foil blister pack containing the CD.[8] A limited edition was also released, featuring each of the 12 songs in its own individually wrapped 3-inch CD, inside a large blister pack and box.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[10]
The Austin Chronicle 4/5 stars[11]
Robert Christgau (1-star Honorable Mention)[12]
Drowned in Sound 10/10[13]
Entertainment Weekly (B+)[14]
The Guardian 5/5 stars[15]
The Independent (Mixed)[16]
NME (9/10)[17]
Pitchfork Media 10/10[18]

The album reached number four on the UK charts,[19] during the height of the Britpop period. It attracted favourable reviews from the music press, including Allmusic, who hailed the album as "a masterpiece" and awarded the album 4.5 out of 5 stars.[10] Ladies and Gentlemen went on to win the NME album of the year award at the end of 1997, beating Radiohead's critically acclaimed OK Computer and The Verve's Urban Hymns.

Accolades[edit]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Spin United States 125 Best Albums of the Past 25 Years[20] 2010 110
Melody Maker United Kingdom Best 50 Albums of the Year[21] 1997 5
NME United Kingdom Best 50 Albums of the Year[22] 1997 1
Q United Kingdom Best 50 Albums of the Year[23] 1997 *
Select United Kingdom Best 30 Albums of the Year[24] 1997 2
The Face United Kingdom Best 20 Albums of the Year[25] 1997 5
The Village Voice United States Best 40 Albums of the Year[26] 1997 17
Uncut United Kingdom Best 25 Albums of the Year[27] 1997 13
Pitchfork United States Best 100 Albums of the 1990s[28] 2003 55
Vox United Kingdom Best 50 Albums of the Year[29] 1997 2

* denotes an unranked list.

Legacy[edit]

A majority of the songs on the album were recorded live for the band's following release Royal Albert Hall October 10 1997. Three singles were released from the album: "Electricity" in July 1997, "I Think I'm in Love" in January 1998, and "Come Together" in July 1998. Spiritualized re-recorded the songs "Come Together" and "Broken Heart" (the former with a cleaner radio mix and the latter with an Ennio Morricone-styled string and horn section) at Abbey Road Studios in early 1998; these tracks comprised the band's Abbey Road EP released in August 1998. The title track of the album appeared in the 2001 Cameron Crowe film Vanilla Sky.

In late 2009, Spiritualized performed the album live in its entirety as part of the All Tomorrow's Parties-curated Don't Look Back series, in London. Another performance of this production featured as part of the ATP festival in May 2010 curated by Matt Groening. A remastered and expanded legacy edition of the album was released on 30 November 2009 to coincide with the show.[30] The remastered edition was released on three formats:[31]

  • The Collector's Edition: twelve 3" mini CDs of the complete album track-by-track, plus two bonus discs of unreleased material. This edition was limited to only 1,000 copies.
  • The Special Edition: a limited edition of the original album in the original pill-pack style packaging, alongside the two bonus discs.
  • The standard one CD version of the original album with new artwork.

All three editions included the revised version of the opening track "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space" (now including "Can't Help Falling in Love" as originally intended for the album).

The album has been certified Gold in the UK, and platinum worldwide, having sold over 1,000,000 copies.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

Album tracklisting credits all songs as written by Jason Pierce, except "Can't Help Falling in Love" written by George David Weiss, Hugo Peretti, and Luigi Creatore.

  1. "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (I Can't Help Falling in Love)" – 3:54/3:40 (1997 version)
  2. "Come Together" – 4:40
  3. "I Think I'm in Love" – 8:10
  4. "All of My Thoughts" – 4:36
  5. "Stay with Me" – 5:08
  6. "Electricity" – 3:45
  7. "Home of the Brave" – 2:35
  8. "The Individual" – 4:02
  9. "Broken Heart" – 6:38
  10. "No God Only Religion" – 4:21
  11. "Cool Waves" – 5:06
  12. "Cop Shoot Cop…" – 17:00

Bonus disc #1[edit]

  1. "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space" (A Cappella) – 2:33
  2. "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space" (Demo) – 2:54
  3. "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space" (Strings) – 1:40
  4. "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space" (Kate Telephone Call) – 1:21
  5. "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space" (Moles Studio Mix 7) – 4:48
  6. "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space" (Original Oratone Ideas) – 0:42
  7. "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space" (A Cappella with Lead Vocal) – 1:57
  8. "Come Together" (Instrumental Demo) – 3:18
  9. "Come Together" (Demo in Lower Key) – 4:02
  10. "I Think I'm in Love" (Original Demo Idea) – 1:01
  11. "I Think I'm in Love" (Demo) – 2:04
  12. "I Think I'm in Love" (Drums/Wah) – 4:16
  13. "I Think I'm in Love" (A Cappella) – 1:38
  14. "I Think I'm in Love" (Vocal Demo January 1996) – 3:31
  15. "I Think I'm in Love" (Gospel Choir Session) – 1:18
  16. "All of My Thoughts" (Demo) – 3:52
  17. "All of My Thoughts" (Strings) – 0:38
  18. "Rocket Shaped Song" – 8:16

Bonus disc #2[edit]

  1. "Electricity" (Demo) – 3:34
  2. "Electricity" (January 1996) – 5:07
  3. "Electricity" (June 1996) – 4:55
  4. "Home of the Brave" (Demo) – 3:48
  5. "Home of the Brave" (Panned Vocal) – 2:40
  6. "Beautiful Happiness" – 5:14
  7. "Broken Heart" (Demo) – 2:15
  8. "Broken Heart" (Strings) – 1:52
  9. "Broken Heart" (Vocal Harmony/Angel Corpus Christi) – 2:41
  10. "Broken Heart" (Early Vocal) – 0:50
  11. "No God Only Religion" (Demo) – 4:05
  12. "No God Only Religion" (Horns) – 2:48
  13. "Cool Waves" (Demo) – 1:00
  14. "Cool Waves" (String Session Mix) – 6:10
  15. "Cop Shoot Cop…" (Demo) – 2:47
  16. "Cop Shoot Cop…" (Dr. John The National Anthem) – 6:22
  17. "Cop Shoot Cop…" (String Session Mix) – 3:46

Personnel[edit]

Spiritualized
Additional musicians
Technical personnel
  • Jason Pierce – arranger, producer, mixing
  • John Coxon – producer
  • Darren Allisonengineer, mixing
  • Chad Bamford – engineer, mixing
  • Mads Bjerke – engineer, editing, post-production
  • Trevor Curwen – engineer, mixing
  • John Leckie – engineer, mixing
  • Patrick McCarthy – engineer, mixing
  • Patrick McGovern – engineer, mixing
  • Carl Nappa – engineer
  • Darren Nash – engineer, assistant engineer, mixing assistant
  • Lem Lattimer – assistant engineer
  • Chris Scard – assistant engineer
  • Ray Staffmastering

Horn arrangements by Jason Pierce/Simon Clarke/Tim Sanders/Ed Coxon

String arrangements by Jason Pierce/Clare Connors

Choral arrangements by Jason Pierce/Basil Hughes

Singles[edit]

  • "Supplementary Dosage" (June 1997; US promo-only CD)
  1. "Cop Shoot Cop" (Live)
  2. "Shine a Light" (Live)
  3. "Electric Mainline" (Live)
  4. "Cool Waves" (Instrumental)
  5. "The X-Files Theme"
  • "Electricity" (28 July 1997)
CD1
  1. "Electricity" (Edit)
  2. "Take Your Time" (Live)
  3. "All of My Tears" (Live)
  4. "Cool Waves" (Instrumental)
CD2
  1. "Electricity"
  2. "Cop Shoot Cop" (Live)
  3. "Shine a Light" (Live)
  4. "Electric Mainline" (Live)
  • "I Think I'm in Love" (12 January 1998)
  1. "I Think I'm in Love" (Edit)
  2. "I Think I'm in Love" (The Chemical Brothers Remix)
  3. "I Think I'm in Love" (The Chemical Brothers Instrumental)
  • "Come Together" (17 July 1998)
  1. "Come Together" (Richard Fearless Remix)
  2. "Come Together" (Two Lone Swordsmen Remix)
  • The Abbey Road EP (14 August 1998)
  1. "Come Together" (Abbey Road Version)
  2. "Broken Heart" (Abbey Road Version)
  3. "Broken Heart" (Instrumental; Abbey Road Version)

Charts[edit]

Year Chart Peak Position
1997 Heatseekers #26

References[edit]

  1. ^ discogs credits
  2. ^ allmusic ((( Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space > Credits )))
  3. ^ Spiritualized Discography
  4. ^ Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space; "Little J Is Sad and F**ked" section
  5. ^ Richard Ashcroft biography on IMDb
  6. ^ Ladies and Gentlemen... Elvis mix
  7. ^ a b c d Kempster, Chris "Studio secrets of the stars – Ladies and Gentlemen-we are floating in Space" The Mix , Issue 54, Future Publishing, October 1998, p.70
  8. ^ Images for Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
  9. ^ Images for Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space box set
  10. ^ a b Ankeny, Jason. "Review: Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space". Allmusic. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  11. ^ Holland, Taylor (28 August 1997). "Review: SPIRITUALIZED – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (Arista Dedicated)". Nick Barbaro. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Review: Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (Arista, 1997)". Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  13. ^ Lawrenson, James. "Review: Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (Special Edition)". Retrieved 17 December 2009. 
  14. ^ Brunner, Rob (27 June 1997). "Review: Ladies and Gentlemen, We're Floating in Space". Time Inc. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  15. ^ Glaister, Dan. "Review: Spiritualized – Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space (Dedicated)". Friday Review (Guardian Media Group) (13 June 1997): 19. 
  16. ^ Gill, Andy (13 June 1997). "Review: Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (Dedicated DEDCD 034)". Independent News & Media. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  17. ^ "Review: Spiritualized : Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space". IPC Media. 1997. Archived from the original on 16 November 2001. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  18. ^ "Review: Spiritualized : Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space". 
  19. ^ Guinness British Hit Singles & Albums 2006 ISBN 1-904994-10-5
  20. ^ "125 Best Albums of the Past 25 Years". spin.com. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  21. ^ "Melody Maker Albums of the Year, 1997". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  22. ^ "NME Albums of the Year, 1997". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  23. ^ "Q Albums of the Year, 1997". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  24. ^ "Select Albums of the Year, 1997". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  25. ^ "The Face Albums of the Year, 1997". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  26. ^ "The Village Voice Albums of the Year, 1997". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  27. ^ "Uncut Albums of the Year, 1997". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  28. ^ "Pitchfork Staff List Top 100 Albums of the 1990s". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  29. ^ "Vox Albums of the Year 1997". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  30. ^ Spiritualized to perform Ladies and Gentlemen... in its entirety | PopMatters
  31. ^ Spiritualized | News (Ladies and Gentlemen press release, posted 15 September 2009)

External links[edit]