Clouds Taste Metallic is the seventh album by the band The Flaming Lips, released on September 19, 1995. It is the last Flaming Lips album featuring guitarist Ronald Jones, and the last album presenting the group as a guitar-driven, alternative rock band.
It was projected to be their first commercially successful release after the major success of She Don't Use Jelly from their previous album. Despite an alternative mix of "Bad Days" earning a spot on the soundtrack to Batman Forever, this album failed to garner the same commercial success that was generated with Transmissions From the Satellite Heart, but over the years since then, it's been regarded as one of their best releases among critics and fans, much like later releases that have helped define the success they have today, and has achieved cult status among fans who are very much into the Ronald Jones era of the group. The album's recording is heavily featured in the Fearless Freaks documentary. In recent years, Wayne Coyne himself has also opened up on how proud he is of the album, which all led into some retrospective promotion of the album on its 20th anniversary.
In 2014, after being absent from their live shows for nearly two decades following Ronald Jones's departure, the band decided to try out the songs live again after Wayne and Steven witnessed some live footage of them playing The Abandoned Hospital Ship in 1996 with Christmas Light back drops which Wayne described as: "We saw a video from around I think 1996 when we were doing the big Christmas Light back drops. And there was a video going around of us playing ‘Abandoned Hospital Ship’ where when all the Christmas lights would explode. Cause Steven had played drums on that and we thought, ‘Why don’t we just try that?’ Literally the first time we tried that it really worked. It wasn’t really connected to Clouds Taste Metallic being 20 years old, but I think all those things did start to combine.” With a lineup consisting of seven members at this point, the band was able to give these songs the proper live treatment that had been missing for many years after Ronald Jones left the group. Up to this point, Wayne and Steven felt that it could not have been done justice to play the songs themselves without him in the band, since much of the album's expansive guitar driven sound came directly from him, and it would've required a large amount of new members to replicate everything that was played on the album. On December 30th & 31st at the The Warfield, more songs would end up being played live in preparation for their 20th anniversary concert at First Avenue.
Heady Nuggs: 20 Years After Clouds Taste Metallic
On December 18, 2015, Heady Nuggs 20 Years After Clouds Taste Metallic: 1994-1997 was released, which contained a three-CD or five-LP compilation including the album, the 1994 odds-and-ends EP Due to High Expectations... The Flaming Lips Are Providing Needles for Your Balloons, a previously unreleased concert called Psychiatric Exploration Of The Fetus With Needles (Live In Seattle 1996), and a further rarities collection titled The King Bug Laughs. The CD only release also contains an original comic written and illustrated by Wayne Coyne. The vinyl reissue of Clouds Taste Metallic contains autographs signed by Wayne Coyne, and the deluxe edition contains a bundle of several out of print posters & t-shirts of the band that were originally available at concerts on their tour in 1995-1996 in support of Clouds Taste Metallic. Also included are digital downloads for songs such as the 1996 live versions of Psychiatric Explorations of the Fetus With Needles and Put The Waterbug In The Policeman's Ear, studio versions of both said songs, and two additional studio recordings of Hot Day, which was recorded for the soundtrack to the 1996 film subUrbia, and Chosen One, which is a cover of Smog.
"The Abandoned Hospital Ship"
"Psychiatric Explorations of the Fetus with Needles"
"This Here Giraffe"
"Guy Who Got a Headache and Accidentally Saves the World"
"When You Smile"
"Kim's Watermelon Gun"
"They Punctured My Yolk"
"Lightning Strikes the Postman"
"Christmas at the Zoo"
"Evil Will Prevail"
"Bad Days" (Aurally Excited Version)
"Jets Part 2 (My Two Days as an Ambulance Driver)"
"They Punctured My Yolk" was sampled on Beastie Boys' To the 5 Boroughs album in the song "We Got The." As part of Record Store Day 2016, an alternate mix of Clouds Taste Metallic featuring ex-Flaming Lips guitarist Ronald Jones was released.