Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space

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Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space.png
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
Length 69:41
Label Dedicated
Producer Jason Pierce, John Coxon ("Stay With Me", "The Individual")[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 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 recorded 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] Pierce, however, has maintained that much of the album, including songs such as "Broken Heart" and "Cool Waves", had actually been written before the break-up.[6]

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."[7] 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.[8]

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.[8]

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".[8]

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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[11]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 5/5 stars[12]
Entertainment Weekly B+[13]
The Guardian 5/5 stars[14]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[15]
NME 9/10[16]
Pitchfork Media 10/10[17]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[18]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4.5/5 stars[19]
Select 4/5[20]

Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space was released to widespread acclaim from music critics.[21] NME critic Paul Moody hailed the album as a "seismic tour de force" and credited Jason Pierce for taking cues from his vast array of musical influences to create an "entirely new noise out of the wreckage",[16] while Melody Maker praised it as "one mind-blowing perspective-fusing supernova of an album... that redefines notions of bittersweet and love-hate to the point where everyday emotions seem very small indeed."[22] Roy Wilkinson of Select noted the album's more elaborate instrumentation and production styles compared to Spiritualized's previous work and called Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space a "remarkable testimony to Pierce's vision".[20] Steve Hochman of the Los Angeles Times named the album as "one of the most ambitious and striking sonic pastiches" of the year and said that it "recycles, refines and expands on the key elements" of Lazer Guided Melodies and Pure Phase.[15]

The Austin Chronicle's Taylor Holland wrote that Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space "adds sunshine to an otherwise dreary summer season for shoegazers" and establishes Spiritualized as "king among loud-minded 'space rock' bands."[23] Rob Brunner of Entertainment Weekly described it as "beautifully weightless and way out" and felt that while the band's "zero-gravity guitar drone" can get monotonous, the album's wide array of instrumentation "keep[s] the songs from drifting away altogether."[13] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice called the album "refreshingly short on the fatalism pawned off as wisdom by the Verve and depressive if impressive Radiohead",[24] later awarding the album a one-star honorable mention rating, indicating "a worthy effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well like".[25]

Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space reached number four on the UK charts, during the height of the Britpop period.[26] The album went on to be named the NME album of the year at the end of 1997, beating other critically acclaimed albums such as Radiohead's OK Computer and The Verve's Urban Hymns.[27] Select and Vox named Ladies and Gentlemen the second best album of the year,[28][29] while Melody Maker and The Face named it the fifth best.[30][31] The album ranked at number 13 on Uncut's year-end list,[32] and Q named it as one of the year's 50 best albums.[33] Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space also ranked at number 17 on The Village Voice's year-end critics' poll.[34]

Legacy[edit]

Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space has since been acclaimed as one of the best albums of the 1990s on various publications' decade-end lists Pitchfork Media ranked it at number 55 on their list of the top 100 albums of the 1990s.[35] In 2010, the album was also named one of the 125 Best Albums of the Past 25 Years by Spin.[36]

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 October and December 2009, Spiritualized performed Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space live in its entirety as part of the All Tomorrow's Parties-curated Don't Look Back concert series.[37] To coincide with the shows, a remastered legacy edition of the album with new artwork was released on 30 November 2009 in three formats: a one-disc release of the original album, a three-disc release featuring the original album and two bonus discs containing demos, instrumental versions, and session mixes of the album's songs, and a special collector's edition release limited to 1,000 copies consisting of twelve 3" mini CDs, each containing one of the original album's songs, and the aforementioned two CDs of bonus content.[38] Reviewing the reissue, Pitchfork Media revised their original assessment of Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space and gave it a perfect 10/10 score, with writer Grayson Currin calling it the album where Pierce "unequivocally reached the height of his recorded powers."[17][39] Spiritualized later performed the full album again at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in May 2010, curated by Matt Groening.[40]

Track listing[edit]

Album track listing 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 – arrangement, horn arrangements, string arrangements, choral arrangements, production, mixing
  • John Coxon – production
  • Darren Allisonengineering, mixing
  • Chad Bamford – engineering, mixing
  • Mads Bjerke – engineering, editing, post-production
  • Trevor Curwen – engineering, mixing
  • John Leckie – engineering, mixing
  • Patrick McCarthy – engineering, mixing
  • Patrick McGovern – engineering, mixing
  • Carl Nappa – engineering
  • Darren Nash – engineering, assistant engineering, assistant mixing
  • Lem Lattimer – assistant engineering
  • Chris Scard – assistant engineering
  • Ray Staffmastering
  • Simon Clarke – horn arrangements
  • Clare Connors – string arrangements
  • Ed Coxon – horn arrangements
  • Basil Hughes – choral arrangements
  • Tim Sanders – horn arrangements

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]

Chart (1997) Peak
position
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[41] 41
UK Albums (OCC)[42] 4
US Top Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[43] 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. ^ Martin, Piers (7 December 2009). "Spiritualized – Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space". Uncut. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  7. ^ Ladies and Gentlemen... Elvis mix
  8. ^ 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
  9. ^ Images for Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
  10. ^ Images for Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space box set
  11. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Ladies and Gentlemen... We Are Floating in Space – Spiritualized". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  12. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-857-12595-8. 
  13. ^ a b Brunner, Rob (27 June 1997). "Ladies and Gentlemen, We're Floating in Space". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  14. ^ Glaister, Dan (13 June 1997). "Review: Spiritualized – Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space (Dedicated)". The Guardian. p. 19. 
  15. ^ a b Hochman, Steve (8 August 1997). "Spiritualized 'Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space' (Dedicated/Arista)". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 October 2015. 
  16. ^ a b Moody, Paul (24 May 1997). "Spiritualized – Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space". NME. Archived from the original on 17 August 2000. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  17. ^ a b Currin, Grayson (2 March 2010). "Spiritualized: Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space [Collector's Edition]". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 22 September 2015. 
  18. ^ Chonin, Neva (7 August 1997). "Spiritualized: Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space". Rolling Stone (766): 60–62. Archived from the original on 19 September 2001. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  19. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. p. 770. ISBN 0-743-20169-8. 
  20. ^ a b Wilkinson, Roy (June 1997). "Spiritualized: Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space". Select (84): 104. 
  21. ^ Adams, Sean (16 March 2009). "Spiritualized to play Ladies and Gentlemen... live in London in Oct". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  22. ^ "Spiritualized: Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space". Melody Maker: 53. 14 June 1997. 
  23. ^ Holland, Taylor (28 August 1997). "Spiritualized: Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (Arista Dedicated)". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 8 August 2009. 
  24. ^ Christgau, Robert (24 February 1998). "The Year of No Next Big Thing". The Village Voice. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  25. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-24560-2. 
  26. ^ Guinness British Hit Singles & Albums 2006 ISBN 1-904994-10-5
  27. ^ "NME Albums of the Year, 1997". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  28. ^ "Select Albums of the Year, 1997". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  29. ^ "Vox Albums of the Year 1997". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  30. ^ "Melody Maker Albums of the Year, 1997". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  31. ^ "The Face Albums of the Year, 1997". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  32. ^ "Uncut Albums of the Year, 1997". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  33. ^ "Q Albums of the Year, 1997". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  34. ^ "The Village Voice Albums of the Year, 1997". rocklistmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2009. 
  35. ^ "Pitchfork Staff List Top 100 Albums of the 1990s". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  36. ^ "125 Best Albums of the Past 25 Years". spin.com. Retrieved 11 April 2010. 
  37. ^ Breihan, Tom (17 March 2009). "Spiritualized to Perform, Reissue Ladies and Gentlemen". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  38. ^ "Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating In Space". ATP Recordings. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  39. ^ Wisdom, James P. "Spiritualized: Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 14 January 2001. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  40. ^ Bychawski, Adam (26 January 2010). "Spiritualized to play 'Ladies And Gentlemen...' at Matt Groening's ATP Festival". NME. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  41. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Spiritualized – Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space". Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  42. ^ "Spiritualized | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  43. ^ "Billboard's Heatseekers Albums Chart". Billboard. 19 July 1997. Retrieved 16 August 2016. 

External links[edit]