Telepathic Surgery

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Telepathic Surgery
The Flaming Lips Telepathic Surgery Album front cover.jpg
Studio album by The Flaming Lips
Released January 3, 1989
Recorded 1988 Goodnite Audio, Dallas
Genre Psychedelic rock, alternative rock, experimental rock
Length 38:42
64:37 (CD issue)
61:57 (2 Disc(3 sides) Vinyl issue)
Label Restless/Enigma
Producer Wayne Coyne, Richard English, Michael Ivins
The Flaming Lips chronology
Oh My Gawd!!!
Telepathic Surgery
In a Priest Driven Ambulance
Singles from Telepathic Surgery
  1. "Drug Machine in Heaven"
    Released: February 1989
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[1]

Telepathic Surgery is the third studio album by The Flaming Lips, released in 1989 (see 1989 in music).


Telepathic Surgery began life as a concept album; the band initially set out to create a 30-minute sound collage. The plan was later scrapped; however, the remnants of this original idea are evident within the album's loose, meandering structure and the epic "Hell's Angel's Cracker Factory". The album is named after a line from the Flaming Lips song "Chrome Plated Suicide".[2]

"Chrome Plated Suicide" stands out as one of the group's most accomplished early recordings, possibly due to being based on Guns N' Roses' critically acclaimed "Sweet Child o' Mine".[3] Sub Pop asked the group to record "Drug Machine in Heaven" for their 'single of the month' series. It was retitled as "Drug Machine" and is the group's first official single. The 'A-side' was backed with "Strychnine/What's So Funny (About Peace, Love and Understanding)", a cover of "Strychnine" by The Sonics and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" by Brinsley Schwarz, but based on the Elvis Costello and the Attractions cover version.[4]

Similar to many albums of its time, the CD release of Telepathic Surgery had a track listing differing from its LP release due to the time restraints of a single vinyl LP. Extra tracks on CD versions were "Fryin' Up" and "Hell's Angel's Cracker Factory", which are included in between "Miracle on 42nd Street and "U.F.O. Story".


The album was reissued and remastered as part of the Finally the Punk Rockers Are Taking Acid boxset in 2002, which included the extra tracks from the CD but "Hell's Angels Cracker Factory" was amended to just over three minutes in length.

Telepathic Surgery was reissued in limited quantities in 2005 on blue vinyl. The reissue is on 3 sides and contains the bonus track "Hell's Angels Cracker Factory", a 23-minute song with backward vocals and long guitar solos. The cover depicts promotional photos including the band standing in front of a staged fatal car crash. The inside sleeve contains a story about the early Lips by Michael Ivins, the bassist of the Flaming Lips.

Track listing[edit]

LP track listing
Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Drug Machine in Heaven" 2:11
2. "Right Now" 3:55
3. "Michael, Time to Wake Up" 0:30
4. "Chrome Plated Suicide" 5:39
5. "Hari-Krishna Stomp Wagon (Fuck Led Zeppelin)" 3:54
6. "Miracle on 42nd Street" 2:36
Side B
No. Title Length
7. "U.F.O Story" 6:33
8. "Redneck School of Technology" 2:55
9. "Shaved Gorilla" 2:54
10. "The Spontaneous Combustion of John" 0:52
11. "The Last Drop of Morning Dew" 1:59
12. "Begs and Achin'" 4:17
Side C
No. Title Length
13. "Hell's Angel's Cracker Factory" (Only included on 2005 editions) 23:02
CD track listing



  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Review: Telepathic Surgery - The Flaming Lips". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Official Flaming Lips website. Telepathic Surgery album info. "The Flaming Lips third album for Restless records was based around their desire to create a piece of music which would be a half hour long collage of sound".
  3. ^ [Wayne Coyne. Liner notes of A Collection of Songs Representing an Enthusiasm for Recording...By Amateurs, (1998) Restless Records. "I think someone showed me the chords to "Sweet Child of Mine" by Guns 'N Roses"
  4. ^ [Wayne Coyne. Liner notes of A Collection of Songs Representing an Enthusiasm for Recording...By Amateurs, (1998) Restless Records. "Sub-Pop asked us to do a cover of this Sonics' (they're from Seattle) song for their "single of the month" series and for some reason, which i can't remember now, we fused it with this Elvis Costello cover"