The Perfect Prescription

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The Perfect Prescription
Spacemen 3 - Perfect Prescription.jpg
Studio album by Spacemen 3
Released September 1987
Recorded at V.H.F. in Rugby
Genre Neo-psychedelia, Garage rock
Length 45:39
Label Glass (original UK release)
Fire (various UK reissues)
Genius Records (original US release)
Taang! (1996 US reissue)
Producer Sonic Boom & Jason
Spacemen 3 chronology
Transparent Radiation
(1986)Transparent Radiation1986
The Perfect Prescription
Alternative cover
1996 re-release.
1996 re-release.
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Drowned in Sound 9/10[2]
PopMatters 10/10[3]
Record Collector 4/5 stars[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4.5/5 stars[5]
Spin Alternative Record Guide 9/10[6]

The Perfect Prescription is the second studio album by Spacemen 3. It is a concept album, "a vision of a drug trip from inception to its blasted conclusion, highs and lows fully intact."[7] The music becomes progressively more orchestral and serene until the high of the trip, represented by "Ecstasy Symphony"/"Transparent Radiation (Flashback)," moving on to the moment of realisation where the high has faded and the comedown ensues, represented by the harsh opening guitar chords in "Things'll Never Be the Same." Coming down is represented in the blues based "Come Down Easy," whilst the potentially fatal effects of an overdose are portrayed in the final track "Call the Doctor." The music was written by the band except "Transparent Radiation" which is a Red Krayola cover from their 1967 album Parable of Arable Land. The band also borrow heavily from the gospel standard "In My Time of Dying," for "Come Down Easy" and pay homage to Lou Reed in "Ode to Street Hassle."

Pitchfork Media listed it at #50 in their list of the greatest albums of the 80s.[8]

Track listing[edit]

Original release (Glass GLALP 026)

All tracks written by Pierce, Sonic Boom, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "Take Me to the Other Side" 4:40
2. "Walkin' with Jesus" 5:03
3. "Ode to Street Hassle" 3:54
4. "Ecstasy Symphony" 1:54
5. "Transparent Radiation (Flashback)" ("Transparent Radiation" Barthelme, Cunningham, Thompson) 9:03
6. "Feel So Good" 5:24
7. "Things'll Never Be the Same" 5:58
8. "Come Down Easy" 6:42
9. "Call the Doctor" 3:45
1989 re-issue (Fire Refire CD6)

Adds b-sides from the "Take Me to the Other Side" single as bonus tracks:

No. Title Length
10. "Soul 1" 5:41
11. "That's Just Fine" 6:50
1995 re-issue (Genius Records CD)

Adds two tracks from the "Walkin' With Jesus" single and the Transparent Radiation EP as bonus tracks:

No. Title Length
9. "Starship" (Pierce, MC5, Kember, Sun Ra) 11:01
10. "Rollercoaster" (Erickson, Hall) 17:01
1996 re-issue (Taang! Records CD)
No. Title Length
9. "Soul 1" 5:41
10. "That's Just Fine" 6:50
11. "Starship" (Pierce, MC5, Kember, Sun Ra) 11:01
12. "Ecstasy" 9:08


Additional Personnel

Liner notes[edit]

The vinyl edition of The Perfect Prescription includes liner notes by author R. Hunter Gibson:

"'The Perfect Prescription' is an album that will be left out of the rock 'n' roll readers, just as the great texts bid Bo Diddley throw down his cloak for the quickstep of Eddie Cochran.
If there has ever been an untrumpeted classic, here it is. An arcane, apocryphal document, this record, in late '80s UK, was telegraphing a message of unconcerned hope in a world hypnotised by guilt-ridden social work rock. Here, more than anywhere, Spacemen 3 have a vested interest in absolutely nothing.
It is revolutionary and militant where most angry young rock is liberal at best. It is extreme and accurate. Like 'Aftermath' it captures every aspect of the age that would later be analysed. As the unassuming soundtrack of a country breaking down and a world breaking up, its very nature means that it has been ignored.
Spacemen 3, like all the great rock 'n' rollers, from Arthur Parker to Paul Gauguin, are revolutionary; this is their great manifesto, striding free from the pharmacy raid of their debut armed with the keys of the musical medicine cabinet. When we left off things would never be the same. But the other side of the locked door, well, it's like the white one in the story.
If 'Sound of Confusion' denied the wider stretches of the sense in favour of the immediately, roughly sensual, this script panned out from some suburban global village Viet vet subculture into a poppyfield undersown with righteous paranoia. And still the smell of burning rubber on trash yankee wheels thickens the air ...
What goes on? Get the answer if you want it."


  1. ^ Raggett, Ned. "The Perfect Prescription – Spacemen 3". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  2. ^ Perry, Tom (9 November 2009). "Album Review: Spacemen 3 – The Perfect Prescription (reissue)". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  3. ^ Mathers, Ian (22 November 2013). "Spacemen 3: Sound of Confusion / The Perfect Prescription / Performance". PopMatters. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  4. ^ Kendall, Matt (December 2009). "Spacemen 3 – The Perfect Prescription". Record Collector (369). Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  5. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Spacemen 3". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 763–64. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  6. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8. 
  7. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Review of The Perfect Prescription". Allmusic. 
  8. ^