Never really took much notice of Spacemen 3 when they were still a band. I think that may have been down to the fact that the first thing that I bought was Recurring an album which was really 2 solo mini albums as Pierce and Kember contributed a side each working in isolation. I much preferred the side by Pierce and therefore bought the Spiritualized albums but never really bothered to go back and explore the earlier work the reason for which now escapes me but probably has a lot to do with the 90’s for me, revolving round BPMs and DJs as opposed to rock bands.
My interest in them was reawakened after Pierce’s 3rd album as Spiritualized, Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space* which blew me away when it was first released in 1997 and still sounds as good today as it did then. I decided it was time to delve into the Spaceman’s back catalogue and what riches I found there.
The Velvet Underground are probably the most obvious influences but also there are a lot of pointers in the direction of the Nuggets era American garage rock sound and also a bit of Can in the mix as well. The drug and Jesus references are present as they are with Spiritualized. The sound is wonderful, the pounding drums the feedback and the heavy use of effect pedals one minute and the next the most delicate guitar and fragile voice. It really is music to take drugs to if you are that way inclined but sounds just as good when you are straight.
The original version of the track posted here can be found on the second Spacemen 3 album, The Perfect Prescription. I have posted a version from the live lp Live In Europe and the blistering 12 minute version from the gig at the ABC last October which was absolutely amazing, the quality isn’t brilliant but it’s good enough.
Spacemen 3 – Take Me To The Other Side
Spiritualized – Take Me To The Other Side
* LAGWAFIS will be re released later this month the way it was intended back in 1997 (before the Presley estate took exception to the King’s music being linked with drugs), to celebrate it’s 12th anniversay (?) with another couple of discs containing outtakes and alternate versions.