Monday’s Long Song

This song isn’t particularly long, not by the standards of some songs in this series, but it feels long- and not in a bad way. In 2008 Goldfrapp released a second single, Happiness, from their Seventh Tree album. J Spaceman’s remix/version came out on the CD #2 (back when record companies got you to buy two CD singles by spreading the remixes and B-sides out). There is a very good Beyond The Wizards Sleeve Re-Animation too, a very 60s European sounding re-working, boulevards and the Champs Elysee, but the Goldfrapp v Spiritualized song, Monster Love, is something else. Strings, drone, bells, a lazy tambourine, a wheezy organ and Jason’s numbed out vocal just drifting, sighing ‘everything comes around’, repetition and seemingly endless. It’s only five and a half minutes long but feels like an eternity.

Monster Love

Come On Take Me For A Ride

In 1987 Spacemen 3 released their second album, The Perfect Prescription, an album where the sequence of the songs and the music the group recorded attempt to recreate a trip, highs and lows and inception to comedown. It paid homage to Lou Reed’s Street Hassle and covered the Red Krayola’s Transcendental Radiation. The album is, like all of Spacemen 3’s records, a manifesto and the inner worlds of Sonic Boom and J Spaceman expressed on tape. Later on in 2003 an alternate version of The Perfect Prescription was released, a double CD called Forged Prescription. This was the original tracks as recorded by the group in Rugby in 1987 plus some demo versions. Pete and Jason had streamlined the songs for the album’s 1987 release, removing a lot of the guitars and stripping them back, because there was no way to replicate them live and it seemed to make sense to put out an album that they could play live. Some S3 fans will tell you the more elaborate versions on Forged Prescriptions are superior to the Perfect Prescription ones. Some prefer the ’87 songs and the ’87 running order. I’m not sure it matters that much, they’re all great, just variations of each other. One thing both the Forged Prescription album and the various re-issues of The Perfect Prescription have in common are the B-sides to the Take Me To The Other Side single, including this one…

Soul 1 

A combination of mid- 60s Rolling Stones, psychedelic guitar parts, bent strings, horns (sax and trumpet) and the beatific mindset of Spacemen 3 playing in a a recording studio box with no windows in an industrial estate in Rugby during the summer of 1987. Gorgeous. This song, the opener on The Perfect Prescription and the beginning of the trip, appears on Forged Prescriptions in demo form and shows the twin guitars of Sonic/Pete Kember and Jason preparing for blast off.

Take Me To The Other Side (Forged Prescriptions demo)

Forged Prescriptions and all the re-issues in recent years of Spacemen 3’s albums on vinyl, plus various albums of demos, early recordings and live albums, have appeared on Space Age Recordings, a label owned by their former manager Gerald Palmer. The former members of the band, Pete, Jason and original bassist Pete Bassman have all said in public that Palmer has been ripping them off for years, releasing records without their input, paying little or no royalties, stealing their copyrights (logos etc) and asked fans not to buy the re- issues. Palmer (obviously) denies it all. One of those situations that leaves fans with moral dilemmas. I suppose for physical product on Space Age buy it second hand if you can. Forged Prescriptions is an album that I’m sure you can find digitally for free if you look around some of the corners of the internet for a few minutes.

Dr And Spaceman

Dr John, the Night Tripper, released Gris Gris back in 1968, still the spookiest New Orleans, gumbo voodoo rock album ever. Not rock music at all really, more a bad but funky r’n’b trip. Walk On Gilded Splinters is in a field of it’s own. He’s got a new album out called Locked Down, recorded with The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, which I haven’t got but am tempted by come payday. Which is today. Hurrah!

This song Gris Gris was given away on an NME cd in the late 90s, remixed by another psychedelic explorer J Spaceman of Spiritualized (who also have a new album out, which I don’t have but am tempted by). I’m sure I’ve got the cd somewhere but couldn’t find it. I found the remix at ireallylikemusic and I hope the original poster doesn’t mind me re-presenting it.

Gris Gris (J Spaceman Mix)