The Complete Version Of Spiritualized’s “Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space” Out This Morning

As this is being written, all 47 — or maybe it’s 147 — tracks of the superdeluxecollectorsfabulous edition of Spritualized’s Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space — one of the greatest albums of the past quarter century — is downloading from the iTunes Store.

For the most part, it’s hard to care about the complete sessions of anything.  When the Beatles Anthology was released a decade back, we were sort of relieved to find how few were the half-baked takes of songs remaining.  The good stuff, it turns out, made it to the light of day, and we didn’t really gain too much rooting around in the attic.   With the exception of Bob Dylan, there aren’t many artists whose demo tracks we really want to listen to.  I mean, the three CD version of The Stooges’ Fun House was not played in our house.

But Ladies And Gentlemen was a work so profound and unexpected, the idea of being able to float around in the gory maw of its creation is inspiring.  When Spaceman 3 morphed into Spiritualized, and Jason Pierce — an artist who is at his most interesting precisely when his reach exceeded his grasp — was given full reign to explore, the results were, momentarily, thrilling.  We are not completists; we don’t have to listen to the entire Pierce oeuvre.  There is a fair amount of non-melodious noodling in the rest of Spiritualized’s corpus.

But not Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space. It does float through space, and takes us with it, as comets whiz by and dramatically bounce off one another.  Glad this artifact was brought back from the nether reaches.

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