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The Soft Bulletin (180g) [VINYL]

The Flaming Lips Vinyl
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Product Features

  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging

Product details

  • Vinyl (18 Aug 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Label: Warner
  • ASIN: B001VA1ASO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 377,277 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

BBC Review

Glastonbury Festival, in the summer of 2000. It is, predictably enough, wet. And Saturday’s Pyramid Stage headliners could well be described similarly. Travis have had an amazing 12 months, their second studio album The Man Who earning the Scottish outfit the Best Album and Best Newcomers awards at the Brits in March. The crowd for them goes back, back, and back some more, fires flickering up the hillside. But this is something I only witness in passing, as another band has had an equally brilliant year.

The Flaming Lips, Oklahoma oddballs responsible for the four-discs-at-once headache of 1997’s Zaireeka, have crossed into the mainstream courtesy of The Soft Bulletin, NME’s album of 1999. Experimentation has been tempered; the group’s out-there tendencies reined right in for a collection that sings with the same warmth and composure that characterised The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. It’s proggy, it’s rocky – but it’s not prog-rock, really; nothing that the average man on the street can’t lean an ear towards and be immediately rewarded. Seventeen years and nine albums since their formation, The Flaming Lips are headlining at Glastonbury, playing to a packed tent.

That stage, after 17 years: the New Bands tent. On paper, it makes no sense. In the presence of Wayne Coyne and company, with hand puppets in place of crowd-surfing bubbles and multiple dancers dressed up as aliens, everything’s exactly as it should be though. Race for the Prize and Waitin’ for a Superman – these are anthems built for mass celebration, and while the crowd isn’t wholly won over yet, fast-forward a few years and the reverence for these tracks is clear wherever The Flaming Lips pitch up with their travelling freak(ishly brilliant) show.

Ultimately, this record paved the way not only for The Flaming Lips to enjoy commercial success far beyond their homes, but also opened the doors for younger acts with a spirit of adventure in their blood to breach the pop charts. Just as previous releases had influenced the likes of Grandaddy and Mercury Rev, The Soft Bulletin and its successor Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots have informed acts including MGMT and Empire of the Sun. This is an album of its time, sure – but one with a reach that continues to feel its way around the modern musical landscape. Those thousands singing along to Why Does It Always Rain on Me?, in the drizzle, are probably kicking themselves over a decade on that they missed the opportunity to be at what was, in hindsight, Ground Zero for The Flaming Lips’ evergreen appeal.

--Mike Diver

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing stuff! 1 Dec 2006
Format:Audio CD
Having read some of the bad reviews her, I thought I had to add a comment.

The Soft Bulletin, quite simply is a superb collection of songs and music. If it's not your 'cup of tea' then by all means say so, but that does not make it bad.

This album is absolutely full of emotion, and every song is honest. It's not 'bubblegum' it's genuine. I have heard peopl compare this to the Beach Boys 'Pet Sounds', and yes this is pushing a 3 piece to the limit, and often beyond. But thankfully the Flaming lips regard the album as the priority and not if you can play it live. Their live shows are amazing but the albums are even better!

This album is for me the closest I have found to perfection. I can listen to it over and over again. 'Feeling yourself disintergrate' is simply amazing, whilst 'The Gash' made the hairs on my neck stand on end.

Fully reccomended, but give it a few listens!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LAST GREAT ALBUM OF THE 20th CENTURY 26 Oct 2003
By D. Hale
Format:Audio CD
Beautiful, fantastic, playful, like nothing on Earth. I Love The Flaming Lips, these Oklohoman oddballs have entered my heart like an everlasting love kissing me with their crazy, space music contemplating love, death, boredom, war, loss, sadness, beauty and most other things like a Dark Side Of The Moon for the generation of the microscooter, Hello Kitty backpacks and grunge, but no jazzy progisms just beautiful chiming guitars, weird time changes, buzzing noise and the weirdly wonderful words of my king WAYNE COYNE! It would sound eccentric (which I am) to explain but if you like Welsh crazymen Super Furry Animals buy in faith but still nothing sounds like this. I saw them on the 24th October, it was the best 1hr 30mins of my life- like the coming of the year 2000 but you were intoxicated by the beautiful sound, all the Soft Bulletin's symphonic swells, piano bursts, great guitars frying space sound great. THIS LP IS LIFE CHANGING! Also Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots is similarly fantastic, this is a message beamed from a planet of geometric clouds, bees kissing and hymns for mathematicans and if you're smart you'll buy a rocket and blast off now.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just amazing................... 29 Aug 2006
Format:Audio CD
This has got to be one of the best albums of the ninties, top three for sure. 'Feeling Yourself Disintergrate' is one of the most life affirming songs about death ever. No excuse not to pick this up with Clouds Taste Metallic as both are pretty cheap to get nowadays.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars COSMIC GENIUS! 20 Aug 2006
By Samedi
Format:Audio CD
What a great Kaliedoscope of sound this is! We expect this from these guys anyway but for me, this record really goes above and beyond the call of duty. With the Flaming Lips, I actually begin by more or less disliking each record; they are not the most instant of bands (unless you happen to be seeing them live in which case you will already be converted!) but persistence really pays of and, much like their friends Mercury Rev, they make albums with great longevity. This is an album you can make friends with!

If you are interested in listening to something a little further out into space than traditional guitar/bass/drums then give these guys a go: the quality of ideas here is most impressive. However, it is the bravery of emotion that will zero in on your heart and take it over. What a great album, what a GREAT band.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
As a witness to their 2000 Glastonbury performance - complete with fake blood, hand puppets and video projections of the Teletubbies - I can pay testimony to how great the Flaming Lips are. But unlike many choreographed boy-band facsimiles, their live performance doesn't belie poor music. In fact, The Soft Bulletin is a psychedelic marvel, blending together the best bits of Captain Beefheart and the Beach Boys. It's an album that works on its own internal logic, as demonstrated on the epic opener Race For The Prize, which places two scientists' raison d'etres' as "theirs is to win, if it kills them". Other highlights include the tender Waitin' For A Superman, What Is The Light?, and the cosmic A Spoonful Weighs A Ton, a song only improved upon when heard in sync with Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, La-La and Po. Lead singer Wayne Coyne isn't the greatest vocalist in the world, but his high-pitched warble somehow works, just as the use of theramin and dinner gongs work in their live shows. Buy this album now: it'll take your mind to another dimension.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch these Lips 21 Jun 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The spirit of prog rock lives on with The Flaming Lips. From unwieldy titles ('Psychiatric Explorations of the Fetus with Needles' from 'Clouds Taste Metallic')to their four CD set, 'Zaireeka', which was intended to be played simultaneously on four stereos, their ideas have been grand or over-indulgent. Fortunately, 'The Soft Bulletin' lacks 20 minute guitar solos (in fact, guitars have a low key role) but it is a concept album of sorts.Ostensibly the songs are about science, maths and space but on another level it continues Wayne Coyne's focus on the big themes: life, love and death.
Coyne's voice could easily be dismissed as whining, nasal and irritating but it has a teetering-on-the-edge quality matched only by Daniel Johnston; it is significant that the two instrumentals ('The Observer' and 'Sleeping on the Roof') are the driest and least satisfying tracks on 'The Soft Bulletin'. While it lacks the continual full-blast pop dynamics of 'Clouds Taste Metallic', Dave Fridmann's organised production provides compensations. The break for a solitary guitar and restrained orchestral sounds in 'Suddenly Everything Has Changed' and the abrupt shift during 'The Spark That Bled' heighten the impact of these songs. In contrast, 'The Gash', with choral effects on the vocals and thundering piano, falls prey to bombast.
'Feeling Yourself Disintegrate' survives a marching rhythm to convey the title's emotional state. 'Race for the Prize', about scientists searching for a cure but with an emphasis on their ordinary human qualities, and 'Waitin' for a Superman' are amongst their most immediate pop songs. While The Flaming Lips have not discovered a cure for cancer or communicated with aliens, they are producing music beyond the aspirations of ordinary mortals.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Great album, bad re-issue.
I love this album, and was really looking forward to getting it on vinyl. First off, the records don't fit in to the original sleeves, because they are too small, so there are... Read more
Published 2 months ago by cruzley
4.0 out of 5 stars Timeless
The Flaming Lips seem to be as current now as in 1999 when this album was released. Play and listen, this is not background music!
Published 13 months ago by Orville
5.0 out of 5 stars The softest bullet....
Considering how long The Flaming Lips have been making records and how many albums they've made, I would consider this album the starting point for those who have discovered their... Read more
Published on 5 Feb 2012 by DPVC
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible album, had it for years and still listen to it.
I don't know how to review music at all so I'll keep this fairly brief. The Soft Bulletin is a classic album already; songs about everyday life are given an almost magical feeling... Read more
Published on 30 Sep 2011 by jambox
5.0 out of 5 stars Shoegaze Cover-Wuthering Heights
The Flaming Lips will play it again live in London in July; the best Album in resort for Millions... I would say; it`s not America, not USA orientated. Read more
Published on 20 May 2011 by Stefan Prediger
4.0 out of 5 stars something to cheer up your day
Not a big fan of the Flaming Lips and only own a couple of albums this one and Yoshimi battles the Pink Robots which is better than this CD. Read more
Published on 1 May 2010 by Stephen
5.0 out of 5 stars A reissue worth buying?
The Soft Bulletin remains one of my favourite Flaming Lips albums, despite me struggling with it to start with, and there's enough been said and written about it already that I... Read more
Published on 17 Oct 2009 by Sean Gibbins
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Flaming Lips album...even better
If you are looking to buy this record, this is the package to get.
Just by dint of being crammed with extras, plus the album in full, this has to qualify as the definitive... Read more
Published on 27 Jun 2009 by Mr. Bj Chambers
5.0 out of 5 stars Fearless freaks
The crazed genius of the Lips comes to full flower on the sonically massive and majestic 'The Soft Bulletin'. Read more
Published on 12 Jun 2008 by Billy Ray Cyrus
5.0 out of 5 stars oh yes
unlike anything ever.best album of the 90's by streets and miles.amazing depth of emotion,genius musicianship and writing.go buy it now
Published on 30 Aug 2007 by S. fraser
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