Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars back in black, 2 Dec 2009
This review is from: Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space (Audio CD)
Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space...

Released in the same year as Be Here Now by Oasis, Ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space preceded the Oasis album by two months. It also towers over it by the height of a few giants' shoulders.

Is this a concept album? No, of course it's not. It tells a story, and a raw one at that: "Love in the middle of the afternoon/ just me, my spike and my arm and my spoon". Scenes are set with acuity of artistic vision, and this reissue - with its multiple versions of the album's songs - shows just how well characterised the whole story is.

So, a raw/ human/ humble story told. Not in a Mike Leigh/ dubstep way, though. The eternal ****ing fail of social realism is that it can only look at surfaces: it can't by its nature look at the human soul, only behavioural manifestations of the effect of the class system on the psyche. Social realism is about tobacco tins and funny walks and feeling superior to ginger people and wallpaper.

For me, the track that ties all this together is The Individual - it's a howl of pain, and it's not an easy listen - but you're right there with the protagonist emotionally - not judging the carpet or laughing at the the walk or the make of the VHS player.

Genius is layered upon genius when Broken Heart starts up - the contrast is immediate, opiated: wound up-ness followed by the same view from a calm place. And then ... No God Only Religion - Jesus, this track is amazing. The jangle of church bells and unanswered telephones that rang all night, incommunicado.

Does the story have a happy ending? Cop Shoot Cop is mediumistic beyond the grave stuff. Maybe yes, maybe no. But it's not social realism, so for me it's a yes.

This reissue is overpackaged - it's like the original presented as Sobranie Black Russians, when a Euro Shopper 35p baked beans tin would have done just as well. The extra tracks - over two hours' worth - are a magnetic listen.

Great, great music.
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