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on 13 November 2006
As a result of Bevis and Butthead - and a bizarre appearance on Beverly Hills 90210 - Transmissions from the Satellite Heart became the album that finally brought The Flaming Lips to the attention of the record buying public at large. Their previous album, 1991's brilliant Hit to Death in the Future Head had set a template for the music featured herein, but now, we had the addition of experimental guitarist Ronald Jones and their soon-to-become creative lynchpin Steven Drozd replacing Jonathan Donahue and Nathan Roberts respectively, to further the evolution of The Lips from an acid-tinged slacker act, into something closer to alternative rock. As a result, Transmissions remains an important component in the band's eventual evolution; leading on from Hit to Death towards the pop brilliance of 1995's masterwork Clouds Taste Metallic, and their critically acclaimed 1999 opus, The Soft Bulletin.

The standout tracks include the opening burst of nonsensical pop, Turn it On, a song to rank alongside previous opening highlights like Shine On Sweet Jesus from In a Priest Driven Ambulance and Talkin' Bout the Smiling Deathporn Immortality Blues (Everyone Wants to Live Forever) from Hit to Death. The song is indicative of the overall style of the album as a whole, with the pop smarts of Drozd enlivening the creative juices of the Lips iconic front man Wayne Coyne - who once again offers his abstract and occasionally disturbed ruminations on the world with songs like Pilot Can at the Queer of God and Oh My Pregnant Head - as Jones adds all manner of bizarre guitar effects that complement the simple melodies lurking beneath. We also have the great rhythm section of Michael Ivins on bass and Drozd on drums, who, as a creative unit, really push these songs forward towards those great big crashing choruses.

Much of the album is, for me, unbridled genius, like pretty much everything that The Lips were producing during this period of their existence (which found them perfectly straddled between the clumsy, lo-fi psyche-rock sound of early works like Oh My Gawd! and Telepathic Surgery, and the elaborate, carefully composed and performed symphonic pop of The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots). Songs like Turn it On, Pilot Can at the Queer of God, Superhumans and Be My Head fit perfectly alongside previous tracks like Halloween on the Barbary Coast and Frogs as easily as they would with subsequent tracks like Kim's Watermellon Gun and Christmas at the Zoo. Alongside these, we also have the key-single, She Don't Use Jelly, the song that helped the Lips breakthrough to the mainstream (being shown on the aforementioned Bevis and Butthead), as well as standing as one of the most iconic alternative-rock anthems of the last decade. The lead guitar riff from Jones is immediately recognisable, whilst Coyne's lyrics about guys blowing their noses on magazines and folk with tangerine hair (Coyne famously sporting a bright orange dye-job himself around this same period) always bring a smile to the owner of these aurally excited ears.

Other tracks, like the more acoustic Chewing the Apple of Your Eye and their cover of the 'Cool Hand Luke' track Plastic Jesus are perhaps less immediate, though on the whole, work well within the context of the actual record; showing a more restrained side of the band, while also pointing back to acoustic numbers like Raining Babies, Stand in Line and You Have to be Joking. The only song that grates on me slightly is When Yer Twenty Two, but this is more to do with personal taste than anything else. At any rate, it doesn't deter from the album as a whole.

Transmissions from the Satellite Heart is a fine album, standing as one of the highpoints of the middle-period of The Lips' career (a magical time when they were just beginning to find their feet - creatively speaking - with a collection of new collaborators, as well as discovering a new sound that fused pop hooks and deft musicianship, with the usual idiosyncrasies that the band had always thrived on). The last song combines elements that are both loud and dissonant, with softer passages of pure pop, suggesting some sort of imaginary collaboration between The Beach Boys and the Pixies. Regardless, it works well within the structure of the album, brining things to a close, whilst simultaneously, urging us to move beyond this to the next album... my personal favourite, Clouds Taste Metallic. Transmissions from the Satellite Heart is a great introduction to The Flaming Lips from a time when they were less polished and more interesting. The whole period, from Hit to Death in the Future Head to The Soft Bulletin is essential listening, and proof that The Lips were one of they key alternative bands of the 1990's.
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on 1 March 2007
whereas, later on in their career with the soft bulletin and yoshimi, the flaming lips create groundbreaking masterpieces,this is an ear breaking masterpiece! The lips create an awsome and bombastic sound, full of bizzare and wonderful noises. each song on here is lighthearted and fun, even towards the end of the album, with the apocolyptic 'when yer twenty two' and 'slow nerve action' still underpinned by a strange sense of deviousness! sort of like denis the menace with a rocket launcher. however this album has its sweet and sentimental moments, 'be my head' still remains as one of my favourite ever love songs, though im sure its about lsd or something. pilot can at the queer of god is genius, and of course, 'she dont use jelly' still makes me want to cover my face in marmite and eat snails.

this album is the flaming lips at their most lighthearted, fun and noisiest. (great areoplane music!) this album feels like the best summer you could never remember, because you ate too much jahjoo fruit, or something like that.

i adore this record.
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on 28 April 2015
Along the same lines as the previous year's Hit To Death In The Future Head but without all the extra instrumentation. Oh, and better songs! Their big US hit She Don't Use Jelly is on here and is a fairly good indication of what to expect. They never sounded as happy and upbeat as they did in this era and songs such as the chirpy opener Turn It On, the gorgeous love rocker Be My Head and Moth In The Incubator with it's amazing uplifting coda demonstrate this. It's also guitarist Ronald Jones' debut and the otherworldly sounds he gets from his instrument were the group's biggest asset at this time, and in my opinion they were never as good after he left (bar The Soft Bulletin). File under Essential Lips.
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on 9 December 2001
This is perhaps one of the flaming lips' best works. Although rawer and less produced than the soft buletin, it is no means inferior. What you have here is a wonderful collection of inventive, raw, powerful and hilarious songs. Every song is a stand-out moment, although she don't use jelly is perhaps the best, based around a totally infectious riff and containing some of the most humorous lips lyrics. Go buy this album! its also a great album to get high to...
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on 20 August 2003
This album is a real grower. With each extra listen, the songs that at first seemed weaker reveal themselves as great. 'She Don't Use jelly' is by no means the highlight.
In the Lips canon, this is probably not the album to start off with, but fans of their other stuff will find a lot to appreciate here. The highlight is album closer 'Slow Nerve Action', a gloriously frazzled guitar line making way for the quietly melodic verse, which seems like listening to the music of space. It is one of the best songs ever, put simply.
It is also hard to begrudge a small affection for 'Chewing The Apple of Your Eye', its slight nature recalling great moments like the final track on 'The Velvet Underground'.
This is hwat American 'alternative' guitar badns are all about; experimentation that never gets in the way of melody and a sense of fun. The Lips are one of the great bands of the last ten years. Buy this album.
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on 2 March 2012
This album is all you will ever need as a troubled teenager. It's that desert island album that makes you forget about everything and listen to it from start to end, and wonder why you stress about your life so much. Life is great! Just listen to the nasal fey voice of front man Wayne Coyne; he sure knows how to have a great time.

Coyne has a knack for writing infectious melodies alongside painful guitar distortion and feedback. This is also coupled with Beach Boys style harmonies. How does that work, you ask? Don't know, but it simply does. The songs themselves are extremely memorable, yet have some of the strangest titles I've ever read: "Pilot con at the Queer of God", "Oh My Pregnant Head", "Chewing the Apple of Your Eye"...

Don't let their weirdness put you off though. The Flaming Lips have created a classic with this album, and it's guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
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on 2 March 2013
I'd heard of the Flaming Lips and had a few of their albums but didn't realise they'd done so many albums! Heard 'she don't use jelly' on Radio 6, looked into who it was, and it was them! they're probably not as good on this as they are now, but 'she don't use jelly' is one of the best nineties songs i can think of, and this is just a good solid album all the way through
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on 8 November 2000
A little problem with the album just before, was the lack of different sounds and variety. This, following 'Hit to Death in the Future Head',has a wonderful supply of different styles and ideas and even weirder lyrics to match this outstanding musical 'noise'.
Highlights to this album (in my opinion) has to be the tracks; 'She don't use Jelly' and 'Moth in the Incubator' To round it up, it's just hard-hitting popular sounding rock that twists in the middle, beginning and end. Lots of variation, lot's of excellence.
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on 6 March 2013
another good album from the flaming lips why buy new when you get this quality used and you can find some that are otherwise hard to find thanks
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on 7 September 2016
Quality album. Quality format. Quality. Buy it.
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