04 January 2006

I Can't Help Falling in Love with Ladies & Gentlemen Floating In Space

No, that's not the name of a mash-up. :) In 1996, When Jason Pierce (aka "J. Spaceman") was recording his third, breakthrough album as Spiritualized, he built the title song Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space around a sample from the Elvis song "Can't Help Falling In Love."

Unfortunately, the Presley estate nixed it.

(more in the complete post)

Possibly because they're protective of the copyright, possibly because they don't like druggy-alien-gospel music... who can tell? Pierce reworked the song, still quoting a few of the lyrics, but without the extra layer of sound that the sample provided. I remember reviews at the time saying that the end result was actually better than what he started with, but now after hearing the original, 9 years later... I think I disagree.

Decide for yourself: Here's the album version of "Ladies & Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space"

...and here's the original version. (The sample is most obvious to me at the end, with the choir singing from the original song... you never hear Elvis' voice.)

The original is busier and harder to follow, but the way that choir kind of breaks out at the end... I think that's beyond awesome.

In other Spiritualized (not quite-)news, Stylus Magazine has posted an appreciation of the second (and my second-favorite) Spiritualized album, Pure Phase. This review doesn't mention one bit of trivia I read back when the album came out in '95, which I can't find a reference for but suspect might be true: apparently Pierce had the album's producer mix the whole thing, but when he heard it, was unhappy with the mix, so he did his own mix of the album. That one didn't suit him either, so he tried layering the two mixes over one another, and got the weirdly shifting, "phasing" album that we finally heard.

If anyone can vouch for the truth or fiction of that story, speak up... I don't even remember where I read it.


Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

I have a bad habit of downloading mp3s, then not listening to them until long, long after I've downloaded them and end up forgetting about where I got them or whatnot.

So, anyway, I JUST NOW listened to the original version of "ladies..." and oh man you are SO right about the ending with "Can't Help Falling In Love With You" -- that is absolutely gorgeous.

I'm listening to the album version now, and I like this version of the song part better (for the same reason you mention about it being a bit less lost-in-the-soup-y), but it's sad that it doesn't have the chorus on the outro doing that song. It really, really fit.

Anyway, though, yeah -- thanks for posting these -- this is awesome.

2:38 PM, January 28, 2006  

Post a Comment

<< Home