Lazer Guided Melodies

Lazer Guided Melodies is the debut studio album by English space rock band Spiritualized. The album was recorded by the inaugural line up of the band, consisting of Jason Pierce (vocals, guitars), Mark Refoy (guitars), Will Carruthers (bass), Jonny Mattock (drums) and Kate Radley (keyboards) from 1990 to 1991, and mixed by Pierce in London in January 1992. The album was first released on Dedicated Records in March 1992, on cassette, Compact Disc and Vinyl (2 x LP, with initial copies containing an additional free 7").

Lazer Guided Melodies
Spiritualized - Lazer Guided Melodies.png
Studio album by
Released30 March 1992
RecordedNovember 1990 – July 1991
Studio
Genre
Length61:17
LabelDedicated
ProducerJason Pierce, Barry Clempson
Spiritualized chronology
Lazer Guided Melodies
(1992)
Fucked Up Inside
(1993)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[1]
Los Angeles Times[2]
Mojo[3]
NME9/10[4]
Pitchfork9.0/10[5]
Q[6]
Record Collector[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[8]
Select4/5[9]
Uncut9/10[10]

Initially released on two 45rpm vinyl LPs, the album's twelve songs are segued together into four colour-coded (red, green, blue, black), cross-faded suites. As such, the album was included in Pitchfork's 2010 list of "ten unusual CD-era gimmicks".[11]

By 1995, the album had sold 10,000 copies in the United States.[12]

BackgroundEdit

Lazer Guided Melodies is unique in Jason Pierce's oeuvre as it simultaneously explores motorik, minimalist music, and space rock while subtly using "meticulously detailed, layered instrumentation, the sumptuous deployment of horns and strings" to create cinematic, textured, and deeply narcotic soundscapes.[4] Pierce reported that the album cost £3800 to produce.

Critic Simon Reynolds wrote in his Melody Maker review of the album:

Spiritualized's music quivers with Apollonian attributes – airiness, fleetness, radiance, serenity ... At times, Spiritualized recall the Kraut version of freeway rock known as motorik, in particular Neu ..."Run" is all about the exhilaration of cutting loose, of goalless propulsion ... "If I Were with Her Now" is throbbing motorik too ... swathed by scintillating guitar chimes like the world whooshing by ... Along with motion, Spiritualized's other consummate metaphor for release is ascension. "Step into the Breeze" makes me think of a Wiltshire water meadow or somesuch pastoral bower of bliss ... "Symphony Space" [is] an amorphous flux of orchestral resonances that hover and ache, swim and brim, for a small eternity. The sound of heaven ... At times, Spiritualized are making 21st century gospel.[13]

LegacyEdit

Lazer Guided Melodies was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[14] In 2018, Pitchfork ranked the album at number 11 on its list of "The 30 Best Dream Pop Albums".[15]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Jason Pierce, except where noted.

Lazer Guided Melodies track listing
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."You Know It's True" 3:39
2."If I Were with Her Now" 5:44
3."I Want You" 3:47
4."Run"3:51
5."Smiles" 2:14
6."Step into the Breeze" 2:43
7."Symphony Space" 5:54
8."Take Your Time" 6:52
9."Shine a Light" 7:15
10."Angel Sigh" 5:46
11."Sway"6:53
12."200 Bars" 6:15
Total length:61:17

On the LP edition, tracks 1–3 are the "Red" section, tracks 4–7 are the "Green" section, tracks 8–9 are the "Blue" section, and tracks 10–12 are the "Black" section. Track 4, "Run", contains elements of "Call Me the Breeze" by J. J. Cale and "Run Run Run" by The Velvet Underground.

PersonnelEdit

Credits adapted from liner notes.[16]

ChartsEdit

1992 chart performance for Lazer Guided Melodies
Chart (1992) Peak
position
UK Albums (OCC)[17] 27
2021 chart performance for Lazer Guided Melodies
Chart (2021) Peak
position
Scottish Albums (OCC)[18] 7
Swedish Physical Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[19] 18
UK Independent Albums (OCC)[20] 5

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Phares, Heather. "Lazer Guided Melodies – Spiritualized". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  2. ^ Hochman, Steve (12 July 1992). "Spiritualized, 'Lazer Guided Melodies,' RCA". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  3. ^ Mulvey, John (June 2021). "Phasers to stun". Mojo. No. 331. p. 92.
  4. ^ a b Mulvey, John (28 March 1992). "Spiritualized – Lazer Guided Melodies". NME. Archived from the original on 17 August 2000. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  5. ^ Cardew, Ben (26 April 2021). "Spiritualized: Lazer Guided Melodies". Pitchfork. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  6. ^ "Spiritualized: Lazer Guided Melodies". Q. No. 364. October 2016. p. 115.
  7. ^ Staunton, Terry (June 2021). "Spiritualized | Lazer Guided Melodies". Record Collector. No. 519. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  8. ^ Stewart, Allison (2004). "Spiritualized". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 769–70. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  9. ^ Linehan, Graham (May 1992). "Love Bombing". Select. No. 23. p. 72.
  10. ^ Bonner, Michael (June 2021). "Spiritualized: Lazer Guided Melodies". Uncut. No. 289. p. 46.
  11. ^ "A Feature About Nothing: The 1990s in Lists". Pitchfork. 7 September 2010. p. 2. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  12. ^ Sprague, David (18 February 1995). "U.K.'s Spiritualized Get 'Pure' for 2nd Set". Billboard. Vol. 107, no. 7. p. 13. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  13. ^ Reynolds, Simon (21 March 1992). "The 'Ized of March". Melody Maker.
  14. ^ Stanley, Rod (2010). "Spiritualized: Lazer Guided Melodies". In Dimery, Robert (ed.). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (revised and updated ed.). Universe Publishing. p. 692. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2.
  15. ^ "The 30 Best Dream Pop Albums". Pitchfork. 16 April 2018. p. 2. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  16. ^ Lazer Guided Melodies (liner notes). Spiritualized. Dedicated Records. 1992. DEDCD 004.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  17. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  18. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  19. ^ "Veckolista Album Fysiskt, vecka 17" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  20. ^ "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 May 2021.