OH MY GAWD!!!... THE FLAMING LIPS (1987)
To be clear, that is the exact album title, complete with excessive punctuation, and the name of the band crammed in in a way that actually doesn’t make any grammatical sense. Such is life in the weird world of the Lips.
So the big selling point here is that this album opens with the best 2 tracks of their pre-Priest Driven Ambulance career in my humble opinion. First up – “Everything’s Explodin’” a crazily amped up, super fun song that makes you want to drive around, pounding the drums on your steering wheel and singing alone at full volume. These are the times I miss having a car. They follow that up with “One Million Billionth of a Millisecond on a Sunday Morning”, Oh My Gawd’s allotted 9 minute space jam. As I mentioned last time, I think this is the best they ever do this sort of thing. It’s got some great spacey-ness to start with occasional weird bursts of noise until an absolutely epic build up for the end that leads into full on awesome rocking before dropping back out into the ether. There’s also a live version as a bonus track on this set, which shows how insane their early live shows were. For those who may not know the story, they used to have a part in their shows where they would cover a cymbal with lighter fluid, light it on fire, and then bash it constantly throughout the song, causing flames to shoot off. They eventually nearly burned down a club and decided to stop doing that, but apparently it was this act that got them signed to Warner Bros.
Anyway, here’s a fan made video for Everything’s Explodin’. I strongly urge you to watch this video as it is just… bizarre. It’s sort of the ultimate YouTube video, and leaves me completely baffled.
And here’s a live version of One Million… from 94. Not the best quality ever, but cool to hear it live from the classic line up, and a great visual reminder that these guys were kind of scary in their intensity sometimes. Man, how great would it be for them to just drop this in the midst of one of their crowd pleasing “Yeah for puppets and confetti!” Bonaroo sets.
After those two tracks, the album takes a little drop in quality. Most of the middle chunk is solid but unremarkable songs that sound similar to Here It Is. But the end picks it back up with “Love Yer Brain”, which provides a rare second acid jam on one album. This is a fine album closer, though not as grandiose as Here It Is, but it does have a great opening line of “Sometimes I don’t know what to think…” pause, pause, pause “…about the world”. I remember once discussing with Q that in many ways this is the quintessential Lips moment. Wayne tells you he has a concern. He pauses, leading you to wonder what comes next – what is it that concerns him? The answer: the entire world, of course. And somehow, that makes perfect sense.