1997 was a pretty extensive and good year for album releases, everybody from Björk to Aqua released albums (not all good, I might add) but only a few can stand the test of time.
The mid 90s and the last few years have both had a similar musical compass, seemingly lots of acts are taking influence from the often-psychedelic, oddly-pure musical world of the 1960s, it seems acts like The Beatles, Beach Boys, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix etc. are just as much as an influence today as they were in 1997.
Blur took major influence from acts like the Small Faces while Oasis were fascinated with The Beatles (particularly The White Album), the same 60s influence can be said for Spiritualized‘s 1997 masterpiece Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, however influences are hard to define.
It’s not often an album comes around that is a complete package but Ladies and Gentlemen… is just that, from artwork to sounds. It’s a living breathing drug, sliding through your ears and numbing every pain and lifting every sense, it’s an unknown euphoric experience.
Disobeying their usual sound, the often-repetitive drone ridden songs that made them known, Spiritualized decided to reclaim their stake, breeding in sounds of rock, R&B and of course, their baking powder of choice: psychedelia.
It’s a bold attempt, throwing influence from genres such as blues, jazz and gospel to their already layered pot.
It’s a majestic, electric and well throught-out record. Containing songs, most notably “Come Together”, “Electricity”, “I Think I’m In Love”, “No God, Only Religion” and closer “Cop Shoot Cop”, that will and have stood the test of time.
It’s as fresh and unique today as it was by 1997’s standards and by all means should still be celebrated.