Spiritualized set a course for the sublime on Lazer Guided Melodies

The Spitualized vinyl reissue programme kicks off with 1992's luxurious Lazer Guided Melodies

Spiritualized: Lazer Guided Melodies
(Image: © Fat Possum)

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When Spacemen 3 disintegrated in a hail of heroin and bad blood, Jason Pierce formed Spiritualized as a showcase for his more grandstanding vision. 

In 1992, their debut album Laser Guided Melodies was both an almighty leap forwards and a pointer to even better things. Almost 30 years later, Pierce has curated double-vinyl reissues of Spiritualized’s first four albums. The sound is majestic enough, although a third record of unreleased material might have been a better-value way ahead. 

What’s here, though, in these 12 songs carefully divided into four movements, does make a case for Pierce as a spectacular innovator. 

While never shedding Spacemen 3’s winning way with an uncompromising drone – the gently relentless 200 Bars surges like Tago Mago-era Can – and always plumping for atmosphere over everything, Pierce added ghostly vocals, kitchen-sink production and some subtle but always extraordinary guitar playing, whether acoustic, as on the later stages of You Know It’s True, jaggedly thrusting on If I Were With Her Now, or sublimely delicate on Sway

The gospel influence was still to come, and would culminate five years later on Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, but Pierce’s capacity to create his own luxurious world was already intact.

John Aizlewood

As well as Classic Rock, John Aizlewood currently writes for The Times, The Radio Times, The Sunday Times, The i Newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and Mojo amongst others.  He’s written four books and appears on television quite often. He once sang with Iron Maiden at a football stadium in Brazil: he wasn’t asked back. He’s still not sure whether Enver Hoxha killed Mehmet Shehu…