Good things come in 12 inch packages. Delivering limited edition pressings of new and classic albums directly to your doorstep, Vinyl Me, Please operates under a simple philosophy: The Album Lives! With a carefully curated catalog of new and hard to find releases, the subscription service is more than just a record club, it’s a lifestyle choice for folks who wish Record Store Day could happen every month … in their living room.
Here’s how it works. You send Vinyl Me, Please some of your hard-earned money (a 3-month membership will set you back a mere $119) and they send you one carefully selected album they feel is Essential to any record collection. Yes, it really is as easy as it sounds. You even get FREE SHIPPING. Each custom pressing (often on colored wax!) also comes with killer extras like original artwork, informative booklets, or even a recipe for a companion cocktail.
You’ll have membership privileges in the VMP store too, which means you can grab a copy of previous VMP selections from the archives – including August’s smoking hot reissue of Buena Vista Social Club’s iconic, self-titled debut – not to mention a slate of super-limited releases pressed exclusively for Vinyl Me, Please. The store is open, and Team VMP are dropping fresh new selections to their stock every single week. Do not miss out.
Word to the wise, while the store is open to the public, most of the more covet-worthy stock is only available to subscribers. Members are privy to reduced “Members Pricing” as well, so joining the club definitely has its rewards. If you’re peckish about relinquishing control of your record collection to complete strangers, know that VMP’s Swaps Program is in full effect. That means you can flip any VMP pick you’re not interested in for a past AOM (including Classics and Rap/Hip Hop selections) that’s a little more your speed. My advice? Don’t overthink it. Do yourself a favor and sign up today.
As for what’s on tap for September, VMP’s first ever Jason Pierce approved reissue of Spiritualized’s immaculate, psychedelic space opera Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space is here to cure what ails ya.
For The Love Of Music, Please DO NOT BEND
If you don’t know who Jason Pierce is, it might be because you know him a little better as J Spaceman. And if you don’t know that name either, I’ll go ahead and tell you he’s the musical mastermind behind seminal ’80s lo-fi psych outfit Spacemen 3. And yes, he’s also been the main creative force behind Spiritualized for the better part of the past three decades. Over that period Pierce has dedicated his entire being to stuffing every Spiritualized album with as many melodic psych nuggets as he’s been able to conjure.
For the most part, Pierce has been absurdly adept at doing just that, to date crafting eight albums (and counting) of meticulously orchestrated space rock fit for interstellar vistas as yet undiscovered. After releasing a pair of immaculately produced albums under the Spiritualized moniker (1992’s Lazer Guided Melodies and 1995’s Pure Phase), Pierce began putting together the tracklist for his band’s third release just as Pure Phase was hitting the streets. Two years later, he blew the indie world away with the release of the sonic supernova we’ve come to know as Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space.
Even if you were already well-acquainted with Pierce’s signature blend of droning symphonic space rock, nothing could quite have prepared you for what Mr. Spaceman had in store for the third Spiritualized album, blending wild, often melancholic psychedelic energy with densely layered orchestral flourishes, touches of gospel glory, and a sense of harmonic awe that makes each song feel as if it arrived from deep space itself.
More than just a small step forward in terms of song craft, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space proved a giant supersonic leap as potent as the dying of a star in both beauty and grandiosity. One born of heartbreak and addiction and emotional turmoil … but one equally steeped in devout romanticism and a steadfast hope for better times ahead.
If you were even casually aware of Spiritualized in the ’90s, there’s a good chance Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space was a fairly major album for you. It’s remained a major album for psych fans young and old in the near quarter-century since it hit the streets. Unfortunately, it’s been about that long since Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space got a top notch vinyl release.
There were, of course, a couple of Plain Recordings reissues in the 2010s. While those Plain reissues are nowhere near as dreadful as some would have you believe, they really don’t pack the same sonic punch that Pierce and Co. infused into the 12 epic tracks that form the bones of Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space. Needless to say, Spiritualized fans have been waiting a very long time for the album to get the posh sort of reissue it deserved … which is precisely why this Jason Pierce-approved pressing from Vinyl Me, Please is such a huge deal.
And just in case there were any worries, you should know Team VMP more than did this unabashed Spiritualized masterwork justice. So much so that even diehard fans of Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space (myself included) might feel like they’re hearing the album in all its cerebral, celestial glory for the first time in decades.
As it’s spawned from the love and pain and anguish and emotional highs and lows that spotted Jason Pierce’s life heading into its recording Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space is indeed sort of a miracle cure for whatever ailments listeners might be suffering. As such, it rightfully has the look of a proper prescription package.
While you’re checking out the back cover, be sure to note the snazzy foil-stamping in the corner forever designating this Spiritualized masterpiece a legit VMP Essentials release.
Take just a second to admire the clever little packaging details on that back sleeve as well.
And while we’re absorbing information about Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s read over the album’s hype sticker, which’ll tell you exactly what makes the Vinyl Me, Please pressing of this Spiritualized classic the pressing of this Spiritualized classic.
As I’ve noted in the last couple of months, Vinyl Me, Please is doing a little bit of re-branding and re-designing of late. This month, Team VMP unveiled their shiny new OBI strips, which still contain vital stats like album and band name, not to mention the Vinyl Me, Please catalogue number. Yes, they’re closing in on 100 Essentials releases, and we cannot wait to see what album they’ve tapped for the century mark.
Don’t forget to check the back of that OBI, because that’s where you’ll find a few carefully chosen words about why Spiritualized’s Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space was chosen as this month’s Essentials pick. Not that you should’ve needed any justification.
For those of you who like to enjoy an adult beverage with every spin session, there’s a recipe for a Ladies and Gentlemen inspired companion cocktail on the inside tab. It’s called the “Aviation.” And it’s got gin in it, so Mr. Pierce himself would likely approve.
You likely recall that every Essentials pick from Vinyl Me, Please comes with its own album-inspired artwork. The VMP crew went pretty simple for the Spiritualized art, but it’s also sort of a perfect little companion to Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space‘s overall aesthetic.
Flip it over if you want to know who put it all together. Yes, Jason Pierce had a hand in designing it, along with the rest of Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space‘s layout.
Now, I mentioned that this Vinyl Me, Please pressing came with some serious upgrades over previous re-issues. One of the most impressive is the super-tough, tip-on gatefold those discs are housed in, which also sports some marvelous photography inside.
Thankfully, Team VMP also kept the “instructional” insert that came with the OG pressings of Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space. Because not only is it just another sort of ingenious bit of packaging, it contains some important info about who did what during the recording of this emotionally epic album.
As for the records, well, they’re tucked inside these slick dust sleeves.
Once you get them out of there, try not to fawn over the double dose of Deep Space Blue beauties.
And yeah, they’re likely to transport you to worlds beyond once they hit your deck.
How do they sound? Like cruising at warp speed through a wormhole formed from every fiber of your emotional being.
Give VMP a spin
Look, I realize Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space is really not to every listener’s taste. Hell, it’s probably not even the favorite release for many a Spiritualized devotee (including myself as I continue to worship at the alter of Pure Phase). But as far as largely overlooked ’90s albums that really, really deserve a moment in the vinyl re-issue sun, Vinyl Me, Please really could not have picked a better album.
More to the point, they couldn’t have done any better giving this long overdue reissue the love, care, and attention it truly deserves. And as it is, I’d like to sincerely thank everyone at VMP who brought this stunning new pressing of Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space to fruition, ’cause I really do feel like I’m getting the chance to absorb this operatic psych classic the way it was meant to be heard.
A big THANK YOU to our friends at Vinyl Me, Please for sponsoring this subscription. Don’t forget to check out the Vinyl Me, Please website and sign up to get some choice wax delivered right to your door each and every month! Be sure to check back in October when I may or may not be unboxing a fresh new pressing of Outkast’s hip hop masterpiece Stankonia!