15 Years of Let It Come Down

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15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby clewsr » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:37 pm

http://www.undertheradarmag.com/news/th ... _come_down

Not sure if I would give it as high praise as this article. But the author is right, it probably is something of a high watermark for ambitious and expensive studio productions, not just for Spiritualized, but for perhaps for anyone? I imagine the sales never covered the cost of the record.

It does hark back to the time when record labels had truck loads of cash to spend if they felt so inclined.
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby heisenberg » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:53 pm

i like to imagine Jason probably knew the bottom was going to fall out of the music industry with the advent of digital, and realised that Let it Come Down would likely be his only oppportunity to make a hugely expensive album with the Wall of Sound style production. Good on him for spending that money well by making such a beautiful record and taking his time with it. Despite its flaws, I absolutely love it.

I always think the four year making-of period is a bit exaggerated. Didn't the band tour 97-98, and a little in 99? And wasn't the actual album recorded in six weeks in summer 2000, with mixing taking up the rest of the time? Still a pretty decent workrate given the size of the project and in comparison to the wait between the last two albums.
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby runcible » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:06 pm

Personally I think Let It Come Down is vastly superior to Ladies and Gentlemen. What's more I think it gets better with age, which, for me, isn't true of LAG...
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby angelsighs » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:45 pm

That's it, I'm officially old

This is still a brilliant album for me. Like I said on another thread recently, I love how ambitious it is and how essential the string arrangements are to the sound.
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby MODLAB » Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:02 pm

Fantastic album and I do hope one day it will played as it should be.

I do listen to this record away more than L&G.


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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby SpaceLine » Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:35 am

I still smile thinking of the first time I ever heard Don't Just Do Something live. So great. "Life ain't good without cigarettes". What a line.

As a complete album I'd choose lagwafis over licd but they're close. I'd choose PP over both actually. But a better thing is to listen to all 3. They're like kids to me, I love them all the same.
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby mojo filters » Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:51 pm

runcible wrote:Personally I think Let It Come Down is vastly superior to Ladies and Gentlemen. What's more I think it gets better with age, which, for me, isn't true of LAG...


I've been opining variations on that theme for over a decade. I've never understood why one record was so popular and expanded the band's fan base, whilst the other never recieved the widespread acclaim it deserved.

LICD seemed to suffer from getting tagged with tropes such as "continuing themes of addiction" and comments on the quality of the sound and the orchestration of the instruments and vocals - rather than the unequivocal glowing reviews I believe it deserves. Instead of appearing regularly on best albums of 2001 lists, it seems to have become a staple reference source for hifi equipment magazines, and articles about the production in Sound on Sound.

LICD has certainly aged better, and since its release I've only subsequently found through much repeated listening, that instinctively I skip On Fire - the rest of the album is close to perfect.

Whilst most of my initial listening to LAGWAFIS was done allowing the whole album to play right through, this was mostly because I was listening with friends who were playing the vinyl. Most of my post 1997 listening was via the tape in my car, and I'm afraid to say I'd become so familiar with that album already, I generally played the first three tracks then my attention wandered.

Normally when mentioned on here, LICD attracts the least attention of all Spiritualized albums, at least that's how it seems to me. Given that it includes my favourite ever Spiritualized track - Out of Sight - I guess I'm not particularly objective.

I'd be interested to know what it is that fans of the band don't like about LICD? In particular, how come folks are prepared to travel in from abroad to hear another live rendition of LAGWAFIS, as I don't really get why that album has such a following compared to LICD?
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby is » Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:29 pm

As a sometime fan of the band...

I haven't listened to much Spiritualized at all lately - so view this post as a 'control', a prequel if you like, for a future post where the situation is amended.

Firstly: 15 years? It MUST be longer than that.

Secondly, I am in agreement with those who hold LICD in higher regard than LAGWAFIS.

LAGWAFIS was to a lot of people the first time they'd heard anything like it. It was after all the breakout hit. At the time, though, to me, it just sounded like (at the same time) a dilution of everything in their previous records, but without really moving forward, sonically at least (perhaps the emotional content was what connected the record to many - whereas it left me a bit uninvolved).

LICD was the great leap forward. Flawed, yes. Over-wrought, perhaps... and maybe not as soulful (which was less important to me).

It was also their new record when I first started posting on this forum.
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby The Dr » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:13 am

i think the album has some staggering moments- out of sight, won't get to heaven, stop your crying but generally i found some of the production too 'smooth' in places, but when i heard anything more/lagwafis and straight and the narrow during acoustic mainlines- stripped down to the essentials- the album made much more sense to me as a whole
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby Multi » Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:37 am

Never understood the hate for On Fire. The mentality on display in the lyrics is the exact mentality that is needed to reach for the heavens and then fall all the way down--the trajectory of the record.

Anyways, always have and always will love the album.
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby angelsighs » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:04 pm

listened to this record in full today.. still sounds excellent. still little bits I'm hearing that I never noticed before.
aside from the obvious features of the album, I was hearing little guitar overdubs and also Martin Schellards excellent basslines
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby spacemanrich » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:54 pm

I didn't know people hate " On Fire ? " I think it is one of the finer songs on the album. I definately like Let It Come Down and yes like others maybe a bit more than LAGWAFIS. Pure Phase and LGM are definately underrated as well.
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby angelsighs » Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:08 pm

I've got no problem with On Fire but wouldn't say it's one of my favourites on the album
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby mojo filters » Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:44 pm

Part of my problem with On Fire was seeing a few terrible live versions, normally starting the set. They sounded awful, like the whole band was just knocking out the simple 4 note riff for the whole song, with no dynamics and little variation. I suspect when I hear the recording this affects my listening. I have no problem with the lyrics, and back then fire wasn't the tired and uninspiring Spaceman lyric it has now become.
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby mc » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:27 am

I must admit, I really dislike "On Fire" too. I'm not even sure I can explain why; like mojo filters, it's not the 'fire' lyrics - I disliked it straight away, long before fire became J's go-to trope - but something about the music. It might be the really stupid boogie-woogie-esque piano, which sounds far too Jools Holland (ugh) for my liking; maybe it's the desultory, tossed off fuzz guitar lines that offend me so. Anyway, it's a rank rotten song and up there with Jason's worst.

However! The rest of LICD is utterly beautiful - it was a marvel on release and it remains a marvel to this day. "Don't Just Do Something" is one of J's all-time greatest works and "Out Of Sight" is epic as hell; I'd take "The Twelve Steps" over "Electricity" live any day of the week, and "The Straight And The Narrow" and "Anything More" are just gorgeousness personified. "Won't Get To Heaven" might be lyrically trite-ish - the start of J's laziness? - but is musically magnificent; the lengthy instrumental mid-section reminds me of King Crimson's masterpiece "Starless" and the soaring choir at the end :shock: Finally, I think might be the only person in the world that worships the Spz version of "Lord Can You Hear Me?" Even after 3 years of immersion in Playing With Fire, the LICD version utterly blew me away. Sometimes the world needs a little bit of bombast :)
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby mc » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:33 am

On that subject, I only recall one genuinely negative review of LICD at the time; Mojo gave it 2 stars, IIRC. Everything else I remember was either positive or hugely positive. In particular, the NME did a song-by-song preview of the LP a few weeks before release, then a massive cover interview with J plus a gushing 9/10 review. It also made no. 2 in their 2001 chart, which still partially meant something in those days. My own personal interpretation of LICD is that it became unfairly maligned in some critical quarters as the 00s progressed, and is perhaps now charming people (do it) all over again...?
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby Multi » Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:29 am

mc wrote:Anyway, it's a rank rotten song and up there with Jason's worst.


Lulz!

I'm sorry, but no.

mc wrote: "Won't Get To Heaven" might be lyrically trite-ish - the start of J's laziness? - but is musically magnificent; the lengthy instrumental mid-section reminds me of King Crimson's masterpiece "Starless" and the soaring choir at the end :shock:


Yeah, "the start of J's laziness" and one of his best songs (esp within second phase Spiritualized). Sigh. I'll take lyrics like "I believe I am damaged, I believe I am wrong." over 99.9% of ANYTHING else out there.
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby mc » Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:49 pm

Multi wrote:
Lulz!

I'm sorry, but no.

Yeah, "the start of J's laziness" and one of his best songs (esp within second phase Spiritualized). Sigh. I'll take lyrics like "I believe I am damaged, I believe I am wrong." over 99.9% of ANYTHING else out there.


Sheesh! Sorry for having an opinion on the subject, and for forgetting that our Lord God Jason is immune from criticism :? Yes, as far as I'm concerned "On Fire" is a rank rotten song. You think otherwise, and that's fine. We're both right, because that's what what opinions are for.

Regarding "Won't Get To Heaven", I was referring in particular to the lyrical similarities/sentiments between that song and WWJ. Trite was probably the wrong word to use, but it's ground he'd certainly covered before. Still a magnificent song, like I said.
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby SpaceLine » Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:55 pm

MC you are right, On Fire is a shit song.
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby Multi » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:24 pm

mc wrote:Sheesh! Sorry for having an opinion on the subject, and for forgetting that our Lord God Jason is immune from criticism :? Yes, as far as I'm concerned "On Fire" is a rank rotten song. You think otherwise, and that's fine. We're both right, because that's what what opinions are for.


Having an opinion is one thing, declaring something that others enjoy as "rank rotten" is another.

Also, I'm no Jason apologist, as I'm of the opinion that parts of AG, half of A&E and parts of SHSL can get flushed.

SpaceLine wrote:MC you are right, On Fire is a shit song.


Either way, it'll always be an essential part of the concept of the entire album.
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby mc » Mon Dec 26, 2016 10:42 pm

Multi wrote:Having an opinion is one thing, declaring something that others enjoy as "rank rotten" is another.


Calling it "rank rotten" is my opinion. I'm perfectly within my rights to say so, but it doesn't mean said opinion is objectively true - there is no objective truth here. That's why I don't mind at all that you happen to like the song. I'm not on my high horse about your opinion, so why are you on your high horse about mine? Why get so touchy about someone else's views on a song? You really shouldn't give a hoot what I or anybody else thinks.

Anyway, I'm definitely finished with this. Peace out.
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby Multi » Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:48 am

mc wrote:Calling it "rank rotten" is my opinion. I'm perfectly within my rights to say so, but it doesn't mean said opinion is objectively true - there is no objective truth here. That's why I don't mind at all that you happen to like the song. I'm not on my high horse about your opinion, so why are you on your high horse about mine? Why get so touchy about someone else's views on a song? You really shouldn't give a hoot what I or anybody else thinks.


Because I like to debate the works of artists that I respect.
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby BzaInSpace » Wed Dec 28, 2016 11:41 pm

This promo documentary thing (in 3 parts via YouTube - is there a better version out there?) is pretty good.

There's parts where I would love to hear the raw tracks - the orchestral bits sound amazing on their own.

It was the first Spz album I heard parts of prior to release - really bad .mp3 rips of some tracks online and transferred to cassette. Even on that lowliest and grungiest of formats 'Stop Your Crying' really knocked me out. This was the also the first Spz album I was actively looking forward to...

Despite all this, I moved twice during late 2001, and didn't actually pick up a proper copy until weeks later. I took it with me on a long train journey and the personal CD player had died. So it was nearer Xmas that year that I probably heard it first.

'Lord Can You Hear Me' completely destroyed me. I remember thinking I could hear space-bleeps and stuff in the noise. That was quite a night... I understand why people will always love the Spacemen version but for me the Let It Come Down take is the real deal.

'On Fire' I always liked - I remember saying on here years and years ago that it sounded like "Spiritualized in Memphis", and that hasn't changed.

The piano intro (who mentioned Jools Holland in regards to this??! Arrgh! :lol: ) is like an invocation for this massive epic experience that is about to follow.... The gospel outro is fucking amazing!

The production, as many have noted, is incredible. You can play this really loud and it never distorts. You can play it quietly and it sounds relatively concise. You can hear it on Radio 6 (I did the other day - 'Do It All Over Again' - Mary Anne Hobbs enthused afterward) and it sounds right up there with other pop classics. You can play it in headphones and you are completely submerged in dozens of instruments & vocals.

The Wall of Sound approach is pretty much perfected on this album. No higher praise...

mojo filters wrote:LICD seemed to suffer from getting tagged with tropes such as "continuing themes of addiction" and comments on the quality of the sound and the orchestration of the instruments and vocals - rather than the unequivocal glowing reviews I believe it deserves. Instead of appearing regularly on best albums of 2001 lists, it seems to have become a staple reference source for hifi equipment magazines, and articles about the production in Sound on Sound.


Really! That's interesting - I could well imagine it being a better hi-fi reference than fucking Steely Dan, who usually get referenced with that kind of thing.

To be fair, the NME really jumped on it. As somebody mentioned, big reviews and write-ups, all the singles were 'Single of the week' and stuff. That means nothing now, but back then it was certainly exciting for me.

In fact, the only negative review I saw was this dreadful piece in Wire magazine. It's such a cliche but the guy just didn't get it - I suspect a free jazz abstract behemoth like Ascension was what he hoped the band would do next, not an ultra-produced epic space-country album.

It's also amusing that it had this tag of a confessional "rehab" album which it most definitely is not!

Undoubtedly some of it works better for me than others - I still don't quite get what a lot of people like about 'Out Of Sight' as I would still suggest it's one of the weaker tracks... maybe a bit too much symphonic-rock. 'I Didn't Mean To Hurt You' - gorgeous and immaculate orchestration aside - arguably worked better in the live BBC version, as heard on one of the single b-sides.


And how could 'Going Down Slow' not made the final edit?


Whatever tour they played 'The Twelve Steps' one night, for one night only it seems, and the next night I saw them in Glasgow and it was gone... gutted!
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby Martin L » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:24 pm

15 + years ago and still sends a tingle down my spine on every listen, still feels epic at times.
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby angelsighs » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:29 pm

I think there's a few reasons why Ladies and gentlemen may have more of a reputation than this album. It was the band's mainstream breakthrough for one thing, so it will have made an impression on a lot of people. Plus (for better or worse) there was the whole 'story' behind the album that gave it a twist the media could cling onto.

LICD was successful (#2 in the UK charts was it?) but this was mainly the snowball effect from ladies and gentlemen era with all those new fans checking out the new release. God knows what they thought when they got a ginormous orchestral opus to digest. Although it's quite song based, LICD is also quite a lot to take in.

I do think Ladies and gentlemen is the superior record, but there's not much in it. One thing that is does have over LICD is variety- it kind of covers all the bases whereas LICD is a little bit more samey. If I were going to show a potential new fan what the band are capable of, I would probably point them towards L&G. (Amazing Grace also kind of covers all the bases, but it's, y'know.. nowhere near as good!)


SpaceLine wrote: As a complete album I'd choose lagwafis over licd but they're close. I'd choose PP over both actually. But a better thing is to listen to all 3. They're like kids to me, I love them all the same.


what does that make Amazing Grace.. the disappointing child that never lived up to it's promise? :D

BzaInSpace wrote:This promo documentary thing (in 3 parts via YouTube - is there a better version out there?) is pretty good.



I remember really loving this documentary at the time.. a rare instance where there's some footage of a Spiritualized album being made. I've still got it on VHS, haven't got the heart to get rid of it even though I haven't had a video player for many years!

Bza I like your description of 'epic space-country', that kind of nails it. would love to hear some Nashville dude have a go at 'The Straight and Narrow'!
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby MODLAB » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:44 pm

I have an amazing video from the L&G gig of Out of Sight". Need to upload it.


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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby The Dr » Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:19 pm

angelsighs wrote:
it's quite song based


LICD is a little bit more samey.

!




that's the reason why i found licd harder to get into. ironically, given shsw, i'd say licd is the most pop album made and the production is too 'clean' (maybe explaining why AG came next)
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'Dostoevsky's dead,' said the citizeness, but somehow not very confidently.

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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby heisenberg » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:02 pm

I was watching the Do it all Over Again video today and only just realised the helicopter has OPM-1 written on the tail, which I believe was the catalog number of Let it Come Down, itself perhaps a reference to a particularly noteworthy flower. Brilliant.
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Re: 15 Years of Let It Come Down

Postby semisynthetic » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:37 pm

I love Both of these LPs; but for very different reasons. The quality of work is clearly there in both, and although it is my preference to listen to an album en toto, all the way through unbothered by any other sound; both albums hold their own as "a series of singles (If necessary)," and I think that may be the difference. Why some people prefer one work over another is a very personal thing, but I believe LAGWAFIS will likely forever remain, for Jason Pierce (and company), his Magnum Opus, for that album is, in my thinking, a complete and single work best enjoyed from beginning to end. Don't misunderstand my opinion of LICD is very much the same - in fact, the "13 Steps" and the "Straight and the Narrow" are great songs which are simply (too) easy as bait for magazine writers to single out, but for me, they are a vignette of JP's earlier life (at least), and have a sort of sparkling eyed whimsy; like someone you know well has a sly smile, but you just don't know what they are thinking about exactly; a Happy Memory? or a Thought of what might come to be done in future.

LICD was released as a number of singles and variations - and each one, as I have said, I enjoy - "as singles" or as the LP as a whole; and maybe this is why in spite of a "virtual tie" for me, LAGWAFIS is more a classical meaning of an opera, or "work", since I believe it holds together best as a single presentation, and will be best remembered that way in spite of my opinions of LICD.

As to why so many people at least SEEM to enjoy LAGWAFIS more, I suggest it may be the common threads that run through it are by nature more universal in their presentation than with LICD. The Opening Words, the unrequited love, the pleas for return, the escape(s), the realizations, finalities, and so on. It might be the Promotional campaign that helped, a Promotion that (included) but a few singles, & (the LTD ED Box Set of 12 x 3" singles, and regular CD); but focused on the work as a single unified, extended piece of music as if in Movements rather than as simply songs. I could very likely argue in just the opposite way - but time will tell better than I, though I still believe, even though other unmentioned LPs and Sets are in my "Favorites" column, LAGWAFIS will historically be how JP may best be remembered.
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