SOUND OF CONFUSION

It's fairly unlikely you'd have made it here without ever having heard of Jason's previous incarnation. So here you go, talk away...

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SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby Muscles » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:25 am

Picked up Sound Of Confusion at record surplus in Santa Monica last week for 3.47 on CD
Was pleased to see it after an hour of shopping in there. Can you tell me who is bassman?
And I have a taang copy. I have given it a spin. Any stand out tracks? Info? On this?
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby runcible » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:08 am

Muscles wrote: Can you tell me who is bassman?

As in Pete Bassman? As in Pete Bain?

There you are...
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby Muscles » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:09 am

As I am sat next to the pacific ocean at the mo
I can say #3. Is fucking blowing my mind.
I'm in a BMW 325i convertible with a decent sound system
And my buzz is good.
I can say the screams in this are unlike anything
I have heard before
Yes.
This one.
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby Muscles » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:21 am

Perhaps a stooges thing.
But I like it.
It sounds like Sonic is singing on these
But is this Jason?
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby Muscles » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:32 am

With a touch of Velvets
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby Muscles » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:35 am

This is good.
But it makes me want to reach for the velvets
Lou Reed really was the godfather of this bit
They like to Jesus this up
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby mojo filters » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:23 pm

Muscles - I take it you're enjoying Sound of Confusion then? Do you prefer it to Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To as an album?

Sound of Confusion is by far my least favourite album. Every song on it that also appears elsewhere, always sounds better to me on the other recording, mix etc - even the versions on How The Blues Should've Turned Out, despite the less than pristine sound quality of some tracks on that one.

I only have an older CD version of Sound of Confusion; originally I thought that was at fault. Since then I've heard other iterations both on CD and vinyl - both had the same thing missing that I noticed on my CD. I find the production has a slightly sludgey quality when the distorted guitars are layered, whilst the rhythms lack vibrancy and remind me of the awful and abandoned Troy Tate recordings of The Smiths debut album - the official release produced by John Porter has a special energy that is lacking from their first attempt.

To me Sound of Confusion has some missing energy and sparkle, but it's not the fault of the songs as I've heard them sound great elsewhere. However it is a while since I listened to it - maybe it's time to give it another go ... have other folks who've collected different CD and vinyl pressings noticed if there is a significant difference between some?
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby Muscles » Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:27 pm

Mojo is this not a proper album?
How many records do they have
And what is the order
My mate had them all and he made
Me a tape
I only ever bought the 10 inch Revolution is it?
You got the 2 ten inches if I remember
Based on this I'd like to hear more
I went to amoeba records and they had more
But not at bargain prices I expect for cd
How many proper albums?
And how do you rank them?
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby mc » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:31 pm

Muscles wrote:Perhaps a stooges thing.
But I like it.
It sounds like Sonic is singing on these
But is this Jason?


It's all Jason, I believe...

I very rarely spin SoC, but "Losing Touch With My Mind" and "Rollercoaster" are my favourite versions of those tracks, especially the former. The extraneous effects added by the producer really work in those two songs, for me.

Muscles: in brief, you're looking at Sound Of Confusion, The Perfect Prescription, Playing With Fire and Recurring as the four 'canon' studio SP3 albums. Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To, Dreamweapon and For All The Fucked Up Children... are your most important (non-single collection) 'unofficial' albums; then you've got Performance and Spacemen Are Go! as official live albums released at the times. Then there's all the singles collections, unofficial live albums, boots etc...

(all written from slightly squiffy memory - experts should add and correct wherever necessary!)
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby BzaInSpace » Sun Jun 21, 2015 12:47 pm

Muscles - the Pacific Ocean Blues sound awesome! :wink:

For me whatever CD version of Sound Of Confusion which has been available for the last 15 or whatever years still sounds like a way better master than the truly awful Perfect Prescription standard issue.

The absolute number 1 album which needs a definite remaster from the original mixes is that one... Mark's interview with PK last year revealed that he actually has the tapes with all the mixing notes etc! I truly hope he gets around to sorting out a definitive digital master of that album... instead of remastering endless hip underground bands of the moment. :wink:

Having never heard the original Glass pressings I can only go on the likes of Forged Prescriptions, which gives an indication of how awesome this stuff could actually sound with a decent remaster...
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby Muscles » Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:52 pm

mc wrote:

It's all Jason, I believe...

I very rarely spin SoC, but "Losing Touch With My Mind" and "Rollercoaster" are my favourite versions of those tracks, especially the former. The extraneous effects added by the producer really work in those two songs, for me.

Muscles: in brief, you're looking at Sound Of Confusion, The Perfect Prescription, Playing With Fire and Recurring as the four 'canon' studio SP3 albums. Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To, Dreamweapon and For All The Fucked Up Children... are your most important (non-single collection) 'unofficial' albums; then you've got Performance and Spacemen Are Go! as official live albums released at the times. Then there's all the singles collections, unofficial live albums, boots etc...

(all written from slightly squiffy memory - experts should add and correct wherever necessary!)


1.SOUND OF CONFUSION
2.THE PERFECT PRESCRIPTION
3.PLAYING WITH FIRE
4.RECURRING

Ok so these are the studio records. Well if Sound of Confusion is the first record then I'd say they
came out with a bang. Rare for bands to make something this good the first time out.
I will try to hunt down the other ones on the cheap, I remember the packaging on PLAYING WITH FIRE
was quiet good. The 10 inch I loved it. I'm sure I have heard them but its been a long time.
I was never expecting to see it in the record store then it popped up ! So was a pleasant surprise.
I saw Spectrum in NYC in 1992 I think...Sonic had the strobes going and it was pretty good show.
I think we went backstage and smoked pot or something...So its nice to hear these songs from SP3
I think I must have been 16 when these songs came out. If that's possible? Anyway high school.

So when you say unofficial albums? do these contain B -SIDES not on the other albums of just remixes of
songs from the main canon records?

Thanks for that by the way. And at what point does PETE begin to sing? Or does he sing at all?
Or is it mainly like speaking parts? Like Revolution?

And at some point Pete Bain departs and Carruthers steps in? is this a musical improvement?
or a non factor? as I would guess Kember and Pierce were sort of controlling it right?

In ways you would have to say that Spacemen 3 run circles round Spiritualized.

Or am I off on this? I have not listened to Spiritualized in 10 years. I think...

After was it SONGS IN A & E or something. He just lost it.

I would welcome a SPACEMEN 3 reunion. I think it would be insane.
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby Muscles » Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:53 pm

ROLLERCOASTER yes.
with my beer buzz nicely kicked in
it was this one I had on repeat.
BZA !
FUCKING that must be PETE screaming in the background.
I cannot imagine JASON screaming.
But it is the screaming that make it magical.
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby mojo filters » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:51 am

BzaInSpace wrote:Muscles - the Pacific Ocean Blues sound awesome! :wink:

For me whatever CD version of Sound Of Confusion which has been available for the last 15 or whatever years still sounds like a way better master than the truly awful Perfect Prescription standard issue.

The absolute number 1 album which needs a definite remaster from the original mixes is that one... Mark's interview with PK last year revealed that he actually has the tapes with all the mixing notes etc! I truly hope he gets around to sorting out a definitive digital master of that album... instead of remastering endless hip underground bands of the moment. :wink:

Having never heard the original Glass pressings I can only go on the likes of Forged Prescriptions, which gives an indication of how awesome this stuff could actually sound with a decent remaster...


Around 10 years ago I asked PK about potential for a Perfect Prescription remaster. He replied that it had already been done on Forged Prescriptions (which was a relatively recent release at the time). I didn't really feel comfortable telling the original artist that wasn't exactly the same thing.

I was inclined to ask, as a result of the newer material - so well produced and presented on Forged Prescriptions. Whilst the latter is a masterpiece, providing fascinating insight into the blossoming Spacemen 3 songwriting process, I personally rate the sound quality of my knackered Perfect Prescription CD over that of my old CD of Sound of Confusion.


I can thoroughly recommend Pacific Ocean Blue. After having to make do with substandard copies for many years, I splashed out on the gatefold-sleeve deluxe 2 disc reissue from 2008 - though I think the sheer quality of the tracks from the original release transcends differences in quality between the various versions floating around.

Amazon currently advertises new single CD albums (with some extra tracks) for £5.99 or under £3 from third-party sellers. If you're happy without the extensive liner notes, comprehensive credits and some nice graphics - that's a great deal, compared with the premium I paid originally (at the time it was a lot less than the going rate for originals).

Whilst I'm sure a completist would want the whole reissue package, the tracklist for the single CD version mentioned is the same as disc 1 (except for the last previously unreleased track "Mexico") which includes all of Pacific Ocean Blue's original tracks, remastered on CD ... if you've never heard the album before, that's plenty of great music at a fraction of the cost of the limited original pressings, which changed hands for silly money before the reissues came out!


Muscles - firstly there are a load of other Spaceman 3 releases. I can't begin to catalogue them, but searching the titles on this site should be a good starting point to get an introduction to anything you want to familiarize yourself with.

Secondly - Spacemen 3 did not run rings around Spiritualized!

I would suggest that band is better characterized as a very accomplished finishing school for the songwriting talent of both Jason and Sonic. That education came to a ripe fruition in both artist's early post-Spacemen 3 releases, via the creative bridge which was each side of Recurring. The huge sonic differences between Jason and PK's side indicate what lay ahead...

Whilst I in no way would wish to detract from or inappropriately credit other Spacemen 3 band members' contributions to any releases - canonical or not - I think to comment further would require one to have a comprehensive and accurate list of exactly who played what and when, at the very minimum.

Given the rate of Spacemen 3 attrition catalogued in the Erik Morse book alone, I'd hesitate before crediting individual members with any specific importance. I imagine each band member has an individual take regarding their particular contribution. I recall more than one band I've been in - where I couldn't even agree with friends / bandmates about exactly what I did re X at Y gig, joined band A on date B or wrote P for song Q! I'm sure others who have been part of a collaborative music-making process will have experienced similar.
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby runcible » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:12 am

Jason sings everything on Sound of Confusion. Pete appears on Feel So Good of course - the only song they both sing on - on the 12" of Walkin' With Jesus. He then started doing vocals on the songs he generally wrote after that.

Sound of Confusion had the wrong guy - UB40 producer Bob Lamb - engineering it. No one at his studio took Spacemen 3 seriously when they went in to record Sound of Confusion as they were a bunch of stoned scruffs. Despite that I think SOC is a mighty record. Totally uncompromising and designed to be listened to at high volume it's a monstrous slab of swirling throbbing acid rock. It could have been produced better for sure but when you are a young band who have been given something like 5 days in a professional studio you grab the chance with both hands.

People always grumble about the sound on Perfect Prescription and it certainly doesn't have the shiny expansive nature of Forged Prescriptions. But it still remains my all time favourite record and I love it as much as I did all those years ago. Of course I'd like to hear how it should have sounded - i.e. given the Forged Prescriptions treatment.

And despite a touch of self-promotion Pete talked about some of this stuff in the Soul Kiss interview I did with him a couple of years ago. Here:
https://dockellisrecords.wordpress.com/2014/04/

I think it'd be rare to find a Spiritualized fan who goes back to discover Spacemen 3 and comes to the conclusion that the Spacemen were a better band. On the other hand a lot of old Spacemen 3 fans are likely to say the opposite - that the Spacemen were indeed superior. At the time pretty much everyone hated Spacemen 3 as all the press stuff revolved around drugs and journalists loved to hone in on that and slag them off. Against that Pete and Jason didn't give a shit and ploughed on with their vision regardless. Yet their audience kind of knew the significance of that music, or that's how it felt for me. It's almost 30 years since Sound of Confusion and here we are still talking about it.
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby mojo filters » Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:18 pm

My opinions regarding Sound of Confusion are very much in the context of a comparison with the Northampton demos, subsequently released on Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs to. To me the same songs on the latter release generally sound better, compared with the more polished performances on Sound of Confusion.

If those demos had never been released, I'd have no issues with the subsequent "proper" album, though I'd likely still rate it as the least noteworthy of the four albums that comprise the studio canon - purely due to the relative strength of the other three, as stand-alone bodies of work. Despite sounding a bit rougher, I think the demo recordings have more energy and verve, doing better justice to the songs.

I'm keen to hear a remaster of Sound of Confusion to see it changes how I feel about that record, although I'd be surprised if the remastering process could do much to change my mind. Whilst a Perfect Prescription remaster would be nice, I'm quite happy with the existing CD version - and certainly not grumbling! However it's probably telling that I listen to Forged Prescriptions more often than the original.
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby Muscles » Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:53 pm

Thanks Runcy !
That was a nice read.
He did show me his stack of vinyl.
He has put out a lot of music.
I think in America it was too cost
prohibitive for me to buy a lot of music on vinyl.
I was into NEW ORDER during this period.
But Im glad cause it gives me something to find now.
Anyone remember BARK PSYCHOSIS?
I was just wondering if anyone has any records?
And do they stand up?
Or is it rubbish?
I will pick up PERFECT PRESCRIPTION next.
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby jesus son » Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:18 pm

I'd seen the Spacemen play about half a dozen times before SOC was released, it was pretty much their entire repertoire. It is without doubt the worst recorded album I've ever heard if one compares it to how they were playing these songs live back then. Such a missed opportunity. They were playing with real venom, a kid in Rugby had died from an OD around that time and I think the events surrounding that fuelled something in them.
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby Muscles » Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:39 pm

Right!
Jesus.
Hmm
Well... I now realize I owned perfect prescription too.
I listened to it on YouTube. I'd say after listening to them.
Albeit in limited capacity on my phone. Playing with Fire
is the masterpiece of the lot. Recurring? I mean I do not
Have 15 minutes to listen to 1 song. Outrageous.
Tell me what yer on about in 3 minutes.
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby plastic37 » Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:22 am

Playback of SoC in the studio where it was recorded you say?
I have found myself in a position to arrange such an occasion.
Whose with me!?
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Re: SOUND OF CONFUSION

Postby Starfish » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:06 am

I'm in.
Especially as I could walk there.
Bob Lamb, who recorded the album, recently sold up and left Highbury Studio, which is probably just as well as he and the band didn't get on particularly well during the recording of SoC, by all accounts.
Here's a link to the studio → http://highburystudio.com/studio-history/
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