Our top 10 Spiritualized songs list looks at the catalog of an English outfit best known for its neo-psychedelic/space rock sound. The band was formed in 1990 by Jason Pierce following differences between him and his former Spacemen 3 co-frontman Peter Kember. Jason teamed up with drummer Jonny Mattock, guitarist Mark Refoy, and bassist Will Carruthers to form Spiritualized’s initial lineup.
The band’s lineup has evolved over the years with frontman Jason Pierce being the only original member of Spiritualized left on its current lineup. Thanks to his presence on the band’s lineup, Spiritualized has maintained its aesthetic and ambitious musical style. His wistful songwriting skills and unique vocal abilities have helped Spiritualized stay afloat in the neo-psychedelia/space rock music scene for over three decades now.
Spiritualized’s Rise in the Music Scene and Album Releases
A short while after its inception, Spiritualized issued its debut single “Anyway That You Want Me.” This cover song was initially issued in 1966 by the English garage rock band The Troggs. Spiritualized achieved instant success with the song, having it peak at number seventy-five on the UK Singles Chart. Eventually, the band issued its debut studio album, Lazer Guided Melodies in March 1992 through Dedicated Records.
Lazer Guided Melodies saw Spiritualized take on a blend of space rock and dream pop sounds. The album catapulted Spiritualized to mainstream success, rising to the twenty-seventh spot on the UK Albums Chart. “Shine a Light,” “Run,” “Smiles,” and “I Want You” are the best Spiritualized songs from the album. The song “Run” is a cover of the 1971 hit “Call Me the Breeze” by J. J. Cale, with Spiritualized’s version of the song sampling the 1967 hit “Run, Run, Run” by The Velvet Underground and Nico.
Spiritualized returned in 1995 with its sophomore studio album, Pure Phase. Pure Phase saw the band take on a blend of space rock and Britpop with a few elements of noise pop. The album was a success in the mainstream peaking at number twenty on the UK Albums Chart. “Medication,” “Electric Mainline,” and “Let It Flow” are the best Spiritualized songs from Pure Phase. The album also featured Spiritualized’s cover of the 1982 hit “Born, Never Asked” by Laurie Anderson.
In 1997, Spiritualized released its most sought-after album to date, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space. The album finds the band giving us the best of its space rock and neo-psychedelia sounds. Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space was heavily appreciated in the UK where it peaked at number four on the Albums Chart. The album also graced the Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart, peaking at number twenty-six.
Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space went on to be named NME Magazine’s Album of the Year. This saw the album ranked ahead of the chart-topping albums OK Computer by Radiohead and Urban Hymns by The Verve. “I Think I’m in Love,” “Come Together,” “Broken Heart,” “Stay With Me,” “Cop Shoot Cop…” and the album title track are the best Spiritualized songs from the LP. The album featured Dr. John, Balanescu Quartet, and The London Community Gospel Choir as guest appearances. Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space went on to be Gold-certified in the UK.
Let It Come Down, issued in 2001, marked Spiritualized’s fourth studio album. While the band stuck to its space rock sound, it went ahead to include art rock and symphonic rock influences. Let It Come Down went on to peak at number three on the UK Albums Chart, rising to number one hundred and thirty-three on the Billboard 200. The album was a minor commercial success, earning a Silver certification in the UK. “Do It All Over Again,” “Stop Your Crying,” and “Out of Sight” are the most popular hits off Let It Come Down.
Spiritualized returned in 2003 with its fifth studio album, Amazing Grace. Amazing Grace saw the band explore the garage rock sound with substantial gospel influences. The album is home to some of the best Spiritualized songs including “Let It Down Slow,” “Cheapster,” and “She Kissed Me (It Felt Like a Hit),” a song whose title references The Crystals’ 1960 hit “He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss).” Amazing Grace made it to the UK Albums Chart, peaking at number twenty-five.
In 2008, Spiritualized released its sixth studio album Songs in A&E. The album saw the band combine neo-psychedelia, garage rock, and art rock sounds. “Souls on Fire,” “Sweet Talk,” and “You Lie You Cheat” are the top musical gems from the album. Songs in A&E managed to rise to the fifteenth spot on the UK Albums Chart, peaking at number one hundred and fifty-seven on the Billboard 200.
Sweet Heart Sweet Light, the band’s 2012 seventh studio album, compared to Songs in A&E. The album remains Spiritualized’s highest charting outing on the Billboard 200, peaking at the sixtieth spot. Sweet Heart Sweet Light graced the UK Albums Chart, peaking at number nineteen. “Hey Jane,” “Life is a Problem,” “Little Girl,” and “So Long You Pretty Thing” are some of the most notable hits from the album.
And Nothing Hurt, was the band’s newest release coming six years after their last effort, Sweet Heart Sweet Light. The album saw Spiritualized return to its usual space rock sound. And Nothing Hurt rose to number eleven on the UK Albums Chart. “I’m Your Man,” “A Perfect Miracle,” and “Here It Comes (The Road) Let’s Go” are the best Spiritualized songs from the album.
In April this year, Spiritualized returned with its ninth and most recent studio album, Everything Was Beautiful. The album has the band taking on a blend of space rock and psychedelia rock sound influences. Everything Was Beautiful was a success on the UK Albums Chart, peaking at number five. “Always Together with You,” “The Mainline Song,” and “Crazy” are the most popular songs by Spiritualized from the album, Everything Was Beautiful.
Spiritualized remains one of the most popular English space rock/neo-psychedelia outfits. The band is best remembered for its third studio album, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space. Other than being the band’s most commercially successful album, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space is a fan-favorite thanks to its grandiose and melodramatic masterpieces. Here we present the ten best Spiritualized songs of all time sampled from the band’s nine studio albums.
#10 – Anyway That You Want Me
Ushering us into the ten best Spiritualized songs list is the poignant hit “Anyway That You Want Me.” The song, issued in 1990, was the band’s debut single. “Anyway That You Want Me” by Spiritualized is a cover of a 1966 song of the same title by The Troggs. Originally, the song was issued in September 1966 by the late Tina Mason. The Troggs’ version (released on December 1966) made the song quite popular, rising to the top ten on the UK Singles Chart.
Spiritualized original members put their hands on this rock song issuing their version in 1990 as the debut single. The band saw the song grace the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number seventy-five. Other reputable covers of the original version of “Anyway That You Want Me” by Tina Mason have been issued by Juice Newton, Ronnie Spector, and Melanie.
#9 – Do It All Over Again
Despite being the highest-charting LP by Spiritualized, Let It Come Down, failed to topple the impact of Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space. Nevertheless, the album managed to feature musical gems such as “Do It All Over Again.” This emotions-packed hit finds the singer expressing his desolation and yearning following the departure of the love of his life from his life. It is the melancholy the song oozes that makes it quite an exemplary release on this album whose songs have quite a notable emotional impact on its listeners. “Do It All Over Again” managed to peak at position thirty-one on the UK Singles Chart.
#8 – Always Together With You
Coming in at number eight on our top 10 Spiritualized songs list is the captivating hit “Always Together With You.” The song is featured on the band’s most recent album, Everything Was Beautiful. “Always Together With You” isn’t much of a new song, having it issued first on a 2014 demo entitled The Space Project by the band. However, the 2022 version of the song feels more refined, setting the tone for the album, Everything Was Beautiful.
The song bursts with grandeur showcasing Spiritualized’s continued excellence in releasing psychedelic-influenced hits. According to the band’s frontman Jason Pierce, “Always Together With You” is a tune where themes of unadulterated romance meet space travel. You ought to also check out the atmospheric hit “The Mainline Song,” a hit from Everything Was Beautiful composed with a similar psychedelic melody.
#7 – I’m Your Man
“I’m Your Man” is a slow yet beautiful song by Spiritualized off the band’s 2018 studio album, And Nothing Hurt. The features transcendent horns and strings melodies that grace the song with some emotional tinge. “I’m Your Man” feels a little bluesy but still manages to bring out the best of Spiritualized’s psychedelic feels. Just like the album’s single “A Perfect Miracle,” “I’m Your Man” brings quite a magical orchestration of the band’s musicianship.
#6 – Broken Heart
Number six on our top 10 Spiritualized songs list is the tempestuous hit “Broken Heart.” The song is one of the best cuts off the band’s most popular album Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space. “Broken Heart” was issued a short while after Spiritualized’s frontman Jason Pierce parted ways with his girlfriend and the band’s keyboardist Kate Radley. Kate Radley would eventually get engaged to Richard Ashcroft, the lead singer of the English band, The Verve.
As the title suggests, “Broken Heart” carries with it heart-breaking lyrical content. The band’s frontman, Jason Pierce would later reveal that he had been listening to tons of songs with heart-breaking themes by Jimmy Scott and Patsy Cline. However, this feels more like a song inspired by the bitter reality that he was about to part ways with his girlfriend, Kate Radley.
#5 – Lay It Down Slow
Amazing Grace, the band’s fifth studio album, is home to “Lay It Down Slow,” the fifth pick on our ten best Spiritualized songs list. The song brings us to a conversation about how Spiritualized managed to spice songs on this album with some gospel influences. Amazingly, most of the songs on Amazing Grace, including “Lay It Down Slow” featured less to no, space rock/neo-psychedelia influences. “Lay It Down Slow” went on to be featured in the Series Finale of the serial drama TV series Prison Break.
#4 – Hey Jane
“Hey Jane” is among the few upbeat songs that we have on the ten best Spiritualized songs list. The song is featured on the band’s seventh studio album, Sweet Heart Sweet Light. Don’t let the crunchy melody of the song make you think “Hey Jane” is a glorious hit to dance along to! “Hey Jane” has its lyrics allude to a relationship Pierce had with a girl going by the name Jane.
Apparently, the relationship was abusive with things going south between the two. The music video to this over eight-minute track shows how a relationship ends following a series of ferocious disputes. “Hey Jane” had its music video directed by AG Rojas
#3 – Shine a Light
The third spot on our ten best Spiritualized songs list is the outstanding hit “Shine a Light.” Shine a Light” is among the musical gems that elevated the band’s debut album, Lazer Guided Melodies into mainstream success. The song gives us the best of Spiritualized’s fusion of space rock and dream pop sounds. “Shine a Light” establishes itself as the centerpiece of the album’s excellence leading other songs including “Run,” “Smiles,” and “I Want You” into mainstream success.
#2 – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
“Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space” is a remarkable hit from the band’s third studio album of the same name. The song has its title inspired by the 1991 philosophical novel Sophie’s World by Norwegian writer Jostein Gaarder. “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space” exists in two versions with the original sampling the lyrics of the 1961 hit “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley.
However, Elvis Presley declined Spiritualized permission to use his song’s lyrics, leading to a second version of the song. “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space” was covered by Kiki & Herb in 2004. The original version is the most popular, thanks to its lyrics that pay homage to a 1961 hit by Elvis Presley.
#1 – I Think I’m in Love
Number one on our top 10 Spiritualized songs list is the alluring hit “I Think I’m in Love.” The song is featured on the band’s most acclaimed third LP, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space. This dreamy hit finds the band taking on the multi-part song style usually seen with The Velvet Underground and The Beach Boys.
While the opening part feels a little soulful and bluesy, the other part of the song feels groovier. Credit to Jason Pierce’s dazzling vocal delivery adds glamour to this call-and-response hit. “I Think I’m in Love” was remixed by The Chemical Brothers in 1997.
Feature Photo: Mathias Nielsen, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Top 10 Spiritualized Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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