The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and the White Dwarfs [feat. Henry Rollins and Peaches] – Dark Side of the Moon

The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and the White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon
Year :
Pink Floyd / Spacemen 3 / Kate Bush

Okay… if you weren’t aware of this, it is about time you heard. Perhaps I am a bit biased being both a huge Pink Floyd fan (my cat’s name is Floyd) as well as a big fan of The Flaming Lips, but to me, this cover album is what covers should be all about.

Cover songs can be tricky… sometimes, they can invoke feelings of rage in the fans of the band being covered. Oftentimes, closed-minded fans of big acts will dismiss covers without a second thought, because “it is just too painful to hear some other band play the song by so and so, they just aren’t worthy!” When approaching a cover song (or in this case a cover album), I find that an act’s adherence to two basic rules that ensures a cover that is at least listenable, and in the case of The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and the White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins and Peaches… awesome. (From now on we will refer to them as TFLSWDHRP.) Which brings us to…

Rule #1:

Be Worthy – What exactly do I mean by worthy? Well that can vary. Sometimes worthiness is purely admitting that the band you are covering is amazing and, usually, more amazing than you are… (if that is in fact the case… and sometimes it isn’t). Your worthiness is, in my opinion, best demonstrated by performing the song in a way that pays homage to the greatness of the original, and doesn’t put it in a blender and throw it on the kitchen floor where it barely resembles the music it was meant to emulate.

Rule #2:

Be Original – That being said, you need to take the song and make it your own… (while being careful to avoid the aforementioned blender technique). Take the parts of the song that you love the most, the reasons you are covering, and leave them intact. If there are parts of the song that you think bear improving, or give you an opportunity to show your strengths, take that leap. Ultimately when finished, the song should be the best parts of what it was combined with what you bring to the table.

What TFLSWDHRP give us here, is a chance to combine the edgy more modern psychedelic rock stylings of Wayne Coyne and his fellow Lips with what is, arguably (and in my opinion), the first mainstream and perhaps finest example of classic psychedelic rock. This is done in brilliant fashion, with the best parts of The Flaming Lips coming through while keeping the spirit of the original songs intact to the point that you know where you are in the album and are eager to hear what they throw at you next.

Covering only one Pink Floyd song is barely an option, especially when that song is chosen from one of their many albums that was designed to be enjoyed as a single piece of music. Dark Side is the gold standard for this sort of album experience, and TFLSWDHRP have stayed true to that theme… even adding the ending that feeds seamlessly into the start to encourage listening to the album repeatedly.

Henry Rollins deserves an honorable mention here for his spoken word contributions. During the original Pink Floyd album, many of the speaking parts are borderline unintelligible (but still bring a lot of value to the overall work). Conversely, Henry is easily understood, but still brings the same power of the ravings of a person losing their grip on reality over and under certain parts of the journey that is Dark Side of the Moon.

If you enjoy this, and are looking for another Pink Floyd album cover performance that follows the two rules… check out Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade covering Animals.

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listens to music at, pretty much, every waking minute (unless his wife complains). In between mountain climbs and backpacking trips, he'll chat with you about music... while making you some mean blueberry pancakes.

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