This is Ground Control to major David Bowie fans everywhere: THE FLAMING LIPS have a new 7″ out, their cover of “Space Oddity,” one of our hero’s best known songs. Coming out a year after Bowie’s death, it’s a fairly faithful yet interesting take, very similar to the version they did on Stephen Colbert’s TV show last April. The fact that it comes out at the same time as the Lips’ new album is also of interest: is this a sideways promotional tie-in to Oczy Mlody or a heartfelt tribute? Here in the year 2017 I’d have to say it’s both. There’s no way to hear about one record and not the other since the advent of the internet, keyword searches, SEO and the rest. And my job is to let you know about things I like, find interesting, moderating or even disgusting, so I naturally inform you.
Wayne Coyne and his bros do a nice version of Bowie’s breakout song, keeping to the recipe for the most part, adding a dash of Lips spice here and there but not so much that you taste only the pizzazz and none of the actual showcase dish. It’s got a nice picture sleeve, is pressed on red vinyl, and has a big hole in the middle so us Americans can have our 45 served the way we like it. “Jest (There Is…)” on the flipside is pretty standard Lips fare but important to Flaming collectors because it’s not on the new album either. If you want ’em both LP + 7″ you can order them as a bundle from the band’s web site and save some money.
Anyway, “Space Oddity” is a nice DB cover, a worthwhile addition to the Lips discography and the video’s pretty cool, too.
3/5 (Warner Bros.)