The Flaming Lips Get Busy: Bohemian Rhapsody, Stone Roses and New Song ‘Sun Blows Up Today’

Cover of the forthcoming Flaming Lips album The Terror
Cover of the forthcoming Flaming Lips album The Terror

The Flaming Lips will be back in 2013 with new album ‘The Terror’ and they have released this cheeky video for ‘Sun Blows Up Today’ a song that may not be on the album, but is bright, cheerful and catchy – or at least as bright and cheerful as a song can be that talks about the sun blowing up today. Sun Blows Up Today? Even Bowie gave us Five Years

At a time when the album is being celebrated in the UK by the BBC, it is great to see The Flaming Lips revert to releasing an album after a few years of their having a number of fun but pretty madcap ideas that included releasing a 24 hour song, playing a world record number of shows in a day and releasing a series of EPs – one of which was contained in a flash drive inserted into an edible Gummy Bear Skull. You think I’m kidding?

Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Haribo...sorry Horatio
Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him, Haribo…sorry – Horatio

The band also recorded a version of Dark Side of the Moon, and according to Wayne Coyne’s Twitter Feed, may be recording a Flaming Lips version of The Stone Roses’ debut album.

The Flaming Lips will be touring the UK to support the new album in May, with a couple of shows at Camden Roundhouse. Having seen them a couple of times: at The Royal Albert Hall and The Troxy, I know that these shows will be memorable.

As for the forthcoming album?

The Terror is The Flaming Lips’ thirteenth studio album and will be released on April 1st. The Terror is comprised of nine new songs and promises to be darker-hued than previous works. Given that previous works have examined death, killer robots and the assassination of the sun, this sounds like an ambitious goal – albeit their music is generally uplifting despite the dark / gloriously off-the-wall subject matter.

Wayne Coyne explains, “Why would we make this music that is The Terror – this bleak, disturbing record? I don’t really want to know the answer that I think is coming. Maybe this is the beginning of the answer.”

“If we have love, give love and know love,” Coyne says, “we are truly alive and if there is no love, there would be no life. The Terror, we know now, that even without love, life goes on…we just go on…There is no mercy killing.”

Let’s hope Wayne cheers up a bit before he comes to the UK on tour. I for one, cannot wait.

The Flaming Lips have had their fair share of great B-sides and non-album tracks over the years. Up Above The Daily Hum and Funeral In My Head from the Yoshimi era were especially memorable, and it is notable that Sun Blows Up Today is similarly left off the album. One of my favourite “bootleg” or unofficial albums is called The Soft Bulletin Companion which is a collection of b-sides, outtakes, songs from Zaireeka, (which, let’s not forget, was originally a four CD album designed so that all four CDs would be played on different players at the same time) alternate takes, Peel sessions and radio performances that the band themselves compiled and gave to their friends.

The Flaming Lips - The Soft Bulletin Companion - Front The Flaming Lips - The Soft Bulletin Companion - Back

The track-listing of The Soft Bulletin Companion is below – it’s worth looking for a copy:

Disc 1:
01. 35,000 Feet Of Despair
02. 1,000 Foot Hands (Early Mix)
03. Riding To Work In The Year 2025 (You’re Invisible Now)
04. Buggin’ (Lips Mix)
05. A Machine In India (Edit Version)
06. Okay, I’ll Admit That I Really Don’t Understand
07. The Captain Is A Cold Hearted & Egotistical Fool
08. Satellite of Love (Written by Lou Reed)
09. The Spiderbite Song (Early Mix)
10. Slow Motion (Early Mix)
11. 1,000 Foot Hands (Final Mix)
12. Little Hands (Written by Alexander “Skip” Spence)
13. The Big ‘Ol Bug

Disc 2:
01. Race for the Prize (Eve Sessions on 4.21.00)
02. Feeling Yourself Disintegrate (Eve Sessions on 4.21.00)
03. The Spiderbite Song (Eve Sessions on 4.21.00)
04. Above The Daily Hum (Eve Sessions on 4.21.00)
05. The Spiderbite Song (Greater London Radio on 4.23.00)
06. Feeling Yourself Disintegrate (GLR on 4.23.00)
07. Everyone’s Gone To The Moon (GLR on 4.23.00)
08. Feeling Yourself Disintegrate (XFM on 4.27.00)
09. The Spiderbite Song (XFM on 4.27.00)
10. The Switch That Turns Off The Universe (Peel Sessions 6.8.00)
11. We Can’t Predict The Future (Peel Sessions 6.8.00)
12. If Remained Unrealized (Peel Sessions 6.8.00)
13. The Captain (GLR on 6.10.00)
14. Waitin’ For A Superman (GLR on 6.10.00)

For those less inclined to search around for unreleased songs, I have created a Flaming Lips B-sides Spotify Playlist which I hope will introduce you to a couple of lesser known tracks, including a wonderful Japanese language version of Yoshimi – albeit the aforementioned Up Above The Daily Hum has yet to hit Spotify. We also have cover versions of Lennon, Queen, Radiohead and The Wizard of Oz. The version of Bohemian Rhapsody was recorded a few years ago, but Coyne and co have just released a new video for it the link for which is here: (warning: contains gratuitous nudity)…

A Spotify playlist of rare tracks and two new videos – who could ask for anything more? Enjoy…

Record #151: The Flaming Lips – Every Record’s Sun Blows Up Today Companion


9 responses to “The Flaming Lips Get Busy: Bohemian Rhapsody, Stone Roses and New Song ‘Sun Blows Up Today’”

  1. simonsometimessays Avatar

    I’m ashamed to admit it, but somehow I’ve let the Flaming Lips pass me by. Spending the three-and-a-bit minutes listening to the new song persuades me that this is an omission I need to do something about. Any suggestions as to where I should start?


    1. Every Record Tells A Story Avatar

      Funny how some artists just pass us by. I have plenty.
      For the first timer I would start at The Soft Bulletin, and then Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots. If just one song, then I reckon Do You Realise? was just about the best song of the first decade of the 2000’s…
      Anyone else have a view?


      1. Defending Axl Rose Avatar

        Yeah, I agree with those recommendations–that’s where I started.


    2. Every Record Tells A Story Avatar

      I should also point out that every person I have ever recommended listen to The Flaming Lips has come back to me a week later, scratching their heads with a puzzled look on their face…


  2. Avatar

    I love the Flaming Lips. You’re right about the live shows being a major event.
    They are not to be missed.


  3. Defending Axl Rose Avatar

    I love these guys and I love them live (seeing them in a month open for The Black Keys). I really like this new song and I’m stoked that they’re putting out a proper album this year. That said, all the mad-cap stuff they released in 2011 is available for FREE online (including a live recording of THE SOFT BULLETIN). You can access it all here:

    You are all welcome.


    1. Every Record Tells A Story Avatar

      Still can’t believe what a great line up you guys are getting – The Flaming Lips and Black Keys in one show. Outrageous…


      1. Defending Axl Rose Avatar

        Well my city is not getting it, we’re having to drive 4 hours to Kansas City…but yeah, it’s a killer-diller line-up. Feels wrong that FL’s aren’t the headliners, though.


      2. Every Record Tells A Story Avatar

        If ever there was a show worth a four hour drive – it’s that one.


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