Posted: December 31, 2022 in MUSIC

 The Flaming Lips celebrated the 20th-anniversary of their classic 2002 album, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots”, with the release of an expansive box set that also includes B-sides, demos, remixes, radio sessions, two concerts, and other assorted rarities from the era. The CD set includes over 50 tracks never released and dozens of rare tracks. The LP box set has 40 tracks never released on vinyl and over 30 previously unreleased tracks. “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots: 20th Anniversary Edition” will be available, via Warner Records, on all streaming services and as a 6 CD box set (featuring 100 tracks) released on November 25th to mark the 20th anniversary year.

A 5 LP package (featuring 56 tracks) will land on April 14th, 2023– released later than the CD box set due to the long vinyl production timeline. Additionally, there will be a limited edition D2C exclusive edition of the 20th Anniversary Deluxe 5 LP Vinyl box set pressed on Baby Pink vinyl – also released on April 14th. Over the course of 2023, all the material released in the 6 CD box set will also make their way to vinyl. The two live albums included in the set, and the 25-minute demo “Psychedelic Hypnotist Daydream” will be available as separate vinyl releases. Additionally, the ‘Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell’ and ‘Fight Test EPs’ will be released on vinyl for the first time in Spring 2023.

In other LIPS news, The Flaming Lips “Space Bubble Film” is featured exclusively on The Criterion Channel now. This concert documentary, directed by Wayne Coyne and Blake Studdard chronicles the logistical challenges of putting on a show at the height of the pandemic filmed in the band’s hometown of Oklahoma City in 2020. “The Space Bubble Concerts” would feature both band and audience encased in individual transparent, prophylactic Space Bubbles to insure a Covid-safe live LIPS experience connecting in a in a joyous, safe and socially distanced communal way never tried before.

Originally released in July 2002, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” remains the commercial high-water mark in The Flaming Lips ‘wild four-decade journey, giving the Grammy award-winners their first RIAA certified Gold Record. As the eagerly awaited follow-up to 1999’s masterwork, “The Soft Bulletin”, “Yoshimi” proved that singer/guitarist Wayne Coyne, and multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd had yet another masterpiece in them.

“Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” is a sci-fi-themed quasi-concept album that cast The Flaming Lips’ most playful and profound songs to date in a wondrous swirl of ambient electronics, digital beats, and psychedelic splendor. The record yielded the band’s top-streamed track, “Do You Realize??” (a timeless stargazing anthem that, in 2009, was named the Official Rock Song of the band’s native Oklahoma) and also landed the Lips their first-ever Grammy Award® win for the cosmic album-closing instrumental Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia).

The 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition provides a complete 360-degree view of the band’s creativity during this period. Several unheard demos show a rare peak at the band’s creative process.

The box set also collects B-sides and outtakes, from epic fan favorites like “Assassination of the Sun” to fun, folky serenades like “Thank You Jack White” (For the Fiber-Optic Jesus You Gave Me). There is also a treasure trove of radio sessions including idiosyncratic overhauls of Pink Floyd’s “Lucifer Sam” and Breathe, Radiohead’s “Knives Out”  and Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head“. In addition, the set includes a lush instrumental version of Do You Realize??, that has been requested by fans to play at both weddings and funerals.

Of special note are the two concert discs, which showcase the two sides of The Flaming Lips’ ever-enlarging brain: the endearing, intimate storytellers (captured in a banter-heavy 2002 private show for a small crowd of radio-contest winners in Boston) and the masters of thundering, confetti-strewn stage spectacle (as heard in an electrifying 2003 performance at The Forum in London). As a whole “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots: 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition” is an essential portrait of rock’s most restlessly creative band at the peak of their powers.

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