Live in Europe 1989


Recorded over four nights in Germany during what turned out to be Spacemen 3's final tour, Live in Europe 1989 is far better than the more ragged earlier Spacemen 3 live album, 1988's Performance. The album's also notable for documenting the group's short-lived quartet line-up, with bassist Willie Carruthers and drummer Jon Mattock. Despite the change in rhythm sections, the focus is, as always, on guitarists Pete Kember and Jason Pierce, who by this point in the group's career aren't even pretending to be interested in standard verse-chorus-verse structure. Rather surprisingly, only one of the 13 tracks; a 16-minute take on Playing With Fire's center-piece track "Suicide" breaks the ten-minute barrier that was so often smashed through on the group's studio recordings, but there's still an epic, expansive feel to these loose, perfectly ragged performances. Although newcomers are advised to start with 1988's Playing With Fire or 1990's Recurring (ORBIT 055CD), Live in Europe 1989 is essential for fans. Originally released in 1995. "Rollercoaster" was the opening song for most of 1989 after coming on stage to the sounds of "Ecstasy Symphony" (or on one occasion, "Mr. Spaceman" by The Byrds. "Bo Diddley Jam" is an instrumental jam occasionally included as part of the regular set. "2:35" was a regular part of the Spacemen set since the band's first recordings in 1984. The original lyrics for "Walkin' With Jesus" included the line "Listen Sweet Lord, forgive me my sins. Cause I can't stand this life without sweet heroin". Deleted for the studio recordings, Jason would occasionally sing them live as recorded here in 1989. Spacemen 3 only regularly performed "Suicide", "Revolution", and "How Does It Feel?" from Playing With Fire while ignoring other tracks. Every so often one of them would turn up like "I Believe It" and "Lord Can You Hear Me?" "Things'll Never Be The Same" was a part of the Spacemen 3 live set since 1984. Both "Revolution" and "Suicide" had been part of the band's live set for almost a year before the studio versions were officially released. This incendiary version comes from a 1989 show in which "Revolution" was often played twice. "Suicide" was typically the last song of the set and could last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. "Take Me To The Other Side" was one of the band's most intense workouts, always a strong crowd pleaser, and rarely out of the set