The Weekly Music Thread Checks the Track Listing

Let’s discuss any and all music here. Got a new artist who’s rocking your boat that you want to talk about? Post a video! Found out about that unearthed Coltrane album that has the jazz freak in you losing your mind? Lay it out for us! Have a theory about what your favorite band might do for their next album? Let’s hear it! Anything and everything music-related goes here.

REMINDER: On Thursday December 12, the discussion prompt for the Weekly Music Thread will be “Favorite Albums and Songs of the Decade”. For anyone who’s interested in participating, hopefully this will give you ample time to prepare your lists of favorite albums and songs from this decade, and have them ready to go! I’ll continue to post this reminder in the weeks leading up to the big day, and will also be posting in the open thread to both spread the word and to (hopefully) prevent someone else from posting a separate thread devoted to this exact same topic.


A few weeks ago I bought a CD (in 2019): The Soft Bulletin by the Flaming Lips. Now in case you were wondering, I’ve already owned this album on CD for nearly two decades. But the version I bought at my local second hand shop (for 180 yen – cheap!) was the UK version, which has a slightly different track listing than the one released in the US and most other countries. Both versions open with “Race for the Prize”, but while the US version uses the slightly more polished Mokran remix, the UK version uses the standard mix, with the standard mix appearing as track 13 on the US version and the remix appearing as track 12 on the UK version. “Buggin'”, which is track 5 on the US version, is moved to the very end of the UK version. But the most significant difference between the two is that the UK version features a track that does not appear on the US version titled “Slow Motion”:

This track appears as track 4 on the UK release. Now this track is fine, and it fits well enough with the rest of the songs on the album. The only problem is that in exchange for including “Slow Motion”, they got rid of “The Spiderbite Song”:

Now I may be biased as I’ve spent close to two decades with the US version, but while “Slow Motion” is a decent song, it’s hardly a stand out track. “The Spiderbite Song”, on the other hand, was written by Wayne Coyne after his two band mates had near-death experiences: Michael Ivins in a car accident, and Steven Drozd by a spider bite that caused his hand to become infected and swell up to the size of a tennis ball (though in 2002 Drozd admitted that the “spider bite” was actually an abscess from injecting heroin intravenously that turned into a serious infection). Personally, I think “Spiderbite” is clearly the superior track: it really ties the album together, as it’s not only catchier and more memorable than “Slow Motion”, but lyrically it’s also more closely related to the themes of life, death and impermanence recurring throughout the album.

Which leads us to this week’s discussion prompt: In cases where more than one version of an album exists, which do you prefer and why?

Capitol Records notoriously butchered all of the Beatles’ album releases right up until Sgt. Pepper. This was done solely to create extra product and not for artistic purposes – however, the one thing that Capitol arguably got right was using “I’ve Just Seen a Face” as the opening track for Rubber Soul. Being buried deep into side two on the Help! soundtrack does the song no favors, but as an album opener it soars. Too bad that in exchange they got rid of “Drive My Car” all together, though.

As always, any and all music-related discussion topics are welcome. Have fun, and rock out with yr guac out!