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Playing With Fire (Double Disc Version)

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Editors’ Notes

Playing With Fire represents the apotheosis of Spacemen 3. “Revolution” brought a career of fuzz-infested climaxes to its conclusion, while “Honey” and “I Believe It” unified Pete Kember’s drone-rock obsession with Jason Pierce’s passion for gospel music. “Lord Can You Hear Me” and “May the Circle Be Unbroken” are sublime examples of the gift this band of British druggies had for refashioning gospel in its own image, but the real songwriting growth was embodied in Pierce’s “So Hot (Wash Away All of My Tears).” Sad and disarmingly sensual, the song finds Spacemen 3 transcending their influences and inhabiting the spirit of blues and soul music. A sprawling, melodramatic opus, Playing With Fire is the album Pete Kember and Jason Pierce had been reaching for since Spacemen 3’s beginnings, and its completion signaled not only the pinnacle of the band’s vision, but the beginning of two divergent musical paths for the its twin masterminds.

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Formed: 1982 in Rugby, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Spacemen 3 were psychedelic in the loosest sense of the word; their guitar explorations were colorfully mind-altering, but not in the sense of the acid rock of the '60s. Instead, the band developed its own minimalistic psychedelia, relying on heavily distorted guitars to clash and produce their own harmonic overtones; frequently, they would lead up to walls of distortion with overamplified acoustic guitars and synths. Often the band would jam on one chord or play a series of songs, all in the same...
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