Spiritualized The Complete Works Volume One

A double-disc collection of singles, B-sides, and EPs released up to 1995’s Electric Mainline EP that does a tremendous job of showcasing all sides of Jason Pierce’s post-Spacemen 3 output. There’s the mantra-like repetition, the dreamy soundscapes, the derivative Velvet Underground-esque rave-ups, the gut wrenching soul-ballads, charging, R&B fuelled rockers and of course, lyrics about love, drugs and Jesus. Pierce’s obsession with reinterpretation is also on full display as five songs appear in multiple versions, including four different versions of "Feel So Sad.” The last of these versions is one of the collection’s major highlights, starting out as a sleepy drone but slowly building into a neo-classical, symphonic wall of sound. "Smiles” also stands out, an explosion of rumbling and tumbling drums, guitar feedback and blasting brass playing a bastardised version of the "Satisfaction” riff. Fans won’t be disappointed with the alternate, superior takes on "Medication, I Want You” and "Lay Back In The Sun” and the self-indulgence is mostly kept to a minimum, though I wonder if anyone really enjoys listening to 17-minutes of "Electric Mainline.” A must-have for fans and a good overview for those curious about the group’s early sound. (Arista)