The Flaming Lips are an American rock band, formed in Norman, Oklahoma in 1983.
Melodically, their sound contains lush, multi-layered, psychedelic rock arrangements, but lyrically their compositions show elements of space rock, including unusual song and album titles—such as "Psychiatric Explorations of the Fetus with Needles", "Free Radicals (A Hallucination of the Christmas Skeleton Pleading with a Suicide Bomber)" and "Yeah, I Know It's a Drag... But Wastin' Pigs Is Still Radical". They are also acclaimed for their elaborate live shows, which feature costumes, balloons, puppets, video projections, complex stage light configurations, giant hands, large amounts of confetti, and frontman Wayne Coyne's signature man-sized plastic bubble, in which he traverses the audience. In 2002, Q magazine named The Flaming Lips one of the "50 Bands to See Before You Die".
The group recorded several albums and EPs on an indie label, Restless, in the 1980s and early 1990s. After signing to Warner Brothers, they scored a hit in 1993 with "She Don't Use Jelly". Although it has been their only hit single in the U.S., the band has maintained critical respect and, to a lesser extent, commercial viability through albums such as 1999's The Soft Bulletin (which was NME magazine's Album of the Year) and 2002's Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. They have had more hit singles in the UK and Europe than in the U.S. In February 2007, they were nominated for a 2007 BRIT Award in the "Best International Act" category. By 2007, the group garnered three Grammy Awards, including two for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.
On October 13, 2009 the group released their latest studio album, titled Embryonic. On December 22, 2009, the Flaming Lips released a remake of the 1973 Pink Floyd album The Dark Side Of The Moon. In 2011, the band announced plans to release new songs in every month of the year, with the entire process filmed.
The Soft Bulletin is the ninth album released by The Flaming Lips on May 17, 1999 in the UK, with a US release following on June 22, 1999.
Despite never reaching the Billboard 200, The Soft Bulletin was lauded by critics and fans alike and topped numerous "Best of 1999" lists. The Soft Bulletin is considered by some to be partially responsible for establishing the latter-day identity of The Flaming Lips, and as its following expanded over the years after its release, paving the way to their being among the most well-respected groups of the 2000s. The album sold 38,000 copies in the U.S. in 2006.
In 2006, Robert Dimery chose The Soft Bulletin and its follow-up Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots as part of his book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Pitchfork Media ranked the album 3rd on the Top 100 albums of the 1990s list.
Upon the album's ten year anniversary in May 2009, The Record Review featured the album as a part of its "Ten Years Later" feature, noting that "ten years removed, The Soft Bulletin is still an undeniably essential listen that belongs in every record collection." It was announced that in July 2011 the band will perform the record live in its entirety as part of All Tomorrow's Parties 'Don't Look Back' season.
Upon its release, The Soft Bulletin was subject to record company demands for commercial-sounding music, hence the inclusion of remixes of several songs. In addition, the US and UK CDs each contain one track that the other does not, "The Spiderbite Song" and "Slow Motion" respectively.
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