The Flaming Lips just announced two remastered compilations of some of their earliest music. And we’re talking way back, like to the ’80s. Both releases, due to drop within the coming months, feature tunes from the indie rock band’s pre-Warner Bros days, when they were still signed to Restless Records.
Scratching the Door: The First Recordings of the Flaming Lips is the first out of the starting blocks. It’s dropping April 20 (that’s right, 4/20), and it stars 19 tracks culled from the Lips’ first two cassette demos and their debut self-released EP. The next release, Seeing the Unseeable: The Complete Studio Recordings of The Flaming Lips 1986-1990, is a six-CD box set comprising their four Restless Records albums and two other discs of deep cuts. That’s coming at us on May 25.
Scratching the Door is a throwback to the outfit’s formative years. Wayne Coyne isn’t even on the microphones—that role fell to his brother, Mark. And the comp also includes a few covers, such as Led Zeppelin’s “Communication Breakdown” and The Who’s “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere.”
On the other hand, Seeing the Unseeable puts four Restless-era albums back in print: Hear It Is (1986), Oh My Gawd!!!… The Flaming Lips (1987), Telepathic Surgery (1989) and In a Priest Driven Ambulance (with Silver Sunshine Stares) (1990). Rarities like a cover of Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush” are also in the box.
Both reissues were remastered from the original sources by long-time Lips’ collaborator David Fridmann, and are also available as digital downloads and streaming.