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Spiritualized are an English space rock band formed in 1990 in Rugby, Warwickshire by Jason Pierce (who often goes by the alias J. Spaceman) after the demise of his previous band Spacemen 3. The membership of Spiritualized has changed from album to album, with Pierce — who writes, composes and sings all of the band's material — being the only constant member.
Spiritualized have released seven studio albums. The best known and most critically acclaimed of these is perhaps 1997's Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, which NME magazine named as their Album of the Year.Following a breakdown in relations between Spacemen 3 co-frontmen Peter Kember and Jason Pierce, the group's bassist Will Carruthers, drummer Jonny Mattock, and guitarist Mark Refoy were asked by Pierce to form a new group alongside local friend Steve Evans, subsequently calling themselves Spiritualized. The band took their name from an adaptation of the text on the back label of a bottle of Pernod. Due to formation from a majority of Spacemen 3 members, a technical clause meant that Spiritualized had to maintain the Spacemen 3 recording contract with Dedicated Records.
The first Spiritualized release, in 1990, was a cover of The Troggs' "Anyway That You Want Me"; the record heralded the official split of Spacemen 3 following contractual wrangles over the band's name and its use in Spiritualized-related promotional material (initial copies of "Anyway That You Want Me" came with a Spacemen 3 logo on the sleeve).
Evans was replaced on keyboards by Pierce's then-girlfriend Kate Radley for the follow-up single, "Run"/"I Want You". A number of singles followed, before the band, in early 1992, released their first LP Lazer Guided Melodies, which had been recorded in Rugby over the previous two years. A second album, Pure Phase, was released in 1995, and a third Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space emerged in 1997 to critical acclaim and commercial success.
The musical style of Spiritualized relies heavily on sustained 'pedal' notes and drones. Lazer Guided Melodies and Pure Phase incorporate elements of the shoegazing style, drones and tremolo. The landmark Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space saw the influence of African-American gospel and blues beginning to show, while "walls of sound" modelled after the production styles of Phil Spector and Brian Wilson also made their presence felt. Such influences dominated Spiritualized's next album, Let It Come Down, which included over 120 musicians. Amazing Grace favoured a more stripped down sound with the gospel, blues, and soul influences even more dominant than before.
On 15 June 1997, Spiritualized became the last band to play at Factory Records' Manchester nightclub The Hac,ienda.
After several years of work and Pierce's serious illness in July 2005, the album, Songs in A&E was released on 26 May 2008 in the UK, and on 27 May 2008 in the US. The first single from the 18-track album was "Soul On Fire". The release was backed by an Electric Mainlines UK tour which began in May. Pierce has also scored Harmony Korine's 2008 film Mister Lonely.
Pierce is quoted as saying in a 2008 interview that Spiritualized was scheduled to play the CERN collider. "They asked us to do it! We were gonna play in it before they’d thrown the switch. But it was a timing thing—their timings didn’t coincide with ours."
In October and December 2009 the band performed 1997's Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space live in its entirety as part of the All Tomorrow's Parties-curated Don't Look Back series.