This Wednesday, Oct. 28, The Flaming Lips will be releasing their full-length tribute to The Beatles's legendary Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which will be their fourth reinterpretation of a classic album, following Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King and The Stone Roses's self-titled debut. If they ever plan on making anymore of these tribute albums, here are eight suggestions, including The Beach Boys and Led Zeppelin.
1. The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds (1966)
Since the Lips just tackled the greatest album of all time, then they should have no problem taking on the second greatest of all time. Pet Sounds is already a psychedelic album, but in a more lush, organic way than The Flaming Lips tend to go for these days, so they would probably stick a fuzz-bass solo in the middle section of "God Only Knows."
2. Black Sabbath: Paranoid (1970)
The Flaming Lips already performed a wonderfully noisy cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" during their live sets back in 2006, but now I want to hear what they would do with the album's other seven tracks, particularly psychedelic jams such as "Planet Caravan," "Electric Funeral" and the instrumental "Rat Salad," which would give Steve Drozd a chance to totally let loose on drums.
3. David Bowie: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)
An art rock concept album about an extraterrestrial rock star spreading messages of peace and love? How is this not already a Flaming Lips album?
4. Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy (1973)
Houses of the Holy is probably the strangest album Led Zeppelin ever put out, which would make it perfect for The Flaming Lips to reinterpret. There is simply no way they could take a song like "No Quarter" and not turn it into a 10-minute stoner metal jam.
5. Genesis: Selling England by the Pound (1973)
It might be a bit blasphemous for an American band to record a full-length tribute to Selling England by the Pound, but the album's dense musicality and surreal playfulness is the sort of thing The Flaming Lips would have done themselves back in their Soft Bulletin/Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots days.
6. Fleetwood Mac: Rumours (1977)
Being a huge fan of Led Zeppelin, The Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd, Wayne Coyne seems like the kind of guy who would have hated Fleetwood Mac during their 1970s heyday, but pretty much everyone loves Fleetwood Mac these days. The expert songwriting and unforced eclecticism of Rumours would give Coyne a million jumping off points if he ever decided to do a tribute.
7. Kate Bush: Hounds of Love (1985)
Though most of the other albums on this list are pretty guitar-heavy, Kate Bush's 1985 art-pop masterpiece Hounds of Love has little guitar on it — and when there is, it is usually buried in the mix — which would make for a fascinating reinterpretation. The Flaming Lips could possibly rearrange these songs to heavily feature guitar, or they could return to their gentler, synth-based style of arrangement from The Soft Bulletin, but either would be worth hearing.
8. R.E.M.: Automatic for the People (1992)
The Flaming Lips have never released an album that was anywhere near folk, country or anything similarly rootsy, which is why a full-length tribute to R.E.M.'s 1992 classic Automatic for the People would be cool. They probably would not stick to the original album's acoustic, organic arrangements, but it would still be cool to hear "Man on the Moon" performed with some scorched-Earth electronics.
What other albums do you think The Flaming Lips should cover? Let us know down in the comments section.