An unexpected peek into the band's earliest possible roots, For All the Fucked Up Children preserves Spacemen 3's first ever studio recording work from 1984. Though there are seven cuts total, only five songs are on offer -- the remaining two are alternate mixes of some recordings, interesting but not notably different. Outside of a completely fried take of "TV Catastrophe," those expecting Playing With Fire, or even Sound of Confusion, will have some (pleasant, happily) surprises at hearing where the group was and had yet to go. "Things'll Never Be the Same" readily demonstrates how the trio changed more with time. Where the version on The Perfect Prescription is a viciously compressed, psychotic monster of a track, here it's almost easygoing, Pierce's voice swathed in the appropriate echo while all three lay down everything in a country/blues-with-feedback approach. "Walkin' With Jesus" is even more radically different from either of the more familiar later takes, again cooking up a slow and steady blues twang and stomp with plenty of ambient space, Sonic contributing harmonica while Pierce does his best imitation of Lou Reed-sings-Muddy Waters. "Fixin' to Die," meanwhile, may share its title with other tracks but is its own little beast, an early take of "Come Down Easy" with different lyrics and backing vocals but the same general low-key gospel groove. As a great bonus, the packaging has both a review of a live show from around the same period -- if nothing else, confirming that Rugby was apparently not only an unlikely place for Spacemen 3 to come from, but any band, period -- and an early publicity photograph. Seeing the original three in short haircuts -- Sonic even has a buzz! -- while striking semi-Kraftwerk poses is something else, though at least the sunglasses are in place.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett