The Flaming Lips

Do You Realize??

Composed by The Flaming Lips

Song Review by

Oddly, as the Flaming Lips get stranger and stranger, they've been embraced more and more by the pop mainstream. "Do You Realize??," the first single from Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, was even featured in a 2002 commercial for Hewlett-Packard computers that featured singer Wayne Coyne in a pure white suit and Stephen Drozd and Michael Ivins, the band's other two members, in giant white bunny costumes. This could be because that for all the song's odd elements, like the weirdly moaned count-in and the absurd over-prominence of the overdubbed acoustic guitars and a single hi-hat cymbal that overpower everything else in the arrangement, including Coyne's lead vocals, "Do You Realize??" is quite possibly the group's most genuinely lovely tune ever. The melody is perfectly suited to Coyne's limited but expressive strangled yelp of a voice, and his lyrics, asking hard to fathom questions like "Do you realize that everyone you know someday will die?" take the Big Questions themes of 1999's The Soft Bulletin into a more personal and introspective arena. The full, orchestral arrangement is completely over the top, but like, say, 10cc's "I'm Not In Love" (a song with a similar feel although an entirely different sound), the grandiose production actually helps the song rather than detracting from it.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots 2002 Warner Bros.
Do You Realize?? 2002 WEA International
Both Sides Now: The Spirit of Americana 2002
Various Artists
Gravity 3:34
Do You Realize??, Pt. 2 2003 WEA International 3:32
Fight Test [EP] 2003 Warner Bros. 9:07
How to Deal 2003
Original Soundtrack
Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol 3:30
Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell 2003 Warner Bros. 4:02
Big Day Out 2004 2004
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:34
Chillout 05: The Ultimate Chill 2004
Various Artists
Nettwerk America / Nettwerk 3:28
Toronto Rocks 2004
Various Artists
No Image 2005 Warner Bros. 3:33
Yoshimi Wins: Live Radio Sessions 2005 Warner Bros. 3:38
The Flaming Lips 1992-2005: 19 Music Videos [DVD] 2005 Warner Bros.
Live at Austin City Limits Music Festival 2006 2006 Warner Bros. 6:36
UFO's at the Zoo: Legendary Concert in Oklahoma City 2007 Warner Bros.
100 Anthems: Chill Out 2008
Various Artists
Rhino / Wea UK 3:28
Revolutions in Sound: Warner Bros. Records - The First 50 Years 2008
Various Artists
Warner Bros. 3:33
Moondust 2009
Various Artists
Heavenly / Virgin / Virgin/Heavenly 3:23
Triple J: 40 Years of Music 2015
Various Artists
ABC 3:32
Boyhood [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
Original Soundtrack
Nonesuch 3:32
blue highlight denotes editor's pick