The Flaming Lips

Bad Days

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The second part of the U.K. Bad Days single won initial notice for its great packaging alone, as well it should -- a plastic blister pack with some sort of strange goo inside, nicely referencing the equally off-kilter colors of the Clouds Taste Metallic album itself. Besides the reappearance of "Bad Days" itself, two tracks eventually collected in America on Providing Needles appear -- the cover of Suicide's "Ice Drummer" and the lovely, melancholy "Put the Waterbug in the Policeman's Ear." That leaves as the one otherwise unavailable song "When You Smiled (I Lost My Only Idea)," an alternate "easy listening" instrumental take of the similarly titled track from Clouds, possibly a demo of same. With a steady Drozd drum punch and rough noises in the background, the song here mixes darker bits with sprightly guitar work, handclaps, and '70s synth noises -- it's a fun little joy of a song, not per se essential but one that fans and newcomers alike could enjoy.

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