Spiritualized have announced the first release in their second wave of the Spaceman Reissue Series, the first series of which covered their first four studio albums in 2021. Amazing Grace, originally released in 2003, has been remastered and recut, and will be out on January 19 of 2024. It’s also billed as a 20th anniversary edition, which raises the question of whether we’ll see subsequent reissues in a timely manner or if they’re going to just do the anniversary thing, meaning we won’t see a refreshed Songs In A&E until 2028?
Unlike the releases in the first set, it doesn’t appear that Amazing Grace gets any remixed cover artwork, though if you squint it appears the background of the cover image is greyer than the original pressing, which had a more yellowish tinge. Which is some trainspotty shit.
Amazing Grace was a somewhat divisive record on its release, as it discarded the lush, ornate arrangements of the previous albums for a much rawer, noisier aesthetic and was recorded in a single three-week session. Once upon a time, Jason Pierce would have spent three weeks mixing a hi-hat cymbal. Reflecting on the sessions on announcing the reissue, he says:
None of the band heard the song until the morning of the recordings.
After the Rockfield sessions we went back to London and overdubbed the Kenny Wheeler and Evan Parker parts, and the strings, the little quartet. But we did it almost immediately. It was like “we’re gonna put this down and that’s it.”
The idea of the songs was we weren’t gonna keep chasing them forever. Which is almost the opposite of what we’d been doing for the two previous albums.Jason Pierce, Spiritualized
To go with the announcement, the band have released a new video for “Rated X”. That it looks like you’re watching it through a peepshow window is probably intentional.