Since they formed in Oklahoma, in 1983, The Flaming Lips have consistently defied expectations. From punk-rock beginnings to shimmering psych vistas via existential dread and all manner of experiments, Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd’s band have entertained and enlightened audiences worldwide. Revealing just how they’ve managed to do that, here are the best Flaming Lips songs.
Listen to the best of The Flaming Lips here, and check out our best Flaming Lips songs, below.
20: Five Stop Mother Superior Rain (from ‘In A Priest Driven Ambulance’, 1990)
The Flaming Lips’ fourth album, In A Priest Driven Ambulance was a huge step forward for the band – the point where their noisy past collided with a new focus on songwriting. It was also the first Lips album to feature Mercury Rev’s Jonathan Donahue as part of the line-up, and their inaugural outing with producer Dave Fridmann, who’d go on to helm their best-loved work. One of the best Flaming Lips songs from a transitional period, Five Stop Mother Superior Rain starts as a lo-fi country tune before sheets of distorted guitar blast it skyward. Lyrically, it’s typical of frontman Wayne Coyne’s fascination with religion at the time. The singer explained to Record Collector magazine in 2020 that he approached the subject matter with caution: “We questioned all that stuff: is this stupid or are people gonna think we’re a Christian band? And we weren’t Christian at all, but we thought it was silly how satanic bands were.”