Bag Full Of Thoughts

Album: The Flaming Lips (1984)

Songfacts®:

  • The Flaming Lips released their first EP in 1984 with the hypnotic "Bag Full Of Thoughts" as its lead track. At the time, the lineup was Mark Coyne on lead vocals, his brother Wayne Coyne on guitar, Michael Ivins on bass, and Richard English on drums. Wayne, who took over as frontman the following year, described the tune in the book Staring at Sound: The True Story of Oklahoma's Fabulous Flaming Lips: "It was this sludgy, trippy song that we thought of as early Joy Division."
  • According to Wayne, the EP was an experimental effort by amateur musicians who didn't really know what they were doing. He told Uncut in 2008: "I hear this now and it sounds so demented. It's kind of druggy, kind of punk rock and it's kind of psychedelic. We don't even play in the right key sometimes and we're out of tune. But we do it with such a 'Who cares...' attitude, and it's wonderful. We felt like that would be the only record we made. We'd run into musicians and we thought, 'Wow, they're really musicians. They know what they're playing.' They would talk about chord structures and what key things are in on our own record and we'd be like, 'We have no idea what you're talking about.' But at the same time, that worried us. We were pretending that we were musicians and we knew what we were doing, but really we were just dorks that liked music. It's like suddenly being thrown on Top Chef and saying, 'Well, I just like eating in a restaurant, I don't like f--king cooking the food.' We felt like there's no way that this hoax could perpetuate itself much further than that. My brother Mark was in the band and at this time we were discovering that he didn't really like music and didn't like to sing, so we said, 'Why don't we get rid of this guy?' I think it surprised him that we asked him to quit, since it was his band."
  • This also appears on the compilation albums A Collection of Songs Representing an Enthusiasm for Recording...By Amateurs (1998), Finally The Punk Rockers Are Taking Acid (2002), and Scratching the Door: The First Recordings of the Flaming Lips (2018).
  • If you're getting a Nirvana vibe from this tune, it's because of the chord progression, which is similar to Nirvana's 1989 track "About A Girl."

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