On the Sunday of Life…. – the first studio release by Porcupine Tree – is 20 years old now, and compiled of songs written between around 1988 and 1991, and seems to be looked down upon by a large chunk of the fans the band have picked up with their more recent releases.
Me? I was there at the beginning; Jupiter Island was the song that got me hooked on Porcupine Tree, and I still think this is their best album.
Why? Partly I think because of the eclectic mix of sounds and styles – from the jaunty psychadelia of Jupiter Island, to the instrumentals like Third Eye Surfer, to the decidedly weird and slightly creepy spoken piece Space Transmission, to the weird ambience of Hymn, to the brilliant prog rock epics Radioactive Toy and It Will Rain For A Million Years….
In between all that you get a random nod to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – Footprints borrows ‘Tangerine Trees and Marmalade Skies and Plastecine Porters with Looking Glass Ties’ straight from it, and by a curious coincidence is followed by Linton Samuel Dawson, which, unlike the aforementioned Beatles number, is quite clearly about drugs.
In fact much of the album has a decidedly trippy feel to it, but every moment of strung out weirdness (Queen Quotes Crowley) there’s a Begonia Seduction Scene.
Yes, it’s weird (which, as you may gather, I like for writing music), but it’s also bloomin fantastic. If you like Porcupine Tree’s later work, it’s worth a listen, but may not be what you’re expecting… If you like psychadelia, prog-rock, musical jokes or just originality, this has it all.