The Flaming Lips are an American rock band, formed in Norman, Oklahoma in 1983.
Melodically, their sound contains lush, multi-layered, psychedelic rock arrangements, but lyrically their compositions show elements of space rock, including unusual song and album titles—such as “Psychiatric Explorations of the Fetus with Needles,” “Free Radicals (A Hallucination of the Christmas Skeleton Pleading with a Suicide Bomber),” and “Yeah, I Know It’s a Drag… But Wastin’ Pigs Is Still Radical.” They are also acclaimed for their elaborate live shows, which feature costumes, balloons, puppets, video projections, complex stage light configurations, giant hands, large amounts of confetti, and frontman Wayne Coyne’s signature man-sized plastic bubble, in which he traverses the audience. In 2002, Q magazine named The Flaming Lips one of the “50 Bands to See Before You Die.”
The group recorded several albums and EPs on an indie label, Restless, in the 1980s and early 1990s. After signing to Warner Brothers, they scored a hit in 1993 with “She Don’t Use Jelly.” Although it has been their only hit single in the U.S., the band has maintained critical respect and, to a lesser extent, commercial viability through albums such as 1999’s The Soft Bulletin (which was NME magazine’s Album of the Year) and 2002’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. They have had more hit singles in the UK and Europe than in the U.S. In February 2007, they were nominated for a 2007 BRIT Award in the “Best International Act” category. By 2007, the group garnered three Grammy Awards, including two for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.
On October 13, 2009 the group released their latest studio album, titled Embryonic. On December 22, 2009, the Flaming Lips released a remake of the 1973 Pink Floyd album, The Dark Side of the Moon. In 2011, the band announced plans to release new songs in every month of the year, with the entire process filmed.
“If you were to make a list of bands that would be active three decades later –let alone ones that would eventually sign with a major label, sell millions of records, appear in TV commercials, and record with teen pop idols – the Oklahoman trio with bad haircuts and a bizarre sense of humor would have been very low on the list. If you were told they would accomplish all of that without changing their idiosyncrasies, that would sell millions of records while getting weirder and more eccentric along the way, it would have been utterly unthinkable. There was simply no precedent for a band like The Flaming Lips.”
– Rolling Stone