|Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots|
|Studio album by|
|Released||July 15, 2002|
|Recorded||June 2000 - April 2002|
|Studio||Tarbox Road Studios, Cassadaga, New York|
|The Flaming Lips chronology|
|Singles from Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots|
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is the tenth studio album by American rock band The Flaming Lips, released on July 15, 2002 by Warner Bros. Records. The album was well-received critically and commercially, helping the band break into the mainstream, and was adapted into a musical in 2012.
The lyrics of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots concern a diverse array of subject matter, mostly melancholy ponderings about love, mortality, artificial emotion, pacifism, and deception, while telling the story of Yoshimi's battle. The title character is inspired by Boredoms/OOIOO member Yoshimi P-We, following a comment in the Flaming Lips studio that her machine-sound abstract singing sounds like she is battling monsters--Coyne added 'pink'. P-We also performs on the album. Some listeners consider Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots to be a concept album; however, the story is debated, as it is only directly apparent in the first four tracks. Despite the story-type title and science fiction themes of the album, Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne has made it clear that the album is not intended to be a concept album.
The vocal melody of track one, "Fight Test", echoes Cat Stevens's "Father and Son". Stevens, now Yusuf Islam, is receiving royalties following a relatively uncontentious settlement. Coyne has claimed that he was unaware of the songs' similarities until producer Dave Fridmann pointed them out. This claim, however, is contradicted by his statement to Rolling Stone magazine: "I know 'Father and Son' and I knew there would be a little bit of comparison. 'Fight Test' is not a reference necessarily to the ideas of 'Father and Son', but definitely a reference to the cadence, the melody, and chord progression. I think it's such a great arrangement of chords and melody". The final track, "Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia)", won a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. The Flaming Lips also won the same award for "The Wizard Turns On...", taken from At War with the Mystics, in 2006.
In recent years, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots has proved itself to have a bigger commercial impact than the band's 1999 breakthrough album The Soft Bulletin, and became their first gold-certified release in April 2006. As of 2009, it has sold 570,000 copies in United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots received widespread acclaim from critics. Calling the album "as strange as it is wonderful," Billboard nonetheless noted that "beneath the sunny, computer-generated atmospherics and the campy veneer of talk about gladiator-style clashes between man and machines with emotions, Yoshimi is actually a somber rumination on love and survival in an unfathomable world." Tom Moon of Rolling Stone praised the album's "ambitious" production, while Fortune magazine called it "a lush and haunting electronic symphony."Uncut declared that "even by their standards, Yoshimi is astonishing."Robert Christgau of The Village Voice gave the album a three-star honorable mention rating, indicating "an enjoyable effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well treasure".Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots appeared in the best-albums-of-the-decade lists of several music publications, such as Rolling Stone (#27) and Uncut (#11), with Uncut also declaring it the greatest album released in the magazine's lifetime. The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
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As a 2014 April Fool's gag, Funny or Die posted a fake trailer for Yoshimi: Fall of the Chosen starring members of The Flaming Lips. The short is laced with references from the album: "Evil Natured Robots Programed to Destroy Us" scrolls by during news footage, "Yoshimi! Don't let them eat me!" is heard in the dialogue, and there is a quick shot of Yoshimi taking her vitamins.
|"||There's the real world and then there's this fantastical world. This girl, the Yoshimi character, is dying of cancer. And these two guys are battling to come visit her in the hospital. And as one of the boyfriends envisions trying to save the girl, he enters this other dimension where Yoshimi is this Japanese warrior and the pink robots are an incarnation of her disease. It's almost like the disease has to win in order for her soul to survive. Or something like that.||"|
Des McAnuff stated that Aaron Sorkin exited the project after it became clear the musical would be sung through. The musical includes existing songs from the album, as well as two other Flaming Lips albums, The Soft Bulletin and At War with the Mystics. The show received its world premiere at the Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse in November 2012, starring Kimiko Glenn as Yoshimi Yasukawa, Paul Nolan as Ben Nickel, Nik Walker as Booker, Pearl Sun as Mrs. Yasukawa, John Haggerty as Mr. Yasukawa and Tom Hewitt as Dr. Petersen.
|1.||"Fight Test" (The Flaming Lips, Dave Fridmann, Cat Stevens)||4:14|
|2.||"One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21"||4:59|
|3.||"Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1"||4:45|
|4.||"Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 2"||2:57|
|5.||"In the Morning of the Magicians"||6:18|
|6.||"Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell"||4:34|
|7.||"Are You a Hypnotist"||4:44|
|9.||"Do You Realize" (The Flaming Lips, Dave Fridmann)||3:33|
|10.||"All We Have Is Now"||3:53|
|11.||"Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia)"||3:09|
|Special edition surround sound DVD-Audio|
|2.||"One More Robot/Sympathy 3000-21"||5:01|
|3.||"Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1"||4:48|
|4.||"Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 2"||2:52|
|5.||"In the Morning of the Magicians"||6:25|
|6.||"Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell"||4:25|
|7.||"Are You a Hypnotist"||4:50|
|9.||"Do You Realize"||3:32|
|10.||"All We Have Is Now"||3:53|
|11.||"Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia)"||3:12|
|Bonus DVD audio tracks|
|1.||"Up Above the Daily Hum"|
|2.||"Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1" (Japanese version)|
|3.||"If I Go Mad (Funeral in My Head)"|
|4.||"Do You Realize Floating in Space Remix" (Edit)|
|5.||"Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1" (AOL sessions)|
|6.||"Do You Realize" (CD101 version)|
|Bonus DVD video tracks|
|1.||"Do You Realize" (Mark Pellington version)|
|2.||"Do You Realize" (Wayne Coyne * Bradley Beesley * George Salisbury version)|
|3.||"Making of the Do You Realize" (Video)|
|4.||"Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1"|
|5.||"Making of the Yoshimi Video"|
|7.||"Phoebe Battles the Pink Robots"|
|8.||"Christmas on Mars" (Movie trailer)|
|9.||"Making of the Yoshimi DVD-A"|
|10.||"Are You a Hypnotist" (George's Photogenic Stimulation Theory #1134)|
|1.||"Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1" (Animated episode)|
|2.||"Fight Test" (Animated episode)|
The Flaming Lips