The Queen Of Outer Space

The Queen Of Outer Space was the eleventh single released as part of The Hit Parade series in 1992. If you’re not aware, The Wedding Present put out a single a month for each of the twelve months. It gave the band several chart appearances including this one with its one week visit to 23 in the pop charts.

Opinion will vary as to the quality of all the records in this run but personally I think they hold up really well as the band were really firing on all cylinders at this point. Behind the scenes founding member Keith Gregory was on the verge of departing whilst the band continued with their eclectic run of  cover songs on the B-sides. Here, we have the theme tune from quaint sci-fi curio UFO which fits with the A-side: a song that borrows somewhat from the quirky and ‘of its time’ 50’s movie but deviates into bizarre realms of fictional spiders and  the nature of beauty. David swears he wasn’t on anything when he wrote this.

I loved the energy and ferocity of this song. Shouting along with the choruses is a joyous thing. It may all mean nothing at all but sometimes that’s all you need.

Questions and Answers with David Gedge:

I assume this has a lot to do with the 1958 Zsa Zsa Gabor film.

DLG: No, not really! I actually didn’t see the film until ten years after the song was written. I just came across the title in an article about 1950s sci-fi films and loved it… but I added a ‘The’.

Do you like all those schlocky sci-fi B-movies?

DLG: I always think I’ll like them… mainly because of the titles… or the DVD sleeves or whatever… but then I’m almost always bored after half an hour. Having said that, I thought ‘Queen Of Outer Space’ was an entertaining one although it’s, erm, full of pre-feminist dialogue! It’s set in 1985, by the way…

The lyrics are quite surreal in places and not related to the film directly, where did they come from?

DLG: It’s just a playful love song, really, into which I’ve just thrown some dreamlike imagery based on my fondness for science fiction and comic book culture. When Keith Gregory [bass; The Wedding Present, 1985-1993] heard it he asked me if it was a song about drugs!

Maybe related to the above question, this was the eleventh song in the 1992 Hit Parade series. By that point you were writing songs not that far in advance on recording them? How was that?

DLG: None of the Hit Parade songs were written that far in advance. We began the project late in 1991 and wrote and recorded the songs in four batches of three… give or take. The first three singles were actually recorded in October, 1991. So each song was written maybe only three or four months in advance of its release. It was certainly an interesting way of writing… obviously songwriters don’t usually work to a deadline like that… and I found it quite stressful at times. But we had this rule that if we ever felt the quality was suffering because of our need to keep to the schedule we would just abort the series. I’m happy that all the A-sides did keep to our high standard in the end but I was also glad when the project was completed!

Any thoughts on the song in general?

DLG: It’s a rocker! The verse is quiet and restrained compared to the choruses and instrumental section so there’s an exciting dynamic. I think Brian Paulson’s production really heightens the drama…

It’s quite a fun song live, do you like playing it (and shouting the choruses)?

DLG: Yes… I do. It’s one of the only times I ever play a guitar solo because I usually don’t like them and I’m also not very good at them. Having said that, the first 24 notes of my solo are actually the same note.

In the video you are wearing a Green Lantern t-shirt. Are you a big fan? I’m guessing you might be an Alan Scott fan.

DLG: Alan Scott was the ‘first’ Green Lantern, right? I don’t think I’ve ever read any of those stories… though I know DC brought him back for later comics. I did love the Hal Jordan ‘re-invention’, though, yeah… I thought it was an unusual character.

Official Lyrics:

She’s a mixed up girl from a different world
She’s come, come, come, come to a yellow sun
When she began she was a man
Go, go, go, go like a dynamo

She’s my colonel spider
You know, she’s a deep space rider
I feel beautiful beside her

She doesn’t need air; she can breathe anywhere
Come, come, come, come and you can have some
We like to chase through outer space
Go, go, go, go you know

She’s my colonel spider
She’s a deep space rider
I feel beautiful beside her

She’s my colonel spider
You know, she’s a deep space rider
I feel beautiful beside her
I feel wonderful beside her

Written by Gedge and published by SM Publishing [UK] Limited.

Studio Versions:

1 – Single version released 02/11/1992 TIME: 2:59

Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Paul Dorrington (guitar); Keith Gregory(bass); Simon Smith (drums);  Brian Paulson (producer) and  (engineer)

2 – The Hit Parade 2 (session version) released 04/01/1993 TIME: 2:50

Recorded 17/10/1992; First broadcast 02/11/1992 on Mark Goodier Show, BBC Radio 1
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Paul Dorrington  (guitar); Keith Gregory(bass); Simon Smith (drums); Paul Long (producer) and Dave McCarthy (engineer)

Live Versions:

1 – The Complete Peel Sessions released 26/03/2007 TIME: 2:40

Recorded at The Phoenix Festival 14/07/1995; First broadcast 15/07/1995 on John Peel Show, BBC Radio 1
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Paul Dorrington  (guitar); Darren Belk (bass); Simon Smith and Hugh Kelly Jnr (drums)

2 – Live 1992 released 2013 [TONE CD 049] Disc One – TIME: 3:01

Recorded 30/10/1992 at Paard, Den Haag
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Paul Dorrington (guitar); Keith Gregory(bass); Simon Smith (drums);  Joe Hickey (live sound mix); Andy Pearce (re-mastered)

3 – Live 1992 released 2013 [TONE CD 049] Disc Two – TIME: 2:58

Recorded 12/12/1992 at Brixton Academy, London
Recorded by : David Gedge (vocals, guitar); Paul Dorrington (guitar); Keith Gregory(bass); Simon Smith (drums);  Joe Hickey (live sound mix); Andy Pearce (re-mastered)

Video Versions:

1 – Dick York’s Wardrobe – The Hit Parade videos

2 – The Hit Parade Edsel records re-release from 2014 [EDSJ 9007] TIME: 3:01

Live Acoustic version recorded in Hove, East Sussex; performed by David Gedge and Katherine Wallinger

 

The Queen of Outer Space
The Queen of Outer Space

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Live:

The Queen of Outer Space was played fairly regularly from its debut in 1992 through to the hiatus in 1997. As well as the re-releases mentioned above, it featured on several of the official cassette bootlegs such as #12 (28/10/1993, Windsor), #13 (16/12/1994, Strasbourg) and #15 (22/11/1995, Portsmouth). It also returned straight to the setlist when the band reformed for the tour of 2005 and was again played around 2010 and of course whenever the band played the whole of the Hit Parade in 2012/3.

Video:

Here’s the official video from 1992.

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One thought on “The Queen Of Outer Space

  1. I know you probably don’t get a lot of feedback on these songographies, but they’re great. Thanks for doing this!

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