Chronicles of the early, pre-Warner Bros. days of Oklahoma City's most revered alt-rockers, these two discs are, simply put, a pair of distortion and psychedelia-drenched jewels.

Chronicles of the early, pre-Warner Bros. days of Oklahoma City's most revered alt-rockers, these two discs are, simply put, a pair of distortion and psychedelia-drenched jewels. It's impressive and hip enough that the three-disc Finally the Punk Rockers Are Taking Acid comprises the band's eponymous 1984 EP, 1986's Hear It Is, 1987's Oh My Gawd!!! . . . The Flaming Lips, and 1988's Telepathic Surgery. But in addition, these three discs boast a ton—17 tracks in total—of extras, which include a slew of live cuts, remixes, and covers (witness the band's invigorating take on Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush" on disc three). Some of the bonus cuts are even accompanied by such charming liner notes as "Recorded in Norman, Oklahoma, 1987? by, then skinny bootlegger Scott [Booker], before he was our manager . . ." (the live version of "My Own Planet"). Though sold separately, the two discs work essentially as a two-piece boxed set. The Day They Shot a Hole in the Jesus Egg—which comprises 1989's The Mushroom Tapes, 1990's In a Priest Driven Ambulance, and another batch of bonus cuts—features similar packaging (each of the discs are numbered; these are discs four and five). All five discs—and even the ancient live cuts—sound wonderful. Each come with recently penned, nicely substantial essays from frontman Wayne Coyne. Drummer Steven Drozd contributes an essay to Acid. It seems clear (from the look, the feel, obviously the liner notes, and the sheer number of extras) that it's the band and Booker's involvement that helps make these such essential items for fans. The thought and care they put into these records is palpable. And it's what will no doubt earn these collections more and more of a must-have status as they age.—WO