Album Artwork JPEGPorcupine Tree - On The Sunday Of Life

Cat No: DELEC CD/LP 008

Release Date: 12th May 1992
Reissue Date: 27th October 1997

[Track Listing] [Lyrics] [Credits] [Reviews]
[Porcupine Tree Home Page]

Go to TopTrack Listing

  • First Love
    1. Music For The Head - 2:42 (Wilson)
    2. Jupiter Island - 6:12 (Wilson, Duffy) - lyric
    3. Third Eye Surfer - 2:48 (Wilson)
    4. On The Sunday Of Life - 2:11 (Wilson)
    5. The Nostalgia Factory - 7:25 (Wilson, Duffy) - lyric
  • Second Sight
    1. Space Transmission - 2:59 (Wilson)
    2. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip - 0:27 (Wilson)
    3. Radioactive Toy - 10:00 (Wilson) - lyric
    4. Nine Cats - 3:55 (Wilson, Duffy) - lyric
  • Third Eye
    1. Hymn - 1:14 (Wilson)
    2. Footprints - 5:59 (Wilson, Duffy) - lyric
    3. Linton Samuel Dawson - 3:05 (Wilson, Duffy) - lyric
    4. And the Swallows Dance Above the Sun - 4:03 (Wilson, Duffy) - lyric
    5. Queen Quotes Crowley - 3:55 (Wilson)
  • Fourth Bridge
    1. No Luck With Rabbits - 0:45 (Wilson)
    2. Begonia Seduction Scene - 2:10 (Wilson)
    3. This Long Silence - 5:10 (Wilson, Duffy) - lyric
    4. It Will Rain For A Million Years - 10:47 (Wilson, Duffy) - lyric

Go to TopLyrics

Jupiter Island

Jupiter Island is full of pleasures
Glowing gardens holding hidden treasures
Luminous flowers of yellows and greens
Glittering petals that have to be seen
Here's your chance don't let it pass you by
Take my hand and we'll fly

Jupiter Island is surrounded by oceans
Majestic ballerinas with graceful motions
Magenta forests on a crimson sea
The electric clouds ar as vivid as can be
Scarlet moons in a domino sky
Take my hand and we'll fly

Come on let's fly to Jupiter Island
Come on let's fly to Jupiter Island
Come on let's fly to Jupiter Island
Come on let's fly to Jupiter Island
Just take my hand and we'll fly

Jupiter Island is full of mountains
Ruby rivers and sapphire fountains
Chessboard lawns bible black and white
The pink and blue trees are incredibly bright
An orange sunset painted on the sky
Take my hand and we'll fly

Jupiter Island is full of people
But you can't see them unless you want to
Lying in the hay on a hot sunny day
Everyone's happy so no-one's gay
Laughter from the children dances way on high
Take my hand and we'll fly

Jupiter Island is full of meadows
Fertile pastures for growing rainbows
Illuminated portraits from strange orchestrations
Lost in a collage of its own creations
Never a chance to wave goodbye
Take my hand and we'll fly

Go to Top

Nostalgia Factory

A Caterpillar crawled to me one day and said
"Oh what the hell goes on inside your swollen head?
I don't believe that you can see as much as I
Now close your eyes and tell me what do you say?"

"I watched nine cats dance on the moon
A flamingo stalked into my room
It bowed its head to me and knelt
To reveal the cards it had dealt
An ace, three jacks, two queens, four kings
Then turned them into burning rings
The flames jumped out and chased four mice
Caught by their tails they turned to ice

A cloud appeared outside my door
And through the window saw four more
And on the back of each cloud sat
Two rainbow smiles in wizard's hats
They threw five clocks down on my bed
The chimes danced out on golden threads
And turned to footprints on my wall
Sequined tears began to fall"

The caterpillar gasped at me and said
"My god if that's what's going on inside your head
You can see so much more than I
I think it's time to turn into a butterfly."

Go to Top

Radioactive Toy

Run through forests on a hot Summer day
Trying to break down walls of numbing pain

Give me the freedom to destroy
Give me radioactive toy

Taste the water from a stream of running death
Eat the apple and cough a dying breath

Feel the sun burning through your black skin
Pour me into a hole, inform my next of kin

Run through graveyards on a dusty Winter day
Spit the dirt out and try to say...

Go to Top

Nine Cats

The butterfly sailed on the breeze
Past a field of barbed wire trees
Where golden dragons chased around
Pampered poppies on the ground
Two silver trout sat way on high
And watched a royal samurai
Plant two black orchids in a box
And strap it to a laughing fox
A minstrel bought a crooked spoon
He gave it to a blue baboon
Who filled it full of virgin snow
And watched it in the afterglow

Fat toad stood in his ballet shoes
Teaching sixteen kangaroos
How to skip across a lake
They found it hard to stay awake
A pharaoh played a merry tune
And watched nine cats dance on the moon
I didn't know what all this meant
I didn't know why I'd been sent.

Go to Top


I saw her footprints on the sea
I knew her eyes were watching me
So I ventured further in my mind
In the hope that I would find:

"Tangerine Trees and Marmalade Skies and
Plasticine Porters with Looking Glass Ties"

My mind had formed a mental prison
I cried aloud no-one would listen
Then floating through the heavy mist
My vision took a sudden twist

Empty people stood in grey
Children laughing far away
An empty courtyard wept alone
Rain lashed down on darkened stone

A crystal glove points to the door
A threshold I had crossed before
On turning back all I could see
Were her footprints on the sea.

Go to Top

Linton Samuel Dawson

Linton Samuel Dawson
Lives in inner space
He hangs around with a circus troupe
Outside the human race

Linton Samuel Dawson
Has just reached 25
Artists travel from outside time
Just to see his rainbow jive

He's bored, He's bored.

Linton Samuel Dawson
Yields his knowledge in a phial
A vivid play on an emerald day
Is experienced in his smile

Linton Samuel Dawson
Visits many open minds
He aids escape to tranquility
From the boredom of mankind

Boredom. From the boredom.
From the boredom of mankind.

Go to Top

And The Swallows Dance Above The Sun

I'm sitting in the concrete
I'm listening for a heartbeat
I'm sitting in the painting
I promised I'd be waiting
I'm sitting in the window
I'm listening to the wind blow
I'm sitting in an hour glass
I'm waiting for the march past

I'm sitting in the doorway
I'm wishing for a new day
I'm choking in the landscape
I'm cutting through the red tape
I'm sitting in the concrete
I'm listening for a heartbeat

And the joke has crossed the line
And the final word is mine
And the mist has touched the wood
And the words are understood
And the sand has drifted high
And the blind man gave a cry
And the swallows dance above the sun
And the swallows dance above the sun

I'm sitting on the ceiling
I had to know the feeling
I'm sitting in the shelter
I'm going down helter skelter
I'm sitting in the concrete
I'm listening for a heartbeat

Every time I turn around
There's another face watching me
Every time I turn around
There's another voice calling me
Every time I turn around
There's another fool reading me
Every time I turn around
There's another silence drowning me.

Go to Top

This Long Silence

A systematic killer
Returning from Madrid
Murdered Mozart in his garden
Mussolini ran and hid
He was chosen by his elders
Sitting on the shelf
They passed his heart to Satan
Who showered them with wealth

A Purple Haze crawled on the lawn
Where lonely angels played
And Shakespeare wrote of Vietnam
While a president decayed
Hollow laughter from below
Cracked the sky in two
As Manson dance inside the flames
And the yellow changed to blue

Swinging from a length of rope
Ruth Ellis blew a kiss
Merlin spoke to Norma Jean
And granted her a wish
Mark Chapman stared at fantasy
Bare wires burned his brain
As Sergeant Pepper led the band
Playing through the rain

The third eye on the surface
Opens up my mind
Twin visions in production
This long silence you will find.

Go to Top

It Will Rain For A Million Years

I locked myself inside the capsule
And watched the planet slowly turning blue
The lights before me flashed and sparkled
Holding keys to lives I've wandred through
Circuits buzzing, visions passing
Mysterious and cold upon the screen
Glowing, flowing with the currents
Yet never knowing where I've really been

The floating seeds of timeless travel
Come to rest in planes that don't exist
Visiting worlds of crystal beauty
Offering dreams so very hard to resist
I've seen the past, I've seen the future
Beyond dimension and into empty space
Finding questions, never answers
living time behind another face.

Go to TopCredits

All lyrics published by Hit & Run (Publishing) Ltd and reproduced with permission.

All music produced and performed by Steven Wilson at No Man's Land 1988-91. Also invited were a selection of guest contributors.
They are:

  • The Expanding Flan - Drums on "Third Eye Surfer"
  • Solomon St. Jermain - Additional Guitar and Voice on"Queen Quotes Crowley"
  • Master Timothy Masters - oboe

Cover Design:- Mike Bennion.

Photography:- Andy Cleal.

Plans for World Domination:- Richard Allen and Mr. Unrealistic.

Not exactly blameless:- Alan Duffy, Malcolm Stocks, Alistair I.W. Campbell.

"On the Sunday of Life..." is dedicated to Terumi and the spirit of Miles Davis.

Go to TopPress Reviews


PORCUPINE TREE - Exorcising that Pink Floyd obsession. More psychedelic psauna sweltering from those Freakbeat fanzine chaps. Porcupine Tree's double debut disc of unearthly delight tends to wander into some unbearably twee nooks and crannies as it lumbers along over four sides, but suddenly, out of the blue, a blot of invention peeps through and something that resembles Pink Floyd's Ummagumma magnum opus isreborn. Once you get a taste for Porcupine Tree's decidedly spiked psyche it turns out to be deadly seducing stuff.(Edwin Pouncey)

Ptolemaic Terrascope

The Porcupine Tree (originally from Hemel Hempstead) likewise are veterans of the cassette / private release world, with both "Tarquin's Seaweed Farm" and "Nostalgia Factory" being well received by radio stations, the 'zine network and fans alike. They also appeared on the Psauna comp so once again many will have already been initiated into their mysteriousness; "The Sunday Of Life" however is a deluxe double album in a colourful gatefold sleeve (which hopefully won't turn out to prove to be corporate suicide for Delerium, as has happened so often before) which really gives the band and listener the inner space to relax and hang out together. Various tracks from their tapes appear again on this set, some in remixed form; the superb "Radioactive Toy" for example is twice as long as before and "The Nostalgia Factory" has undergone some fairly extensive surgery before being inisinuated into this set. Their music flies off at tan/genital angles that frequently surprise and disturb although there's a heady underlying Floydian space-rock element which pins the whole lot together like a distorted knee joint; it's as trippy an album as you'd ever hope to find and despite several sessions together under the headphones I've yet to find a one-sentance way to describe it. The weak point throughout is the vocals, but that's a minor carp amongst a whole shoal of great ideas and georgeous execution. Pick up two copies of the LP immediately, one as an investment and one to play the hell out of and enjoy.(Phil McMullen)

Crohinga Well

The similarities in progressive music between the late Sixties/early Seventies and the late Eighties/early Nineties are sometimes striking. I never shared the fashionable embarrassment of some 'professional rock journalists' when referring to this particular area. I know: flared jeans and other forms of bad dress taste ruled; the tedious double live album with the 20 minute drum solo flourished; pompous rubbish like "Tales From Topographic Oceans" became a million seller. But, the early Seventies were also a period during which psychedelic music came to maturity and fragmented into numerous forms of idiosyncratic expression. "On The Sunday of Life" the vinyl debut of Porcupine Tree sure brings back these days. This double album (or single CD) is filled with compositions that display songwriters talent as well as studio craftsmanship. Porcupine Tree is not really a group but just one guy (identity still unknown to the world) plus a few friends. This bunch already recorded quite a big heap of material in the past which was partly released last year on two C90 cassettes on the Delerium label: "Tarquins Seaweed Farm" and "The Nostalgia Factory" (both recommend). The music of Porcupine Tree is 'classical trip stuff' from the Ummagumma/Atom Heart Mother Floydian time slice. The title of the first track really sums it all up "Music for The Head". Different types of psychedelic sounds are present: brilliant psych/pop like "Jupiter Island" and "Linton Samuel Dawson"; totally stoned out of your head weirdness in "Space Transmission", "Message From A self-Destructing Turnip" and "Radioactive Toy" (my personal choice); moody, long flowing pieces like "And The Swallows Dance Above The Sun" and "It Will Rain For A Million Years" (the Belgian weather forecast?). Just take your pick from this rich collection of psychedelic delicacies housed in a nice gatefold sleeve of the 'Hypgnosis' type. If you only buy a few records a year (for whatever reason), go out and buy this one, because it is a classic psychedelic masterpiece! Time will tell.


Any band to openly admit their main influence are a novelty these days. Whether it's entirely sensible to tell us that Porcupine Tree are blatantly chewing on the coat-tails of Pink Floyd, however, may be a case of honesty over integrity. And which Pink Floyd are they talking about? The mammoth and overblown assembly of old F***wits from the post-"The Wall" era, or the infinitely trippier 60's original? Are they (eek) Eloy or Ozric Tentacles? Actually, Porcupine Tree are a bit of both.

"On The Sunday of Life" is a brave move that should merit terse critical derision. Some of it is indeed absolute bollocks. For a start, each side is titled numerically ("First Love", "Second Sight", Third Eye", "Fourth Bridge"), and that's too smart-arsed for comfort. However, there is a point to Porcupine Tree that should be applauded. "On The Sunday Of Life" so blatantly ignores any known commercial formula as to verge on the insane. Electronic and daftly-titled mood pieces ("Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip", "No Luck with Rabbits", and "Begonia Seduction Scene") merge with such ethereal vocal romps as "Jupiter Island" and "Radioactive Toy", all no doubt enhanced by the liberal use of fun-drugs.

Porcupine Tree can't match Floyd's drama, budget or sheer reputation. There's no obvious heir to either Syd Barrett or Dave Gilmour's throne on "On The Sunday Of Life", but it is a big album for nostalgia sleepy-heads nontheless.

Ease yourself gently into the day and try not to laugh.(Chris Watts)

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