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  1. #101
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    Yeah, a lot of these albums are completely new to me! Apart from tracks that have appeared on 'Pulse' 'Echoes' and 'Live In Gdansk' <Gilmour>

    It's very interesting to see how the band develop and how hard they try to get away from writing pop songs. It's a shame, because at this stage in their career they were capable of producing some excellent ones.

    Soundtrack To The Film More impressed me for what it was - recorded very quickly to take the money and run!

    I've had a listen to their other soundtrack album, Obscured By Clouds and that's pretty good too... but more on that later
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  2. #102
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    Cirrus Minor ***1/2
    This is a lovely gentle song. Steve's pastoral description is just about right, especially so with the bird song in the background. Beautiful guitar and organ playing combine nicely towards the end of the track, like at the end of the track "Saucerful of Secrets" and it builds to a somewhat creepy end. A very different opening track to any that we've had so far, and a development of their sound.

    The Nile Song **1/2
    And this one is a complete contrast. Rock! Woos! Almost screamed lyrics! Very different to anything they've done so far. It's almost like a Who pastiche, with its heavier sound.
    I don't know that it's an entirely successful track, as it eschews their own sound for something more generic. It's a fun diversion, but I'm not sad there aren't more Pink Floyd songs like this.

    Crying Song***
    Another gentle little song and another likeable one at that. I love the vibraphone on the track and again the acoustic guitar work is rather lovely. Asis the electric guitar at the end. Really all I can say is I quite like it. It sort of strolls in and then strolls back out again.

    Up the Khyber **
    The drumming at the start is very reminscent of stuff from A Saucerful of Secrets and indded the whole track wouldn't have been out of place on that album. It's one of those menacing soundscapes again, with random plink-plonk piano/ organ over insistent drumming. Not easy to enjoy listening to, but pretty proficient at what it's trying to do.

    Green Is the Colour ****
    Then we're back with the acoustic again. I really like this song. It's beautiful in a small way. It is a lovely little song, with the penny whistle not being a instrument you expect in a Pink Floyd song, amking this something out of the ordinary. Again Rick Wright's piano is rather good. It's nice to hear him playing proper tunes now!

    Cymbaline ****
    Mellow. Like the previous track, this is a real highlight of the album. It feels very late 60s to me (as indeed it is). It seems more fully formed than much else from this period of Pink Floyd, as if they're starting to focus on their songwriting craft, rather than experimenting with creating soundscapes. Though there is an element of that late in the song as the hammond organ whirrs in at the end. It doesn't feel too out of place though and works well with the piano and the bongos.

    Party Sequence ***
    Speaking of bongos... here's some more! I like the xotic sound of this track, and the fact that it's short enough not to outstay its welcome. Fine for what it is.

    Main Theme ***1/2
    Nice cymbal crashes at the start.
    Thsi seems more in keeping with what we've heard from Pink Floyd so far. Again it wouldn't be too out of place on A Saucerful of Secrets, only it seems slightly more musical than their previous soundscapes. I like the organ sound (which seems very Radiophonic to me) and the way it meanders around. I like the way the guitar weaves in and out through the track.

    Ibiza Bar **1/2
    Suddenly we're back with the heavy rock sound, whcih comes as a sahock after the last few tracks. It's Ok I suppose, just very like The Nile Song. Maybe that's the point?

    More Blues ***
    An inspired title.
    I suspect Dave Gilmour's hand in this one. Nice guitar playing! But I'm not really a huge fan of the blues, so this one is a bit dull but worthy for me. We'll be hearing more guitar in this style I suspect...

    Quicksilver *1/2
    Oh back with the soundscape stuff. Weird intro, full of distorted tape effects before a quiet meance builds. Heard it all before on A Saucerful of Secrets. Just meanders around pointlessly for 7+ minutes. *sigh*

    A Spanish Piece *1/2
    Very traditional Spanish Guitar with bizarre voice overs. Goes nowhere, but at least it is over and done with pretty damn quick. Nice guitar playing though.

    Dramatic Theme ***
    Good dramatic stuff. Simple but effective and again the guitar playing is really good, soaring over the simple bassline and drumming. I ended up rather liking this.

    Overall, maybe this is a forgetten gem, a few duff moments, but it's a propgression of their sound nonetheless. A good solid 3/5 from me again.

    Oh noes! Ummagumma next.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  3. #103
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    Where are all the reviews!?
    See above!

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  4. #104
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    Default Soundtrack from the film More

    Yay! Nice one, Si. And look! Here's another review!!

    Soundtrack from the film

    MORE


    Columbia SCX 6346
    Released 27 July 1969 (UK); August 1969 (US, Tower Records ST 5169)
    Highest UK Chart Position: 9 (5 weeks on chart)
    Highest US Chart Position: 153


    Directed by Barbet Schroeder
    Produced by Jet Films
    Starring Mimsi Farmer and Klaus Grunberg
    Music played and composed by Pink Floyd

    All titles published by Lupus Music
    Produced by The Pink Floyd
    Album cover by Hipgnosis

    SIDE ONE

    1. CIRRUS MINOR (Waters) 5.15

    Opening with the sounds of the dawn chorus, there is instantly a different feel to this third album, and Cirrus Minor, a rather languid, ethereal, acoustic track, exemplifies the blissed-out atmosphere of much of the first side. Roger Waters' lyrics (sung, as in most cases on More, by David Gilmour) are both curiously impenetrable and yet peculiarly evocative of the English countryside, an approach which would appear on many subsequent albums; strange, then, that this song should sit so well in a movie about drugged-up hippies larking around in Spain! This track represents an altogether more gentle album opener, and another change in style, although the song eventually swells into a mournful, Saucerful-style organ chord sequence. A very pleasant track.

    2. THE NILE SONG (Waters) 3.26

    By complete contrast comes this raucous rocker which sees Pink Floyd at their heaviest yet. The lyrics are rather arbitrary, but it's the music that matters here, and this is one of the strongest tracks on the album - it comes as a big surprise to hear the band in this mode, but the Floyd, Gilmour in particular, make most convincing rockers, belying the tripped-out, blissful reputation they had by now started to make for themselves. Gilmour also turns in a rather good solo, and it is evident that the young guitarist is growing in stature, and taking on the frontman role - for the time being, at least.

    3. CRYING SONG (Waters) 3.34

    The atmosphere reverts to one of laid-back tranquillity on this rather Spartan, acoustic-led number. A simple, yet effective track, almost hypnotic in its structure, Gilmour's solo and Waters' bassline stand out, while the latter's lyrics are subtly intriguing. It comes as something of a surprise, then, to realise that, although he has written the majority of the material here, thus truly making his mark as the group's lead songwriter, he does not sing lead vocals on any of the tracks at all - it would be the last time for a long time that Roger Waters would take such a backseat...

    4. UP THE KHYBER (Mason-Wright) 2.13

    Ostensibly a Nick Mason drum solo, with Rick Wright adding harsh piano stabs, and some organ improvisation, this is Pink Floyd at their most avant-garde yet. This is the first of the pure soundtrack pieces, but, as an album track, it is little more than filler.

    5. GREEN IS THE COLOUR (Waters) 2.59

    A lovely song, this folk-tinged number (featuring flute, courtesy of Nick Mason's wife, Lindy) represents another seed in the formation of what we now see as the classic Pink Floyd sound, Gilmour pitching his voice higher, the music settling into a slower groove. The song was a concert favourite for a while, and was even better live, when it would often seque into Careful With That Axe Eugene. The studio version is enjoyable, though, and Wright provides some wonderful piano fills during the end section. The Syd Barrett sound seems to have slowly faded away, and, with ever-growing assuredness, Pink Floyd are taking considerable strides.


    Pink Floyd, 1969

    6. CYMBALINE (Waters) 4.50

    One of the best tracks on the album, Cymbaline is a rather dark affair, Roger Waters providing some brilliantly scathing lyrics as he casts his eye ruefully for the first time over the music machine of which he and his band have become a part. Brimming with metaphors for fear and paranoia, and references to hungry ravens, it's the first time we see Waters casting those around him in a less-than-flattering light, and, bordering on the post-modern ("Will the final couplet rhyme?" No, it doesn't!), this is possibly the bassist's finest set of lyrics to date. Again, it's Gilmour who provides the strong lead vocal (although Waters did at least sing the version heard in the film), and boasting a jazzy vibe, the easy-going, if slightly menacing, track suits the chilled-out feel of the movie perfectly. Probably.

    7. PARTY SEQUENCE (Waters-Wright-Gilmour-Mason) 1.10

    Another largely percussive piece, the flute and bongos give the track a distinctly eastern feel, but, as supposed group compositions go, this is not very inspired, or inspiring. I bet it was a crap party, too.
    Last edited by Dave Tudor; 19th Dec 2008 at 12:45 AM.

  5. #105
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    Default Soundtrack from the film More


    Mimsi Farmer as Estelle in Barbet Schroeder's More

    SIDE TWO

    1. MAIN THEME (Waters-Wright-Gilmour-Mason) 5.32

    A gong sounds the beginning of the largely instrumental second side of the album. This is a brilliantly atmospheric track, mesmerising in its simplicity (witness that excellent, persistent rhythm from Mason), but still well-structured enough to set it aside from other contemporary soundscapes, the basic organ melody from Wright lending it a memorable hook. The track is redolent of the live space jams with which, by now, the Pink Floyd were perfectly comfortable, and it seems that without the restraining hand of Norman Smith, the band seem free to explore new sonic possibilities and to let their imaginations soar.

    2. IBIZA BAR (Waters-Wright-Gilmour-Mason) 3.17

    A return to Nile Song territory - in fact, this is largely a retread with a few slightly altered chord sequences. This rocker, though, is more reticent, a counterpoint to the blissful exuberance of the earlier track. Still, it's interesting to hear the band in this vein, a sound which would rarely be revisited for some time.

    3. MORE BLUES (Waters-Wright-Gilmour-Mason) 2.12

    A throwaway blues jam, demonstrating a genre which Pink Floyd were exploring more and more at that time, More Blues mainly serves to show just what a good guitarist the band have in Gilmour, and he certainly impresses on this brief instrumental workout.

    4. QUICKSILVER (Waters-Wright-Gilmour-Mason) 7.11

    No, that's not the TARDIS at the beginning of this track, although the Floyd do seem to have developed a touch of the Radiophonics on this haunting soundscape which returns to the sonic exploration of A Saucerful Of Secrets, albeit less imaginatively. Wright provides something approaching a melody over the percussive experimentalism, and creates some eerie atmospheres and images. At over seven minutes, it's a lengthy piece, and probably works better in context, but it typifies the Pink Floyd sound of that period, and ably demonstrates the new ground which they were then covering. Quicksilver is something of a curiosity, which might have even made an unusal, unsettling album closer.

    5. A SPANISH PIECE (Gilmour) 1.05

    There is little to say about this brief, cliched flamenco number, with its cringeworthy 'vocals' from El Gilmour, but it does show yet another side of the ever versatile guitarist.

    6. DRAMATIC THEME (Waters-Wright-Gilmour-Mason) 2.16

    A slowed-down, chilled-out version of the Main Theme with spaced-out guitar and some good sound effects, this ends the album on a fairly satisfactory, if slightly downbeat note.


    A scene from More (What did you expect? It is an arty European film, after all.)
    Last edited by Dave Tudor; 19th Dec 2008 at 12:51 AM.

  6. #106
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    ummagumma

    ESSENTIAL INFORMATION
    Recorded at Pye Studios at Marble Arch in London during 1969.
    Live section recorded at the Mothers Club, Birmingham on April 27th 1969 and Manchester College of Commerce on May 2nd 1969.
    Released October 25th 1969.
    Highest UK Chart Position – No.5.
    The front cover (by Hipgnosis) shows the band larking about in a garden – a picture on the wall shows the album cover, with the band members in different positions. This too has a picture, and so on. Apparently, the final picture within the picture is the cover of A Saucerful of Secrets. The rear cover shows roadies and band equipment lined up at Biggin Hill Airport.

    TRACK LIST
    SIDE A
    Astronomy Domine (Syd Barrett)
    Careful with That Axe, Eugene (Waters, Wright, Gilmour, Mason)


    SIDE B
    Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (Waters) – 9:15
    A Saucerful of Secrets (Waters, Wright, Gilmour, Mason) – 12:48
    (Something Else, Syncopated Pandemonium, Storm Signal, Celestial Voices)

    SIDE A
    Sysyphus (Wright)
    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4
    Grantchester Meadows (Waters)
    Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict (Waters)

    SIDE B
    The Narrow Way (Gilmour)
    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    The Grand Vizier's Garden Party (Mason)
    Part 1: Entrance
    Part 2: Entertainment
    Part 3: Exit


    HOT LINKS
    Lyrics - http://pinkfloydhyperbase.dk/albums/umma.htm
    Inevitable Wiki – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ummagumma
    The far better Pink Floyd & Co Link - http://pinkfloyd-co.com/disco/umma/umma_album.html
    Hello GIRLS! http://www.ummagumma.com
    Terminally dull Grantchester Meadows vid – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mV9Aw...eature=related
    And another Grantchester – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfZPN...eature=related


    OTHER ALBUMS OF 1969
    Pink Floyd – Soundtrack To The Film More
    And various others, previously listed!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  7. #107

    Default Please!!!! No MORE (gwed

    I think this is the poorest and worst value for money Pink Floyd album of all time. I feel sorry for anyone who spent money on it (I got it burned off a friend who even did a tape of it for me years ago, back then in the early 90's I hated it.)
    Just thought I'd get that out of my system.

    Side One

    1. Cirrus Minor.
    I know this one from the Relics album and even when isolated it's one of my favourite songs. The birdsong opening is the perfect curveball for those expecting the pulsating "space rock" of Astronomy Domine and Let There Be More Light.

    2. Nile Song.
    Highlight of the album. The most unthinking lowest base level the band ever plummed. If only there was a slight delay and told Gilmour to sing more nasal and take the piss out of Northerns, you would have an Oasis b-side!
    Sadly everyone got blindsided by 11 minute tracks, so this side of prog got overlooked. Sounds happier than Black Sabbath.

    3. Crying Song.
    See, a tricky one for me. I want to praise it for the weird psychedelic subdued pop...but Syd Barrett has a song called "Opel". This was recorded for his debut solo album "The Madcap Laughs" that Waters and Gilmour produced some songs for. "Opel" ends with the "I'm cryiiiiinnnngggg" bit at the end of his song that is exactly the same as the opening part of this song.
    They either thought Syd's version was unfinished (it's SUPPOSED to just be a lone guitar and it's all the better for it! Youtube Syd Barrett Opel) or they basically ripped it off?

    4. Up The Kyber
    The first low point. It sounds like a pisstake of themselves. They sound like someone who has an idea of what Pink Floyd sounds like, rather than just simply being Pink Floyd.

    5.Green Is The Colour
    Works much better as the live seque into Careful With That Axe, Eugene. The closest thing to 1967. Pretty as it is, it's a bit water treading.

    6. Cymbaline
    Hawkwind Dave Brock's favourite Floyd song and you can see why in the lyrics. Without this song being written, some of their mid 70's songs wouldn't have sounded the same IMO. The last highlight for side one.

    7. Party Sequence
    Oh dear. If Nick Mason is playing these drums with his todger then it would be worth it...but as you can clearly hear he isn't...right?

    8. Main Theme

    Or Careful With That Axe, Eugene without the suspense (it's ok that's why they hired Pink Floyd for the soundtrack...) or purpose.

    9. Ibiza Bar
    The last of More's great songs. I love it! It's weird to hear David Gilmour attempting to act like a teenager who's a bit moody and tired with "Please take out your camera/ and leave me alone" Probably only in the film for one minute anyway!

    10. More Blues
    Quite convincing really. The strongest Gilmour moment of the record. Crap ending though.

    11. Quicksilver
    This song actually has two alternate titles Pissing Through The Speakers Onto the Listener's Carpets or Why Pink Floyd Should Never Be Given Knigthoods. How many minutes did you give it before skipping? I used the fast forward. And look at the length! They cannot be forgiven by the rest of the album for this one alone!

    12. A Spanish Piece

    "April 1st,1976. Thieves broke into David Gilmour's house and stole guitars worth ?6,500 from his collection."
    Don't give him any sympathy for this one!

    13. Dramatic Theme

    The sound of the straw breaking Pink Floyd's back. So much for "knuckle down"! Gilmour wastes the solo by taking the piss out of his old childhood friend superior use of slide.

    The Verdict.
    If you had all the songs as an EP called "Songs From The Film More EP" you would have one of the best EP's ever!... As you've got complete wankery on most of the second side, it's hard to imagine this being listened to in full again by me let alone someone who is new to Pink Floyd!
    Two albums from Pink Floyd in 1969, but that year belonged to King Crimson's debut "In The Court Of The Crimson King". The Jimi Hendrix Experience had broken up, Cream had broken up, Led Zeppelin came along and at least were better than Cream.
    My personal favourite 1969 album is An Electric Storm by White Noise.(Tell me there's a thread of that album?) The Beatles were broke by the end of the year and Brian Jones was dead.
    Basically the long answer to disguising the pitiful 1 out of 5.
    But things pick up! I request Ummagumma reviewed as two seperate records!
    Happy Christmas.
    Last edited by Dino; 24th Dec 2008 at 4:46 PM. Reason: wrong title

  8. #108
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    My personal favourite 1969 album is An Electric Storm by White Noise.(Tell me there's a thread of that album?)
    That's an album I've been meaning to get hold of for some time... Maybe Father Christmas will bring it for me this year?

    I request Ummagumma reviewed as two seperate records!
    I'm informed that Ummagumma will have two weeks for reviews, so that's one a week!

    Happy Christmas.
    And to you!

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  9. #109

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post
    That's an album I've been meaning to get hold of for some time... Maybe Father Christmas will bring it for me this year?

    And to you!

    Si xx
    White Noise could have beaten Pink Floyd at their own game if they carried on. Not even Piper At The Gates Of Dawn or the Greatful Dead got as far out as An Electric Storm and what with the Delia/Dr.Who connection I'm suprised it's so overlooked?
    Give Santa his marching orders if he doesn't bring you a copy this Christmas!

  10. #110
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    If you had all the songs as an EP called "Songs From The Film More EP" you would have one of the best EP's ever!... As you've got complete wankery on most of the second side, it's hard to imagine this being listened to in full again by me let alone someone who is new to Pink Floyd!
    Much as it fails to break new ground, in terms of having listenable songs with melodies and everything, ...More scores over a few other Floyd notables. It's undoubtedly their least groundbreaking album, but it's not without merit. Speaking as someone listening to it for the first time!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  11. #111
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    UMMAGUMMA - STUDIO ALBUM
    Sysyphus: Part 1
    Ominous. You’ve chosen to listen to the Ummagumma studio album – a choice you’ll come to regret, mwuhahahah! The first chord on this album is very similar to the opening chord on the Justice album, Cross, the opening track being called ‘Genesis’.
    Sysyphus: Part 2
    There’s no evidence that this is a Rick Wright composition, except for the predominance of piano. Some fairly pleasant tinkling descends into the albums first example of utter bullshit.
    Sysyphus: Part 3
    Part 3 of Sysyphus is a plodding mess. With some shrieking! How delightful.
    Sysyphus: Part 4
    This part is almost listenable. The return of the opening theme was a good idea, but far too late to save anyone who has already turned off the record player in disgust. Meandering gibberish becomes annoying, loud gibberish.
    Grantchester Meadows
    A nice, pastoral song utterly ruined because the bird chirruping is louder than the guitar playing. On the other hand, the couplet ‘All around me golden sunflakes Settle on the ground,’ is possibly the only worthwhile thing on the whole album. After seven minutes, the birdsong becomes an exquisitely annoying sound.
    Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict
    Well. Um. It’s interesting. Again, there’s nothing so commercial as anything resembling a tune. It’s probably the most disturbing song on the album. If you were forced to listen to the whole thing on headphones, the moment the Scots voice comes in would be where even the hardiest of avant-garde lovers would want to do anything to make it stop.
    The Narrow Way: Part 1
    What? What the hell is this? Music? Holy mackerel! This is the only part of the album that sounds like it was created by a musician.
    The Narrow Way: Part 2
    Two minutes and fifty-three of honking. Some people might get off on it, but I doubt it. The bassy guitar riff is fairly cool and there are some good effects.
    The Narrow Way: Part 3
    Blimey! This even sounds like Pink Floyd! That seems ridiculous to say, but it’s got slide guitars and harmonies, which give it that bluesy-dark-sci-fi feel that the Floyd are most remembered for.
    The Grand Vizier's Garden Party Part 1: Entrance
    Things seem to have picked up a bit for side two. Here we get a short flute interlude, plus a bizarre title, which could make the listener believe that something interesting and worthwhile was about to happen.
    The Grand Vizier's Garden Party Part 2: Entertainment
    I sincerely hope that the Grand Vizier has the power to execute performers that he finds are not up to scratch.
    What is up with Nick Mason? How the hell did the rest of the band let him get away with this? Did they even listen to it before it went on the album? Did he think that if he just came up with this crap, they’d record some other parts over it to try and save it?
    The fact that this track is called ‘Entertainment’ is a grotesque piss-take.
    The Grand Vizier's Garden Party Part 3: Exit
    Please, please, f*** off and die.

    This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the worst album I have ever heard. I thought that maybe, maybe, it would come to life in a different context. Listening to it on headphones was certainly an experience, it made me want to rip my headphones off in disgust.
    There’s avant-garde and then there’s masturbation. Ummagumma Studio is an enormous pile of unredeemable trash.
    Studio album – 0 out of 5.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  12. #112
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    So has everyone else listened to Ummagumma yet? I'll review the live album tomorrow!

    Atom Heart Mother I'll put up on the 10th Jan.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  13. #113

    Default Ummagumma (Studio Album)

    I first heard of this album in the early 90's, after a friend told me a complete stranger (possibly under the influence of speed) had gone up to a local record shop owner and gone "Mate! Have you got Ummagumma by Pink Floyd? It's their BEST one! It's their BEST one!!"...
    Such was the mythical status it had to be the one a group of us had to listen to when we tripped for the first time.
    I have it on a double play tape that for some reason has the tracklisting altered. But as that would confuse people without this challenging but rewarding album doing that, So I'll use the conventional track listing.

    Sysyphus Part 1.

    I love this intro! It explains what that soundtrack business was about. I love the image of the tyrant boy king rising up from the ocean to play a piano solo and have a meltdown during the recital.

    Sysyphus Part 2.

    The "Quicksilver" of the album. Very hard to defend. The weakest part of the chain but at least it's brief. Slight throwback to "Pow R Toch" but without the genius.

    Sysyphus Part 3.

    The closest thing to soundtracking a horror film, although the organ stab is more hammy than a Monty Python skit.

    Sysyphus Part 4.

    It's always good to hear this sequence again, but it still doesn't shake the feeling the whole piece could have been scaled down. If Roger Waters provided some good lyrics for it and Dave Gilmour had put some guitar solo down it would have been better, but contradicts the "each member take up a half side" plan.

    Grantchester Meadows.

    Probably the most relaxed and contented Roger Waters would allow himself to be on record. The three part harmonies work and should have been heard more of. Love the reverb but the sound effects should have been doctored to disguise the "stock footage" feel.

    Several Small Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict.

    I have such a soft spot for this track! It's been in my life for some time and is a very definite marmite moment for Pink Floyd. I'd stick my neck out and insist it should have gone onto the "Echoes" compilation if Bike was allowed on there. A year later Roger Waters made "Music For The Body" with Ron Geesin (the "Pict" Roger was taking the piss out of) this track and the Ummagumma album makes a kind of sense with that in mind. A year after this, "Music For The Body" contained "More Than Seven Dwarfs In Penisland" http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=B6ncnJ8dcWE

    The Narrow Way Part 1

    "Gilmour moment of the Weeeek" I've actually heard this played as incidental music on a couple of CBBC science programmes a few years ago. Does not outstay it's welcome.

    The Narrow Way Part 2

    The heaviest part of the studio album but still basically a bridge section with extra overdubbed effects nonsense. A flaming guitar solo wouldn't have gone amiss.

    The Narrow Way Part 3.

    Despite Dave Gilmour admitting he "bullshitted" his way through the lyrics after a Waters rebuffal for words, this is quite a convincing Pink Floyd track. Chord sequence, fantastic drone intro and the perfect guitar solo coda that this record could have done more with.

    The Grand Vizer's Garden Party 1.

    This was played by Nick Mason's wife Netty. (Last I heard they are still together?) And is a sweet suprise.

    The Grand Vizer's Garden Party 2.

    Basically they should have taken Nick to one side and pointed out he's getting two songwriting credits on the live album anyway, and not to push his luck? I do like the funeral drum and whistling tune, it's like a disturbing puppet show with huge Chinese puppets. But then it overstays it's welcome with some crappy production sounds. Goes more places than Quicksilver and Sysyphus part 2 however.

    The Grand Vizer's Garden Party 3.

    More intricate than the first part but still doesn't make up for what we have just heard.

    The Verdict.

    There's no way Columbia Records would have released this in full. It does rely on the goodwill for their new EMI label Harvest and can be held responsible for the waffle of a lot of lesser bands. Rick Wright came a bit of a cropper on this one. Dated but daring. Basically this half of the album proves what could have been told to them before the sessions. They make stronger material working together as a group than four individuals. Cemented their reputation as "kings of head music" but also frightend a lot of people off for 3 years (if not life).
    Not so much "knuckle down" as "arse about".

    2.5 out of 5. (One each for the Waters and Gilmour contributions)
    Last edited by Dino; 3rd Jan 2009 at 3:10 PM.

  14. #114
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    "Mate! Have you got Ummagumma by Pink Floyd? It's their BEST one! It's their BEST one!!"...
    That's the problem with being avant garde. How can you tell if it's brilliant or if it's awful? What criteria can you apply? Or should it be a gut feeling? My gut tells me that Ummagumma was born out of a gimmicky idea and that it bombed disastrously. It might be rewarding, but after a couple of listens I would prefer to never hear it again.

    The whole thing seems totally unplanned and random, there's no sense that they're in control of the music or that anything appears on the album for any reason.

    I'd compare it with Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica in terms of being an 'Out There' album. But Trout Mask Replica has more intelligence and sense behind it. Ummagumma is ... boring. Perhaps it would be better listened to stoned.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    Pink Floyd – Ummagumma Live Album
    Astronomy Domine
    It’s a polished version of the song, but the vocals sound quite strained. Roger Waters (I think) is trying his best to ruin his voice on this song by reaching for notes outside of his natural register.

    Careful with That Axe, Eugene
    Some good screaming. I’ve heard that this song is especially popular, but I don’t see it myself. Aside from the yelling halfway through, there’s nothing much to make it stand out from the other Pink Floyd psychedelic epics. There’s no harmony, no tune and very little to take away from it, apart from a vague sense of dread.

    Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
    This is probably the only song that’s better on this version than the original, mostly for losing the incongruous birdsong sound effect.

    A Saucerful of Secrets (Something Else, Syncopated Pandemonium, Storm Signal, Celestial Voices)
    It’s all going pretty well until the ‘Celestial Voices’ section, which sounds more like the guitarist wailing in agony because he dropped something on his foot. The live re-creation of the bizarre sound effects is impressive, but it’s a bit more obvious that it’s mostly Dave Gilmour mucking about with the slide and effects pedal.

    It’s an interesting selection of tracks. It seems they deliberately chose some of their less commercial numbers and the only Syd Barrett song is Astronomy Domine. All the songs are extended out into full-on psychedelic epics. In that way it’s a selection that complements the studio half well, but sadly it’s a reminder that there’s nothing on Ummagumma half as good as anything on this side.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    Great reviews, guys, but, oh dear, 'Ummagumma's not a popular one, it?

    It's interesting to note from this Time Team how each album is proving less popular than the last, and judging from that response, it's difficult to conceive, at this early stage, how Pink Floyd could have become so huge later on. Examining the albums more closely is offering some interesting insights into the band's development.

    Anyway, I'm pretty sure the next album will restore Pink Floyd in everybody's affections... won't it...?

  17. #117
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    Oh yes, I love the next album, genuinely.

    I still can't quite muster the energy required to review Ummagumma. By the end of the week, I promise.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  18. #118
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    Without wishing to state the blindingly obvious, it seems that after Syd went west the band lost direction. It wasn't until they learned to play their instruments properly (some time after Ummagumma, possibly before Atom Heart Mother) that they really found their form.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  19. #119
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    I think you're dead right - many years went by before the band found the right direction, although it probably wasn't until 'Meddle' before Pink Floyd truly hit upon their 'sound'.

    Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself - I'm listening to 'Ummagumma' again right now (it's actually an album I've always had a strange fondness for), and so hopefully my review will be up tomorrow.

  20. #120
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    Yay! That'll be at least four people who have listened to the damn thing! Look forward to reading it
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  21. #121
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    Default Ummagumma - Live Album

    UMMAGUMMA


    Harvest SHDW 1/2
    Released 25 October 1969 (UK); 10 November 1969 (US, Harvest STBB-388)
    Highest UK Chart Position: 5 (21 weeks on chart)
    Highest US Chart Position: 74


    David Gilmour – Lead Guitar & Vocals
    Roger Waters – Bass Guitar & Vocals
    Richard Wright – Organ, Keyboards & Vocals
    Nick Mason – Percussion

    LIVE ALBUM

    Recorded at MOTHERS Birmingham & Manchester College of Commerce, June 1969
    Engineer: Brian Humphries
    Produced by Pink Floyd
    Sleeve Design & Photographs by Hipgnosis

    SIDE ONE

    1. ASTRONOMY DOMINE (Barrett) 8.32

    A pulsating signal emanating from the stars (or, rather, Manchester) opens up this very first official live recording of Pink Floyd, and the curtain raiser, Astronomy Domine, is a good one. A largely very faithful – if extended, and slightly heavier – reading of the original, Astronomy Domine sees David Gilmour in impeccably-observed Barrett mode, lending some fine vocals to the track, alongside Wright and Waters, while also offering up a superb solo. It is interesting to note how respectfully quiet the audience remains during Richard Wright’s ethereal organ solo – fast forward a couple of years, and punters would not be so restrained at Floyd concerts! The climax is quite dramatic, and, although the sound quality is not great, this is a good rendition of the space-rock classic.

    2. CAREFUL WITH THAT AXE EUGENE (Waters-Wright-Mason-Gilmour) 8.50

    Opening with that familiar bass line, this is a brilliantly haunting, and scary live version of the Floyd B-side, which betters the studio version in every way, particularly in Wright’s spooky organ melody, and Gilmour’s haunting falsetto. However, none of these sounds can prepare the listener for Roger Waters’ blood-curdling scream three minutes in, which is truly TERRIFYING! This signals the start of a group jam, a stomping, monstrous freak-out of the highest order, emphasising how tight a unit the band have become. Nick Mason is particularly impressive, holding things together at the back. The track never outstays its welcome, and the ending is almost beautiful, in a perverse way. The crowd duly show their appreciation of what is surely the highlight of the live album.

    SIDE TWO

    1. SET THE CONTROLS FOR THE HEART OF THE SUN (Waters) 9.27

    A greatly extended version of the early Roger Waters classic, although this is largely due to the slower tempo. The arrangement is much less colourful, featuring only the most minimal backing to Waters’ half-whispered vocals. The instrumental section stands out, building up to a hypnotic crescendo, with Wright and Gilmour taking it in turns to show off some instrumental wizardry, while Mason is once again impressive as he provides a wonderful background to the whole affair. The ambient middle part could be seen, in retrospect, as a precursor to a similar section in Echoes. There is no audience reaction recorded at all (thanks, in part, to a pointless fade-out), but that may be because things perhaps get a little boring after a while – although that would be totally unfair, of course!

    2. A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS (Waters-Wright-Mason-Gilmour) 12.50

    Much more interesting is this curious take on the avant-garde title track of the second album. Robbed of much of the studio resources and trickery, this is a very brave attempt, and to give them their due, the Floyd improvise commendably, and, in my opinion, very successfully. It’s difficult to imagine what the audience might have made of this live improvisation, but at the dawn of the progressive era, anything was fair game, and this is actually very listenable; one might even say that it is quite exciting, almost melodious at times. In fact, the climax is certainly so, and I think it actually betters the studio version here. The organ refrain, played beautifully by Wright, leads to a solid group performance, with Gilmour providing some soaring solo vocals. A great climax to what is a fairly enthralling glimpse of the 1969 live Pink Floyd sound.

  22. #122
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    Default Ummagumma - Studio Album


    STUDIO ALBUM

    Engineer: Peter Mew
    Produced by Norman Smith

    SIDE THREE

    RICHARD WRIGHT

    1. SYSYPHUS – PARTS 1-4 (Wright) 13.28

    The menacing sound of the mellotron warns us that we are well and truly in the domain of progressive rock, and, on unusual new ground for Richard Wright. Perhaps the most musically gifted of the four band members, Wright disappointingly opts to use his section of the album to demonstrate his avant-garde leanings. The lumbering opening eventually gives way to some rather beautiful piano, which in turn becomes random keyboard abuse. Part 2 is even more bizarre, consisting of little more than plinky-plonky experimentalism with added percussion which sounds like an insane younger brother of Saucerful. The faux dawn chorus of Part 3 is a little more tuneful, although it soon runs out of steam. The scary opening chord of Part 4 is surely there to wake up the listener (it still makes me jump to this day!) before the main theme returns. It’s a shame that a musician of Wright’s calibre could not have produced something more interesting, but, despite possibly being rather adventurous at the time, Sysyphus has dated awfully.

    ROGER WATERS

    1. GRANTCHESTER MEADOWS (Waters) 7.28

    After all that bizarre experimentation, it’s a relief to hear a proper tune again, and, in fact, Grantchester Meadows is quite brilliant. This is one of the most evocative songs to appear on a Pink Floyd album, and Roger Waters perfectly captures the essence, the spirit, the laziness and idyll of the English countryside on a beautiful summer’s day, aided by the simple, occasionally naïve poetry of the lyrics, and some lovely acoustic guitar. Of course, the looped sound effects of birds and rivers help, and the whole package takes the listener far, far away to the green tranquillity of the Cambridge meadows of the song’s title, a sign that Waters, in his lyrics, already mourns the passing of days gone by. However, the bassist would rarely be so chilled again – as is demonstrated by the final vengeance meted out on that pesky bee!

    2. SEVERAL SPECIES OF SMALL FURRY ANIMALS GATHERED TOGETHER IN A CAVE AND GROOVING WITH A PICT (Waters) 5.02

    Just when you thought it was safe to go back to your record player… Surely one of the most vilified, ridiculed recordings in the Pink Floyd oeuvre, Several Species… is one of the reasons why prog rock is occasionally looked on with such disdain. To be fair, it’s mercifully short in comparison to other such tracks, and it’s often fairly amusing, although I’ve never been sure that Waters’ Scottish ranting is as convincing as he thinks its is (and this wouldn’t be the last we would hear of it!). Consisting of speeded-up vocals, random phrases and backwards tape loops, the track serves the sole purpose of providing amusement for pothead progsters, and to this day, it is something of a big misfire in what is otherwise an impressive repertoire. Despite all this, though, I still actually rather enjoy it!

    SIDE FOUR

    DAVID GILMOUR

    1. THE NARROW WAY – PART 1-3 (Gilmour) 12.21

    Who’s this, actually daring to use their section of the album to produce ‘proper’ music? Why, it’s David Gilmour, here given the opportunity to ably demonstrate his skill and dexterity. Part 1 is an upbeat acoustic shuffle, garnished with a few random (and intrusive) effects, in order to give the track the necessary prog factor. Gilmour goes electric on the less welcoming Part 2, which could quite easily pass as an early Deep Purple riff. The melody is swamped by effects and synthesiser sounds, eventually segueing into the rather good Part 3. Perhaps the most intrinsically Floydian-sounding section of the album, this mellow number is again reminiscent of future classics such as Echoes. Gilmour’s vocals are excellent, if a little reticent, and this is surely one of the more inspirational Floyd tracks from this era, although it is largely forgotten now, in the grand scheme of things. Gilmour makes a superb job of providing all the instrumentation here, easily showing what a good musician he is. Maybe not as interesting as later works, but The Narrow Way is a sure sign of things to come.

    NICK MASON

    1. THE GRAND VIZIER’S GARDEN PARTY: PART 1 – ENTRANCE; PART 2 – ENTERTAINMENT; PART 3 – EXIT (Mason) 8.46

    Finally, it’s Nick Mason’s turn, the drummer rounding off proceedings with, well, a drum solo – what else did you expect? Actually, there’s a little more to it than that, with Lindy Mason providing some flute on Parts 1 and 3, while in between, her husband offers up treated tom-toms, snares, timpani, backwards cymbals and various other percussion, all in the name of ‘entertainment’. In many ways, it’s more adventurous than lots of drum solos of the period, and gives Mason the chance to demonstrate his interest in production trickery and tape effects (as well as, let’s be fair, his skill as a percussionist), but it doesn’t stand up to repeated listens, and, as parties go, this a rather damp ending to the album.


  23. #123
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    Ah-hah! So Dave doesn't go for the 'Worst album I've heard in my life' approach!

    It’s a shame that a musician of Wright’s calibre could not have produced something more interesting
    Rick Wright is hailed as a great organ/piano player, but I don't see (hear) it. For the avant garde stuff he hammers the keyboard in vaguely melodic style. He was competent at the proper compositions and could certainly bang out some interesting chords. I think he is very good and very clever at arranging sounds, but in terms of pure musicianship his playing has never really wowed me.

    It's difficult to describe - like the rest of the band, he improved trememndously throughout his career and he's certainly capable... but at these early stages he doesn't seem that impressive.

    Anyway... in my book Ummagumma was still a disaster. Hurrah!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  24. #124

    Default Ummagumma LIVE!!!

    This is the most played CD of the set and really doesn't get played enough!
    It's an obvious 5 from the start and it should take it's rightful place in the top ten live albums lists.
    It's up there with Jimi Hendrix's "Band of Gypsies", The Who's "Live at Leeds".
    It's a snapshot of not just prog, but what a British band did in 1969 that no other band was doing. That's about as good as I can get it!

    1. Astronomy Domine

    Fourth album in and your using nostalgia to open with already? This is actually closer to the Floyd that played the UFO club than the version on PATGOD as it contains the repeated first verse. Fantastic David Gilmour moment on the solo. Not even a hypnotic Richard Wright passage can arouse the audience into making a sound and who sound transfixed and stunned. The ending though, is a bit "Friday night at a local pub", but could the pub ever provide a bit enough cheer?

    2. Careful With That Axe, Eugene

    Perhaps the biggest casualty of the Waters/Gilmour rift was that none of them would touch this choon (yes,really) in their live shows. Of course it's dated and that's the point. Instant Tardis to the late sixties. Did anyone ever work out the lyrics? Tower tower? or Down down? I hear the T-Shirt T-Shirt T-Shirt bit. Doesn't sound as rushed as the version on Live At Pompeii. Can you imagine an audience being this respectful and silent these days? Bollocks to it, can you imagine a band these days amazing an audience without boring them shitless? (I said "boring them shitless", Arcade Fire...)

    3. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

    "And now we'd like to play something from the new album..." not said here, but you've been to gigs and you can't deny that slight sinking feeling whenever they say that to the audience...
    Luckily they throw in a bit of performance art with gongs and the extended frenzy into a meltdown which seems to mirror if not go further than the "space break" of Astonomy Domine. I think the fade out isn't that much of a cop out when you consider they had a version of "Intersteller Overdrive" recorded at the same show and yet they gave album space to Nick Mason!!!

    4. A Saurcerful Of Secrets

    I will tally these up and am aware of saying this, but this would certainly go onto my Echoes compilation. I just love it! If you don't allow yourself to be chased away by the arsing about bits it's actually a smooth journey and becomes less experimental and more familiar with every listen. I can play the bassline! And sometimes play it much faster, a thrash metal cover of this would be worth forming a thrash metal band for even though the thrash metal fans would hate it! This is an incredible piece of music and would be worth the price of the album alone.
    And the venue is a furniture store now? (Unless it's gone to the wall by the time you read this. Ha! I wrote "The Wall!")

    The Verdict:

    Whilst psychedelia actually died by 1968, it's corpse had been watered down and now those who missed out at the time lived out their fantasies of what they thought it was about, as the underground was bidding farewell to one of it's brightest acts. It's a shame prog descened into such filthy, distant self involved excess. But this album left no instructions to the mainstream to become that.
    I think the solos are the perfect length and you only get one drum solo!...

    Live Album: 5 out of 5
    Studio Album: 2.5 out of 5
    Aggregate: er...sod it! 3 out of 5! 1 each for the live stuff and 1 shared between David Gilmour and Roger Waters
    Last edited by Dino; 8th Jan 2009 at 4:15 PM.

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    Good review there, Aaron! It's probably never going to be regarded as highly as some of the albums you mentioned, but it is an accurate - and comparatively rare - snapshot of the live progressive experience at that time. It's a shame, though, that it wasn't released as a full live album, with the full 'The Man' and 'The Journey' suites which were played in concert between 1969-70.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dino Cloud (Slight Return) View Post
    I think the fade out isn't that much of a cop out when you consider they had a version of "Intersteller Overdrive" recorded at the same show and yet they gave album space to Nick Mason!!!
    Apparently, the acetate for the 'Interstellar Overdrive' recording was stolen from John Peel's house when it was broken into - of all the records there, it was the only one stolen! It would have been interesting to have heard Gilmour have a go at that one.

    Anyway, here's another piece of useless 'Ummagumma' trivia for you all: the two roadies pictured on the back cover of the album, surrounded by the band's equipment on Biggin Hill airfield are Alan Stiles (left), who was later immortalised on 'Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast', and, on the right, the late Peter Watts, road manager for Pink Floyd from 1967-74, and father of the Hollywood actress, Naomi Watts!

    Interesting, that.

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