Seig Howdy! Music By Day Consumers. Since Pink Floyd seem to be ALMOST as popular as The Beatles around these here parts, it’s probably a good idea to address a couple of issues I see as being unimportant to anyone but the newly obsessive Pink Floyd fan who needs just that little bit more than the “Immersion” box sets are going to supply.
“Why Pink Floyd?”
The Pink Floyd's highly ambitious stage show set the standard by which all concerts would be judged!
If I didn’t have to pay rent, I would’ve bought the Dark Side of The Moonimmersion set and the Wish You Were Here and The Wall immersion sets as well as the Sure to come immersion versions of Piper At The Gates Of Dawn and Animals (they must be on the way!). However, there are some good you-tube videos of people taking us on a tour of the immersion Dark Side… set, so you can feel like you know what’s going on. What they include and are going to include in the later sets are,as far as I’m concerned, brilliant, except I don’t know if I need the marbles, the laundry, and the coasters at all.
However, the idea of the 5.1 and the original quad mix of the albums (except for The Wall, the quad idea had died by then)is great and I do look forward to hearing them. The Alan Parson‘s early test mix of Dark Side…is interesting as is the fantastic live rendition of the album in 1974. Having seen them in ’87 I can also say that having the films made for certain songs would be cool as well. Those are legitimate treasures of course and as always, the packaging is top notch and likely worth the money.
But I think that EMI and the band should really embark on a live album series for the FANS. Especially those very adventurous early years where they weren’t completely in juke-b0x mode and note perfect every time. There are some great BBC and European FM broadcast recordings that capture some really great and ‘out there’ stuff. And maybe the odd audience recording of stuff that would be considered very rare and desirable. In the mean time…..
Pink Floyd tone it down a little bit.
I thought I’d give you all (those who don’t already know this stuff) a head start on the best live RoIOs (Recordings of Illegitimate Origin) to get in order to complete the early Pink Floyd experience.
Dierks Bentley will cover “Wish You Were Here” from Wish You Were Here on Thursday. (From what I’ve heard of Dierks Bentley, he’s a terrible country pop singer – his inclusion in the week is a bit confusing.)
Pearl Jam will cover “Mother” from The Wall on Friday.
I was reading some reviews on this one on Amazon and found that this album was either loved or hated. Probably the least accessable Pink Floyd album, it’s difficult to say whether it’s any good or not, so it comes down to whether or not you like the noises on it. This is the first Pink Floyd album I actually owned, because my mother bought it for me. Why? I don’t know why she picked this one. Maybe because it’s the only one that had a picture of the band on the front.
I like the album, but then I also think that The Beatles. Revolution 9 is a good sing-along. So, why should you own it?
Basically, this is a snapshot of the live experience in 1969. This was also a sort of farewell to those songs from the live repertoire, as they were thinking of retiring them now. I find the sound kind of thin and top heavy. But they are very good performances and capture a time that deserves some more attention, namely, some good unreleased live recordings. I’ll get into that at another date!
Try to imagine waiting for the next Pink Floyd album. There was no Dark Side… or The Wall. It was just Piper, Saucerful,More and Ummagumma. Would you have even been their fan if that’s all there was?
Pink Floyd were still in search of their big direction. Their way of making a mark in musical history! So, their next idea was a large scale musical piece, ambitious to say the least, in the hopes of striking their lasting blow at musical culture!
Is it a Roger Waters solo album or a Pink Floyd album? Let’s, for a while, try to divorce the album itself from the bad feelings around it’s creation.
It’s hard, for me at least, to discuss the final cut without also mentioning The Wall and The Pros And Cons Of Hitch-hiking. A lot of the music on all three albums originates from the same set of 1977-78 demos. Roger came to the band with two concepts in ’78 for consideration as the next Pink Floyd album. TheWall and The Pros And Cons Of Hitch-Hiking. The band thought that The Wall had more potential so went with that. As you already know, Waters went with “Hitch-Hiking” as his first solo album in ’84.
If you listen to all three albums, it is very clear that they all share little musical phrases and leitmotifs with each other. Three albums drawn from the same well. Keep in mind that the Wall demos were only about 40 minutes long and the argument concerning whether or not Roger locked the band out of contributing music to the project…. there was lots of room for contribution, but, as Gilmour has said in the past (and Waters), he’s rather lazy when it comes to writing and he just didn’t have a lot of stuff around to give to Roger to work with, so Waters wrote the majority of the music. And Waters (and Gilmour too) were disappointed in Wright because he hadn’t contributed any original music whatsoever since Wish You Were Here.
In short, I take the band’s argument about Roger’s dictatorship and Roger’s argument about no one else contributing and rest my conclusion somewhere in the middle. After all, Gilmour wrote some of the best bits on The Wall and was a very vocal co-producer responsible for a lot of how the finished album sounded. I just think the same thing could’ve happened for the final cut as well and therefore it could’ve been a stronger “pink floyd” album as a result. But I could be wrong. I wasn’t there you know!
As it is… The album to follow up from The Wall album and film was originally to be a sort of “soundtrack” album including newly recorded songs from the film and some of the leftovers from the original demos. So some of the album is leftover demos but the rest was some new tracks and themes that were a direct reaction to Thatcher’s Falklands war. So now we have:
OK. The Sex Pistols and The Clash and all railing against the “system” is fine but those “statements” feel like grade school mumblings compared to the vitriol and hate for the system on this contemporary album!
Pink Floyd had been touring and playing Dark Side of The Moon in it’s entirety as early as spring of ’72. More than a year before its eventual release. So when they were asked to do ANOTHER Barbet Schroeder soundtrack in the summer of ’72, with a whole 2weeks to write and record this time, it was a much different band that hit the studio than the one that did “More“ 3 years earlier! Another hippy film I haven’t seen about the protagonists going to visit some tribe in South America!
By this time, being after Meddle and after the main writing of Dark Side…, this band had already hit their stride, which really makes it a shame that this album is SO overlooked. Being done in a hurry again, perhaps it doesn’t have the depth that Meddle and Dark Side… had but the songs are very good indeed and really should have been represented in their Echoes Compilation 10 years ago! Continue reading “PINK FLOYD’s Forgotten Albums #2: Obscured By Clouds (1972)” »
Did you catch the recent Marvin Marks review forThe Piper At The Gates Of Dawn? I think it’s a pretty solid fact that Pink Floyd were at their most adventurous and experimental, on record, between 1967 – 1970. There are also some awesome recordings of Pink Floyd live during this period that are very adventurous indeed. Maybe I’ll talk about some of those later.
But for now I want to spend time on a few of those forgotten, or neglected albums that lots of people, who like the usual favorites, don’t REALLY know. The albums that some of Pink Floyd themselves tend to ignore, little realising that there are some rabid fans for these esoteric little treasures.
I want to cover, over the next few articles, The Final Cut (1983), Animals (1977), Obscured By Clouds (1972), Atom Heart Mother (1970), and Ummagumma (1969). But first we’ll look at probably the least known album (maybe):
It’s the very first album by Pink Floyd (or “The Pink Floyd” as they were known in 1967) and for those that only know the band for their much more famous 1970s work (like The Dark Side of the Moon & Wish You Were Here) it probably sounds quite unlike what they think of as Pink Floyd.
The big reason for this is Syd Barrett. He was the band’s original lead singer, lead guitarist, and principle songwriter.
Barrett’s strange whimsical psychedelic songwriting is what really dominates this first album and after he was forced out of the group (due to mental illness issues) he was replaced with David Gilmour and the band really went in a different direction (only one Barrett song is on the band’s second album, Saucerful of Secrets, and after that Pink Floyd albums contain no more Barrett songs.)
Floyd definitely continued to be influenced by Barrett (many of the band’s later lyrics were inspired by him) but it’s clear that post-Barrett Floyd is really a different band than pre-Barrett Floyd.
There are some that only like one era or the other; but I’m a big fan of both. I see no reason why I can’t love both The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and The Dark Side of the Moon.