George Starostin's Reviews



Become a Certified Commentator today by following this link!

!!Before adding new comments, please check the GUIDELINES. Don't say I didn't warn you!!


John McFerrin <> (21.05.99)

A few things. First off, on a light note, I agreee with your assessment of much of Floyd's music as soundtrackish. I don't think there's any coincidence that virtually every Pink Floyd album has been linked with some film in a 'synchronicity'. Yes, DSOTM is infamous for its ties with The Wizard of Oz, but in my travails on the net, I have found links for almost every other Floyd film. Ummagumma links with Gigi (possibly cos there's an advertisement for it on the studio album cover), AHM links with Dr. Zhivago, Meddle links with Fantasia, WYWH links with It's a Wonderful Life, Animals links with Casablanca. And even if these are all just coincidences, the movie theme overtones of the albums can't be denied. Stanley Kubrick wanted to use parts of the AHM suite as the theme to Clockwork Orange, but Waters changed his mind at the last minute. Plus, Waters has stated in an interview that his biggest regret was that he was unable to write the musical score for 2001: A Space Odyssey (although there are reports on the net which say that Echoes matches up well with the final chunk of 2001, which is also supported that Echoes was orginally a _space_ theme, not an underwater theme, with lyrics starting "planets meeting face to face..."). So yeah, Floyd was a good soundtrack band, which explains why More and OBC are as good as they are; it was their forte.

Now, on to my rant. I do believe that Floyd should be regarded as one of the greatest bands in history, (though not in front of the Beatles, that's for sure). I do NOT, however, agree with the reasons that Floyd is as idolized as they are. There are SO MANY people who claim to be "hard-core Pink Floyd fans" who are only familiar with DSOTM, The Wall, and maybe WYWH. I mean, yeah, these are good albums, but if you were to listen to the radio, you would think these are the only things they ever did. And no band is worthy of this much praise based on only three albums. Heck, read the Rolling Stone album guide, look at the ratings they give each album, and you'll see that DSOTM and WYWH get 5 stars, The Wall and Piper each get 4, and everything else gets 2, 2.5, maybe 3. And yet, despite the fact that when you think about it, Floyd got toasted, RS still elected them to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and even devoted an entire wing to them. And I don't disagree with that necessarily, but I sure as heck disagree with the _reasons_ they give Floyd all this praise. I mean, just once, I'd like to hear 'One Of These Days' or 'Cymbaline' or even 'Astronomy Domine' on the radio, rather than 'Money', over and over and over agin. That being said, they wrote some good melodies, and when they didn't, they did everything in their power to cover it up. And by golly, they pulled it off! Whether it was the production, or calling on others to make great vocal performances, or even more production, they made the stuff really friggin interesting. Most of the time.

Richard C. Dickison <> (23.05.99)

I can see where you guys are going with the SoundTrack idea, but I don't think it really states Pink Floyd's main greatness and weakness.

I think George hit it on the head with the phrase "mathematically precise, counted out and adjusted" in my mind I identify this with symphonic music. Thats what I like and dislike about this group, not one note, not one effect was out of place on any (Roger Waters) Pink Floyd album. It all had some weird or strategic reason, either to hide some fault or mostly to manipulate the listeners mood. They practised the fine art of making seamless rock symphonies in a studio with all the sonic help they could muster and people, even I, hate that excess at some point.

I think the worst critique you can launch at these dudes is that they really did not go beyond the album as concept and produce simply good songs, every song on their albums was to support every other song, ad nuseum, sometimes at the sacrifice of quality and indiviuality, we knew they could have though which makes me angry with them god damn it. I see it start on Meddle and proceed endlessly on till of course Roger leaves on The Final Cut.

On the flip side, the early outings with Syd were a dress rehearsal or is that character rehearsal for the Roger era and as with every one who has taste I refuse to even acknowledge the Gilmour led (remember when we had actual song writers and cared about our music) thingy group. I have no problem liking the Roger era albums for what they were, and as with every other prog band I hate the excesses too.

I will always enjoy them for being completly unique and off the wall on any of their albums (up to Final Cut that is) and I really believe that is what counts.

Valentin Katz <> (14.08.99)

First off, I'd like to congratulate you on job well done on a huge website. I run my own and I don't know how you could do all this work.

That being said, I can now engage in my criticism of the absolute rock heresy written in it. How can anyone in their right mind call Pink Floyd "fluff rock?!?!" Name one band that had more complexities in their overall point of music. I totally disagree with EVERYTHING you said about Pink Floyd, but I can understand that people have different tastes and some don't. But all those criticisms were unfounded. How can you say that they were average musicians, you're statements are so outrageous that I don't even have any words to combat them. They were the sentiment of anti-commercialism!

The Pink Floyd travesty is a almost-forgivable sin, but..what I cannot forgive is rating Led Zeppelin a 3!??! Along with Frank Zappa, what in the hell has Frank Zappa ever done? Why don't you stop taking these methodical, mathematical approaches to music and actually listen to something? Because, in the end it doesn't matter if you think its fluff rock or some other derogatory term, just sit down and listen to the music and hear how amazing it is. Think of adrenaline rush it gives you and how you just feel absolutely in awe afte listening.

You can't judge music like you desipher morse code, with no feeling and absolutely sturdy. When are you going to realize its only about the music?? If you can ever un-tighten your rear-end, you might realize that you are desecrately what is holy. So, instead of listening to music to critique it, I suggest you listen to it for its intention, enjoyment and entertainment. When you do that maybe you might be able to open your ears and even eyes and believe in the power of classic rock.

[Special author note: I already wrote a long answer to Valentin, so I won't bother putting another one on this site. I hope that all my constant readers will be easily able to see the flaws of this message and the primary ideological differencies between its author and me. For more information, see guidelines on comment posting]

Simon Hearn <> (07.09.99)

I love pink floyd - sorry! Between 71 - 80 they were a class act. Later floyd is terrible though.

I cannot understand why some people do not think dark side of the moon is not the best floyd album. IT IS, no question. Their best "compiled" album is this one - it all works so well and 'the great gig in the sky' is pure bliss - clare torry is a goddess. 'Great gigg' does for floyd what 'gimme shelter' did for stones - augmenting their sound with female vocal arrangements. WYWH is cool as is animals, but I do not like the wall - too many fillers. Floyd should not have tried to do a white album, no one should imitate the fab 4 - oasis prove that!

Ashley <> (24.10.99)

dear whoever said they suck~

Pink Floyd is SO talented! If anything they are under-rated. Roger Waters is the best song writter there ever was, same with Syd Barrett. Their music is much more then a catchie tune that say The Beatles would put out. They are totally in the music for the music. wow their lyrics are pure talent I bow down to ALL the Floyd

Ben Greenstein <> (23.11.99)

Well, I'm glad to see that there's somebody else besides me who feels that Floyd is really overrated, but I just don't understand how you can give them a four and badns like Jethro Tull and Genesis (who you seem to like more) a three. If you don't like them, why do they get such a high grade? Makes no sense to me.

But we do agree about most. As a songwriter, Waters is really pretty weak, and Barrett is not that much better. In terms of musicianship, the guitar solos just bore me to tears, and nothing else really catches my attention at all. The melodies are next to nonexistent - actually I think the only song that I can remember really liking is that "Pigs" song. The rest of the band's stuff is REALLY unappealing. I couldn't give any of their albums a higher score than seven (and the ones I've heard are The Wall, Pulse, Animals, Dark Side, and Wish You..., all of which were borrowed from a friend), and for this band a seven would be generous. The only album I'd rate any higher is that first Barrett one, the only one I own, which gets an eight. I couldn't care less if I hear any of the other ones again - I'd rather listen to REM or Elvis Costello anyday.

Maybe they're good if you're on drugs, but if you HAVE to be stoned to enjoy it, it ain't good music. Valentin Katz makes me crack up - he honestly thinks that Floyd are more complex musically than Zappa - or even Led Zep? Waters knew, like, five chord progressions, tops! He's not sophisticated in the least! As a composer myself, I find it incredibly obvious that the guy never even bothered to try and expand his horizons beyond the average "Floyd" sound. No weird time signatures, very few eerie sound effects, NORMAL chord progressions - this stuff ain't prog! It's CRAP, made by a CRAPPY band who couldn't write a DECENT song to save their life.

Sorry to be so blatant, but that's the way I feel. I don't like Pink Floyd. And I've certainly tried.

Bob Josef <> (12.02.2000)

There are a couple of overlooked reasons why Floyd caught on and became huge, aside from their increasingly theatrical live shows. One, with Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall, they discovered how to consistently write good melodies, even on instrumental works. And two, Waters' lyrics, unlike most prog bands, tapped into the anxieties and frustrations of male adolescents and post-adolescents in an intelligent, but yet accessible manner. But they eventually lost both of those strengths -- the split-up of Waters and Gilmour only proves the adage that a great group is made up of more than the sum of their parts.

Greg Nordeng <> (20.02.2000)

When I was reading your review with all due respect I felt like throwing up. You brought up some interesting points about the methodical mathematical style of Pink Floyd. I personally completely disagree with you. I would say the albums Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Saucerful of Secrets, Ummagumma, Atom Heart Mother, Meddle, The Wall, and The Final Cut kill that idea. Especially the first few I mentioned there. I would have to say that Pink Floyd is the exact opposite, do you really think Syd Barret even knew his times tables? To call Syd Barrets music "mathematical" is a complete contradiction to what the music stood for. The album was a complete demonstration of "psychedelia" and the "free spirit". I am pretty sure that had nothing to do with a scale, a metronome, a ruler, a calculator, or whatever... I do see where you can see that on some of there later material it was like that. That was a totally new feel for the band, David Gilmours guitarwork I will admit may not be complicated, but the amount of passion he incorporates in every solo surpasses ANY guitarist I have ever heard. I am sorry you won't allow yourself to appreciate his solos, every one is a masterpiece. I also find it interesting that you don't LOVE at least early Pink Floyd, this may come as a shocker to you... The Beetles used material that Pink Floyd originally wrote. There is NO question in my mind that Pink Floyd was a big inspiration to the Beetles, I wish I had a quote or something saying that. All I have is the direct use of Pink Floyd lyrics and a very similar sound to Pink Floyd's early music before the beetles really revolutionized there music.

Another thing about your mathematical aspect of what you say... How about Mozart? The fact that his music was so mathematical was the GENIUS behind his music. I sincerely hope you have the utmost respect for Mozart. So if what you say is true about Pink Floyd's music being that way, jeez, what a nice compliment!

Well Thanks for allowing me to post this, I hope that people listen to both what you have to say, and what I have to say, and take it into consideration. Pink Floyd to me will always be the SOURCE and epitome of originality in music.

[Special author note: well, Piper is not such a 'calculated' affair, of course, being dominated by Syd the Whacko. But every other Pink Floyd album in the catalog is - are you going to tell me that 'A Saucerful Of Secrets' (the track) is not meticulously calculated and planned? It is. Are you going to tell me that the mounting of tension on the live version of 'Careful With That Axe' in Ummagumma is spontaneous and not just the result of an immaculate technical craftmanship? Don't make me laugh.

Not that it's necessarily a bad thing, of course - like you pointed out, Mozart's music was also mathematical. But that's the main schtick of classical music: classical music is counted out and smoothed out par excellence, almost by genre definition. Rock music was initially opposed to it as basing more on spontaneity and improvisation. And, of course, I'm not saying that all rock music should be spontaneous and improvised, but there's gotta be a golden middle between the 'automatic' and the 'vivacious'. Pink Floyd don't have no 'vivacious' beginnings in them at all, and that's the band's main flaw (apart from the fact that Waters couldn't tell a good melody even when it hit him whack on the head, but that's another story).

As for the Beatles 'using material that Pink Floyd originally wrote' - I'm interested in that, but so far I haven't been able to find anything like that. Or maybe... no wait... shiver me timbers... don't you mean 'Revolution # 9'????!!!!]

Kathleen Keplar <> (28.05.2000)

What is with everybody wanting to bash the Floyd these days? My appreciation of music started with the Beatles. It moved slowly from there for the simple reason that the Beatles were a helluva yardstick to measure the next phase by. At the time, the early 70s, I wasn't playing music yet, and I pretty well ignored the Floyd. They were just too weird. Pete Townsend referred to Pink Floyd as 'scary' in an interview once. When I started picking at guitar and bass I kept remembering that comment. I had to look a little deeper into the Floyd. I'm glad, as a musician, and an artist in general, that I did.

First off, I agree with most these days that they weren't first rate musicians. Very tech, and even then, very limited. Writing was very simple, often to the point of mundane. Gilmore was apparently a strict believer in the 'less is more' school of guitar. Water's bass playing...well...I'm not a 'professional'bassist and I could play rings around him. And the other two? Sidemen, in my opinion. And what can I say about Syd?Poor chap. Wanted to be an artist but decided that going bonkers was better suited to his abilities. What a bummer.

So how in the Hell did Pink Floyd get so huge?

I think I figured it out some time ago. Musically speaking, the 60s was an optimistic period in time. The world was going to hell in a hand basket (as it usually is anyway, at any given time.) and the art of the time was hope for the better things to come. The decade that followed was the backlash. The 70s were a dark period for serious music. I now understand why disco flourished, it was opium for the moronic masses. The Floyd startedwith the sixties but that weird off-the-wallishness of theirs had no place in that back to innocence and beauty mood of the time. When the hippie counter culture movement died (the novelty of it just wore out) all these people who thought they had had something to say at one time now found themselves speechless. The world was still going to Hell in a hand basket and now, what made things even worse, no one was paying any attention to them anymore. All that was left was a dark, empty hole. I know because I was there myself. Pink Floyd flourished in that dark hole.

The music was simple. The lyrics were vague. The mood was dark. The atmosphere was brooding. The history of the band was eerie. The titles and album covers were strange and highly abstract. We had to love these guys!

The only album I'll mention by name is Dark Side of the Moon, of course. I have the sheet music andover the years I wore out the original album, the 8-track tape, and cassette tape. Now I'm busy trying to wear out the CD and I'll bet anyone that I'll probably do it somehow. Like the Beatles, the Floyd were at the right place at the right time. There's no way to compare the two groups to each other, that's a given, but the one thing they did have in common was timing. What the Floyd was saying was what the youth culture of the 70s wanted to hear. And they were saying it the way we felt about it. Simplistic terms underlyingan overwhelming sense of desperation and near hopelessness. We could smile at titles like 'Careful With That Axe Eugene' because we understood the joke right away and could relate to it instantly. Getting stoned to the Floyd was the unwinding experience to the max. The cryptic lyric 'See you on the Dark Side Of The Moon' was sheer genius. Intentional genius or just a lucky shot? Who cares...that one line alone stands out to place Pink Floyd towards the top of the pile.

Overrated? Hell yes. But what highly successful band isn't at one point or another? Even the Beatles produced some pure shit that most of us, myself included, chose to ignore for a long time. The Roger Waters era of the Floyd can be compared with any other monster band that had its day in the sun, and hold its own quite well. I just turned 40 and when I sit around with myRickenbackerand play around with the DSOTM CDI have to grin at how dark and cynical my outlook was when I was a kid. I'm so surprised that I didn't take more careful notice of Pink Floyd when they were alive and kicking in their heyday. When my 18 year old daughter asks about the texture and mood of my younger days...(yes, she asks such questions, she's a born artist too) I have the advantage ofplaying DSOTM and telling her, "Listen closely to the words, and let the music float you around aimlessly." I believe the Floyd will hold their own for some time to come. They'll always be back there in that dark and empty hole that we all have in us somewhere. And that is where Pink Floyd will always flourish.

[Special author note: this review certainly has a point. Pink Floyd were one of the darkest bands of their time. But they were not unique in that style - bands like the ultra-progressive Van Der Graaf Generator, on one side, or the robotic Krautrock Can, on the other side, painted a far bleaker view of the world than Floyd ever did. The problem with these bands, and the advantage of Floyd, was in that Floyd were far more accessible - one cannot deny the 'commercial' value of all of their Seventies' megahit albums ('commercial' here used in the bad sense of the word, which is 'popularisation for dorks'). And while they were certainly masters of both form and substance, I cannot see the sheer genial subtleties in their music that distinguish so highly the music of the Beatles. Believe it or not, Floyd used a far more straightforward approach.

And one more remark. What is with everybody thinking that everybody wants to bash Floyd these days? They still have innumerable legions of fans, don't they? For every critic, there's at least a couple hundred religious worshippers of the band. That's why a little salt on the wound is never harmful, especially since Pink do have such a lot of weak spots.]

Greg Pringle <> (13.09.2000)

Pink Floyd is one of four groups/artists that I rush out to buy when a new album comes out. (The others are David Bowie, Kate Bush, and Zelda, the last being an obscure all-girl Japanese rock group that lasted from 1980 to 1996). I did start to collect a number of other artists, but somewhere along the line my commitment would inevitably flag.

The four 'must-buys' followed a pattern. I would hear their music a few times and perhaps record one of their albums, without, however, being struck with a desire to follow them religiously. A few years later, I would come across some other work, become completely hooked, and go out and get all their albums. In the case of Pink Floyd, I heard one early song - it may have been 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' - on the radio in about 1972, listened to Dark Side of the Moon a lot in 1974, heard 'Furry Animals grooving with a Pict' in about 1977, and generally felt Pink Floyd were an OK group. I think I also recorded Meddle in 1976. It wasn't until 1979 when I rented another Pink Floyd album (I don't remember which) that I developed a passion for the group. From then on I collected every single album, going back to Piper at the Gates of Dawn. When The Wall, The Final Cut, A Momentary Lapse of Reason, and The Division Bell came out I bought them all without hesitation.

Through all this, I would be happy to call myself a Pink Floyd fan. However, I don't 'adulate' the group. I like their music but I certainly don't consider them gods. Perhaps this is what has saved me from erring in the opposite direction. If Pink Floyd had not been such a phenomenon over the past quarter of a century, I suspect that George might have put them down as a very polished group that produces excellent music, but lack a little in spontaneity. He might even have boosted their score a few points for being 'generally underestimated'. But the problem is that Pink Floyd were not underestimated. They were huge, which makes them an easy target for picking flaws.

What is it that I like about Pink Floyd? In the final analysis, it is their music and nothing else. So maybe they are overplanned, overproduced, and overstaged. Perhaps they tend to be repetitive and don't always have strong melodies. They may be commercially driven. Perhaps Roger Waters' lyrics tend to misanthropy. Despite their faults, which are legion, their music is, quite simply, extraordinarily listenable. Their lyrics are thought-provoking and their sound carries you into another world. You let Dark Side of the Moon or Wish You Were Here wash over you as you ponder the lyrics, and it is always a surprise how quickly the experience ends. Even if the 'Pink Floyd sound' becomes predictable (as it does in the post Roger Waters albums), it is a curiously satisfying sound. The 'organ' sound in songs like 'Cirrus Minor' and 'Absolutely Curtains' is simple but wonderfully moving. The guitar work in pieces like 'Fat Old Sun' and 'The Turning Away' soars without building up to a cheap climax - they manage to wring every ounce of emotion out of every note. The bells, insects, cornflakes, and helicopters are all part of the sound and don't annoy me like they do some people. In the end, their music may be totally planned and calculated, but it is amazingly effective in its appeal to the listener.

Pink Floyd also has the indispensible virtue of bearing repeated listening. Even a Roger Waters album like The Final Cut, tuneless as it tends to be, grows on you over time. This is why I continue to buy Pink Floyd albums. True, David Gilmour hasn't come up with anything new recently and some of the old magic is being lost. I admit that I probably buy them 'for old time's sake'. Despite this, they still make good music; I have yet to find a Pink Floyd album so abysmal that I would swear off buying one again.

If being 'addicted' to Pink Floyd has a downside I would suggest that it is the same downside as being addicted to anything: it prevents you from going on to experience better things. There are better groups than Pink Floyd in the world and there are probably better ways to spend your precious time than to listen to Dark Side of the Moon 400 times. But that is the price of going back to any cherished experience, whether it be rereading a book, rewatching a movie, revisiting a scenic spot, or coming back to the same web site again and again. The richness comes from the repitition of the experience.

Marius Popescu <> (15.09.2000)

I think the problem with the great bands is that they don't now when to stop. And Pink Floyd is a great band. But if they 'd stopped after The Wall, they would've been even greater. It was a great Frenchman who once said: "What is exaggerated becomes insignificant".

The same thing happened with Deep Purple even if their last 2 albums are not as bad as some people say. I saw them in 99 live in Bucharest and I must say I was very disappointed by Gillan's voiceas I was disappointed by Robert Plant's voice 2 years ago.

But back to Pink Floyd.First, I think almost half of their fans are not sincere fans but snobs, because you know it's always been trendy or chic to pretend that you like Pink Floyd.

Somebody said they were the symbol of anti-commercialism. They were not. Maybe they tried to, but that's what's made them more commercial. A proof of that is that DSOTM spent like 10 years in Billboard Top 200 (it's a record) and those fake occasional fans were amongst the ones who made that possible. I'm not trying to say that DSOTM is a bad album, because it's not, it's oneof my favorites too. But I think that the "psychedelic band" label didn't make them any good even though it helped them to get more money.

About the "mathematical music" issue. I saw a short passage from a Bob Dylan early interview and he was saying:"I'm a kinda mathematical singer, I use words like other people use numbers".

Maybe it has nothing to do with David Gilmour playing his solos with a mathematical precision but I liked it. I can't judge their instrumental virtuosity because I'm not a musician or something, but I don't think that the value of a song is given by it's complexity or the guitarist's speed.

Anyway, thanx for listening, pardon my English and forgive the errors from the 2 quotes but they were from my memory.

Sergey Zhilkin <> (02.10.2000)

You know I hate Floyd, too. Not because they were the symbol of Seventies instead of any ex-Beatle. To me their music seems to be boring. Well, I wanted to say that some tunes are wonderful and I don't even know how they managed to write them but these mini-gems are hidden under thick layer of electric guitars and strange noises (I mean such songs like 'Time', 'Shine on your crazy diamond', 'Money' and etc.). You just listen whole 6-minute song for these gems that last for seconds! And some songs don't have these gems at all! I must admit that maybe I'm missing point here because I don't have all their albums but I've got two compilations and four albums (Wish you were here, A momentary lapse of reason, Atom Heart Mother and The wall). I can't say I hate these albums but I really can't find any drive there. Ther's too much filler for me. I won't buy any other album of Floyd because it's a waste of money. Once I even bought their film (was I drunk?) The wall. That's the thing I really HATE! In my opinion they deserve 3 stars and ONLY because they influenced great number of people.

Andrei <> (05.10.2000)

I highly enjoyed your reviews site and in particular PF/Syd reviews.

I agree with most of what you say, with one notable exception of ranking PF below Bob Dylan, Beatles, and Rolling Stones.

I am a rabid fan of PF - in the sense that I rank any of their average songs, like, say, 'green is the color', or I could name 30 or 40 others, as far more important than all the songs I've heard from those 3 bands I mentioned.

Quick note: I'm not on crack at the moment!

The reason probably is that I just haven't heard much by those bands. I got one best hits of bob dylan collection that i think is unlistenable, but it's probably a lousy collection cause I have 'hurricane' mp3 and I think it's very good. Lyrics are very impressive, story telling is even more so, music is good even considering that I *hate* country and it has slight traces of that.. I only have white album by beatles and I heard an assortment of other songs like michelle, eleanor rigby, yesterday, and a bunch of others, mostly love songs. White album leaves me unimpressed, with one exception of 'my guitar gently weeps' or whatever it's called, which is a quite good song, and reminds me of more songs by PF alot. I've heard even less of Rolling Stones - one nice song 'love is strong' and that's all I can name at the moment, but chances are I heard at least 3-4 others.

So, anyway, while I do agree with all the criticism of PF you give, not to mention the criticism that you don't give but I could easily add, I still rank them as the best band ever, with closest competition follow- ing a few light years behind in a tight formation. I'm really picky.

To put this into a more scientific notation, I'd give PF a 5 or 4.5 and I'd give other bands I like from 2.8 to 3.2 at most. These would include bowie, waters, barrett, bryan ferry, dubtribe sound system (mostly under- ground band in style of 'DUB' which is vaguely related to house), alan parsons (some of his stuff is *really* cheesy, though..), Delerium (ambient/techno/pop but far better than this would normally imply), Euphoria (totally unknown band which is something like a cross between PF and Delerium).

Anyway, here's a nice little theory why you may not give PF all they deserve (kindly speaking): your sound system is not all that great! After all, PF is very atmospheric, ambient, with all the surreal sounds and special effects. I haven't found any description of your sound system on your site, and I think it's of utmost importance when reviewing music. My assessment of music, and of PF in particular changed immensely when I got an entry-level midfi system (paradigm monitor 3's and NAD cd player/integrated amp). I mean, beatles and dylan can sound pretty nice but PF takes you into another world all- together!

On the other hand, I don't want to sound too sure - maybe you do have a fairly good system and I simply overrate PF, due to general lack of music-listening experience. I never even heard of 8/10th of the bands you review, not even counting the 'misc' section at the bottom. I did change my tastes alot in last 5 years, going through pet shop boys, depeche mode, bunch of eurodance (what was I thinking), rap (now this one I'll stand by - there's pop being played on the radio that everybody with any taste hates, but there's also quite a few gems nobody ever heard), pink floyd, and finally techno/ambient. But I did not stop respecting PF even after the short period of obsession! That sets it apart.

I also doubt I am just another deluded fan who can't stand criticism of his idol - PF has *tons* of flaws. It's just that beside the flaws, they have grandiose and majesty nobody else could approach.

Okay, </deluded rabid fan rant>.

glennryder <> (14.11.2000)

Gilmour sold out ! .... Waters rules !

yeh yeh

Jeff Blehar <> (20.11.2000)

I HATE PINK FLOYD! Okay, I don't, but I'm less and less enamored of these guys than I used to be. I will admit that, for better or for worse, I'm now turned off by the fawning mobs of uneducated fans who slobber all over Floyd as "the greatest band ever" but haven't even heard of Syd Barrett, much anything by art-rockers who I think were much better (Roxy Music, Eno, Bowie, etc.).

But holding the Floyd responsible for its fanbase or the monolithic popularity of Dark Side (yeah, yeah, it's GOOD. Really GOOD. But that's IT.) is unfair. No, the reason I don't like them is because the sound effects don't do it for me the way they did when I was younger.It's not their actual MUSIC or their melodies (i.e. lack thereof) that necessarily bother me, and sound effects and production are always key to boosting a piece's presentation. No, it's (what I perceive to be) the unrelieved SAMENESS of their basic sound. The sound effects are only there to distract you from that. You got yer mellotron/synth, your mediocre and largely superfluous bass, your utterly pedestrian drumming, and then there's the Guitars. I like Barrett a lot, and his era ranks highly with me, but chalk me up as another music-lover (and musician) who is put off by Gilmour's "dentistry" (what a perfect coinage). Sometimes he gets it really right - "Comfortably Numb" would be one such time, and "Dogs" would perhaps be the best moment he's ever had - but by and large I find him grating. His voice irks me too - the epitome of pleasant professionalism, and the unfortunate archetype for a thousand heavyish lead singers to come. Frankly I prefer Waters' tuneless but distinctive bleating to Gilmour. He DOES write good melodies, however, which often (esp. in later years) ended up being Floyd's saving grace.

I'm sure I sound really tough on the Floyd, but I'm uncharitable only because they're so obnoxiously overrated. They're STILL a "great" band (read: deserving of that 4), and there's something on almost all of their LPs which appeals to me, but I find them unexciting these days. All the enthusiasm of my youth for these guys has faded away.

Oh yeah, and will people please STOP comparing Radiohead to Pink Floyd? That's such an infuriatingly superficial and inaccurate comparison! Radiohead will never be as influential as these guys, by simple fact of having come later, but I think that if they maintain their quality control they'll end up being BETTER by a significant margin.

John Trenor <> (02.12.2000)


I hate them as well,and i'm 45.I had to work in a shop where the owner played nothing but the pretentious gits.One day I will eat his liver,(just kidding) his spleen would be better.

email <> (03.12.2000)

First off all I would like to say that Pink Floyd is the best band today and in their time. You are completely wrong to say that Pink Floyd is sold out. Bands like the Beatles whick many people think is the supposed "best band ever" is bullshit to me. So any way all I am saying is Fuck You! Pink Floyd is the shit and everybody who disagrees has no idea what Floyd is really about. And not a good Trip!

<> (12.12.2000)

Why does everyone insist on bad-mouthing Floyd? Sure, they were over-rated, but for Chrissake look at the Stones, AC/DC, Zeppelin, and of course the Beatles! All these bands are given way more credit than they deserve in my opinion. In the words of Alice Cooper: "There was no one like Pink Floyd. They were the ultimate psychadelic band". And I fully agree. Well, maybe not. That title would maybe have to go to the Doors, but Floyd were still great. Roger Waters was of course a Greek god on the four-string, and a top-notch songwriter as well. Nick Mason was an average drummer who was talented, but incomparable to the greats (Paice, Bonham, Baker, Ward, etc.), Rick Wright was one of the best and most creative keyboardists ever. And of course, there's Mr. Gilmour. I sincerely believe Dave to be the 2nd greatest guitarist of all time (second only to Santana), regardless of what anyone says. I just don't see how you can call his playing "soulless and generic", but to each his own I guess. When I listen to Gilmour's playing, I'm always stunned. For he was the first guitarist that proved that you don't have to play 100 miles a minute to be impressive (are you listening Van Halen, Blackmore, Iommi?), and I know his solos never last too long, but the amount of passion he incorporates into every note more than makes up for it. The best examples are songs like "Time", "Shine On You Crazy Diamond pt. 1", "Hey You", and of course "Comfortably Numb". He just flows from one heart-felt note into another, letting the emotion do the talking, instead of freaking out and playing lightning-quick licks, which countless guitarists have done over the years. I do agree with you that ANIMALS is their greatest album, however. 'Dark Side and other albums like that are great, but ANIMALS is the pinnacle of pink if you ask me. Later.

[Special author note: Excuse me. Gilmour was the first guitarist who 'proved that you don't have to play 100 miles a minute to be impressive'? Practically none of the fabulous guitarists in the Sixties played at 100 miles a minute - bar Hendrix, perhaps, but that wasn't Jimi's main specialty anyway. It's nearly the same as to say that 'the Clash were the first band that proved you don't have to write long-winded songs to sound serious'. And while Gilmour's solos usually don't run for too long, I reiterate that he completely lacks improvisation, which is so vital for a truly impressive guitarist. His live solos just sound like they're copied and pasted from the studio records, with a couple minor variations. I certainly do not dislike all of his solos or anything (the soloing on stuff like 'Time' or 'Dogs' is really great), but this inability to stick to anything outside a predefined pattern automatically excludes him from garnering my utmost respect.]

David Lyons <> (14.12.2000)

Good heavens. Is sybilr a real person? How did someone that disturbed manage to operate a computer for long enough to get the email to you? You know, I started reading the Pink Floyd section convinced I was a huge fan with all the albums and many emotional connections to the songs, but soon after reading *that* message, I began to realise I didn't like them half as much as I'd thought. Then I rallied somewhat, and contemplated putting forth the reasoned, eloquent defence that the sensible level-headed critique cried out for. Then I read that message again, and decided nothing is worth siding with someone like that over. I'm selling all my Pink Floyd albums and moving to Greenland.

<> (24.12.2000)

You want to talk unpredictable?What do you think of german bands like Can or Faust?Have you heard them?I hear them being referred to as being humorless alot but Faust easily had more of a sense of humor than Floyd as well as more fun.Yeah,fun experimental music and oh so mad! Can were also stronger and maybe more confident in their playing,it sounds like it to me.Not as clumsy.Floyd had some humorous stuff in the early years but after Barret left well.......Floyd introduced me to experimental music and I have them to thank for opening my mind to other sounds.I like experimental,avant-whatever, alot more than punk or standard MOR rock.They weren't the only ones though,just an example.

Lyolya Svidrigajlova <> (31.12.2000)

[Oh-oh... there seem to be more people who don't like Pink Floyd than their fans on this page. That's interesting already... Or maybe fans' comments were way too offensive to post them... I don't know. I don't know either why the comment by 'sybilr' was posted. Really, this might turn somebody off Pink Floyd completely, as it did with David Lyons... As far as I understood from your guidelines, George, you don't often post the messages like this one...]

[I DON'T LIKE PINK FLOYD... I don't either like to agree with the reviewer and the majority of commentators but this time I don't have another choice... Or they are too complicated for me. But that doesn't mean THEY are bad. That might be because I'm nothing but a dumb suburbian. Yes I am. And I don't want to show myself wizer by loving Pink Floyd... This would be a hypocrisy...]

Ah, anyway...

1. The dislike for Pink Floyd, it seems to me, might lay on the basis of the fact that some people compete them with the Beatles. [I don't like this competition either. Those are just different things. But Kathleen Keplar has already said it. I join.] That's understandable. [BUT! I also hate it when somebody says that Beatles are overrated just because he/she is offended by other people's dislike for Pink Floyd. Brothers&sisters, we'd better been more respective to each other! There is no use in the war...]

2. Another reason for the dislike for Pink Floyd, it seems to me, lays on the basis that there are many Pinkfans who say that "if you don't think that Pink Floyd are great, you're just dumb and you can't understand the real music". Yes, it is repugnant to hear from somebody that you're dumb just because you have the other opinion. Yes, Pink Floyd is "en vogue", yes, some people listen to them just to show themselves more wize than they actually are. BUT! Not all Pink Floyd fans are so. Some of them really fell in love with this music. Chacun son gout.

3. Yes, they are pretentious. But... I can't say that it is so bad. [The other point is that personally, I don't like it, but does it really matter? Especially if so many people do like it...]

Are they underrated or overrated? I'll stay neutral. Time will show. Alot of time, exactly, will show. It could take a hundred years. Or even more. I don't want to be rushed.

[I don't like Pink Floyd. I can't even say I hate them. They just don't give me shivers. In other words, I could have said (2 years ago) that I hated the Beatles 'cuz they did give me shivers. Unlike Pink Floyd. But it's only my attitude.]

Robert Grazer <> (06.01.2000)

"What I honestly feel is that the Floyders are probably the most overrated rock band in man's history."

George do you really feel that you have the right to make this statement? Have you looked at some of your favorite bands lately? The Who, The Beatles, Bob Dylan. I personally believe that the title of most overrated belongs to The Rolling Stones. Just a quick thought...

[Special author note: I have encountered TONS of people foaming about how the Rolling Stones are complete shit, but I can't say the same for Pink Floyd. When I say "overrated", I don't mean overrated by the likes of Spin or Rolling Stone magazines; I mean overrated by people like you and me and other commentators and people who I speak with and write to. If you're interested to know, every young dumb jerk in Russia has heard about how great Dark Side Of The Moon is, but very few people have actually heard about the Rolling Stones. I do not suppose there is a big difference in the rest of the world.]

Morten Felgenhauer <> (09.01.2001)

I can't believe that your page hasn't been flooded with hate mails from obsessive Floydsters after your introduction to the band. You had some good points, though. I think Pink Floyd deserves their place amongst the Great Ones because of their willingness to experiment in the early years and their classic later albums. They tried everything, and although not everything worked they deserve credit for doing it. A laugh at people who moan about their lack of instrumental abilities. The only thing that matters is what the completed work sounds like, not how Roger Waters plays his bass (which he does quite well). Their music can be described as worthless or brilliant, but only in their later years would I find it appropriate to use the term boring.

<> (25.01.2001)

I believe that Pink Floyd is the greatest band to exist. Nobody comes close to making anything like the Floyd. They have their own style and nobody else comes close to them. Therefore, I totally disagree with your review

Matthew Jarvie <> (02.02.2001)

I totally disagree with your opinions on Pink Floyd, which happens to be the best group of the 70's. Who cares if Floyd wern't fucking virtuosos? Most groups with virtuoso musicians like Yes, cared only about showing off rather then creating a feel. Not to mention how cheesy some of these other prog bands sounded- all totally overridden with cheesy keyboard effects. People don't listen to Pink Floyd because they want to hear virtuoso playing, but because their music creats atmosphere, unlike most other groups were capable of doing. Pink Floyd is one group that didn't sound like every other band out there. If anything, Floyd was the least pretentious of all the Progressive Rock groups of that time. Floyd should really be in a category by themselves. To even mention them is the same paragraph as ELP or Yes just isn't right. You refer to most of Floyds albums as pretentious, then you go and give albums like Tarkus and Brain Salad Surgery 8's and 10's. Give me a fucking break! Don't get me wrong, I love ELP and they are also one of my favorite prog rock bands, but they were pretentious as all hell. Brain Salad Surgery is one of the most pretentious, chessy and overrated albums of the Progressive Rock movement (its also ELP's worst early period album in my opinion), yet you give that and 8, whereas WYWH gets a 7? Roger Waters is one of the best song writers EVER! No one can capture the feeling of human suffering like Roger can, NOBODY! To call him a "so-so" song writer baffles me. You also consider Dave's guitar playing to be "Generic", yet you praise the guitarwork of Steve Howe and Steve Hackett. That makes a lot of sense. Can you name any prog rock guitarists that didn't sound somewhat generic? It's Progressive rock for fucks sake, its not the blues! And why should it really matter if the groups music is structured or not. Does every group have to make "structured" music in order for it to meet your standards?

Perhaps some of Floyds music from their later albums was overplayed, but is that really the groups fault? Roger wasn't looking to make albums that would sell in mass quantitites, but they just sold well because its good music. I mean,jesus, Like the Beatles arn't overrated and overplayed to some extent?

Without a dobut, the most overrated band of the 70's and of ALL TIME is Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin was probably the most unoriginal group from the 70's, yet they got way more attention then they deserved. In my opinion, any person with real musical taste would simply dismiss Zeppelins music as "cock rock", just like Van Halen was in the 80's. Pink Floyd made intelligent, cerebral, unpretentious (in their cult years) music, not "cock-rock". Floyd were innovators and they deserve more credit then any of the other prog bands like Yes ( now THEY are overrated). In my opinion, Floyd is one of the most underrated groups of the 70's. So many people look at this music as being nothing but aimless "stoner" music, but that is quite the contrary. Pink Floyd is thinking mans music and is a fuck of a lot deeper then anything Zeppelin, Yes or any of those other self-indulgent bands were making. Pink Floyd, along with CAN were without a doubt the most grounbreaking bands of the 70's! I wouldn't expect a person who reviews ABBA albums with '10' ratings to necessarilly agree with me.

[Special author note: I have to point out the fact that anybody who says 'I totally disagree with your opinions on Pink Floyd' and really means it would, in fact, have to DESPISE Pink Floyd to a very large degree. What's all that hyperbolization about? Also, it's very interesting to find a person who considers prog rock guitar playing 'generic' and blues rock guitar playing 'non-generic'. And anybody who calls Steve Hackett's playing "generic" has to reconsider the meaning of that term. And YES! There's an ABBA argument in here! I should have expected that final note.]

Alexandre Santos <> (09.02.2001)

Let me begin by praising you on a magnificent review site. I think you're on the ball with most of your reviews, but I would like to say a bit about your criticisms on Pink Floyd.

It seems that you and those who agree with you believe Pink Floyd is overrated. That may be the case but it is unfortunate. Pink Floyd are misunderstood. Their legions of fans, unlike those of the Grateful Dead and Phish, cannot be stereo-typed into the druggie vagabond category, but they do share a certain view of aesthetics, a view which admittedly isn't the most sober.

Were they pretentious? Self-indulgent? I think not. The poets (you probably wouldn't call them that, eh?) that were PF wanted nothing more than to "trip out" their fans and themselves. Lots of their stuff must've been done in good humour. You use the term "atmospheric" like it's a bad thing, and chastise PF for their lack of good melodies. Melodies weren't their cup of tea. Maybe it's just my take on what it means to be an artist, but I don't think there is any real need for a band like PF to cater to the masses anyway, especially if a few best-selling albums has made them financially secure. I use the term "masses" in a derogatory way but not as to suggest that PF is meant for the intelligent. God knows there are many thousands of stoner Floyd-heads whom I would classify as being anything but intelligent. The soundtrack style of PF is what they perfected and it's what I like about them. It takes a certain type of person to appreciate this soundtrack style, a certain state of mind (heh), a certain perfect time and mood.

Originality? The Doors and Led Zeppelin had a rich mythos behind their music and PF chose to do the same. Again, this was done so as to "trip out" their fans, to make the PF experience as different as possible, as opposed to the act of listening to a melody. I hope you agree that PF ought not to be compared to the Beatles or the Stones who built a different kind of mythos around themselves, and especially not to the true "originators" and precursors of psychedelic rock (whoever they may be) because they didn't have the fame and popularity to create a mythos or legend. Did PF and LedZep "rip-off" other musicians? No, they were "inspired" by them. Heh.

I'm not a musician myself, but I think I have a pretty keen ear and I must say that not a single member of PF deserves a seat on the Mt.Olympus of musical heroes. As professional musicians they pale in comparison to the better of their contemporaries, especially when it came to live performances. Again, I wouldn't hold this against PF, because their live performances are misunderstood for the same reasons I mentioned above. The crazy visual effects that PF's shows were known for were amazing and central to the whole event. For the sober individual these shows may have seemed chaotic and irrational, but they were works of art, and there were many popular studio tunes whose live renditions were quite memorable and well-crafted on their own. Take for example "Careful With That Axe, Eugene". All the many versions of the song, live and not, were entirely unique in a way that perhaps only a true PF or soundtrack/atmosperic/ambient music fan can enjoy. I recommend comparing the studio version of "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" with their Zabriskie Point soundtrack version "Come in Number 51, Your Time is Up".

For the record, everything after and including The Final Cut, in my opinion, sucks. The atmospheric style (at least the good soundtrack stuff) of Pink Floyd died with the dismissal of Rick Wright from the band during The Wall. In conclusion, let me comment on your decision to rank PF a "4". I think you made a good choice, considering theres only five others ranked higher. I find it somewhat suspect that you do so because PF are "groovy". If I'm understanding your choice of "groovy" correctly, you are attributing the rank of "4" to very thing I've been preaching about this whole time- their mastery of the soundtrack, and I've been arguing that PF are the best, or at least the most important, example of such a style. Of course, judging them merely by the standard I laid out above, wouldn't Pink Floyd be worthy of a "5"?

Jeffrey O'Brien <> (05.03.2001)

First off George,I can't tell you that you have bad taste(OH BOY)because everybody has their own likes and dislikes.Not everybody has to like PINK FLOYD.However you are wrong on every point.PINK FLOYD is a group that is willing to step out and take chances with their audience.They succeed every time and at the same time overwhelming the audience to the point that the listener is exploding with emotions that they can't control.To say that PINK FLOYD is over-rated is not only heresy,it sounds like it comes from somebody that has never experienced FLOYD.[FOLLOW MY TYPING CLOSELY]YOU...DOOO...NOT...LISTEN....TO....PINK FLOYD!!!....YOU.... EXPERIENCE....PINK FLOYD!!!!!Do you get my message load and clear.They are not like other bands.Let me give you my personal experience...

I grew up in the 70s.yes I listened to WISH YOU WERE HERE,DARK SIDE OF THE MOON,AND THEN THE WALLbut they were my brother's albums.I remember getting high and listening("hey man(taking a toke from a joint)...check out these sounds").

Years latter PINK FLOYD released THE DIVISION BELL and that is when I heard HIGH HOPES.That song tugged on every emotion inside of me.Every time I hear that song,it brings tears into my eyes(thats how good it is).On that day I became ahugh PINK FLOYD fan.

I look back on the earlier albums and realized a depth that I never saw before.A DEPTH GREATER THEN ALL THE ALBUMS EVERPRODUCED IN HUMAN HISTORY.

Gilmour is brilliant too.I guess the reason that people complain about a gilmour led FLOYD is because they feel if they complain enough,then WATERS will come back to the fold(I'am right aren't I)THIS WILL NOT WORK SO FORGET IT!!!

To put it bluntly,PINK FLOYD IS THE GREATEST ROCK BAND IN HISTORY and deserve every single praise they get!!In fact they desirve more then what they HAVE BEEN GETTING.

Please George EXPERIENCE a PINK FLOYD album today and read the lyrics this time for god's sake!!

<> (07.03.2001)

First I'd like to say that your page is incredible. I know that many don't like to do this and it seems like a waste of time, but Pink Floyd does need to be experienced. Originally I thought it was crap and would have entirely agreed on your reviews; however in time as I read lyric sheets and analyzed the works, things changed. I began to understand the music and have a thirst for more. The songs evoke so much emotion after you take the time to know them by heart. What I do agree with you however is how disappointing they can be when it comes to improvisation. Many great musical interludes could be easily expanded upon, yet they are left unchanged. I know that you dont have the time to sit and analyse every album by every band, but the floyd can not be judged by critics. It just wont tell the whole story.

Janet Carr <> (13.03.2001)

I just can't believe what you are saying.Pink Floyd is about the greatest band on this here planet.Do you even know who you are talking about.'These guys are very average musicians, and so-so song writers'. ARE YOU MAD?Roger Waters, along with Mcartney & Lennon, Jim Morrison, Elton John, Fredie Mercury, and others, is/was one of the greatest lyricists and music writers of all time.Richard Wright has been haled as one of the greatest living pianists. Of course there is David Gilmour.ARE YOU MAD? Yes, his work is meticulous and perfect, but it is perfect.Dave is one the best axe-men around.His tone is unmatched.Nobody can touch this guy in asolo. David Gilmour took Pink Floyds stage show to another level.Copper lasers and huge video screens, not mention millions of blazing colours all around.Have you ever noticed the sound on a Floyd album? It sounds better than most music out today.Dark Side of the Moon is nearly thrity years old and I would match it up against any album that just came out. The recording is perfect.Once again, thanks to Gilmour. How could you not love this band?Every song on every album is great.Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall are two of rocks greatest albums.As for the other albums, they don't get the credit they deserve. Wish You Were Here, Animals, and Meddle are musical masterpieces.From the opening slow, bluesy, solo on 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond', to the Acustic masterwork of 'Wish You Were Here', this album is genius.How about Meddle?'One of These Days' is just a good old chill you to the bone symphony.What about using a hound dog to sing harmony on 'Seamus'? Now, thats creative!'Echoes' is a twenty-four minute masterpiece.This is Floyd at there best. My friend you are a fool.

[Special author note: okay, maybe I'm a fool, but at least I'm not a generic Floyd-obstinated fool. Which makes me feel glad.]

Vedran Dinter <> (24.04.2001)

hello.. i've read almost all of your reviews... well, i don't agree with mostly all of them, but one things bothers me... it's a "special author note" below the review of p.u.l.s.e. where you state that you are a "neutral reviewer" and the guy that wrote the note is a "rabid fan". i just don't see things that way. every single one of us has its own opinion. you, i think, can't claim that you are a neutral reviewer, nor can anybody else. to me, for example,it seemsthat you dislike floyd more than you like them, although it might or might not be true. i'm not saying that the things you wrote aren't true or that they are rubbish, but it doesn't mean that is "neutral reviewing". for example, you wrote that, for you of course, the best song on "the division bell" is "take it back". it's a radio single, for god sake! to most floyd fans "what do you want from me" and "high hopes" are much better that "take it back". it just shows that we don't look at things from the same point of view. some people i know claim that the best floyd album is piper, others that it's the division bell, i can't decide between the 70's albums... i like to heargood lyric rather than great music with weaker lyrics... that's why i prefer waters over gilmour.of course, there arepeople that don't (they like "momentary lapse" :)) there are no neutral reviewers out there. i would probably rate pros and cons and the final cut much higher along with other solo projects from roger waters (except k.a.o.s. of course...) but it doesn't mean that they arebrilliant.on the other side, you can bring down every floyd album if you want to, even animals.

then, the whole idea of rating the albums and picking the best song is somehow silly to me. i don't think that you can rate the album with an '8'. why didn't you rate it with a '7' or '9'? what makes the difference? you could then rate the songs also... make it into a eurosong contest... and the winner is 'time' with 108 points... silly. when i first read this: "Put it on when your girlfriend leaves you, and you'll see what I mean." about "Don't leave me now" i nearly started laughing... it's just that people don't have the same associations about those songs. one of their great values isthat people can have their own explanations of their meaning. don't get me wrong, i'm not claiming that i am absolutely right about the things i just wrote. discussion is a good thing, that's why i respect your point of view, but not the parts where you claim that you are the only one who islooking at things from the right angle...

Gianni Martinelli <> (25.04.2001)

Hello George! First of all: sorry for my English, I'll try to make you understand what I mean to tell you!

I've just read your introduction about Pink Floyd. They are my favourite band after Beatles but I agree with you on most part of you write about them. But I'd like to spend two words in David Gilmour's favour: you said his guitar is soulless, slow and calculated.

Jeff Beck said: "He's the number one of this century with Hendrix, Santana, Page and Blackmore. Gilmour is the man who taught us all the physical and technological experimentation of the sound... our RACE made with the fingers what the others make with the distortion."

And he's also a good riff-inventor: listen to 'Wish you were here', 'Sheep', 'Run like hell', 'Young lust'... and listen to the introducing solo of 'Shine on'... it really sends shiver down my spine!

My favourite guitar-player is EC (just like you), and he's often as slow as Gilmour, but you know far better than me that he's slow just because he prefers to give prominence to the emotions. Why should a musician play instrumental passages, without words, if he doesn't give preminence to the emotions?

David isn't a great composer, but he's an eminent player. Even Roger Waters after his quitting from Pink Floyd, admitted it (and if you know Mr. Waters you know what does it mean)!!!

Vedran Dinter <> (25.04.2001)'s me again... hell... i didn't realize before now that there was another document (pink.htm) and not just pink1.htm which i had for some time on my computer for offline reading. well, to be honest, i also didn't realize that you have that mammoth site of yours. amazing, i must say... still don't understand how do you manage it though. after i read the first document some things became clearer. the sentence "I HATE PINK FLOYD" managed to shed some light on the subject... :) ... i read all about why do you 'hate' them and what is wrong with them etc. etc. and i must say that i (of course) disagree with almost everything... i think there is nothing wrong with gilmour as long as he sticks to his guitar (although 'sorrow' is a good lyric) and there is nothing wrong with waters lyrics at all. he is the no.1 songwriter for me... better than lennon, dylan and the others. it is not because i think he is god. it is because i can identify with them, because i agree with his look on the world, i agree with his political opinions... and i can't put beatles or (especially) stones in front of them. maybe dylan. maybe. i can't help it... i like lyrics like waters writes them... i find them intelligent and pesimistic (which i find good) and i don't care much for music as for the story, the concept... then, the floyd never had any love songs. i adore that fact. they never preached violence in their songs. i adore that too. they are all politicaly left-wingers, as i am. anyway, there is nobody coming close to them on my charts. although i like many others, like waits, dylan, zappa, bowie, townshend...

what i don't like about the 'concept' of your pages is the "let's trash the floyd" idea because there are so much good things written about them. why couldn't you find some balance between the two? you write a whole lot of bad things about their music and then give them a '4'. it must sound verystrange to someone who just read your review. not to mention that the reader who hasn't heard the floyd before won't even bother to do so because they're so 'calculated' and overrated and gilmour-sucks-and-waters-also... ;)

well, i wanted to say a lot more but i can't really express myself very well in english:( and it's late so i'll just say goodbye and (despite the floyd issue :)) thank you for taking the time to write and assemble the best music pages i have seen so far (although "amg all music guide" isn't bad for a quick reference, but this is something different... more personal, for sure)...

George Starostin (25.04.2001)

There's my answer to Vedran which I actually mailed him but decided to post here anyway. Not that anybody's interested...

Hello Vedran,

I think maybe my attitude towards Floyd would become a little more clear to you if you'd read my "credentials" - some of the stuff displayed in the introductory pages (the proper introduction and the guidelines to comment posting), as well as some of the essays, essentially essay # 3 where I have tried to define the differences between objective and subjective approaches.

I do consider myself a neutral reviewer when it comes to Floyd, or, in fact, most of the bands I review here, apart from some of the five-star rated ones, maybe. I do not of course hate Pink Floyd - people who do not sense the irony in that opening line are like people who'd accuse Mick Jagger of Satanism or dub John Lennon as Antichrist.

You said something about 'balance' in one of your letters, and this is exactly what I'm trying to do. I seriously feel that for many people, Floyd have overshadowed a whole world of different and equally good, or even better music, and that is why the tone on my Floyd page is often bitter whereas, say, on the Kinks' page it is rarely bitter. Same goes for Led Zeppelin.

On the other hand, I say a lot of good things about Floyd as well, don't I? And I have my arguments. Having opinions is one thing - being able to defend them is another, and I'm always ready to defend my opinions because otherwise - as far as I see it - opinions aren't worth anything, at least not if you're willing to offer them to public view.

I understand you when you say you adore Floyd for the reason that they never wrote love songs or never "preached violence" (although far too many bands have been accused of "preaching violence" when in reality they were just ironising on the subject), but it's hard to understand why writing a love song or an aggressive song is a crime against good taste in music. On the other hand, everything exists in comparison. I don't think that the lyrics of Roger Waters are particularly bad, but compared to his colleague lyricists like Lou Reed, Ian Anderson, Keith Reid, and, of course, Dylan, they are way too straightforward - often sounding like something you'd read in an old philosophy manual. Certainly, many people find it easy to identify with these lyrics because they're easy to understand - but to me, this reeks of an intentionally commercial approach. I'd take Peter Gabriel and Genesis' Selling England By The Pound over Dark Side Of The Moon any time of day partially due to that very reason: Gabriel carries through a lyrical message often similar to Roger's messages, but dressed up in a more complex, original and exciting way, allowing for different interpretations and connotations. Not so with Roger, who doesn't leave much choice for his listeners. Because, unfortunately, there are way too many listeners among Pink Floyd fans who don't want to think about their own interpretations, ready to literally accept anything that's shoved down their throats. And, by the way, I also agree with the lyrics of Roger. And I share his political views - I can easily put my signature under just about anything he wrote on The Final Cut. But you see, I also agree with lots of stuff people write in newspapers and say on talk shows. The God is not in the contents, the God is in the way you put it. And Roger doesn't put it the way that a serious, respectable XXth century artist should. He grew better in later years - Amused To Death, for instance, shows a certain maturity - but of course, it was already too late.

Likewise, I don't like the general "calculated" style of Gilmour not because it IS calculated - but because it is intentionally calculated, drawing on "emotional guitar cliches", never really changing with the years, always predictable and never fresh.

As for the ratings themselves - I have discussed this problem many times, so I'll be quick about that one. On one hand, the ratings are relative - when I say "eight", it could mean "nine on a particularly good day, seven on a particularly bad day" or so. On the other hand, the ratings are objective - for instance, my review of DSOTM might show that I hate the album, or my introduction on PF might show that I hate the band, but the ratings show that the bitter tone is mostly due to my trying to strike a balance between the overrated nature of a band/album and the somewhat more cold-headed approach.

Steve Hall <> (01.05.2001)

I was interested by your response to Vedran.I think i can see why you feel the way you do about Pink Floyd particularly when you have an appreciation for so much other music which lives in the shadow of them(Selling england by the pound seems your biggest grievance).I would certainly accept that there is a lack of virtuoso musicianship in Pink and most of there work does have an almost clinical sheen about it but i respect them nonetheless.

I think they had some excellent strengths though,in particular the diversity in their music.Pink Floyd's catalogue is just SO diverse.I would not begin to try and compare Pink Floyd as songwriters or virtuoso musicians to Led Zep for example but how anyone can possibly believe there is any comparison when it comes to diversity in material is beyond me.Diversity in a groups output doesn't look that important when you view a band on it's own,but when you take music as a whole it is just so important.For example where would music be if everyone had the same approach as Led Zep,basically milking the same process over their entire career with just a few variations on the same proven formula.Not to say that formula wasn't original,fantastic and widely regarded but nevertheless no Zep Head can honestly say that the group went out on a limb musically or made any great and serious attempt to diversify or experiment on what went before.Pink Floyd certainly did,and not just early in their career.The Final Cut (love it or hate it)is such a removal from anything done before by the group.(or i should say Roger really,when referring to this album in particular).

I would like to take issue on the remarks you make about pink (Roger)lyrically.I agree with your facts about the lyrics being more straightforward than Lou Reed or Dylan,just as The Wall is more straightforward than Tommy,but then to hint that this is commercialism is downright scandalous.I don't see how just because a concept or lyric is confused,allegorical or wrapped up in an enigma makes it less commercial.Just because someone expresses their view or emotion clearly and concisely doesn't mean it's contrived or insincere or by extension that it's listeners are ignorant sycophants suffering from some mass delusion."Animals" proves that Roger could express himself lyrically under the surface as well as above it. (There's nothing scandalous here unless somebody wants to think that "commercial" and "sincere" exclude one another. They don't. There's simply this little matter of inadequacy, when Mr Waters wants to pass for a 'serious' artist, but eventually relies on cliches and tritenessese that had been stated a thousand times before him in the same way - G.S.)

Pink Floyd's weaknesses are well documented in your reviews and most are justified but IMHO no other group scaled such heights of creativity or success with as many inadequacies amongst the individual members.This should give inspiration to musicians and songwriters everywhere who realize they aren't Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page on the guitar or Dylan and Lennon with the notebook.

ferchos10 <> (14.07.2001)

Well, heres what I think about Floyd.

Pink Floyd is my favorite "music band". I place those words in "" because I dont consider them as other standard music bands. I believe they go further. I mean, I believe "Music" shouldnt be just the sounds, but what they mean. If youre in for people that are experts with instruments I recommend the philarmonics, where men and women have been training like slaves all their lives. But Floyd went beyond...they chosed to forget about the classical "girlie" songs and moved to other issues...thats what i really like about them. I despise that most musicians have opted to do songs about girls"" Just girls.girlsgirlsgirlsgreoigrl.

Sure, Floyd had a few songs about girls, but, i repeat, they dealt with other more "dep" issues. And besides, the sound is pretty different as well..i mean...they are just fantastic.

And another thing about your review, George,...i strongly disagree with you saying that The Wall (movie) sucked.. thing is.. that thing is not a movie.. its just a pretty darned long Music Video..and a pretty cool one too. Ask around (with acerage people) and most of them wont even know that this movie exists, thus proving that it was not intended to "make money". (OK, it may prove it didnt made money, but do you really think that a 100 minute music video was aimed just to make money??).

So, thats it : Pink Floyd is just more than average "music"..and thats why everybody knows the name, but very few have listened to much more than just "another brick 2".

A.E. <> (25.11.2001)

If the God has created the universe, PF has created Music. Everything before PF was humble attempts at being Music anything after PF - poor takeoffs. PF is grander than PF self.

Noam Sugarman <> (15.12.2001)

hey man, i don't have too much to say, but i think it has to be said. There seems to be a misconception over Floyd's improv skills. Sure, his live solos post-dark side bear striking resemblance to the studio version, but this is by no fault of his own. By this period in Floydian history, their shows had little to do with music and more to do with visuals, and so their playing had to be very consistent. they couldn't go for crazy improv jams a la phish (by the way, you should review those geniuses). It annoys me that from say '74 and onwards, there was absolutely no spontanaeity to floyd's live performances, and that includes the filler jams from the live wall album. they got caught up with flying pigs and animated films in the background. However, listen to the live stuff pre-dark side, which you'll have to resort to bootlegs for, and you'll hear floyd at their improvisational best. I especially mean Wright and Gilmour. the live portion of Ummagumma is somewhat of an exception because they knew in advance it was going on the album, so they couldn't go too far out there. However, they would expand songs like cymbaline, fat old sun and green is the colour, just to name a few, into long, funky and bluesy jams that were fantastic. There is a particular version of 'Fat Old Sun' in which Wright mesmerizes me on the Hammond. They also often did Blues jams in which Gilmour does an absolutely fantastic job. He just pours the emotion into that guitar of his. And furthermore, I wouldn't necesarily say that his studio solos are so 'calculated', and even if they are, most of Clapton's studio solos sound just as calculated and sometimes his live versions don't differ that greatly. as for Gilmour's tone, it ain't my favourite, but it's really nice nonetheless. not that i would condemn anyone for not liking it, it's a totally subjective issue. Just thought i would stick up for Floyd's musicianship, since so many people seem to be knocking it.

Oh yes, you wanted to know about those who contribute. well, I'm an 18 year old from Toronto. I obviously love Floyd, along with the Beatles, Clapton, Phish, the Doors, etc. I would say that it's the beatles and floyd that I listen to the most, and i also love Syd Barrett's first solo album ( i haven't heard his second), it brings me quite close to tears. As far as other interests goes, i like reading, writing poetry, being with close friends and travelling. I'm dying to travel. I wouldn't say i have a favourite guitarist, it really depends on my mood. sometimes I'll be buried in Clapton's unplugged album, other times i'll be restricting myself to Floyd for Gilmour's sound. The most important thing that music has to have is emotion, which is why i enjoy floyd and the Beatles so much, not that i would ever touch early beatles pop-garbage. My favourite Keyboard player is Page McConnel from phish, and i don't have a favourite bassist. Oh, and another reason i love floyd is because of roger waters' socialist rantings, like on Animals, which i consider to be the most brilliant album ever made. That's it for me.

<> (23.12.2001)

I have never really heard much about them being very overrated.

Big radio hits? The only songs I have ever heard from them on radio are 'Money' and 'ABITWp.2'.

Selling out shows? That mostly had to do with the theatrical atmosphere they (the shows) had, something I don't consider as part of the music. And hey, all that means was that they were pretty damn popular, not overrated. People don't pay 50 bucks to see a show because they heard a band was great, but because they see talent there.

And the melodies? Well, I think it's good that they didn't always have great melodies (assuming your opinion is correct). That way, people can be more appreciative of a clever riff or good drum track.

Ben Kramer <> (25.12.2001)

Wow, Floyd fans are harsh on you George. You gave them a 4, an outstanding grade only surpassed by the 4 artists who started rock and influenced it to go in the direction it went. Pink Floyd has an indescribable sound at most times. They weren't great musicians, and they weren't great song writers. However, something that they had enabled them to have an excellent sound on the majority of their albums. Why? I don't know. I don't want to get into everything because I want to talk about their albums individually. I used to be obsessed, mainly with the Wall and Wish You Were Here and I'd flame you for not giving them 15/15's a few months ago. Now, my collection has grown and my tastes have matured so no I prefer Quadrophenia over The Wall and Animals over Wish You Were Here (this used to be my favorite album after the Wall was). Now, my favorites are Animals, Meddle (we can't always agree George), Piper, Dark Side, and Ummagumma (especially the live disc). Some of my favorite Floyd songs are 'Bike', 'Set the Controls...', 'Cymbaline', 'A Saucerful Of Secrets', 'Echoes', 'Summer 68', 'Arnold Lane', 'Wot's.. uh the Deal', 'Time', 'Us and Them', 'One of These Days', 'Shine on... 1-5', 'Wish You Were Here', 'Dogs', 'Sheep', 'Pigs (Three Different Ones)', 'Mother', 'Comfortably Numb', 'The Final Cut' and 'Southampton Dock'. There are others but I won't get into too much detail. What I like most about them is the way they experimented with sounds. Zappa was great in all, but Pink Floyd must have come up with some mathematical or scientifical experimentation system to create original music. Unfortunately they lost this quality after Dark Side, but they did it for 7 albums, not bad. So they are overrated, underrated, loved hated, ... but whatever anyone says, they are a great band with a lot of ideas and interesting gimmicks. I agree with your rating of a 4, it's a very solid rating.

Listenability - 4/5 - some crap but mostly good-great songs

Resonance - 4/5 - This is their high point later on, they were pretty resonant early on as well, but the Final Cut clinches a 4/5

Originality - 4/5 - They were original for 7 years and they had a lot of great ideas. That went down as time went on but they did what they had to do early on

Adequacy - 4/5 - Only on a couple occasions (Atom Heart Mother ring a bell?) when they couldn't be considered adequate

Diversity - 3/5 - 5/5 for the early days but none later on so a 1/5, averaging to a 3/5

Overall=3.8=**** on the rating scale

I don't own any Gilmour lead Floyd, maybe that's why you gave a 3.6 rather than a 3.8, and I might lower the 3.8 if I heard it.

Mattias Lundberg <> (30.01.2002)

After reading the crude mixture of intelligent arguments and disturbingly unintelligent generalizations above, I feel exasperated. How one could call Pink Floyd UNDERRATED (M.Jarvie, above) is beyond me, I mean it's like calling the Beatles underrated. You cannot get more recognition from a wider spectrum of individuals than these two bands do. Without comparing the two, it is interesting to note one similarity between them; their lack of distinguished instrumentalists was their strength. They HAD to rely on craftsmanship and meticulous editing of their music, which is what makes those magically undated and carefully moderated details interesting. And you can't really call Pink Floyd a progressive band, their music was not particularly groundbreaking or complicated (although their echo effects and studio techniques might have been), neither could they readily be compared to prog bands proper, since they tried to do something altogether different (atmospheric effects per se has got nothing to do with prog). The only thing they share with these bands is the aspect of over-blown pretentiousness (bless them....). I do conceive Gilmour's playing as truly inspired, and it has got a stunning vocal quality to it. His tactful restraint is a rarity in popular music altogether; lack of instrumental skill has - in most cases - never stopped a guitarist from making a fool of himself. The question whether his solos were improvised or results of endless editing of studio takes is immaterial; Pink Floyd were recording artists (thus they relied even more heavily on effects when they had to enter a stage).

"The 70s were a dark period for serious music..."(K.Keplar, above) Is this a bad joke or just a typographic error ? Please correct it, or spare us from this kind of cheeky humour.

Michael Egan <> (07.06.2002)

About Pink Floyd - I was one of the few people in America who got into them before Dark Side of the Moon. I agree that Obscured by Clouds is very underrated. Even though I liked DSOTM a lot, the later albums seemed as if they had a lot of instrumental padding. 'Crazy Diamond' just didn't do it for me; I thought Animals was more consistent, and although the Wall had great songs, it was also fragmented - I kept hoping they'd just forget all the Waters inspired concept artsy stuff and just do another album of good songs like Obscured By Clouds. But they never did ...

Benjamin Massey <> (15.07.2002)

Having already commented on Genesis, I feel morally obliged to comment on Pink Floyd, which is my favorite band of all time (I can just hear the sound of a million fingers hitting 'Page Down' after reading that sentence. :)

But wait! I'm a fan, not a fanatic. I'll be objective, and start off by hitting some Floyd negatives just to prove it. Their Big Three (Wish You Were Here, The Wall, Dark Side of the Moon) are all hideously overrated. Most of their work after The Wall was total tripe, and I'm not overly fond of anything pre-DSotM. Nick Mason simply cannot operate a drum set, and everyone in that band not named 'Roger' is an unspectacular-at-best musician.

But (oh, here it is...) they're a very good band. I'll steer clear of oozing over their Big Three (as I so cliched-ly put it), but A Momentarily Lapse of Reason is the polar opposite of DSotM - far and away their most underrated album. 'On The Turning Away' is, in my opinion, quite possibly the best song they ever did and their only _really_ good one after The Wall. I still like 'The Dogs of War' and 'Signs of Life', even if all that 'New Machine' tripe, tripe. :)

I am also (like you, it seems) _extremely_ fond of the Animals album. I'd call it their Most Underrated, except that such a big deal has been made of it being so underrated that it is, quite simply, not underrated anymore. 'Pigs on the Wing' (I and II) is simply beautiful, and there is nothing else on that album which I would call less-than-brilliant. I love that is eternally within my CD disc- changer. I bow at its altar.

Oh, and that Dark Side of your Mooning, and that The Mall one, they're pretty good too. Whatever they're called. :)

Jon <> (25.07.2002)

Like anyone who "hates" the Beatles, there are no reasons, just excuses. Everything you mention as justification for your hate is to be found in bands you profess to like(in some incarnation). The fact is, to hate Floyd, or at least later Floyd, is quite hip, and definitely so for those who like to like the Beatles. There is nothing really to hate about the band, but indifference or disinterest regarding them is certainly possible. That's where I stand with the Beatles, and I believe that's where you stand with Floyd. Don't call it hate, unless it's just to stir up indignant and defensive responses from all us rabid, neanderthal fans who champion our bands like a crowd of lemmings. :)

Bruno Müller <> (23.08.2002)

Hi, George

You see, if you, who claim to hate Pink Floyd, intend to make an objective evaluation of the band, than I, that LOVE Pink Floyd, believe that I have the right to try to do the same thing and try to expose why I believe the band deserves a general rate of 5 in your scale.

They were all very professional musicians, that played quite well (I refer especially to the post-Barret era), although they were not virtuoses. Of course, professionalism alone means nothing. And, on the other hand, who said that only virtuoses can make great music? The fact is: they managed to create beautiful melodies in a great variety of styles with their instruments.

From this moment, I proclaim Dave Gilmour the most underrated guitar player of rock history. Yeah, I know, he’s neither Clapton, nor Howe. Yet, it’s a long way from not-being a guitar God and being mediocre. He’s got enough skill and a unique style. Actually, I’d say he’s the Miles Davis of rock, in the way that both handled their instruments – soft, minimalistic, and yet intense. He’s solos are definitely not soulless, like you say. They bring along a lot of emotion. He’s solos are never self-indulgent and have never a single note beyond necessary. And, if you care to compare he’s solos from live and studio recordings, you might realise that this guy never played a solo twice. In the very Miles tradition, he makes use of the general riffs and hooks associated to those solos and then improvises whole new melodies over the same base. That makes him quite a good improviser and not exactly the soulless mathematician that you say he is. He can improvise, he’s not self-indulgent and he’s extremely melodic. What else should I ask for?

Roger Waters – there are only three men in rock that might be comparable to him (and maybe surpass him) when we talk about lyrics: Pete Townshend, Bob Dylan and John Lennon. I wouldn’t try to pick which of these men is the best. But the four of them are the best. You see, Roger brought MEANING to prog rock. Forget about fairy tales, stupid medieval heroes and pretentious “adaptations” of literature. Roger lyrics MEANT something, produced very good metaphors and induced you to THINK. He’s not an simple lyricist. He’s a poet.

Pink Floyd, the band, never followed fashions. They either expanded styles or created landmarks. They were a daring and original band, and not only about incorporating sound effects. The Piper… expanded psychedelic rock. A Saucerful of Secrets made an effective bridge from psychedelic to progressive rock, in 68. In 1969 they were already experimenting with Ummagumma – like it or not, we must accept their originality. The Dark Side of the Moon expanded and brought meaning to prog rock – at last, a prog band that REALLY had something to say (along with Jethro Tull – and maybe, the early Genesis – I admit, but yet a point above). The peak of their revolutionary creation was The Wall, that pointed to another landmark, a new horizon to prog-rock. Why? This is regarded as a response to the punk movement, gave the exhausted prog scene a breathe of fresh air and gave life, in stage, to the concept of rock-opera. Unfortunatelly, that moment wasn’t captured by anyone – even Roger Waters. The band ran out of gas. But why complain about that when they had more than a decade of good services to rock’n’roll?

Talking more about their originality – that costed the band the respect of diehard proggers, who urged for instrument heroes and complex melodies and labeled them as “unpure”, “sold out” and other stupidities. Elitists like some proggers are, many of them can’t recognize artistic value in anything that reaches the masses, like Floyd managed to do. Floyd didn’t simply stick to the prog tradition and made series of albums that had hardly anything to do with each other, musically – displaying their diversity and ecleticism. More, for instance, is an impressive minimalistic album, except for a few rock’n’roll songs. Atom Heart Mother is the only “symphonic” piece in the tradition followed by Yes and ELP. Wish You Were Here, despite any other consideration, is a true masterpiece. And I tell you why: it is an extremely well written concept album, in which Roger Waters managed to make almost a social study, combining the critic of the whole society (“Welcome to the Machine”) to the impact of it in a common man (“Wish You Were Here”) by the means of the musical industry (“Have a Cigar”). I made a raw division, because each song, indeed, deals with all these scales, only changing the enphasis. Yeah, but what about the music? Here are presented some of the most beautiful guitar and keyboards solos in rock history, I see no “aimless jams” – it’s simply beauty. And its symphonic piece (“Shine on…”) relies completely on rock instruments – it’s not classic instruments making classic rock, or rock instruments emulating classic sounds. It’s the true meaning of classic rock – a “classic” piece played by rock musicians. And let me tell you that all Pink Floyd music is rather catchy, or at least listenable, to the average rock listener, except for the punks or the popsters. You rarely hear from a rock fan any accusation of boredom laying upon Pink Floyd, and the guys really knew how to rock.

That said, let me borrow your categories of rating, I mean, if I understood them well:

Listenability – Except for excerts of Ummagumma and Piper…, they were always into making music, and this music is very melodic and effective – they could do anything well. At least 4, I’d give 5.

Resonance – They settled new standards and landmarks. Once you get to Roger’s lyrics and Dave’s solos, they stick to your head forever. Besides, one might not like Pink Floyd, but simply could never ignore them. The whole punk movement intended to dismiss the band, only managing to better display their importance (who’d care if I wore a shirt saying “I Hate Jefferson Airplane”?). This has to be a 5.

Adequacy – Like I said, music is their business. And Roger always had something to say. Embarassment was never a created, at least in the golden age. 5.

Diversity – They never kept under the boundaries of ordinary prog rock. In Floyd catalogue, you’ll find simple rock’n’roll, blues, jazz, psychedelia, “moody” prog, “space” prog, “symphonic” prog, plus many crossing-overs of different stlyles in the same song (the blues-prog of “Money”, for instance). Besides, their records never sounded the same. Ummagumma is entirely different from More that is entirely different from Dark Side… that is entirely different from Wish You Were Here (I see this as a couterpoint to Dark Side, indeed), that is entirely different from The Wall, and so it goes. 5.

PS: By the way, I’m not a fan of Pink Floyd just to create an alternative to the Beatles. I love them both and I believe that, in a certain way, Pink Floyd was a follower of the Beatles tradition, experimenting, expanding sounds, pushing the boundaries. Actually, Roger is a huge fan of John Lennon and Dave, a close friend to Paul McCartney, but you must already know that.

Federico Fernández <> (08.10.2002)

OK, after all you don't seem to hate the Floyd THAT much. Otherwise you wouldn't rate them with a 4. That was sort of a relief. Here are some considerations I'd like to point about your group's review.

First of all: Yes, I can't argue about Gilmour's solos being generic and soulless, but I guess that that applies to their later albums, you know, those nausea-inducing solos of The Division Bell. BUT his solos on songs like "Echoes", "One Of These Days", "Dogs", "Sheep", "Pigs" and "Breathe" are really distinct, powerful and almost emotional... there is no real reason to deslike them (The ones in "Money" and "Time" though, no matter how much I love that songs, aren't so amazing and, yes, they are generic) Plus his job on some songs in The Wall is really nice (Another Brick In The Wall 1 & 2 being the obvious highlights). Ok, most of the times THEY ARE coldly calculated, counted out and mathematicaly precise but that ain't necessary a bad thing is it? You know, classical music is ALL calculated and precise and that doesn't prevent it from being great. Plus, George Harrison's playing is even more calculated and you like it. Plus, YOU KNOW what happens when the "improvisation instinct" goes too far away (ahem, Layla, ahem). When the effect is right, I don't mind if its all about improvisation or calculation, and the guitar solos in the jam of "Echoes" hits me right in the soul.

About the melodies. You're right; they weren't the Beatles, they weren't Queen, they weren't McCartney, but Pink Floyd isn't about the melodies, is about atmosphere. And what powerful, intimidating, GREAT atmospheres they did!!! They penned some pretty good melodies though, not terribly hook-filled and catchy but pleasant enough: "Breathe", "Time", "Echoes", "San Tropez", OK, they are few. You got me.

I love Pink Floyd... but you're right in many things you said. They were primitive players, so they were quite simpler than other progressive groups as Yes & Genesis, but, because of that, far more efficient, entertaining, rocking, wise and hard hitting than those overcomplicated (boring) ramblings from Anderson, Gabriel and Co. Not that I deslike those grops, mind you. Genesis is great!!! but not as great as old Floyd.

Sean <> (13.02.2003)

Hello...I found your site interesting. But one thing concerns me so far regarding your view of Floyd...

First, you say, "As for Gilmour, well, I just don't like the guy's guitar - I consider it generic and soulless. All of his 'classic' solos are so mathematically precise,"

Then you say, " 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene' is nothing short of a perfect composition, and I do mean perfect: in the sense that not a note is wasted, the song and its structure are almost mathematically calculated."

In the first example, you use the notion of mathematical precision of note placement as a bad thing, in the second example, you cite it as one of the reasons you consider the song perfect.

Which is it?

If I may ask.

[Special author note: Both! I have nothing against "mathematically calculated" music in general - but Gilmour's solos still bug me in the wrong way because they're played sort of in a "spontaneous-oriented" setting. In other words, take a guy like Eric Clapton and he could tear your soul out in the exact same spots as Dave does without having to resort to careful calculation. In these spots, I treasure improvisation and spontaneous feeling much more than anything "pre-written". That's not to say every 'heavenly' solo ever played by E.C. is a priori better than any 'heavenly' solo ever played by Dave, I'm making a very approximate generalization here, prone to exceptions of all kind.]

<> (06.03.2003)

George, I agree with your assesment of Floyd as musicians; they weren't very technically gifted. What I hate the most about Floyd is that they are so corporate. Everything that came out after the Wall is absolute garbage that the band put out to make a lousy buck, hence I dont buy pink floyd music in any form. But I disagree with you George about everything else. Dave Gilmore is a guitar God. And I know that he is mathematical in his solos and that he is a money grubbing scumbag (as is Roger Waters), but he has so many amazing solos. It might be dentristy but it makes me cry. I think its really that simple. I don't analyse music, I just let it flow through me; I don't listen to it I try to experience and listening to floyd is a crazy experience. The reason Pink Floyd is loved by so many millions of fans is that people can identify with the music. They don't care that Roger was so-so on bass and wrote straight forward lyrics or that Rick Wright and Nick Mason were just like any run of the mill session men. The only thing they know is that Floyd music is the type of music that can save your life and that it hits them in the heart. Thats the difference between critics and fans. When youre a critic you have to break down the music and analyse it as music. I dont care about the melodies, the bass parts individually as pieces of the song but thier composite effect;I just care for something that I can listen to and that is deep. So what if Roger wrote banal lyrics or if they were preachy; I identify with them and thats all that matters to me. I think thats what matters to most people. See George Im from the hood, inner city type shit and when I play floyd to my friends that have never heard them they dont say "Dave thats a crappy melody" or " Yo, Roger is shit on bass" they just bop their head and listen to the lyrics and say "That shit is crazy" or "that shit is deep" because thats what they feel.

I only found out about Floyd last year when they were running all those commercials for "Echoes" (even though you cant do a PF greatest hits because it would have to be their classic 70s albums in entirety, just another infamous cash in) I just liked the music and I thought it was cool so I burned DSOM and was blown away for 43 minutes. Of course Obscured by Clouds is musically better than DSOM, but nobody identifies with it. Then of course I got into all their other albums from the 1970s because Im not a big fan of Syd's crazy shit. Thier best album is of course Animals. "Dogs" and "Echoes" are probably Pink Floyd's greatest songs ever, but the first time I heard "Dogs" I was astounded. The lyrics are straight forward and desperate; that means that you dont need to have a BA to understand them. The guitar solos are amazing and the ending of that song is probably the best lyrical ending to a Pink Floyd song. "Pigs" has excellent bass work. I don't care that anyone can play it. And the ending makes me cry with that bass riff that goes up and down and that ripping guitar solo by dave wow!!! I also don't understand how you can say that the reprise of "Shine On" sucks. That is such an amazing jam!! The synths the guitars everything and then it slows down and Roger sings "Nobody knows where you are, how near or how far." Jesus Christ!!! The music of Pink Floyd hits me in the heart and the lyrics hit me in the brain and the heart. Roger Waters is a lyrical genious, not by some abstract standard, but because millions and millions of people feel that shit. Just like the Stones said "Its only Rock and Roll" thats what it is. We can't over analyse the shit because it is what it is to the person thats listening to it. Also I partly disagree with your review of the Wall Live. Of course it was a cash in and they don't even play the first couple of numbers, but you can't see that on the CD. They should release the video if they have it (bastards). That live version rocks so hard and Roger sounds so menacing. Of course the album is better and it also sucks that they edited out the crowd noise, but Pink Floyd is a highly commercial and corporate band. I don't care that Roger Waters hates fans because I have more important stuff in my life to worry about (actually fuck Roger as a person). All I know is I love everything from Meddle until the Wall and that PF is my favorite rock band because they speak to me.

<> (25.03.2003)

First off Pink Floyd is the greatest "band" to date. Not only were they innovatine but they made music that was far beyond anything else to date, that is not an opinion thats a fact! Anything otherwise is a LIE. From the Depth of More to the mystery of Saucer Full of Secrets to DSOTM, The Wall, Animals The power of WYWH and so on no one its better.

<> (25.05.2003)

YOU ARE PATHETIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe how anyone could really listen to Pink Floyd and not be held in awe.Your viewings on them is in my opinion, and I'm sure others feel this way too, is far to narrow. I mean come on! a so so song writers, average musicians, what the hell is wrong with you?!!! If I didn't think you were a sad, pathetic, narrow minded, indifferent if not jealous,horribly misunderstanding excuse of a thinking being, I would probably spend more time on this website letting you know exactly how I feel about your analysis on the greatest and most intense group of musical geiuses of all time (if you could even call it an analysis). Go experience some Pink Floyd in any condition and see how it really makes you feel. Pink Floyd is timeless. It will always be around. You want to get shallow? I'll give you words that you can understand. They sent Pink Floyds music into outer space. That's about as shallow and boring as the group could get. Everyone is allowed there own opinion and to each his own. But before you start trashing them I suggest that you actually take time to really think about what the group was doing for humanity and where we would be right nowvif not for these amazing, talented, in short, genius masters of music and time. PINK FLOYD IS NOT HEARD BUT EXPERIENCED TO THE UTTMOST CAPACITY OF OUR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS AND ALLWAYS WILL BE.

Thomas Norton <> (29.05.2003)

I'm sure this debate will rage on and on and on. I do feel though that some people criticise Floyd too much.

I am a massive Floyd fan. I want you to know this so that you can incorporate my taste into your assessment of what I say.

I see that people have criticised Floyd for being too mathematical, too precise. However, to me that is one of their strengths. I like the structure they give their music. It all feels like it fits, as if what has been created is suited to its position in the song or indeed the album.

Secondly, I do think that the individual members' abilities have little impact on how one views the albums. Surely it is the final product under scrutiny? An analogy would be (and I know the flaws in it, thank you very much) the Manchester United team of the 90s. The team contained Phil Neville, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Andy Cole, and in the earlier days, Gary Pallister and Steve Bruce. Now none of these players, technically speaking, are anything to shout about, yet one cannot deny that the team was the best around at that time. (I'm not a United fan by the way). Similarly, I know that Floyd were greater than the sum of their components, but that doesn't bother me. In the end, it all boils down to the songs.

Thirdly, I feel that the comparisons made between Floyd's music and the rest is unqualified. Let me use another analogy. Would you compare the graphics of a 1990 computer game to those of a 2000 game? No, because there's no point. Different circumstances, different results. The same is true of Floyd. I see on the album reviews that you mark down songs. But Floyd didn't write the songs in isolation. What if, for example, Dark Side of the Moon was just one song, 43 minutes long? Then, all of a sudden, the "Any Colour You Like" phase that you marked down has its place. It is a calming influence after the "Us and Them". Try reviewing their albums as complete pieces. That was how they were intended. It sounds like you pick a song, review it, go away, and then come back to the next; almost as if you are deliberately handicapping one of the great aspects of Floyd.

Finally, (for now at least,) atmosphere and feeling are interpreted as bad words. How? I love lying in bed listening to Floyd on my headphones loudly. I love the world that I'm in when I do so. Oh, and I feel that people's criticism of Gilmour's technical ability blinds them from his soulful playing. Because it is.

Yuriy Mamed-Zade <> (10.07.2003)

Greetings comrade,

This is the first E-Mail that I am sending you, and I have decided to make it about one of my least favorite bands, Pink Floyd. I totally agree with you that what Pink Floyd did was nowhere near as ground-breaking or revolutionary as many other bands, say for instance the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, but Pink Floyd ends up recieving more respect than them (not always).

I have discovered that when a person talks about classic rock, and the bands that define it, Pink Floyd, often ends up clumped together with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Who, when they do not deserve this much recognition. I have spent many a day trying to argue Pink Floyd's status in the scope of rock and roll, and frequently I have been ganged up on by rabid Pink Floyd fans, who seem to think that music begins and ends with Pink Floyd, and these arguements have all ended up being futile. I have been saying that Pink Floyd has been ripping off the Kinks for a very long time, and I have been called crazy by many people, I am glad to see that there is one person out there who seems to agree with me, and the fact that he's a fellow russki makes him even cooler.

I recommend that you give Pink Floyd a lower rating, giving them a '4' is an insult to the other bands that have been rated '4,' like the Kinks, the victims of Pink Floyd's rip-offs. I think that at best, Pink Floyd deserves a '3.'

Matthew Turner <> (15.08.2003)

Congratulations on the wealth of floyd info on the site,a great read.However no congratulations on some of your views. Pink Floyd (well pre 1984 certainly) are the best group of all time,it is un deniable i'm afraid!

As a busy freelance drummer myself (yes we are musicians...i studied at the Royal Academy of Music for 5 years!!) i can speak with a fair degree of confidence.The famous 3 albums are great, Atom Heart Mother is pompous and quintessentially English ,The Wall an earth shattering masterpiece i could go on.Gilmour's playing is the dogs bollocks,it is truely melodic and if a guitar could sing.......Mason is what Ringo was to the Beatles,technically bad but he is a musician foremostly and the classic Floyd slow,placed back beat is so recognisable.Waters speaks for all those who have ever felt themselves to be on the edge and is a great,truly great songwriter.Wright a lovely player 'Great Gig' willstill. be a fantastic chord progression in 200 years time.sorry,there are no arguments to be had,listen to someone who knows and accept-as a brand,as a band noone including Paul and co come close,true there has been some spectacular cashing in over the years but every musician in the world would do the same if they had been part of something so huge....

Brian Adkins <> (19.09.2003)

Ummagumma gets a higher rating than The Wall and Wish You Were Here? Did Floyd simply get a 4 cause you felt bad for giving them a 3? I mean if your opinion is that UmmaGumma is tied for the bands 3rd best album, then I don't see how you gave them a 4. I agree with your rating but the way you rate the individual albums baffles me on how you gave them this rating. To me, Floyd has the most "layered" music I've had the pleasure of listening too. I mean no matter how many times you hear them, it seems like you always hear a new sound if you listen close enough. Just like that teeny weenie "ding" on 'Comfortably Numb' when he says "just a little pin prick". I heard that song probably 50 times, which has made me simply despise the song now, before noticing that sound effect. Much like the chanting of the words "Hey Joe" in the background of Jimmis song, which stretches out so long in the beginning that you can't really make out what they're chanting. Ooops, sorry, not about Jimmi here but he too had very "layered" music. Well I won't ramble on too much. Most Floyd music has thought-out lyric and the music itself is rarely hard to listen too, therefore, simply said, I like them. But I agree with you about Dave and I gotta have a good guitar tone with my music and don't see them as God's like some folks. All in all I just feel you should re-work some of the album ratings or go ahead and drop them to a 3, one or the other.

Isaac David <> (01.10.2003)

I think that pink floyd is the best band of all the world (before Beatles obviously) the reason is that  the band can create a lot of dreams and images in my mind, with : the perfect music: the perfect coordination of the 4 instruments, and the great atmospheres that this music can do. So, I don't think that floyd is overrated, for more information about my opinion of floyd you can visit my web site:

 ¡¡But is in spanish!!

Stephen Rutkowski <> (01.11.2003)

What is so special about Pink Floyd? What makes them so popular amongst critics and the public alike? To be honest, I can’t answer that fully. Most people would consider their instrumentation as average that excelled every now and then. There was nothing special about their songwriting. None of the three singers (Barrett, Waters and Gilmour) had exceptional voices. No, their greatest advantage was the ability to create an atmosphere, whether it be on one song or through an entire album. They explored common themes such as death, loneliness, fear and distrust, in a simplistic yet effective manner. George and many others have already stated how Roger Waters is a limited lyricist. Conversely, the limited lyrics may have helped Pink Floyd as it would appeal to the average listener. However, if it were only for the lyrics, Pink Floyd would not be anything special. It was the presentation of the ideas that is most special about the band. W! hether it be smooth tones emanating from Gilmour’s guitar, Barrett’s sometimes childish bleating lyrics or “avante garde” noises, Pink Floyd were always very careful about presenting the final product. They tried to prepare it in an interesting way for the listeners to enjoy. (Well sometimes they might have considered it art that only they could truly appreciate. How else can you explain ‘Sysyphus’?) They put so much emphasis on sound effects and other sound gimmicks such as the footsteps changing channels in ‘On the Run’. George quite rightly discusses the mathematical precision of the band, particular with reference to Gilmour’s guitar playing. But this isn’t the only mathematical trait. Pink Floyd were meticulous in every aspect of preparation of albums, particularly with packaging. So much time and money was spent on album covers and other gimmicks like the black shrink wrap on Wish You Were Here and the flashing LED on PULSE. Not to mention the meticulous planning of their live shows… I won’t even go into that. One thing I want to mention though is that some people may enjoy their music mathematically. Improvised solos and spontaneous acts are not for them. They like their “weird” sound effects to be delivered on time. Possibly I am one of them, I am not too sure. As that silly saying goes, I know what I like, and I like Pink Floyd.

Pink Floyd has a bit of a weird following here in Australia. I would imagine there are a few rabid fans although I haven’t met any. I think they are still big amongst some the older generation and they have a bit of a underground following, mostly university students. Suffice to say I am not a rabid fan. I criticise Pink Floyd when they deserve it. I can sit here all day ranting and raving about garbage like The Final Cut and the silly mess of noise Ummagumma (the studio part). But for the majority the quality is very high, and occasionally you have to wade through a bit of garbage to get to the gems. Nevertheless I am very happy to own all their albums, even if a couple are only for completist purposes.

Fernando Henrique Canto <> (02.11.2003)

I'm gonna admit it: your Pink Floyd page is one of a kind. I like it when there's a counterpoint view on a band like the Floyd that's actually intriguing and thought-provoking, and not aggressive. I know exactly what you mean with the words "I HATE PINK FLOYD" that open your introductory paragraph - because I know how that feels. Not that I hate the band, but I guess I should say that about that man - no, not Roger Waters - he, the "guitar hero" of the 70's, the "saviour of Pink Floyd", the man, the legend: David Gilmore (as he was credited for 'A Saucerful Of Secrets'). I just get SO pissed when I go to AudioGalaxy and see all those 13-year-olds raving about his guitar solos and stuff. I admit that, as a Pink Floyd member, he was absolutely irreplaceable (sp?). Nobody else could replace his guitarwork, especially in albums like Ummagumma, More and Meddle. Problem is - he's SUCH a show-off. With the WatersGate incident (i.e. The Wall and The Final Cut), he got in such an urge to show all the kids that he was a good man and Roger was an evil monster, that he created such abominations like 'Comfortably Numb' and, of course, A Permanent Lapse Of Reason. And what's worse - it sparked that perpetual fight between Waters fanboys and Gilmour fanboys. Argh, that's just so stupid. Dave can go to hell with his "Best Guitar Solo Ever". I definitely don't need THAT. Well, I guess I should stop complaining. Pink Floyd is one of my favourite bands ever, so I'll finish this rant here and now. END!

Jimmy Bob <> (29.11.2003)

George, I must agree with you on several points.

Yes, Floyd's music is very soundtrack-ish... but then again, what should you expect from a band that had done several soundtracks for movies in their early days? Yes, they're only so-so musicians... though Gilmour has some really great solos. Yes, they're music is not always great, but the one thing that a good portion of their music does have is atmosphere. They have this groovy vibe that some people just dig.

I can sympathize with you in that you think that Pink Floyd is grossly overrated. That's the kind of thing you get when you're dealing with fanatics and all those other people who enjoy just one band or one brand of music in particular. I mean, dammit, I know people who dismiss the Beatles (saying that they're just pop crap, they're overrated, the fact that it's confusing that Paul is really the walrus when John said it was him, etc.) and tout Black Sabbath as the greatest rock band in history. "They have a song for everybody," I've heard these people say, but I've yet to hear a Black Sabbath song about quadropelegics (Metallica's the only band I know of that has a song that has to do with them), unless you think that the "Iron Man" is in an iron lung. But that would be stupid... because how could Iron Man sow his vengeance upon his detractors if he couldn't even move? Oh shit, I think I've gone too far...

A. Filatov <> (10.01.2004)

About Pink Floyd: IMHO we must consider PF three different bands - Barrett-led, Waters-led and Gilmour-led. Syd Barrett, without a doubt, was a genius, he managed to explode the boundaries of rock music whether you like it or not. And almost all of his lyrics are real poetry, the same cannot be said about Paul McCartney's output (but not John Lennon's of course). So, Pink Floyd I was truly amazing and original band, and I don't care if they were drug-inspired, we don't need to take LSD in order to enjoy their music, they are all but overrated and truly deserve 4.5 or even 5.

Pink Floyd II is not the same, these guys never went into complex time signatures and free improvisation as other prog mavens did, and sometimes they aren,t even considered prog. Agree with you, that Waters wasn't the great bass player, but I do like his way of playing and composing, all the tunes from DSOTM, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall are carefully elaborated and technically flawless (perhaps due to Gilmour's guitar skill), but the poetry and musical imagery is gone, in fact I do like some Waters lyrics, but he's not a poet anyway (the point you've mentioned in TDSOTM review). But their somewhat minimalist approach to music manages to work and while throwing almost all my Yes albums in the thrash bin, I will never do the same with Pink Floyd. Is Pink Floyd II overrated? Perhaps, but it can't be called bullshit or commercial crap, though in some aspects commercialization of their sound is obvious. They are no Beatles, of course, but Mr Waters never produced generic RNB crap, as The Rolling Stones have been doing since 70s, in fact I agree that Stones is by far the most overrated band in the rock history. And Pink Floyd II? These guys really deserve a 4 And Gilmour-led Pink Floyd... I can't even call it Pink Floyd III as it's one of the worst examples of dinosaur rock. Some Yes and Genesis songs of their pop period were at least catchy, while 2 Gilmour opuses released under Pink Floyd name are terribly bleak and because of it - abysmal. I can't give them more than 1 on your scale...

Guilherme Nettesheim <> (31.01.2004)

Man, back in the day I was a Pink Floyd FREAK. I mean, I lived and breathed Floyd. If asked I could recite the band members in order of their shoe size. Okay, maybe not but you get the gist. Now, I've grow a bit and my fanatical commitment to Floyd has died down, however I still like them a great deal. Maybe it's because I actually accepted that Floyd has flaws and that they aren't perfect, and after I did that I appreciated them even more because my judgement on them wasn't clouded or muddied by fanaticism.

Pink Floyd has recently become horribly trendy. There are countless kids in school who now wear DSotM shirts or The Wall shirts and don't even listen to them. Or have heard them but only know one of the two albums mentioned. But Floyd can't be blamed for this (or can they? Flying pigs and calling Margery Thatcher a fucked up old hag will make you trendy).

In the music department Floyd is a mixed bag in more ways than one. From the slow Obscurred by Clouds to the crazyness of Piper at the Gates of Dawn to the furious Animals Pink Floyd tried many different styles, though they still sounded the same.

The lyrics are also what many Floydsters hold as a high point. I frankly think it's one of Pink Floyd's largest flaws. While I found Syd Barret's insanity quite interesting, Roger just doesn't do it for me. I identify much more with Ray Davies than with Roger, though that's just me. His views are so hackneyed and banal that any depressed high-schooler could've thought them up given enough time. They also happen to sound very pompous most of the time. The only album which had very good lyrics in my opinion was Animals. Roger can really rub on the hate when he wants to. As a side note, Animals was NOT based on Orwell's book. Roger had written most of the songs already when Dave (screw him, I'm not calling him David), who was reading Animal Farm at the time, told Roger of the similarities between the songs and the book who then made small changes to the songs.

I also agree with how they lack musicianship. While they pumped out good melodies most of the time, this wasn't the point of Floyd. They were there to set a mood, and usually suceeded. Can't you just see a serial-killer with a blood soaken axe stalking the Thames river in "Careful with that Axe Eugene" (my favorite Floyd song by far)? Or how about "Echoes", don't images of a surreal underwater world pop into your mind? "Sheep" as well, with it's pounding baseline getting heavier and heavier, with the sheep revolting. You feel like you're in the middle of the freaking revolt! Pink Floyd rarely depended on catchy melodies or hooks to do this, most of the time it was just studio wizardry. A little echo on the guitar, make the vocals a bit distorted, make the bass alternated channels, etc. Not to mention the really weird crud they did, which usually did more harm then good. This was also what caused Punkers to hate them so much. Also brought upon the beginnings of other, simpler forms of "music" such as rap (note the quotation marks).

The band couldn't play well either. I couldn't give a shit about Wright or Mason. They were no Keith Emerson or Keith Moon. They weren't bad because Floyd never needed a really good keyboardist or drummer as their music didn't demand it. They also didn't need no Jimmy Page playing guitar. Gilmour wasn't a good guitar player. I don't like his songs and his singing ain't so hot either. Too bad he got to keep the band. Roger as well, mediocre bass player, though a really clever guy. He often took a psychological route rather than a musical route to his songs, using soundtrackish music and clever sound trickery. Good for him. His voice follows the same pattern. Not great, but good enough for Floyd.

I'm not even going to mention post-The Wall Floyd as I don't feel like weeping.

Overall, Floyd is is rarely treated fairly. Either glorified or spit on, it's hard to find a middle ground.

Ilya Nemetz <> (11.04.2004)

Some acute critical observations here, no doubt. Can’t but agree whole-heartedly. My only complaint concerns your decision to grant them four stars instead of three. To be perfectly honest, George, I don’t think unpredictability alone is worth four stars.

Amanda Kenyon <> (15.05.2004)

I happen to really love Pink Floyd, but I have to agree with you on their technical capabilities. This is really a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. None of them were brilliant instrumentalists (Gilmour has admitted in interviews that he's not that great at the guitar) or even great songwriters, but their methods of presentation and experimentation manage to cover that up. (It's just occurred to me that I don't believe I've ever heard a Pink Floyd cover, and this could be why.) "Echoes" is a prime example of how they somehow managed to slap a bunch of random sounds together and make it sound good. And that's not even among their best! Overrated, yes; pretentious, yes; pompous and bombastic, yes; but immensely enjoyable all the same.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (24.06.2005)

Pink Floyd is one of those (rare, I admit) bands that can’t be properly estimated on your system, IMO. I’ll try to explain that now. See, Pink Floyd simply CAN’T get anything higher than an average 4 on your scale. I guess, even the dumbest fan of the band wouldn’t give them a 5 for listenability, anything higher than a 4 for adequacy and a low 3 for diversity is really very questionable. On the other hand, they made an album that I’d give a 15 without hesitation (The Wall). But that is still not the point; the point is that Pink Floyd is not the right band to be rated using your general rating system. Not that I think the guys are gods (of course, no), but they are just somewhat special and your features tend to escape the essence of Pink Floyd. Ahh, I don’t know how to express that more correctly. I hope, my point is more or less clear.

Speaking about the band, I’m with you on the point that they couldn’t play their instruments well and were (are) not very good songwriters, but, on the other hand, they never really needed that (ha!). But I think that David Gilmour is a very solid guitarist and I like most of his solos despite the fact that they are all “mathematically calculated” (agreed). Needless to say, my favourite member of the band is Roger Waters. In fact, he’s probably my second favourite lyricist (among musicians that is) of all time, after you-all-know-who. But I love some of his melodies, too!

As a starting point, I would recommend buying Dark Side Of The Moon or The Piper first. You may as well start with Wish You Were Here (like I did) or The Wall.

In the end I would like to say the following: you can hate their boring melodies, their pretentious lyrics, their useless experimentations, but never you’ll find another band with such an incredible atmosphere on almost every album. I love Pink Floyd!

Pedro Andino <> (29.06.2005)

pink floyd: roger waters. (bass guitar). david gilmour. (eletric guitar, acoustic guitar) rick wright.(keyboards, organs, synthesizers.) dave mason. (drums and percussion)

dark side of the moon: 1973 the most cosmic classic rock radio staples. maybe overplayed and overrated by some, I still say it is gold!

wish you were here: 1975 supersonic sounds, dark, autobiographical lyrics about the drug casuilty syd barret.

animals: 1977 dark, uncommercial, powerful, angry, pissed off, proggresive rock.

the wall: 1979 the pinnacle, the most theatrical, the granddaddy of all proggresive rock while others fade away.

a momentary lapse of reason. 1987 a pop disgrace to the pink floyd faithfull. some good songs some crap!

live: the were the biggest bands in the world live and no one compares to the live grandeur of pink floyd.

Brian Dickson <> (11.12.2005)

Pink Floyd along with Led Zeppelin were two bands I listened to in my late teens that made me feel all grown up and mature. (To better put it into perspective I also read HP Lovecraft....) You see before I listened to Queen who had the insane idea of writing catchy meolodies and (gag) entertaining audiences at live shows. How childish is that?! So to show my peers and elder brothers the true depth of my musical taste I got into Floyd and Zeppelin. Well things have gone full circle and now I can appreciate just how overrated those two bands are. I don't always agree with you George (but with something as subjective as music appreciation total agrrement with another person is impossible!) but when you remarked that Pink Floyd were mainly about "atmsophere" I have to agree. At the time (when I was 18 that is) I thought I liked them, but the passage of years has taught me that I was really just putting on an act. Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin have an aura of "cool" about them that draws late teenagers / early twenties to them like bees to honey, or more aptly I think, like flies to shit. (Thank you Mr Bruce Dickinson for those poetic words)

In my opinion of the "classic" bands, The Beatles, Stones and Who still have more musical talent than Zep and Floyd.. Yes Zep played their instruements better, and Floyd were better at atmosphere, but to me that is still no substitute for good songwriting! But when you're 18 actual songs aren't as important as an aura of cool. When I look back at my high school years I groan more at my Zep and Floyd phase than my supposedly more "juvenile" Queen phase. When I was seven I thought I was a Kiss fan because they appeared on the back of Marvel comics, wore freaky make up and the lead singer spat fire. LIkewise when I was 18 I thought Zep and Floyd were cooI because they had this mystic thing. When I hear people proclaim those bands as "Gods", I hear something similar to a 7 year old thinking Kiss are the greatest band to have have ever walked the Earth.

Today I'm not concerned with the faux mysticism of Zep or the spaciness of Floyd, I still prefer Queens ability to write a rock song with melody which is sung and played well. (except maybe that the worst Queen song is easily as bad as the worst Zep or Folyd had to offer heh heh) Like The Who, a lot of Queen's music can appeal to me at 15 or 35 (which I am now) I still listen to a few bands from my teen years like Deep Purple and The Scorpions but that's more because they wrote catchy rock songs and didn't take themselves overly seriously. Oh they may have had a few lapses in that respect but overall thay knew that basically they were just playing guitar and singing without any preachiness.Queen too,aways had a sense of humour somewhere, and songs as seemingly as pretentious as Bohemian Rhapsody contain a "knowing wink" whether somewhere in the song or in the context of the album. To me Pink Floyd's later albums are just mouthpieces for Roger Waters silly "profound comments" that are as amusing and irritating in equal measure. I also listened to The Beatles but in the UK in the 1980s being into The Beatles was credibility suicide. Which really shows that the teen music thing isn't always about music.

Neenad Desai <> (20.01.2006)

It was amusing to go thro' your music review of Floyd. Your taste for Floyd is almost exactly the opposite of mine, tho' there are a few exceptions (Mudmen, Obscured being underrated, Animals arguably their best "album" as a whole). I like all their songs that have Gilmour solos.

Jur Snijder <> (22.01.2006)

I think, George, that in your introduction section you manage to miss the particular point of the Pink Floyd. They never were about song writing, and they never were about special effects either. No, what sets the Pink Floyd apart from most of the rest is that very special atmosphere they create with their albums. Every single one of them, right from the Piper all the way up to the Wall, constructs its own little universe and fills it with carefully composed sound and music. There aren't many albums I would play out loud, lying on the couch with all the lights switched off, but nearly all the Pink Floyd ones do absolutely fine like that. Like good books they are perfectly self-sufficient and have that spooky ability to grab your mind and drag it off into worlds never dreamt of ('Yes' manage that too, but it takes a bit more effort). Don't judge these guys by their musical prowess, or their 'hooks', or even their lyrics - judge them by their hypnotic powers, and admit that few others ever were as good at blowing one's mind as Pink Floyd.

And that is perhaps why personally I appreciate their 'middle period' work the best - Atom Heart Mother (yes!), Meddle - these are really very, very atmospheric albums (with or without a dose of one's personally preferred substance). So is Wish You Were Here, and of course Animals. DSOTM is overdoing the funny sound effects a bit to the detriment of the overall musical arch, Ummagumma is unfortunatley mostly prime crap, and The Wall is a bit too simplistic if you ask me. I refuse to listen to anything after The Final Cut - that one shouted STOP HERE RIGHT NOW in big flashing neon letters. But nearly everything before that is classic 'dope rock', and may it live forever.

Jack D. Ripper <> (13.03.2006)

I'm not going to be angry that you hate Pink Floyd (many do, and can go on forever as to the reasons why); I can even say I agree with you regarding the post-Waters forgeries (although many Floyd fans do not, and can go on equally long as to the reasons why). But I still have a bone to pick after reading your total assessment of the band (which happens to be my favorite but I'll try not to let it blind me). To your description of their song-writing abilities as so-so, I must object. (For the moment I'll just concentrate on lyrics, because to me their ability to compose music is beyond reproach.) Perhaps this is true of David Gilmour, who needed to call in an army of helpers to produce two albums worth of songs; perhaps it is even true of Richard Wright, although I enjoy many of his songs even if they are not particularly noteworthy. But to say that Roger Waters is a so-so songwriter...that is unfair. At a time when the prevailing theme of music was love with a bit of anti-war thrown in (which, I believe, had really died down by the time of Dark Side of the Moon, but you may correct me on that), Waters was able to tackle issues like death, the unspoken caste system of the West, capitalism, social isolation...issues that actually mattered. And he did it in an entertaining way, at least during his Pink Floyd years (much as David Gilmour was deficient in the lyrics department, Waters was certainly wanting in musical composition when he left the band). For me, and many Floyd fans I know, the attraction to the band is Roger Waters' lyrics, because unlike 90% of popular music, they carry a definite message. And they are intelligent, which I do not see as a bad thing, even if they are overtly philosophical and not trying to be lyrical poetry. Waters was not trying to evoke imagery as anagolies to the real world (though he did occasionally), he was trying to show people the dark side of the world they lived in...pretty philosophic, and if that is conveyed in the lyrics so much the better.

So, that's my take on your take on Pink Floyd (one aspect, anyway, but my time is limited).


Daniel Streb <> (27.10.99)

"POW R. TOC H." and "Bike" are great because they're funny. You can even hear the band start to crack up when they do the chicken cluckings in the middle of "POW R.". And "I know a mouse and he hasn't got a house. I don't know why I call him Gerald." is soooo weird. I don't know why but it makes ME laugh. You? Piper At The Gates of Dawn is their best album. Probably my all-time favorite. If you'd like to know more about it, I suggest you read my stupid (and wayyy too profane) review of it at Mark Prindle's site under "Syd Barrett". Everybody, DO NOT listen to this guy. Pink Floyd does NOT suck. You hate Pink Floyd because the band are average musicians. Hey if playing 50 googol notes a second is all you care about then go listen to the Dave Matthews Band or something. The cool thing about Floyd is that they showed that you don't HAVE to be virtuosos to play good prog-rock. Duh! 14.

[Special author note: Like the good, solid dork I am, I'd only like to point out that I don't hate Pink Floyd because the band are average musicians, I don't care about bands playing 50 googol notes a second, I don't listen to the Dave Matthews Band, I do not consider Piper to be a prog rock album because there were no prog rock bands in 1967, and I don't care much about people who can't take a hint. Now sue me.]

Valentin Katz <> (17.11.99)

I was wondering, what about the song "Flaming". Have you forgotten about it. It's poignancy is mixed with psychedelic, acid filled allusions and further exploits Syd's creepy voice. Also, I was wondering, if you hate Pink Floyd, why do you have practically every album they ever released. Just so that you can write website reviews, how chivalrous!

[Special author note: 'Flaming' is okay, I guess. As for the second question - no comments on that one...]

mjcarney <> (28.06.2000)

An incredible debut. Syd Barrett shines on his magnum opus, his career started almost as soon as it ended. This alongside the Beatles' (dare I say it) Sergeant Pepper's are the two greatest pure psychedellic albums ever released. Sure Revolver by the Beatles ranks up there( although it isn't all pyschedellic), along with Pet Sounds, Love's Forever Changes, and evenFrankZappa's We're Only In It For the Money?, but this album has it all. It hasthewhimsical "Scarecrow", and "Bike" and the creepy "Astronomy Domine", with its spaced-outbackground noises, followed by with the surging, energetic guitar crashes. What is that? Energetic guitar and Pink Floyd?--well yes, see this was a different Pink Floyd. Full of energy, and liveliness.Pink Floyd would never again have a record with such a lively atmosphere, thenext closest album by the group in terms of liveliness is Animals, recorded 10 years later however that one still sounds a bit too calculated to really be inventive.Piper is just great, albeit strange."Interstellar Overdrive" is IMHO the greatest instrumental in rock and roll. I love it, it rarely seems like it is 10 minutes long, each time I hear it I hear something new, there is so much going on in this song even ifSydis not quiteas technically good as Hendrix, Clapton, Page etc., he and the band rock out here. There are some weaker tracks, "Matilda Mother"--which is not necessarily weak, just extremely dated (I really love the song but hate the background vocals), and "Pow R Toc H" although alright,can get on one's nerves easily. Roger Waters' first composition"Take Up Thy Stethoscope" iseasily the weak moment, and really should have never been released. However, the James Bond-ish (and I don't know why I always feel this when describing this song)"Lucifer Sam" and "TheGnome" remain other strong highlights. Despite its weaker moments in the three songs listed above, the album is actuallyvery strong. The other 8 tracks are incredibly original, and alluring. Buyer Beware though, this album is very strange, it will take a good number of listens before you can get beyond the weirdness of the album and it isn't really an album that you can listen too every day due to its insanity.But, it is a classic historical piece of an artsy album that truly brings the meaning of psychedellicmusic to the listener. I would rate this one a 9.5/10! Any fan of any psychedelic music should check this one out.

<> (17.08.2000)

god i must really have nothing in common with critics of rock.favorite track:take up thy stethascope and walk.why?because its a fun jammin' track.when i listen to music i take into account things other than "is the melody good"...i listen to the energy and the sound...thats all music is to me energy and sound...if you expect anything form music that can be judged your denying yourself the experience.

Andrei <> (05.10.2000)

This one has magic that no other album I know can match, including all the other by PF. In particular, 'Flaming' and 'the Gnome' are my favorites, made special by respective lines 'you can't see me but I can you' and 'look at the sky, look at the river/isn't it good?'. I'm not talking about lyrics, of course, but about the feeling with which these were sung. 'Astronomy domine' is very good, other childish songs are nearly as good, 'bike''s lyrics are great but music is rather too simplistic for me, 'lucifer sam' and 'pow r toc h' are equally good and I wish Roger would take his stethoscope and .. er, anyway. On the whole the album is one of their best.

jeffrey b.good <> (06.10.2000)

I really like this album, and I think, Pink ended after Barret had to go(the truth is, Dave Gilmor put him out). At first, have you heard all their early fortyfives(you can find them, for example, on Early Singles compilation, released in 1993)? Some are very good. Of course almost all of them are about drugs(for example, "Interstellar Overdrive" is musical demonstration of feelings, that came after LSD), but all are great. My favorit is "Matilda Mother"(there's really something magical in it's sound and in Barret's voice there. It's one of my favorite songs of all times together with "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields"). "Astronom Domine" and "Interstellar Overdrive" are SHORT versions of live perfomances, that could last an hour, two, or all night long. How they created that flying sound in 1967? It was a srecial guitar option(Barret learned it from Kit Row, guitarist of avangart band AMM).

One of the best albums of all times. Rating: 10+

Ted Goodwin <> (19.11.2000)

Once many years ago I heard the RELICS compilation and it piqued my curiosity about the early Floyd. So I picked up a cheap copy of A NICE PAIR (which is basically PIPER plus SAUCERFUL, except with the UMMAGUMMA version of "Astronomy Domine" substituted for the original for some reason). I found PIPER to be a disappointment; none of it packed the weird, creepy punch of "Arnold Layne". "Bike", at the end of RELICS, came as a hilarious contradiction to everything I knew of the Floyd. But hearing the same song at the end of PIPER, which slides all too inevitably toward it, drained the charm out of it for me; I was left with the impression that Syd could have written the song SERIOUSLY.

Jeff Blehar <> (20.11.2000)

What makes Piper At The Gates Of Dawn such an immortal album? Well aside from the already-mentioned psychedelic pioneering of Syd Barrett, Piper, to these ears at least, benefits from two key factors. First off, it's got an utterly FAAAABULOUS production. The boys were working with Norm Smith, who was of course one of The Beatles' right-hand-men in EMI studios (as recording engineer) all the way up until the Revolver era, right before which he voluntarily ceded his position to that other engineering God, Geoff Emerick. Smith left after Rubber Soul, to paraphrase, "because the direction they were going on that album wasn't my thing." Obviously he had a change of heart, because Piper's sound is off-the-wall experimentalism, something which obviously came from the band but also was received very sympatheticallyby Smith. That wonderful topsy-turvy stereo panning at the end of "Interstellar Overdrive" was his idea, as was the opening hoodoo of "Astronomy Domine" and the final cacophony of "Bike." The engineering and sound-quality is first-rate throughout - for a debut album this sounds as crisp as The Beatles' contemporaneous stuff. Floyd got very lucky to get a house producer like Smith, who was used to working with experimental geniuses; though some fans accuse him of being slightly befuddled by the group's approach to music-making, I think he tackled it with real verve.

The other thing that makes Piper still sound fresh, aside from the sound, is the lyrical matter. Notice how, for a psychelic 1967 album, this disc is totally free of flower-power hippesque lyrics? Not a one. Most of this the stuff is either paranoiac allegory ("Astronomy Domine" relates a particularly harrowing acid trip of Barrett's where he imagined a bowl of fruit was the solar system, peaches revolving around plums. His universe collapsed when someone ate the plum. Hilarious, eh?) or children's song material. Just about the only song that seems stuck in 1967 is "Chapter 24," perhaps the weakest lyrical piece on Piper next to "Take Up Thy Stethscope And Ram It Down Your Throat, Roger," which is beneath contempt. (And yeah, I know "Chapter 24" is based on the I-Ching or Book Of Changes, but that doesn't make the lyrics and the spirit in which they were appropriated any less grating.)

All that makes Piper At The Gates Of Dawn one of the few "revolutionary" albums which still SOUNDS current to this day, both sonically and thematically - whimsy never goes out of style, even acid-based whimsy. I won't even pretend it's perfect, what with "Stethoscope" and "Pow R. Toc. H" as well as some of the weaker Barrett lullabyes, but songs like "Astronomy Domine" (Barrett's greatest tune, and in my Floyd top 10), "Lucifer Sam," "Scarecrow," "Matilda Mother," and "Bike" are classics with inflections both naive and sinister, and "Interstellar Overdrive" is pretty much the only freeform acid-inspired freak-out ever made worth listening to. I still wish they'd included the classic singles from this era, "See Emily Play" and "Arnold Layne," but Piper as it is remains good enough to earn a 9/10 from me.

Ben Greenstein <> (15.12.2000)

I like this one a lot more than anything they ever recorded. Don't get me wrong, it's not THAT good - there's a bit of filler, and it sounds dated - but it sounds like the first album of some group that would have gone on to be fantastic. However, after Barrett collapsed, they really lost all of the fiery playing that they have on here, not to mention the wierd, edgy songwriting. I give this one a very high 7/10.

Kevin Baker <> (20.12.2000)

I like Pink Floyd, not on the level of a "fan", but I do find their music (especially their earliest albums) very original and enjoyable listening expereinces. I don't care what others say about DSOTM or The Wall, this is the best P.F. album I have ever heard. It starts off with what has to be one of the best songs they ever did, 'Astronomy Domine'. How did they get that guitar tone???? It's sooooo cool. The lyrics bring up all sorts of cosmic images (moons, stars, planets, asteroids, suns, etc.), and for once the usage of extra effects in the song actually adds to the mood and feel of the song. I bet Timothy Leary wore this album out back in the '60s. 'Lucifer Sam' is indeed, as someone else put it, very James Bond-ish. Where's Goldfinger? It may be the best ode to a cat I've ever heard. Not that there's much competition, but still the song is indeed a rocker, and a fine one at that. Plus, the guitar tone from 'Astronomy Domine' is still here, so the song has a very strong "cosmic feel as well. Then comes the first of Syd's child-like compositions. Only Syd Barrett could make a song about a child being read a story into a psychedelic expereience. The vocals sound slightly echoey at parts, and the Arabic sounding middle eigth is very amsuing. Then, the guitar (still with that tone!) reasserts itself. A solid song, if not one of my favorites. Then there's 'Flaming', a very strong acid track. The lyrics make me a little paranoid to be honest. But then, considering who wrote them, its small wonder. The actual music is OK, though I do miss my favorite feature of the album (In case you haven't guessed yet, that would be the guitar tone from 'Astronomy Domine' and 'Lucifer Sam'). After 'Flaming', we have 'Pow R. Toc H'. I honestly don't see why everyone dislikes it so much; yeah, it can be annoying, but I really don't find it that offensive. I could do without the "doi doi" moises at the very beginning and at the end, but everything else is fine. Granted, it is one of the weaker tracks on here, but look on the bright side---it's not 'Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Think Up Another Twisted Quote From John 5'. Which may be the WORST song I have ever heard. I am no great composer. For that matter, I am an awful songwriter, but I can think of songs I made up when I was 5 that beat this one. It is so bad that this album could never get a 10 on my scale. But, to make up for it is 'Interstellar Overdrive', a very close 2nd for best song. The cosmic Bond guitar tone (yipee!) makes a comeback, and the sound and music really does take me on a cosmic trip. To Fomalhaut. I need a life. Anyways, the song is cool and very, VERY atmospheric. Next is another child song, 'The Gnome'. I like this song a lot. It makes me laugh and is very singalong-ish. The last verse with the whispered duet by Barrett with his own voice is kinda dopey, but still, I just enjoy this one.'Chapter 24' is abyssmal, nearly as bad as 'TUTSAW' (weird abbreviaton). It might have been passable with some Beatle-ish usage of Oriental instruments like on 'The Inner Light,' but as is, no me gusta nada. I don't like 'The Scarecrow' much either, but the weird rythmic accompaniment is nifty. Finally, the album closes with 'Bike', with absolutely crazy lyrics and weird duck noises. I like it. The album as a whole seems very, well schizophrenic. You have around 1/2 the playing time as cosmic, mind-blowing numbers that sound like the soundtrack from a science fiction (or James Bond) flick, and then the rest(barring that awful Waters mess) are children's songs. A real reflection of Syd Barrett's delicate psyche. And a good album to boot. I suppose it must have been very enjoyable if you were whacked on acid back when it came out, and, as dated as most psychedlia sounds nowadays, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn is still very cool sounding.

<> (27.01.2001)

'Astronomy Dominie' and 'Lucifer Sam' are quintessential psychedelic songs. It's mod, baby! It's like hearing the beginning of a James Bond movie over here. Even if 'Matilda', 'Flaming', and 'Chapter 24' are sort of lethargic, they are more than saved by the harmonies. Syd's voice is so haunting. Oh, I almost forgot to mention how the riff speeds up for that last part in 'Matilda'. Good stuff. I can't remember 'Power Talk'(that's how I pronounce it) because I always skip it. Same with 'Stethoscope'. 'Interstellar' would go in the same category as 'Astronomy' and 'Lucifer', what with the badass, angry psyche-riff that opens the song, but then it just drifts off into space. But that's the idea, isn't it? They could have played the first two minutes of the piece over and over for nine minutes for all I care, but those random sounds just get boring after a while. The last two minutes are okay. And sometimes, I can listen to the whole thing and having even the theoretically boring parts touch my nerves. 'Scarecrow' is a non-song. It's just a bunch of clicking noises, like 'Power Talk'. Even Syd's voice doesn't save it. It does save 'Gnome', though. I don't appreciate the last section of 'Bike', but oh is that first section so good. Syd's singing is great there, and his lyrics leave me in stitches. So even with the three wastes of air-space and the one half-good/half-sometimes-but-not-always-good inprovisation, this should get a 13/15, because everything else is so unbelievably good. Close to perfection? I would say so.

Gary Gomes <> (28.07.2001)

In order to get that weird sound at the beginning of 'Astronomy Domine', Floyd had a quadrophonic sound system when they played (not really that revolutionary, but most bands at that time were technologically retarded and focused more on volume than on other potentials of sound--the Who are a good example, and I LIKE the Who). The sound would literally go around your head when they played. In terms of live sound, Floyd and later, Genesis (had their own sound guy) and Faust (had pots that could raise and lower the other musicians sounds through a simple mixing board) were among the groups that worked with sound as an instrument, much to their credit.

A lot of this stuff is very technologically pretty simple...I somehow remember that Sgt. Pepper was recorded in a four or eight track studio, you know?

Kent Lyle <> (20.08.2001)

Syd may not have been the best singer known to rock, but his nasal voice sure did have a charisma to it that none of the others had.

Did anyone else notice the conspicuous amount of what sounds like a hammer dulcimer on this album? You can hear it during "Flaming", and I believe again in "Chapter 24" and "Bike". No other album used this particular instrument. Was it Rick or Syd?

The group certainly never sounded this happy again, nor like they were having so much fun. Even Waters seems to be enjoying himself. Also, Floyd was much more keyboard-dominated during these early days than their later years.

"Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk" appeared to be a Steppenwolf song on loan to Waters. He later borrowed again from Donovan in Meddle. Also, "The Gnome" in many ways seemed to be the musical inspiration for parts of Yes's "Yours is No Disgrace". Listen to both together and you will understand.

Jaime Vargas <> (21.09.2001)

I believe that the 'hammer dulcimer' sound Kent refers to could as easily have been a piano or harpsichord miked close to the strings and drenched in reverb, echo et al by Mr. Norman Smith. Remember that this album was recorded at the same time than Sgt. Pepper and *at the same studio*, and that Norman had been a Beatles engineer and George Martin's right-hand man, so I find it plausible that he and Geoff Emerick had been exchanging 'tricks'

Joe H <> (17.11.2001)

Yeahhh, one crazy album. So happy, yet so scary at the same time. Its hard for me to really describe why i like this so much or describe the overall impression one gets whilst listening, but songs like "Astronomy Domine", "Lucifer Sam" and "Interstellar Overdrive" are downright classic psychadelic songs, but then yet songs like "Matilda Mother", "Flaming", "The Gnome" have these wonderful melodys and harmonys that show that Syd could of been a member of The Beatles if he had the oppertunity! I'd give it a 13/15. Not perfect, cuz theres some really weird/funny noises here and there that are kinda obnoxious but i really wouldnt condemn any of these songs (yes, including "Stetheoscope", not that bad a song).

Ryan Maffei <> (24.03.2002)

My formal Piper comment (ahem): Throughout their long, diverse career, Pink Floyd were always a band that was about sound; with the help of the bizarre, drug-addled bohemian guitarist Syd Barrett (his only album with the group), Pink Floyd use their debut record to explore the possibilities of sound like nobody else had before. The fascinating opening track "Astronomy Domine" signals this album's undeniable landmark status, and its unabashedly psychedelic vibe; however, while Piper was certainly the start of something new, it was also the start of something dull and unbearably ugly. In its formative stage, the band's acid-drenched opus format succeeds nicely with attractive freakouts like "Lucifer Sam", "Matilda Mother", and "Pow R Toc H", but the album's appeal gets lost in the murk very quickly. Missteps soon become evident, like the overlong, nearly unlistenable jam "Interstellar Overdrive" and the banal songs "Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk", "Chapter 24", and "The Gnome". In the end, the record is redeemed by its daring, creative approach and its handful of highlights (including the delightful "Bike"), but as far as good ideas go, the overbearing Piper's comes close to outstaying its welcome. An 8.

Jon <> (25.07.2002)

This album is such ear-candy to any guitar player... all the feedback and six-stringed craziness in "Pow R. Toc H." and "Interstellar Overdrive" just turn my ears to jelly. The most consistent tracks are "Lucifer Sam", "Matilda Mother", and "Astronomy Domine". The most cathartic payoff is definitely in "Scarecrow": the simple descending acoustic line at the end reminds me somehow of the Animals' "It's my Life" riff. Odd, huh? I wish more of my guitar students wanted to study that than "Blackbird", "Wish You were Here" or, God forbid, "Stairway to Heaven."

Also, the Beatles recorded Sgt. Pepper at the same time as Floyd recorded Piper, so it is doubtful they could have been influenced by it. Certainly they were influenced by the popular power of the Beatles, though.

Bruno Müller <> (24.08.2002)

I must admit I'll never understand why so many people absolutely love and praise this album and why so many people call Syd Barret a genius. First of all, it's not as revolutionary as people say. Secondly, some songs are awfully stupid. It took me a long time to apreciate this album, and now I can say that I do - partially. This album isn't anything as inovative as those that would follow and really has some songs I can't stand. Yes, you listen to AYE? and Sgt. Pepper and realise there isn't many new things in here, just a few. Syd is a very talented guy, indeed, had some good ideas. The fact that the lyrics of "Chapter 24" were based in I-Ching gives it a certain charm. But what the hell is "Bike"? I must be too dumb or too cranky, because I hate that song, it's absolutely stupid. Had Paul McCartney written "Bike", everyone would say it sucks. But it was Syd, who became an icon and that can't sing at all. So, everyone loves it. Than, the same people dare to say that "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" or "Maxwell Silver Hammer" are total crap. I tell you something: compared to "Bike", "Maxwell" is the Ninth Symphony. Gee, now I must have made someone angry. Nevermind. Like I said, I do consider Syd a very talented guy. Just you Syd's fans give me the right to hate "Bike", would you? On the other hand, "Astrony Domine" and "Interstellar Overdrive" are a total must, and sound really new. And "Lucifer Sam" is funny and sounds great.

As I see, there are more fanatics to Syd than to Roger. Syd's fanatics can't stand any critic to him, I don't see the same thing happening to Roger. Maybe, because Roger was too many time in businness, and everyone got to see his talents but also his flaws. Also he's got at least his detractors, and eventually people get used to them and begin to get less offended everytime anyone starts to bash him. Beyond any other consideration, I can't understand how many people can say Syd was a better composer than Roger. Actually, I consider the comparison a little unfair, because their styles are totally different. Roger lyrics were far too deep. If anyone say that it was just "speech", I'd have to say two things: first, I disagree. Roger could create very good metaphors; second, than we must bash Dylan too, because his songs were too many of this: statements that happened to be accompanied by instruments... Actually, at least the accompaniment that followed Roger's statements were far more creative and melodic. (I don't say it to detract Dylan. He IS a genius.)

My general rate to this album? I'm not sure. There are great songs, but about half of the album ranges from "OK" to "Bike" and "Stethoscope" (Roger's worst song ever) - two new categories of atrocity. So I guess a 6 would be fair enough. "A Saucerful of Secrets" is way much better to me. Not only it sets a bridge between psychedelia and prog, all its songs rule. This one deserves an 8, so I'm inverting your ratings, George.

Jon <> (27.01.2003)

you know what it is? these songs were written on guitars by a great experimenter who had a special genius for melody, and mccartney/lennon were piano men [right, piano men can't have a genius for melody, that's understood - G.S.]. the guitars in beatles songs arent that spectacular [yeah, but watch those trippy mind-blowing pianos, man - G.S.]. maybe thats why i like this one about eight billion times more than sgt pepper. mr. barrett is certainly a genius [genius? and I thought "smart people don't write pop music", Jon. You must be listening to Wagner or something - G.S.]. even the bad songs suck like nobody else's have. there isnt any 'rigby' or what have you where paul or george or john is pretty much just goin it alone, this is all solid collaborative effort. and its a first album. many of these things were in barretts head since 1965! thats simply incredible and i think i would give this a 15. its impossible to think of an album that stands farther out on its own as an example of a genre no one else has been able to enter. people can rip off the beatles, but no one has ripped off the barrett sound [everybody from Amon Düül II to Hawkwind has been doing it with various level of success - G.S.], and no one ever will. this is, in essence, the first and last space rock album to be made, and for that, it deserves its revolutionary status (hit the mark there george) but i think it deserves a bigger rating. the originality of it all is staggering, and the quality (better listen to it more than three times, i guess) is also really unique and incredible. if sgt pepper is a fifteen, this has to be one too. mr kite and the house of lords guy can shove themselves, this one is my thing. and if bungalow bill, revolution #9 et al can be excused, give my beloved piper a fifteen! the freakin kinks get 14s for arthur and tkatvgps, and the tracks all sound like the same damn song after a little while [uh-huh, and 'Interstellar Overdrive' IS the same damn song for much more than just "a little while" - G.S.], and they all sound beatlesian.... if you still think (and i do belive yer impartial to a t) this album is undeserving, then i have to chalk it up to the mythicla "piano line" and give up on having the same taste as you, george [I'm surprised you still haven't - G.S.]. if you can listen to that guitar from 1:32 on and not be moved, then i have no better arguments. this album is the best from 67 in my opinoin. nothing comes close. one big ol' FIFTEEN, so it shall be and so be it!

Stephen Rutkowski <> (01.11.2003)

Boy, I was not ready to listen to an album like this the first time. I had only heard Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall and A Momentary Lapse of Reason previously as I was attempting to get deeper and deeper into the world that is Pink Floyd. I should have known from the wavy font on the front cover that it was a psychedelic album. I was really taken aback by the childish stuff like ‘The Gnome’, ‘Scarecrow’ and ‘Bike’. I immediately identified with a classic such as ‘Astronomy Domine’. Surprisingly it didn’t take me too long to get into the rest of the stuff. A few listens and I was really beginning to enjoy myself. The aforementioned ‘Astronomy Domine’ is the real highlight of the album. Immediately there is evidence of Pink Floyd toying with their studio effects. ‘Astronomy Domine’ contains panning of the channels and some sound effects in the form of the voices at the beginning. The song is easily Syd Barrett’s ! greatest creation. The guitar tone coupled with the echo effect create a fantastic atmosphere. Other highlights are ‘Lucifer Sam’, ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ and my own guilty pleasure ‘Flaming’. I’m not sure what it is about ‘Flaming’. The song is mostly boring but I love the way Syd says “Yippee, you can’t see me, but I can you”. ‘Lucifer Sam’ contains the great Bond guitar. (I hadn’t actually noticed it until someone above mentioned it, thanks!). The riff on the song is really strong, but has its own psychedelic flavour. ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ contains the greatest riff on the album, in the intro and outro. (But really, are we listening to Pink Floyd for riffs?) It probably could be improved by chopping out about two minutes from the middle section. And the people in the studio really go crazy on the channel panning towards the end. At first I thought there was a problem with my sound system. It’s a lot of fun to listen to on headphones though.

As for the other tracks, I feel mostly indifferent to them, but there is one I really dislike. Obviously that is the infamous ‘Take up Thy Stethoscope and Walk’. Did you know that the original version was something like nine minutes in length? But to fit it all on the album, they cut out the majority of the huge jam in the middle. I’m sure Roger the despot would have been happy with that one. Perhaps he hadn’t quite developed his egocentric attitude yet. In reality I quite like the jam section of the song, it’s just the rest that is rubbish. ‘Matilda Mother’ contains some interesting if at times cheesy harmonies. ‘Pow R. Toc H.’ isn’t offensive to my hears although I would hardly recommend it to a friend. The last four tracks I couldn’t really care for either way. ‘The Gnome’ and ‘Scarecrow’ seem very childish to me, but you get that with Syd. ‘Chapter 24’ isn’t really a song now is it? Just Syd repeating himself over a bit of ‘music’ in the background. ‘Bike’ is one that I am ambivalent towards. There are so many things to like about it, but at the same time so many to dislike. The lyrics and delivery can be interesting or annoying depending on your frame of mind. Especially annoying is the chorus. How can he say so many things that mean nothing? In reality I could say that about every song Syd penned. However, I must always laugh at the bit that mentions a mouse named Gerald. It’s probably so funny because it reminds of a guy from high school with the same name. Apparently the song is the closest Syd would ever come to writing a love song.

Overall, if you are able to get over the ‘weirdness’ of the album, there are some absolute gems to be found. Just don’t expect anything that would appear on latter day albums.

Fernando Henrique Canto <> (02.11.2003)

You have such interesting views on this album! If I read that 1 year ago, I'd want to shove a nuclear missile down your throat, but you know... in a certain way, you're right. I definitely love the album, but I hate the mystification that this album gets from some raving fans. Some people talk as if 'Interstellar Overdrive' was the most incredible thing since the Big Bang. I like the track, but I don't think it's so fantastic and cool just because it's weird. I think it was a rather revolutionary idea, and it is well executed after all. I enjoy it while it's on. I'd even go ahead and say it's quite a masterpiece. But it's definitely not the better thing about the album. Yes, 'Astronomy Domine' is fantastic, indeed. I only realised recently that the drums are REALLY sparse in the song, yet it goes "pump-pump-pump- pump" like EVIL. I wonder how it would sound like if Keith Moon was playing! 'Lucifer Sam' is AWESOME! I love the way the riff, that FANTASTIC hook in the chorus, and all the organ/guitar-with-a-bow solos are combined. And then there's the thrilling rhythm, and Syd's fun vocals. 'Matilda Mother' is also a beautiful, disturbing song, and 'Flaming' is a delightful little ditty. I dig it! Well, side A is just entirely good. I dig 'Pow R Toc H' - I heard the song has some chicken vocals only audible in the mono version, and 'Take Thy Sthetoscope And Walk' is, yes, extremelly dumb and obnoxious - for the first 30 seconds or so, because then, it takes off into that EXTREMELLY cool jam. During the recordings, that jam went for 10 MINUTES. Oh, well, on live shows, 'Matilda Mother' would go on forever, and so would 'Interstellar Overdrive'. I kinda agree with you on the side B ditties. They're just not really enjoyable - special, but not enjoyable. Except for 'Bike', though, that's just too funny. I'd give this record a 9 in a good mood, but I guess that, overall, I agree with the 8.

A. Filatov <> (15.01.2004)

George, you've called The Piper... the bible of astral psychedelia, and I am terribly unhappy to inform you that R. Waters doesn't share your opinion. In one of his interviews he said that "the idea of space rock being invented by Syd is a fucking nonsense"(I'm sorry, fuck appears courtesy to Mr Waters) and dismissed any space connections for Interstellar Overdrive. It's up to you to decide whether to agree with Mr Waters or not, keep in mind that he wrote only one song on the album and it can't be called space rock surely, if I only wanted to offend Mr Waters I'd call it crap-rock, or garbage-bin-rock or anyway...

And now some commentary on the album itself. In fact Piper is my Pink Floyd favourite, though all the other albums bar Final Cut, Momentary Lapse Of Reason and Division Bell can't be called worthless. As well as some other commentators here I do enjoy your view on the album and especially your note about Syd havin' the identity of a little child - you've just hit the bullseye with that description. Surely, Syd was a child, but he was a VERY talented child and I share the point of view that he was a GENIUS and this album was a peak of his creativity. According to Mr Waters (I think you must send him the commentator certificate) all Barrett solo material which appears on his solo releases was written during Pink Floyd days. I enjoy all 10 songs for which Syd is credited, you managed to express my feelings about 'Astronomy Domine', 'Lucifer Sam' and 'Matilda Mother', but on the other hand you dismissed 'The Gnome', 'Scarecrow' and 'Bike'. Perhaps, it's a mistake. 'The Gnome' isn't your average Beatles song, oh, maybe it is so melodically but not lyrically. OK, lyrics are childish, but what do you have against childish lyrics, especially if they capture the atmosphere of the imaginary land I'd call The Shire, as a tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien, although the song is not necessarily about the hobbits. Overall, it's not so silly - one can even find some Erich Fromm (To Have Or To Be) connections. And about Scarecrow and Bike - I like them less, but the former has lyrical imagery and the latter is groundbreaking musically (the room of musical tunes) while being strong lyrically...

So George, don't you think this album deserves a 9 or even 10? You do call it revolutionary and this revolution can be rated higher. I think 9 will be enough, to tell the truth I also do not enjoy 'Interstellar Overdrive' much despite its obvious r-r-revolutionism, if I'm in the mood for improvisational music I'd listen to King Crimson or Mujician instead...

Amanda Kenyon <> (15.05.2004)

This album has some incredibly bright spots and also some absolute shit. It's amazingly self-indulgent for a debut album - you'd think a band would have to have established itself as a money-maker before a studio would allow them to dick around quite this much, but it's a damn good thing for the world that they did. I cannot for the life of me understand how any sane person would allow "Stethoscope" to be on this album (amusing title notwithstanding) as it's quite possibly the worst song I will ever hear. I'm also not a big fan of "Chapter 24" - I do like the lyrics, and it was a clever idea to bring the I Ching to the masses, but Syd's voice is very weak and ruins the mood of the song. (Imagine Justin Hayward singing it!) However, "Astronomy Domine" and "Interstellar Overdrive," widely acclaimed as the monsters of the album, are absolutely brilliant. To my knowledge, they're absolutely the first of their kind. I don't actually listen to "Interstellar Overdrive" ve! ry often because it quite honestly freaks me out, especially that section with the little squeaky guitar notes that sound like a demented kitten. What in God's name was he doing to that guitar just then, anyway? The children's songs are charming but creepy at the same time, which is what makes them so incredibly interesting. (Something tells me Ray Thomas was a Syd fan without the creepiness.) "Scarecrow" is actually my favorite of this lot, even though it's widely regarded as a throwaway. I love the changing, unpredictable time signature and the poppy percussion at the beginning, and the lyrics rang very true for me at the time I first heard it. "The black and green scarecrow is sadder than me but now he's resigned to his fate 'cause life's not unkind, he doesn't mind." When I was taking my conducting class in college, I used to practice to this song because the time is so unpredictable and hard to follow. I tend to be a fan of throwaways in general; 'Pow R Toc H' (which I always read as "power torch") is another favorite. I like the jazzy piano at the beginning quite a bit. Final opinion on the album as a whole: Absolutely bizarro but amazingly enjoyable in spite (or because) of it.

Francis Mansell <> (14.07.2004)

OK George, I've got a few nit-picking issues with your review of this album.

1) "Their first album obviously took Are You Experienced? as a model rather than Sgt Pepper." Yeah right, except that neither had been released when Floyd were recording it (they were at least sharing Abbey Road studios with the Beatles). I don't know to what extent Syd Barrett might have been influenced by Jimi Hendrix - he must have heard Hendrix's early singles, and may quite possibly have seen him live in late '66/early '67, but I don't really hear Hendrix in Syd's playing - firstly, Hendrix was way more technically accomplished than Syd, and secondly Syd was already well on the way to developing his guitar style before anyone here had heard of Hendrix. He was unlikely to have heard "Third Stone From The Sun" before it was released, and therefore couldn't really be accused of being influenced by it.

2) You describe "Interstellar Overdrive" as a sound-collage and compare it with "Revolution 9", which is a sound-collage. "Interstellar Overdrive" is a free-form jam book-ended by a riff (which Syd Barrett apparently composed after someone sang him the similar but not identical riff of "My Little Red Book" by Love). There probably aren't even any overdubs on "Interstellar Overdrive" - it's just an unedited 9'38" of playing, creatively mixed.

Moving from matters of fact to matters of taste and opinion, while I would agree that "...Stethoscope..." is by far the worst song on the album in terms of sheer songwriting talent, the berserk, almost punk performance and the mixing make it an entertaining listen for me - I love that bit in the middle where the guitar and organ both move from one channel to the other, passing each other in the middle. The song I find least interesting, on the other hand, is "Chapter 24" - never did go a bundle on all that new-agey guff and it's a rather dull tune anyway. Not rubbish though. Otherwise ... all those otherworldly, childlike (not childish) songs have a unique untutored charm to them (including the ones you don't like, though it's fair to say "The Gnome" is little twee - I probably wouldn't tolerate it from anyone else, but Syd's genuine sense of childlike wonder wins through) and, as you rightly say, "Astronomy Domine" is quite fabulous. "Pow R Toc H" is very peculiar, and I can see why someone might find it very annoying, but per sonally, although most of the album is better, I enjoy it, and it's pretty unique too, though that's not necessarily a recommendation in itself. It's worth hearing the bootleg of them playing it on a BBC session - Barrett unleashes some excellent and particularly unhinged guitar during the second section with the screaming, which to my ears owes considerably more to Pete Townshend than to Hendrix. And finally back to "Interstellar Overdrive" - I evidently like improvisation a whole lot more than you do George (even though you like Can...) but I'd be the first to admit that it amounts to doing unplanned circus tricks without a net, i.e. it can fall flat, or worse still just be boring and uninspired. But then so can entirely planned music if the performer(s) hearts aren't in it. "Interstellar Overdrive" does neither of these things, and indeed to a large extent introduced me to the wonders of successful improvisation when I first heard it aged 16. It's living proof that you don't need to be virtuoso musicians like Can in order to improvise successfully, it's only a pity that following Syd Barrett's descent into mental illness, Pink Floyd rarely went to those kind of places again - OK, they did "A Saucerful Of Secrets" but the improvised section of that, to me, is far less musical than "Interstellar Overdrive", though it does get an impressively menacing atmosphere going, likewise the rather better "One Of These Days". Pink Floyd's best album? Not sure, but it's a close thing. But it's pretty hard to compare Piper ... to the the very different likes of DSOTM and WYWH so I won't even try.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (24.06.2005)

Amazing debut! So unusual even for 1967. I wouldn’t call Syd Barrett a genius, but he sure as hell had a talent for writing catchy and weird songs like no one else around. My favourite is probably “Astronomy Domine”. Serves as a great introduction to the band with its weird and charming (mix these two words and you’ll get what Barrett is all about) atmosphere. His other tracks here are all wonderful semi-masterpieces; the melodies are simply amusing. I even enjoy two extended instrumentals, a bit jazzy “Pow R. Toc H.” and the famous “Interstellar Overdrive”, which may be a bit overlong, but that riff is fantastic anyway. For me the album is like “Interstellar Overdrive”. I mean, starts and ends on a great note, has an experimental middle part (which is pretty much the song itself, actually). Roger’s first song for the band is quite messy, but I enjoy it nevertheless. It works for such kind of an album. A very important record. Gets a 13 from me.

Oh, and I should also mention the chorus of “Bike”. One chord, no rhyme, but oh so catchy.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (01.03.2006)

I guess the Floyd are one of that select band of bands that inspire seeming love or hate but rarely indifference. They probably have been overrated but my " theory of overation " states that overrating stems essentially from love, of a kind. I've never heard anyone yet overrate something or someone they didn't love or like. And we get annoyed by it, all the gushing and fawning and granting / conferring God / divine status on people or things that we just don't feel the same way about.......Well, I see it as just being enthusiastic, a way of validating our choices. We are , after all hopelessly human.

That all said, I am definitely in the camp of Piper lovers. Of the 5 major musical shifts in my life, Pink Floyd ushered in the third and because at the time I wasn't aware of them or their significance, I've always taken this LP purely on it's merits. And from that point of view, this is a winner on almost every level, a truly amazing debut. It was recorded in the studio adjacent to the legendary studio 2 at EMI, Abbey road, at the same time that some of the final touches were being put to Sergeant Pepper. In the Beatles' authorized biog, there is an account of the two bands meeting during a session break that Hunter Davis describes as half hearted. And the album was released 2 weeks before Hendrix's debut. But there was such a cross pollination of ideas in those days that influences and head nods were de riguer. What is often overlooked these days is that there were so many originals then , too, writers, singers, instrumentalists, engineers, producers, record company moguls etc, that even the eclectics came up with great works. In common with most debuts, it's an eclectic collection, but such was the experimentation in the air at the time that it filtered through these young Englishmen in such a bizarre way as to come out sounding completely original. One crucial aspect that I think accounts for the weird sound of the band is the fact that instrumentally, they weren't very good; I think they had the ideas but not the Clapton / Bruce / Baker chops to be effortlessly virtuoso and Nick Mason reckons Cream were the huge influence in their decision to make a go of things. But their limitations paid dividends because they had to really work hard and go about things in an 'around the houses' way that ironically made them more musically interesting and adventurous than their elders and betters. Syd was heavilly influenced by this complete maverick guitarist called Keith Rowe of an avant garde outfit called AMM ( I have some examples of his playing with Amalgam and the Trevor Watts string ensemble 10 - 12 years later and he can play conventionally but he rarely does. But he's never boring - on the 8 sided live album that Amalgam did called ' Wipe Out ', he's breathtaking ) but he developed his own style and whatever one may think of him, I can't think of another like him - he's the first really off the wall English guitarist but just a year before this album, he was pretty conventional. Nick Mason was so basic as a drummer that he ended up pioneering a whole new style that made him absolutely the right drummer for the Floyd - the son of Ringo....; Rick Wright loved jazz and tried to bring that invention into the sound. But he was no jazz keyboardist then, and took great advantage of the fact that there was alot of free form stuff for him to play with....and Roger ! He was ( along with another limited player, Bill Wyman ) the guy that got me interested in the bass and his playing inspired me to take it up. He was always ordinary and there was nothing unique about his tone, yet his bass playing always thrills me. The Pink Floyd of 'Piper' were a collective sound that created real strength from disparate parts.

Those disparate elements came up with a series of great songs. Syd Barrett IMHO was on the way to being one of the great songwriters of our time but here I totally disagree with Roger Waters who felt that any band could have put the same thing together because Barrett's songs were the main thing. Not true - a close listen reveals that each member contributed much and while it's true that the whole thing could've been scripted by Syd, almost all the accounts I've come across say that he just never worked that way and you'd be lucky to get him to repeat a performance the same way coz he wasn't into that. His songs are fantastic though, ASTRONOMY DOMINE being probably the most amazing album opener on a debut. Let me just say it's brilliant, I just love the vocals and Mason's drumming is the highlight of the song for me. Actually, everything on the song is a highlight for me ! It's ending kills any from '67 ( Even A DAY IN THE LIFE ) and if you want to hear the ultimate description of this song, try and locate Julian Palacios' biog of Syd called " Lost in the woods ". It seems unthinkable that after such a start that the album could go anywhere other than downhill - but it doesn't. It doesn't get better necessarilly, but it certainly does not get worse and that's remarkable. The quality holds up all the way through; LUCIFER SAM is genial for the way that such a great track is created about a blasted cat ( they'd obviously learned from the Beatles the art of the psychedelic throwaway that isn't in fact a throwaway ) It sports Roger Waters bowing his bass; MATILDA MOTHER is the son of YELLOW SUBMARINE, fabulous writng with neat performances from Waters and Wright ( who, as well as a flowing organ solo, takes the lead vocal ).The editing from Norman Smith on this track is so amateur but it doesn't spoil it fortunately. FLAMING is the most overtly stoned track, with an over trebly sound that recalls their early singles. This is the kind of song that has lyrics that are guaranteed to draw savage anti - hippy criticisms, but who cares ? It's a great song. POW R TOC H ( I've also always referred to this in my head as 'power torch' ) is a groove, but a rather strange one; it begins with a volley of noises every bit as disturbing as those at the end of BIKE, before settling into a cute sort of weird psychedelic jazz supper club groove. Just as strange is the way it suddenly freaks out into a Barrett led section before ending in a struggle between normality and 'out - there - ness'. Though a group composition, Waters was the main instigator. And the excellent TAKE UP THY STETHOSCOPE AND WALK is totally his and is one of the most hated Floyd tracks. Why ? It's a damn revolutionary track for a 1967 record. The lyrics are so obviously tongue in cheek but people take them as evidence of lack of talent ! They're no more ridiculous than a quarter of the songs here ( or indeed '67 in general ) and the jam that really sets off this tune is wicked. Not even the Soft Machine were doing this at this time. INTERSTELLAR OVERDRIVE was another revoultionary track of the times, it was a staple of their live shows but it was pretty unmelodic as it was a free form jam that could last 55 minutes.....but the 'Piper' version has alot to commend it, lots of beautiful parts. It was a jam session and 4 months later the band just played along to it, hence the dual parts. THE GNOME was the first song that stood out to me when I first heard this album along with THE SCARECROW.....both are great acid fairy tales, evoking childhood memories. But the latter is somewhat subversive in that it sports electric guitar where you'd think that an acoustic would be more appropriate. Clever idea. CHAPTER 24 and BIKE round off a great effort. Incidentally, the 3rd verse of BIKE has, from the first time I heard it seemed to be a reference to the cartoon 'Tom & Jerry ' which kind of fits in with the chilhood themes. Overall this is a marvelous effort with much to commend it. Barrett, Waters and Wright all sing well and along with the Kinks, were among the first bands to actually sound English, rather than trying to sound American and ending up sounding original because of it ( the Beatles and the Who being a case in point ). I don't want to overrate this album, but I feel it was groundbreaking in every way. The irony is, they were never able to expand upon it so we'll never know whether it was a fluke or not !

Tim Blake (21.07.2006)

This is a classic, of course. You all know that 'Astronomy Domine' is one of the best songs ever so I won't bore you with that. I'd just like to extend an honourable mention to 'Flaming', which is probably my favourite song, next to 'The Gnome'. In my honest opinion, Syd Barrett was basically the ultimate conveyor of that special english whimsy that is particularly unique to the late 60s psychadelia and 70s prog-rock. You've got other bands like Caravan and Genesis which had many moments of that kind of thing, but none of them get to me like Barrett's work, which manages to sound totally, utterly drug-farked, yet not half-baked and somehow, not that cheesy. I think that 'The Gnome' is basically the ultimate expression of english whimsy. I mean, c'mon, it has the most utterly acid-lased drug-riddled lyrics you will ever read or hear, that thumping, dwarf-like bassline. 'I want to tell you a story, 'about a little man, if I can...a gnome called grimble grrrromble'. Now that is messed up, awesomely. Made me laugh when I first heard it, now just makes me smile.

...which is what Syd Barrett was best at. Amusing, drug-addled little ditties about fruits, gnomes, scarecrows, bikes and articles of clothing. He was a genius in a very unique sense of the word, in that half the time he was probably barely even conscious of the artistic decisions he was making, they just sort of showed up. Sort of a natural genius, whereas Roger Waters may approach something of a more scientific kind of genius. Musically, Piper is far from the best Floyd album, but on the other hand it has two things going for it the rest can't really offer. Firstly, it's a helluva lot of FUN to listen to, it's a fun album. Secondly, it's is a very 'natural' album. Feels very organic, whereas the rest of Floyd is like meticulously planned but the human element doesn't come through as often. I'm not going to say that Piper is my favourite Floyd album, or the best, but it has a LOT going for it, and I really enjoy it. 'Stethoscope' is indeed shite though. Piper is a fascinating document of a time that cannot be gotten back.

R.I.P Syd Barrett.


mjcarney <> (16.07.2000)

No doubt about it, this was a transitional record, however, itstill is one of their better early records and IMHO the best the Sydless Floyd would do for 3 or 4 years. The album opens up with a purely energetic, metal roaring bass line by Roger on an exceptional start with "Let there be more light". Clearly Roger had greatly improved as a songwriter from his first awful song. Also, just to mention that just because the bass sounds ferocious, doesn't mean that it is actually tough to play--it is really rather simple--but still Roger's forte wasn't his playing or singing, it was his conceptualism and his brilliant lyrics. "Let there be more Light" is still a terrific opener for the Floyd. They then follow with a throwaway from Piper, the rather dreamy "Remember a Day". This song is only behind "The Great Gig in the Sky" as my favorite Rick Wright tune, and that is probably due--like the "sky" was-- because of some outside help. Syd plays an excellent bizarre guitar which complements this song perfectly, and adds to its dreamy effect. Another strong highlight here even if it ain't perfect. "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" is also a highlight, and it is the beginning of the new Floyd's fascination with the denser sounds, and architecture of music they would use so well (and sometimes too much) on their later releases. A good song, but the live versions on Ummagumma and on Live at Pompeii clearly outdue this one. "Corporal Clegg" is the first real let down on the album. It is Roger's first anti-war song, but there really is no substance anywhere--and the vocals/lyrics are irritatingly dumb--I'm sorry but its true. The solo though is rather interesting--correct me if I am wrong but it sounds like a kazoo, which is kind of cool, but the track is well; pretty bad. The title track is next, and it is fine. This gave hope tolisteners that Pink Floyd would be able to continue after Syd's departure. Itis dense, moody, dark, atmospheric, pyscedellic, and enthralling all in one, and remainsthe Syd-less highlight of this album. "See Saw" is alright, although as the title might suggest to those who haven't heard it--it is nothing special. And then finally the album closes with the most bizzarre song I think that Syd has ever written--including his often talked about "Scream thy Last Scream" and "Vegetable Man". I believe that this is the third in a series of artitistic--or insane depending on how you see it--depictions that Syd has given of his mental state. The lyrics like "I'm wondering who could be writing this song"and especially the ending and depressing "What exactly is a dream,and what exactly is a joke?" lines show Syd realizing that he is being kicked out of the band, and losing his mind. It is quite a depressing song, and also quite insane. However, its insanity is overshadowed by its pure originality. The jugband bit in the middle is bizarrely good, and it remains my favorite on the album. A Saucerful of Secrets is not the greatest album ever, but Pink Floyd will not make a better album--although some are about the same--until Dark Side. Due to its highlights it deserves a strong 7/10.

Andrei <> (05.10.2000)

'Saucerful' is nearly perfect, but a bit too long. The rest range from average to crappy, with one exception of 'saucerful' itself, which ranger from crappy to average to beautiful in that succession throughout the track.

Ted Goodwin <> (19.11.2000)

Only heard most of this once; some thought from what I can remember: "Let There Be More Light" and "Set The Controls" I found to be too dang repetitive. Title track was done better on UMMAGUMMA. "See Saw" was annoyingly jerky and pointless. "Jugband" was depressing, pointless, and weird in an unenjoyable way. "Clegg" I didn't find to be bad so much as just not what I expected from the Floyd. (Does anyone else see THE WALL's war theme being anticipated by this track?) My favorite by far was "Remember A Day"; I agree that Syd's weird guitar adds a lot to this track.

Jeff Blehar <> (20.11.2000)

A confused hodgepodge, but a FASCINATING confused hodgepodge. The band was quite obviously poking around for a valid musical direction, and the uncertainty shows in the mixture of Piper-era rejects like Wright's "See Saw" (so many wasted minutes off my life) and "Remember A Day" (which, while similarly subdued, has much more merit, with Barrett's eerie guitar and the slightly ominous echoed vocal) with unresolved gropes towards something new like "Let There Be More Light" (a waste of one of the greatest repeating bass-lines I've ever heard) and "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun" (a fan favorite, but I gotta be, like, INTENTLY FOCUSING on it not to miss it completely). "Clegg" is to A Saucerful Of Secrets as "Stethoscope" was to Piper, and that leaves the two real masterpieces of the album. The first of course is the title track, which is as self-concealingly unspontaneous as anything Frank Zappa ever put to record. As a pure sound collage it really works in maintaining my interest, but I think it would gain immensely in live performance - the last "requiem" section is much better on the Ummagumma performance, complaints about Gilmour's off-key singing or no.

That leaves "Jugband Blues." Wow. One of my problems with much of Floyd music to follow is its emotional sterility, or perhaps emotional SELFISHNESS (you know, Roger's working out his demons, but he doesn't give a shit about what YOU the listener thinks of it), but this one track is almost enough to work as ballast for all of that. It's unbelievably moving...again and again I keep asking myself, "how did this ever get released to the public?" The chaos of the song and its lyrics tell the story perfectly: not only is Syd Barrett losing his mind, but what makes it so ghastly is that he KNOWS it...he doesn't know quite how to put the words into coherent shape anymore, but all he can think and all he can share is that somehow, something has gone horribly wrong. Yes, it's depressing, but it's quite possibly the most sincerely depressing song I have in my collection: there, right there on track 6, is a REAL tragedy being played out ON TAPE, captured for eternity. Grim. I get shudders whenever I hear it. As a whole the album is certainly uneven, but the strength of the two aforementioned tracks plus the other semi-successes boosts this one up to a 7 or maybe even an 8 for me. I like to think of it as the In The Wake Of Poseidon to Piper's In The Court Of The Crimson King. Similar cover, too.

Note: around this time Floyd released three singles which have yet to make it to any album except the horrendously overpriced and overpackaged boxed set: "Apples And Oranges" (Syd's last single), "It Would Be So Nice," and "Point Me At The Sky." Fans love to spit all over them because they're unabashed pop-rock, but I think all three of them are just ace, especially "Point Me At The Sky" which should be sought out at all costs.

<> (01.04.2001)

I put off buying this for a long time because of the time period it was released in. From what I'd heard of Pink Floyd's 60's stuff, I was fearing an album filled with boring space jams or trippy experimentation, possibly both. Looking back I'm sorry I waited so long, because A Saucerful Of Secrets is a lot better than I'd expected. I'm not a huge fan of "Corporal Clegg," and they could just as well have left "See Saw" off entirely, but other than that, the rest of A Saucerful Of Secrets is actually pretty good, as far as 60's Floyd goes. "Let There Be More Light" is a neat little psychedelic chant, with some interesting change-ups. "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" is just awesome, a cosmic mantra in the same vein as "Interstellar Overdrive," except of course that "Set the Controls" is fascinating to the point of being hypnotic, whereas "Overdrive" is just fucking boring. Meanwhile, the title song is a compelling space epic, and it's superior to a lot of the sterile prog-rock space epics of the 70's, but it's VERY trippy sounding and probably a little too "out there" for the casual fan. "Remember A Day" is actually one of the 2 or 3 finest songs on this album, but it's so low-key and unobtrusive that it takes several listens to really notice its beauty and complexity. And then of course there's "Jugband Blues," the best thing on the entire album, and the last and probably the best Barrett/Floyd song... in fact probably the best thing Barrett ever did, then or afterwards. You can hear his insanity bleeding through it like on no other Pink Floyd song. It's as crazy/trippy as his Madcap Laughs stuff, but at the same time it's a GREAT song... a carefully crafted melody ideally suited to Syd's zig-zag vocal style, which spirals madly up into a seemingly spontaneous brass-band jamboree that's grandiose & magnificent & absurd all at the same time (which, if you think about it, pretty much defines Syd Barrett), growing and growing until it simply crashes to a halt and only Syd remains, singing to very simple melody strummed on his acoustic guitar, ending his last Pink Floyd album not with a conclusion but with a wide-eyed, childish question. The whole song is pure Barrett -- artistic brilliance totally unimpeded by reason or restraint, which is probably why I love it so much. It seems whimsical and crazy, but if you pay attention, it actually makes you think a little. Especially the last lines -- "and what exactly is a dream, and what exactly is a joke?" -- something I don't think Syd ever quite figured out, actually. IMHO, it's probably the single greatest Pink Floyd song of the 60's.

I more or less agree with (most of) the points you made in your review... except that I would give Saucerful about an 8 on the 1 to 10 thing, instead of a 6. And except for your assessment of "Jugband Blues" of course, which was way off the mark -- but the good news is, tinnitus can be effectively treated if diagnosed early George, so there is hope! :-)

Tim Van der Mensbrugghe <> (27.05.2001)

Dear George,

I just read your review of A Saucerful Of Secrets by Pink Floyd and I noticed you wrote "'Let There Be More Light' begins with a famous bassline (hey, there was a time when Roger could play that instrument)". I am pretty sure I mentioned this before in one of my previous mails but I do not think it is Roger Waters playing bass but David Gilmour. In several interviews Gilmour said he played bass on half of the tracks of the early albums. If you take a listen to Piper and you then listen to Secrets, you will notice the bass playing on several tracks of the latter is much better. I do not think Mr. Waters was able to improve his bass playing in less than a year. So, I blame Gilmour for playing that famous bassline. Give the man some credit, if you please.

And the bassline in the left channel of 'One of these days' sounds, at least in my ears, better than Roger's in the right channel. I read Waters had a bad amplifier, but still.

And also the bassline of 'Hey you' is played by Gilmour. Well, it is actually fretless bass and Waters is said not to be able to play fretless bass. Poor guy. But also poor Dave: he could not play the acoustic guitarline of 'Is there anybody out there?' without a pick. They had a hire a sessin musician to do it.

Damn, why am I writing you all this? I do not know. Oh well, hope you do not bother.

Ben Kramer <> (13.11.2001)

I can't see how this album gets the same rating as the dreadful Atom Heart Mother. This album has at least 2 great songs (one of them isn't really a song) ('Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' and 'A Saucerful of Secrets') and two other songs I would call really good ('Let There Be More Light' and 'Remember a Day'). The other three while not as good as the listed four songs aren't terrible and have their moments. I liked Piper At the Gates of Dawn a lot so it's understandable why I would like this one. Both are extremely experimental and trippy. I wouldn't say this is better than Piper, but parts of it are ('Set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun' for instance). I would give it a 7(11) and it would be higher except that the last two songs kind of suck and don't go along with the mood of this album. I also would never be able to call this as good (or as bad) as Atom Heart Mother which I am convinced that only 2 songs are good and that the title track is 10 minutes too long at least (I'm gonna stop now and continue when I respond to your review of Atom Heart Mother). I reccomend this album to Piper fans and those who like totally fucked up, experimental, trippy... music. If you see it lying around cheap in a used cd store, get it for 'Set the Controls' and the title track.

<> (22.01.2002)

I don't think that A Saucerful of Secrets gets enough respect. I am the eccentric and uncommon music listener--a growing fan of the wacky German group Can and bent towards the early Floyd, and so my opinions on Saucerful come as no surprise. Saucerful is jumbled--agreed; but many of the tracks possess the same psychedelic, storylike feel as on Piper and even improve on it. "Set the Controls...", "See Saw", and "Corporal Clegg" are just average on the Floyd song scale- certainly listenable. "Let There Be More Light", "Jugband Blues", "Saucerful of Secrets" ascend toward the height of Floyd songs in which the tone and instrumentation of the music alone illustrates the story and purpose of the song. Animals is a great album, maybe the best; but its musical composition is nowhere near as inventive or fitting to its purpose as these Saucerful tracks. "Remember a Day" is a great Floyd song, one of my favorites, and yes it is certainly thanks to Syd's incredible whining guitar, which infuses an eerie, lamenting beauty into the song. If that song does not give one nostalgia and longing for youth, I don't know if anything will. The presence of many good songs on the album make it at least a 10 or 11 on the 15 point scale.

Ryan Maffei <> (24.03.2002)

Oui, c'est "Astronomy Domine", but worse. Mostly, at least. But A Saucerful of Secrets is really not as bad as one would presume it to be: Waters is astonishingly competent at writing actual 'songs' this time around (although he'd get FAR, FAR better by the next record), and "Let There Be More Light", Wright's compositions and "Corporal Clegg" (not that bad, vraiment) are enjoyable bizarro tunes that work just fine for me. And "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" is probably their best, most memorable psychedelic jam ever, with that immortal bassline and a stirring sonic climax. But the remainder of the album is far too acid-drenched for my tastes, succumbing to the same banalities as Piper did as it progressed; I cannot tolerate "A Saucerful of Secrets", overlong and overblown, or "Jugband Blues", which is nothing we haven't heard or want to hear from Syd Barrett. It's good enough to earn a B-/6 from moi, but flaws are evident, yeah. They'd get better...but we all know that anyway, right? so...yeah...

Eric Rogozin <> (12.06.2002)

One of the few good Pink Floyd albums if you ask me. Thean God it was Barrett who led Pink Floyd at that period. Notice, that Pink Flotd were good only when not Waters had a major dominance but Barrett had and then when Waters quit (thank God). Speaking about A Saucerful Of Secrets itself, this psychodelic album is very worthy, my favourite song from here is groovy and catchy opening track "Let There Be More Light".

Federico Fernández <> (15.11.2002)

Well, this one's a pretty plain album at first listen, but I have to admit that some parts of it are really good, spooky and fear inducing. First of all I'd like to state that the title track ranks among the very worst, dullest, most boring and most musically shallow avantgarde experiments of all times; yes, it's groundbreaking, foreboding, unique and original but... thrilling? entertaining? powerful? No chance... its different themes (ugly organ and bell dissonances / pointless drum loops with unlistenable noises / organ and bells again / incredibly shallow, uninteresting organ crescendo), pound with bore and graceless robotic midiocrity. Anyone can make a bunch of noise to resolve it with a dull organ chord progession and many can do it better. Stupid, stupid stuff. Thanks God they finally learned how a good suite should be and made the great "Echoes" some time afterwards. But, no matter how much I hate that track, there is another one which is even WORSE: "Jugband Blues" a tuneless madness pastiche which is not melodic, not grandiose, not even disturbing. I'm listening to it right now and I'm sure a famelic rat can compose a better song... horrible. Opposed to this anti-musical crap there are two really good Roger Water's compositions: "Set The Controls" is an hypnotic mantra wich sounds as evil, dark, menacing and spooky as nothing in this world could. And the bass laden crescendo of "Let There Be More Light" is one of the finest moments in Pink Floyd's catalogue. Two very bad, two very good, and there are three more nice tracks I could live without. "Corporal Clegg" starts out fine with those crunchy guitars but they HAD to ruin it with an annoying brass solo. I would give it a 7, just because the evil atmospheres, but Pink Floyd got a lot better when they started to concern about MUSIC, not NOISE.

Jon <> (01.12.2002)

Syd-slide on "Remember a Day" and his guitar on "Jugband Blues." Everything else (certainly "Clegg!" George, I thought you knew Gilmour's style!) is Gilmour-ish. "Remember a Day" and "See Saw"--two fun fun fun Rick Wright compositions. The chords are so fun and the lyrics sooooo dopey that I can't help but smile and admire Rick for his weird strivings at songwriting (what kind of WEIRDASS relationship does he have with his sister!?) Those two songs are great. "Let There Be More Light" has some great Gilmour vocals in the chorus and a devastating bass intro that wants to kill your mama. Barrett seems at this point to be at a different stage than the "Apples" one--here he is mainly trying to piss the band off. The Salvation army sections, the obviously off-the-cuff lyrics and chords, etc. It was around this period he wrote and invited Floyd to record his composition "Have You Got It Yet?" which he rather maliciously changed with every take... hee hee. At any rate "Jugband" has some interesting parts, but they're accidental and lazily constructed. "Corporal Clegg"... RULES. The weird little chorus, the crunched-out verse (complete with that Hendrix chord!--hee hee, just to piss off musicians I had to say that) and the kazoos! Nice work gentlemen! The other compositions are inadequate, even if the lyrics of "Set the Controls" are trying hard to go SOMEwhere. Good chords on "Saucerful" (I smell Wright all over those chords), but it ultimately is too underdeveloped to be effective. Good mood and atmosphere, though. All in all, fun, good album.

Stephen Rutkowski <> (01.11.2003)

Pink Floyd were supposed to be part of the “space rock” movement, with Syd Barrett providing the major ideas. In reality however, if you take a look at Piper at the Gates of Dawn, there are only two ‘spacey’ tracks: ‘Astronomy Domine’ and ‘Interstellar Overdrive’. Barrett tended to provide more childlike songs. Anyway, the band attempts to carry the “space rock” feeling with songs like ‘Let There be More Light’ and ‘Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun’. Wright provides some dull but passable tracks in ‘Remember a Day’ and ‘See-Saw’. In fact I quite like ‘Remember a Day’. ‘See-Saw’ is much too slow and boring though. ‘Corporal Clegg’ is weird and rather stupid. It really is an incoherent mess of musical ideas. I can’t stand the brass section to be honest. ‘Jugband Blues’ is more an intriguing listen rather than a quality song. As a result of  the lyrics and the way in which Syd Barrett projects them, the song can be very creepy. Although when listening to the lyrics I’m not entirely convinced. I always thought that “a sane person never questions his/her sanity”? Anyway, I am not here to discuss psychology. The jugband was actually a Salvation Army band that Syd brought into the studio and told them to play whatever they liked. The joke is that the Salvation Army band was still in the studio when they recorded Atom Heart Mother!

Why is it that I like this album so much considering I haven’t said one good thing about it…? Oh that’s right, I haven’t mentioned the good songs yet. ‘Let There be More Light’ contains that wonderful bass line, before leading into a song with quite a ‘poppish’ feel. The title track is a long spaced out atmospheric… epic? Well it’s not quite as atmospheric as later Pink Floyd songs, this one is more of a mess of sounds. Anyway, I particularly like the drum part, I’m not sure why. It would probably be very boring for the majority of people. Rick Wright’s organ section is also very good. It creates a sombre mood, with visions of a funeral going through my head. ‘Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun’ is another great atmospheric piece. In particular Water’s bass and Mason’s muffled drums combine to provide the greatest track on the album. I can see why other people (like you George) would complain about the boredom factor, as it seems to repeat itself over and over again. Anyway, the strongest tracks are the atmospheric pieces, provided you don’t fall asleep. And ‘Jugband Blues’ is an interesting track to say the least.

Fernando Henrique Canto <> (02.11.2003)

Oh, well... Yes, they wanted to carry on in the same direction, only without Syd. But they were already changing, of course. Not even 'Let There Be More Light' or 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun' manage to be like Barrett's Pink Floyd, no matter how zany and trippy they actually are. They're just not sparky and unpredictable. They're just way too adult. 'Corporal Clegg' is actually quite funny - I like it. And about Wright's songs, 'Remember A Day' is quite pretty and all, but 'See-Saw' is absolutely wonderful. It's one of my absolute favourite songs on the record. The title track is definitely superb. I like how it's mathematically precise and calculated, it feels cold and mechanical, but it's just fantastic. How did they do it? I don't know. Syd's song 'Jugband Blues' disturbs me. It tries to sound funny and youthful, but there are those "la-la-la-la-la-la- las" and the sadness... It's one of the saddest songs in the Floyd repretoire. Well, it's not sad per se - but the circumstances make it so. Whatever, this would be a 7 in my book.

<> (01.12.2003)

You say that A Saucerful of Secrets is the first of its kind (avantgarde) in rock and roll, but the Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa had already done so in the two years before A Saucerful of Secrets was made. Don't tell me you don't think Frank Zappa was serious about his avantgarde. He had a sense of humor that showed through in his work, but that doesn't mean his work is any less serious; for all the humor in "Help, I'm a Rock!", "It Can't Happen Here" and "Return of Son of the Monster Magnet" were all serious avntgarde compositions that came out two years before A Saucerful of Secrets was finished.

I love ''A Saucerful of Secrets', by the way. And I think you underrate 'Corporal Clegg', I think it's funny, especially in its use of those kazoos (they are kazoo's, aren't they? Or are they sped up brass intruments? Nevermind, they're hilarious.) Perhaps 'Corporal Clegg' is an example of a sense of humor so rarely found in Pink Floyd's music.

[Special author note: just to clear any misunderstandings, I didn't say it was the first avantgarde record, I said it was the first of its kind. Neither Frank Zappa nor the Velvets did anything of that kind.]

Amanda Kenyon <> (15.05.2004)

The album starts off SO great, with that fantastic bass line, and degenerates SO quickly into Boringville. This is seriously one of the CDs I play at night when I'm going to sleep. I do have to say, though, that Rick Wright's songwriting capabilities are severely underrated. His two songs are slightly less boring than the rest of the album, and they're definitely no worse. His "Paintbox," on the Relics compilation, is really one of my favorite Floyd songs. That being said, the only track on here that isn't a damn lullaby is "Jugband Blues," which I have to completely disagree with you about. I think it's brilliant. Insane, yes, but that's what makes it so intriguing! "I'm most obliged to you for making it clear that I'm not here" - so terribly sad. And a great way to end the album.

<> (16.05.2004)

Saw that no one answered your question in the comment section (I believe). Judging from a perusal of the Pink Floyd message boards, what you're hearing at the end of the studio version of "A Saucerful of Secrets" is in fact a Mellotron Choir.

On a minor note, when Pink Floyd did their "The Man and the Journey" live concept suite piece deelie, they performed the tail end of Saucerful (Celestial Voices), and I'll say that Dave sounds MUCH better singing on Ummagumma than most of his vocals on my bootleg of the concert.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (24.06.2005)

Worse. Syd is almost gone and it shows. But most of the material is still very solid, like the opening “Let There Be More Light”, for example. Roger’s “Corporal Clegg” (with his typical lyrics) is way better than his first offering. The melody is catchy, and the only thing that I don’t like about it is that childish voice, which is quite dumb. Speaking about stinkers, I have to say that Rick’s “See-Saw” is soooooooooo boring, I want to go to sleep every time it’s playing. Thank God, his other track, “Remember A Day” is a very pleasant-sounding ballad. The title track sucks (seems very uninspired to me), but the last part simply shines and is, in fact, my favourite thing on the album. Very moving and beautiful. “Set The Controls…” is nice (really, I don’t know how to describe it). And Syd’s only contribution, the closing “Jugband Blues” is great. I can’t explain why I like it so much, but the song alone made me buy The Madcap Laughs (and I’m glad I did). All in all, I give this a solid 11 on the overall scale.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (06.03.2006)

This album quite simply changed my musical headspace. I heard it as part of a re - package with 'Piper' - but the tape I borrowed was wound to the start of side 2 so I heard this one first. As a 16 year old in '79 I'd just never heard music like this was beyond my current loves ( Beatles, Stones, Monkees, soul, pop ) and I found the tracks so hard to follow, yet they intrigued me no end and all these years later, it's still a fabulous album for me.

I don't think it's true to say that this was their transitional album either - unless you you include all of the next 5 ( minus 'Relics' ) as transitional as well because they never settled on a direction till the famous DARK SIDE........Rather, I think this album is a part progression, part hodge - podge, part record company pressure, part holding operation. It's funny, I was never a fan of DARK SIDE and the subsequent albums, I much preferred them when they were searching for a direction and didn't quite know where to go. The albums were much more diverse, experimental and interesting IMHO. And contrary to popular notion ( even put about by Waters himself ), the Floyd didn't become songwriters just because Syd was bombed out. Some of the band members were already writing songs - REMEMBER A DAY was actually recorded for 'Piper' but left off ( with a couple of other pieces that are on this great bootleg called " Alternate Masters " ) and SET THE CONTROLS was being played live a month before 'Piper' was even released and Floyd's former manager reckons it was the first composition to seriously stand up to any Syd product. Predictably, I disagree ! There is something of note on every track here. The fantastic bass line that opens LET THERE BE MORE LIGHT is therefore the first sound of Pink Floyd that I leads to a great song with interesting lyrics ( I've always thought there's a line in there that says ' Lucy in the sky...' ) and a great and very weird instrumental sound. It still sounds odd to me. SEE SAW has long been a fave of mine, it's so dreamy and is such a change of pace from the opener. But the lyrics are a little strange. More Beatle references in the bit about " selling plastic flowers on sunday afternoon...In common with most of the songs here, it jumps all over the place with lots of little interesting bits. " SET THE CONTROLS FOR THE HEART OF THE SUN is not an obvious classic. But the meshing of bass and tympani make the dense spacey atmosphere. It is rumoured that Barrett's guitar is buried in the mix. It is also rumoured that the lyrics ( taken from a Chinese poem ) are about Syd. Basically, the song is about a space traveller who becomes beset with suicidal thoughts of destruction and so he sets the controls for the heart of the sun in an effort to snuff himself out. Norman Smith's editing on the track is as lousy as his effort on MATILDA MOTHER, but it doesn't diminish from a special track. Some of Roger Waters early efforts at writing are almost universally dismissed as pigshit but I just can't see it. CORPORAL CLEGG was the first Floyd tune that I really took note of and I think it is absolutely brilliant. It has long been a source of interest to me that CLEGG gets lambasted for it's disjointedness, while JUGBAND BLUES is lionized for the same reason. CLEGG is such an inventive song with a hunking great riff to kill for and a series of odd sections that, in common with the rest of the album, somehow hang together really nicely. In fact, Pink Floyd were one of the first groups to do songs this way. Conventional songwriting now had serious competition with songs that were made up of different sections that on the surface didn't always seem to have much to do with each other. Floyd made them hang together well. The subject matter was close to Waters too, coz he'd lost his Dad in WW2 and never really knew him. The sarcasm and bile that spews forth in this track gives it real bite and all the sound effects encapsulate the madness and irony of a war victory celebration. The first time I heard the title track, I just didn't get it ! The only even remotely comparable thing I'd heard was "Revolution 9" and I'd barely tolerated that. I couldn't follow SAUCERFUL but the organ bit at the end redeemed it for me and I persevered and eventually grew to love it. It was a couple of years before I could take the entire piece, though. Now I see it as the son of INTERSTELLAR OVERDRIVE, a remarkable electronic tone poem ( initially I didn't get OVERDRIVE either ), but planned and organized. Without it's 'Piper' ancestor, this fascinating track would possibly never have existed. As mentioned before, REMEMBER A DAY was left off the debut. Like SEE SAW, PAINTBOX and JULIA DREAM, Rick Wright could write beautiful songs. These represent his beginnings and they are lovely psychedelic musings. REMEMBER has a lovely feel about it with some really odd sounds and Norman Smith on backing vocals and drums. Which brings us to the grand closer, JUGBAND BLUES. Far from demonstrating a wreck falling apart ( well, it does lyrically ), it shows that even as Syd was falling apart, he was still brimming with inventiveness and that the Floyd were actually quite adept at accomodating off the wall ideas. Unfortunately it proved to be the last throw of the dice for Syd - his inventiveness would become incoherant to everyone but himself as even the order necessary for avant garde creations got stuck in some unchartable zone within his psyche. It's remarkable in retrospect how many of the 60s bands' bright lights got damaged or nearly damaged by LSD in particular. It ripped bands from the Beatles and Monkees to James Brown's JBs and a whole lot in between.. and Syd was possibly the first of many. Fortunately, Dave Gilmour was on hand and 2 of his contributions really stand out in LET THERE BE MORE LIGHT and the title track.

I guess they went in a few directions at once on this one because there was no one place to go. It introduced me to a whole new dimension of music and just as significantly, new ways of making music that are just as valid and vibrant today as they were back then.


John McFerrin <> (09.05.99)

YES! You agree with my opinions almost to a tee. I love 'Cymbaline', in fact I consider it one of the top ten Floyd tracks. But yeah, 'Nile Song' and 'Ibiza Bar' suck mighty. Oh well, 7 is right.

<> (25.02.2000)

Next to Ummagumma More is the absolute worst Pink Floyd album (when I speak of Pink Floyd I mean w/Roger Waters). Saucerful had some great tracks (i.e., 'Corporal Clegg') even though it is a bit strange. What were you thinking?

Andrei <> (05.10.2000)

Very good, in fact great. I'd say it's as good as piper, although very different. Ballads are the best, 'cymbaline' being my favorite, 'spanish theme' is okay (i was never overabused with spanish guitar, besides I think they play it really well here), * theme(s) are both excellent, and on top of that I even like the 2 hard rockers - I guess because they keep the album from being overly quiet and mellowed out. Also, I was never overexposed to metal rock excessions of 80's, being but a wee child at the time. OTOH, i'm not dumb and i won't claim that these 2 tracks are anything special, even by my highly limited metal standards. They do give album the energy it, let's be frank, needs. Otherwise it'd sound a bit like Simon&Garfunkel album (well, I only have one - greatest hits), and although these guys are okay, they are far too mellowed out for my taste. Great album, far underrated.

Jeff Blehar <> (20.11.2000)

Eh. Too much nondescript instrumental music here, George. "Dramatic Theme" is perhaps the best of these (it also features a brilliantly inventive title), but the much-vaunted "Quicksilver" is nothing but a self-indulgent waste of time. Perhaps if I was shooting smack I might see the parallels of that song to the heroin experience, but other than that, no thanks. "Up The Khyber," on the other hand, is an example of a purely experimental track that not only justifies its reason for existing, but also has the good sense to be short. "More Blues" is frustrating, but that's obviously the point - every time it's about to get going, the whole thing just crashes to a halt. Intellectually interesting, perhaps, but it doesn't make for fun listening.

The actual "songs" aren't all great either; we're all agreed that "The Nile Song" and "Ibiza Bar" are just fetid pieces of metallic tripe (and yet the former made it onto Relics! In favor of "Cymbaline!" WHY?), but I think that "Green Is The Colour" is sub-par folk and "Crying Song" is too lethargic by at least half a Quaalude. "Cirrus Minor" is indeed a minor masterpiece, however, with Wright's static organ being put to excellent use near the end along with some nice bird calls. And of course there's "Cymbaline." It's down to a steel-cage match between this one and "Summer '68" (from Atom Heart Mother) for the prize of Most Criminally Underrated Floyd Song. You never hear it on the radio, nobody but hard-core fans could tell you about it, but it's so easily the best short song they did during this era that its anonymity is frustrating. That's what you get when you throw it away on a soundtrack album. Strangely, the first time I heard it, it sounded distantly familiar to me - that chorus and the ruminescent rhythm groove which opens the song are perhaps worth the price of the album on their own.

Perhaps not, though. Strange that you should say that this is the album to get if you believe that all Floyd ever did was mournful dirges, since this album is SUCH a relentlessly down experience that it's almost hard to sit through. More is completely sedated, a reflection I'd wager of what happens when you write music to fit the soundtrack of a film about French smack addicts (and the music WAS written specifically to fit the scenes - Waters & Co. watched clips and wrote around them). It's slow, lethargic, and barely rises above a whisper most of the time. I would really rank this one low on the Floyd totem pole, because even though it has two neglected classics the rest of it is terribly soporific: 5/10.

Ryan Maffei <> (24.03.2002)

I agree mostly, particularly in that I believe More is both important for the band as an exemplary work, and underrated. However, I wouldn't give More (ahem) 'more' than a 5; every song is an undoubtedly great piece of work (particularly "Cymbeline", "Green is the Colour", and, yes, the rockers "Nile Song" and "Ibiza Bar"), but the movie music isn't very competent, really--stuff like "Quicksilver" (ugh) and "Party Sequence" is just directionless, stuff that really could've been written by a 4-year old (I wouldn't attribute intense artistry to Floyd at this level), and the "Main Theme"--why, that's "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun"! You can't fool me! So, yeah, I'd give this record a happy C, but the songs are quite a step up from the "Lucy in the Sky/Corporal Clegg/Take up thy Stethescope and/Stars can frighten" murk. Goo/d\eal.

Jon <> (01.12.2002)

Somebody should say they ripped off their own bassline not once but twice for this album ("Let There Be More Light"), but that's okay. McCartney ripped his "own" melodies time and time again... but much less obviously :) At any rate, "Main Theme" is a fabulous track, and hearing them play that live at Hyde Park made John Peel a huge supporter of the then truly underground band. Hmm... what's so good about it? RICK WRIGHT, of course! his little minimalist winding solo makes that whole thing sound great. Other highlights are "Cymbaline", "Crying Song", "Up the Khyber", and one part of "Cirrus Minor"--there was a classical piece I half remember that had to do with forest myth, and it had this keening fifth oscillation that is exactly like Wright's solo at the very end of "Cirrus," and both in places it is undescribably gorgeous. This guy was influenced by the right stuff! "Green is the Color" is great, but a little simple for the Floyd, and the rest should be left alone--too soundtracky. "Nile Song" was said by Waters to be a pastiche, and he asked Gilmour to do the most cock-rcoky vocal possible--same thing later with "Young Lust", by the way. Good stuff, through and through.

Gerard Nowak <> (05.03.2003)

There is a song easily qualifying as the mos stupid PF track ever ("Up the Khyber") and another song easily qualifying as the most boring PF track ever ("Quicksilver"; I very much doubt it sounded good in the film, I very much doubt it sounded good anywhere). I could also live a happier life without "A Spanish Piece" and "The Party Sequence", but all right, they are less-than- one-minute long, and at such a rate I can tolerate the artistic freedom. But it's a pity they didn't include on the album one song present in the film called "Seabirds". It is allegedly similar to "Ibiza Bar", but still I would rather have ten versions of "Ibiza Bar" than the four hm songs I listed above. Apart from them this is my favourite Pink Floyd record, and "Cirrus Minor" is my personal favourite: a light and gentle rural tune growing into a dramatic organ coda. All the actual songs sound fresh, far from pompous, and - as you rightly put it - beautiful. And the great solos on "Dramatic Theme" and "Crying Song" for the first time define Gilmour's classic sound at the same time lacking the element of routine permeating his later work.

Stephen Rutkowski <> (01.11.2003)

I’ll start of by saying that I actually like the two rockers in ‘The Nile Song’ and ‘Ibiza Bar’. (Waits to be punched by a Floydian.) No really, the rockers break up the album. The rest of the tracks are all very tranquil/calm/depressing. The rockers just come in and give the album a good kick before returning to serenity. Anyway, the only tracks I really don’t like are ‘Quicksilver’ and ‘A Spanish Piece’. Everyone would agree that ‘Quicksilver’ is a dreadfully boring track. Likewise, ‘A Spanish Piece’ really does nothing more. Together with the slightly interesting but unremarkable closer ‘Dramatic Theme’, the album dies without a whimper. But lets concentrate on the positive aspects. The album is indeed very tranquil. Beautiful soft pieces like ‘Cirrus Minor, ‘Cymbaline’ and ‘Crying Song’ are the highlights of the album. Rick Wright’s organ playing in ‘Cirrus Minor’ is extraordinary. Ok, I am probably exaggerating but he creates a ! fantastic atmosphere. Who said he wasn’t talented? ‘Cymbaline’ is a fantastic track as most serious Pink Floyd fans would agree. I wouldn’t say it is my favourite track on this album however, that honour goes to ‘Cirrus Minor’. ‘Crying Song’ contains absolutely fantastic vocals. It is a very slow and dreary track… it reflects its title well at least. ‘Up The Khyber’ is practically the same as the drum part of ‘A Saucerful of Secrets’ as you have mentioned George.. It just contains a few more ‘random’ jabs on the keyboard by Rick Wright. ‘Green is the Colour’ is another soft, slow but fantastic track. (The piano section reminds me a bit of Jackson Browne.) But after that the tracks seem to all run into each other. There isn’t much to say about the remainder. There is nothing wrong with them of course, there is just not anything remarkable to distinguish them. ‘Party Sequences’ contains unexciting use of bongo drums and ‘Main Theme’ is an uninteresting atmospheric piece. Actu! ally I am being too harsh on ‘Main Theme’. It’s got a pretty good bass line groove. Plenty of usual Floyd effects as well. ‘More Blues’ is a sometimes interesting but mostly dull track, that proceeds in a stop-start fashion. And I already mentioned that I don’t like the last three tracks much. ‘A Spanish Piece’ at least contains some silliness with someone attempting a Spanish accent. ‘Dramatic Theme’ isn’t all the bad, just it isn’t anything special either. If you are a Pink Floyd fan you need the album for the quality tracks, but it might be unsatisfying overall.

Fernando Henrique Canto <> (02.11.2003)

Talk about "overlooked". It's unfair, because this song has, indeed, some great tunes. 'Green Is The Colour' is gorgeous, and 'Cymbaline', 'Cirrus Minor', they're all classics. The instrumental avant-garde ones are great, too. 'Up The Khyber' echoes the Syncopated Pandemonium part of 'A Saucerful Of Secrets', but it's crazier, I think. 'Dramatic Theme' is, in fact, a slowed down intro to 'Let There Be More Light,' but it has that huge guitar haze. 'Main Theme' is fascinating, but yes, 'Quicksilver' isn't a very good listen. I just have a thing or two about 'The Nile Song'... George, my dear, do you really think they were SERIOUS when they made that song? Come on, they were just having a few laughs. And the song actually manages to be quite clever - notice how the tone goes up with every verse, until it reaches a full cycle. How many bands do songs like THAT? Yes, 'Ibiza Bar' is considerably less entertaining, though. But 'The Nile Song' is delightful, throwaway fun. This album is definitely worth a 7.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (24.06.2005)

Worse. What saves this record is the first half of it as the second one is absolutely worthless music that may sound good when it’s in the film, but here it makes me sick. Anyway, let’s talk about the first side. “Green Is The Colour”, “Cirrus Minor” and especially “Cymbaline” are one of their loveliest ballads, with absolutely gorgeous melodies. “Crying Song” is a bit dull, but still good. “The Nile Songs” is one of the highlights for me as it brings diversity (that is so needed here) and it is quite catchy. Plus, “Up The Khyber” is the only tolerable instrumental on the album. And starting with track 7, I have absolutely no patience to listen to that moody bland music. Ironically, “Ibiza Bar” (a rewrite of “The Nile Song”, as everyone has already mentioned) is the only interesting track from the second side. Otherwise, it’s boring and boring and boring. And “A Spanish Piece” is horrendous, the most disgusting thing these guys put on tape.

So, an average 10 overall is a maximum I can give it. Sorry.

Michel Pagel <> (21.07.2006)

For the moment, I'll stick to giving you a little bit of trivia on (surprise) "More" by Pink Floyd, or rather on the movie which you say you have never seen. Well, I have, and I can honestly say that you don't miss much. Barbet Schroeder is, according to me, one of the most overrated directors in the world. The movie, the story of a nice young man who falls in love with the wrong girl and ends up dying a junkie's death in Ibiza, although it has the feel of the period, is mostly tedious and unbearably pretentious. The best thing that can be said about it (aside from the quality of its soundtrack, of course) is that it is slightly more tolerable than "The Valley", by the same director, the soundtrack of which is "Obscured by Clouds". Although boring, More is not stupid, and Mimsy Farmer has the good taste of shedding her clothes often enough to keep the wiewer from falling asleep. The Valley is even more tedious (no Mimsy Farmer here) and consists in pseudo philosophical mish-mash that would qualify as New Age had it been shot fifteen years later (Well, at least, the first half does : I never could sit through the whole mess, and I tried twice). So in both cases, except if you suffer from a very bad case of Mimsy Farmer fetishism, my advice would be : stick to the albums. They not the best of PF albums (I'm mostly of the Syd Barret persuasion, but I wouldn't burn a Roger Waters faithful to the stake - although I'm not sure about a Dave Gilmour fanatic ; I mean, Gilmour is a fine guitar player but there's absolutely no excuse for Momentary Lapse of Reason - yes, I do agree with you, sometimes) but they at least offer some good music.


Valentin Katz <> (22.12.99)

This live compilation (if you can call 4 songs such) is a true masterpiece. The band picked amazing songs to represent them. 'Astronomy Domine' opens strong although it doesn't have the same power as presumably a Barrett version would. It slows down in the middle and the Dave's vocals aren't suited for Syd's songs. 'Careful with that Axe, Eugene' is brilliant although I would have liked it to go longer. Roger's high pitched screams are incredible, truly frightening. 'Set the controls for the heart of the sun' is very quiet and mellow, yet at the same time very cosmic. And then 'A Saucerful of Secrets' comes in and I'm in heaven. The perfect end to a near-perfect live album. It's basically divided into two sections, the first is a very psychedelic, Barrettesque jam with Nick probably drumming the semi-solo of his life. And then out of nowhere it all stops and you come into this morose, melancholy tone. This is finished beautifully by Dave's singing at the end which has much more emotion than the studio version where they used professional singers. 'A Saucerful of Secrets' is by far the superior song on here and I can't get enough of it.

Shor Bowman <> (28.03.2000)

Ok, it's time to put in my two-cents worth on another Floyd third-favorite album, Ummagumma, and album I bought used with some birthday money AGAIN without having heard anything from it. I would like to say, up front, that when I play this album, there are only two tracks I never listen to: 'Sysyphus Part Three' and 'the Narrow Way Part Two'. Everything else is awesome! "Astronomy Domine" is excellent, especially with the addition of Wright's soothing, quiet synth solos. They don't just make the song longer, they make it stronger (although I prefer the rocking version on P.U.L.S.E.). "Careful with That Axe, Eugene" is wonderful, and the tension is wonderful, George--I agree. But my favorite song on here is "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun"--appropriately mellow, a nice little drum semi-solo, and then--ah! more synth solos by Wright. He really knows how to do it! Wonderful! It's almost Egyptian. And "A Saucerful of Secrets" rocks hard too, and I love Mason's drumming! Good gracious! It's harder than it sounds.

Sysyphus--Beethoven's "Pathetique," a gnome king's fanfare, and the opening music to Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" all mixed together. It cooks, except for Part 3, although after Wright's live performance I expected better. "Grantchester" and "Several Species"...I must smile. Relaxation and smiles. Just tremendous. "Narrow Way"? Really good, really good. Acoustic and electric...very good, more fanfare for the gnome king. And "Grand Vizier's Garden Party" is nice...the flute, the drums at the end of entertainment...real royalty. I must give it an 8.5, just shy of Dark Side's majesty.

mjcarney <> (15.07.2000)

Well, all of Pink Floyd albums seem to be a hit-or-miss affair for me. Some of them, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, The Wall(most of), Animals and Dark Side are brilliant, some albums: Wish youWere Here(too boring!!), Meddle, and all of their post-Waters material are overrated, and some albums: More (a few alright songs, but not much), andthis one (not the live disc though) just plain stink. But before you stop reading this, I can explain it. There is some value in this record, and if you are a fan, you unfortunately need to purchase it for the live album alone. The live album of this set is just a bit shy of being a perfect masterpiece. It has four beautiful soundscapes in true Pink Floyd cosmic weirdness. "Astronomy Domine"--though lacking Syd's presence--is actually quite impressive. Gilmour's guitar work on here is great and the band seems to be in great form. It is missing some of the energy from the original, yet they have added a few small segments, and the version holds up well (almost equivalent) to the classic original. "Careful with that axe, Eugene" is an amazing bit of sheer terror. The dynamics of the song, of the steadily quickened pace, and that horrific shriek by Waters are amazingly good. I never thought that this song could be topped live--as it clearly beats the studio recording, but the version on Live at Pompeii is just a little bit better. "Set the Controls..." and "Saucerful of Secrets" are also brilliantly recorded here, and crush their previously good studio versions. And overall the live album is tough to beat, and a must hear for any Floyd/pyschedellic music fan. They have clearly stepped away from Syd's shadow live, but they are yet to release a really credible--and strong--release without him, and unfortunately Ummagumma (Studio) is no exception. Sure its avant-garde, so sure I should expect weirdness, but this is just plain dated avant garde. If you want to hear some good avant garde, there is some on White Light/White Heat by VU, Sonic Youth also have some brilliant recordings in the genre, and even Yoko Ono can have her great moments, but the Floyd were never true avant gardists. Back to the album though, the studio album starts off with a four part epic by Rick Wright, which has its moments--from 1-the beginning of 3 but then just meanders along before you just get tired of it. Sure its weird, and it doesn't sound really like anything the Floyd have done before or since, but it is also innesential.After this starts Roger Waters' part on the album. He offers two songsthe first is the strong, dreamy, acoustic "Grandchester Meadows" which is easily the highlightof this album even if it is a bit long. This song holds up well with Roger's otherstrong material well, and is really the only salvagable track on here. The next song is the BIZARRE "Several Species....Pict". This song has so much going on, and is some fine avant garde work, but it is too bizarre for me. The fly being caught and all the weird noises finishing with the Scottish accent ending is perhaps one of the strangest "songs" I have ever heard.It is definately an interesting listen for the first 1 maybe 2 times, but really you can't listen to it more than thatit just gets so old and dated. David Gilmour is next with his musical pieces, culminating in what is his best song to this point with "The Narrow Way". This song has a slight hook to it, but although it is Gilmour's best song to this point, it is still not too memorable he still has muchroom to improve. The other instrumental bits are alright, but nothing spectacular compared with Floyd's classic instrumentals earlier and on the live release. Finally, Nick Mason puts a boring finish with hiscloserwhich ends the album suitably since it is probably their weakest. So now to review: The live disc is a strong 8/10--brilliant, butLive at Pompeii has slightly better versions of3 of the 4 songs which are still superb here, and they could have maybe added some extra bits on the CD re-release(minor squibble though). The studio disc would get a 3/10. It has a few moments and a few parts of songs, but is FULL of FILLER, and sounds so dated today--and I am a fan of the 60's era. OVerall then thatmakes for a 5.5/10. Unfortunately, not for completists due to the tremendous live album, but reserve this CD until you either really like their early material, or you see it used. Buyer Beware!

Andrei <> (05.10.2000)

Live one is perfect, 'cept for all the songs being a bit too long. But then again, how many PF songs aren't too long? One exception is probably 'Eugene', I actually found it scary to think that he'd use his axe to cut the song's length. Those were *my* screams :-).

Studio one is utter crap 'cept for 'furry animals' that are just great, 'specially on a trip, and 'meadows' that are the best PF's song in the venue of fold ballad style. The guitar is just.. perfect. I don't care if robert plant or whoever plays much more complex chord combinations, I don't care if he plays 'em standing on his head and I don't even care if he played it with his feet.. actually that would be kind of cool. But the point is that all I *do* care about is how the song influence me, and this one puts me right in heaven. And for that matter, guitar sounds quite complex and unusual to me, can any musician comment on it? I never heard anything like that, except for maybe 'hey you' and 'is there anybody out there?', but even these are not quite as good. I'd rate this album higher than Relics, but it does cost 2 times as more..

Nick Karn <> (12.10.2000)

Errgghhh... this is easily one of the most uneven and frustrating albums I've ever heard - how anyone can rate it over Wish You Were Here or The Wall is way beyond me. For me, when 25-30 minutes of a double set as a whole borders on unlistenable, that is NOT a good sign. If the live disc is all the live Floyd that I need, then Floyd just sucks as a live band. OK, that's not entirely true - "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" is an absolute masterpiece, and outside of the lyrics, it is a PERFECT example of why they are among my three or four favorite bands. Just amazing precision on that one, with the scream and all. But "Astronomy Domine" is much more effective in its' original 4 minute length (even without all the gimmicks) than the needlessly extended 8 minute repetitiveness that is the concert version, the dissonance in the middle of "A Saucerful Of Secrets" is simply unbearable (utterly destroys more than half of the already average 12 minute performance for me), and "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun", which effectively presents the atmosphere of a concert setting, is also overlong in the middle.

I'm probably one of the few who actually prefers the studio album, and that's mainly because of Roger and Dave's contributions. Don't even get me started over that amateur haunted house music crap that is "Syssyphus" or Nick Mason's wretched drum solo with the fancy title and the stupid distracting noises. "Grantchester Meadows", though, is a fabulous Roger Waters acoustic ballad with lyrics in the chorus that are among my favorites of his, "Several Species Of Furry Animals..." is one of the most disturbingly hilarious things I've ever heard (what the hell kind of acid was he on??), and Dave's "The Narrow Way" I think is somewhat underrated, with the nice acoustic part 1, the cool apocalyptic dark riff in part 2, and an attempt at a melodic extended song in part 3. But regardless of those highlights, I couldn't give Ummagumma any more than a 6 - it's just far too inconsistent. The good stuff is really good (sometimes in "Eugene"'s case awe-inspiring), but the bad stuff is amazingly horrible. I guess I'm just not a fan of their hugely experimental stuff - to me the 'calculated' aspect of Floyd rather than the 'irrational avant garde' aspect is what really draws me in. I probably even prefer More over this one.

Jeff Blehar <> (20.11.2000)

Goodness gracious!Ummagumma an 8? Someone was in a good mood when they wrote that review!

Well no, I'm sure you have your reasons, but as far as I see it, the ONLY redeeming aspect of Ummagumma is the live disc, which is, from beginning to end, stunning.In fact, despite at least 3 more pointless live albums released later in the band's career, THIS is the only one you'll need.Four tracks, each one a perfectly representative selection, and each one improving in SPADES over its studio counterpart (except perhaps for "Set The Controls"...too much Wright noodling in there).You single out "Careful With That Axe," and rightfully so, but my favorite is "Astronomy Domine," which trades up the almost unbearable tension of the Barrett version for a much spacier, dareI say SWEETER sound (for example, instead a dissonant organ buzz between choruses, Wright instead plays a pleasant harmonic pattern).And I think Gilmour does a stand-up job with Barrett's vocal - as a matter of fact, one of the reasons for including the track, and for putting it up at front, was to show that Gilmour could fill Barrett's shoes more-than-adequately. I don't understand your complaint about Gilmour's "off-key" singing at the end of "Saucerful Of Secrets;" to me, that's the best part of the piece, and it's a marked improvement over the anonymous massed chorale of the studio version.Ah, but we nitpick - this is Floyd's greatest live album. If you don't have it, you have no idea how good they could be a taking noise and creating something awesome out of it.

Unfortunately it comes tacked on to this shitty studio album. Now I'm no reactionary, and I love my avant-garde experimentalism, but man, only if it's done RIGHT.At least 1/2 of the studio disc is dismissed by most fans RIGHT OFF the bat ("Sysphus," which actually holds my interest for its first two parts, and "The Grand Vizier's Garden Party" which is just a boring drum solo, sonically enhanced to become...a sonically-enhanced boring drum solo) and that remaining half ain't great either. "Grantchester Meadows?"Why do people like this song?I hear an interminable folk song without much of a melody and some snazzy musique concrete.Which leads me to "Several Species Of..."Okay, what can I say, it's awesome.Not the kind of thing I'd want to listen to everyday, but as a extremely well-executed sound collage it's weird without being stupid and "avant-garde" without also being "hopelessly pretentious." (It undercuts itself, actually. Slow the record down and you can hear to chimpmonk voices resolve themselves into Roger Waters and Dave Gilmour shouting back and forth things like "Give me back my guitar!" and "That was pretty avant-garde, wasn't it?")Gilmour's pieces were B.S.'ed by his own admission, but "The Narrow Way Part 3" is actually fairly interesting.

But man, for me to make a case for the studio album requires me to HUNT for good points.There are some, but so much of it is the worst kind of unengaging experimentalism.The live disc showed Floyd at its unified best, the studio disc showed what they were reduced to when separated from one another: almost nothing.Their solo careers bear this out as well.6/10, and only because of the live disc and the smallest isolated parts of the studio disc.

Srivatsan Laxman <> (02.12.2001)

trust me, i bought this one (after 1/2 a dozen other albums by the same group) and decided never to buy another floyd cd. it pinches all the more cause it cost me twice the usual. to put it in the simplest of terms - it just stinks all the way. that it finds itself on a "music" website for review surpises me! really, it qualifies better as some typical studio noise signal for techies that work on audio processing!

<> (26.01.2002)

the young generation now loves it, because the previous one hated it as well. for me, (though i always liked dvorak ang grieg) some good reason, why punk has been forced to happen later. pink floyd without roger waters could have been a real mindblower, but success wouldn`t have come ever to this band without him. so what.

Ryan Maffei <> (27.03.2002)

Nice, but only half-nice. I'll admit it--the live record is enthralling, with great versions of "Astronomy Domine" and "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" (incidentally, the two highlights of the first two records), and that damn thrilling "Careful With that Axe Eugene" to boot...that's best track, to be sure. But then, I never liked "A Saucerful of Secrets"--really, I always found it to be a piece of pretentious CRAP, and so it's hard for me to tolerate the live version, although it's certainly well-performed. But the studio record is quite a degenerate LP in comparison, finding the band in their most dull, meandering, and pretentious of states, with little enjoyment to be found in any of the tracks. Even Waters' ones. Seriously, the best composition on this record is "Several Species of Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a Pict". "Grantchester Meadows" is uninteresting and lethargic; meanwhile, "The Narrow Way" ain't such a great tune, and Wright and Mason's pieces are the most banal in overdramatic jamming--and Cream still existed around that time! A 6, overall--interesting, to be sure, but not entirely worth one's while. It's no Dark Side of the Moon, anyway...but I'd actually call this one weaker than A Saucerful of Secrets...yes, that statement says something.

Jon <> (01.12.2002)

If you're anything like me, you got this album and saw the studio titles and thought, "this is going to be great and really weird..." and you were half right. Wright is so much better than "Sysyphus" shoes, although there are flashes of brilliance... isn't "Sysyphus" a guy who pushes a rock up a hill all day and then it rolls back down in Hades?? I think so. Well, it is a similar effect--a creepy organ intro and a slightly delicious piano glissando raviolo pomodoro thing commences, but then rolls back down to a conventional piano bang and organ mutterfest. Blah. Waters gives the nice little folky "Grantchester," and the novelty one. Gilmour works it out on his acoustic and slide great on the first part, breaks out a cool riff on the second, and puts together a doomy song that falls apart on the chorus and the lyrics on the "Narrow Way." And Mason... well, ah... he detunes a tom and hits it at the same time! and his titles sound like they'd be cool and proggy! As to the live--quite good. Listen to George.

Isaac David <> (25.09.2003)

I don't think that Ummagumma is a great album as you say in your page George, Maybe you enjoy the several experimentations, but me not! It's so avant-guard, that I can't hear the music, ok, not at all is worst, the live album I like too much, is one of the best live albums. But the studio album???? I can't enjoy it, the only songs that I like are: The narrow way part 3, for me is the best song that Gilmour has created individually (Did I write it good?) and Grandchester meadows, well, It don't make me crazy cause I think it's too long, but is beautiful.

Stephen Rutkowski <> (01.11.2003)

I often think of this album as “the one with the failed experiments” that I can often forget about the live disc. The only reason you would ever want this album is because of the live disc. It features four of my favourite early Floyd songs, and the band perform them well. Well… ‘A Saucerful of Secrets’ isn’t exactly my favourite but it’s more than adequate. You can’t have any complaints about that. With the studio disc, the Floyd members agreed that they would all produce a piece of music so that they could all experiment in their own unique way. ‘Sysyphus’ and ‘The Grand Vizier’s Garden Party’ ably demonstrate why Waters and Gilmour didn’t let Wright and especially Mason write too many songs. With both of the songs, I find both of the intros and outros fairly good, but the middle sections are mostly garbage. The intro and outro to ‘Sysyphus’ sounds somewhat grandiose and menacing at the same time, before turning to an utter bore fe! st. It sounds as though Wright is sitting in a kitchen and hitting some pots and pans and other whatnot. Of course he does bash the organ and piano as well. The ‘Grand Vizier’s Garden Party’ has the fairly relaxing intro and outro (‘Entrance’ and ‘Exit’) but the best description I have heard for the rest of the song is Mason throwing tennis balls at his drums. ‘Grantchester Meadows’ is a fairly pleasant folk song. It is nothing special but seems like a bar of gold amongst the other dire tracks. ‘Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a Pict’ is well… you can’t describe that. It’s not music in any event. If you have some software that can manipulate audio files, it is rather interesting to put this song on half speed. As someone has already mentioned, you can hear all sorts of voices from Gilmour and Waters. The most famous is the “That was pretty avant garde wasn’t it?” ‘The Narrow Way is also another bar of gold on this album. Again there is nothing too special about it, but at least it contains MUSIC.

As for the live side, the boys do a good job with ‘Astronomy Domine’ without Syd Barrett. Although it’s missing its famous guitar tone from the original  Even though it is twice the length it doesn’t seem overstretched in any way. What I mean is that the middle section is interesting and doesn’t bury the brilliance of the song. I really like Wright’s organ part that is immediately after each chorus. The band are intentionally subdued on ‘Careful With That Axe, Eugene’, slowly building the tension before the climax (the scream). The damn wall breaks and the band explode. The rest of the song is the gradual calm before slowly moving into ‘Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun’. This song contains the fantastic bass line, wonderfully muffled drumming and Wright’s harrowing organ. Harrowing? That is an exaggeration but it is mighty fine. Wright gets more prominence on this performance compared to the studio ver! sion. The only complaint is the part where Wright does a bit of noodling on the organ. Thankfully this is much shorter than for example the version of ‘Set the Controls…’ from Live at Pompeii. ‘A Saucerful of Secrets’ is done a fair bit like the original version. Obviously there are differences being a live version of a ‘sound collage’ but nothing too drastic to improve or worsen it Although the first bit contains a very similar guitar tone to that from ‘The Narrow Way’. And the song finishes in wonderful style with the ‘requiem chanting’ part. It probably is off key, but I really like it for some reason.

If you are a fan of early Pink Floyd you must get the album for the live part. And who knows, you might get a kick out of some of the studio part.

Fernando Henrique Canto <> (02.11.2003)

Wow... You can be quite unpredictable at times, eh, George? You bastard! I like this album, too, even if I tend to prefer the studio one to the live one. 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene' is amazing, but the others... well, I just don't like the style. They sound way too restrained on 'Astronomy Domine', and 'A Saucerful Of Secrets' lost its mathematical precision and the lovely Gilmour harmonies at the end (yes, it was him who sang the harmonies in the original). Only 'Set The Controls' sounds relatively better. On the second disc, 'Sysyphus' is wonderful. Part 2 has some pretty unique piano and Part 3 used to scare me out of my skin. It's also quite well performed - there was the one-man-band schtick way before Tubular Bells came out! He he. Waters's part is also great. 'Grantchester Meadows' is something special... can everybody see how he was already experimenting with sound effects? It works on here. And the second song, wow, THAT'S something special. And weird! I love it. Gilmour's piece has some groovy guitar in the first two parts, and the third part echoes the Pink Floyd sound of a few years later! It would be a great song, if the vocals weren't so inaudible. Nick's part is kinda boring, though, but it can be fun at moments. At least it didn't turn out to be an endless drum solo. Up yours, John Bonham. I agree with the 8. Sheesh, I actually agreed with THREE of your ratings so far. What's wrong with me?

Alexey Provolotsky <> (24.06.2005)

Unfortunately, I only have the studio album. I’ve only heard the live stuff once (although I’ve got the CD Live At Pompeii and they do some of those songs) and don’t really remember anything. So, I’ll just concentrate on the second half of the album. Well, it’s quite interesting, I guess. Waters’ “songs” are the best: “Grantchester Meadows” is very beautiful and relaxing; that second one is most definitely not music, but I don’t mind, as it’s very intriguing (and that’s exactly how experimental music should be). I also like Gilmour’s “guitar exercises”. Sound rather impressive to me. Mason’s stuff is all rather shitty (‘cept for the nice flute) and Wright’s is not much better (in fact, I have no right mood for his noises). Well, that’s it. Something about a low 10 or a high 9 (on the overall scale that is) would be fine, but I need to get the live part (and I’ll do that some day) to really rate this album.


John McFerrin <> (13.05.99)

I must emphatically disagree about your assessment of 'Summer '68'. I have never heard a song which captured the emptiness of the one-night stand so friggin well. In my mind, if it weren't for those damn horns, it would be a total classic; as is, in my mind, it's the best track on the album. Otherwise, yeah, the title suite is a clunker, but parts of it are really interesting. And I really like 'Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast', I really do. I'd give it an 8. A low 8, but an 8 nonetheless.

Dan Watkins <> (24.07.99)

Man, is this one unfairly under-rated. Most of the people I know who have heard this album dropped the needle on the first side of the LP and said "Ew, classical music! Yucky!" No, it's not really a rock album, but the first side is nothing like classical music aside from the fact that an orchestra is present. The first side is long, but there are enough different themes in the suite to not make it seem so long. I like it. Yeah, it's pretentious, but what progressive rock album isn't at least a little pretentious?

The second side is pretty mellow. It sorta reminds me of the weaker tracks on Meddle. I agree with you that 'If' is a good song, but the rest of it is pretty forgettable. I still think that this album never gets the credit it deserves. I'll give it an 8/10.

José Humberto Mesquita Filho <> (25.09.99)

My Rating: 8/10 (in your rating system, a 12/14, I guess...)

Atom Heart Mother is one of those albums that grow on the listener like a fungus, it all depends on the listener. I slept the first time I heard it, and man, did I hate the breakfast and the suite... I thought: "'If' and 'Summer '68' are ok, but the rest sucks". I happened to buy the album, anyway, and I got a little more surprised at each new listen. I understand it now: the first four parts of 'AHM' are fabulous! The last 10 minutes are there just to make it into a side-long track, but all the other parts have many great tiny little bits: the organ and choral duel, the guitar solo, the violins, they're all beautiful! The rest of the album goes OK, and the breakfast is just plain good fun. Gotta love that glorious ending. What else could we expect from an album with a cow on the cover? Weird stuff, that's for sure.

mjcarney <> (15.07.2000)

This is the start of the classic Floyd--albeit not the whole album, actually only the first side and a bit of the second. The album, is also adorned by their best cover to this point--and one of my favorite covers ever for its simplicity,and stupidity. I just laugh to myself thinking that there were probably some kids that had this cover on thier walls, but hey it is a great cover nonetheless. Anyway, the album opens with what is clearly their greatest-and most underrated-epic instrumental, the title track. This has to be the best fusion of classical and rock and roll that I have ever heard--well in an instrumental because everyone knows George Martin mastered that in a pop song. It might be a little long for some people, but anything that is 26 minutes long is going to be, all I say is put it on while you are working on something, and it will grow on you. Ron Geesin definately deserves some credit here,as he took what probably would have been another Floyd boring jam like "Echoes" and added some brilliant additions of hornsand strings to turn this song around. It also features an incredible solo by Gilmour--one of my favorites by him, towards the middle (unfortunately I only have theCD so I can't tell you exactly if its like 'Funky Dung' or whatever) but itsin the middle. The rest of the band sounds great--even if Waters' clumsy bass riff routineis reused to death--it stil works--but one could wonder whatPaul McCartney, ora Jack Bruce could have done with the song.The band might have been disappointed with it, but I will still say that the first side is a true masterpiece inmy book, and it will give the album a relatively strong review by itself, but there is more--if only a little bit on side two. Basically side two should have just been "If". If that was the case, this would have been really short, but classic. "If" isRogers first real masterpiece. Great lyrics, and a nice little piano bit in the middle, also reallylaid back.He expanded on the success of"Grandchester Meadows" and his songs from the Body soundtrack and perfected it here. The rest of the material is slight. "Summer 68" is catchy as hell, but it is one of those horrible catchy songs. Just plain stupid, Rick has by now lost all of the writing talent he once had with "Remember a Day" his early singles (some were good) and supposedlythe Syd Barrett sung "Two of a Kind"."Summer68"is just horrible and it is starting to get stuck in my head now so I will stop writing about it. Gilmour is still trying with "Fat Old Sun"--although I do not really hear much of a Ray Davies type thing here, even if the title is close to "Lazy old Sun" I think that is pure coincidence. Gilmour could not come close to soundinganything like Davies if he tried, because Davies voice is brilliant--at least for his music. Anyway "Fat Old Sun" is another one of his More like songs, but really I could do without it. Finally, the "Alan'sPsychedellic Breakfast" is almost a return to Ummagumma, yet bettermost of what is on there. Still though, that is not saying much, and this song is more or less the band messing around with studio gimmickery.It ends the album poorly,like all the Floyd albums would be until Dark Side--"Echoes"should be split in half. I would rate thisalbum a strong 7/10.Easily there best album since A Saucerful of Secrets, and maybe a nod above that album too.

Nick Karn <> (13.09.2000)

I definitely echo John McFerrin's opinion of "Summer '68". It may be somewhat clumsy due to the fact that there's no attempt by Rick Wright to rhyme anything in the song, but the one night stand idea is conveyed effectively, and his vocals go exceptionally well with the main melody. The thing I love most about it, though, is how the song transforms itself from a normal, little generic pop tune into something special, with that great 'how do you feel' echoing bit and the horns (which I actually feel benefit the song, contrary to John) being a fantastic bridge between the verses. I think it's a truly spectacular song. The remaining two middle songs I also enjoy quite a bit, as Roger's "If" is very nice, sparse and powerful in its' lyrics (foreshadowing the 73-77 period), and Dave's "Fat Old Sun" has his typical great guitar work that I love so much, and is a well constructed song... although I never thought of the vocals as Ray Davies-ish... hmm...

Oh yeah, the two longer epics (title track and "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast") I feel could have been edited a little, as they do get slightly monotonous in places, which prevents me from giving the album a higher rating, but the former's horn melodies and chanting are for the most part engaging, and the latter, despite the occasionally distracting mumbling and sound effects, has some nice instrumental melodies to hold my attention. I'd probably give it an 8(12) overall - I really don't think it's any worse than Meddle, maybe roughly the same quality IMO.

Andrei <> (05.10.2000)

Unquestionably the most underrated album. Title suit is nearly perfect, although it took me a long time to even begin to appre- ciate it, it's got enough themes for 2-3 first rate albums, this one suite alone. I'd rate this album after Animals, only because of the suite, although both 'summer '68' and 'fat old sun' are great. In 'summer '68', horn in the middle really saves it as well as 'how do you feel' refrent, while fat old sun might be ripped off some guy I never heard of, but it sounds good to me, it reminds me of 'pillow of winds', only done right. I suppose they were wrong to stop ripping others off by meddle :-). 'if' is a bit like 'green is the color' and other songs of that kind but not half as good. 'Alan psychodelic breakfast' is every bit as good as any of the crappy 'studio' ummagumma tracks, which is to say, it's not any damn good at all.

Jeff Blehar <> (20.11.2000)

Gads, another one I can't really get into anymore. The two long tracks which bookend it are more than faintly ridiculous attempts at something serious in the fields of classical fusion and musique concrete, respectively, which fall flat on their asses. ("Atom Heart Mother," for all its inordinate bloat, at least has that catchy main horn riff, but "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast?" Is this a put on??) So what saves this album are those three ostensibly "throwaway" songs hidden in the middle of the album. "Fat Old Sun" is neither here and there for me: a big "whatever." "If," on the other hand, is the first truly pretty and memorable song Roger Waters had written since "Cymbaline," with probing lyrics and a fragile delivery.

But man, what MAKES this album for, what actually will bring me to sit down and endure the 25 minute entirety of "Atom Heart Mother" even, is "Summer '68." I'm not kidding when I say that this might be my favorite Floyd song. No, really. Stop laughing. Rick Wright was an underestimated songwriter, and he was quite ruthlessly shoved out of the way by Roger Waters on his way towards dominance, but songs like this prove that there was another worthwhile composing voice in the band. The lyrics a GREAT, pinpointing that sense of hollow "what now?" disillusionment with one-night-stands, and the music matches. The "how do you feel" chorus showcases Gilmour at his finest vocally, and the agitated piano comping keeps the song rooted on that feeling of melancholy. The ersatz-horns don't really hurt the song in my opinion - perhaps they're a bit too bombastic, but they don't destroy the material around them. Perhaps it's just me, but this song stands out boldly from the more or less disposable music surrounding it. 5/10

ADAMS <> (14.12.2000)

'Summer 68' is my favorite song by the floyd and i consider it to be the most moving piece by them not just some "stupid love song". i also think that richard wright is totally underrated for his songs and his musical talent in general.of course im not surprized that you dont understand atom heart mother (the album) because most people wouldnt they're not open minded enough to give it a chance .the album is full of goodies from start to finish and i love it for it's uniqueness and bizzarre theme .i would have much less respect for floyd if they didnt experiment with their music and revolutionize "rock and roll" the way they did with particularly ummagumma,atom heart mother,and dark side of the moon.

Ben Kramer <> (10.01.2002)

I hate this album!!!!!!!!

Ok, I'll try to be more objective and explain why I hate it so much. Well, 1st, the high points. 'Summer '68' is a great song. Nothing like some of the other songs they have done, but it has a great piano part as well as a nice horn part. If is decent, clearly a S&G or CSN rip off, but I like both artists so I like 'If' as well. 'Fat Old Son' is ok, nothing special but I still like it.

Time to complain. The 3 pop songs on this album are pretty good, not great, but good. But the album's opener, 'Atom Heart Mother Suite' is terrible. The opening is good, but the rest is boring (Gilmour can't solo), or just plain stupid and ridiculous (the chanting around 14 minutes in, I don't know the sections by name). The song could have been decent if it were 10 minutes shorter, but it wasn't so I guess we'll just have to live with it. By the way, this was the first ever sidelong of progressive rock (not the first sidelong ever though because Dylan's 'Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands' takes up all of side four of Blond On Blonde and Arlo Guthrie's 'Alice's Restaurant' takes up all of side one on the album of the same name). It was a creative idea, and they should be commended for it, but it failed. It's hard to imagine why progressive bands started doing it after Floyd failed (well, Lizard was right after it so maybe it influenced Lizard, which by the way, sucks). The last song is a song I cannot stay awake during and is my best bet for the worst Pink Floyd song ever. 'Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast' is horrible. I wouldn't exactly call it offensive to the point where it's unlistenable, but it is just so boring (here I am saying this after praising 'Revolution #9'. By the way, try listening to 'Revolution #9' loud and on a really good speaker system, it sounds awesome). It is 13 minutes of boring crap. I even hated it the first time I heard it, and that's when highly experimental stuff is supposed to sound at least mildly interesting. Basically its the sound of a guy cooking breakfast and once in a while they play a boring guitar solo. So, overall, it has 15 minutes of nice pop, some of it's really good, some is just ok, and 2 songs that go over 35 minutes which just suck. I'd give it a 3(7), maybe when I'm in a good mood, a 4(8), but nothing higher. This is the only Barrett or Waters lead Floyd album that I would give a grade under an 11 to. Most Floyd albums are great, some excellent. Not this one, they did others that were far better.

Ryan Maffei <> (27.03.2002)

Another middling record, yes. The highlight (once again you've hit the nail on the head) is in fact the "Father's Shout" segment of the title track, but I'll give the award to "Fat Old Sun", having seen no substantial or blatant similarities to the work of Ray Davies, since "Atom Heart Mother" is really one piece. This affable ballad and Wright's unexpectedly well-done "Summer '68" are what salvage this record; I can barely deal with the awkward, overblown title track, which shifts styles too often, and needlessly so, and fails to remain interesting unless it's quoting the theme. (And this is about cows?). Meanwhile, "If" is another dull, anticlimactic ballad in the vein of "Grantchester Meadows" (but better than its predecessor, certainly), and "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast"--do you know how hard it is to listen to a guy eating breakfast, pouring, chewing, swallowing, etc., with banal musical accompaniment, for 13 minutes? Of course you do, you mention it in your review. Oigh. Anyway, a six.

Cosmic Charlie <> (06.04.2002)

I would agree with some that this is the most unfairly overlooked Floyd album (with Meddle close behind). The title suite is well-done, a wonderful recurring theme afloat on a sleepy, druggy seascape. I concur with the reader who commented that the track is unnecessarily prolonged to fill an LP side, but it closes on a high note, literally and figuratively. The three separately-authored tracks are all good. Water's "If" is a classic in the band's collection; "Summer '68" is a litle jarring and plodding at times, but has some really nice moments that make it worthy to take up residence on a Floyd album. And, while "Fat Old Sun" is a barely interesting acoustic ditty, Gilmour's extended solo at the coda is well-worth the price of admission. Not only is it his best-ever solo, I'd claim it to be my favorite guitar solo of any artist or record. "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" has never left a definite impression on me. I consider it to be merely a footnote to a fine album. Although, it detracts from the whole inasmuch as it just takes up space. Overall not a great record, but a worthwhile one, after you've bought Animals, Dark Side, The Wall, Wish You Were Here, and Piper. Damn, those guys made a ton of great music.

<> (22.08.2002)

I cant believe how many people dislike this album.I consider it one of their best along with animals and meddle.AHM requires a lot of listens to get into but once you do it is very rewarding.No other group can create a mood like PF can and AHM is their best mood album.The title track is brilliant as are the 3 shorter songs on side two.Even I have to admit that 'Alans Psychedelic Breakfast' could have been better but it still fits into the mood of the album.By the way I also think that Lizard is a brilliant album,so there.

Jon <> (28.11.2002)

'Summer '68', as many say, is a fantastically great song. I'd like to use this as an opportunity to echo people who say Rick Wright is underrated. He had a totally unique B-3 style, an interesting minimalist feel that was ultimately better than Wakeman, Emerson, or what have you, and a songwriting sensibility that is different than most others out there. I also liked 'Paintbox', so sucks to you. :)

Toby McGuire <> (14.12.2002)

To read your review, it sounds like you dislike Pink Floyd. The production of the title track might be a tad overdone to some (not to me), but its a great song if you've ever heard it live.

The remainder of the disc is somply, great acoustic Floyd, which I've always enjoyed more than much of their too-moody and formula sounding later works. Check out Gilmour's solo dvd for a gread rendition of 'Fat Old Sun'.

Stephen Rutkowski <> (01.11.2003)

Pink Floyd head off into another direction as far as experimenting goes. It turns out to be a dead end, but at least its provides us with an interesting album. The title track is an extremely long track with what could be described as an unwieldy orchestra. I tend to like this track much more than the average person. For me though the song has many good moments, and the main theme complete with horns is the greatest of these. If they chopped out the middle sections and shortened it to about ten or fifteen minutes this song could be praised even higher. The chanting parts aren’t too bad, and there is a funk kind of part that starts at about 10.30. This funk part isn’t that good but it would seem that the band expanded on it to create the great funky blues part in ‘Echoes’. Most of the rest struggles to hold my attention though until we return to the horn riff from the beginning. At about 13.30 it also sounds if someone is trying to talk Japanese (or Latin or something else indecipherable). Anyway, I have no idea what is going on at that part. Then it moves onto the very simple acoustic track ‘If’ done very much in the same vein as ‘Grantchester Meadows’. Sure it is pleasant and mildly interesting, but nothing to write home about. ‘Summer ‘68’ is a relative highlight on this album. I won’t go into the lyrics or anything because what would I know about that sort of thing. Nevertheless the song is so damn catchy. However, there seems to be a slight problem with the production as everything seems to be so high in the mix that some parts of it just sound like a mess of noise. Maybe I got a dodgy version of the CD eh? The brass section seems rather unnecessary but it doesn’t hurt the song. ‘Fat Old Sun’ is a terribly boring song (for me anyway). Gilmour just delivers a standard acoustic track with nothing interesting to distinguish is from a thousand other similar songs. Anyway, it’s not offensive or anything! . It’s only redeeming quality is Gilmour’s solo at the end of the trac k. ‘Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast’ almost takes the award for weirdest and strangest attempts at experimentation by Pink Floyd, second only to ‘Several Species…’. When I first heard the song it was an absolute lark, I couldn’t believe someone would commit this to record. Slowly the novelty value has waned, but I still get a kick out of some of the silly things that “Alan” says, especially “Marmalade, I like marmalade” and “Breakfast in Los Angeles, all that macrobiotic stuff.” As for the music the first two parts are dire, but ‘Morning Glory’ is adequate. Only buy this album if you are a Pink Floyd fan, and even then only if you are a completist. Well… possibly a person who is interested in the fusion of rock and classical music could be interested.

Fernando Henrique Canto <> (02.11.2003)

*sigh* Well, I guess I would be the one to disagree here. The title track is just completely enjoyable to me. Yes, like you, I think the main theme is brilliant, and all the parts in between have one thing or two to offer. The main problem with the song, I guess, is that the band and Geesin wanted to completely re-record it, but the big guys said 'no'. So, they had to leave it as it was. I wonder how it would sound like if it was re-recorded today. It would be interesting, dontcha think? Atom Heart Mother 2003 - Without Copy- Protection! Well, side B is quite entertaining, too. 'If' is certainly great, but my favourite happens to be 'Summer '68'. Hey, I don't know exactly why, but I love it. On the other hand, I'm not much attracted to 'Fat Old Sun'. Yet I dig 'Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast'. Not because of the sound effects experimentation, but because of the musical pieces - they sound pleasant, and VERY fitting to the breakfast scene. Did you stop to think about that? It SOUNDS like morning. I'd give this one a 7, I think.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (24.06.2005)

This is GOOD. Yes, the guys still had a long way to go, but this is already GOOD. The title track sounds great at least for 12 or 14 minutes out of 24 and that says something. Very bombastic and impressive! Some boring things in the middle, but still quite decent. I’m also rather a big fan of the lazy but lovely “Fat Old Sun”, of the acoustic ballad “If” and of Rick’s memorable “Summer ‘68”. Not that these tracks are great, no, but aren’t they nice? They are. Well, and the closing track is a good experimental trick, truly weird and intriguing. Get it!

Either an 11 or a 12. Really.


Andrei <> (05.10.2000)

Nice collection, 'Arnold Layne''s not bad, so is 'Emily Play' (although to me it sounds too much like beatles), 'Paintbox' is actually rather good, I believe! 'Julia dream' is too cheap, and 'biding my time' is too kitsch. Or 'biding my time' too cheap, 'julia dream' to kitsch, whatever. These are two potentially very good tunes wasted, IMNSHO. The rest is from elsewhere. Overall, not their best but not their worst either (more on that later).

Jeff Blehar <> (20.11.2000)

A pretty okay compilation of singles and album cuts which the band assembled themselves during a break from sessions for Meddle.They were going to include the famous Barrett outtakes "Vegetable Man" and "Scream Thy Last Scream" but after listening to them the band felt that they cut a little too close to the bone of Syd's insanity for comfort. I wish that they'd shown a little more thought in some of the selections, however - "The Nile Song" is stupid, wholly out of place on an album of psychedlic curios, and available on More anyway. I don't mind the inclusion of B-sides like "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" one bit, even if that one's available ina much better live version on Ummagumma, because I like having my studio rarities collected in one place, but WHY WHY did they not include the three post-"See Emily Play" A-sides? 'Twas no accident; indeed, they pointedly included the B-sides of those singles, at least one of which (Rick Wright's "Paintbox") is wonderful, but only the grumpiest of acid-eyed Floyders can deny the wacky catchiness of "Apples And Oranges," "It Would Be So Nice" and "Point Me At The Sky," which are now only available on that dang boxed set. Otherwise, this album is well assembled and sequenced (other than the ending "Bike" it's actually chronological, and I love the way "Interstellar Overdrive" is inserted between "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play"), with a lovely cover. By the way, that's Roger Waters playing the trombone, not Rick Wright. Or so I've been told. 8/10.

Ted Goodwin <> (19.11.2000)

I don't have this anymore but I'd say it was a pretty good album. It obviously could have used more rarities and less repeats. "Arnold Layne" sounded to me like it must have been the only thing Syd wrote while still in full possession of his faculties, and it made me mourn his lost potential. Beyond that my favorite tracks were "Remember A Day" & "Paint Box". Though these are Rick's songs, it's interesting how Syd makes his weird presence known in both of them. (Speaking of Rick, I'm apparently in the minority in that I don't think his singing is any worse than, say, Roger's.)

Stephen Rutkowski <> (01.11.2003)

Here I will only comment on the previously unreleased tracks. Obviously ‘Arnold Layne’ and ‘See Emily Play’ are the real highlights. I believe ‘Julia Dream’ is also pretty good, ‘Paintbox’ isn’t too bad, but I don’t need ‘Biding My Time’. There is also an inferior version of ‘Careful With That Axe, Eugene’. But that’s ok, it doesn’t hurt to have a live and studio version of the same song. ‘Arnold Layne’ and ‘See Emily Play’ really are pop-orientated, but there is no way I could bash them. ‘Arnold Layne’ contains the very annoying halt, just as Syd sings “Why can’t you see?”. It would have been better if he could have sung with this tone for a bit longer. But that’s ok, they were probably worried about making the song longer than three minutes. ‘See Emily Play’ contains the wonderfully ‘psychedelic’ introduction, before moving into a very catchy pop song. I always wondered why the two tracks weren’t included on Piper at the Gates of Dawn, but they were probably concerned that the tracks wouldn’t fit in with the rest of the album. Anyway, ‘Paintbox’ is a fairly pleasant track, Wright really isn’t that bad at singing. Just all of his songs seem to have a huge problem – they are mostly terribly boring. And it has a pretty silly piano part in the chorus… well it seems silly to me. ‘Julia Dream’ is a fairly nice ballad. Waters’ voice is pretty good, and it has a fairly good ‘sweeping’ atmosphere. That is, Waters isn’t just sitting there strumming a pleasant ballad, there are all sorts of interesting atmospheric sounds in the background. ‘Careful With That Axe, Eugene’ is obviously not as good as on Ummagumma, but it certainly isn’t offensive or anything. It seems way too short at only 5.45. The climax (the scream) seems to happen too quickly, and the band does not completely explode like in the live version. I don’t know how it qualified to be highlighted blue on your track list though. And that leaves us with ‘Biding My Time’. Possibly it should have been called ‘Wasting Your Time’. Really, I don’t have a nice word to say about it and we’ll leave it at that.

Amanda Kenyon <> (15.05.2004)

Great early compilation. The only song I really could do without is the hideously ugly "Nile Song." It wouldn't be quite so bad if Dave or whoever didn't feel he had to scream/growl the whole damn song. "See Emily Play" was actually the first Syd song I ever heard, and it's what made me want to hear more. The insanely sped-up harpsichord solo after the first verse, followed by the ominous deep chords leading into the second, is so indicative of his mad brilliance before he went totally crackers. I also really enjoy "Paintbox" and "Julia Dream" - I tend to like quiet, atmospheric, fluffy songs (prime example being the Moody Blues' "Visions of Paradise") so these are right up my girly little alley. It's really too bad they didn't include more the of the early singles, though.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (24.06.2005)

A decent compilation, but I agree with George that they should have included those early singles rather than the already available material. So, what’s new? Two Syd’s psychedelic classics, “Arnold Layne” and “See Emily Play”, that you SHOULD have in your collection. Waters’ “Julia Dream” is a very nice ditty and Wright’s “Paintbox” is also a very enjoyable and catchy tune, IMO. “Careful…” is an okay experimental track with nice lyrics. Ha, and the bluesy “Biding My Time” is probably the last thing I expected from these guys. It’s fine, anyway.


John McFerrin <> (14.05.99)

'Echoes' rules. Period. Perhaps I'm just biased towards it cos I've run a synchronicity with Fantasia, but for me, it's all perfect. Even if it's just really cool soundtrack music, it's _still_ really good music. And about the middle 'boring blues jam'; just watch the fairies dancing to it when watching Fantasia, and you'll realize that it's not regular blues, but extremely _druggy_ blues. And even before I attached visuals to the piece, I really enjoyed the middle part.

Anyways, the rest is the rest. 'One Of These Days' (which in Fantasia features Mickey chopping up the axe as you hear "one of these days I'm gonna cut you into little pieces) is awesome, even though the guitar work is, as you like to say, dentistry. And 'Pillow Of Winds' is kinda boring, but for me, it's a good calm after the storm. And I really like 'Fearless'. But 'San Tropez' and 'Seamus' ... huh .... borrring. As I pointed out on Prindle's site, you chop those two pieces out, you still have a 41 minutes album, which is a decent enough length. Anyways, I'd give the album an 8, but it's your site.

Mike DeFabio <> (18.08.99)

Hey! I hate 'A Pillow of Winds' too! Most of side one could be thrown away too but 'ONE OF THESE DAYS' AND 'ECHOES' ARE ON HERE!!! Everything between those two songs could be fart noises for all I care, this would still get a thumbs up from me because 'ONE OF THESE DAYS' AND 'ECHOES' ARE BOTH ON HERE!!! Go out and get it, and program the middle songs out if you don't like 'em and think of this as a real expensive EP. It's worth it.

Kevin <> (21.11.99)

Fearless Fearless Fearless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

have you forgotten "Fearless"? by far the best track on the album. nothing else to say now..

Bob Josef <> (12.02.2000)

This is, as far I'm concerned, their first fully formed album. Before this, the Floydsters get high points for relentless experimentation, but sooner or later, experimenters have to produce solid results. They almost did it with the last album, of which this one is a revised, improved upgrade. And, unlike Dark Side and beyond, it's never an overwhelming listening experience, even pleasant and lighthearted (at least for Floyd).

"Echoes" removes the cacophony of the "AHM Suite" and replaces it with a cool melodicism. But I don't find it boring at all; slow doesn't necessarily mean dull -- slow can be compelling, hypnotic, like here. The "sea" sounds are keyboard noises mimicking the albatross mentioned in the lyrics. And four melodies is more than enough -- better than trying for 20, like Yes on stuff like "The Ancient,"and ending up with zero!

A disagreement on "A Pillow of Winds," too. The lyrics are evocative of just lying on your back staring up at the sky, watching the clouds drift by, accompanied by another of those gorgeous melodies. "Fearless" is very moving, the best lyrics on the album, "One of these Days" effectively creates a darker, menacing mood, but I have to believe it's a product of the band's sense of humor. And I like '"San Tropez" -- that's probably the LAST time ol' Rog showed the world a sense of humor before he started writing those marathons of depression! "Seamus" is really the only dog -- oh sorry, the only howler -- well anyway, it's highly skippable.

Nat Cassidy <> (22.08.2000)

I gotta say that Pink Floyd's most revolutionary album (and, more that matter, tied with Animals and topping both Dark Side and Wish You Were Here) is Meddle. I don't think anyone can deny that 'Echoes,' the last track is really the song Pink Floyd's career revolved around (especially after Barrett). It's lengthy as hell, it builds, falls, and builds again (and, honestly, should get everyone, even those who've never done drugs, on an acid trip), and, like the rest of the album, foreshadows in every way the more popular Dark Side. I mean, jeez, hearing 'Pillow Wind' before 'dark side' came out must've been just as, if not more, revolutionary. On top of that, it's got the gorgeous 'Fearless,' which is another of Floyds essential tracks, and a song that should never be played in a dark room, the freaky-as-shit 'One of These Days.'

Rich Bunnell <> (29.09.2000)

A very soothing album, even though it's "soothing" in a way that doesn't let the melodies jump out at you, like on say, Dark Side. "Fearless" and "A Pillow Of Winds" are good examples - they're both gorgeous songs and I like them, but I can't remember how either one goes for the life of me, and can't imagine ever being able to. "San Tropez" is funny, though, and "One Of These Days" and "Echoes" just completely blow me out of my seat. Maybe the latter is a bit more atmospheric than necessary, but as a 23-minute piece, it's very, very impressive - a lot more so than "Atom Heart Mother." Forget "Seamus" though - who needs a completely generic, boring blues song with an annoying dog howling over it? An eight.

Andrei <> (05.10.2000)

D'oh, nearly forgot this one. Anyway, to make things short: 'Echoes', beginning and end brilliant, lyrics great, music great, middle albatrosses suck big time. But then, I don't think they were payed for their performance so it's not fair to blame it all on them, I say it's completely PF's fault. For shame. 'Fearless' is quite good and 'Seamus' is just plain cool, even if not very good. The rest is <skip>. Really, nothing to talk about, I won't even spend time naming their titles. Overall this is nearly the worst album, second only to 'final cut', and in fact, i'd even say it's just as bad. No wait.. yeah it is a bit better. 'Echoes' intro is just sooo good. Many many fans consider it the best Floyd song and I quite understand them, if not agree. Lyrics to it are one of the best too, second only to 'Shine On'.

Jeff Blehar <> (20.11.2000)

Strange. Despite the presence of all these humungoid "epics" in early Floyd history ("Echoes," "Atom Heart Mother," "A Saucerful Of Secrets," "One Of These Days"), it's their smaller, quieter "pop" moments that really stick with me. Stuff like "Cymbaline," "Summer '68," and, in the case of Meddle, the gloriously serene "Fearless." For once Roger writes a set of positive, inspirational lyrics, and Gilmour (who wrote the music) holds up his end of the bargain with a lovely acousticframework and ascending chord sequence. "Echoes" may be the great track that it is (though overlong by at least 8 minutes), and "One Of These Days" cannot fail to kick my ass on ANY of these days, but it's "Fearless" that I keep returning to on this album. The other songs are all throwawayish ("San Tropez" is funny, but that's it), and it's on the three songs I mentioned that my rating of this album rests: 7/10.

Kent Lyle <> (20.08.2001)

Back when I heard it on the radio, I always thought "One of These Days" was on The Dark Side of the Moon. Remember that it had similar tickertape sound effects to "Money". And the hard-edged guitar work was somewhat of a departure from their earlier, floating psychedelic music. Imagine how floored I was when I realized that this song came out in 1971. I like a "Pillow of Winds" because it's a gentle tune, almost as if a breeze is blowing by. The lyrics are strangely wistful, so unlike what we usually expect from Waters.

"Fearless" has that harmonious acoustic guitar work that sounds like a natural progression from the Beatles' "Across the Universe". And, as other people have alluded to, it represents a much more positive outlook than Waters usually gave his listeners.

"San Tropez" almost sounds like a Donovan song borrowed on loan by Waters. It's pretty harmless, and presents Waters as a strangely functional person. Nice "Hawaiian" slide guitar work.

"Seamus" is the kind of blues song you would hear on A Prairie Home Companion, right down to the piano work.

There's so much that can be said about "Echoes". I would like to add that along with much of their other psychedelic epics, it partly revolves around Wright's distant, jazzy keyboards. They lend an air of mystery around the song, and help make it a good song to listen to before going to sleep. That is, until the creepy tape-looped chorus at the end makes you shiver.

Joe H <> (17.11.2001)

Very good. Probably the most underrated Pink Floyd record. "One Of These Days", "Fearless", "Echoes" all classic songs. "A Pillow Of Winds" is pretty too. And "Seamus" is cute and hilarious blues song, with those dogs howlin' in the back. I like this album very much, a definate 9/10 or 12/15.

Ryan Maffei <> (28.03.2002)

A big step up and I don't know why. For some reason, the band sounds much better and more assured here (not to mention more restrained--seriously, even "Echoes" sounds more concise and well-crafted then the rambling awkwardness that was "Atom Heart Mother"). Speaking of said Cow Album, the band seems to have made the transition from trippy psychedelic acidheads to stirring prog-rockers over the course of Atom Heart. I mean, at first, the group was about just plain freaking out, essentially, and now they're about production/sound in general...

Anyway, Meddle is a great record, their best since Piper, and better than the debut because it doesn't need innovation to succeed. (I'm not denying this album's innovative qualities, if there are any, but...yeah...). "One of These Days" is in fact, as George says, the highlight of the album, a thrilling, captivating little instrumental that manages to not meander or be too wierd for comfort. (Sure, it wierds the hell out of my younger brother, but his tastes aren't terribly broad...). And I actually like Gilmour's contributions this time--"Fearless" is a damn good piece of work, well-crafted and uplifting. Even Waters scores for once with me (at least, once since the More soundtrack), "San Tropez" being a wonderful cocktail-jazz sendup and "A Pillow of Winds" being boosted by incredible production (something which the whole album can pretty much stake a claim for). And there's no denying "Echoes" is a great, almost remarkable suite, incredibly enthralling for a 23-minute song. And I love the album jacket, with those sea-blues and greens and lovely, captivating hues...yes. The Floyds had finally discovered how to write and produce lovely, captivating hues. A high 8.

Eric Rogozin <> (12.06.2002)

The best song here is "A Pillow Of Winds" (IMHO). I liked "Echoes" sometime but now I think, that it's much overblown and speaking 'bout "One Of These Days", I think, that it's much better done on Delicate Sound Of Thunder.

Federico Fernández <> (22.11.2002)

I like this album. I would consider it my fourth favourite PF album after Animals, Wish You Were Here and Dark Side Of The Moon (in that order). I still can't get how you think the fine but mediocre More is in the same league, mainly bacause in that one you find a lot of of offensive tunes and here in Meddle you say something good about all of the tracks.

Nevermind. I just wanted to point out a couple of observations. You don't have a high prise if "Echoes" but I find it's one of the very few tracks of this length that are really worthy. Delicious melody (The sung part), VERY good progressions (The intro build-up), extremely powerful riffs (all over the place)... What's bad about this song? Well, it's a little bit spoilt by the not - musical "whale chanting" section but what about that "pedestrian blues improvisation that leaves you half asleep"? I would say everything about it EXCEPT being pedestrian. What's the matter with you Georgiy Sergeyevich Starostin??? The organ jam is cool, the drums rhythm is simple but extremely catchy and the guitar breaks are not your average blues soloing, they are HEAVENLY sweeps of sound that blow me away every time I listen to them. If Gilmour is a "dentist", well, here's the best dentistry he's ever made! In fact I consider that jam (that starts exactly at the end of the seventh minute of the song) the best part of the song and one of the stellar moments in PF's catalogue. For me it blends magically the rocking side of the group with their prog one. It's prog rock mixed with blues! great! Apart from that, nothing else. Ah yes, I think "A Pillow Of Winds" is one of the most soothing things I've heard. Not a great melody but extremely competent atmosphere, suitable for sleeptime. I like it.

Jon <> (01.12.2002)

The great thing about Floyd is they did not ever sound derivative. Probably even if they were trying to be that way ('San Tropez') they wouldn't. It's like the Beatles: those melodies existed before, and yet... they kinda hadn't. Of course sometimes they're ripping themselves off, which both bands did (and various members still do) a lot... still.... I love 'Echoes'. I was at a gas station and I heard that cool little guitar lick in the verse spooling out of someone else's car, and I went right over and asked, "What is this?" The guy said "I have no fucking clue" but later when I heard it someone said Pink Floyd, and that was my intro to the band at the tender age of 14! The sound collage and Gilmour whale noise is a bit of a snore, but the buildup to the final verse and the outro are great; really great. "Seamus" is funny; the idea of it, sort of audacious for '71 and still getting controversy--smart. I'll stand up for "A Pillow of Winds." Good fretless or slide bass on that track, a really otherworldly instrumentation with all the slides--no harsh attacks anywhere, and unnatural chords that are lovely--it doesn't sound like anything else. "Fearless" is good, but not the footies. "One of These Days" is less impressive than Pompeii, but great fun all the same. Mason's only vocal in the group! (unless you have "Scream Thy Last Scream," but then I'd ask "WHY!?!!?!," or say, "I hope you didn't buy it." yeah)

Sean <> (13.02.2003)

The cover of Meddle features a human ear, not a swine's ear. This becomes obvious if you fold out the gatefold sleeve and look at it length-wise. As the cover appears on your website, it seems as though the person to whom the ear belongs would be lying on their back and you are looking at their right ear. The top of their head would be before the "Pink Floyd" while their ching would follow somewhere after the "Meddle." The water droplets are meant to represent soundwaves entering the, why would the Floyds want to use a sow's ear to represent their idea of a typical listener?

I mention this only because it's something I've seen quite a lot on web boards and record review sites and it's something that I KNOW to be fundmentally untrue. It's not a sow's ear, it's a human's ear.

Check it out for yourself.

John Knowles <> (05.09.2003)

A tiny bit of rock trivia: 'Seamus' came about as the result of Dave Gilmour dog-sitting Steve Marriot's Irish wolfhound while he was on vacation, or touring, or something. Apparently he was playing harmonica one afternoon and the dog began 'singing' along with him. The track's obviously just a throwaway, but it's fun.

Stephen Rutkowski <> (01.11.2003)

This is where Pink Floyd finally attain their ‘classic’ sound. Meddle, Obscured By Clouds, Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and Animals are some of the greatest albums in my collection. I felt the quality dipped a bit on The Wall before the quality totally departed in The Final Cut. Anyway, Meddle contains thirty five minutes of absolute quality (that is ‘One of These Days’, ‘Fearless’ and ‘Echoes’). The other three tracks are not too bad, but I tend to skip over ‘Seamus’. ‘One of These Days’ begins the album in grand fashion. It is very reminiscent of ‘Careful With That Axe, Eugene’, what with the quiet beginning and slowly building towards a climax. It contains a wonderful rumbling bass and scratchy guitar. ‘A Pillow of Winds’ is a very pleasant song, and there is nothing wrong with the lyrics. I like its position on the album as it provides a break from the lively ‘One of These Days’. ‘Fearless’ is another highlight with absolutely fantastic acoustic guitar. I still marvel at how the guitar and drums combine in such a simple but effective fashion. The vocals are absolutely gorgeous. The song is only ‘ruined’ by the stupid football chanting at the end. It probably doesn’t help that I dislike Liverpool so much, and it is their silly fans who always chant ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.

‘San Tropez’ and ‘Seamus’ are interesting to say that least, but don’t add anything to the Pink Floyd legacy. I tend to dislike rock bands attempting overly jazzy tunes but ‘San Tropez’ comes off very nicely. A very bouncy, even ‘happy’ track, and coupled with ‘Fearless’ provides a nice offset to the more darker ‘One of These Days’ and ‘Echoes’. Not that these songs are that dark but you know what I mean. ‘Seamus’ is an interesting razor (throwaway) but I normally skip it. Like ‘Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast’ its novelty value can wear off pretty quickly. Next comes the absolute zenith on the album: ‘Echoes’. It goes for over twenty three minutes, but to me there is not a wasted moment. Yeah I like the atmospheric seagull/albatross section. Yeah I like the funky blues section. I have an interesting observation about Pink Floyd’s mathematical nature. The funky blues part begins at exactly 7.00 and finishes at exactly 11.00. Coincidence? I think not.! Every aspect of this song is fantastic, but the obviously highlights are the beginning and the ending. I thought it was an absolute stroke of genius to have the submarine sonar sound effects. And it’s very understandable if you get bored during the middle section. I think the majority of listeners would get bored too. And am I the only one who is extremely impressed with Mason’s drumming on this track? I’ll be the first one to state that he is not the greatest drummer in the world, but his tom-tom fills at the beginning and the end are absolutely sublime. He often does two quick tom-tom strokes and then an optimum sized pause before another tom-tom fill. Ok this is extremely hard to explain in writing. Let’s just say that I enjoy the drumming a lot. You can’t call yourself a Pink Floyd fan if you don’t have this and the next album.

Fernando Henrique Canto <> (02.11.2003)

When I first saw it, I thought the cover was the shot of a pond, with a shadow over it, and with ripples all over. Heck, THIS would make an eerie album cover. I was kinda disappointed when I realised that it was a human ear. And damn, why do the Americans feel the need to put the name of the band and the album in every Pink Floyd album cover? Do the audiences need to READ the album title to recognise it? Isn't the Prism recognisable enough, so that there must be "The Dark Side Of The Moon" written on the cover? And it isn't even "THE Dark Side Of The Moon"! Fortunately we, Brazilians, can enjoy album covers with nothing written on it. About Meddle? I think it's one of Floyd's best. It pretty much settles the classic Floyd sound, y'know. But the songs themselves are cool. 'One Of These Days' pretty much defines "classic", but I also adore 'A Pillow Of Winds'. What a beautiful use of acoustic guitar! 'Fearless' is gorgeous, too, but I guess this goes without saying. And hey, I like 'San Tropez' and 'Seamus'. The former is nice and singalongey, and the latter is just chuckleworthy. And 'Echoes'? Fwow, I think it rules immensely. Not only for the main theme, but also for all the other parts. It's so dang evocative! It sounds wonderful. I love it. An absolute 9, this album.

Herbert Salzmann <> (13.04.2004)

there are people who listen to "echoes", and such who dont. this are two very different kinds of being wich can`t understand each other.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (24.06.2005)

People usually prefer this one to the previous effort, but I don’t really know. It’s a bit more self-assured, I guess, but not better. But let’s get to the songs. “Echoes” is an ass-kicking song that almost manages to hold my attention all the way through, but gets rather uninteresting in the middle. Anyway, the vocal melody is unforgettable and I can’t help singing it from time to time. The other tunes here are not as great, but the opening “One Of These Days” is really scary and creates a great atmosphere. Another highlight is “Fearless”, a beautiful and memorable song that is somewhat spoiled by those unnecessary football chants at the end. What for, I ask. As for the remaining songs (that seem to irritate so many people), they DO let the album down a bit, but the overall impression of Meddle is still rather good despite these tracks. It was a nice idea to put them between the classics.

Enjoy this stuff. It’s really good.

Andy Ames <> (03.02.2006)

For best album you chose Animals?

Pink Floyd¹s best IS Meddle, hands down. Great side A and side b, well, Echoes, nothing they ever did compares, not even DSOTM. If you eve saw Them live on the Meddle tour you¹d understand. I saw that tour and several after. No comparison. I've had this discussion with many friends, we all agree, Meddle Is their best effort.

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (05.06.2006)

If God is amazing, fantastic and a total and utter WOW, it kind of follows that if we really are a creation of God and display the image of God, then we as human beings are pretty amazing too, n'est pas ? While I have no doubt that we as people have conspired to commit all kinds of heinous deeds throughout time, I feel that those who see conspiracies in everything overlook one of our fundamental great Godly qualities, the ability to act and react at the drop of a hat and develop from seeming nothingness. I wonder how many of history's significant happenings were really not the result of careful thought and planning but rather, seizing upon the moment......and making something out of it that happened to last. Pink Floyd are one of rock's great examples of a band that kind of stumbled into a lasting and valuable rock career. There was certainly no great plan hatched, but a series of accidents that they were smart enough to seize upon and take advantage of. And when Syd Barrett was shoved aside, so many people thought they were finished; after all, the main writer, vocalist and one time main guitarist was he. It's funny, even with Syd's exit there was no plan, they literally decided on the way to a gig not to pick him up and that was that. But they reacted at the drop of a hat and continued to plough their furrow, picking up supporters along the way who dug their music. And they seemed to lurch from one style or move to another. It made for truly fascinating music; along with the Nice, they were among the first to release a progressive rock record {Saucerful of secrets} - and even that was accidental. For sure, not knowing where they were headed IMHO was tremendously beneficial for the Floyd. And I feel that MEDDLE was simply a continuation of the way their path seemed to be shaping - at random. But seizing upon some previous moves. Quite alot of the album comes across as almost the "easy listening" of what was being termed progressive rock, so laid back does much of it sound. But it's also got this unease about it even though they are definitely prodding towards something. Nick Mason reckoned that the group was creatively bankrupt by the end of 1970 and those circumstances conspired {ha ha} to help create definitely one of the great "looking for a direction" sets. {At one point, they would even record at random on separate tracks with no reference to what each were doing, just to see what they would come up with.} It's bookended by two tracks that are a zillion miles away from what is sandwiched in between. Oddly, the opener, ONE OF THESE DAYS, has some of the hallmarks of earlyish Floyd, long build up, otherworldly sound effects, instruments used in what were then unconventional ways. It's not a contradiction to say that a band searching for a direction had hallmarks.......the eventual sound that took them through fame and fortune was, I guess, a summation of the search, a final assembly of the myriad pieces. Like quite a bit of Floyd's stuff, the opener sounds positively disturbing ! Do not try and put the kids to bed at night with this..... But this band could rock when the occasion demanded and after the title is cried out in so muffled a way as to be incoherent, the band hit one ferocious sonic groove. I read a description of their brand of jamming that really made me laugh - 'johnny one chord'. I suppose it is in a way, but it's no less enjoyable coz of this. I like the organ prods, the intelligent usage of dual lead guitar, sparsely applied, and it's one of the few tracks I've ever heard where two basses playing together actually work. A stellar opening. A PILLOW OF WINDS, with it's windy intro, comes across as the first cousin, twice removed of SEE SAW from earlier days. It's 'nice', 'mellow', 'trippy' and relaxed without being druggy {in a slide guitar not played by Syd/ REMEMBER A DAY kind of way} and 'airy', floating reminds me of the night I stayed up to catch the exact moment when darkness became light - and I stared so intently that I missed it ! This song is like that. That which you try to concentrate on goes by without being noticed. The song is sung so comfortably, it's like being in the womb, not that I can remember those nine months......It also is reminiscent of JULIA DREAM and FLAMING in it's floaty feel and lightly strummed yet rather prominent guitars. FEARLESS is another beautifully laid back, yet strident piece. The lyrics are quite encouraging, actually; they are rumoured to be partly about Syd Barrett. As is so often the case with a surprizing number of Floyd songs and albums, Barrett's shadow looms long and influential. It's doubtful that someone's memory exerted a more powerful presence on a band than Syd's on Floyd, all the more remarkable considering he wasn't there most of the time and in reality only has a small part in the overall story. If you check out the songs on their debut and some of the B sides and singles that he was on, it's debatable whether they had a firm direction then, either. I'm not so sure they thought about long term directions at that time. In the lyrics of FEARLESS, I hear a message that says don't refrain from doing something just because the majority tell you that you're dumb to pursue whatever it is you're pursuing. The groove that the band strike up is so swaggering, I just can't help nodding and foot tapping, with an extra heavy nod on the last note of the riff. I particularly like the way Gilmour, Wright and Waters sung; they, like Ray Davies, George Harrison, Martin Turner, Andy Powell {and Syd, for that matter}, sound so, um, English. There was none of that trying to sound American {although that kind of singing produced a unique way of singing that I've always loved too} and so they end up sounding either scholarly or quirky, and on this album, gentle. Being a supporter of Liverpool F.C. I recognized the crowd sound the first time I heard it. I kind of see why it's in the song but if I could scrub it out, I would {Status Quo shamelessly lift the idea on the end of 'Bye bye Johnny' on their brilliant "On the level" LP some four years later}. And I just dig that line about the idiot facing the crowd - fearlessly. When a band is feeling it's way towards something, they'll often stop off at a few different ports and SAN TROPEZ was one heck of a port to stop off at. Whether one reads it as a humourous piss take or a serious stab at some supper club jazz {or for that matter, a fusion of the two}, I think it's a fantastic song. A couple of years later this would be considered very un-Floyd, but in the experimental climate of '71, valid. Lyrically it seems like a rather acidic put down, dealing with how working and middle class boys deal with the new found riches that good record sales bestow. Ironically, this didn't apply to the band at the time - but it soon would. Rick Wright's tinkly piano is so cliched that I can't believe that he isn't messing about. I think the record company leaned on them a bit for a radio friendly number and so they hammed and cliched it up for all it was worth, as an inverted protest. But in the process, they came up with a real mama. So props to the record company......they're so often portrayed as the repressed, ignorant enemy of artistic freedom and growth, but I take my hat off to many of the folk that put commercial constraints on their artistes. They had records to sell. And I equally take my hat off to the many various artists for continually pushing the boundaries because what developed in that 1965 - 1980 period was a scenario where the listener caught the best of all worlds. I think some of the company executives actually showed guts in making some artists re-think the music they were putting out. Can you imagine the entirety of popular music being filled with the kind of excesses that constituted much of free jazz or some of the yelps and heartbeats that John and Yoko foisted on humanity or some of the avant garde recordings that you have to have left the country or be dead to listen to or stuff like Lou Reed's 'Metal machine music' ? I mean, I like some free jazz and avant garde stuff, but in moderation and I kind of like the way someone like McCartney used tons of avant garde elements but they were always incorporated into and subservient to, the song. With the Floyd in the Syd days, their lengthy jams must've been great to witness live, but hearing bootlegs and some early recordings, it's not necessarilly a pleasant listening experience. Some of the legendary Syd breakdown phase songs like SCREAM THY LAST SCREAM and VEGETABLE MAN lead me to suspect that the main reason they weren't released is not coz the subject matter was too heavy to handle {TOMMY and loads of groups tackled difficult subjects} but coz the songs themselves were a sonic disaster zone. They hurt to listen to.The songs he's on on the first two albums were a much better blend of the weird and the accessible. Once Dave gilmour came into the band, they progressed in their musicality and in their ability to incorporate odd sounds into their music without it being a horrible racket, unlike a few of the latter Syd songs. Record company pressure and prejuduice had the beneficial effect of causing the envelope pushers, for the most part, to work out ways of being both accessible and off the wall and in my opinion, that made for great music. So SAN TROPEZ may never have been written were it not for the tensions that have for so long been part of that artist/company relationship. SEAMUS is nearly real slide guitar blues in form only....and why not ? Middle class White Cambridge boy blues is probably close to the ultimate paradox{or maybe that should be anachronism}, even more so when you consider that it's a joke song { the conditions that gave rise to much blues were no joke....}. It's a great joke though I don't believe a dog was trained to howl whenever it heard the blues ! Mind you, if it's true then Steve Marriott's dog obviously wasn't trained very well ! I've always liked the song and I don't really have a problem with the form over substance debate. Once a genre has entered the public arena, as far as I'm concerned, it's there for the taking. The substance of so much of the blues, for better or worse, was the preserve of a minority and was created under circumstances that not many in England would ever really understand. I laughed when I read Jimmy Page, who at the time was a very wealthy man with literally the world at his feet, complaining once about the hassle Zeppelin got for having long hair and being young. He said something like 'if we were Black, we'd have something to complain about....', meaning that it seemed he felt folk were saying that he should be grateful for the situation he was in and stop moaning. I also laughed at Keith Richards, when explaining how SATISFACTION started off as a blues tune {he played it on the acoustic as a blues. I'd never heard it that way, or even considered it any other way than the classic Stones way and his rendition was absolutely beautiful}, talking about how English post war kids really had the blues and suffered......I don't think either compare with what Black Americans had to pass through. Even we Blacks in the UK, for all the horrors we underwent, we had a much easier time. So the substance of the blues in my opinion is almost impossible to recreate. But not the form. 99% of what has passed as the blues in post 50s popular music has not been the substance, but the form. From what the late Alexis Korner says, this was a real source of mania for Hendrix whom he says played perfect blues and felt guilty because he wasn't playing it in the watered down form that had come to be accepted {Korner's quote ended with "amazingly, he felt guilty because he played it perfectly"}. But that "watered down form" as Korner referred to it, was crucial to the development of British pop and rock {Townshend reckoned it gave English boys a new and valid way to create pop music. I tend to agree}. And as I said earlier, I don't mind the form without the original substance. I think zillions of great songs that have taken a blues {or shall we say, bluesy} form have been written and recorded, better in many ways than the original musical model, because they were so much more flexible and adaptable and eventually, even the Claptonite purists moved onto, IMO, better things. ECHOES for me is simply Pink Floyd's peak performance. They may have done greater songs before and they may have gone onto to do more ambtious works that are far better known and received, but in this song, everything that they had come up through on the previous albums and singles and gigs came together in a piece that does not waste a second in it's 23 minutes. Roger Waters, never noted particularly for his bass playing {though I think he turned in some good bass parts down the years. He's not underated though, thinking about it again} knocks out simple but skilful bass parts. Gilmour's guitaring is as much atmospheres as notes and parts, same with Wright's organ. I always liked Nick Mason's drumming coz technically he was probably one of the worst drummers to make it in a big time group. But he had a way of making his drums chat in a song that's fantastic to my ears. His performance on these earlyish Floyd albums is really something and on this track, he ranges from quiet and sensitive to frantic and bullish to solid and groovy...of course, he has long enough to express all this ! In their lengthy 'Johnny one chord' section, Floyd demonstrate two interesting things; one, something based on two chords can be melodically interesting. Secondly {and this is borne out in more than half the album} they could really establish a groove at that time, which belies their reputation as mind exploring space jammers. I also do like the middle section, the sounds and atmospheres of which are every bit as creepy and disturbing as BIKE, probably more so, and they occur for just the right length of time. Interestingly, though many of us have roamed the universe, higher than high under the 'fluence to this song, it's neither druggy nor psychedlic. That said, ECHOES is the ultimate triumph of artifice in music, archtechturally sculpted from between 24 and 36 separate sections and taking all of the previous 20 years of studio trickery and experimentation to a fitting pinnacle that blew open doors that seemed not closed, but stuck. Prior to ECHOES, it was felt that anything in the studio was possible. After it, it was felt that everything was.....I guess that excess was from here on in to know few bounds which is a wonderful or lousy thing, depending on one's point of view {some excess is ok as is some artifice - but not as an end in itself or for it's own sake}. Pink Floyd had the benefit of having been immersed in lengthy improvisations live, right from their start and this came in handy for their long tracks....but with a difference. Improvising a song for 40 minutes on stage really is an event that most times you have to be there to really appreciate. I don't find that such lengthy explorations always lend themselves well to repeated listens {which is why so many live albums are 'repaired' and 'touched up' in the studio before release and why alot of bootlegs are interesting only in part} but Floyd bypassed all that by thinking about it beforehand and creating a track, which is equally took six months to record that song alone. But the result justifies every minute. I used to have not so much out of body experiences as into the body experiences with this tune, and it was a huge influence on the way I saw long tunes. When I first heard this, it was right around the same time as I heard Deep Purple's live rendition of SPACE TRUCKING which is of a similar length. Comparing the two {one a live jam, one a carefully put together creation} is interesting; for me it's like a comparison between being drunk and horny and telling someone you love them verses being married for twelve years and having to draw on the love that you do have, having just had an argument..........

I suppose me saying that MEDDLE is where I stop with Pink Floyd would be as annoying to Floyd fans as it is to me that their former producer felt that with RUBBER SOUL he'd had enough of the Beatles. I'm familiar with stuff from DARK SIDE onwards, but for me those subsequent albums as a whole don't carry the same daring thrill or sense of trying out things that often comes with searching. There's a kind of hopefulness and insecurity up to and including MEDDLE, that is replaced by an assurance and knowing confidence after it. I almost hate to say this but it's kind of like the fun was in the chase..........


John McFerrin <> (17.05.99)

I'm very pleased. I was afraid that you wouldn't like this album, which would have made me annoyed. But yeah, this is an essential for anybody who is a fan of DSOTM. Although 'Childhood's End' annoys me a lot, and 'Stay' is weak, and 'Absolute Curtains' is boring, the rest of the album is great. 'Free Four' is absolutely hilarious, and 'The Gold It's...' and 'Wot's , Uh, The Deal' are wonderful. Although I won't agree with criticism of DSOTM's electronic and aural conceits, I will agree that this album works well with their diminished role. A good 8.

Bob Josef <> (12.02.2000)

I like the album, too, but I hear it entirely differently To me, it sounds like Meddle's fraternal twin brother rather than the next album. But that's good -- the instrumental pieces sound like the ideas of "Echoes" placed in shorter forms, which should please those who don't have the patience to sit through that piece.

"Free Four" is hardly a throwaway, but actually, the contrast between the happy, jaunty melody and the incredibly bitter lyrics is striking. And "Stay" is a relatively weak number primarily because of the weak lead vocal of Wright -- they should've avoided letting him sing. But agreement on the chant at the end of "Absolutely Curtains" -- they've should have hid the faders long before that point. And, I agree that this one is not to be missed for those who love the melodies of Dark Side.

Greg Pringle <> (20.08.2000)

Reading this site, it's hard not to be poisoned against Pink Floyd. The negative comment strikes home because much of it has a kernel of truth. But every so often you come across something that makes you realise that George is only sprouting his personal views. In this case, what he says about 'Absolutely Curtains' only tells me that our opinions have come to a parting of the ways.

Out of all the tracks on Obscured by Clouds, 'Absolutely Curtains' is the one that affects me most. For me, the plaintive singing of the tribesmen is so ineffably sad that it almost leaves me breathless with emotion. The track finishes much too early and the lingering tristesse is so powerful that I just want to lie there, I don't want to get up and change the disc.

If dark pessimism is the hallmark of Floyd, then this track, expressed through the art of primitive tribesmen, perfectly matches their music. It is a magnificent ending to the album.

Andrei <> (05.10.2000)

Quite good - I love 2 first tracks, 'mudmen', 'childhood's end' and 'stay', 2 last being my favorites. Yes, 'stay' is very good, I don't know what's wrong with you people, it's quite as good as 'childhood's end' (well okay maybe a bit worse.. but the rest comes after it). 'Free four' is very good and inventive, but not very enjoyable, 'Wots Uh' comes after 'Stay' and probably deserves more but I don't like country.. The highlight being two lines 'hear me shout come on in/what's the news where you've been' that have the most feeling in all of the record. Overall this album is better than Umma but perhaps a little behind more.

<> (27.12.2000)

I'm happy to finally see a music critic putting in a good word for Obscured By Clouds. It is certainly one of Pink Floyd's better albums, and I agree with your claim that it was unjustly forgotten over time. This is largely due to all those insipid radio DJs... you know, the guys who want you to believe that The Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall are the only three Pink Floyd albums in existence (of course, these are also the same guys who can't name more than four or five Doors songs and who think Trout Mask Replica was a discontinued Halloween costume). Personally, I think OBC is nearly as good an album as Wish You Were Here, and definitely better than The Wall. It can't really measure up to Dark Side, of course -- but then, what can? Out of the ten songs, four don't have any lyrics at all (well three, if you want to count the aboriginal hymn at the end of 'Absolutely Curtains' as "lyrics", and technically I guess you could), but wordless songs are hardly unusual for a Pink Floyd album. Especially a Pink Floyd soundtrack, which is what this is. Words or not though, none of the songs are bad, and at least half of them are really quite good. I agree with George about "Wot's... Uh, The Deal" because despite the improbable title it's a great song, a lost masterpiece, and it includes my favorite lyrics on the entire album -- "so let me in from the cold, turn my lead into gold, cuz there's a chill wind blowing in my soul and I think I'm growing growing old" -- a far cry from Roger's 'Take Up Thy Stethoscope...' days, you gotta admit.

With regard to the best song on here, I'd say it's a tie between 'Wot's... Uh, The Deal' and 'Free Four,' an amusing Roger Waters song about death and pointlessness and despair, amusing because the upbeat tempo doesn't match the cynical lyrics at all. It's depressing as hell, or at least it should be, but Roger just keeps on crooning in that happy little 'well-how-about-that, kids?' voice of his, and you just want to smile and sing along as you "shuffle in the gloom of the sickroom, and talk to yourself as you die." Of course, this was back when Roger Waters still had a peripheral sense of humor about such things, you understand.

Other highpoints for me would include the bitterly resigned lament "Childhood's End" (one of Gilmour's finest efforts), and the loudly enthusiastic traveling song "The Gold It's In The..." (which is about as cheerful and harmless as a Pink Floyd song ever gets, at least in the post-Syd Barrett days).

While the rest of the songs aren't nearly as good as these four tracks, they are all still decent enough. 'Mudmen' and 'Stay' feature very rich, very sweet guitar solos by Gilmour, a far cry from his usual calculated approach, and the closing track 'Absolutely Curtains' is an impressive arrangement of organ and synths in the same vein as most of the 'Atom Heart Mother' suite, only better. I think George's rating of a 12 (on the 1-15 scale) was maybe a little low, I'd probably give it at least a 13.

As for "the Dark Side connection", I wouldn't exactly call Obscured By Clouds an early blueprint for The Dark Side Of The Moon, as some people have. It's true that you can hear traces of the Dark Side sound emerging on this album, and it's also true that OBC is lot more like Dark Side than its predecessor, Meddle. But ultimately, Obscured By Clouds has a sound all its own, and doesn't need to stand up against any of Floyd's more commercial successes to warrant shelling out 13 or 14 bucks for it. Trust me, just buy it -- it's a great album by a great band at a pivotal point in their development. If you listen to Pink Floyd at all you really should pick this up. If you don't, you're cheating yourself out of some great stuff.

Jon <> (01.12.2002)

Great songs, great synth use. Sure, all they have figured out is the one note hit, but in a way... that's more effective! Listen to George for the rest of it, but I also like parts of "Absolutely Curtains." Not a great song, but it can be eerie and sad and good in a kind of primitive-tribe-encountering-adventurer-movie way. If you've seen the movies, you know what I mean--the adventurer is discovering the advanced elements of this lost civilization... cue the creepy parallel fifth melody... add the chant... some tommish drums... ahhhhh

Stephen Rutkowski <> (01.11.2003)

I am finally up to Pink Floyd’s masterpiece, the crème de la crème, the greatest rock album in existence. Yeah you know what I’m talking about. It’s Dark Side of the Moon. Wait, what’s this? They had an unknown soundtrack album for an equally unknown movie La Vallée? Seriously now, Obscured by Clouds is one of my favourite Pink Floyd albums. I made the same stupid mistake as you George, that is making it one my last Pink Floyd purchases. And yeah I had the wastes of plastic in The Final Cut and The Division Bell. I have actually seen the movie, but it was a long time ago so I have mostly forgotten what happens. From memory a French woman travels to New Guinea and meets some other ‘westerners’, searching for some rare feathers. They are told they are in a secret valley, marked on the map as “Obscured by Clouds”, hence the album name. They meet the Guinean natives and the protagonist realises that she! can’t return home. She has found her niche so to speak in the humble lives of the noble savages. The end of ‘Absolutely Curtains’ is the actual Guinean chanting from the movie.

Anyway, the album contains a few weak tracks, but that is to be expected. The title track kicks off the album in fantastic style with its atmospheric Gilmour ‘dentistry’. Wait is that a contradiction? Anyway, the song contains a great atmosphere and I enjoy the drumming, especially the crisp snare drum. The drumming quality is carried over into the next song with ‘When You’re In’. This track isn’t quite as good as the opener, but it’s still fantastic. ‘Burning Bridges’ is a fairly pleasant track. And what is it with the drumming? Again it sounds so crisp. This is probably a result of reduced production on the album, the ‘real’ instruments come to the fore. I find ‘The Gold it’s in the…’ to be terribly boring and generic. I’m not sure why you find this one so enjoyable yet you don’t like ‘The Nile Song’. At least ‘The Gold it’s in the…’ isn’t cock rock or anything like that. ‘Wot’s… uh the Deal’ is a forgotten Pink Floyd classic. Well it’s not so much a c! lassic in my eyes, as I don’t view it as high as a lot of people who have bothered to listen to this album, but it’s still a quality song.

‘Mudmen’ is another quality atmospheric instrumental. It also contains a few moments of an absolutely wonderful ‘screeching’ guitar tone. And again the drumming tone is fantastic. ‘Childhood’s End’ is actually my favourite song with vocals here. I feel the track contains elements of the funky blues section from ‘Echoes’. And Gilmour’s vocals are in fine form. ‘Free Four’ is a delightfully upbeat country track. ‘Stay’ is a neither here nor there Wright track, and that leaves us with the only big miss on the album ‘Absolutely Curtains’. It seems to be a fairly important part on the movie but they could have stopped the tribal chanting much sooner. Actually the best part of the song is the ‘ahhh’ just before the tribal chanting begins. By the way, I believe that every fan of Dark Side of the Moon should be listening to this album just as often. Just skip the last track if you need to.

Fernando Henrique Canto <> (02.11.2003)

I find it funny that you give this one a higher rating than the one you gave to Meddle. :) I can quite understand it, even if I don't agree. Well, I award Meddle a 9, and this one an 8, too. For me, it works. Yes, this album is quite great. The two opening tracks are quite unique and beautiful. And then, there are all those ballads. 'Wots... Uh The Deal' is gorgeous, and so is 'Burning Bridges' with that clever organ melody. 'Stay' is quite good, and 'Free Four' is just superb. Hey... that's not a ballad! It fits in another cathegory. But it's superb. 'Childhood's End' DEFINITELY predicts 'Time', but it's not as good, but 'The Gold It's In The' is quite fun. And the soundtrackish sounds? 'Mudmen' is slooooooooooooooooooow, but quite beautiful. 'Absolutely Curtains' is definitely annoying, but passable.

Alexey Provolotsky <> (24.06.2005)

Another soundtrack and this time much better. “Wot’s Uh…The Deal” is an instant classic and one of the band’s highest points. Beautiful guitar, memorable chorus, well, a great, great song. Obviously the best track here. I should say that the atmosphere on the record is very moody and the songs may sound a bit lazy and monotonous at times. But only at times. Another favourite is probably the singalong “Free Four”. Even the instrumentals are decent. But the closing track just forces you to push the button “stop”.

It’s a beautiful soundtrack, not great by any means, but still recommendable. My overall rating is a high 11.


Return to the main index page