Pink Floyd

This is your brain on drugs.
* Special introductory paragraph
* The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
* Stoned Alone
* A Saucerful Of Secrets
* Rhamadam: Syd Barrett and the Dawn of Pink Floyd
* The Sights And Sounds Of Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd
* Magnesium Proverbs
* The Man And The Journey
* Ummagumma
* More
* The Complete Top Gear Sessions 1967-1969
* Relics
* Atom Heart Mother
* Meddle
* Obscured By Clouds
* The Dark Side Of The Moo
* Live In Japan 1972: Dark Side Of The Rising Sun
* The Dark Side Of The Moon
* Wish You Were Here
* Animals
* The Wall
* The Wall Rehearsals
* The Final Cut
* A Momentary Lapse Of Reason
* Live: Delicate Sound Of Thunder
* The Division Bell
* (Amanda Kenyon reviews) Us and Them: The Symphonic Music of Pink Floyd
* Pulse
* Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980-81
* Building The Wall
* (Amanda Kenyon reviews) Echoes

Pink Floyd is a band - not a guy. They started off as a blues-rock combo, quickly transformed into a psychedelic guitar-rock band, then went through some artsy phases before settling into their chosen role as hit-making depressed complainers of 70's radio. They were very talented, very weird, and quite creative, serving as yet another example to support my opinion that the best rock bands of the 60's still sound so innovative because, unlike all these faceless '90s schlock-rock bands, their chief musical influence was NOT rock! Rock was too new to be a major influence. Listen to the early work of bands like Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, Yes (and plenty of others), and you can tell that they are based on classical, jazz, blues, folk - all sorts of things that blended together to make the music much more interesting than, say, Better Than Ezra (or, more appropriately, Better Than Almost Nobody). Pink Floyd's early stuff is unbelievably bizarre, and their later stuff, although a bit easier to swallow, is still incredibly well-conceived and awfully original.

Of course, now they suck. Really really bad. I mean REALLY bad. Apparently David Gilmour became a big cokehead after his marriage fell apart in the mid 80's, which completely destroyed A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Then again, The Division Bell stunk too, and I'm pretty sure he'd cut the snort by that point, perhaps with the help of a leading drug rehabilitation center. But let's look at their history, shall we?


The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn - Capitol 1967.
Rating = 9

Criminy on a shoestring! This is the same band that did "Learning To Fly?" This silly noisy "psychedelic" guitar/keyboard racket with that fruity British guy singing about scary cats and mice that don't have houses? Well...no. This is not the same band that did "Learning To Fly." That was the late-period David Gilmour-led atrocity; this was the original Syd Barrett vehicle. Syd was a special songwriter. He enjoyed childlike pop ditties but, darn it, he liked LSD a lot, too, so his childlike ditties are a little - ummm - nightmarish, to say the least. These sonnggs are full of weird noises, feedback, electric guitar smashing, stereophonic experiments, loose experimental jams, and insane keyboard breaks. Strange but incredibly exciting. Like Bob Dole, for example. Just listen to the way he played the guitar! What the hey is up with that? He just smacked the thing like he didn't care what noises were gonna come out! Sadly, he probably didn't; he was on his way to a drug-fueled breakdown.

Please buy this album. It's 60's acid rock at its finest. Side two has a couple of hokey folksy songs, but you'll like them. All good songs - all but two written by Syd. And, just for the chronicles, I'd like to say that the ten-minute instrumental "Interstellar Overdrive" is, without a doubt, one of the greatest songs ever recorded. Insane. Disorienting. Scary. Amazing. And improvised???? What a band.

Reader Comments

strider@redrose.net (David Straub)
This is a monumental album in the history of rock music. I don't mean to discredit the Beatles, but this record makes the one that was recorded DOWN THE HALL AT ABBEY ROAD AT THE SAME TIME (duhhh... Sgt. Pepper?) sound so normal and unexciting. "Lucifer Sam", with more modern production, could turn current "Alternative" radio on its head. I'd have to say that good ol' Syd is the father of heavy electric guitar feedback (although Harrison deserves a nod or two for "Taxman" et al the previous year and Jimi, concurrent with Syd, cannot be overlooked). And he played slide with a ZIPPO! Unbelievable. Too bad so many people who claim to like the Floyd haven't even heard of this one. Maybe all the fruity shirts in the cover photo put 'em off. This record is testimony to the fact that the '66-67 Swinging London was tons trippier than Frisco at the same time.

UserName@gamewood.net ("John Doe")
Anyone who has ever taken LSD needs to hear this. Nothing ever made captures the aural side of acid as good as this one, kids.

mattias@diariodopovo.com.br (Alexandre Linhares Matias)
Is it really necessary to take LSD to listen to the first Pink Floyd album? I don't think so. The entire album is worth an acid trip. I usually say that if you want to understand what psychedelia is about, listen to this album and Jefferson Airplane's Surrealistic Pillow. The latter is to know what "hippie" meant, the former to acknowledge that the word "psychedelia" means "manifestations of mind".

akdxmy@hotmail.com (Andrew Davis)
I recently finished listening to The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. Wow, what a strange album! It is much better than A Saucerful Of Secrets. Syd Barrett had a very strange musical composition sense, didn't he? This is undeniably "psychedelic!" 'Matilda Mother' and 'Chapter 24' are fantastic. The rest of the album is very good, 'Lucifer Sam,' however is a little too strange for my tastes! OK, I'll give this album a 9/10 for strangeness personified!!!!

mprohner@digiconn.com
Regarding the beatles album at the same time, I might remind the person who mentioned it that the Beatles were a very popular band, however original, and except for specific moments never strike me as 'abnormal' in this respect. I would use the word 'extraordinary' more readily.

Being the ripe age of 21, I simply cannot understand, even given Sid's obvious love and understanding of LSD, how this album can be a monumental album for tripping. It's certainly worth a try, but the scarier moments are most certainly... well... intimidating. Again, it may be because I wasn't around at this period in time, but I much prefer Wish You Were Here for LSD. I also like Dark Side of the Moon, but I avoid it (to avoid having the same trip over and over again :)

My favorite song on this album is 'Lucifer Sam.' I agree, it would blow away anything around today with more modern recording and producing techniques, but as it is it already does that (for me). Hopefully if anyone out there is in a band that is about to record an album they're confident of, they'll record a cover of "Lucifer Sam", and maybe someday we'll get to see if it actually would 'set alternative music on its head.'

tabasco@worldnet.att.net
"Lucifer Sam" was a cool song about a hip cat but I really liked "Matilda Mother", "Flaming", and "Bike". Piper was a great album of the 60's. It has that 60's sound. Who doesn't like Syd's guitar rock? This is an album they should play on the radio.

robertk@jove.acs.unt.edu (Robert Linus Koehl)
Interesting title. Really original cover art . . like I've never seen a band use a group photo for an album cover before. Ok, enough of that, the music on this album is harsh, but I like it. "Astronomie Domine"? That has to be my favorite acid rock song ever. This album is freakin noisy, and I think it's great!

nmorris@manhattan.edu (Joe)
Piper IS an extraordinary album. Just think - 1967. This came out then. It sounds extraordinary. The mono version that came out on the albums 30th anniversary is far superior. It has a keyboard intro on Interstellar that isn't on the stereo. The stereo is also very good, however the mono version is much more powerful and intense. Pow R Toc H is tottally diifferent for instance.

Also the singles are worth picking up, altho the BBC sessions and other rare 67 trax (Scream thy last scream/she was a millionare was an aborted and unreleased third single) have yet to appear. According to the Eclipse page however, the BBC sessions are due to come for the Floyd, including the Syd period.

The later Syd solo albums are much more intense. Acoustic. Rather like the Gnome, but more terrifying because his psyche was becoming much more fragmented. A good study on Syd and his music is the 98 book Lost in the Woods. Crazy Diamond is a much more general overview. Syd no longer exists. Not dead mind you, but hes retreated from the world. Its terribly sad if you allow yourself to dwell on it

savage1561@juno.com (Evan P. Streb)
why the hell don't they play the piper at the gates of dawn on the radio. btw, you really should check out syd barrett's solo album the madcap laughs. it's hilarious and depressing as hell. a perfect ten.

cliffnorth@localaccess.com (TAD)
I didn't know Bob Dole played the guitar....

stoo@imsa.edu (John McFerrin)
Back in February, when I was getting more and more into the band, it came to my attention that a friend of mine had Piper. I had read your original commentary on it and my curiousity was piqued. I borrowed it for a few listens and was absolutely enthralled. This album has not ceased to amaze me yet. About two weeks later, I found out that through some horrible cosmic mistake, my friend didn't this album. I had a best of queen CD that I also didn't like it, and we pulled the exchange. Best trade I've ever made in my life. Recently, I listened to it on really good headphones for the first time, and uncovered riffs and other effects in the sound that I hadn't be able to detect before. A shame that he had to fall over the edge, but I suppose that was necessary to produce this remarkable lp.

starostin@geocities.com (George Starostin)
This album is divided into two nearly equal parts: dark astral psychedelia and spooky (or not spooky) child lullabies and nursery rhymes. The second type songs are nearly all rotten to the core. I like the way 'Bike' starts, but as soon as it flows into the refrain the melody is in some way left overboard. 'Gnome' and 'Scarecrow' are absolutely forgettable. Insipid; the lyrics are fun, but the melodies are barely existent.

'Matilda Mother' is a little better, but I think the best of the lot is 'Lucifer Sam' which distinguishes itself in my memory by actually having a serious and clear riff, plus the way Syd sings that 'that cat's something I can't explain' refrain is cool.

Now for the 'serious' stuff. 'Astronomy Domine' is certainly shattering at first listening. But, IMHO, it totally eliminates the necessity for 'Interstellar Overdrive' (both, by the way, are built on the same descending riff). I hate 'Overdrive' because it's so dang repetitive. These astral noises begin at about the second minute and they are still going on at the seventh minute or so! One listen is too much for this song. 'Chapter 24' is a totally fake attempt at setting the Yijing to music. It cannot be put to music. Syd had no talent for putting alien words to music. Finally, we have the first Rogers' composition about a stethoscope or something which makes me vomit. The guy sure had a long way to go.

In all, this was truly a groundbreaking and unique album, and 'Astronomy Domine' surely deserves any thumbs up; so does 'Lucifer Sam', but from then on - I don't find nothing laudable. At all. I give this album a 5 and relegate most of its songs to the trash of history.

Sbax4090@aol.com
I have to set Mr. Starostin straight on a few things. The riff for Interstellar Overdrive and Astronomy Domine (pronounced doe-me-nay, it means a learned clergyman) are not the same. Interstellar is B A G F#. Astronomy is E Eb G A. The mono version of this album is much better than the stereo, seek it out. The Waters song is a simple riff/jam/riff song. The middle jam part is a "freak out". That was a fad during this time. Yeah, it doesn't hold up to time but the lyrics are meant to be secondary, even tertiary. It's just for shouting. The freak out jam is the song. Back to the mono version. Interstellar in mono is very different and much better than the stereo. The Floyd actively participated in that mix but not the stereo.

bougopgs@eckerd.edu (Gregory S. Bougopoulos)
Syd Barrett was one of rock's greatest geniuses. He could take some of the most ridiculous kiddie lyrics and yet make them sound absolutely wonderful. Musically, he also created some of the coolest psychedelic pop songs of that period. It's too bad he got into LSD that much, because Pink Floyd might have been a more interesting band with him. Certainly would have been more fun to listen to. Anyway, a 9.

Badmoon510@aol.com (Pat)
This is Floyd at their best. Syd, while well on his way to an asylum was at his best. The riffs are classic and how bout the producing...the last 30 seconds of Interstellar Overdrive sends my head spinning. You just don't get stereo affects like that today. If you're not swept away by Piper then you're just not listening. It's a must for any real Floyd fan.

minutegong@aol.com
well, Piper isn't really for any Pink Floyd fan. Most of the ones I know either love the first one and think the others( besides part of Saucer) are boring, or vice versa. Piper was one of the albums that blew my young mind. Without it I may have had to lead a normal life. Thanks Syd! Also Can's Monster Movie, The Stooges Funhouse, V.U. & Nico, Syd's solo records and anything by Nick Drake.

squirrel_police@hotmail.com
Great review! I agree with it completely, but I think that you have a tendency to pass your little dots way too freely. I'd give it an eight at best.

Anyways, this was a superb psychedelic album. I don't think I'd go so far as stating that it is better then Sgt. Pepper...after all, the Beatles were seasoned pros by 1967, and PF were still four spaced out kids.

Every song here is a winner. My favorite definately is Mathilda Mother, which has a kind of timeless melody that goes along with the lyrics. And "Astronomy Domine" is definately the best song the Floyd did before Echoes.

misterkite@mindspring.com (Adam Bruneau)
Man, I still can't believe this! This is my favorite all-time Floyd record right behind DSOTM. Atronomie Domine rocks! Lucifer Sam is psychotic fun! Oh God all of the songs on this album are farouttahere! The middle kind of sags after Flaming but as soon as you hit Interstellar Overdrive, it's beautiful early psychedelia as its best from then on! Scarecrow and Bike are two of my favorites from this one two. It's a real drag that Syd had to go scitzo-he can make one helluva psychedelic/children's/horror/pop song!

Awake600@aol.com
Pink Floyd starts off their career on an incredibly high note with the only album they ever recorded with original vocalist Syd Barrett, and it's simply excellent. I find the whole thing very amusing and fun but at the same time menacing and frightening. "Bike" is definitely my favorite -- I love the lyrics and the melody plus the overall bizarreness to it. "Lucifer Sam" comes close behind with an awesome riff and chorus. I also really enjoy the child-like qualities to "Matilda Mother", "The Gnome" and "Scarecrow", a few of my other favorites. Another song I find particularly intriguing is "Take Thy Stethoscope And Walk" -- the lyrics are so dumb it's hilarious... and great! "I'm in bed, aching head, gold is lead"??? This is the same songwriter who gave us towering classics like "Wish You Were Here", "Dogs" and "Comfortably Numb"? Hard to believe... I'd give this one a 9 because I really don't care for the aimless jams on this album, especially most of "Interstellar Overdrive" and portions of "Pow R. Toc H." Excellent work though. And a lot better than that Sgt. Pepper album too.

cynderelli@techline.com (TAD)
1 of my favorite Floyd tracks is "Flaming." Obviously about drugs, but it's got such a sweet storybook innocence all around it. Everything's so bright & sweet & clear, U just know Syd's trippin'. Great, grade-school-level lyrics, neat sound effects, wonderful bouncy strummy guitar, cute vocals, & a terrific finish. Coulda been a hit. Could U imagine hearing this coming outta yr radio in 1968...?

BlackhillLtd@aol.com (Mark Brown)
The title was an inspired choice, in my opinion. It makes a connection between the childrens' story and 1960s subculture that Barrett was uniquely suited to make. His genius was to synthesize English whimsy and pyschedelia like nobody else.

In the chapter "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" of Wind in the Willows, the little animal characters had an encounter with a benevolent supernatural force. Their memory of the event was magically erased so they wouldn't be sad that the momentary bliss had to end, but there was a slight glimmer of recollection that still nagged at them for a while.

Something similar can happen when a powerful hallucinogen such as LSD is ingested. Users may feel something approaching religious ecstacy. There can be an intense feeling of profound connection with a higher plane of being which is ordinarily undetected by our senses. The memory of that experience is very fleeting. Just enough remains to give the user the sensation that he was temporarily gifted with a deeper understanding which was lost when the effect of the drug wore off.

Neurologists have found a part of the brain that when stimulated, causes such an effect. A typical reaction is the feeling of having been filled with the grace of God. There is of course an acute longing to recapture that fleeting experience.

That's what Barrett was making reference to: the feeling of wonderful anticipation of ecstatic understanding, mixed with the agony of it always being just out of reach.

Sbax4090@aol.com wrote:
> Astronomy Domine (pronounced doe-me-nay, > it means a learned clergyman)

"A learned clergyman" is one meaning of "domine", but a bad translation here -- the standard definition is "lord". In the context of this song title, there's no particular meaning at all. It's simply a takeoff on a mumbled Latin prayer, a droll joke. The actual prayer goes, "In nomine Domine..." ("In the name of the Father..."), the prayer said while gesturing in the sign of the Cross. This part is said when you're touched in the head, making a bizarre little coincidence with Barrett's condition. (I thrive on such quirks.)

In addition, though the proper Latin pronunciation is doh'-mee-nay, in this song title domine nearly rhymes with astronomy -- say it quickly like a bit of fake Latin mumbling uttered by a waggish English lad -- "astronomy dah mih nee". If you like. I do know that the band members have sometimes pronounced it closer to the Latin way, but doing so wanders wide of what I believe is logically concluded to be the original joking intent. IMHO.

HELL of a good song by the way, whatever you decide to call it.

electric_nl@yahoo.com (Jeffrey Kas)
In my opinion about feedback is that Jeff Beck from the Yardbirds was one of the first who was using this kind of techniques.

Btw:Brian Wilson was also a genius in his time, he wrote the blueprint for the famous Sgt. Pepper album of the Beatles.

The music of Syd Barret is both anxious and beautiful in some way and it is oh so easy to call the music of Pink Floyd boring after his departure.

Ok, the last albums of P.F are not what they used to be and maybe they should have stopped after finishing the Wall, but if an album like Dark side of the moon is bought by many people who are born after the release of it,this should be enough reason to gave them a fair review then to judge them badly because of the sales of it.

The material of the group and Syd brings enough stuff to write about, so I guess that the shadow of Syd upon the "pop"music is still present in some kind of way.

jtcable@tir.com (Josh Cable)
Uh, sorry to break this to you Prindler, but knowing what I know on guitar (almost nothing), if I went into a studio right now on acid or qualuuds or something and messed around for 11 solid minutes, I could make a better song than Interstellar Overdrive. I mean, come on. He's not even playing. I could do better, and without a damn slide ruler. HE'S NOT PLAYING ANY NOTES. And near the end, where he turns the volume up and down? I did that once, when I was 12. It's not a real awesome effect. Listening to it being done by a grown man is kinda sad. Maybe if he came OFF the acid first, and then recorded the song, it would be mucho strangiato. But it just sounds like me fucking around in a studio with a guitar and a $20 casio keyboard.

Haven't heard the rest of the album, but I still have high hopes. Granted, IO is not a BAD song. I was just expecting it to be a whole lot better than, oh... maybe Shine on You Crazy Diamond.

(a few months later) Well well. Well. I'm afraid that when I sent in my "review" of IO alone, I forgot to mention that I had heard the song in MONO via a RealAudio clip. So naturally, I may have misjudged the actual song. He's not actually turning the volume up and down, he is indeed messing with the balance.

I still think IO is not the greatest song ever made, but I will say that it does contain ruladge, and refuses to be boring despite it's 11 minute span.

The rest of the album makes it clear what those Scooby Doo episodes stole music from, because most (all) of them sound so damn dated. Really, these are Scooby Doo theme songs. But, somehow, they're still pretty damn cool.

Lucifer Sam somehow is fast and kicks ass, despite it being a song about a "scary" cat. Astronomy Domine (or whatever) is sweet as hell. The rest of the album is naturally a crazy diamond, that shines on you, crazily and diamondly. Not bad.

Not as good as The Wall though. HAHA FUKRZ.

cybercafe@v-wave.com (cybercafe)
I was just scanning the above articles and couldn't help but add my own thoughts. I tried listening to the first Pink floyd album. I could not get past the songs that start out with a hint of melody and rapidly disolve into a swirling cacophany of bullshit only to find itself back at square-oneat the end. (listen to Pink Floyd live in London 66-67 for the maximum amount of noise in a song) These songs I find to be very frustrating.

imoss@northernlight.com (Ian Moss)
Nice album, although it seems to have inexplicably disappeared from my tape collection. Dammit. Thus, the following are my opinions as of, like, a year ago. "Lucifer Sam" is one of their best early songs, "Astronomy Domine" is good although the live version on Ummagumma is infinitely better. The two instrumentals are also pleasantly wacky, and "Bike" has got to be one of the most hilarious things I've ever heard. It's not the easiest stuff in the world to listen to, and in my mind it doesn't hold a candle to their '70s stuff, but it's still enjoyable. 8.

fiber_optiqREMOVETHIS@yahoo.com (Wipqmio Emizo)
I wish they had left this the way it was on the record, with See Emily Play instead of Astronomy Domine [I love "Astronomy", but "Emily" fits better with the rest of the album, and besides, "Astronomy" is on Ummagumma], and "Interstellar Overdrive" as the last song rather than in the middle.

akenyon@ups.edu (Amanda Kenyon)
Oh my lord. It took a little while for this one to grow on me, but now it's in my top ten list. It's just so different, and so silly and serious at the same time. My favorite track is "Scarecrow" - I love the quirky rhythm and the alternating time signatures, and the lyrics manage to be very sad even though it's so short. The only one I tend to skip over is "Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk" - the title is great, but the song itself drives me straight up the nearest wall.

And then, of course, there's "Interstellar Overdive." One of my favorite aspects of Pink Floyd is that they can write an incredibly lengthy song with few or no lyrics, like "Overdrive" or "Shine On You Crazy Diamond," and it DOESN'T GET BORING. Unlike, say, the Doors, whose instrumental solos just go on and on and don't actually go anywhere or do anything, it's just people showing off on musical instruments (I'm one of those traitors to Jim Morrison's cause who actually likes the radio edit of "Light My Fire" better than the original version). Thank God for Floyd.

bickbyro@altavista.com
Hey Amanda! Logger pride! But that's not got anything to do with Pink Floyd. So here we go: on the advice of all those here who gave the album rave reviews (and a bit of fascination with the mystique of Syd Barrett), I picked the thing up; it's the 1994 digital remaster (ie the stereo version), so I may be missing out on some stuff.

I must say that a lot of the album seems sadly laughable; the whooshing and jingling "psychedelia" of "Flaming" comes to mind, as does the positively ludicrous "Chapter 24." But I guess somebody had to be the first to do this "Stonehenge" crap...

Now Syd's got some great chords and guitar playing and melodies and whatnot out there (like most before me, I give props to "Lucifer Sam"), but jeez louise! Enough with the hobbitry! I've read some Floyd interviews re:Barrett in which the other members claim not to have been anywhere even remotely NEAR Syd's level of LSD consumption. And if that is true, I've got to ask: what on earth made them think this acid-cheese was all a good idea?

So I was just about ready to resign myself to disappointment in this album when "Bike" came on---then and there, I understood the wasted genius of Syd Barrett (either reading of "wasted" will do there). My lord! I cannot even find words to describe how much I love "Bike." I listened to it for like 2 hours straight, eventually attempting to play a bassline along with it, at which point I realized how TRULY random a sense of metrics Barrett had going on. On both "Bike" and "Scarecrow," it's pretty clear that the other guys didn't really know what to do with themselves; I'd wager big money that Syd put down guitar and vocals and just left the other three to overdub whatever they could.

But whatever it took, it worked on "Bike." I haven't fallen that hard for a song in YEARS. Just mind-blowing. It's gonna take me some time to repress my gag reflex and actually evaluate some of these songs on their non-Dungeons-and-Dragons merits. But "Bike" gets a hale and hearty 10 for (1) ridiculously catchy chords & melodies (2) borderline Pythonesque lyrics and (3) being only 1:50 long! Eat your heart out, Ween!

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
Can I ask something? Why is Syd Barrett a 'fruity British guy' while the members of AC/DC are 'Scots'? Pink Floyd were Englishmen making decidedly English music - the adjective 'British' is a military/imperial non-entity which has nothing to do with music, or culture in general. I appreciate this is confusing for most American people but I thought I'd point it out anyway.

'What have we done... to England?'

That is the question.

Jcjh20@aol.com
Crazy, hypnotic, sad, catchy, genial, etc. A wonderful mix of nightmarish sounds reminisant of a bad trip, and wonderful melodys reminisant of children playing in a field or something. Everyone else was pretty much on the mark so i couldnt really say anything innovative about this great album. But i love Syd's songs and could easily call this my personal favorite Pink Floyd album. Definate 9.

crypto221@yahoo.com
i won't syd barrett wasn't great but your comment on that he used feedback first is wrong cause John Lennon used it first on the song Ticket to Ride that came out before Interstellar Overdrive the feedback came in the beginnen of ticket to ride lennon only used it cause he made a mistake and hit the strings on his guitar right before he put it down in front of an amp and he heard the feedback i bet barrett heard that and used it

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
Imagine what it must have been like for a fruitily-shirted Floyd fan back in swirly '68 - you've just spent twenty minutes weeping through side one of A Saucerful of Secrets, mourning Syd's departure and despairing at songs like Corporal Clegg... then you flip the record over... the title track... like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Forget Interstellar Overdrive - A Saucerful of Secrets is the daddy of all Floyd's epic masterpieces, and whoo is it powerful. Sheer musical architecture (though of course improved on Ummagumma). The rest... is the rest, really. I quite enjoy it, even if the sound quality is 1920 vintage and they clearly didn't have a clue where they were heading as a band. Let There Be More Light is good because it mentions awesome English folk hero Hereward the Wake, even if it does rip off the Chemical Brothers' 'Block Rockin' Beats'. Jugband Blues, though - naah. Just because it's Syd's swan song doesn't make it good. Although you do get a remarkable visual impression of him disappearing into a black hole forever. Poor kid. Six point six six six six six out of ten.

CGranucci@aol.com
I recently read somewhere that Syd was trying to learn how to play "My Little Red Book" (Love's version) when he stumbled upon "Interstellar Overdrive." Makes sense to me!

gray0187@tc.umn.edu (Jon)
guess you cant give this the prindle ten because it is kind of a different band,. well, i say it is the ten. nothing on here sounds like anything ive ever heard from anybody else. even the acosticy bits are sort of fractured fairy tales at best. this is the guitar part of the melodic pop groove, and throw in electronic experimentation and freakouts and this is the best album of 67, if you ask me. the bit at 1:32 in scarecrow is incredible, and astromony domine has one of the best intros in the history of guitar rock. likewise, lucifer has one of the best riffs in the history of guitar rock, and likewise pow r. toc h. and interstellar are some of the strangest freakouts in the history of rock, and.. well, this is just my favorite album of 67,that should say enough. I stand on this end of the piano line, screw having the six strings for fx, give that job to the 88 as well. i like me riffs played by a bloppy untalented four stringer.

dead-beat@socal.rr.com (Taeil Kim)
Unbelievable. Cute. Hypnotizing. Sad. Happy. Mother fucking evil. Yes, while I was stoned listening to this album, the "Gnome" had given me chills. This guy was fucking evil man. I swear it. Just listen to it. How subversive was that when he had this ominous voice singing "Look at the sky, Look at the River, Isn't it Good......" Hell yeah. Besides that damn man. Incredible pyschedelia and priceless song writing all in one. Forget "Interstellar Overdrive" recorded here do ur best finding live versions (one is like 20 miutes) that is heaven.

gag05@bigpond.com.au (Louise Gagliardi)
Wow this is the most fucked up, psychedelic album ive ever heard, man dig that Syd Barrett guitar tone its so scary but kool at the same time. All 10 songs rule except for “take up thy gay stethoscope and wank” which sux coz Roger Waters wrote it, but all of Syds songs and lyrics are great and r so much fun 2 listen “Blinding signs flap, flicker, flicker, flicker blam. Pow, pow. Stairway scare Dan dare who’s there?” most of the lyrics make as much sense as Ozzy Osborne trying 2 put together a sentence, but who cares coz Syd Barrett wrote it and it sounds so cool. After Syd completely lost it, so did Floyd and Roger Waters took over and completely sucked the fun out of this band, 70s floyd sux, neways im givin this album a 10.

gazajwilliams@tiscali.co.uk (Gareth Williams)
This album makes me want to meet some homeless guy down an alleyway so I can get my own slice of "Interstellar Overdrive".

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
Whew. What an album – like the Beatles except drenched in even more acid and layer upon layer of guitar fuzz. I love Barrett’s work here (he’s an absolute machine here, ploughing out excellent song after excellent song). The spacey fuzz attacks never fail to excite (Astronomy Domine, Interstellar Overdrive), the whimsical nursery rhymes are a joy (Gnome, Bike, etc.), and I don’t know how to categorise the others – but they’re all excellent (Matilda Mother, Lucifer Sam, Flaming are some of my favourites). Funnily enough, the only songs I don’t care for here are the two Waters penned numbers (Pow R. Toc H. and Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk). Just goes to show that even one of the most highly vaunted lyricists had humble beginnings. The eclecticism within individual songs is astounding on here…and Syd’s violent guitar playing and soft, charming English accent are a perfect juxtaposition. 9/10

bylcote555@yahoo.com
First off, Bob Dole totally kicks it outta the park on this one! First rate stuff. Dole's mystery vocals during "The Gnome" are pedestrian at best , but his guitar solo on "The Scarecrow " is unforgivable. 10/10. EVERY song kicks ass, even Waters' weird tune. Top 5 material.

dave727276@sbcglobal.net
I didn't know what to expect when I got this album. I used to be a big Pink Floyd fan, but grew out of it a while ago, and haven't really listened to them since. Buy this was spur of the moment, and easily the best thoughtless album purchase I've ever made.

This album feels like it was made for me. I loved every song instantly. I love the style. I play the guitar seriously, and not once have I been annoyed by anything Syd does. It's my favorite Pink Floyd album, and if Syd's taste is anything like mine he probably enjoyed this album more than Waters or Gilmour ever enjoyed any of theirs.

Wadedh14@aol.com
I borryed this album from a friend, and I laughed heartily at how cute Syd's rampant English accent is. It's great! All the above comments have pretty much summed up the whole record, but I think I'll add a little of my own. "Astronomy" is nice enough; neat kick-off. "Lucifer" is pretty dang good, and it has that irresistibly catchy chorus. "Matilda Mother" is rather sweet, but it (and "Flaming") refuse to stick in my head. Aforementioned "Flaming" is pretty okay; I remember most that it starts sounding really happy and whimsical ("Yippee! You can't see me...") but quickly turns pissed off ("...but IIIII caaaaan youuuuu......."). Kinda like the bipolarness of someone tripping. "Pow R. Toc H." is simply hilarious, and it's got some neat jamming. And then "Take Up Thy Steth." is STUUUUUPIIIIIIID. Roger certainly DID have a long way to go, George. Pth. "Interstellar" was a bit of a disappointment for me, but it's got some enjoyable and humorous bits. Example: the 'ping' noise that Syd's guitar makes for a while in the beginning...of...the middle...yeah. The last minute or so is truly awesome, though. "The Gnome" is absolutely ADORABLE. Man, do I love that song. Cutest thing you'll hear outside of Disney. "Chapter 24" is a little boring, but with a nice vocal melody, and "Scarecrow" has such complicated timing I won't even try to discuss it. "Bike" closes the album on an absolutely comical (and frightening) note, but no less enjoyable. The album on a whole is truly good, but some of it, I feel, let me down a little. Not too bad, though. 8/10.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
I'm not ashamed to admit it. Pink Floyd was, has been, and is one of my favorite bands of all time. (Disregard last statement if you include in your definition of Pink Floyd "anything after The Final Cut"). Every one of their albums (and whatever bootlegs I can find) has been in regular rotation for me for as long as I can remember. "The Wall" was my first R-rated movie! My dad took me. Scared the living shit out of me!

Syd Barrett was not, as many claim, a genius songwriter. But he was pretty damn good. He may have had tons of ideas, but only a few of these really made it to fruition - and as much as I'd like to lionize the guy, I've got to judge him on his results, not his potential. That said, for at least this album, Syd really was on a roll. "Astronomy Domine" is one of my favorite tunes of all time, and "Matilda Mother" still gives me goosebumps. I also love "Interstellar Overdrive" - probably one of my earliest influences re: the avant garde rock I came to love (Henry Cow, Thinking Plague, etc). Judging by the single "Apples and Oranges" b/w "Paintbox" that followed this album, as well as the weird shit Syd was writing that never got legitimately released ("Scream Thy Last Scream" and "Vegetable Man"), their second album would probably have been pretty bitchen... but it was not to be. My rating:9/10

ljasher@earthlink.net (Leonard Asher)
Okay, let's just dispense with all that genius gone goofy, mis-understood brilliant artist bologna. Now that's done, what does this record have left? A few decent songs, some inventive production, and a LOT of weird guitar noises. Syd Barrett was without a doubt an intriguing songwriter, and he did have an approach that was unique to him. He also had a voice that was competent at best, and just horrid at worst. Now, just for the record, it is not my intention to sit here and rip on Syd Barrett for no good reason (or in order to piss people off). He did have a good deal of originality, which is a rare thing. However, because something is original or different does not automatically qualify it as genius. I spent fifteen years as a working musician, and while I am not under the illusion that that makes me an oracle of rock and roll, it does mean I have a certain insight when it comes to how guitar sounds ar

thepublicimage79@hotmail.com
Well, well, well: an album I've been listening to a LOT right around now, since Syd is one of my favorite guitarists. Mostly this post is going to be copied from an earlier review that I wrote on Amazon.com and from comments I wrote on CapnMarvel's site. Strap yourself in, cause this is going to be long:

Yes, "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" is a classic, but it's nowhere near consistent enough to qualify for a 5-star rating. (Note: I rated it 4 stars on Amazon. I wanted 4 1/2 stars. It's so close to 5 it hurts, but I can't in all good conscience give it 5 stars.) It took me a long time to genuinely love the Syd Barrett-era Floyd, but now I listen to it a lot more than the Roger Waters-oriented band. This is mostly because I burned out on Pink Floyd's monster AOR albums in my high school years. Then I went for this era of the band. Here are this version of the band's pros:

1. Syd Barrett was an extremely talented songwriter and a serious innovator in soundscaping within popular music. A guitar genius, he was particularly adept at wringing terrifying, feedback-drenched squelches of echo-and-distortion-laden noise out of his guitar that created atmospheres in pop simply never heard before.

2. Syd Barrett was also a uniquely brilliant lyricist. His rhymes and stories inside his lyrics could sound either carefree, with a childish wonder of the world, or strangely menacing, with a strong undercurrent of violent insanity running like a vein underneath the seemingly cheery surface.

3. Rick Wright's organ work is simply bizarre, and very eerie much of the time. Instead of the surf and especially garage rock sounds associated with the Farfisa organ (remember "96 Tears?"), Wright used the instrument in a very weird, jazz-influenced way that almost always gave the early band's proceedings a slyly unresolved, exotic, and sometimes horrifyingly dissonant flavor that was bound to stir emotions.

4. Roger Waters' bass is something usually looked down on by fans of the Floyd, who wrongly believe that future guitarist David Gilmour played most of the band's basslines on record - Gilmour said in one interview that he played them all and in another one that he only played half - a mite inconsistent at best. While it's true that Gilmour played the bass on a couple of the later albums, like "Animals" (he's the bass on "Pigs"), and most of "The Wall," he wasn't really playing bass on any of the early albums. Well, back to Waters and his involvement on this album, where Dave wasn't involved (don't get me wrong, I like Gilmour, it's just the whole bass-playing thing was something I wanted to work out). To me, Waters's free-association work in jams like "Interstellar Overdrive" make the noise and shrieking around him that much more powerful: with Waters, the band had a limited, but occasionally very strong bassist who could be called upon to improvise freely without losing a sense of melody. He also always gave the music an impressively aggressive edge even in children's lullabies like "The Scarecrow" (where his bold bowed flourishes achieve a palpable sense of release).

Now for the cons:

1. The band's penchant for freaking out was kind of an excuse for them to play whatever the hell they felt like, in order to cover up the fact that they barely knew how to play their instruments. Syd and Roger were probably the most technically advanced of the group, and they were far from being virtuosos. In all probability, Syd might have only known about eight or so guitar chords, which means Waters was the most advanced technically. Does anyone else find that ironic, since of all the Gilmour claims to playing the bass on record? Rick Wright seemed to have trouble holding down chords occasionally, and Nick...well, he was so inexperienced that he comes next.

2. Nick Mason's drumming is almost laughably amateurish. Never anything more than solid even in the Floyd's best moments (on his greatest drum performance, "Pigs (Three Different Ones)," his minimalist funk drumming comes across like a near-revelation), here he sounds like a stoned fifteen-year-old bashing at his father's kit at worst, and barely competent at best. Still, his drumming on "Astronomy Domine" is quite imaginative, and he doesn't ever get in the way too obtrusively. It says something, though, that Mason's best performance on the album is on the song where he's restricted to an assembly of woodblocks ("The Scarecrow," where, all complaints aside, he plays fantastically).

3. Some of these songs are lame excuses for "psychedelic jams" that are extremely put-on and have about as much melody as farts in a hot tub. I realize that this is pretty much a restatement of earlier complaints, but the fact remains that "Pow R. Toc H." and "Take Thy Stethoscope And Walk" haven't done anything other than make fey 1967 Swinging Londoners toke up, say "far out" and then get forgotten about. The only thing that really interests me about the songs is Syd's wacky guitar abuse. What these songs only do is show how inexperienced the band actually was and how minimal their expertise at their instruments actually was - which makes the brilliant performances that much more astounding.

4. A couple of performances are sloppy and rushed, and sometimes vocal sound effects, or more simply "stupid mouth noises," pop up in a couple songs and sound embarrassing today. "Matilda Mother" is a great song, but the band could have done a far better job on its performance: it speeds up, slows down, has whispered "pop-sshh-powwwww" noises crop up, and isn't really done much justice to. Rick Wright's organ solo is utterly brilliant, though. The last complaint is that the production was obviously done on the cheap. But it was cheap in a way that was really cool - I used to dislike the fact that a lot of "Lucifer Sam" is in the right speaker, but now I like it cause I can hear Rick's druggy organ in the left.

But the songs are so great! Except for "Pow R. Toc H.," and "Take Thy Stethoscope...," all are, in my view, nearly unassailable classics. And, as I said, "Matilda Mother" is a great song. My playlist for "Piper" would have been:

1 Astronomy Domine (one of the hardest rocking songs Floyd ever played, great organ)
2 Lucifer Sam (which pretty much created '90's Britpop - dig the vibrating guitars)
3 Arnold Layne (a startlingly brilliant single about transvestism, just brilliantly catchy)
4 Candy and a Currant Bun (the pop-fluff-meets-avant-noise B-side of "Arnold Layne")
5 See Emily Play (still one of Floyd's greatest songs and singles, with a twisted double-time harpsichord break and more brilliant echoed fuzz guitar)
6 Interstellar Overdrive (totally disorienting as Barrett smashes the hell out of his guitar, Wright plays as if he has flippers for hands, and Waters wanders around the main riff like a museum curator studying how the chord progression works)
7 The Gnome (a soft and sweet children's ditty with gorgeous ringing celeste and fantastic bass)
8 Matilda Mother (one foreboding child's song, I'd say, good rhythm guitar and eerie organ)
9 Chapter 24 (Wright's ambient organs are beautiful, and Syd's vocal is really nice)
10 The Scarecrow (distinctly baroque and beautifully melodic, and Nick Mason's percussion really elevates the song by calling up a horse's hooves clopping)
11 Bike (Barrett's childhood obsessions and bizarro freak-out tendencies go head to head and split the song in half)

That would have been a really brilliant, astounding, absolute five-star, stone-cold classic psychedelic rock album right there.

And the songs I left out:

Flaming - A song that's so strange and drug-choked that I have a hard time listening. It sounds like one of Syd's fairytale happy songs, except everything's wrong with it. Hell, when it starts on a bassy, evil, vibrating organ note and then has whistling and clanking bells overlaid onto it, you know you're in trouble. It just sounds so drugged out and...well, crazy, that it really scares me if I'm not in the right mood, when I can enjoy Syd's beautiful acoustic 12-string guitar and Rick's strangely regal and oh-so-incredibly-British jangle piano solo.

Pow R. Toc H. - Cool guitar noise, a fair enough jazzy piano solo, some nice swinging bass, and hilariously dumb tom-toms, but overall not that much. Maybe it's the dumb "mouth noises like your 9 year old brother used to make just to piss you off" (from CapnMarvel), and maybe it's just that there ain't really anything there compositionally.

Take Thy Stethoscope And Walk - Probably written in two minutes while taking a piss, but the jam is fun enough. Again, though, not much, and the song itself is a pile of crap. Fun fact: the jam in the middle originally lasted for something like 20 minutes and they had to cut it down and edit it later. Syd's guitar hacking does resemble "Velvet Underground And Nico"-type stuff a little (again, thanks CapnMarvel), but overall it's just kinda blah. Which, again, is ironically hilarious, because of Waters taking over the band and writing songs like "Money," "Sheep," and "Brain Damage."

So, in essence, the version of "Piper" we have is amazing, but comes with a couple clinkers. Apparently, the mono mix of the album is significantly different, and closer to what the band was aiming for, since that's the version that charted at #6 in the UK. The stereo mix, which is what we have on CD, is seemingly more "gimmicky" (Wikipedia). Maybe that's we have all the whooshes and bells ringing? I don't know, since I have not heard the mono mix of the album, though I'd love to hear it. There are a couple different versions of "Piper" kicking around; the original US LP version was different than the UK version, which is the one on CD. Here's the US Version's tracklist:

1 See Emily Play
2 Pow R. Toc H.
3 Take Thy Stethoscope And Walk
4 Lucifer Sam
5 Matilda Mother
6 The Scarecrow
7 The Gnome
8 Chapter 24
9 Interstellar Overdrive

Weird, huh? Well, anyway, the songs and performances are what will last. Syd Barrett was an inspired genius, and the band would never rock out and jam this weirdly ever again. Treasure this album.

CSX4758@aol.com (Lee)
To any of you who insist that this album is a must for any "real" Floyd fan - ludicrous at best is your statement. My 14 year old son got this on cd not too long ago and forced me to sit through it. My initial thoughts were, how could this mess have been the embryo musically for "DSOTM", "Animals" or "WYWH"? "Bike" is certainly an amusing sort of novelty song, but by implying that "Piper" is on any level near those 3 or The Wall, let alone ABOVE them, is simply labeling oneself as ignorant.

Perhaps having never done mind altering drugs myself doesn't allow me to appreciate Piper, but it sure does allow me to clearly see the superior quality of those 4 big post-Barrett releases.

jimbobbil@gmail.com
SYD BARRETT IS DEAD. He died on July 7th. The end of an era (though some would say that era ended over 20 years ago).

He won't be forgotten, of course. I bet that the next issue of your favourite classic rock magazine will have his face plastered on the cover and one of his greatest hits CDs or boxsets will have shot up the charts in no time. I really liked Syd-era Floyd though, the early singles and this album, and the world will be a strange place without the possibility of an original Pink Floyd lineup reunion tour.

paulrwhite@bellsouth.net
Okay, folks let's clear something up. Merely weird is not a mark of brilliance, nor is every bad record neccesarily the work of a misunderstood genius. This is not a bad record, but it is most definately overrated. Barrett is, at least by most folk's admission, a very good lyricist. I'll give him that one. But, come on, to consider this man a guitar genius is a little of the mark. As any guitar player knows, the very easiest thing to do is to set around and make cute little noises and run assorted things you find in your pockets up and down the strings. (By the way, that trick with the Zippo is by no means original, and was probably tried first by the first guitar player to be left in a room with both a guitar and a Zippo. He was probably sitting next to the guy that tried out the beer bottle slide first). The simple truth is,as history actually did point out, that without the addition of Guilmour Pink Floyd would have more than likely faded into the annuls of music history with the likes of Moby Grape, Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, and a score of other so called phsycedelic geniuses.

jjunea2@lsu.edu
Well I finally got Piper on Mono LP. Its quite a trip I must say as the most changes seem to come in the "Jam" section of the record - from Pow R. Toc H. through to Interstellar Overdrive. You can hear all the instruments more clearly, yet there is more fuzz and echo - making the songs more creepy than in stereo. Water's bass and Wright's organ are higher up in the mix. At least that is what I hear. Even "Take up thy stethescope and walk" sounds better. The main vocal tracks are not as different, but still have that fuzzier more echo like feel to them. I do recommend that anyone who loves this record try to hear the mono. It is an improvement.

jchorao@netcabo.pt (Jose)
You wrote: "I'd like to say that the ten-minute instrumental "Interstellar Overdrive" is, without a doubt, one of the greatest songs ever recorded."

Did you listen to the 17 minutes version in Peter Whitehead’s documentary “London 66-67”? It’s ten times better!

browningub40@peoplepc.com
This album is universally hailed by critics as being so great and everything. That's because it is great. I've never heard a record as good as this one in my life so far.The only one that even comes close is probably the wild, the innocent , and the e street shuffle by the boss.But this album is definately never been surpassed by anyone.

munsey3@comcast.net
Well, this is one I missed the first time around. Probably bought Disraeli Gears instead, funds being limited. Couple years later picked up Ummagumma so had some of the better songs (I'm thinking Astronomy Domine here), albeit live recordings with Gilmour instead of Syd, but never really felt the need to backfill the collection, which was a mistake. Much later picked up Echoes and got some of the oddities from this one, and was content until... I see a new 3-CD set of this -- 40th Anniversary Edition -- and figure, why not? Press Mark's link and here it is in my CD player. No regrets, the sucker is great. This album has aged well, at least for us ancients; it's pretty much perfect early psychedelic rock. Included are discs of the mono and stereo mixes, plus an extra disc of the singles of the era + edits of various songs. The packaging is done well -- you get the 3 CD's in an impeccable bookish enclosure, early pictures of the band, and a nice little reproduction of one of Syd's notebooks, which is probably worth the price of admission since it gives a non-subtle hint of where HE was heading. If you are like me and didn't already own this in one of its many incarnations, provided you still have any interest in this music, now you have reason. Basically, in the long run, at the end of the day, all things considered, arguably, when the rubber meets the road (have I missed any trite cliches here?) this is one Pink Floyd album you would not want to be without, and this new edition just rocks...I didn't know what I'd been missing for 40 years.

pdermody@twcny.rr.com
Definitely my favorite Pink Floyd Album. Mainly because I love the style. It is more crazy and indepent. I love the crazy psychedelic instrumental breaks (Matilda Mother, Flaming), some jazzy piano improvisations (Pow R. Toc H.), and have you heard how they jam on "Take up thy Stethiscope"? That organ is crazy! Easily Pink floyds best album and one of the best in 1967.

browningub40@peoplepc.com
Yo, the only good pink floyd be the syd barrett floyd, enough said.

Floreslennox@aol.com
EN ESTE DISCO PINK FLOYD DEMUESTRA LO ES REALMENTE UN BUEN DISCO PSICODELICO,SYD BARRETT DEMUESTRA SER UN GRAN COMPOSITOR EN CANCIONES COMO BIKE, MATILDA MOTHER MOTHER, LUCIFER SAM Y ASTRONOMY DOMINE.DEBEMOS CONSIDERARLO SUPERIOR EN MUCHOS SENTIDOS A OTROS DISCOS DE SU MOMENTO, COMO EL SARGENTO PIMIENTA ENTRE OTROS,LAMENTABLEMENTE ESTE SERIA EL ULTIMO Y UNICO DISCO, EN EL QUE SYD PARTICIPARIA CON PINK FLOYD,QUEDANDOSE UNO CON LAS GANAS DE HABER OIDO OTRO DISCO DE PONK FLOYD COMO ESTE.

rmiller4@earthlink.net
Ditto the the fine post by jjunea2 above. The Mono version is far more interesting. More sounds and better definition of instruments. And the creepy take is right on the money. Hard to believe a complex work like this could get better.

Ben
Damn a 9? I think if this weren't Syd's only album with Pink Floyd (at least when he was leading the band) this albums reputation wouldn't be as strong. Sure it's got some great tracks here (the first three, "Interstellar Overdrive") but it gets bogged down by some self indulgent crap like "Chapter 24", "Flaming" and if I remember correctly "The Scarecrow". Songs like "Powr Toch" and "Bike" work well in their own Pink Floyd way, but there's better stuff like this around.

Add your thoughts?

Stoned Alone - Night Tripper.
Rating = 8

An interesting bootleg! 8 might be a bit high for a CD with the sound quality of a an old poop, but it's got some REALLY rare live stuff ("Stoned Alone," "Rust In A Million," "Scream Thy Last Scream"), as well as a 14-minute alternate studio version of "Interstellar Overdrive" and about 20 minutes of Syd-era and post-Syd interviews. Muddy as all hell, but hey it was the 60s!

Reader Comments

gray0187@tc.umn.edu (Jon)
id like to put in a good word for stoned alone (or reaction in g), because it is the earliest sheer noise rocker in existence... that is some crazy feedback, and sometimes the guitar and organ just meld together--they are indistinguishable at times and he uses slide with echo and distortion--nobody did that at all back then. drumming is fun and the basslines are simple and riffy and never fall apart. ive only heard that song and scream thy last scream, but the latter is pretty awful, since it has chipmunked vocals... the hell? but its jam section is kind of cool... jsut dont buy it.

Add your thoughts?

A Saucerful Of Secrets - Capitol 1968.
Rating = 8

Syd was on his way out, and, instead of finding a new lead figure (which probably would have infuriated their fans), they chose a guitar player that they felt would be able to contribute to a new democratic band-oriented Pink Floyd, where everyone would chip in and make the songs the best they could be. That man had a good bluesy guitar style, cool hair, and a voice that was about sixty million times more pleasant (in the traditional "accessible" sense of the word) than Syd Barrett's. Unfortunately, about twenty years later, he would transform the band into a dreadful parody of its former self, but never mind that for now.

His name was David Gilmour, and his guitar style came to define the Pink Floyd sound as we know it. Slow, calculated, planning each note in advance, he was the antithesis of crazy man Syd, but no less enjoyable for it. In fact, he was the perfect addition to the ailing band; with his help, they left psychedelic guitar pop behind for a darker, colder (though no less experimental and bizarre) mood that the first album only touched on in its best moments ("Interstellar Overdrive" and "Astronomy Domine"). They also brought in more acoustic folky numbers, oddly enough, but that was later.

This album is split between songs with Syd and songs with Dave, but I'll be hog-tied if I can tell you for sure which are which. I'd wager that "Remember A Day" and "Corporal Clegg" feature Syd, just cuz the guitarwork is so dissonant, but that sure sounds like Dave singing lead on "Corporal Clegg," so I don't really know. I know for a dang fact that Dave plays on the title track, which is probably the best one on here; a brilliant four-part exploratory number, it starts off completely tuneless with keyboardist Rick Wright holding down the fort with some beautiful chords played in no particular order, then this cool drum line kicks in and Dave interjects little bursts of weird noise, and finally a pretty keyboard-driven melody shows up about five minutes later. It's a neat one - and, according to bassist Roger Waters, the first song they did without Syd that they thought was any good.

So that's definitely Dave on there. And he's on "Let There Be more Light," whose actual melody isn't anywhere near as kickbutt as the introductory bass line. And I know that's Syd on "Jugband Blues," which is a terribly sad song in spite of its joviality. But I don't know who plays on "Set the Controls For The Heart Of The Sun" or "See Saw." Who cares? They're great songs! Although not a kick to your musical shin like Piper, this is a well-conceived introduction to the new Pink Floyd, full of neat ideas, dark (and occasionally funny, though not intentionally) moods, and two very pretty songs written by Rick Wright, who deserves a ton of credit for the brilliance and majesty of the band, even if Roger Waters didn't think so. Read on for details!

And read Details because you're a closeted gay man!

Reader Comments

strider@redrose.net (David Straub)
Syd definitely plays on "Day"- it's a Piper outtake. I think Gilmour may have dubbed to the Piper track later. As far as I know, Syd adds the manic single note riffing to "Clegg", but I'm not sure. Sounds like Gilmour vocals to me too.

akdxmy@hotmail.com (Andrew Davis)
A Saucerful Of Secrets has two really great songs, 'Remember A Day' and 'Set Your Controls For The Heart Of The Sun.' However, I am not super crazy about 'Corporal Clegg,' or 'Jugband Blues.' I would give this digitally remastered cd a 7/10!

tabasco@worldnet.att.net (BOB's)
It must have been hell making this album. Saucerful of Secrets is a pretty cool mystical album. "Let There Be More Light" is I think David Gilmour's first song. It starts off with a cool bass solo then Roger and Rick sing. Rick Wright does the now, now, now parts then Roger does the Carters Father parts. "Remember A Day" is a song you don't have to really care about, it has good mellow into it but the lyrics are ok, "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" is a title saying my title bigger than yours kind of thing you know like "Several Species of Small Furry Animals gathered into a Cave and Grooving with a Pict" released on Ummagumma, "Set the Controls" is a calm relaxing song that kind of makes you fall asleep but it hardly ever happens, "Corporal Clegg" is my favorite song about a man who goes into war amd loses his leg and he imagines that he gets a metal, I like the horn part with the another drop of gin part, the title track is a very scary and long instrumental song, it starts off with Strange Sounds with the instruments then comes Rick's horrifying organ. The song was cool though. "See Saw" was a slow song it was also kind of boring sang by David, the music was nice though. Enclosing the album was "Jugband Blues" a Barett song, it kind of sounded like polish music. Oh yeah and Barrett plays on "Remember A Day", "Set the Controls", I think "Corporal Clegg", and "Jugband Blues". The artwork is cool with the band. It has them in 60's outfits, them by an airplane, and a pyramid. The cover rules and the back cover rules. I give this album a 9.

hawkins@alphalink.com.au (Alan Hawkins)
Saucerful of secrets is an incredibly patchy second album which clearly defines the transitional stage the band was going through, what with poor Syd Barrett half in, half out of the picture (the fact that he was schizophrenic had a lot to do with his breakdown - not just LSD!!) Yet there are enough redeeming features here, despite its inconsistency and wretched sound quality (I don't have the remastered version, and who wants it?!! have you seen how tacky the packaging is??)

I especially love the two Rick Wright compositions, if only this guy had more input into their music!! I don't care too much about "Corporal Clegg" and "Let there be more light" (the band apparently hate being called "space-rockers") these throwaway tracks show that Waters still hadn't developed his songwriting skills yet.

The title-track and "Set the controls..." always sounded better live (re:Ummagumma and Live at Pompeii) yet "Jugband blues" is a wonderfully haunting end to the album, although only one song, it seems to effectively darken the mood of the whole record, as if it was Syd's way of making it impossible for the rest of the band to forget him (and they didn't!!) (5 out of 10.)

nmorris@manhattan.edu (Joe)
Syd plays the cool guitar on Remember a Day. His solo stuff ("wined and dined") also has this intensity. It wasn't so much playing tons of notes as putting across a feeling.

By his own admission, Syd isn't on Corporal Clegg. According to Gilmour hes on Set the Controls briefly, with his guitar. Rogers song was a Piper outtake; rather different from Syds more lyrical flights. Can't imagine how it would have fitted into THAT album!

A great album, with Barrett's "Jugband Blues" as a chilling coda. As Syds band went on without him, him the generative spark. 8/10. An extraordinary album by the group, and it must have been trying, losing Syd and having to replace him with one of his closest friends. Weird band isn't it? Whos heard of Syd now, and you never hear about how wonderful his slide playing is, and his lyrics. More about what a lunatic he was purported to be. Well, at least hes alive!

starostin@geocities.com (George Starostin)
Don't know, really, but I can't see why Saucerful should be worse than Piper (can't see how it could be better as well, though). Of course, there's quite a bunch of clumsy, erratic and unmemorable cosmic rockers on here - but they needn't be worse than Syd's children's stuff. In fact, 'Corporal Clegg' could quite as well be written by Syd. And as for the primary stuff, 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun' IS cool (although not as breathtaking as 'Astronomy Domine'), and the title track sounds much more attractive than 'Interstellar Overdrive' to me. Of course, it's an artsy groove, but it has a plot (as far as I know, it depicts a battle and its consequences) and some diversity. The rest of the tracks are hogwash. I may be wrong, but I always tend to write off Barrett's songs as crazy unstructured and unmelodical crap. At least - most of them. And Waters was still learning... By the way, did you know that the working title of 'See-Saw' was something like 'The Most Boring Song I've Ever Heard Bar Two'. Question is: what are the other two? Ha ha!

squirrel_police@hotmail.com
Another great album. Simply put, every song here is good. Corporal Clegg is a good rocker, and Jugband Blues is simply amazing, a 3 minute masterpiece...the bouncy verses, and then the instrumental break, the weird sound effects. Then Barret softly singing the haunting final lines "And what exactly is a dream..." A perfect closer for a good album.

stoo@imsa.edu (John McFerrin)
I agree that this is an extremely patchy album, as it is mostly Piper outtakes with some Dave guitar overdubs (I would be surprised if Syd didn't play on the first track; the guitar lines highest in the mix are definitely Daves, but upon listening with headphones, you hear some wierd ass guitar tones in the background that could only belong to Syd) along with the title track. I would say that I don't like this album much if it weren't for the fact that I _do_ like this album quite a bit. Remember a Day is beautiful, Corporal Clegg sets the blueprint for all of Water's anti-war songs to come later, and of course the title track rules (tho I prefer the Ummagumma version). And Jugband blues is a perfect closer. A good 8.

imoss@northernlight.com (Ian Moss)
Enh. I wish they had built all of "Let there Be More Light" around that opening bass groove--man, that thing cooked! After that it's all downhill, though I enjoy "Remember a Day" and "Corporal Clegg"--what a fabulously silly song. The others are okay, for the most part, but it's just kinda boring at the same time. And I don't get why everyone loves "Jugband Blues" so much. Whatever floats your boat, I guess. Syd never really did it for me. Anyway, Saucerful is a low 7 in my book.

ajkenyon81@yahoo.com (Amanda Kenyon)
Dark! Druggy! Murky! Depressing! And what a fabulous introductory bass line! What's not to like? Well, okay, "Corporal Clegg." I really can't stand that one. I don't like the strident, whiny lyrics or the over-the-top kazoo thing. It's just irritating. But "Let There Be More Light"! "See Saw"! "Set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun"! And most especially "Jugband Blues," which is my favorite Floyd song besides "Wish You Were Here." "It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here, and I'm most obliged to you for making it clear that I'm not here." So sad and bitter and heartbreaking. Who else but Syd's Floyd could put together a drugged-up jugband? I ask you. I give the album an 8.

TheRubberCow@aol.com
Listen closer, Tobasco...that's David Gilmour singing the chourus on "Let There Be More Light."

gray0187@tc.umn.edu (Jon)
we--eelll this one has its moments, but it isnt all that good. starting with let ther be more light, you start to believe this is oing to be incredible until the bass stops and this weird other melody comes in thats not too good. it has a chorus that almost takes you somewhere but not quite. then there is wrights two weirdo pop songs (what a frigged up relationship hes got with his sister, you know? those lyrics are STRANGE), they have good atmosphere and melodic ideas, but they're too uncomfortable to succeed. set the controls jsut doesnt leap out like it should, its just over-simplified and not as hypnotic as it shold be. corporal clegg is great (all gilmie on guitar, by the way) because of its weird riff (with the hendrix chord, haha musicians, hendrix chord!) and its unpleasant "hi im from another song that didnt make it" chorus and then the weird kazoo stuff. strangE! but fun. saucerful features the whale-guitar soon to be found on echoes, but goes nowhere for a long time (except in terms of pure unstructured jam, which can be fun if yer in the mood) the last chording about is wright in a good bit of songwriting, and jugband blues is like a madcap outtake. pretty good, but disjointed and more fascinating than melodically and catchily sound. but darned if it isnt from his "have you got it yet?" days where he loved to play tricks on his bandmates by changing melodies at random... thats great! ok, thats all, i say 8/10 is more than fair.

elffriend@msn.com (William Jones)
Saucerful of Secrets is by far the best Floyd Album ever, it is far out, space music at its' finest.

opeth1213@yahoo.com (Eric D.)
Saucerful of Secrets is my favorite early Floyd album. True it's a bit patchy, but pretty good for a band that's trying to keep it together while the leader has some obvious demons he's fighting and can only contribute one song. I enjoy Mr. Barrett's contribution (Jugband Blues) just fine. The rest of the album sounds like a band finding themselves and hints at what would come. Standouts include the title track, Set the Controls and Let there Be Light. 9/10

Piper - 9
Saucer - 9
Atom - 8
Meddle - 8
DSofM - 10
WyWW - 8
Animals - 10
The Wall - 8
Final Cut - 8
MLoR - 6
Division Bell - 6

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
Well, the loss of Syd obviously screwed up PF completely - SOS is a difficult transition record, but it still has a certain charm about it (even though the overall Syd feeling has completely vanished since Piper). You can see that they had to scrape together material for this one (the original working title of See Saw was ‘the worst song I’ve ever heard bar one’, or something derogatory along those lines), and the record is a tad short (39 minutes). Let There Be More Light, Remember A Day, Jugband Blues, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun and the title track are all good in my book, and Corporal Clegg has a soupcon of Syd influence. 8/10

jcjh20@hotmail.com (Joe)
I really like this album. I believe Syd is only on "Remember A Day", "Set The Controls..." (supposedly), and "Jugband Blues", as far as i know, but it sure does sound like him on "Corporal Clegg". All the songs on this album are great, though i'm not that big a fan of the title track. I think maybe it'd fit better on any of their next few albums, but i far prefer the psychadelic Syd influence on the rest of the record. I'm really happy that you mentioned how Rick Wright earns a lot of credit too, because i couldn't agree more. Seems like people think his early songs were crap (including himself, as well as the rest of the band most likely), but i think he was writing the best stuff after Syd, or at the least, certainly up there with Roger Waters's material of this era. "Remember A Day" and "See Saw" are both beautiful songs from this record by him, and his other songs of this period like "Paintbox" and "It Would Be So Nice" i'm a huge fan of. I wish he contributed more materal. Seems like his huge potential just went to waste for some reason.

As for Roger's and Dave's songs, "Corporal Clegg" and "Let There Be More Light" are awesome songs, the former really sounding like something Syd might write if he didn't sadly succumb to his mental illness. And of course, Syd's own "Jugband Blues" is a brilliant track, combining both poigniancy and jovality all in the same shot. Too bad there weren't more Syd songs, or more songs from any of the other band members for that matter. Even though not a total work of brilliance like Piper, this is still a hell of a great record concidering how the band supposedly couldn't write any good songs without Syd, as they tend to claim.

thepublicimage79@hotmail.com (Mike Noto)
Patchy, but enjoyable in a couple of places. "Let There Be More Light" starts off the proceedings, and it's obvious poor old Roger was trying to fill in for poor old Syd by writing a "mystical" rocker - unfortunately, most of it sucks, especially the lyrics. But - and this is one BIG but - if Rog had chosen to stick with the intro, developed a song out of it, and retained Dave's kickass solo at the end, I think we woulda had a Floyd Classic! God, the intro is so good. "Remember A Day" follows and I can guarantee Syd played on that track - it's a Rick Wright-written Piper outtake that was recycled for this album. I think, though, that Gilmour is the one on acoustic, not Syd - even though the lead was overdubbed, so Syd could easily have played both parts. Rick sings very well here. "Set The Controls" is an early Floyd classic, with Roger's attempt at working Chinese poetry into a tight musical setting functioning far better than Syd's previous washout, the worthless "Chapter 24" (which is one of the few truly awful tracks on Piper). Syd also plays on "Set The Controls". "Corporal Clegg" follows and that features Syd as well. See, Floyd was briefly a five-piece, so Dave and Syd played together on a few tracks on "Saucerful". This is one of those songs. Musically, "Corporal Clegg" features the same problem as "Let There Be More Light" - Waters keeps on trying to think up gimmicks to enhance the riffs, and it usually just detracts from them instead. "Corporal Clegg" has a fantastic riff, especially the mind-bendingly beautiful, jangly dissonance of Syd's lead line, but it goes to hell in the middle with the damn kazoos - the vocal harmony bridge is also amazing. It could have been great, I say. "A Saucerful of Secrets" is good in its' studio version, but doesn't hold a candle to the "Ummagumma" version (and I gotta say, Mark, the live half of "Ummagumma" is the only part worth having - the studio half is some of the most tedious, amelodic, ass-holy pretentious fart-noise wankery ever recorded - except for some prime King Crimson bullshit). "See-Saw" is the other Rick Wright composition. The working title of this one was - and I'm pretty sure this is exact - "The Most Boring Song I've Ever Heard In My Life Bar Track Two" - but it isn't that bad (I also heard the track was called "The Worst Fucking Song I've Ever...you get the idea). "Jugband Blues" closes the record. The sole Syd contribution, the band placed it very deliberately at the end. It is a terribly sad and beautiful song, with Salvation Army band horns. So, there's this strange, but fascinating, Floyd record.

gag05@bigpond.com.au
What could Pink Floyd possibly do, after losing perhaps the most bizarre, talented acid songwriter of the psychedelic era??? Bring in David Gilmour and release a shit album full of pointless dull jams and awful songs of course. The only song here really worth listening to is “Jugband Blues” despite the fact it’s sad as hell listening to Syd admit his tragic schizophrenic condition to an upbeat/haunting melody….great song though.

Wadedh14@aol.com
Okay, to clarify once and for all: All five members play on "Set the Controls". Syd's on "Jugband Blues" for definite sure definite. I'd wager with ya, Mark, that "Remember a Day" and "Corporal Clegg" have Syd playing on them -- I always thought that sounded like Syd singing on "Clegg". I'm sure it's just Roger screaming, a la "Stethoscope".

Now, "Let There Be More Light" is fine enough. The two Wright songs are quite pretty, though I haven't listened to "See Saw" in a long time. Don't know why. "Set the Controls" is alright, and the title track, I've always thought, is stupid. Have you seen the Pompeii version? Shit, they're just banging on stuff! The drum line that "kicks in" is really cool, though, and near the end, when the song actually becomes a SONG (key word there), that's pretty cool, too. Nice and melodic...sort of. That's the Pompeii version, at least; I haven't even listened to the studio version in a loooong time. Longer than "See Saw". I've always liked "Jugband Blues", and "Corporal Clegg" I do love. It's just so crazy!!! It reminds me slightly of something off of, say, Sgt. Pepper, perhaps? Good album. Probably 8/10.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
I love the entirety of this album, but I'll focus my comment on its most important track, the "Saucerful of Secrets" title track. This song helped provide the direction and focus the band stuck with all the way through "Wish You Were Here" - extended concept tracks that focus on a cinematic feel. The version here is pretty tentative, but the piece grew and grew, and by the time of Ummagumma, it had evolved into a pretty intense set-piece. And then there was Live at Pompeii and HOLY CHRIST!

browningub40@peoplepc.com
I still think the only good pink floyd was the syd barrett one. Except for possibly animals. Thus , the only song on here that's really worthwhile is jugband blues because it features syd. The rest stinks really bad. When he left the band there was no more pink floyd, because he was pink floyd.

jjunea2@lsu.edu
Here is my review: enjoy or do not enjoy!

Pink Floyd’s second album, Saucerful of Secrets, enjoys the dubious reputation of being a patchy transition album that fails to live up to its predecessor. In truth this is correct, but there is more to this lump of vinyl. Before we go on, I am reviewing the mono version, though I have heard the stereo and will make appropriate comparisons.

A Saucerful of Secrets looks forward and backward, more of the latter and this makes for the unfortunate comparison with Piper at the Gates of Dawn. There is a real sense that they tried to do a second version of Piper, in both theme and mood, right down to placing there “Interstellar Overdrive” clone at the start of side 2. This may be unfortunate but it is understandable, even discounting the loss of Barrett as an active songwriter. Remember that many of the songs on this LP were already in the making before Barrett was booted out. As far as I know, only “Saucerful of Secrets” and “Corporal Clegg” are post-Syd in origin. So an album resembling Piper is to be expected, or is it. Let’s look at the tracks in more detail.

First, A Saucerful of Secrets has only 7 tracks to Piper’s 11. This may not seem important, but it does reveal that not only was the songwriting going to be different, but that any attempt by Waters, Wright and co. to imitate Barrett were not going to work as well. Barrett’s talent was in quickly writing songs that succinctly captured moods and feelings. By contrast the rest of Floyd had to use space (they were architects after all) to approach moods and themes. Barrett could write pop songs; they couldn’t. Hence Piper deftly moves from song to song, changing color all the while leaving the listener with a clear idea of a “room of musical tunes”. A Saucerful of Secrets, by contrast, lurches around clumsily, almost grotesquely in places. Piper is kinetic, chromatic and downright psychotic. A Saucerful of Secrets is mordant, monochrome (with a few flickers of light), and weary. Now to the tracks:

1) Let there be more light: I think they started recording this in January 1968, when Syd was already on his way out. I’ve used David Parker’s book; “Random Precision”. The chugging bass line that opens this song creates an energetic rush, that then comes to a halt as the main part of the song enters. By contrast in “Astronomy Domine” the bass continues even after the overture as the other instruments enter. The bass is more prominent in the stereo, while the mono brings out more of the guitar and organ. The song uses highs and lows, sweeping crescendos to create a lurching cousin to “Astronomy Domine”. At least that’s how it sounds to me. All that’s missing is Peter Jenner calling out planetary names from a book over a megaphone. Actually I like the song. It’s a cool dark druggy rocker. I just wished they had expanded more from the original concept.

2) Remember a Day: All of Richard Wright’s songs sound the same to me. This is not a criticism. With Syd’s loss, he did provide a melodic sense missing in Water’s works. Wright struck me as the moderate of the group between Roger and Nick on one side and Syd on the other. Musically he is in the middle too. Like Barrett, he can capture the sense of the summer of love, yet he also has Water’s weariness. Unlike Barrett’s childlike ditties, Wright’s are not the least bit psychotic or scary. “Remember a Day” is a wistful tribute to the summer of love and the regret at its passing. The theme of “light” becomes “day”. Wright’s song is the brightest. The swirling organ and high register of singing contrast nicely with the refrain, “Why can’t we stay today?” Mason’s drums and Water’s bass are good too at holding down the rhythm and giving the song some gravity. Wright does not sing of lullabys; he sings of missing them.

3) Set Controls for the Heart of the Sun: Many see the title track of this LP as the pointer to Floyd’s future, but I don’t buy it. This is it. Water’s first foray into Floyd’s soundtrack period. I do advise listening to the mono for it is far better than the stereo. It’s brighter and clearer. From “day” we now go into the heart of the “sun”. Despite the implication, the song is cool and moves in a dark and quiet way. The drums and organ are the heart this track. The drums giving the sense of outer space, while the organ gives twinkles of light, while in between, Roger tries to imitate Syd’s “Chapter 24”. Despite that, this song is really Floyd without Syd, though Syd probably played guitar on this track. The moodiness, whispered vocals, the length of the track all point to a different manner than Barrett’s vivid and concise songs. On Piper, only three of its eleven tracks went over the four minute mark, two just barely. Here all but (surprise!) “Jugband Blues”, clock in at over 4 or 5 minutes.

4) Corporal Clegg: Is it me or does not seem like The Secret Life of Walter Middy? Clegg seems to imagine his way through life, driving the Mrs. to drink in the process. Unlike Percy the Ratcatcher and his cat Lucifer, there is no mystery here. Barrett could revel in mystery and whimsy. Waters wants to smash everyone’s wall and expose them in the light. I am often surprised they worked together for as long as they did. This is probably the first of Water’s not so subtle condemnations of militarism, however muted. It’s certainly a new direction in theme. Like the other stuff, it drags and lurches and completely lacks the energy of a cat that cannot be explained. Mystery has no substance or weight and thus is light and kinetic. Uncomfortable truth is heavy, real heavy and so is water.

5) Saucerful of Secrets: Onto side two, we meet the new Floyd’s version of “Interstellar Overdrive” Ed Macan did his own comparison of these and other tracks in his article in Pink Floyd and Philosophy. I tend to agree with him that “Saucerful of Secrets” is a more structured version of “Interstellar Overdrive” and that the former has a proper sense of closure the latter just stops dead, in space as it were. Some have also said there are four parts to the song, though I mostly hear three, with the organ, drums and then guitar taking the spotlight in term. It certainly betokens the new democratic Floyd and lacks the dynamic, yet chaotic swirl of “Interstellar Overdrive”. I do recommend listening to the mono version of this. I usually say that but here I find the stereo and mono to be completely different in mood and tone. Many justly celebrate the Ummagumma version of “Saucerful of Secrets” as the definitive version of the song and I tend to agree. This mono version, however, gives that a run for its money. It’s an ugly, grotesque track of all one color – battleship grey. And there you are, on the H.M.S. Repulse, just as those Nell and Beatty bombers arrive over the South China Sea.

6) See Saw: The other Wright composition. Much of what I said about “Remember a Day” could apply here, though I find this song more lacking. It is more laidback and lilting According to Parker the original title for this was “The Most Boring Song I’ve Ever Heard Bar 2”. Whose sense of humor is involved here I don’t know or want to know. “See Saw” is not ugly; its bland. It’s a stale after dinner mint for people who got indigestion from “Saucerful of Secrets”.

7) Jugband Blues: Syd had a number of songs for a second LP, but only one was chosen. I can’t see why except that they needed a song to close the album and it worked better than “Vegetable Man” or “Old Lady with a Casket”. All three are scary insights into alienation. I am not a psychologist and will not try to judge Syd or his mental state. When I listen to any of these three tracks, however, I hear a man giving a most succinct and vivid look at alienation, not only from his mates, or outside world, but from himself. It took Roger Water’s four album sides to try to look at man’s alienation from himself. Barrett does it with a 3 minute pop song, backed by a Salvation Army band. The effect is similar to the end of “Bike”, with cacophonous noises abounding and such. The twist is the outro, where Syd returns, all the other noise gone, save his acoustic and words such as these:

And the sea isn’t green

And I love the queen

And what exactly is a dream

And what exactly is a joke

It seems Syd Barrett knows more about reality than I originally gave credit. Peace.

Ben
I'm not that much into early Floyd, but I really like this one. It's certainly more diverse than the childish "Piper", not to mention better. The song "Set the Controls" is a real treat. It's weird but has a nice groove. The first two songs are the other highlights here. The only song from this album I don't like is Rick's "See-Saw".

Add your thoughts?

Rhamadam: Syd Barrett and the Dawn of Pink Floyd - Bootleg
Rating = 7

The nation mourned this week as Roger Keith "Sid Vicious" Barrett passed away of diabetes-related complications. He was a very talented man with very talented ideas, so it's always sad to see somebody like that go crazy, not do anything for 35 years, then die. Hopefully Capitol Records will do some digging in his mother's closet and find 30 previously unreleased albums he privately recorded over the years (I'm particularly interested in his take on mid-80s thrash, perhaps entitled The Madcap Shreds). In the meantime we'll have to make do with The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, his two FAN-GODDAMNED-TASTIC solo albums The Madcap Laughs and Barrett (if you don't own them, BUY THEM! They're really, really great! Some say I should have reviewed them by now!), and piles of leftover shbeep like Opel and this bootleg.

Most people upon first listening to Rhamadam find themselves complaining, "Where the hell is 'No Reply At All'? That doesn't sound like Mike Rutherford!" But reading is hard. In fact, reading correctly is almost impossible. Oh! Did I mention that Syd Barrett was born the exact same year as my father? Furthermore, they were close friends growing up! This in spite of the fact that they never met nor communicated in any way. In fact, I'm not even sure my father has ever heard of Syd Barrett. And it's this loose definition of 'close friends' that has allowed me the illusion of a caring support network since early high school.

Some people think I joke around too much -- that I'm more concerned with one-liners than talking about the actual album. Well, let me tell you something right now. I may appear to be all laughter and clowns on the inside, but when it comes to rock and roll, I'm as serious as a heart attack.

A FUNNY heart attack, that is! WHEEE!!!! (*hilarious Pez dispenser lodges in middle of artery*)

No but serioubly, this crappy bootleg features terrible muddy sound and early cut-offs in nearly every track. The very, VERY low 7 grade I'm giving it is onacounta (anaconda) the music itself, which rules because Syd Barrett was a God-esque songwriter. Herein, we have 8 solo Syd songs (mostly alternate versions of album tracks), 6 Pink Floyd tracks (mostly "Interstellar Overdrive" over and over again), a single by David Gilmour's (terrible) first band The Joker's Wild, 1 Kevin Ayers song with Syd guesting, 2 interviews and 1 TV guy running off at the mouth like a dick.

Highlights include a ridiculously fast-paced version of "Love You," a funky uptempo instrumental Piper outtake called "Sunshine," and an alternate version of "Candy And A Currant Bun" with different lyrics than the officially released version that most people haven't heard anyway. Of interest (though also of lesser quality) are the bongo solo "Rhamadam," "Long Gone" without the guest musicians, and a semi-bluesy/semi-catatonic instrumental supposedly from Syd's final 1975 session. Of no use whatsoever, but worth hearing because, hell somebody thought to put them on here are both sides of The Joker's Wild "Don't Ask Me"/"Why Do Fools Fall In Love" single (apparently from '66, though their squeaky-clean r'n'b/doowop style is straight out of '62) and a wonderfully hokey boogie rocker from Kevin Ayers that sounds like an old Coke commercial with a Syd Barrett solo in the middle.

If you're a completist who must have everything "Dysco Syd" ever laid his body on, you'd might as well sit through 20 minutes of live "Interstellar Overdrive" racket (or 31 minutes if you count the snippets underneath the interviews). But don't be tricked into spending a whole lot of money on this, because it's not worth it!

Also not worth it is turning 33 years old, which I did today. One year closer to death, theoretically. I thought it would be silly not to do it though, and forfeit all those great presents like Killer Nun, Man From Deep River, Scenes From A Convent, Thriller: A Cruel Picture, Sex Clinic, Cannibal Apocalypse, Lust For Freedom, SS Hell Camp, Don't Go Near The Park and the double-feature Scream of the Butterfly/Day of the Nightmare.

Say! Want to hear something hilarious? The other day I thought to myself, "Gee, I wonder how many movies I own that I haven't watched yet." So I counted them.

Are you ready for this?

241.

As any clear-thinking person would do, I next decided to look through all the movies to see if there were any I could just skip because they didn't look very good.

1.

Namely an Italian Exorcist ripoff called The Tempter. But the rest? Christ! Come on, you expect me NOT to watch Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers!? Or Can You Keep It Up For A Week!?

Or perhaps you think I should skip Sorority House Massacre, Class Reunion Massacre or The Sinful Dwarf. SHOWS YOU WHAT YOU KNOW!!!

Why yes, those ARE five different Jess Franco DVDs. Why do you ask?

Why yes, those ARE six different entries in the Black Emanuelle series. Did you have a question?

Why yes, that stack is indeed a bunch of gross hirsute '70s porn movies with titles like Three Ripening Cherries and Sex Rink. Did you have a question?

In conclusion, it's too bad that Syd Barrett and I never became buddies because I'm almost certain that The Naughty Stewardesses would have had him back to normal and fronting Pink Floyd 2K within minutes.

Reader Comments

jimbobbil@gmail.com
Don't Go Near The Park is terrible. So terrible, in fact, that you might like it. Especially when it tries to be all dramatic and scary (I guess, unless it's some kind of camp parody). I would go into detail but you might not appreciate me spoiling it, although you're hardly missing much.

Also, I'm assuming SS Hell Camp is some kind of sequel to SS Experiment/Death Camp? That film is still unreleased here, because it got banned during the Video Nasty panic. Similarly, thanks to Mary "Shit" Whitehouse, many films are still partly censored in Britain (like Maniac and I Spit On Your Grave) while going uncut overseas!

Add your thoughts?

The Sights and Sounds of Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd - Bootleg
Rating = 7

I forgot to bring the track listing to work with me, but it's probably pretty good. I mean pssh it's Syd "Rona" Barrett, how bad is it gonna be. Fuckin' Syd "Grin And" Barrett wrote a song with his dick and it ruled because he's a genis and so is his penis. Asspipin' Syd "Eat A Carrot" Barrett ain't no joob. When an album includes 4 talky bits, 11 early Pink Floyd songs and 10 solo Syd songs, that album's gonna rule even if most people already have all the songs on it. Like my notes here say that two of these are pulled butt-directly off of Relics and another was ballsac-ripped right off of Saucerful Of Sucrets and a few others are fulla bulla too. So pssh on that but pssh on you psshy. You phkn psshy.

It's awesome to be drunk at work. BUUUUUURP!!! BRAAAAAAP!!! I've written two gas noises!

What you're likely to find of worthwhileness on this 25-track bootleg is/are the following items of noteworthy interestingitude:

- An 'introduction' by Paul McCartney that discusses psychedelic music in general but doesn't mention the words "Pink Floyd" even once -- he could be talking about The Toodly-Doo Band for all we know!

- Very good dubs of "Vegetable Man" and "Scream Thy Last Scream," two of Syd's last (and SICKEST!) Pink Floyd tracks

- The Syd Barrett Peel Sessions EP in its entirety. Actually that's kinda the highlight of the CD. So if you already own that disc, don't buy this one.

- A stodgy old prick TV announcer who introduces the band by calling them boring, loud and unmusical (!)

- A haunting, morbid acoustic/bass duet performance of "Dominoes" apparently recorded on a tape machine buried out in the yard

- Me doing this (*takes a shit on your Mom's tits*)

I don't know why I write things like that. I'm depressed. Depressed or tired. The days just keep flying by, and I have high cholesterol that's gonna kill me and everything just feels sad and overbusy. Busy all the time, so busy. Busy with listing and fulfilling ebay auctions and work and writing reviews and walking dog and TKD and eating and listening to music for review. Easy life, but so busy! Days just flying by, like time through the hourglass of our lives. I went on an 8-day vacation a couple weeks ago and it lasted for 1 second. I just turned 33 and I'm as old as Paul Simon used to be. Things that people take for granted I take for walks in the park, usually my dog, so stop taking him for granted asshole. Wouldn't that suck? To have a granted asshole? That smelled like somebody else's poop because it was still kind of soaked into the sides of the hole? Here's some interesting information about New York City, for all you "New York City Heads" out there. Wall Street used to be a wall - the Dutch built it in the 1600s to keep the Indians from invading. The Bronx is an area formerly owned by a man named Bronck. Pearl Street used to border the East River, and got its name from the pearls washed up on the shore. The Dutch settlers were good at landscaping so they somehow made the island bigger. Broadway used to be an Indian warpath. Indians settled their tribal lands east-to-west, so any north-south routes were called 'warpaths' because you'd be cutting through other Indian lands and they'd kick your ass. Politically 'PC' Correct thought tells us that the evil White Man took advantage of the peaceful Indian, killed him and took his land, which is of course true, but the Indians were pricks too. They used to massacre people left, right and center, including other Indians. Luckily they all died and built casinos, and today's White People are flawless angel saviours sent from God, particularly celebrities (eg Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt). Peter Stuyvesant? Peg-legged bigot prick. Harlem? Used to be 'New Haarlem,' named after the original 'Haarlem' in Holland, which was the same distance from Amsterdam as 'New Haarlem' was from 'New Amsterdam' (Manhattan's name back when New York City was known as 'New Holland'). Nobody can remember who came up with the name 'Manhattan' or why. Hudson River is named after Henry Hudson, the first settler to cruise down it or something like that. The Empire State Building is actually pronounced "The Umpire Steaks Builders," and you're supposed to whip your dick out and wiggle it around like a building whenever you talk about it.

I don't know why I write things like that.

No wait! I DO!

It's because Funky Winkerbean sucked all the comedy out of the world.

Reader Comments

Wadedh14@bellsouth.net
Funny shit, man, funny shit. But if you want a [non]comic strip that sucks all the comedy out of the world, look a little further up the page at The Family Circus.

Anyway, I recently obtained the original versions of "Apples and Oranges", "Vegetable Man", "Scream Thy Last Scream", "Lucy Leave", "Stoned Alone", "Point Me at the Sky", and "Careful with That Axe, Eugene". Man, I'm the shit now. I tell you, that is all some prime stuff. All great. Except for maybe "Stoned Alone", which is just a bunch of noise and jamming for 2 minutes.

R.I.P. Syd Barret, a genius in his own right.

Add your thoughts?

Magnesium Proverbs - Night Tripper
Rating = 7

The problem with these old Syd Barrett-era bootlegs is that they all pretty much have the same songs on them, with just a few special exclusives every once in a while. For example, most of them have the Paul McCartney talking bit, the majority feature 'alternate mixes' of "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play" that sound exactly like the officially released versions, most have at least one or two live lo-fi versions of "Interstellar Overdrive," more than a few feature the same exact interview snippets and 30-seconds worth of "Reaction In G," and 8,000 of them contain Syd's final Pink Floyd recordings "Scream Thy Last Scream" and "Vegetable Man." So if you plan to buy multiple Syd-era bootlegs, compare the track listings closely and make sure you're not paying $20 for something you already own 85% of. This is fine if you're purchasing a hooker because the differentiating 15% is what you're after, but it's kind of a rip CD-wise.

The highlights of Magnesium Proverbs (aside from those I just named, if you don't already own them) are two very early studio recordings of The Pink Floyd when they were still an r'n'b/blues outfit. These tunes - Slim Harpo's "King Bee" and Syd Barpo's "Lucy Leave" - aren't anywhere near as bad as you'd expect. In fact, "Lucy Leave" is a downright great r'n'b original, with an exuberant vocal line, two groovy chords and an energetic full-band performance. "King Bee" is a bit more repetitive, but its 'bw-WOOP!' upward bass swoops provide a nice dark mood - at least until the stinging, terrible guitar solos come in. A further 'highlight' (in that it's very rare, if not all that good) is a long, live two-chord musical freakout called "Stoned Alone." The rest of the PF tunes are BS filled with BO.

God, wouldn't that be awesome if you could literally open up a log of bullshit and fill it with body odor? Where are today's top scientific minds when I need them to make something smelly for me to throw at them, the pricks?

As for the Syd Barrett solo material, three of the tracks are from a lo-fi, muffled tape of Mr. Crazypants' only 1970 solo performance -- a mere 36 years before he would tragically pass away in an untimely diabetes accident. They're terrible, unfortunately - mainly because it doesn't seem like the bass player bothered to learn any of the songs before hitting the stage. Fuckin' bass player. I think it was David Gilmour of Pink Floyd.

The other Syd tracks are from radio performances, and thus were not greatly influenced by Eliot Spitzer's investigations into corruption among the nation's top insurance brokerages. Although a few legislative eyebrows were raised upon discovering that he had simultaneously sat on the boards of both Marsh and Aon in the early '90s, Syd mostly managed to avoid the worst of the controversies. When questions ultimately arose regarding apparent stock options backdating and executive overcompensation, he cleverly disguised himself as a 400-pound bald man and acted 'all crazy' for over three decades. Although his 2006 death was officially linked to complications of a long-term disease, some industry insiders maintain that Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg's fingerprints were found on his diabetes.

Best,
Steve Tits
Editor-In-Chief
National Underwriter - Pink Floyd Rules Edition

Reader Comments

LynkWarner@aol.com
Why would anyone let this moronic writing stand as representative of this music. True, much may be recordings of Barrett's artistic death-throes, but come on. Let's pretend that some day, who knows, reasonably mature adults could read this for information. Instead of a presentation of what's enclosed, we have a moronic child-ass pretending to know more than he does. Why do it?

Add your thoughts?

The Man And The Journey - Bootleg 1969.
Rating = 6

I was earmarked for a suckering! It appeared - APPEARED - to be two long unreleased Pink Floyd concert-only gems: "The Man" suite and "The Journey" suite. With such entrancing song title offerings as "Doing It," "Beset By Creatures Of The Deep" and "Labyrinth of Auximenes," I thought I was in for an experience unlike any other that I had ever known.

BUT I WAS TO BE BAMBOOZLED!

"Daybreak" is "Grantchester Meadows" (makes sense -- gentle morning song with which to greet the day), "Afternoon" is "Biding My Time" (neat to hear live, by the way! Jazz-o-good!), "Doing It" is a psychedelic drum solo, alluding, of course, to the way that couples tend to play psychedelic drum solos while FUCKING, "Sleep" is a bunch of dicking around "scary" noises, unless that track was deleted and this is in fact "Nightmare." That might be the case, because the only other song that appears in the "Man" suite is a five-million-year version of "Cymbaline," which is either "Nightmare" or "Daybreak (part two)" on the extra-song-title-featuring track list. This seems like a stretch to me, though -- "Cymbaline" is neither scary enough to be a nightmare nor anywhere near peaceful enough to be a daybreak. What are your thoughts on "Cymbaline"? It's kind of an unnerving little song, even with its almost-happy chorus. So much din and drone and darkness. But the lyrics aren't a nightmare! That's like saying that a Billy Joel concert is a nightmare just because I would sooner burn myself to death than attend one.

On to the second half of the consumer manipulation - "The Journey": "The Beginning" is "Green Is The Colour," featuring a ghastly off-tone vocal performance by David Gilmour (of "Raise My Rent" fame), "Beset By Creatures Of The Deep" is yet another title for "Careful With That Axe, Eugene," "The Narrow Way" is one of the few pieces of honesty included on this track listing and includes another eyeball-tic-inducing poor vocal performance by David Gilmour (of "All Lovers Are Deranged" fame), "The Pink Jungle" is "Pow R Toc H" (the shittiest Syd-era song they could possibly have chosen to include), "Labyrinth Of Auximenes" is just more dicking around like the Sun City Girls, "Behold The Temple Of Light" is a nice, actually INTERESTING piece of guitar chording around and finally "Celestial Voices" is exactly what you know it as - the beautiful, sorrow-laden conclusion to "A Saucerful Of Secrets."

This was all recorded live in Amsterdam in 1969, before they created what has become known as their masterpiece, Atom Heart Mother. So if you like the murky druggy sluggish directionless of More, you'll LOVE this bootleg that you probably won't be able to find anywhere anyway!

So in my dream last night, I was about to marry this woman I can't stand (she exists in real life, so I won't print her name here). And I was really upset about it and ended up screaming "NO WAY!" to her in the church, but the important part that I wanted to tell you about was that there were certain celebration ritual thingies that took place the day of the wedding. I can't remember most of them, but one was absolutely classic -- I (the groom) was allowed to poop anywhere and anytime I wanted, as long as I did it through my father's tennis racket. Go ahead - analyze THAT, Billy Crystal.

Reader Comments

ajkenyon81@yahoo.com (Amanda Kenyon)
I remember reading about this in Saucerful of Secrets, that really fabulous biography I found on ebay for $3. I adore ebay. Anyhow, this was something they developed in the way early days, if I'm remembering correctly, right around the time Syd was thrown out. It was sort of a theme concert, The Man being along the lines of Days of Future Passed (I don't know if it was a conscious emulation on either band's part) and The Journey being along the lines of...well, a journey, I guess. The author of the book was careful to point out that neither of these suites were "lost Floyd classics," just rearrangements of the songs we already know. See what happens when you don't do your research, Mark? :)

gray0187@tc.umn.edu (Jon)
I remember this! i got the mp3s expecting something really weird and cool and unreleased(but then why didn't they release it, stupid?), but it was not to be. the big important part of this is not "labyrinths of auxicrappy" or anything like that,but behold the temple of light. that song is fucking great, and its a tiny short chord sequence repeated with drums and organ runs. it has NO REASON WHATSOEVER to be good, but it is. its hypnotic goodness somehow just never gets boring. thats what sets floyd apart. and will even after they go in this pop music direction and follow it into the dust. i like the pink ungle too, just for that opening organ sound with the tinkling drums... it sounds like a creepy jungle adventurer movie!

gorf15@hotmail.com (Garrett N.)
Gilmour has said, referring to the post Syd, pre Atom Heart Mother era, that they were very good live, and their biggest problem at that time was capturing the magic of those moments on record, which in my opinion, was never captured, until Pompeii. The Man and the Journey, most notably the Amsterdam recording, is an exellent example of what the Floyd were all about during those post Syd/pre Darkside days. The soundscapes, the interplay between Wright's delayed Farfisa organ and Gilmour's delayed slide guitar sound effects. The BEST parts of the suite in my opinion ARE "Labyrinths of Auximines" and "Nightmare". This has also got to be the best version of "Cymbaline" out there, lots better than the studio recording on More. "Beset by the Creatures of the Deep" is one of the spookiest versions on "Careful w/ that Axe, Eugene", and of course "Daybreak" is the best version of "Granchester Meadows" out there in my opinion, better than the stale version on Ummagumma... It's much more multi-layered, with both Roger and Dave on guitars, and Wright doing some classically-influenced organ solos on it. The first double set-long suite ever performed by the floyd, they should have at least recorded and released a live album of it. But, Gilmour's vocals are a bit bad in places. Also, in addition to the musical aspects of the suite, there was a great deal of theatre involved as well, which included the band doing construction work on stage, and a man running through the audience dressed up in a dragon outfit.

jsalgado@uiuc.edu
I'm gonna have to go it alone and stand up for The Pink Jungle here. I agree that Pow R. Toc H., on its own, isn't that impressive, but this is one of the times where a song in the Suite has been drastically altered - the song is faster, louder, the tone is FAR darker, and the thing gets off to a galloping jam that in my opinion totally blows the original away. I mean, not that it's hard to do, but this is probably one of my favorite tracks off of the bootleg (along with Afternoon and Behold the Temple of the Light, probably).

Is your bootleg missing the "Work" track that goes in between Daybreak and Afternoon? It's a pretty odd, purely percussive piece with xylophone-like banging and all kinds of sounds like sawing and ratcheting. If you don't have it, I could point you to a site that does, or forward it to you over the net (if you'd be so inclined).

If you listen REALLY REALLY hard, you can catch some of Wright's trombone solo over Gilmour's solo.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
Luckily, I already knew about these "new" suites before I got this bootleg, so I didn't have to endure any disappointment or anything. It's the early More/Ummagumma era Floyd, live! It's absolutely fantabulous! They hadn't quite hit their peak yet, but they were close. I'm not sure what the lyrics to "Green is the Colour" have to do with a "Journey", but hey, I'm willing to suspend disbelief for the sake of a pretty tune that segues nicely into "Careful With that Axl, Eugene". And my copy is one of the better sounding bootlegs I own - it's only slightly marred (sorry Johnny) by some Dutch Radio guy interjecting every 15 minutes or so. My copy also cuts off before the "Celestial Voices" section of "The Journey" ends. Very annoying!

richast2@yahoo.com (Scott)
"the nightmare" is, in fact, "Cymbeline." I don't get the connection either, but I've got an excellent boot from 1970 called "Interstellar Encore" where Waters introduces "Cymbeline" by saying it's about a nightmare. It's also got a great version of "Atom Heart Mother" without the horns and chorus, and it actually sounds good and not boring. I recommend tracking it down.

3dsunglasses@gmail.com
hey i think that people should read the wikipedia page on this bootleg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_and_the_Journey) the tracks are as thus follows:

Part I: The Man

"Intro" – 0:57

"Daybreak, Pt. I" ("Grantchester Meadows", from Ummagumma) – 8:09

"Work" (Percussion and xylophone with musical sawing & hammering) – 3:50

"Teatime" (Pink Floyd were served tea on stage at this point)

"Afternoon" ("Biding My Time", from Relics) – 5:15

"Doing It!" ("The Grand Vizier's Garden Party (Entertainment)", from Ummagumma) – 3:49

"Sleep" ("Quicksilver", from More) - 4:40

"Nightmare" ("Cymbaline", from More) – 8:57

"Daybreak, Pt. II" ("Grantchester Meadows" instrumental reprise) – 1:13

Part II: The Journey

"The Beginning" ("Green Is the Colour", from More) – 4:49

"Beset By Creatures of the Deep" (" Careful with That Axe, Eugene") – 6:18

"The Narrow Way" (" The Narrow Way Pt. 3", from Ummagumma) – 5:09

"The Pink Jungle" ("Pow R. Toc H.", from The Piper at the Gates of Dawn) – 4:49

"The Labyrinths of Auximines" (Part of "Interstellar Overdrive ", from The Piper at the Gates of Dawn) – 5:28

"Behold the Temple of Light" – 6:14

"The End of the Beginning" (" A Saucerful of Secrets, Pt. IV - Celestial Voices", from A Saucerful of Secrets) – 6:34

now then, im gonna take a guess that a whole bunch of floyd fans have heard a lot of these songs already and what songs they are!
sure rogers and daves voice cracks sometimes and its not perfect, but i would wager to say it is the best bootleg ever, in terms of sound quality and performance.
i don't see why people nitpick over it not being perfect - its live for christs sakes! what the hell do expect, this was like 4 people or some shit
teatime and sleep arent exactly the most engaging pieces so i go with a solid 8/10

Add your thoughts?

Ummagumma - Capitol 1969.
Rating = 9

A peculiar hodgepodge of musical bits and pieces. A double-album it is, with one black circle (Hey! Pearl Jam!) spinning out some live in-concert recordings, the other boasting four sections highlighting each individual member (so much for the new band-oriented Pink Floyd). The live stuff is better than a tasty salad. Four long jams it are, but not them boring wanky Allman Bros. jams, no sir; these are truly odd modal things that just continue and continue and grow noisier and noisier until suddenly a melody pops out (or not!). Nicely done. Might seem monotonous, but it's seething with innovation just below the surface; just listen close and you'll see (listen and you'll see - that's the crazy thing about senses!) that they're actually playing very interesting parts! Promise! And one of 'em's called "Careful With That Axe, Eugene!" How can that be beat?

Y (as the Mexicans say) the studio album is splendidly curious. Richard Wright's piano/organ assaults are just plain frigged-up! What was influencing this guy? Is this classical music? It's scary! Then Roger Waters pumps out a seven-minute folk song that turns into a bunch of goofy voices making noise for five minutes (under the name "Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict"). Dave contributes a twelve-minute guitar explosion full of as many insane six-string noises as a Syd Barrett replacement can make, and finally, drummer Nick Mason brings us a "psychedelic" drum solo. My, it's queer. Like Bob Dole, for example.

This is a record every bit as eccentric as its title. If you've ever wondered who it was that made Pink Floyd so weird, just listen to this album; it was ALL of them! How did four people with such bizarre musical taste (five, if you count Syd) end up in the same band? Just luck, I suppose. Ummagumma is totally fun, extremely original, and what a great album cover!

Reader Comments

bleharj@erols.com (Jeff Blehar)
Ummagumma is as far out as early Floyd ever ventured, and that means we are in deep space orbit indeed. The live album is 100% wholesome goodness, with what most of us consider to be THE definitive version of "Astronomy Domine", a standout from Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. And it's really hard to top a song called "Careful With That Axe, Eugene!," now, isn't it? As for the studio album, Rick Wright's solo pieces are the best, with some very Stockhausen-like piano, and Water's "Several Species Of Small..." is a trip at any speed. If you have the vinyl edition of this album, you can slow the record down, and those "furry animal" noises resolve themselves into Waters and Gilmour saying things like "GIVE ME BACK MY GUITAR!" and "That was pretty avant-garde, wasn't it?" Indeed! The album is certainly their weirdest, but no true Floyd fan is without it, especially now that it has been reissued in such a nice package.

matt81@nassau.cv.net
Hey! Screw you for saying Allman Brothers jams are boring... They were the KINGS of the jazz-rock jam... ever hear the song "Mountain Jam"? it's 30 minutes of pure, unadulterated, AMAZING JAMMING... dammit compared to the Allmans, Pink Floyd jams sound like hokey, dated acid rock.. which of course they are.... Or how about the jam at the end of the 20 minute "Whipping Post"? What were you thinking?

tabasco@worldnet.att.net (BOB's)
Another awesome album performed by Floyd. Ummagumma is a separate live and studio album. The live album was recorded at Manchester College. "Astronomy Domine" is awesome live and long. "Careful With the Axe Eugene" is an excellent instrumental song and it's so horrifying. "Set the Controls" had a few errors there but it was still ok. "Saucerful of Secrets" live is not as good as the original but it had its moments. "Sysyphus" is a nice and scary song, "part 2" is nice and "part 4" is scary with the hammond organ and keyboards, "Granchester Meadows" is a nature song and birds are chirping and there's a peacock sound into it. It was good too. "Several" YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN that song is so COOL I LISTEN TO IT OVER AND OVER and never get tired of it. "The Narrow Way" I hardly listen to that song I can't give a review to it and same with the last one. So far I give it a 10 if I give a good review it can go higher.

hawkins@alphalink.com.au (Alan Hawkins)
I loved your review for Ummagumma - for me, this record totally changed my outlook on music in general. The band themselves are apparently none too proud of it though, silly fools!! what's wrong with a bit of self-indulgent experimentation??? The live album certainly polished up any mistakes that were present on the original recordings of "Set the controls..."(the slower tempo sounds so much better) and "A saucerful of secrets" (except for Gilmour's stupid vocal harmonies at the end.) The second disc sounds like four art-school drop-outs making as much noise as they can, and well...that's what it is!!! I even heard Gilmour admit in one interview that he can't even read or write music, that everything he plays is learned by ear!!! This record clearly shows that (back then at least) these guys never pretended to be musical intellects, they were just trying to see how far they could push the boundries of their influences (classical,blues,country,etc.) The "furry animals..." song is mind-blowing, though I also love "The narrow way" - I still can't believe Gilmour wrote a song as cool as this!!! I love the tension as the second part abruptly begins, which itself is just one huge, filthy guitar riff being repeated to the point that it's been "electronically molested" if you like. "Sysyphus" certainly brings out Rick Wright's classical influence more than anything else he wrote for the Floyd, and is all the better for it!! I've got mixed feelings about Nick Mason's closing piece, the middle part only becomes a "solo" as such, towards the end - the rest of it is just electronic doodling, and what a sad, sad little melody he's chucked in there too, I wonder if him or Rick played that? Every Floyd fan must have this album!!!! ( 8 out of 10.)

tschille@earthlink.net
The first time I heard "Be Careful With That Axe Eugene" I almost had a heart attack: keyboards, humm, humm, bass, noodle, noodle, cymbals softly clashing, the whisper, and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!! How do they get that noise?

cliffnorth@localaccess.com (TAD)
U nailed it -- "Astronome Domine" is a 4-star classic; gorgeous, spacey, spooky, cold (as it should B --they're talkin' about flying past the outer planets & satellites, ya know) -- even if all Syd ever wrote was this 1, it woulda been worth it. Actually, "Astronome" was the inspiration 4 my 1st published piece of fiction, so I've always had a warm spot in my heart 4 it. ... & the other stuff sure is bizarre, just like U said. A weird 1, but a helluva lot more fun then summa their later material, eh? No "life is so depressing" crapola here....

buckmann@concentric.net (Ben Mann)
Jeez, Mark. Pink Floyd's Ummagumma doesn't deserve a 9. I like 'Astronomy Domine' and the end of 'A Saucerful of Secrets' a lot, but most of the live album is unlistenably boring. Half of it's worth keeping. The rest just drones on till next week. Don't tell me you can't hear the group getting bored on 'Careful with that Axe, Eugene'. And of course they'd be bored-- they just played the same thing for like eight minutes! I don't see anything experimental or interesting about playing something over and over for that long.

As for the studio half-- 'Sysiphus' is atmospheric but again, boring, like a parody of overblown bombastic classical stuff. Sounds cool enough, kinda scary even, just not very human, and too abstract. Neither is a lot of the stuff there, and I think that's the problem with the album. A lot of it's just atmosphere and experimentation without much emotion or form. 'The Narrow Way' and 'Granchester Meadows' are allright, but underdeveloped to the point that they're mediocre. The drum solo sucks, and the random mellotron stuff it turns into is tuneless. And I bet you know what I think of 'Several Species . . .' (actually, you might not have guessed that I like Roger's Pict voice, but that's it). This stuff isn't a nine! Most of the live disk is jamming without anything interesting happenning. Most of the studio album is filler. I give it a four. How can you give it the same grade as Dark Side of the Moon?

starostin@geocities.com (George Starostin)
Wow, I have to confess I pretty much enjoy this album. Apparently, the Floyders were not quite sure what to do at the moment, so they decided to do EVERYTHING - and this results in a really diverse and entertaining experience. It is not hundred percent psychedelia/cosmic rock, nor is it similar to the later depressed DSOTM pattern. It's just... fun. The live stuff is especially good. I've always liked 'Astronomy Domine', and it's fascinating to hear it reproduced live and not losing any of its charm. 'Eugene' is a true masterpiece - the way they handle the mounting of tension and the lengthy fade-out is just unbelievable! The melody is next to none, of course, but the effect is nevertheless fascinating, and when that scream comes in... wow! Interesting note: The Nice had a song called 'Cry Of Eugene' on the Emerlist Davjack LP. Anybody knows if there's any relation? I've heard it, but it seems quite uncomparable... Anyway, accusing the band of 'getting bored' is plain ridiculous: were they bored, they wouldn't have put it on record.

Now then, 'Set The Controls' is just OK, not great, but listenable. 'Saucerful Of Secrets', on the other hand, rules - the way it goes through all of these sections is fun. And the studio stuff is cool, too. 'The Narrow Way' is a bore (Dave! Dave! Stay away from songwriting, will ya?), but Rick Wright's 'classical/Eastern' piece is a treat; Waters successfully rips off Simon & Garfunkel on 'Grantchester meadows' and comes up with jolly noises on the super-long-title song; and the 'psychedelic drum solo' is at least original. In all, this is real good, a fine prog-rock album. Not overblown, not pretentious, and quite diverse. I agree with the 9. It's the best Floyd album I've heard.

streb@mail.sssnet.com (Dan Streb)
In 1968 Pink Floyd released a flop single "point Me At The Sky"/"Careful With That Axe, Eugene". But this version of "Careful..." was very mild stuff with absolutely no contrast between the bass-guitar-going-doo-doo-very-slowly section and the rock-out-AAAAUUUUGGGHHHHHHHHHHH section. Anyway, one of the lines in Point Me At The Sky goes something like "Hey Eugene/It's Henry McLean/And I've perfected my little flying machine". I'd love to hear the song but unfortunately I don't have the necessary $180 lying around to buy the box set. Anyhow, that's how they came up with the name "Careful With That, Axe, Eugene."

jose.neto@eurorscg.pt
Might seem monotonous (says mark). it does (i say). i admit i may be a bit biased by the fact that my older sister used to listen to it like eight or nine times in a row. everyday. for about two and a half years. no, it was not everyday. now i remeber clearly. there were some days she would listen to the cow album (more, was it?) in between. and some other days she would stick to careful with that axe. oh gene! it did show me how hard life can be. and also she didn't have a lot of records. and i guess i still like the dog. so, my verdict would be: pink floyd wouldn't have damaged the world so much if they'd only done this, uh, thing; and one should also have mercy on my sister. it was the circumstances.

stoo@imsa.edu (John McFerrin)
Damn right this is a 9. I LOVE the live version of Saucerful, and everything else on the live album is terrific. And, I like most of the studio album. Wright's stuff rules. I don't care what he's ripping off or whatever; the third movement is a bit tedious, but the rest is wonderful. Water's stuff is great, and, get this, I love the Narrow Way. Part 3 is a bit dull, but those first two parts get stuck in my head all the time. Mason's stuff ... ehn, good enough; not great. but not horrible. All in all, a couple weak spots, but overall, a splendid listening experience.

imoss@northernlight.com (Ian Moss)
Well, I have the TAPE version of this album, which consists of "Astronomy Domine," "The Narrow Way," "Grandchester Meadows," "Several Species...", "Sisyphus," and the last one whose name I forget--I think it was about someone's garden party or something. No other live tracks, no double album, big ripoff. Thus I do not have this album anymore. But anyway, "Astronomy" clearly rules, and I actually like "The Narrow Way," although Part I is a little annoying. "Several Species" was amusing the first time I listened to it, and phenomenally boring all subsequent times. Not the Floyd's best effort, if you ask me, although I do wish I had heard more of the live stuff. Anyway, whatever you do, don't get the tape version.

ajkenyon81@yahoo.com (Amanda Kenyon)
Love the live album. Love the live version of "Astronomy Domine" (though not as much as the original), love "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" (coolest title ever, and what a scary song!), love it love it love it. But *ahem* I've owned this album for nearly a year now and still have not managed to sit down and listen to the studio album, so I have no idea if I like it or not. I'll get back to you on that one.

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
Just look at that cover... whiling away the summer of '69 in some sun-kissed country house in deepest rural Cambridgeshire, doing whatever you liked... couldn't happen today. Sigh.

Ummagumma: quite simply one of the most inexplicably indispensable records of all time (apart from the live half - that's indispensible because it's bloody magnificent and remains the best Floyd live album by a long chalk). Most of the studio album is barely even music, but it's so compelling... a glorious flook, I guess. Grantchester Meadows though is a beautiful English pastoral song - you can just SEE the dust scintillating in the sunbeams. And The Grand Vizier's Garden Party is plenty listenable if you ask me - a lot more imaginative than Movy Dick or The Mule.

So probably an eight overall - Ummagumma is most definitely not without flaws. But my dear how that cover evokes.

gray0187@tc.umn.edu (Jon)
It really is unbelievable how cool the studio track titles are. It is also unbelievable how generally disappointing they are. I am one of the most subjective people on the planet, therefore I sat in my listenin' chair white knuckled trying to imbue these things with worth and listening value by the pure unvanquishable force of my will. About two minutes into Rick Wright's final thing wher ehe just bangs away ont he piano and hits random organ notes I gave up. I clawed at every note for meaning and special weirdness, and the best I can come up with for the very wild experimentation on this album is that Pink Floyd sucks like no band else sucks, has ever sucked, or shall ever suck. That by itself is pretty dang cool, but that doesn't mean you'll listen to this a lot. Listen to Mark about the live stuff, it's pretty good. There is a much cooler live Astronomy Domine out there with Syd involved (in some capacity, it doesn't sound like him playing guitar or singing, but he says "good morning"! Oh boy does he ever. And di I look for some subtle Barrett genius nuance in that good morning with my innocent little heart? well, yeah, sort of but mind your own business. it was doubtless a secret message about his crappy paintings) that has a great opening organ thingy. Studio stuff, Grantchester is alright, but Waters just CANT sing at all, he tries much too hard but is paradoxically timid at the same time on this track and doesn't even stretch his voice, he just sings very softly and lowly, which isn't that hard to do. Try it. Try singing grantchester and I bet you can. ok, now try singing along to all parts of narrow way part 3. Aaa-aah!? Not so easy! Grantchester blows that one away though in terms of songwriting craft. Gilmour's little bit is neat if you play guitar, but not much for melody and the chorus for part 3 is very very uninteresting--the verses have your standard descending minor riff (Babe im gonna leave you/I am the walrus/10538 overture (which is a huge I am the walrus ripoff in other ways)/green day song i cant remember/some others) but still sound a little interesting. Mason's stuff is various drums hit (and some detuned!) rather boringly but weirdly enough to suck like nothing else I've heard. Cool flute! If you listen to that furry animals one more than twice or mention it alot around me I'll probably smile insincerely at you. SO WATCH IT. I give this a 6, and that's probably more than it deserves. I give it a 6 but I would really suggest you buy it. Ah the mystery of life.

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
Well, what can I say? Great live album (probably the best PF put out), terrible studio side (absolutely useless idea to make the band create songs by themselves - and Waters of all people came up with it). Then again, the live album is far too short, so you’re better off just buying a live bootleg from this era if you’re that adamant to hear live Floyd circa 1969. 6/10

steve.robey@mindspring.com
The Floyd were still searching for a clear direction at this point; indeed, it wasn't until Meddle that they actually made a full, legitimate, band album. But what they encountered during their search is the most amazing stuff they ever recorded. And Ummagumma is one of the finest specimens of that period. The live LP is a special treat - superior version of 4 of their best songs to that point. One time in college my roommate and I had a couple of girls over to "visit" - we all hit the hay after a night of drinkin', and I put this CD on (pretty loudly, I recall) - anyway, one of the girls literally shit her pants when that scream in "Eugene" came up! What an ass I was - I'd forgotten about that part, and I certainly didn't want to cause any pant-soilings. We'd all passed out... but she spent the rest of the night doing laundry.

The studio disc is more fun than a tupperware container full of jello. Rick's bit is amazing, and so is Roger's. Dave's is OK, but Nick's is pretty tedious. Better than Peter Criss's solo album though! This is the band in their most experimental phase (read: searching for a direction) with their most experimental album. Don't miss it! 9/10

Ben
This is one we really disagree on. At the most I'd give this a 3.5. The live disc is ok, but gets really boring at times. The studio part gets boring all the time. These solo pieces just don't do anything for me. In fact I'm quite surprised I never see this album on any of those bad albums by good bands lists.

Add your thoughts?

More - Capitol 1969.
Rating = 7

A soundtrack for a French film that's probably really pretentious. Being a soundtrack, it contains a lot more atmospheric filler than their previous releases, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. If there were ever a band that was made to play atmospheric filler, it was this one. This stuff is dark, distant, slow - alternating between pretty and creepy. A couple of "rockers" make it clear that the post-Syd Floyd is about as adept at hard rockin' as, say, the Moody Blues (which is to say - not at all), but when they stick to the draggy druggy stuff, they tear up the vinyl like they're whippin' a horse with a belt! They are rock and rollers! They are my best friend! "Main Theme," "Cirrus Minor," and "Green Is The Color" are the stand-outs, but the other stuff is nice, too. Not dazzling like their others, but still deserving of praise. Understated (except for the lousy rockers), peaceful, relaxing, and disturbing - like a good artsy soundtrack should be.

Reader Comments

UserName@gamewood.net ("John Doe")
The movie More is a weird, late '60s heroin movie. The overall theme is that pot is good, acid is good, and heroin is bad. It's easier to watch when you're stoned, but hard to keep up with unless you're sober because everyone talks with accents.

hawkins@alphalink.com.au (Alan Hawkins)
This soundtrack is strangely enough my fave Floyd album ever!!! I honestly can't think of any other record that can take me away to another world like this album can, if you want to escape from reality, this album is perfect. I haven't seen the film - and I don't want to, the music stands alone and is full of lush, tripped-out mood pieces, especially the second half of the record, the fact that they recorded this album in less than a week (apparently) makes the sound quality rather scratchy, though this only adds an atmosphere of intimacy missing on most other Floyd records.

I absolutely love "Main theme","More blues" (listen to how many times the rhythm stops and starts!) and "Quicksilver" - it's the kind of record you can just sit back and listen to before going to bed in the evening, (preferably stoned!)

I agree though that "The Nile song" (which wouldn't even pass as a demo) and "Ibiza bar" are lame rockers that sit uncomfortably amongst the rest of the material, yet this is a small complaint - as the rest of More is sheer Floyd heaven!!!!!!

"Cymbaline" is also the most underrated Floyd song there is!!! ( 9 out of 10.)

nmorris@manhattan.edu (Joe)
The film is also quite good and has Cymbeline a step higher than the record version, also with different lyrics. Also, the film features unreleased songs such as Seabirds, for which sheet music as well exists.

Strange of it not to be released. The movies about this chap who gets addicted to heroine and love. Tho not necessarily in that order.

syd06@hotmail.com (Marc-Antoine Bourgeois-De Serres)
I think More is the most impressive album for non-voice song. Just think about the Dramatic Theme.

azahedan@energy.state.ca.us (Aaron Zahedani)
As a obsessive a fan of Floyd that I am, I did not get More till even after the obscure Zabriskie Point. However, if you've never chilled to the bass groove of Crying Song for a while and you're in for a treat. I was stoned the other day and discovered this new gem right when I thought I'd heard of and knew by heart every good Floyd song. Other sleepers are Free Four, Jugband Blues, If and Fearless, the latter containing a slick sitar sounding riff thats an instant hook. Waters said Syd taught it to him. It all comes back to Syd baby!

sabbath@zip.com.au (Andrew Edmonds)
I've never seen the film, but must say this album is unique. Listen to it after a hard days work late at night or after you get home after a big night out or especially when you're out of it. It soothes the soul. Cymbaline is a great Floyd track.

janpooh@telusplanet.net (Janice D'Eath)
What really gets me is hearing all the reviews about what a sleeper album More is, or how mediocore it is, whoever said that has never listened to it, all elements of the greatest Floyd Cd are there, Gilmour gives his best vocals arguably ever in Crying Song, Cymbaline, and especially Green is The Color, Waters writes better lyrics here than any other time, except possibly Wish You Were Here. Richard Wright's Up The Khyber is fucking incredible and trippy, and Masons drums are also dominant, this is actually probably the most dominantly structured and arguably the best Pink Floyd Disc ever recorded. This album really stands out to me and may just be my all time favorite Floyd album.

TheRubberCow@aol.com
Wow. I had no idea so many people liked this album. Just a note to janpooh: when people are calling it a sleeper album, that is a compliment...means "it's a guaranteed pleaser." Not a bore. But yeah, reading these comments makes me want to put it on now....I think I will. I really agree with the person who said it takes you away from reality like no other album. My favorite, still, is Meddle.

gray0187@tc.umn.edu (Jon)
Main theme kicks all kinds of ass. Joh Peel loved that little ditty (hey by the way does this top gear guy just like everybody or does he just have extremely good taste (like mine of course, ahaha)? He championed Soft Machine, early post-syd Pink Floyd (which a lot of people hate) and the Fall) a t the Hyde park thing I know nothing about. Cymbaline, Green is the Color, Crying Song, and Cirrus Minor: these are good acousticy things for sure. Cirrus MInor has a great organ thing at the end that I always crouch and get poised for when it comes on with a diabolical grin on my face, and my roommates' ears would bleed and they would yell to put fucking marquee moon back on or they would get their neighbors to play e z e at top volume (which was usually the case when we brought girls back! thanks neighbors!). They were great guys, but I will never smell or drink Karkov again, I swear to you. Twenty shots in one night of that will cure you of it for life. 2 u f m n x? Read that once. It sounds kind of like "do you have ham and eggs?" Pretty neat. It was in a book I read when I was about nine.

AHEM

Yes, so the rest of this stuff ranges from pretty good instrumentals (Main Theme) to pretty ok instrumentals (Up the Khyber (which means up the ass in cockney slang)) to lousy ones (Quicksilver). They ripped off the let there be more light bassline twice! but most effectively in main theme. Spanish piece and party sequence are meaningless but one is kind of funny. once. that leaves, eh, ibiza bar and nile song, which are pretty much the same. so. they are cock rocky, but theyre supposed to be! according to waters, they were a pastiche. granted waters is arrogant and maybe a little goofy about his thinking (hear his great economic collapse line in the pompeii video? that was a goodie), but these sound a little too overblown to actually be honest songs. i am very subjective though, so just watch out.

SneakthaSlinger@aol.com
Unjustly overlooked. Could they have possibly picked a better name for this album? Maybe it should've been called "A Saucerful MORE of Secrets." Or would "A SaucerMOREful of Secrets be more correct?

Let's see: "Quicksilver," resembles the beginning part of the song "Saucerful Of Secrets"(except without the cool glass-breaking noises and the eerie, foreboding sense of danger that song presented). "Up The Khyber" sounds like the middle "battle" sequence of that song(but without the cool UFO noises). "Cirrus Minor" starts off really cool, but try and tell me the droning organ thing at the end isn't just a slight reworking of the ending of the title track from the last album(but without the cool "angelic" voices). and of course "Main Theme" and "Dramatic Theme," both of which reassert the awesome bassline at the beginning of "Let There Be More Light" in double-slow time(although it's not too sad considering that the main melody to that song is pretty much the same as the bassline Roger plays at 4:25 of "Interstellar Overdrive"). Besides all that though, the stuff here doesn't bear any resemblence to the last album at ALL. Abandoning the spacey repetitive meandering-isms of "See Saw" and "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun,"(I'm playing that song for my hyperactive little brother right now and he's fallen fast asleep! Really!) the Floyd boys here present a bunch of nice little concise, catchy acoustic sleepy "acid-folk" songs. It's not psychedelic and it's not prog; it's acid-folk, a little subgenre I just made up. "Crying Song" is happy-yet-depressing, "Green Is The Colour" makes sweet lovey-dovey to my waxy earholes, "Cymbaline" rules with it's detatched, cold atomesphere and desolate "super-echo" effects on the vocals...and "Cirrus Minor" is just a great way to start the album off, pretty, dark, and weird all at once. These all reside on side 1, making for a great thorough listening experience. Anything else? Well, side 2 has mostly contains the lengthy instrumentals and weird experiments like "More Blues," a spacey guitar fantasy, and "A Spanish Piece", a hilariously stupid Latin-type instrumental with Gilmour impersonating an offensively stereotypical Mexican. Heh. Spics are funny. Awww, shit. I forgot about the two stupid distorted electric guitar "rock" songs. Well, I agree with everyone else when they say that "The Nile Song" sucks "shitpop balls"(copyright Mark Prindle), but I really don't mind "Ibizar Bar" that much. Sure, the first two chords are pretty much exactly the same as that aforementioned "Nile" atrocity, but while that one goes into "third chord + awful screaming" at the end of every verse, this one actually goes into a softer "delicate vocal harmony" section which sure adds a lot more of much-needed actual melody to the song. Plus Davey lets out a really pussyassed yell of "YYYYYEEEEAAAHHHHH!" when the closing guitar solo kicks in, which cracks me up every time.

To summarize: If you enjoyed A Saucerful Of Secrets but wish it was more consistent, there's no reason why you shouldn't like this one even MORE! Hahaha! Good solid 8.

nator9999@comcast.com (Nathan)
To be honest I haven't heard this entire album, but you're damn right about those rockers. The Nile Song? God, that thing is awful. I would say it's the worst song ever written, but I've been trying to cut down on my hyperbole lately

jcjh20@hotmail.com (Joe)
I think this is a fairly underrated album. The acoustic songs like "Cirrus Minor", "Green Is The Colour", "Cymbaline" and especially my favorite "Crying Song" are all dark, druggy and beautiful. I love David Gilmour's laid back falsetto on "Green..", and the contrast of Gilmour's laid back bass vocal on "Crying Song". Actually, come to think of it, Dave also does an awesome vocal on "Cymbaline" as well. Some of this stuff seems rather pointless, but a few of the experimental mood tracks are weird, trippy and, ultimately, like i'd say for a lot of early Pink Floyd: excellent to listen to while stoned. Absolutely no point for the near-heavy metal rockers being here, except to say "look, we can rock too!". 7 seems about right for this one.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
Therezzz some cold onezzz down at the b-bottom......

MORE BEER! MORE BEER! Duh Duh Duh D-duh D-duh Duh Duh ALL I WANT IS MORE BEER Duh Duh Duh D-duh D-duh Duh Duh MORE BEER! MORE BEER! Duh Duh Duh D-duh D-duh Duh Duh ALL I WANT IS MORE BEER MORE BEER!

Sadly, the Floyd's soundtrack to the drug movie MORE did NOT inspire the seminal second album by LA punk band Fear. But it did provide the early Floyd with a few more amazing tunes that it played regularly in concert around this time, even though the studio versions here pale by comparison: Green is the Colour is a simple folk ballad here, but in concert they would add a cool building guitar solo at the end and use it to segue into "Careful With that Axe, Eugene". Similarly, "Cymbaline" may be a standout track on this album, but in concert it became another one of their 12-minute freak-outs, with added quadrophonic sound effects and (most memorably) laughing children.

In addition, despite this album's "low-key" reputation, it has one of the most jarring, unpredictable changes to be on a Floyd album: following the pastoral "Cirrus Minor" with the hard-rocking "Nile Song. (Other entrants in this category: the clock intro to "Time" on DSOTM; the "Run to the bedroom..." part of "One of My Turns" on The Wall; several unexpected screams and explosions on The Final Cut...).

As for the instrumental segments on this album, well I love em all. Film music has to be judged in the context of what its intended function was, and this stuff does just fine. I'm sure it made the movie marginally better than it would have been had it had some cheesy accordion music or something (it WAS a French film, wasn't it?). Film music is probably harder to do than everyone says it is. Last time I did film music, I put a MAJOR CHORD in RIGHT WHEN THE MAIN CHARACTER DIED!!! Talk about a film-music faux-pas. I was so fired after that.

thepublicimage79@hotmail.com
More is a great Pink Floyd album. It's a much better studio album than the studio half of Ummagumma and was released before it, so that's two albums yon Sydless band gave us in '69. Not too bad for a bunch of guys who pretty much had no idea what the fuck they were doing at this time. It's really good - "Cirrus Minor" is still one of the band's best openers, "The Nile Song" is a hilariously awful parody of Led Zeppelin (or generalized hard blooz rawk), "Up The Khyber" is as druggy as "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" was and a far better fucked-up instrumental than Power Tokage ("Pow R. Toc H."). "Green Is The Colour" is nice and pleasant with good piano and "Cymbaline" is brilliant and spooooky folk rock. I like Wright's playing throughout the album - very sensitive and controlled. "Main Theme" is awesome as hell and uses the "Let There Be More Light" intro bassline throughout the song and therefore makes it absolutely killer, the minute of conga rhythms is cool, "Ibiza Bar" isn't very good at all (man, they coulda made some more fucked-up cocktail jazz, instead it's practically "The Nile Song Part Dos" and who wants that?), "More Blues" is a two-minute blues piece with a lot of reverb, "Quicksilver" is really slow, chilled out and druggy but I really like it, and "Dramatic Theme" is even better than "Main Theme" cause of the magical echoed guitar ending. So many of these pieces are so evocative. You can just see little Spanish deserts and fields and beaches in your head and wander along watching the seabirds take off. That's actually a title of a song that should have been included here, but somehow wasn't: "Seabirds." Apparently the movie features "Seabirds," a track called "Hollywood," and different versions of songs (a different version of "Quicksilver," a Waters-sung "Cymbaline," a Waters-sung "Cirrus Minor," other things as well). Waters sang "Seabirds" as well, I think "Hollywood" was an instrumental. I give it a 9/10. I really like "More" a ton. Extremely evocative, absolutely great pot music.

robert.phipps2@ntlworld.com
My favourite Floyd album simply for the perfect versions of Cymbaline, Green is the Colour and Main Theme. Listen to their BBC versions of Green is the Colour and The Narrow Way recorded the same time - absolute classics. Ok I was 18 at the time and it had a more lasting influence therefore, but that to me was a band in control of melody and form (except Quicksilver) without the cod angst lyrics Waters worked himself up to.

Ben
I was dreading this going through this "Discovery" box set a couple months ago. To my surprise I like this a lot better than I did when I was like 15. There's some really good stuff here, one of which I'd rank as one of my 10 (or at least 20) favorite Floyd songs: "The Nile Song". I love David Gimour on that one. Every song on side one is in fact pretty top rate Pink Floyd. The second side is more of a letdown, being home to the ultra boring "Quicksilver". That's when the "soundtrack" part of this album kicks in. These pieces ("Main Theme", "Dramatic Theme") are okay, but don't have the quality of the side one songs.

Add your thoughts?

The Complete Top Gear Sessions 1967-1969 - Great Dane 1992.
Rating = 9

Another splendid bootleg I got off of ebay! This one features live in-the-studio tunes by both the Syd- and Dave-era Floyd, including the rare "Vegetable Man" and "Scream Thy Last Scream," along with bonus cool versions of "The Narrow Way Part Three" (with intelligible vocals!), Interstellar Overdrive (with Dave on guitar!) and "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" (twice! with two different titles!). 23 tracks total. How can you go wrogn?

Add your thoughts?

Relics - Capitol 1971
Rating = 9

A compilation! All good choices except "The Nile Song," which is one of those inept rockers from More. The grade-A Syd Barrett singles "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play" can be found here, as well as Rick Wright's boppy-but-strange "Paint Box" (which has nothing at all to do with a paint box, quite frankly, but it does sound like the Beach Boys at a couple of points), Roger Waters's lounge jazz parody "Biding My Time" and eerily pretty "Julia Dream," and the original studio version of "Careful With That Axe, Eugene". Plus, if you haven't got The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn yet, "Interstellar Overdrive" is on here. Aww man, is it ever.

Reader Comments

strider@redrose.net (David Straub)
"Apples And Oranges" and "Point Me At The Sky" are both available with much of Relics as a bonus digipak in the Shine On box. This is just an observation, though, not necessarily a plug for the opulent, attractive, well-remastered, and insanely pricey box set. (It was a gift. Heheehehehee!) BTW they tried to get "Scream" and "Vegetable" for the Syd compilation Opel, but Rog, Dave, Rick, and Nick wouldn't let it happen. :(

bleharj@erols.com (Jeff Blehar)
One of the other things that makes Relics a good buy is that unlike later compilations like Works, the members of Floyd actually stopped their sessions for Meddle, sat down, and chose the track listing themselves. And yes, "Interstellar Overdrive" IS here, in all of its ragged glory. It's a shame, however, that they didn't include their three non-"See Emily Play/Arnold Layne" early singles on this album (They instead put the B-sides, "Julia Dream," "Paintbox," and the studio version of "Careful With That Axe, Eugene!" on the album.) Those singles, "Apples And Oranges," "It Would Be So Nice," and "Point Me At The Sky," are all exceptional songs, if VERY uncharacteristic of Floyd. "Point Me At The Sky" and "It Would Be So Nice" are veritable lost Floyd classics.

tabasco@worldnet.att.net
I least expected getting this album right away but i had to get it. I heard "Arnold Layne" and "Emily" on the radio and i liked it. Emily, Emily I love you sweety. If i had a girlfriend named Emily i would dedicate "See Emily Play" or Moody Blues "Emily's Song" on my morning announcements. Two early top chart number 1 hit singles. I already had Piper before i got Relics. I don't need to review "Interstellar Overdrive". Same with "Remember A Day" i already had A SAucerful Of Secrets. "Paintbox" is talking about how it feels to be drunk drink a drink a drink a drink a drink. "Julia Dream" is taking you on a free journey to Slumber Land. Julia Dream Breamboat Queen queen of all my dreams. "Cirrus Minor" sounds like a movie scene but what the hell More was a freakin soundtrack to a movie. A heroin movie. "The Nile Song" brings the heavy metal into Gilmours guitar. 60's metal. "Biding My Time" features Rick Wright playing the trumpet. My favorite song of the album. I give this album an 8.

bougopgs@eckerd.edu (Gregory S. Bougopoulos)
The Barrett era songs are the best on here, especially "See Emily Play." It's a shame that "Apples and Oranges" and other obscurities weren't put on here (anyone who has these songs, please e-mail me; I'd love to know how to obtain these songs). The rest, "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" and a few others aside, just aren't that good. A 7.

mjhaag@webtv.net (Michael Haag)
Hey bud, what's your problem? The Nile Song KICKS ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ajkenyon81@yahoo.com (Amanda Kenyon)
Fabulous, for the most part. Mike up there is absolutely right about their patchiness. The best ones are phenomenal - "Emily," "Arnold," "Julia," "Paintbox," for example - and there are one or two others that deserve an honorable mention - "Biding My Time" - but I do tend to skip over a lot of songs on here. I was never a big fan of "Bike," and I can only listen to "Interstellar Overdrive" when I'm in the right mood for it. I would absolutely LOVE to see a collection of their early non-album singles and B-sides, so we can finally get "Vegetable Man" and "Stoned Alone" and "Apples and Oranges" and "Point Me At the Sky" and all these other songs I see mentioned all the time but HAVE NEVER HEARD and probably won't ever hear unless this happens. Argh.

gray0187@tc.umn.edu (Jon)
meh. arnold layne and see emily play are neat, and there are some cool weird rick wright pop songs on here, but julia dream is just okayish and nile song shouldnt be on here at all. nor should a crappy version of eugene. biding my time has the coolest straight blues solo gilmour ever did--all in one scale, believe it or not! That crazy outlandish gilmour stayed in one scale! seriously It is a really cool solo, and though he didn't have the theoretical genius of clapton (who used a mighty TWO scales in a lot of his solos), it has really great interplay with the song and the band builds up nicely, unlike claptons do sometimes (you know what I mean those cream songs where they chug along happily in some major key for the pop part and then whammo! minor blues slams into it like a city bus hitting a giant baby, leaving it in two dazed, disconnected parts that are both somehow weeping). One of the greatest floydian talents is their buildup. Bike is the same as it was on piper. That ending duck-laugh is cool, though. No doubt about it. let's say 7/10. A very weak 7 though. I dont think nile song or interstellar should be on two officially released floyd cds. One is cool as heck, but the space could be ebtter used.

gag05@bigpond.com.au
Any album that has “See Emily Play” “Arnold Layne” “Interstellar Overdrive” and “Bike” all on the one disk is worth a listen. The other songs by the other members bring it down a notch seeing as they were nowhere near Barrett’s level at this stage (or any stage in their career for that matter) although “Julia’s Dream” and “Remember A Day” are pretty nice.

Arnold Layne: 10+/10 the Floyd’s first single about a cross dresser is a brilliant psychedelic pop gem with enthusiasm, fun and energy brimming all over..yea that’s rite a Pink Floyd song with energy and fun!!

See Emily Play: 10/10 another psychedelic, melodic powerhouse effort by Mr. Barrett. Great chorus, depressing, dreamlike lyrics and an insane guitar solo that sounds like its being squeezed out inch by inch. Its dark too so don’t let the upbeat chorus fool you!!! something is definitely wrong with young Emily.

Interstellar Overdrive: 10+/10 I totally agree that Interstellar is a work of genius…Syd Barrett knew how to get the right sounds out of his guitar that’s for sure!!! And it sound awesome with Masons huge drumming, Waters nagging Bass and Wrights persistently eerie keyboard lines…Wow what a fucking song! If Cream, the Allman Brothers or the Grateful Dead knew how to write interesting jams like this I would be a huge fucking fan..but they all suck!!! So it’s not possible.

Bike: 10+/10 what can be said about Bike?? its the best song u can find about a mouse named Gerald, gingerbread men, a bike, a girl, a torn cloak and a room of musical tunes newhere…and I mean nehwere!!! Its crazy, cute, disturbing, melodic, genius…the “I know a mouse and he hasn’t got a house” line is probably the cutest thing I’ve ever heard, but disturbing when u realize Barrett probably fucking means it!! ahhh it’s too good, the clocks and random sounds at the end make it even better!! scary insight to Barrett’s mind.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
Relics was the album that first introduced me to the pre-Ummagumma Floyd, and I still can't live without it. Only about half of this stuff is readily available elsewhere (some of this might be on the Shine On box set, but if you're dumb enough to buy that, then I don't wanna know), and the stuff that isn't is pant-crappingly good. Rick's song "Paint Box" (the B-side of Syd's last Floyd single "Apples and Oranges," inexplicably NOT included here) is easily his best ever song and one of my favorite psych-era Floyd songs period. And speaking of Syd, "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play" - this is psychedelic pop at its best! I didn't mention "Bike" in that last sentence, but it's wonderfully goony too!

Look at me... I get so boring when talking about the Floyd. Too close to my heart to get really jiggy with it, I suppose. The crux of the biscuit, however, is: GET THIS ALBUM FOR "PAINT BOX" - and quit your job in order to have more time to hear it. And put it on a mixed tape for some girl you kinda like.

Add your thoughts?

Atom Heart Mother - Capitol 1971.
Rating = 8

That's one longbutt song on side one! 23:38, it clocks in at, and there's not a lyric to be found. It's a neat stew of influences, though; the basic theme is what I guess you'd call a "classical" horn line contributed by band friend Ron Geesin, plus there's some funk in there, some basic rock, some goofy noise-making, and I guess some jazzy bits too. It's a great first effort at a side-long epic; in fact, in some ways, it's a lot more interesting than the critically-acclaimed "Echoes" from the next album.

Plus, side two is really good. Roger gives us the first of many "I hate myself and the world" songs (and it's beautiful), Rick gives us another terrific keyboard-driven pop song (complete with a dramatic horn break!), Dave contributes a real draggy hippie song that probably only people on reefer can really "dig", and the whole gang works together to churn out the surprisingly dull thirteen-minute pot anthem, "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast." Kind of a weak ending, yes, but this is still a much better album than most critics would have you believe. Plus, there's a cow on the cover. And I really like cows. On occasion.

Reader Comments

mesquita@correionet.com.br (Darth Vader)
I'd say that AHM is the Floyd at their best in terms of creativeness and weirdness, for sure. I think the title track is sometimes boring, but if you get to listen to the whole thing, you'll find it extremely rewarding in some bits (like the guitar work in the "Funky Dung" part, or the organ and voice choir in the second part), and I think that the best way to listen to the ending is not to pay any attention to it... @:) "If" is pretty good, "Summer 68" is great, and "Fat Old Sun" is crap - but that doesn't make me hate Gilmour (The Division Bell does @:P) And Alan's Psychedelic breakfast may be anything but dull! This track is one of the most beautiful pot anthems I've heard! It is weird, weird, surprising, weird, enthusiastic, weird, very creative and very weird! Just listen to the matches in the beginning! The scratching noise calls the music! Just think that when they performed it live they had TEA on stage! But that was in the early 70's; now they make music your Bon Jovi freak sister would be able to hear... Barrett didn't lose it, Gilmour did. @:(

tabasco@worldnet.att.net (BOB's)
WHO CARES IF "ATOM HEART MOTHER SUITE" WAS 24 MINUTES LONG AND INSTRUMENTAL. IT KICKED ASS. It must have been hell making this album. This was a real treat. You got an orchestra which I don't care too much about and a choir. It was cool as anything. "If" was a very sweet song with Roger, I liked it. "Summer 68" was a great song with great melody with the trumpet and guitars. I really enjoyed the lyrics the most. My favorite is "Fat Old Sun". Very sweet, very calm, and very relaxing, listen to this song after when you hear The Final Cut; it will make you forget all the pain. "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast", music or no music it was awesome as anything OK!! A lot of sound effects on this album. The cow on the covers name is Lulubell. I wonder if she is still alive. I give this album a big giant cow licking 10.

cc18602@pigseye.kennesaw.edu
Who ever wrote this has no clue what's that cd is about. "Alan's psychedelic breakfast" has absolutely nothing to do with pot. you're making an assumption into a world you know nothing about. So please refrain from talking about something which you know nothing about.

Atom heart mother is not about pot; I did not mean to sound demeaning. I also didn't mean to ruffle your feathers. atom heart mother is based on mushrooms i.e. the cow. If you look on the cover the grass is thicker in certain areas mostly in the shapes of circles and ovals. indicating fungi growth..

streb@mail.sssnet.com (Dan Streb)
Sir/Madam cc18602@pigseye.kennesaw.edu is wrong about Atom Heart Mother. The title and the album have absolutely NOTHING to do with each other. The title came from a headline "Atom Heart Mother" from some British newspaper whose name eludes me en este momento. It was an article about how a woman with an artificial heart gave birth to a baby. Roger Waters just looked at the paper before the Floyd performed on John Peel's radio show and said "That's a nice name. We'll call it that." As for the album cover a Mr. Storm Thorgerson photographs all the Floyd's album covers and since the "Atom Heart Mother" Suite with brass and choir was so different from their last album, Ummagumma, the Floyd told him to make an album cover that was "as un-psychedelic and un-Floyd-like as possible." After seeing some Andy Warhol "cow wallpaper" as an inspirarion, he drove down an English field and took a picture of the first cow he could find, Lulubelle III. According to the Pink Floyd book, A Saucerful of Secrets, Thorgerson said the photo is, "the ultimate picture of a cow. It's just totally COW." I highly recommend that book. The best Floyd bio money can buy.

squirrel_police@hotmail.com
Being the first early pink floyd album I bought, I have a special soft-spot for AHM. The title-suite, though awe-inspiring, doesn't hold up on repeated listenings. Why? Because of a very shoddy performance by monsieur mason. He must have been drunk when he recorded the drums! The rest of the album is also pretty good. "If" has slightly generic music, but it is saved by great lyrics. I read somewhere that this song basically condenses the message of The Wall -- a decade before that album was released. Listen to it again and see what you think. "Summer '68" is good, but slightly monotonous. "Fat Old Sun" is another soft, pastoral song...with a killer guitar solo at the end! And finally, "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" is an awesome song, especially the last part--more proof to me that all the classic floyd chord patterns were written by Wright. Another fine album.

cybercafe@v-wave.com (cybercafe)
Atom Heart Mother is the first step down the road of art rock that would become the staple of all Pink Floyd albums afterward. The title track is truly brilliant. Great work by Ron Geesin and Pink Floyd to make an underrated track.

fatchants@nyc.rr.com
When I was 14 I did acid and realized that the cow was probably sacred in India because of psilocybin mushrooms (AHM subtitle "Funky Dung" ?) the title track has some good sections, like the female choir. If is alright if you've read _Paradise Lost_ as many times as Roger Waters.. Fat Old Sun is REALLY awesome.. one of Gilmour's deepest spaces.. excellent feel on the drums, probably Roger's best bass line. As with most Floyd (at least up until '77), you *must* do acid and listen in headphones in a dark room before you hear anything it was really about. Still.. my personal favorites are Meddle and Animals.

"..the.. Last Sunlight Disappears" (Fat Old Sun).. took me years and years of listening before I caught that, long after I already 'got' Jimi's "Lonliness is Such a Drag"

ajkenyon81@yahoo.com (Amanda Kenyon)
Just an observation - a couple of years ago, a friend of my mom's turned on the title track and challenged me to tell him who the artist was. I listened for about five minutes, and was able to tell him it was Pink Floyd just because of all the familiar melody lines I heard. I kept noticing strains that reminded me of other Floyd songs I knew. "Hey You," "Comfortably Numb," "Brain Damage," and I don't remember which others. I wonder if maybe they just liked these bits of melody when they were doing AHM and expanded them into songs later. Just a thought. Kinda like Paul Simon and "Anji."

ian.moss@yale.edu (Ian Moss)
Well, I suppose I should like this album, because the title track is one of the very few examples of "orchestral rock" that I can think of, and that's sort of my specialty as a composer. But I don't like it that much, to be honest with ya. I mean, I don't hate it, but I see several problems. Number 1: it's not really a full orchestra. It's a bunch of horns and brass instruments with a solo cello and a chorus, as far as I can tell (I'd have to listen to it again to be sure though). Number 2: the orchestra parts really pale in comparison musically to what the band plays. I think the main theme that keeps coming back is a pretty boring fanfare. The choral singers do a good job though.

I don't know, it's not terrible, but it just doesn't grab me like I hoped it would. And the other songs are passable but no more. "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" is horrendous, except for the beginning part where you can hear Alan sitting down and eating his eggs. But it just goes downhill from there.

This isn't a very intelligent review, but I don't care. I'm tired and I'm giving it a 6. Good night.

gray0187@tc.umn.edu (Jon)
Listen to mark on this one. except! there are lyrics in that atom heart mother, they are just all tarzan words, like "rama teega, bogo CHAAAAAHHHH" or something like that. I lost the cd a long time ago. I used to hate hate hate alans breakfast thing, but it grew on me a lot despite my perverse hatred for chewing noises. Another great floydian talent is not so much matching notes into a great melody, but more of matching chords in an awesome sequence, and then tacking on a melody later, most likely scat-sung by gilmour himself at some point. Alan's psych has those cool chords in it, and that should be enough for someone who knows what I'm talking about. summer 68 is cool, that "how do you feel" is great, because the songs atmosphere is so clean and sort of substanceless and then it gets all messy and heavy without any background hiss or noise. I still don't know how they did it. Cool acoustic guitarwork in that one. fat old sun is fine, i guess. i used to like the solo but now I really cant stand it. i forget who said gilmie sounds like ray davies on it, but he jsut doesn't at all. this one is pretty good, enough for a 7, say 7 and a half.

gorf15@hotmail.com (Garrett N.)
Unfortunately, the best versions of "Atom Heart Mother" were recorded live, and never officially released. The best version in my opinion, was from a John Peel show, taped at the Paris Theatre. Along with some great versions of "Axe", "Embryo", "Echoes", and "If". The Atom Heart Mother suite is tighter than the album, with a nice long funky part, which isn't stale like the album version.

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
Stupidly underrated album. A very interesting concept (it’s not a concept album, but the idea of Pink playing with an orchestra is genius), and the end result is an absolutely fantastic song. I guess the layout is a lil’ like Meddle; a few shorter songs on one side, with an absolute mother (heh, made a pun without intending to! Hurrah for me!) of a track with a side devoted to it. The tracks on side two are like an extension of the Umma Gumma idea (one band member writes a piece each), except it’s executed with 100 times more style, because the whole band plays the piece in the end. Anyway, the only song I’m not so keen on is Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast (great sound effects, lame song). Let’s call it a high 8/10.

Wadedh14@aol.com
Okay, I'll just say that I've long fallen head-over-heels for the "Atom Heart Mother" suite. I won't even talk about the individual sections in order to make them all sound equal (and keep boredom from settling on whomever reads my drivel). "If" is pretty, "Summer '68" is wonderful (every time I hear "HOW DO YOU FEEL?!?!?!" I just smile like an idiot), and "Fat Old Sun" is, well, boring until the end jam. "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" is simply funny, and also gorgeously melodic, all at different (not at the same) times. But that title suite, oh that title suite......album: 9/10. Title suite: 11/10.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
For the first part of my comment, please re-read the comment above by Wadedh14. Ditto Ditto Ditto. Hey! Luciani Do you have any songs in your life that are so ingrained in your chemistry that you can't imagine life without them? Are there songs that were tattooed on your brain at such an early age (and I'm thinking beyond "Old McDonald Had a Farm" here) that you just feel youthful and whole again every time you hear it?

No? Well, never mind then.

Yes? Well imagine that "song" being ATOM HEART MOTHER SUITE. I have about 5 different versions of this suite in my collection, and each one of them sends me for different reasons. If you're out there and you just loved LONG DIVISION HELL, the worst Gilmour solo album, then turn away now. You won't like Atom Heart. If you liked GEMINI SUITE by Deep Purple, then Atom Heart Mother will make you not like it any more, cause it's done tons better.

ricardo.nunez@poliformusa.com
HEY!!

What’s wrong with "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast”?

ace_kendo
The first musical part of 'Atom Heart Mother' (After the orchestra is done dicking around, when the drums come in) reminds me a lot of 'Hairless Heart' by Genesis.

I haven't listened to this album all that much, but I enjoy the three normal songs. Don't know if I'll get sick of them, I've listened to 'Pigs on the Wing' and 'Fearless' a thousand million times, so I guess like wimpy acoustic Pink Floyd a lot.

I won't comment on 'Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast' because I can't remember a single part of it. That's not a gibe, I like 'A Saucerful of Secrets' and have listened to it at least 10 times, but I don't remember any of it either. The song, not the album. I remember the album just fine, particularly how 'Let There Be More Light' ruins a perfectly good opportunity to be the same song as 'One of These Days' (which is AWESOME) by getting all dumb and fruity.

Onenotetrumpeter@aol.com
I love all on this album, my favorite ever. The title track is fascinating. I have probably listened to this more than any other album.......100s of times. What upsets me the most is the band themselves hate the album. You never hear it played or even mentioned. Also in interviews the band deny any drug attachments and all declare that they were never under the influence. This applies to all their music. I have my doubts.

Smiler.

Add your thoughts?

Meddle - Capitol 1971.
Rating = 8

The Floyd getting pretty normal, I'd say. Starts off with what may very well be the only kickbutt rocker they did after Syd left the band - a low, mean, echo-driven guitar thrasher called "One Of These Days," but the rest of the album thankfully doesn't even try to match it. Two terrific-sounding acoustic songs present a more Simon And Garfunkel-esque Pink Floyd before Roger's hokey "San Tropez" reminds the listener that Jimmy Buffett is not one to be emulated, and the side ends with some generic 12-bar blues sung by a dog. S'okay. Really good, truthfully, but not the huge step up from Atom Heart Mother that everybody makes it out to be. In fact, the side-long "Echoes", although memorable, gives us no valid reason why it needs to be 23 and a half minutes long; there's a nice long guitar solo and a silly "goofy noise bit" just like in "Atom Heart Mother," but this is essentially a five-minute darkish rock song dragged on and on and on. However, I love that piano note at the beginning, and it is undeniably, regardless of length, a fine song.

Reader Comments

John.A.Joyce.18@nd.edu
In my opinion, you grossly underestimate several things in your reviews: 1) Atom Heart Mother is a great album, but "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" is one of my favorite songs in it! A splendid way to end the album!

2) Meddle is a phenomenal album--you must admit to that

3) "San Tropez" is marvelous, and don't dare compare it to Jimmy Buffett, whom I hate immensely.

4) "Echoes" is *the* Pink Floyd song, FYI, and you should really buy a clue about that one and give Meddle 10 dots or whatever those dots are called.

Otherwise, a very very impressive sight, and good commentary.

cgarwood@netropolis.net (Calvin B. Garwood)
May I "Echo" the last feedback? "Echoes" is unquestionably the best (and most quintessential) Pink Floyd track EVER. I will be glad to debate all comers on this issue.

strider@redrose.net (David Straub)
Ditto on "Echoes" being definitive Floyd. Check the video version on Pompeii. Awe inspiring. Even Mason plays well!

And don't compare "Tropez" to the hated Parrotman, please... it's so much more groovy and sublime than anything Buffett could possibly come up with...

zobriskd@miavxl.acs.muohio.edu (Kurt Zobrist)
Meddle is a fine gem. It's the last Pink floyd album where it was unclear if any of the tracks would enjoy radio success. Therefore it is the last of their albums to be completely free in its innovation. "Echoes" is perfectly sublime! I have listened to this song for about four years now and I still hear things that I have not noticed yet. This album is the blueprint for all great and artistic psychedelic work. If the "new" Floyd were to return to this style of daring, they would remain the most creative and influential band in the world, as they were in the seventies.

Klarrabe@frognet.net (Kirk Larrabee)
I know all these people have already said it but I have to agree. "Echoes" is the essence of Pink Floyd and I think more often than not, fans of the band will say the same. "One Of These Days" is a rocker and "Seamus" is a throwaway, but other than that this album soothes the soul!!!

fyodor@mixcom.com (Ted Zimmer)
"Echoes" is phenomenal, but listen and watch a much better version of it on the video, Pink floyd-live at Pompeii, perhaps the greatest rock video of all time.

mprohner@digiconn.com
To augment the previous opinions of 'Echoes' I think I should say that I agree with the original review in the fact that is a little drawn out. However, it also has a groove which is incredible throughout some parts, and I would have to agree that it is certainly one of my favorite Floyd songs.

'One of These Days' seems relentless and climactic, definitely an excellent beginning to an excellent album.

Buckpres@aol.com
Has anybody listened to "Fearless"? It is clearly one of the best on the album.

tabasco@worldnet.att.net (BOB's)
I wouldn't say the best but it was very good. I think "ECHOES" is the best song ever made by any band. It was relaxing, very calm, very awakening, very mystical, and very well. WHO CARES ABOUT "HOUND DOG" OR "JAILHOUSE ROCK", In my opinion "Echoes" should have been the all-time song of these years. I give this album a 9 and a half.

hawkins@alphalink.com.au (Alan Hawkins)
For me, Meddle just had too many throw-aways; as far as the first half is concerned, only the georgeous "A pillow of winds" really does much for me. "Echoes" however, is the real reason you should have this record, never before have I heard a song that's so emotionally powerful - and it's sooooo much better than the messy "Atom Heart Mother"!!!! The overall melody to this piece is so beautiful, yet so utterly sad and disturbing, it's impossible to fathom the mood this song gets me in, as once it's finished I'm left with a warm, positive feeling (spiritual enlightenment perhaps???) And as for the musical merit of this song - not only does it have a tight, bluesy section that kicks butt, but listen to the strangely calming melody that rises from the "Goofy noise" bit and notice how the band heighten the tension until Gilmours triumphant guitar climax sweeps us back to the songs original melody - now that is truly AWESOME!!!!!! I'd rather listen to that than an album with a cow on the front cover anyday!!!!! ( 8 out of 10.)

reviewme@n2h2.com
"Fearless" is one of the best Floyd songs in existence. Just thought I would pass on a fact. Another fact is that "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" is great way to conclude one of Floyd's best alblums.

arnoldnicholas@hotmail.com
Just want to add that "Fearless" is most surely the coolest song on Meddle. It soothes and relaxes the listener in a way that "Echoes" only attempts. Best of all it is not 23 minutes long. Who else but Floyd could incorporate Rogers and Hammerstein in a psychadelic album?

robertk@jove.acs.unt.edu (Robert Linus Koehl)
The first Pink Floyd album that I could really take seriously. Piper was cool but not really all that listenable. The noise is cool, to a point, then the album just crashes. This one is actually fun to listen to, and you dont get tired of it as quickly. But it was nothing compared to what was coming.

max9@foothill.net (Jon Poirier)
i have to agree with Ted Zimmer and David Straub in regards to the P.F. at Pompeii movie. This timeless classic is an absolute must for any "true" Floyd fan. The line "eggs, sausage, chips and beans...and a tea" is in itself worthy.

nmorris@manhattan.edu (Joe)
Fearless is in open G if your having trouble playing it. Also you need to play barre chords across the whole fret for to play the ending bit right before the second (and final verse) : Fearlessly the idiot faced the crowd... Just so you know

praviaj@quack.cims.nyu.edu (Jose Pravia)
I totally agree with you that meddle is not a big jump from Atom Heart mother. "Echoes" would be a great song if it were cut to 12 minutes or so. What is so deep about playing those horror movie sounds for almost 5 minutes? Hell, the whole structure is a rip-off of "In-a-gadda-da-vida". The Atom heart mother suite is far more interesting even though Ron Geesin did the actual arrangement.

cliffnorth@localaccess.com (TAD)
Hey now! What's with all these attacks on Jimmy Buffett? I mean, really! The man who gave us the sensitivity of "Margaritaville," the insight of "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes," the cheesiness of "Cheeseburger in Paradise," the mushiness of "Come Monday," the fishiness of "Fins"....

The man who contributed one indisputible all-time musical classic to society -- I type, of course, of the incomparable "Chanson Pour Les Petite Enfants," located on the worldwide-acclaimed Volcano album.... Whatta track! Gorgeous! A beautiful lullabye for kids.

& I'll bet U wankers have never even heard it. & U guys think U KNOW music, just cos U've heard every Pink Floyd track ever recorded.... Sheesh, more music critics with feets of clay....

streb@mail.sssnet.com (Dan Streb)
Meddle is yet another very fine album from 1971. 1971 was without a doubt the best year for rock ever. Sticky Fingers, The Untitled Fourth Led Zeppelin Album, Meddle, Aqualung, The Nuggets Album, Goodbye Yellow BRick Road, All Things Must Pass, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, Harvest, Brain Salad Surgery, There's A Riot Goin' On, Fragile, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, and Who's Next ALL made the charts in 1971-early 72. Rock was good. And since then, none of the aforementioned albums were topped by their respective artists. Isn't that weird?

Badmoon510@aol.com (Pat)
Fearless is a wonderful song, you can't beat the melody. And Echoes clearly defines its need to be 23 and half minutes. They have to build up your spirits only to then around the 14th minute leave you in a dark dark place where you can almost see whatever demon it is that is making that awful sound. Of course then everything is triumphant in the end. At least that's how I perceive it while listening in the dark.

squirrel_police@hotmail.com
I hate it when you Prindle gives a stupid review and then tries to get off the hook by giving the album lots of "dots" anyway. Well, not this time. "Echoes" is a superb song, and I can't imagine how it could be improved. Well, okay, the Pompeii version is better, but...anyway, this is _definately_ not a five minute song. Why don't you get specific? What parts would you cut out of it if you could. The song just wouldn't be the same without the "albatross cries" part, or the slow buildup that follows...that's what I like best about PF, the subtle, changing dynamics. Other bands have quiet parts and loud parts, but PF is the best at blending the parts together.

stoo@imsa.edu (John McFerrin)
This album miffs me a bit. The thing is, if you lop off San Tropez and Seamus, which to me are the definition of filler, you get an album that clocks in at about 41 minutes, which is a sufficient length for an album. And if it were just One of the Days, Pillow of Winds, Fearless, and Echoes (which, btw, I consider their best song; words cannot describe the feelings running through me as it hits that ecastic trumpeting guitar tone near the end) this would complete well with DSTOM for their best album. As it is, I can only give it an 8 in good consciousness. *shrug*

John.King.4@uni.massey.ac.nz
One of the most mellow albums Floyd ever recorded, Meddle is a good representation of where the band were at that time musically. Much tighter and easier to listen to than Atom Heart Mother, it marks the beginning of Floyd's glory years ('71 - '79) and establishes the band's trademark sound. "One of these days" is one of the best intro songs ever with Roger's simple pounding bass and Wright's sharp keyboards building to a crescendo to lead into the quiet "A Pillow of Winds" which plods along peacefully, a beautiful song. "Fearless" is one of my favourite Floyd songs and is unfortunately underrated due to the last song on the album which I will get to soon. "Fearless" ROCKS despite how quiet it is - that was one of Floyd's strengths. They could rock it up with any of the major rock bands to come out of the '70's without screaming guitar or crashing drums. "San Tropez" and "Seamus" sort of blend into one another, the former resembling low-key nightclub music and the latter being a short blues number. These two songs get way too much shit in my opinion. Sure, they aren't the most memorable in the world but they're not worth skipping over - NO Floyd is worth skipping! Besides, by having two weaker songs before the last one, it builds up the effect of it.

"Echoes" - what can I say, it's a masterpiece. Floyd's greatest? I can't decide, but fuck, it's gotta be up there in the top three - hell, top two. I totally agree with squirell_police@hotmail.com. The fact that this song is 23 minutes contributes to how great it is. By shortening it to 12 or even 5 minutes like you say would be ridiculous. It would completely diminish its epic effect. This was another feature of Floyd - they would build up songs incredibly. Look at "Shine on..." It takes eight and a half minutes until the first word is sung. But this is what makes it so great when the singing does start. "Echoes" wouldn't be the same without the albatross and (whale?) calls or the Dave's guitar build up following the calls.

Another amazing album from Floyd - dog. 9 /10

tmeskey86@mindless.com (Tom Meskey)
i agree with buckpres. Fearless is quite possibly one of the best Floyd song and has to be appreciated for its innovative style.

cybercafe@v-wave.com (cybercafe)
Meddle finds the band moving closer to the all out full blown epics following Obscured by Clouds. Not to say that they haven't gotten it quite right at that point, Echoes and One of These Days weild considerable transportative powers. But the extra weirdness hasn't been weeded out. (San Tropez...)

imoss@northernlight.com (Ian Moss)
Now we're gettin' somewhere! Meddle seems to straddle an interesting middle ground between Pink Floyd's Syd-influenced early years and their arena-rock phase of the mid-to-late '70s. "Echoes," in particular, has the length and expanse characteristic of their earlier stuff, but also the smoothness and polish of their later stuff. That's why your characterization of the album as "pretty normal" confuses me; in fact it's a transitional sound that isn't really present on any of their other albums (at least that I've heard). Anyway, it's a great album--"One of These Days" is absolutely killer and "Fearless" is surprisingly sublime. Regarding Roger's "throwaways"--I feel like they're the kind of songs that occupy the space between filler and "real" music: they don't add too much, but I'd still miss them if they were gone. Anyway they're funny, and that makes up in part for their genericness. Oh, and I don't think that "Echoes" is too long--I am really not bored by it at all. Maybe the wailing section could have been shorter...but hey, the groove section could have been longer, so it all evens out. 9.

fatchants@nyc.rr.com
One of These Days is more or less a parody of 'rock song to start the record off' and I've yet to figure out exactly how Gilmour went about recording 'Pillow of Winds' (or is it Window of Pills? hehehe), it is truly fucking amazing. Whoever posted that comment up there about Echoes being 'too long' and that it should have only been 5 minutes.. probably thinks the same of sex, which.. means nothing to the rest of us. Fearless is brilliant in every way, 'San Tropez' is SUPPOSED to be some.. dentist in his dentist chair falling up and down a staircase, but again.. the seething sarcasm with which Floyd portrays various ideas (steel doors on a rail rolling shut in 'Pigs', etc) escapes the inExperienced. 'Seamus' is just.. an interpretation of a floppy-eared dog on a Long Summer Day ..excellent acoustic work by Gilmour. DID Seamus eat any God-food before the session? I still juana know.. 'Echoes', as someone said earlier, is *the* Pink Floyd song, it is about the rise and fall of the acid movement, _Paradise Lost_, and the evolution of biology itself all wrapped up into one, not unlike what James Joyce does with _Ulysses_.. takes many years to fully sink in tho..

richbunnell@home.com
A lowish eight-- it's good stuff, but compared to the following album it seems kind of like a blueprint. All of the components of the "classic Floyd sound" are on here, yet aside from "One Of These Days"(a truly awesome thrasher indeed) the melodies aren't too memorable. That isn't to say that "Echoes" isn't an absolute stunner, or that "San Tropez" isn't hilarious - in fact, the only song that blows beyond belief is "Seamus." The band probably threw that boring piece of crap on so fans wouldn't have to argue about what the worst song on the album is, since it's obvious beyond belief. This theory also accounts for the inclusion of worthless-beyond-measure songs on other bands' albums, like "Mother" on the Police's Synchronicity and "Who Dunnit?" on Genesis' Abacab.

oneofakind151@hotmail.com (John Sieber)
One of my wierd druggie friends lent me this album, saying, "it's good". Boy was she right. "Echoes" is the first song longer than 5 minutes i'd ever heard. Looking at the album cover and hearing that radar ping-sounding thing, i almost felt like i was underwater. fucking sweet. and i wasnt even tripping or anything. And it definitely needs to be 23 minutes long. from the descent, to the animal sounds in the depths, to the "rising" part back to the original verse thingy, and the "whhhhhhoooooooooooosssssssshhhhhhhhh" at the end, that never seems to end, until, POW youre back at sea level again. man i need to get my hands on some acid ;-)

p.s. is it just me, or does that driving guitar/synth thing before the last verse entry sound alot like "One of these days"? or at least a variation of the above. these were some smart motherfuckers.

soul_crusher77@hotmail.com (Mike K.)
Yes, I am among the many "san tropez" and "seamus" skippers here. Not as much because I hate the songs themselves (although I used to) as because they seem sort of too upbeat for the rest of the album and screw up the flow going on. You don't put a 2 minute blues song with a howling dog on backing vocals right before a 23 minute serious neo-classical/weird sci-fi noises song. The track listing makes more sense if you consider that "Echoes" got it's own album side, but still... Anyway, "One Of These Days" and "Echoes" are far and beyond the best tracks here, but "A Pillow Of Winds" and "Fearless" are up there. In fact "A Pillow Of Winds" is sort of underrated. I mean I don't think I've heard anyone bring that song up ever. And then there's "Seamus" and "San Tropez". I really hated these songs at first, but they grew on me a bit. "San Tropez" sounds like Pink Floyd doing cheesy cocktail jazz or something, but it's actually sort of catchy and enjoyable, and it's interesting to read that Waters wrote it, considering the contrast with almost all the other Waters penned Pink Floyd songs out there. And "Seamus" used to bother the hell out me, but I got over it. It's just a big dumb goofy joke.

katsman7@hotmail.com (Madd Hunter)
This is Meddle. The title propably won't tell anything to most non-fans, as it isn't a well-known Floyd album. But it's the basement (or the preparation, if you want) for Dark Side Of The Moon. "One Of These Days" is a good-good rocker with a cool vocal sample ("One Of These Days I'm Going To Cut You Into Little Pieces") in the middle, "A Pillow Of Winds" is an okay, good relaxing song (ideal for midday), "Fearless" is a good track, and it's the second best in the album ("Echoes" is the best), because of the intelligent guitar and chorus ("Liverpool!") in the end. "San Tropez" is a jazzy-lounge song, not fitted in the album. Good, although. And also relaxing. "Seamus" is a bluesy song, a good one. But the next song, "Echoes" is the magnum-opus. 23 minutes, but never boring. It's ambient-hard rock. Pink Floyd released a good album, if not great, and it must be recognised.

Jcjh20@aol.com
Excellent album!! This album is oddly overlooked, i think, usually, except for the classic (although a bit overlong) "Echoes". "One Of These Days" rips you into little pieces (no pun intended) with its bopping bass driven bassline and echoing guitars and such, "Fearless" is one of my favorite 'Floyd songs ever! Those crowdish noises are completely unnesessary though. Irony or not, "San Tropez" is a wonderful song, as is "Pillow Of Winds". And whats with "Seamus"? Yeah, its probably the most inferior track on the album, but man, i think its just a cute little blues song with dog voices in the back. I give it a 9.

Lars-Olof.Ivarsson@lub.lu.se
"Echoes" is much better on "Live at Pompei". "One Of These Days" is O.K., the rest is unbelievable crap. "San Tropez" & "Seamus" is the worst two Pik Floyd song ever. Even worse than "The Final Cunt".

janpooh@telusplanet.net (Janice D'Eath)
Five minutes, someone actually thinks echoes should have been 5 minutes, you can eat my ass jerk. Also I'd like to tell everyone bad mouthing Seamus to FUCK right off Seamus is hilarious, absolutly hilarious, and by no means necessarily filler material I mean take Pink Floyd get them all stoned have a good blues riff and a singing dog, how could you say it wouldn't be a cool result, shame on all of you for overlooking Seamus. Meddle was some what of a turning point for Pink Floyd, One of These Days Is Amazing, A Pillow of Winds is one of the most overlooked Pink Floyd songs ever, that and Green is The Color from More. Thirdly Fearless is another contender for best Floyd song, San Tropez is sweet and also a superb high song, also Richard Wright is sooooo Fucking cool, and he plays the shit out of that piano on this song, Ive already commented on Seamus, and Echoes, Oh my god, I'm not even going to comment, that song is so amazing that it is beyond me.

gray0187@tc.umn.edu (Jon)
I think the important thing about echoes to a lot of people is because it is difficult to listen to at times, and you forget it is still the same song unless you are one of those freaks who holds the cd case in one fevered hand while judging the cetner impacts of your stereo speakers by parallax (hah! and i though high school physcis would never pay off! im sure mirrors and lenses are important with sound, right?). Any way, if people are just listening to that thing in the background and talking or whatever, they will eventually look up puzzled and say "'sthis that same song?" and the nerdy floyd fan will snort, giggle nasally and say "yes this is echoes, its twenty minutes long. have a pen." Because there is this long boring part after the great riffy verse and chorus preceded by a semi-boring jam (ha i almost mistyped it as "ham" freudian typing slip!), the climax with that GREAT FUCKING GUITAR is really satisfying and a bigger payoff than if it just showed its face after "on and on around the sun", right? Plues the great floydian buildup is present beforehand, and the subtle little organ solo during those two chords for the buildup is superduperterrific. after all that the return of the big bad "doomy" (copyright george starostin) song is very satisfying, and people will look up from what they're doing and say "uh! cool! not many songs do stuff like that!" So that's the mystery of echoes i think, it turns into background music and sounds like a different song and then rises like a musical phoenix from its ashes! Oh yes! Like a phoenix, dammit. cliched? ah you can all go to hell anyway. Pillow of Winds is INCREDIBLY cool too, because of the fretless bass (or is that slide?) and the lack of any attack on any instrument--it is a pillow of winds. Also, there are some neat chords. Try to muddle through that 'un on guitar. Jus ttry. Listen to mark for the rest. I give it a big fat 8/10.

SneakthaSlinger@aol.com
Took me about 700 listens to finally realize this, but the point is that I did - the sequencing of this album is brilliant, borderline genius, even by Floyd's standards. It doesn't have a "concept" linking all the songs together like everything after Dark Side, but the order the songs are arranged in work so that the mood starts of intense and harrowing, then gradually turns more light-hearted, frivolous, and "friendlier," until the long, unbeatable, all-encompassing album closer comes in and BOOM...destroys everything in it's wake.

I mean, think of it this way...they start off with a threatening(literally), upbeat, pleasantly repetitive, totally killeriffic hard rock instrumental(One Of These Days),that proves two basses are better than one. Then they proceed straight into a soft, lush, and pretty much drumless folky soother("A Pillow Of Winds"), which might be my favorite song here. And why, you ask? Cause it suddenly goes straight from being all calm, peaceful and happy-ish to more dark, weird, and paranoid seamlessly("When night comes down, you lock the door"), just so we know we're not out of Nightmare Valley yet. Then it turns happy again and everything's all right. Whew. Up next, it's a very nice gentle relaxant song("Fearless") that's as warm as pissing your pants and lyrically, seems to sum up the post-Barrett Pink Floyd's entire approach to music, if you think about it. It actually manages to come off as sincere...(although I could do without those stupid Scousers singing some godawful show tune at the end there.)

Which brings us to..."San Tropez." A song I despised with every fiber of my being when I first heard it. I had to listen to the album very closely to understand how it fit in with the 3 great songs coming before it, and eventually I realized that it's really catchy, if poppier than popcorn and cornier than the band Korn. It's just a funsey, silly, goofy(probably on purpose), upbeat thing...nothing wrong with that, considering we're all gonna DIE someday, so we might as well have a good time every now and then. And "Seamus" is another purposely dumb joke, just taken even further. VERY out-of-character for Pink, yet it works because the songs that came before it had provided adequate preparation or something like that. And "Echoes." What the fuck can one say about "Echoes?" Well, I can say this: out of all the awesome, lengthy, epic, ten-minute-plus avant-garde "suites" the Floyd has ever done(from "Interstellar Overdrive" on Piper to "Dogs" on Animals), this is the one that I consistently listen to all the way through the most. It may not be the definitive Floyd track(That'd go to "Wish You Were Here" or "Comfortably Numb" IMHO((TEP, the mummy))), but it contains every last thing I like about the band all in one piece, and almost nothing that I don't. Sorrowful melodies, depressing, melancholy lyrics, classical-style arrangements, nail-biting buildups, HUGE climaxes, experimental dicking around due to excessive drug use - it's all here, and it's all delightful. OK, maybe I could do without that dirgey "blues jam" section and the "underwater noise" sequence could stand to be a lot shorter, but man, smoke a big old bowl of green(if you don't have any, smoke some pole instead) and you'll barely even notice.

This opinion of mine is subject to change frequently whenever I feel like it, but right now I have to say this is my favorite Pink Floyd album, and I've got nearly everything that gets hailed as their best. Mark says this isn't a big step up from Atom Heart Mother??? Well I say Dark Side Of The Moon isn't much of a step up from this one either...but that's only my opinion. 10 out of 10. Yeah, 10 as in "damn near perfect."

gorf15@hotmail.com (Garrett N.)
In my opinion, the gem of the entire album is the funky groove in "Echoes", which, rightly so, is lengthy... Should have been longer in my opinion, because it induces a certain trance in the listener, as it propels you up and out of the mix, higher and higher... This is the familiar sound of the Floyd jamming together, the same vibe which came up in AHM, "childhood's End", "Shine On Part VIII", the instrumental backing on "Time", "Any colour You Like", etc... the meat & potatoes of the Floyd, so to speak. But the Echoes jam is the most rewarding: long, and trancey. The groove is so tight and polished, it sounds more avant-garde than most contemporary "funk" today... I mean, Dr. Dre would have a field day rapping over it I'm sure (if he knew about it)... Let's hope not.

dan.maftei@comcast.net
I must be the only person in the world who doesn't skip over Seamus (or any track off Meddle for that matter). Seamus is, like everyone else said, a complete joke. But it's a good joke. It's all about the order of the tracks:

You start off with One of These Days, of which I can't say much that hasn't been already said. Then you get A Pillow of Minds, a very laid back piece that soothes you. Then Fearless, more upbeat than the previous song, but still laid back. Enter San Tropez, even more upbeat than Fearless (see a pattern here?), and then you get Seamus, which is more laid back than A Pillow of Minds. You finish listening to the Pillow/Fearless/Tropez medley and head straight into gritty, lazy blues. I love the dog barking in the background, the guitar work, and the piano. It's the perfect setup for Echoes, you see.

Floyd starts off hard, gets soft and builds up the tempo, completely throw you off track with Seamus, and then slams you with the epic that is Echoes.

It's all in the song order.

10+

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
An annoyingly overrated album in comparison with their previous album. People constantly fawn over this record, but I fail to see what all the fuss is about. OK, One Of These Days is a great, super fast instrumental (by far the rockingest thing they’d attempted since Syd’s unceremonious departure), and Echoes is, IMO, one of the best Floyd tracks ever. The rest of the album doesn’t do much for me; A Pillow Of Winds is a nice mellow piece, but it’s not that memorable; Fearless is nice (with irksome football chants at the end); San Tropez is weak and Seamus is execrable. That said, OOTD and Echoes are really something else, so let’s call it a low 8/10.

bikepark@wi.rr.com (Ben Valerius)
The first time I listened to this, I didn't like it at all. The whole album just seemed so soft and long and never-ending. Even "One of these days" seemed to drag. "Echos" was worse. The high piano note in the beginning was pretty sweet, but man that song just went on, and on. "Fearless" and "San Tropez" sounded like crummy folky tunes, nothing like the insightful "Time" or "Brain Damage." I was prepared to write it off until one day when I had to go run some errands and wanted something to listen to, something soft, as I was in a relaxed, near-tired mood at the time. "Ah, Meddle, this should work." I popped it into the CD player, and suddenly it made sense - no longer was the record slow and boring, but *calm* and *relaxing.* "Fearless" went from a "where the hell's the skip track button" song to a damn melodic acoustic song put on when you're on the beach with a girlfriend ("...with my love by my side..." - at least that's how it sounds to me) or lying on a hammock, whichever works.

I don't think it's quite as good as Dark Side, but Meddle is a good record. Just make sure to give it more than one listen if you're unsure. I'm sure most music fans know that, but its true.

8/10.

Wadedh14@aol.com
Nope, not a huge step up from Atom Heart Mother. "One of These Days" kills me. Absolute KILLER. Incredible. Awesome. Scary. Hoo man. "A Pillow of Winds" is rather pretty; sleep-inducing at night, but not filler. "Fearless" has some really cool riff in it, and some nice enough lyrics. Great song, I think. "San Tropez" is leaning towards filler, but its joking nature is what reminds the listener that that's what it is. Can I say I love "Seamus"? No? Well, screw you. I love "Seamus". I even love its Pompeiian instrumental counterpart, "Mademoiselle Nobs". Great stuff. Then the slightly overblown "Echoes" takes up twenty-three minutes of time and the record's over. I love the song, it's good. The funk jam is really cool, and the scary-noise bit is too long. It's fun watching them play it at Pompeii, though. Neat album. Maybe......8.5/10? Sure, why not.

Michael.Kramarczyk@raritan.com
I tend to listen to Pink Floyd albums in their entierty. They are sacred things which were put together delicately with percision. Out of context, I feel the impact is somewhat lost. That being said, I feel that San Tropez has some great piano work, which should not get dismissed. Complete chill. I've always been a fan of a Pillow of Winds. It reminds of me of having a couple of beers and falling asleep underneath a tree on a hot summers day. Actually the entire mid-section has that feel. These guys were enjoying what they were doing and making some good music. Nothing wrong with that. Echoes is just fantastic and of course One of these days is as great album opener. Pumps you full of addrenalin. Of all the Pink Floyd albums, Meddle and Obscurred by Clouds gets the most listens. They are interesting. I find one has to be in a particular mood to enjoy some of the others which are equally as brilliant: Dark Side of the Moon, Wish you were Here, and Animals. I'm also a big of Barret so Piper's gets high marks. What makes Pink Floyd legendary is that we can't all agree what is the best album, so many different styles and moods. It's like being inside the Ben and Jerry's ice cream factory.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
At an early age, this album became the "gold standard" by which I judged Pink Floyd albums. It reigned near the top of my top 10 albums of all time for many years. This was mainly because of "Echoes", which was pretty much my favorite song for 20 years. 20 years? Geez, I'm getting old... My sister and I used to use the "scary" middle part of this song as the soundtrack to our own home-made "Haunted Houses" that we would concoct around Halloween time back in the late 70s. I sill love "Echoes", but "Atom Heart Mother" has since usurped it as my favorite Floyd song. But it's still wonderful, and I'll listen to it any time, any where. The rest of the songs? Well, side one rules too, so eat my toenails.

artmuse@hvc.rr.com
MEDDLE is my favorite album of all time from anyone in the history of music. I've heard Radiohead to Rossini. And Kid A is most definitely influenced by 'Echoes.' This album takes me where no one else has ever gone.

The reason is 'Echoes.'

The moods of the song are just perfection, defined. The length is literally a trip. I have to hear every second.

Floyd could never have realized the studio-slick Alan Parsons audiophile phenoMOONon they became without 'Echoes.'

The verse recalls the vocal on 'Breathe' from The Dark Side Of The Moon.

The jam section grooves like the lead in 'Money.'

The albatross section (that's Gilmour's guitar with slide) reminds you of the beginning slide guitar into the vocal on 'The Great Gig In The Sky.' Plus, the sliding shrill high E note can literally clear a room. Now that's talent!

The four-note pulse to the climax is similar to the four-chord sequence of 'Eclipse.'

And the end just keeps going up into the sky, to infinity.

(If anyone should ever desire to reproduce 'Echoes' with an actual band, write me, I'm your guitarist)

The entire album just organically grows and shape-shifts. I like every song. It all has to be there to work. Just think about the distance you've travelled musically from a lounge song to a barking dog blues number to a single echoing avant-garde note (B). The wind from 'Echoes' becomes the wind of 'One Of These Days'. Obscured By Clouds>Meddle>The Dark Side Of The Moon seems to make more continuity sense, also.

(what a frickin' masterpiece of sound, especially on headphones. The Mobile Fidelity 24k CD is the way to hear Meddle)

20+ (off the map)

just my humble opinion. thanx, and remember to tip your server.

ricardo.nunez@poliformusa.com
For some reason (I don’t know, maybe it’s “Fearless”) this album has never ceased to be my Pink Floyd favorite. It’s so well produced, without being overproduced. The songs here are somewhat simple in character but very detailed in the way they’re executed; but most of all, they’re very entertaining and charming. You are right about “Echoes” being a little too long, but it’s also excellent nevertheless. And by the way, I FUCKING LOVE FEARLESS!!

jbp703@gmail.com
ONE OF THESE DAYS I'M GONNA CUT MARK PRINDLE INTO LITTLE PIECES!

seriuosly through, Pink Floyd brought out the "meddle" on this album if you know what I mean. I undestand the rating of an 8 based on the mediocrity of San Tropez and Seamus. HOWEVER, the fact remains that the rest of the album is mind blowing. There's more going on here musically that DSOTM, it just lacks the unifing theme that the later Pinky albums had.

Add your thoughts?

Obscured By Clouds - Capitol 1972.
Rating = 7

Another soundtrack for another French film, but it's difficult to believe that this is the same band that did More three years earlier. That was murky and druggy; this is clear and sober. That was strangely dark and foreboding; this is, for the most part, light and welcoming. That had a bunch of slow atmospheric bits; this ... oh, there's the similarity. "Mudmen" and "Absolutely Curtains" are nothing but atmosphere (but a neat, clean atmosphere!), and neither the title track nor "When You're In" would exist, at least not in their current form as repetitive guitar-driven instrumentals, if they weren't mainly intended to be heard in the background of some crappy movie.

But I'm not putting it down. A band as smart as Pink Floyd was not going to put out a lousy album - soundtrack or no. This one boasts three beautiful (though similar) ballads ("Burning Bridges," "Stay," and, best of all, "Wots...Uh, the Deal), and a hilariously upbeat meditation on the hopelessness of life (entitled "Free Four" - as in "one! two! free! four!"). On the down side, there's a pretty weak rocker called "The Gold It's In The...," and a really bad Gilmour-penned precursor to the minor-key funk jazz numbers that would dominate The Dark Side Of The Moon. Still, two lousy songs do not a lousy album make.

Reader Comments

strider@redrose.net (David Straub)
Certainly pale compared to the records around it in their discography. But interesting in that you get to hear them coming up with ideas for Dark Side and Wish. I think "Free Four" is one of their finest short songs. Shows Roger's imminent obsession with death, war, loneliness, etc.

tabasco@worldnet.att.net (BOB's)
I've seen the movie it was really boring it's about people who live on vallies. Nothing to get excited about. The album was clean, musical, touching, and heart warming. "Burning Bridges" is a song that sounds like french music, "The Gold Is In The..." is a good mellow tune, "Mudmen" sounds like "Burning Bridges", "Wots Uh the Deal" is a soft happy tune of course not a classic, "Free Four" is a Moody Blues sound-a-like, but still good, and "Stay" is very relaxing and good but not such a review song, "Absolutely Curtains" is a part music and part of the movie. I give this album an 8. Its obscure like the title.

squirrel_police@hotmail.com
This was a great album, and it shows that it was recorded just shortly before Dark Side. All the elements are here...the sound effects, the great lyrics, the stinging, laid-back (an oxymoron?!?) guitar work, even a reprise...all it needed was a bit more polishing. A forgotten classic. "Stay" is an okay song, a bit poppy, but it is notable for the only straight wah-wah solo on a pink floyd album.

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
Absolutely gorgeous, heinously underrated soundtrack album. Fans of Dark Side could do worse than track down this CD, if only to see where the DSOTM sound really took shape. Obscured By Clouds is almost like a thoroughly stripped down dry-run for DSOTM - the melodies are there, the beautiful guitar is there, the eclecticism is there and the vocals are there - the only thing that’s missing are the cash registers, weird speech samples (apart from a clip from the film at the end of Absolutely Curtains), clocks and heartbeats. The instrumentals (especially title track, when you’re in) are godly, there are lots of beautiful soft songs (especially burning bridges and wot’s…uh the deal). What is up with the song titles on this album, actually? Like ‘the gold it’s in the…’ - actually, that’s a song I like a whole lot too. Let’s call this record a 9/10, and I don’t care if I’m overrating it because it’! s stupidly underrated - maybe this will create a balance!

steve.robey@mindspring.com
College can be pretty surreal sometimes. I've listened to this album since I was a child, but for some reason, my dominant memory of the title track is living in the dorm room next door to some guy at college, and he would randomly, inexplicably, start playing the track "Obscured By Clouds" at maximum volume at random points in the day (11 AM, 5 PM, 11 PM, 1 AM, what the fuck?). I couldn't complain of course cause I love the song (and it sure beat hearing "Sweet Child O'Mine" at all hours of the night during the previous college year), but it just seemed so out of character for this particular individual, who was better known as the goal-tender for our top-ranked soccer team. I never asked him about it, but damn! All I could do was crank up my own stereo with Soft Machine 4 to show him how weird EYE was.

Add your thoughts?

The Dark Side Of The Moo - Trixie Records 19??.
Rating = 8

A fantastic bootleg of pre- Dark Side material! Seek it out! Has lots of really hard-to-find studio stuff (three Syd Barrett gems you can't find no place, one of Rick's fruitiest pop attacks of all time, and even a country-western song they recorded for the Zabriskie Point soundtrack). Extremely worthwhile. You'll hear mention of song titles like "Apples And Oranges," "Point Me At The Sky," and "Scream Thy Last Scream" in lots of old Floyd interviews, but this is the only place I know where you can get them. Unfortunately, it's missing two extremely rare Barrett-era classics, "Lucy Leave" and "Vegetable Man," but what it does have is essential. more essential than either soundtrack album - more essential than Atom Heart Mother - aaaah! Find it. Buy it. Cherish it. It has cows on the cover. And, on occasion, I enjoy a good cow.

Plus, it's split; side one is Barrett era, side two - Gilmour, so you can feel exactly how strong a shift the band made just by replacing one member. What would have happened had Syd not lost it? Would they have faded away behind his frontman presence? They wouldn't have grown as a band like this, would they have? Ahh, it's not worth talking about. Nothing is. Just shut up for a damn change.

Reader Comments

squirrel_police@hotmail.com
Well, I haven't heard this album, but I have heard the Zabriskie Point song, and it is a killer.

mtlhead@mchsi.com
I just bought this the other day at my new favorite place to go—a local used CD/LP shop—and I really love it. It’s always exciting to hear rarities and bootlegs that other people haven’t heard and maybe don’t know about. But I was just curious: how do you come across bootlegs, ‘cause it seems like you’ve got a lot of them. Is there a better way then just searching used record stores hoping to come across something rare, or is that basically it?

Add your thoughts?

Live in Japan 1972: Dark Side Of The Rising Sun - Pigs On The Wing 1998.
Rating = 8

If you're a big Dark Side fan, do yourself a favor and hunt down this bootleg or one like it that features that album's tunes performed BEFORE the album was released. Still in progress, the songs sound surprisingly different! "Time" features low-key harmony vocals (very somber, pretty vocals as opposed to the angry singing that dominate the final version), "Us & Them" has no echo on the vox, "Money" has a hip keyboard solo where you expect the sax solo to be, "Eclipse" is all full of old-school Floyd synth noises and neither "Great Gig In The Sky" or "On The Run" exist yet, represented on here only by a weird organ solo and a cool guitar thing. Interestin indeed! Also included are nice run-throughs of "One Of These Days" and "Careful With That Axe, Eugene." Look for it by ask! The singers miss a lot of notes but even that has its interestingness.
Reader Comments

galaxian1@sopris.net (Garrett Newnam)
In my opinion, the Floyd's creative peak as a band, before it became Water's baby. The Floyd were still playing their dark, gothic, classically-influenced improvisational set, showcased on "Live at Pompeii", and were also playing "Eclipse", the new suite which would later become "Dark side". I actually prefer the "Eclipse" suite to the final "Dark side" album, because it not only was more improvisational (Any Colour you Like was usually almost 10 minutes long), but was also deeper conceptually, and more true to their psychedelic roots... A memorable part of this suite was "the Death Sequence", which would later become "Great Gig in the Sky". Richard Wright in top form, with an early '70s style psychedelic church organ solo, backed by tape loops and effects, in quad sound. Including a repeating loop of the Lord's Prayer, looped back on itself, until it became a telling jumble of words, which spoke of paranoia and wishful religious dogma. The "On the Run" sequence was the infamous guitar and Fender Rhodes jam, which echoed the later Floyd sound which would pop up on the Wall, and Gilmour's solo albums. Would absolutely LOVE to see the Floyd in this era at Earl's Court or some other moderately small venue, while they were still underground, yet on the verge of popping up into the mainstream.

Add your thoughts?

The Dark Side Of The Moon - Capitol 1973.
Rating = 9

Like most of the Beatles stuff, I honestly feel like I don't have anything innovative to say about this album. It was huge; everybody loved it. They play every song except "On The Run" on the radio every ten minutes, and it still holds up. Lyrically, it's depressing, examining every man's fears about life and love and death and madness madness madness; musically, it's lounge-jazzy (either they ripped off Steely Dan, or Steely Dan ripped them off - I don't know enough about Steely Dan to ssaay for sure) with some wonderful stereophonic surprises (clocks ringing, bombs exploding, people talking, cash registers clinging in 7/4 time, and plenty more!) and one of the greatest bass lines ever thrown off a balcony ("Money"). 'Tis unbelievably good. It seems as if it should be boring with all those long solo instrumental bits, but it's not. The solos are actually interesting, believe it or not. Matter of fact, "Any Colour You Like" (which you probably know as that really long ending to "Us And Them") is one of the most mesmerizing pieces of music on here - and it's NOTHING but a jam!

So let's talk about "On The Run." If you've never seen the video Pink Floyd At Pompeii, rent it. "On The Run" is performed by Roger on some weird electronic briefcase; it's an awfully funny scene watching him try to create the perfect "doodly-doodly" noise. But he succeeded! "On The Run" is the perfect "doodly-doodly" noise played over and over and over again until there's a really loud explosion at the end. Then there's some really loud clocks and, oh, you see my point. You know it's a great album. It was on the Billboard charts for like ten years!

Reader Comments

la314w@crown.icongrp.com (Jesse Lara)
This album is certainly not a piece of the pie that you can say sucks. Love the album all the way through, so did my brother who drew the cover in my garage. Yet again, if you don't have this you basically suck!

strider@redrose.net (David Straub)
Dark but catchy, accessible but impenetrable, sad but weirdly positive. Quite possibly the best rock album of all time! And all the studio footage in Pompeii is such a treat!!

Moucky@aol.com
Thank you for putting a special mention about "Any Colour You Like". Sometimes I wonder if I am the only person that realizes it is NOT just a long ending to "Us & Them". This song rocks, the jams are tight, and the solos shine!

m.eisenkraft@juno.com (Michael B. Eisenkraft)
My chemistry teacher told my class (I have no idea how it came up) that if you mute the Wizard of Oz and play Dark Side of the moon as soon as the MGM lion roars for the second time the two mesh uncannily. A friend and I tried it and it was pretty eerie, but I don't think they are related at all. Do you have any light to shed on this mysterious subject?

jamesd@elink.net (James Vincent Debevec II)
You are supposed to play Dark Side at the THIRD roar of the lion, not second!!!

Glenn.Wiener@entex.com
Some really deep lyrics are on this one.

mprohner@digiconn.com
DSOTM vs. Oz. Start with the 3rd lion, and yes, it's very eerie. This issue was on MTV News (not that I ever watch MTV for more than a few seconds, but i did catch this...). They asked Nick Mason about this, to which he replied 'It's all nonsense, it's about the Colour of Music.' (forgive any errors here, it's 2am and i'm tired.)

My personal review is that this is a great album. My third favorite behind Wish and Meddle... but nothing beats the little tricks, as mentioned in the original review. I think this record shows a band with a lot of creativity, and a lot more potential for creativity.

Although I wasn't born until 3 years after it was released, I have often heard that this album remained on Billboard's top 100 until well into the 80's. Quite an accomplishment, if true.

jhurtt@comp.uark.edu (Jeremy Hurtt)
Oh yeeeeah. This is music at its peak. I can think of no album more worth the money than Dark Side of the Moon. It's a 10. If you buy this album you will be eternally grateful to the boys of Ol' Pink. Get it today!

(BTW-I agree with James, the third roar of the lion is badass. I've tryed it a couple of ways, and this is best. If you start Animals at the end of DSOTM, it goes along too, though not quite as well. If music that goes along with movies is your cup o' tea, try starting NIN's Downward Spiral at the title screen of Fantasia. It is the baddest thing I've ever seen.)

tabasco@worldnet.att.net (BOB's)
I keep giving good reviews to this band. This band is the greatest rock band of all time. Pink Floyd Rocks. Rock and Roll would never be the same without this band. I have never gotten tired of them yet. Now to review one of the best classic albums of all. Dark Side Of The Moon. It starts out with "Speak To Me" with Nick Mason's tape effects, even with no music it was cool, then comes a nice soft song called "Breathe", Run Rabbit Run, then comes the most adventureous songs on the albums, "On The Run", think of this song when you are getting chased, then next my favorite "Time", a nice 7 minute track, with the clocks and the bongo, I've seen the video to this, A lot of poetic beauty was put into that, "The Great Gig In The Sky", another instrumental song on the album but there were girls singing, "Money", a great disco track, my friend heard this song and he liked it. I told him it was on this cd so he got it. "Us And Them" was another one of my favorites, hear the song this song doesn't need a review, and same with the others. I give this album at least a 20. Even if you are not a floyd fan you should get this album. OK.

chriss@pro.net
This is one severely overrated record. It is their most stiff and sterile slab o' vinyl, having as much feel and character as a Donna Summer kraut-disco album. Syd was probably rolling over in his playpen when he heard this.

manojap@ncbs.tifrbng.res.in (Dr. Naveen Sivadas)
This is pink floyd at their very best. An album that makes you think smile and cry at what morons we are. Dark Side touches a very raw nerve. "Us and them" and "Brain damage" and "Time" are proof of Waters' genius,and Pink Floyd's, before it was messed up by that absolute shitheel Gilmour. If you don't have this album, BUY IT OR DIE!!

gt909lb@prism.gatech.edu (Andrew Goldthorp)
Definitely this is Floyd's best album. While there have been better musical albums (Led Zep IV, Exile on Main Street), no rock and roll album has ever been better produced. Alan Parsons did a phenomenal job with Pink Floyd on this one. Also, Dark Side of the Moon is the classic theme album. All of the songs flow perfectly and "Time" is nothing less than a classic. Their finest moment.

hawkins@alphalink.com.au (Alan Hawkins)
Jeez, I used to be obsessed about this record! Though I really can't listen to it and enjoy it as much as I used to (thanks to FM radio!!!) it's still a flawless concept album however. It was quite bizarre to hear the Floyd being compared to Steely Dan (whose music I also love) I really don't think there was any ripping off involved though.

Back to this record anyway, before Dark side... came out, Pink Floyd were always better as an instrumental group, though after this record - the lyrics took over and music became of secondary importance (re:The wall) hence, I really do feel this was the album that combined both aspects beautifully.

The simplicity of this record was another reason it was so successful, the dark side of the moon is a metaphor for the dark side of life - ie: fear,greed,ageing,death etc... - the band (or at least Waters) suddenly realized that a simple theme that everyone can relate to is probably a lot more effective than a 23 minute epic with an orchestra and choir!!

I too am glad that "Any colour you like" has gotten a mention, not only does Gilmour perform a great solo, but Wright gives one of his best keyboard melodies ever, hey! and listen carefully to the last ten seconds of this instrumental, as Gilmour's playing segues (rather awkwardly) into "Brain Damage" - then listen to the last couple of lines of the song "Breathe..." it's the same melody!!! clever stuff!!!

Oh, and forget that Wizard of oz thing!! there's something even more freaky on some copies (and I stress, ONLY SOME COPIES) of this c.d. - I read in this Floyd book that at the very end of the album, as the sound of the heartbeat starts to fade, if you turn your c.d. player up full blast you can hear very faintly an orchestra playing the Beatles song "Ticket to ride"!!!!!!!! I thought it was bullshit until I decided to check for myself and I found it's actually there!!!! it's gotta be the coolest thing I've ever heard!!!!

Yep!! if you don't have this record then you not only suck, but your an incredibly deprived individual.

yearzero@earthlink.net (Chris Collins)
I dunno, is this stuff rock music? Whatever, I know it puts me into a coma, so I sort of play this record interspersed with the latest John Tesh one to catch Z's. A hell of a well-produced frisbee as well!

robertk@jove.acs.unt.edu (Robert Linus Koehl)
Well, what can be said. This is one of the greatest albums of all time. I don't know. There's something about Floyd. Maybe it's Gilmour's voice. Maybe it's the writing, or the instrumentation, or just the sound of the band, but there's something about this band that's just addictive. And this album is the perfect example of EVERYTHING that makes them great. The intro is cool, and from the first moment you hear that voice coming thru the speaker singing "BREATHE!!!!," you know that your in for one of the best albums ever. "Money" is an unquestionable classic. "Time" is probably my favorite song on the album. Anyway, this album is definitely worthy of all nine of the points you gave it. Take a perfect 10, dock off one point for "Any Colour You Like" and there you have it. Granted, I think "The Great Gig in the Sky" sounds better on"Pulse than it does here, but who cares. This album is a classic.

Burney2061@aol.com
I have nothing to add. Number two all time (Zep IV is #1).

megaman684@aol.com (Vincent Hedrick)
This , The Wall, and Wish You Were Here are by far the best Pink Floyd albums. I have heard every song from this album on the radio except "The Great Gig in the Sky" and "Any Colour You Like".

aholloway@netdirect.net
I feel that this is the worst of the 6 or so albums that I own. It is much too pop oriented and I can't hardly stand to hear any of the songs anymore (they have all been WAY overplayed!).

ronbevault@prodigy.net (Keith Jones)
Dark side of the moon is good, but MY GOD IT IS OVER PLAYED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't even know why i bought it, I got sick of it the first day I got it. Wish You were here and Animals are better albums The radio station I listen to does play "On the Run", usually after "Brethe In the Aire"(lovely british spelling) Dark side of the Wizard(or whatever the hell you want to call it)is gay and it is all a bunch of coincidences, it is meaningless

cliffnorth@localaccess.com (TAD)
Hey, heard "On the Run" on the car radio (!!!) a couple days ago, & it made me smile, specially cos I was thinkin' of yr description of it at the time -- specially when U mention the Big Crash aatt the end. When I was listening, the big crash was even bigger, cos I was driving thru hills, lost the radio signal, & the Big Crash turned in2 loud static....

I'm also a big fan of "Us and Them" & "The Great Gig in the Sky," both gorgeous beyond description. &, along with that great bassline, "Money" is pretty freakin' funny -- good lyrics I couldn't figure out 4 the longest time, 4 some odd reason: "Reach in with both hands and make a stash ... I'm alright, Jack, keep yer hands offa my stack...." These guys DID have a sense of humor. 4 awhile.... I read somewhere that the infamous Alan Parsons engineered & had a lot 2 do with the amazingly clear, deep sound on this album. I'll now B looking 4ward 2 yr Alan Parsons Project reviews....

starostin@geocities.com (George Starostin)
The most overrated record in rock history. Yes, it was huge. Yes, everybody loved it and lots of people love it still. Yes, its social importance was enormous back then in 1973. Yes, it is one of the most brilliantly produced albums of all time. Yes, it is a great showcase for Roger's talents as a master of special effects - it probably has got more jack-in-a-boxes than the Beatles' entire catalogue. Yes, it is a terrific, majestic and bombastic concept of darkness and madness, innovating as hell. It is all that. But...

THIS IS NOT RELATED TO MUSIC!

Now if you strip the album of all these things - eliminate the production, the majesty, the sp. effects - what are you left with? A couple of extremely simple and boring cheesy keyboard tunes. A couple of nice, but not too exciting guitar lines. Some dentistry (Dave's solos on 'Time', for instance; by the way, I do not consider Dave a great guitarist at all. He kinda reminds me of Big Brother & Holding Company's thugs). Any good riffs? Yeah, sure. ONE - the bass riff on 'Money', otherwise a sloppy, uninteresting piece of social comment. Any great singing? Yeah, sure. The female voice on 'Gig In The Sky'. But it's not even Pink Floyd! Any good solos? Yeah, sure. The sax solo on 'Money'. But it isn't Pink either. You see my point? The music gets lost behind the concept and the gimmickry! It's simply way too overblown and bombastic to be a truly great musical experience as well.

In this respect, I would like to state that, put next to the other conceptual masterpiece of 1973 - Quadrophenia, it pales inescapably. There are no high points: the songs just drag and drag on, and on, and on... It doesn't inspire me, nor does it depress me: it just makes me fall asleep. The fact that this one gets a 9, while the far superior Quadrophenia gets a 6, makes me wonder. If you thought Quadrophenia was overblown, how about this one? It is at least a trillion times more overblown than Quadrophenia, while musically it's certainly much weaker. (Yes, I agree that Q. has its dull points, too, but nowhere on DSOTM can you find such ecstatic, climactic points as 'Love Reign O'er Me', or 'Real Me', or '5:15', or 'Punk And Godfather').

Oh, I forgot. You like noise. It must have gotta nine for the noises. How about the pigs grunting at the end of 'Dirty Jobs', by the way?

terry@launchnet.com (Terry Haggin)
OOLALA,

I just love this suicidal slab o' wax. Ba Bump, ba Bump, ba Bump, AAAUGH, swoosh, "breathe....breathe in the air....don't be afraid to care...." What a start, the greatest start to any album anywhere. And the lyrics, just exquisite. Short and to the point, just perfect for a THC-infested synapse.

Then we move on to the circular, circling machine sound of "run...." through the "great Gig scream fest of Claire Torry. I love all of this 45 minute single except for "the Money song", X-qz me I just don't dig this tune. Never have and never will. Sorry Charlie, and Charlesses. No matter how many time I have heard this and believe me I have heard it a bunch, it makes me wretch but I still thrill at "Us and Them" thru "Eclipse."

To sum... the perfect sounding album and even better on my Mo Fi Ultradisc or my 25th anniversary edition with the cool extra picts. Or my Japanese vinyl. But what is even more neat o keen o is the pre-release boot from the London BBC sessions. Which by the way is rumored to be released on the upcoming BBC/Floyd box set. But shhhhh, it's a secret just between us.

Cop2141@aol.com
Great Gig is a perfect example of the band's(Waters) genius. Clare Torry's vocals are sooo moving. What can one TRULY say about Death, other than her lamentful wailings??? Of course it's a classic, it was on the charts for 751 weeks!!! The closest that one has come to its magic is Waters Amused to Death. That album m o v e s!

bougopgs@eckerd.edu (Gregory S. Bougopoulos)
Don't you wish "classic" rock stations didn't play the songs from this album so much? It made owning this album rather pointless. This is a great album, but "Us and Them" runs a bit too long and with the album overplayed it means this gets a 9.

syd06@hotmail.com (Marc-Antoine Bourgeois-De Serres)
You have to start DSOTM on the third roar of the old MGM Lion and push the cd player button repeat. If you have it the ringing clock of Time should start when the women on the bicycle ring the bell.

kenyon@mail.netnitco.net
Interesting anecdote: My neighbor has the prism design of DSOTM painted on both sides of his black Jeep. I would KILL to own this vehicle.

squirrel_police@hotmail.com
George Starostin is way off the deep end here. It is ALL about the music. This album would sound good performed on MTV friggin' UNPLUGGED. These are simply timeless, classic songs, and the superb production only adds to it. And the lyrics--simply amazing. Roger is an extremely gifted lyrics writer. As for "ecstatic, climactic" points, I will simply have to assume that you have skipped the last two tracks on the album. "Brain Damage/Eclipse" is simply the best, most orgiastic album closer ever recorded.

rodblanc@webtv.net (Gustavo Rodriguez)
Have to agree with George in his basic assesment of DSOTM--much overrated.

I must disagree with him, however in saying that Gilmour is a fine player. He can play long wank-orama- kind of solos and make them truly enjoyable and melodic. He has a wonderful tone that has been consistent in almost all his work with Pink Floyd. This record is too murky and coldly overproduced for my taste. I too am unimpressed with the gimmickery of the album.

Foo2000@aol.com
Why do so many people swear by this album. It sits on my shelf and gathers dust. I want to like it, I really do, cause its so revolutionary according to everyone. But man, do you really want to sit through Us and Them. And On the Run? What the hell?...borring! On my alphabatized CD shelf this Pink Floyd sits right between Pavement and Pearl Jam on the left and REM, The Replacements, and the Rolling Stones on the right. Needless to say Dark Side will never grace my CD player again as long I'm buying cool new music...but Time and Any Color You Like are pretty cool so it's not a complete bust.

jtcable@tir.com (H.V.C.)
I thought I already sent in a review for this one.

Anyway, I discovered this album a few years ago. You see, my mom started buying CDs, and this was one of the first she got. I found it a week or so later, in the dirt. Some guy named "F. M. Ray Dio" was walking away, with bloody knuckles. You get my drift. I had already heard half the album on the classic rock station in my city.

This album is just not the same with HEADPHONES ON, cranked full blast. Every track rivals the musical geniuses of the early centuries (back when music really didn't exist). I mean, it's still not as good as The Wall, but it whoops as on Chopin or those other dead white guys from Europe. Probably because there are words on this album.

Money is awesome, and the very last tune is SCARELY COOL. But there really are no dull or bad tunes here. And the radio hits might be overplayed, but that's because they are the greatest rock offerings in all our lifetimes.

angus_rap@hotmail.com (Alex R)
Good job on the review. I borrowed this and The Wall off my uncle because I've heard so many good things about these 2 albums. And I must say that I really enjoy the hell out of this album, it's good relaxation music. I know that you really hate Gilmour but I think that he's a kick ass singer and not to mention that he's one hell of a kick ass guitar player too. So yeah, I agree with your 9/10 rating.

mprindle@nyc.rr.com (Rich Bunnell)
I don't have much to complain about regarding this album like George does above (though he has admittedly revised his opinion on his own page, albiet with a few of the same arguments). See, the thing I hate about the "Take away all of the effects and what do you have?!? Crap!!" argument is that that's exactly WHY the band didn't see fit to release an album consisting of just the melodies with no huge, bombastic studio trickery-- it would suck! It's the same case as U2's Achtung Baby-- an album which rests on its presentation. This album I'd give a 9 as well; the atmosphere really does it for me even though I've heard every single song ad nauseam on the radio. The only song which I don't care for that much is "Money" but that's just compared to the others, it's less atmospheric and more "bouncy" and just doesn't fit in despite that awesome bassline.

cybercafe@v-wave.com (cybercafe)
Dark Side of the Moon is the archetypal Floyd album. Moving with chilling precision through the wonderful set of songs detailing the presures that drive one crazy, the Floyd make their manifesto clear to all. It Stayed on Billboard's top 100 for over 800 weeks, a feat unmatched yet. Perfect, flawless, and in the right place at the right time to become one of the best albums of all time.

imoss@northernlight.com (Ian Moss)
What can I say--it's probably my favorite album of all time. I fell in love with this album when I saw a "Laser Floyd" show at the Museum of Science Planetarium in Boston when I was about 13, and I've never since come across a recording that so captivated me. I even wrote an English essay about "Time" in 9th grade for a "writing about songs" assignment, and this essay (which at the time was by far the best I had ever written) began a sequence of events which almost led me to become an English major. And now I'm a music major, so I guess Floyd probably influenced me there too ;-). Certainly now I can "properly" appreciate the 7/4 time opening to "Money." 10.

Belac111@aol.com
Yep, needless to say, it's great. Even if "Us and Them" sounds a little like Kenny G.

akenyon@ups.edu (Amanda Kenyon)
I don't agree with this "take away the effects and it's crap" stuff. When you think about it, there really aren't all that many sound effects on the album. The screaming and such at the beginning, the 7/4 cash register rhythm at the beginning of "Money" (which I think is incredibly creative), and hte chimes and things at the start of that other song (I have all kinds of trouble keeping the titles straight on this album, because they all melt together) are the only major ones I can think of off the top of my head. The rest is all music - and GOOD music at that! And you have to admit that "Money" has one of the coolest bass lines ever. So, all told, I think that if the sound effects were taken away, the sound might be a bit more bare, but the essence would still be there and people would still love it.

jason_a@earthlink.net (Jason Adams)
Overrated by some, like the scary loud seventies rock guy at the record store yesterday, trying to convince all that great rock and roll stopped being made once he got out of school. He mentioned The Eagles in the same breath with The Beatles and the Stones. Asshole. Underrated by others, like college rock Spin-reading hipsters that pretend to like repellent indie acts Guided By Voices. Pretty good, though. The songs you hear on the radio are the best. The instrumentals don't really have a reason to exist.

joeogrady@mailcity.com
Hey, here's something cool. Play "Money" backwards at half speed while listening in the right speaker at full volume, and synch it with the anniversary release beta version of "E.T. The Extraterrestrial" and also turn on a Moulinex electric blender at the second roar of the MGM lion while tapping out the beat to "Interstellar Overdrive" (mono version) on your stomach while muttering to yourself "I am a complete burned-out waste of skin with too much time on my hands." Trippy eh?

Seriously though, this to me is the second best album by Floyd next to The Wall, for those seeking an actual opinion. My favorite line is in Brain Damage..."the lunatics are in my hall, the paper holds their folded faces to the floor, and everyday the paperboy brings more." Now them thar be some fine lyrics.

A shame Roger Waters turned out to be such an asshole. A genuis, but an asshole. John Lennon would be proud of him. But Waters needs Gilmour as much as Lennon needed McCartney, which is to say - lots. Let's hope Floyd doesn't wait until it's too late to do the reunion thingy, but not looking good. Waters' ego is only rivalled by Gilmour's these days and both are too stubborn to do what's right by their fans.

Fuck guys, you're damn near ready to take up lawn bowling as it is. How about a nice farewell trinket to the people who made you, before someone has to be spoon-feeding you prunes and spongebathing your flabby old geriatric asses. (Am so sorry for that visual, people.)

katsman7@hotmail.com
Maybe the best album of all time. Excellent music, vocals and lyrics. Roger Waters is a God. I like all the songs on this album, while "Money", "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse" are my favourites. I think is great for listening at night. Also, if you start your DSOTM Cd at the third MGM roar in the "Wizard Of Oz" movie, the movie matches with the film. I'll buy "Wizard Of Oz" and try it. A Perfect 10 for me. I cannot decide what is the best PF album (DSOTM or The Wall?). Very different albums. But I think DSOTM is a little more great (great doesn't mean anything! you have to listen to this). Recorded in 1973 and still sounds fresh. "On The Run" is pure ambient.

Note that I'm only 16 years old and I hadn't heard any of DSOTM songs in the radio till I bought it. (I think radio played it continuously in the past two decades, not in the 90s).

Jcjh20@aol.com
Amazing record. All the songs are absolutely great, what more can i say? I also dont believe that "take all the effects and it sucks!" argument, as well. The effects are a real nice additive, but without 'em, i'd still love this album. Definate 9.

Muggwort@aol.com
lounge jazz at its most scary, or pink Floyd's dark side of the moon. This is one freaky album, I have only one complaint these aren't real songs, these are 7 minute blasts of female orgasm vocals, atmosphere, insane laughing and sound effects, with some music thrown in for fun. (I also really dig how the album starts with heartbeats and ends the same way, although I can't imagine that took more then 5 seconds for Roger Waters to come up with)

9.5/10

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
You go through so many phases with Dark Side of the Moon - loving it, growing bored of it, hating the idea of it, hating it, coming back to it, hating it even more, forgetting about it completely while you get into Donna Summer and Toto... but it's all just nonsense.

My point is that this album is essentially perfect. Perfect. Nothing less. For all the supposedly superior qualities of later and earlier Floyd records, none of them sounds remotely as fluid and natural, hey, as DIVINELY INSPIRED as Dark Side: whereas all the others sound like the result of endless painstaking toil by untalented perfectionists, this just sounds as if it arrived fully-formed in Abbey Road, draped in beautiful black light and bathed by cooling breezes, some time in Autumn 1972, just like that. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, but two fingers to practice! Theory is what counts!! Oh sweet theory.

Yes, Money is weak, but only relative to the masterstrokes around it. Speak To Me is, I feel certain, the greatest overture in the entire world of music, Breathe the most melancholic melody this side of Street-Legal and Kathryn Williams, Any Colour You Like a brain-explodingly great instrumental... bah. It's all been said before. But I must emphasize that however sure you feel that Dark Side is passé, that you've just heard it too many damn times to care about it any more - it ISN'T and you HAVEN'T. Keep with it. It will come back one day to reveal its true greatness. Happy day.

An indisputable ten. If it wasn't for The Final Cut, that is...

richard@buyersguide.co.uk (Richard Savill)
I call it Dark Side of the Moan nowadays. I concur with the discontent that others have with local classic rock stations playing ad nauseam DOSTM, WYWH and The Wall. Pink Floyd has more albums than this, but it seems people only ever hear these three. This is true of many of many of the other big groups as well.

So, my beef has never been with these great Floyd albums - only with the classic rock stations that play them. Unfortunately they have indeed and literally played these albums to their death. When this happens, I am not surprised that words like 'overrated' and 'not that great' creep into peoples assessments on these pages of reviews concerning any classic rock group and their best or most popular albums.

What classic rock fans really want is to hear those other familiar (and not so familiar) songs from other albums. When Echoes came out last year I heard some Floyd that were passed over for so many years on the radio. I hope it doesn't take a new album to hear some of this and other great artists other fine albums on the radio.

aostevenson@earthlink.net (Alex Stevenson)
money? pink floyd loves it and all the bad drugs it can buy. awful. too much negativity and hypocrisy. everything a good rock record should not be.

sweating101@yahoo.com (Nick Sergakis)
The best Pink Floyd album has to be Dark Side. I first heard it in my sophmore year of high school, and was hooked like a drug adict to cocaine(or LSD, and maybe een Windex). Breathe has got one of the greatest verses ever written in music history. Waters had been quoted of saying that when he wrote those lyrics he felt like throwing them away. But he said he was once reminded of Barret telling him, the most childish lyrics, make the greatest songs.

My favorite song has to be "Great Gig In The Sky," when that woman is harmonizing and screaming her lungs out just to make a beautiful sound. DSOTM is also one of the greatest titles, and the album has been described as a suicidal concept album. But in the end the album was just another way to watch The Wizard of OZ. 10/10

okeydoke0@yahoo.com (Barrett Barnard)
i think its really just a great pop album myself.tons of hooks and melodies.like another beatles album.but i really do like this album.the great gig in the sky is a personal favorite. id give it a 10 if not for "pipers".i do however disagree with george in that you could say the same thing about sgt pepper but its still a good album.

sirmustapha@ig.com.br (Fernando)
Y'know, it may sound superficial to dub this as my favourite album ever, but it is! The first time I got this album, I couldn't stop listening to it. It's so dang addictive! I think it's the most well-flowing and cohesive album I've ever heard: if you wanna listen to an album that sounds like an entire song, listen to THIS. It's even structured more or less like a song, with intro (Speak To Me, Breathe), outro (Eclipse), main rocking parts (Money, Time), softer parts (The Great Gig In The Sky, Us and Them) and crazy, weird parts (On The Run, Any Colour You Like)! And it's not just that. The album is just too well-written and produced (Alan Parsons deserves credit for that). Those moods, athomospheres, melodies, totally unique moments of music... This is 100% Pink Floyd. I will agree that they didn't make anything NEW on this album - they merely summed up their carreer so far, polished it up a lot, and released the One Floyd album. You can certainly listen to echoes of Childhood's End on Time, the athmosphere of Meddle, and even the adventurous spirit of A Saucerful Of Secrets. But that's how life goes. I have listened to all Floyd's studio albums, and this is my favourite ever. Whee.

sonofa.bitch@firemail.de
Like Beatles' "Sergeant Pepper's" it's STILL on the billboard. I never likes it. Everybody keeps going how fantastic and cool this album is but it sounds dull. Not like "The wall", a truly fascinating record

grishagraborenko@hotmail.com
i must say, george starosin is totally right. so much of DSOTM isnt even pink floyd. the sax solo, the singing chick, the background mutterings. i bet they didnt even own that cash register they recorded. how can it be pink floyd when, if you take away all the things pink floyd didnt create themselves, (they didnt invent electric guitars, and evolution was responsible for vocal chords, and they stole all those lyrics from bits of the "english language"), when you strip the album right down, its just basically 40 minutes of absolute silence, and not even that, because silence wasnt invented by pink floyd either!

george was right about "the production, the majesty, the sp. effects" not being music. especially the majesty. i mean, i wanna listen to some riffs, not some gosh darned "majesty". that intangible quality has no place in music. whenever im forced to listen to DSOTM i turn on my De-Majestyfier to rid the music of all that wishy washy emotional resonance.

you cant just go around recording any old ambient noise shit, edit it, loop it rhythmically, and call it music? next you're going to tell me that some band has stretched some organic material over a hollow vessel, and banged on it with a wooden stick in some kind of pattern, and said it was related to music! hahahahahahahaha!

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
Well. Buy it. Millions of other people did (you know, it’s estimated that one out of twelve people owns DSOTM. I’ve tried this theory out and it works).

bigbaddog88@msn.com (Robert Attaway)
This album is a masterpiece. Never have a band made me feel so relax. I was born in 1988 so I never knew pink floyd. And then I heard echoes and I like it. so I got this album last year, and its never gets old. Nick was right, it's all about the color of the music. Forget about the Oz thing or whatever they said it does, just love it for the music. Peace.

jed@dickson171.fsnet.co.uk (Brian Dickson)
Oooh I liked Dark Side Of the Moon when I was 18. It was so slick and mysterious. You see at the time I was into bands like Queen that had poncey "melody" *shudder* and Iron Maiden who were just brainless Neanderthals. It was high time I listened to some REAL music. The Floyd. Yeah. Totally legendary. And Dark Side is their magnum opus. The pinnacle of intelligent rock. One of the defining moments in the history of popular music. The atmospheric hearbeats, the mellow, spacey guitar runs of Breathe. What a fantastic start. I'm truly listening to the sound of deepest space here. And the repeated electronic loop of On The Run, with it's mysterious spoken passages. What is it? It sounds like a woman speaking over a PA ystem about flights to Rome. I can see the sheer GENIUS of that! And The great Gig In the Sky with it's soulful wailings. Money too, the more mainstream track with Waters in fine vitriolic form about how corrupt the music business is! It's all about making money! Oh no! I'm with Roger in feeling outrage too! And it's so obvious that The "dark side of the moon" is a clever metaphor for madness. And even the cover fits pefectly. A prism. The prism means both madness and the dark side of the moon. It's all so obvious! Pink Floyd really know how to churn out some clever stuff!

That's all great. But that's what I thought when I was 18. Hearing it more dispassionately 16 years later I don't think there's much good music on The Dark Side Of The Moon. The guitar run on Breathe is so mundane. The electronic loop on On The Run? You could do better these days on a music making software program. The singing on Great Gig In the Sky has no form or melody to it. I can just imagine Waters saying to the session singer "Right make it loud and soulful, but none of this *melody* bullsh*t. That's for commercial bands" And Us And Them to me sounds like something you might hear on Sesame Street circa 1971. Us....us...us....and...them....them....them... .None of the members are exceptional at what they do. Waters isn't the best singer, Gilmour isn't the best guitarist, Mason isn't the best drummer... you get the idea. In fact virtually nothing on Dark Side is MUSICALLY very good. For me Time and Brain Damage are stll quite good songs. So a band wrote some good songs, Whoopee. I could list a hundred bands who have written "good" songs. Dark Side Of The Moon ( and Pink Floyd in general) is mainly about EFFECT. The overall effect, the "sound landscape", is what makes it a noteworthy album. Some might find this reason to laud it. I don't particularly. And really, what's the dark side of the moon got to do with madness? The ideas which seem to obvious to impressionable 18 year olds don't really hold any water (no pun intended) to closer inspection. Dark Side To me is a clever album in that it can make you believe you're hearing a masterpiece, but really it's to pop music what Star Wars is to movies. Lots of cool efects to suspend disbelief, but not much else beyond that.

These days I don't take Pink Floyd seriously. I've outgrown Pink Floyd in the same way that I've outgrown watching The A Team. One entertained me at age 13, the other at age 18. In my opinion Pink Floyd appeal to a specific age group roughtly 16-25 or so. Their themes of mystery, madness and whining about how life sucks when you've got a mountain of cash no longer appeal to me now, and there isn't really much good music backing it up. Most Pink Floyd bores me to tears now. Trying to find the substance behind the aural chicanery (or less charitably, "wankery") of their albums is like chasing a rainbow. Some might find this a worhtwhile pursuit. I don't. These days I actually prefer Iron Maiden and Queen to pretentious Pink Floyd. Things have turned full circle indeed. But I don't hate Pink Floyd now either. And really, people like Beethoven, Wiliam Byrd and Bach have written stuff better than any pop/ rock group, and in much greater quantities than the most prolific band. The best pop music is something to entertain you. Some rave about "The greatest musical achievment in recored history" when speaking about Dark Side Of The Moon. I can listen to arty pop music and enjoy it, but I don't take it all that seriously, unlike most Floyd fans. If you're the type who thinks Picasso was a genius then Pink Floyd are for you. Because while Picasso's paintings can draw attention for being odd, at the end of the day his paintings are from a technical point of view absolute crap. I won't go so far in saying the same for Pink Foyd, but really the main appeal lies in the presentation, not the music itself. Similarly people like to eat caviar because it has such high brow and classy connotations. But really it's just fish eggs. Prententiousness is seemingly part of the human condition.

spinaltomek@hotmail.com
for me this is where pink floyd begins to be a real band. before it was either confused experimentation or jams or some good ones and a lot of crap but here everything is listenable and there are even real hits!
but that´s about it. the album mood is good, all homogenic, all cool, but i don´t see why the album is always presented as such a perfect classic. probably for the early seventies. but nowadays: a good, solid album with great TIME and that´s about it.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
Bla Bla Bla Bla....
This album is good, no doubt. But THAT good? No.
And that Wizard of Oz shit is totally bogus. Sure, I was "chemically enhanced" when I tried it, but even then, I couldn't help but realize that other albums could have worked equally well, if not better.
Here's a list of the next albums I'm going to try synching to "The Blizzard of Ozz":
"SF Sorrow" by the Pretty Things
"Piper at the Gates of Dawn" by Floyd
"Make it Big" by Wham
"Waterloo Lily" by Caravan
"Divine Intervention" by Slayer
"Blueberry Boat" by the Fiery Furnaces

I'll let you know how it works.

halbert@utc.msstate.edu
During the early 1970's,Pink Floyd was one of many English bands like Yes,King Crimson,Jethro Tull,ELP,Deep Purple,Led Zeppelin,etc..,that were playing "progressive " music that fit their taste and help identify their own individual sound.Unlike the bands that were putting out the usual three chord repititous boy meets girl songs that dominated the radio airwaves,theses bands were selling albums full of material that was unique and took some effort to write and produce.DSOTM, was an album that took the listener on an audio journey from the volume increasing "aahs" to the heartbeats ending of Brain Damage.Breathe"and "Time"are just plain awesome!

Rick's piano playing on "Great Gig in the Sky" is beautiful. The segue from "Money' to "Us and Them", as well as Any Colour You Like" to "Brain Damage" is fantastic.This album gave Pink Floyd the recognition they deserved,especially in America.Gilmour's guitar work matured and expanded on this album, due to experimentation with effects.One of my favorite verses came from this album"Every year is getting shorter,never seem to find the time", how true is that statement.

This is not my favorite of all time.but it's close.I'll give it a ten!

christopher.kiertz@huskymail.uconn.edu
I've been playing music since I was about 5 years old. Took all that music theory AP, sax lessons, piano lessons, live with a family that has always been into music. I've learned all the in's and out's about music. And after all this I find myself really appreciating music that isn't necessarily complicated, nor incredibly hard to perform, but just sounds good. In Third Eye Blind's huge hit "Semi-Charmed Life," there is a line that really explains it beautifully. "The four right chords could make me cry." There are thousands of people out there than can play 16th note licks and mixolydian scales and everything in between. What good does that do? Some of rock's best songs are nothing more than three chords with solos consisting of nothing more than 5 or 6 notes. It's not how fast they play the notes, it's where those notes are and how the fit into the song.

Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon has is a perfect example of music that just flat-out sounds good. As plenty of people mentioned before, they play a song in 7/4 perfectly. In fact, the saxophonist even solos in 7/4 which if you don't know anything about music, is incredibly hard. It doesn't matter if he's a "part" of Pink Floyd or not. Somebody please explain sloppy to me. If you can explain to me what sloppy means, then please feel free to explain what exactly the 7 and the 4 mean in 7/4. Also, Dave not being a great guitarist is like saying Miles Davis was not a good trumpet player. I'm sure you're just another one of those Hendrix lovers who doesn't have the capacity to understand what a good riff really is. Sure Hendrix was an amazing guitarist and influenced rock in ways no others could, but damn, can you say penatonic scale? Wait, maybe we'll go out on a limb and say...the BLUES SCALE!

So to answer your question George, "Now if you strip the album of all these things - eliminate the production, the majesty, the sp. effects - what are you left with?" I believe you would be left with a garage band using an $50 (at the time probably $10) analog 8-track with no way of releasing it to the public and getting their music played. Well hey, at least we wouldn't have ignorant music fanatics complaining about it.

Contrary to you're statement that "we like noise," I just thought I'd take the time to look up the word noise on dictionary.com.

noise (n) - Sound (or in this case idiotic writing) that is loud, unpleasant, unexpected, or undesired.

So do me a favor: Take a little while and memorize the definition of noise. Got it down yet?? Good. Now look at that little passage you wrote about Dark Side of the Moon pretending to know what you were talking about. Make any connections?? Good.

By the way for all you "overplayer haters." Hate the media, not the band.

Have a nice day :)

wades28850@bellsouth.net
I have purposely put off reviewing this album for a few years. Why? Donno how to word what I've got to say about it.

I'm gonna do it now. Why? Donno what else to do.

This is one of my Top Three Albums of All Time. Those are, in no particular order at any given time: [this one], Let it Bleed -- The Rolling Stones, and Briefcase Full of Blues -- The Blues Brothers. I bet that last one raised a few eyebrows. That's the best joke band there ever was, and one of the best bands ever. Man those guys can cook! Just listen to 'em! And they had fecking JOHN BELUSHI as the front man, for chrissake!!!

Anyway...My uncle sent me the tape of Dark Side of the Moon when I was four years old. (Imagine my mother's horrification at my owning an album with the word "bullshit" on it at that age.) I've been slightly biased towards it ever since. Basically, one of the best albums, one of my favourite albums.....whatever. You get the gist.

"Speak to Me" scared the poo out of me when I was four. "Breathe" is soooo pretty and simple. "Time" is timeless (pun intended); and it has wonderful playing and vocals (the vocals throughout are wonderful, though). "The Great Gig in the Sky" is certainly moving, with many layers of instruments. Every time I listen to it, I hear something I hadn't heard before. "Money" is a deserved classic -- with an INCREDIBLE guitar solo (learnt and double-tracked! Gilmour's a fucking genius). "Us and Them" is a return to the prettiness of "Breathe", sort of if "Breathe" were 7 1/2 minutes long. That's a good thing, by the way. "Any Colour You Like" is pretty awesome; my second favourite on here. Great jam! "Brain Damage" (NOT "Dark Side of the Moon", you brick-headed WinMX user! (thanks to Cap'nMarvel for that brilliant piece of name-calling)) is very nice; great lyrics and great melody. And "Eclipse" is the perfect closer, complete with Gerry Driscoll's revelation that there IS no Dark Side of the Moon. Matter of fact it's all dark. I fucking love this album, and I hope you do, too.

Good night, and sweet dreams.

By the way, "On the Run" is my favourite song Pink Floyd ever did. No joke, and you heard right, dammit.

ddickso2@uccs.edu
"Heart Borken Emotions"--A Scandinavian phrase coined in the 1979 Sven Svenson Borken porn classic "Stockholm Syndrome: How I Learned To 'Sweden' The Pile."

Oi!

This album is so incredibly perfect it's not even worth reader commenting about. It IS worth noting, however, that the album gains its continued legend not so much from its overwhelming quality as its immaculate layout--there's just so much BALANCE in the sequencing, length, and mood of these seven songs (nine tracks, but who's counting) that I can't even write about it. Overrated is an overrated word. Let's just say the album lives up to its rep and move on to what matters in life: cheap shots against France.

"Existentialism??!RFJJ More like exisGENTilism!!!&" (see the latest Will Farrell movie for details).

invisible_now@mail.com (Dan)
Mark, just wanted to let you know that the "suitcase" Waters is playing in the Live in Pompeii DVD is an EMS Synthi VCS3. It was an early analog synthesizer that had a touchpad keyboard, instead of the traditional kind of keyboard (you know, the kind where the key goes down when you press it and up again when you release the key). Wow, that sounded extremely retarded...Keys goes up!!1

Anyway, Brian Eno also used one in Roxy Music.

I've got little to say about the album itself…it's a classic, but definitely not my favorite Pink Floyd album.

Add your thoughts?

Wish You Were Here - Columbia 1975.
Rating = 9

How do you follow up The Dark Side Of The Moon? Pink Floyd found out the hard way: you go into the studio, force riffs out, try to make them sound good, feel the pressure of knowing everybody's just waiting to jump on your back for releasing an inferior sequel, deal with the guilt of showing up one day to find the bald, fat shell of your former lead singer waiting to say hello to you, get sick of the whole idea, get sick of each other - and somehow, in spite of yourselves, record an album that is every bit as melancholy, paranoid, beautiful, hopeless, and significant as its predecessor.

Although, all told, there are only four titles on this album, and two of them are purposely ugly attacks on the music industry (the radio classics "Welcome To The Machine" and "Have A Cigar"), the mood of the album, thanks to the twenty-five minute "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" suite, is unmistakably sorrowful. Is this a message to Syd Barrett? To lost youthful innocence and joy? To some broad? No matter - the instrumental passages are indescribably lovely, even when the band is trying to rock; in fact, the four ringing guitar notes that introduce "Part Two" of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" may very well be the saddest little melody ever laid on vinyl. I don't know why. You'd really just have to hear them. Even sadder than Weird Al's "Living In The Fridge" (and that was pretty darn sad). And of course there's the title track, which compacts all the sorrow man has ever experienced into one tight, concise (and confusing) five-minute-long expression of despair: "Running over the same old ground / What have we found? / The same old fears.... / Wish you were here."

So yeah. It's as good as The Dark Side Of The Moon.

It's no Get The Knack, though.

Reader Comments

mprohner@digiconn.com
I have said before that this is my favorite trip album. You're right, it is downright a sorrowful album, but it's very continuous and beautifulnonetheless. Maybe I'm just weird, but I find it comforting when under the influence of LSD, as if it were familiar. I can separate the emotions, find questions asked that are unsupported by lyrics to provide the specifics, and lots of other subtle things.

I don't know much about the history, but from what I hear I wouldn't ever imagine this a work done with the emotions described above... even considering a good deal of the innards deal with the record industry. Then again, they're covered (at least in 'Welcome to the Machine') with awesome (and distracting, under the influence) music. I don't know if I want to include 'Have a Cigar' in that observation or not, though.

I would have given this album the one extra album it needed for ten. No matter how often I listen, I can never tire of the music. This one and Orb's Underworld, u.f.orb, and Orbus Terrarum albums make up most of my LSD music intake.

tabasco@worldnet.att.net (BOB's)
Well I am really tired of this album and DSOTM because I hear it all the time and I hate it when they play it on the radio constantly. Syd really screwed up his life with all that LSD. He was fat as a pig the year this album came out. He's going to turn out like Chris Farley. What kind of idiot would keep stuffing his face with pork chops. Number 1 the fat, number 2 the cholestral, and number 3 the calories. Unlike Homer Simpson. In the the floyd words if you buy this album You Gotta Be Crazy, you can here it right on the radio. So Shine On You Crazy Machine, Have A Cigar because I Wish You Were Here you Crazy Diamond.

hawkins@alphalink.com.au (Alan Hawkins)
Wish you were here was a noble, yet weak follow-up I'm afraid, the only thing I hear when listening to this record is a band breaking up. Dark side of the moon was the zenith the band had been reaching for and the group simply had nowhere to go after this (hence, they became Roger Waters' backing-band!)

With that said, I'll admitt that this is a perfectly pleasant album to listen to, and it seems to reflect the frustration and difficulties the band were going through at the time quite well, yet there was just too much barrel-scraping on this record. Sure, "Welcome to the machine" and "Have a cigar" gave us a glimpse at the bitterness that would dominate Roger Waters' solo material, and "Shine on..." was a Syd Barrett tribute that was long overdue, but apart from a beautiful ballad for a title-track - THAT'S IT!!! Oh! I forgot about that piece of goddamn elevator music at the end which they called "Shine on...(parts 6-9) - yeah, I dig that too! But this album really didn't show which direction the Floyd were heading in, only that their days were numbered. (7 out of 10.)

robertk@jove.acs.unt.edu (Robert Linus Koehl)
I LOVE THE TITLE TRACK!!!!! That having been said, there's not much else on this album that I really like all that much. I like "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" but they WAY overdid it. However, I still think it's worth a nine, just for the title track, and the 7 or 8 minutes worth of "Shine On" that I actually listen to. Those are some GREAT musical moments.

emrobert@mail.e-mg.co.za
Is there anybody out there ('scuse the pun) who can truly say that they don't get a creepy, skin crawling absolutely awesome FUCKING brilliant feeling of absolute freedom and unamaginable heartache when the opening instrumental part of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" reaches that Nirvanic crescendo just before the actual lyrics start. Best Floyd ever, Animals does, however rate a close second.

megaman684@aol.com (Vincent Hedrick)
Dark Side is like a tad better than this one but this album is still excellent. Not one weak track. This one should have been just as big, if not bigger than Dark Side or the Wall.

Everettxxx@aol.com
Your review is right on target...very good, though for me (I am not a huge Floyd fan) only half of the album works. "Welcome To The Machine" and "Wish You Were Here" are a lot deeper than you think they are. I think in the 90's the former really has a lot of meaning...so does this album. 8-9 stars seems about right...

terry@launchnet.com (Terry Haggin)
Wish ewe were hear...

Wow, I just marvel at this production. The "Crazy Diamond" sound is amazing and the technological precision of "Welcome to the Machine" still breathtaking. Plus if you have the CD, the bit between "Machine" and "Wish" makes sense.

This one however isn't a ten because there is only one Dark Side but I give it a 9. In fact, I'm going to my CD player and putting it on right after I get done typing out this Miltonian masterpiece. Plus, who else but ol Rog could have come up with that mono stereo radio sound into the glorious guitar twang of Davie boy. So tricky. Just love it. And lay off ol' money bags Gilmour. His music sucks solo but him and Roger did something magical from 1970 to 1980. Too bad the new stuff triggers asthma attacks. From Pink Floyd to Stink Floyd. Pee Ewwwww, DG had a permanent lapse of reason.

bougopgs@eckerd.edu (Gregory S. Bougopoulos)
This is the Floyd's best because the songs are not played that much on the radio, and they're great to begin with. "Wish You Were Here" may be Pink Floyd's prettiest moment and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" is one excellent long track. All parts of it.

bjbosch@halstad.means.net
I'm am truly amazed to see how overrated Wish You Were Here is. While "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" may exhibit musical genius and admirable playing, ( I say may because who can tell) it is so incredibly boring and dull that I've heard elevator music that rocks harder. You have to sift through over 13 minutes of rubbish to hear about 3 minutes worth of melody. The Water dominated songs are a delight though, especially "Welcome to the Machine" and "Wish You Were Here." "Have is Cigar" is rather enjoyable as well. So you have an album which costs around 15 dollars, and you receive three listenable songs in return. In my book, that warrants a rating of 4 or 5. If you can get this album cheap, do it. Or better yet, do what I did. Wait for some sucker to buy, ask to barrow it from him, and then tape songs 2-4. Big fans of Pink Floyd's early, trippy sound certainly will enjoy this album, but the casual fan will him or her self feeling ripped off after shelling out the clams for this.

Badmoon510@aol.com (Pat)
Not going anywhere for a while? Feel like sitting back and falling asleep? I'm not criticizing the album at all, it puts me in the most wonderful of sleeps. Shine On You Crazy Diamond is a masterpiece. Gilmour is such a tasteful guitarist, you can feel yourself glide along his solos. What more is there to be said--Floyd rules.

squirrel_police@hotmail.com
An album that definately surpasses Dark Side. "Shine On" has become a legendary song, even more so then Echoes, and deservedly so. The solos on that suite are simply Gilmour's best. That track also features Waters' in his best voice, his richest and fullest up to that point or since. And "Welcome" is a perfect, accurate snippet of gloom. This is a true rock masterpiece, no doubt helped by the as-usual perfect, pin-drop production.

As for Get the Knack, however... *ARGH*

marko@bbbarchitects.com
I'm not a hughe Floyd fan, but I really dig some of their stuff, and Wish you was here isn't diggable at all. The three middle songs really suck "Welcome machines" Pink Floyd ripped off from Sonic the Hedgehag video game soundtrack. The song appears in one of those levels in which Sonic runs through an abandoned oil factory in order to save the environment. I understand Floyd's concern for environment, but still, computer music is lame. Strumming guitar upside down is lame too. "Have a Cigar" is a song that could have been done by any group in the world, its that generic. And "Wish you was here" is country, like Alabama, only not as bouncy. In fact, "Wish.." isnt even a good country song, maybe like a side B to "Acky, Braky Song". Point is, Bristish shouldnt do country. This leaves only one good song on the album, but the title of it is so dumb, I expected an upbeat funny song. Using a line "shine on you crazy diamonds" within a really moody song is misleading, if not dumb. you suck! yes you

shofman@tin.it (Stefan Hofmann)
This album is really great, maybe their best. It's an expirience, and when the mechanical noise of "welcome to the machine" turns into a melody, you know this a masterpiece. Every tune is at the right place on this album.

rodblanc@webtv.net (Gustavo Rodriguez)
My personal favorite of the post-Barret Floyd albums. Not a rock n roll record--it's mellow (like much of Floyd's output) but that doesn't mean dull. Only five tracks but a much more accesible and warmer album than Dark Side of the Moon and less dreary and dank than Animals or pompous and hevy handed than The Wall.

John.King.4@uni.massey.ac.nz
Very few bands can follow up a mammoth commercial success with an equally good acheivement but the Floyd are different to most. WYWH is the ultimate record to release after a revolutionary recording such as Dark Side. The band don't try to produce another Dark side but instead go in the opposite direction by giving the album a completely different layout and feel. While it maintains Floyd's trademark sound effects experimentation, it dosen't attempt to create a trippy or conceptual atmosphere. It is a much more musical album, and although it only has four songs on it, it runs for 45 minutes. For most other bands, making an album with this few songs would be a disaster, but Floyd has an amazing ability to keep the listener enthralled by making long, musical masterpieces such as, in the previous albums eg. "Echoes", "Atom Heart Mother". The masterpiece on WYWH is one of the most definitive Floyd songs recorded - "Shine on you crazy diamond". Stretching to about 27 minutes in length, it is divided into two parts encompassing the three songs between it. "Welcome to.." is eerie and takes a while to get used to and the part when Roger almost moans "so welcooooommme to the machine" followed by the loud keyboard part is enough to send a shiver down your spine. "Have a Cigar" is plain fun and different to anything Floyd has done before, partly because Roy Harper sings, but mainly because it has a main riff, played by Wright's haunting keyboard. The chorus "and did they tell you the name...." is fucking magic IMO. Then there is the other masterpiece in the title track, perhaps the most beautiful song Floyd ever did. I don't know, there's just something about it - the radio tuning beginning, the acoustic guitar riff or the amazing lyrics. Floyd really needed to write a song like this and who fucking cares if it is a radio song. I myself hate it more than anything when i hear my bands being played on the radio, but get over it - the radio's not gonna play it for ever, but you can (in a figurative sense). This is THE Pink Floyd album, man. Has to be 10/10.

m.angellotti@mciworld.com
Question: Why are all of Pink Floyd's song so damned slow ??? I would kill to see Floyd attempt to perform a song that has more than 50 beats a minute. Well, O.K. "Time" from Dark Side is only moderately lethargic. The band must have cut their codeine medication in half during the rehearsal for that song. But, think about it........ their songs: "Us and Them," "Money," "Have a Cigar," "Comfortably Numb," "Wish You Were Here," "Shine On You Crazy Diamond."

After a half hour of listening to Floyd you're willing to trade both your gold teeth for a chance to listen to "Just What I Needed" (The Cars) or "Reelin' in the Years" (Steely Dan). Even a song by the Carpenters would liven things up after listening to the Floyd. But, they do have their dedicated fans. I would be one of them, if their lyrics weren't so damned depressing and their music wasn't so damned slow.

Gaekwar756@aol.com
Ok, for the record, I personally think that if Pink Floyd did any upbeat songs, it would ruin their entire image. In fact it did when Roger Waters left and they had some upbeat songs. Anyhow, Wish you were here I think isn't as good as Dark Side, but it definitely has some excellent songs. The title track is amazing.

jtcable@tir.com (Josh Cable)
I didn't send a review for this? What the fuck, I had this longer than Piper. I WILL HAVE YOUR ASS PRIINDOUL.

I hate it when someone calls an album that is released after a monster hit a "follow up." That's the type of phrase reserved for the pussies at Rolling Stone. And I especially hate when they say ANYTHING about the critical or commercial status compared to the preceeding album. It's just fucking dumb. Do we really need to compare everything?

As for calling Wish You Were Here anything but "better than DSOTM," someone needs to be slapped. I mean, I'm happy to know that indeed, Dark Side spent about a trillion years on the Billboard charts. But I still don't give a motherfucking assfuck. Wish You Were Here doesn't synch up to a single movie. THAT'S BECAUSE IT'S NOT A TRENDY FUCKING PUSSY ALBUM TO BE LISTED ON ROLLING STONE'S TOP 100 ALBUMS EVER MADE LIST.

I'd swear I sent a review for this one already, and I really mean it this time. The review saying something along the lines of how absolutely powerful and moving every goddamn picosecond of this whole album is.

richbunnell@home.com
Ehh.....I wouldn't say it's as good as its predecessor (something which I feel a bit scared to say after Josh's comment)-- the melodies are a lot more subdued. Not as apparent. Still a really good album in spite of this; all of the songs are good in their own right but bogged down by the lengthy instrumental passages. Still, "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" is a wonderful suite, and it's nice that they made such an intricate, beautiful tribute to their founder Soycd Barrett. 8/10

cybercafe@v-wave.com (cybercafe)
Wish you were here moves through the Space rock / jazz suites without ever leaving the main theme far from mind. I find this to be the more satisfying album compared to DSOM. Swirling atmospherics, Haunting guitar work, And dynamite lyrics are the major hooks in this album.

RichardMelchior@aol.com
(from Jeff the Wonder Humper)

Why does everyone consider this such a "stoner" record? It's actually a great deal less quote-unquote "psychedelic" than Dark Side of the Moon - actually it's probably the least drug-fuelled album Floyd had made up to this point. But it's certainly a navel-gazer - just the anti-Prozac you need for just about any of life's many, many disappointments. And therefore, it's just a notch below Animals as my favorite Floyd "ablum" as Dean Martin might say.

imoss@northernlight.com (Ian Moss)
Another great album from Floyd--they were really in their prime at this point. Here's my pet peeve with the album: how come all the radio stations etc. act like the first half of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" is the whole song? Pink Floyd clearly meant the two parts to be thought of together, even if they're not contiguous. Yet I've never heard the last four parts played anywhere or given any sort of significance, despite the fact that they're just as good as the first five. Oh well, I guess I should be happy that they even play that much. I just want to add that I think "Have a Cigar" is a really good song. Sorry I'm not in a more creative/funny mood today--sometimes, in life, you just gotta read boring reviews. I know it's not fair--but life isn't fair, sonny-boy.

akenyon@ups.edu (Amanda Kenyon)
Well...umm...hmm. Am I missing something? I almost feel guilty that I don't see the trippy, stoney wonderfulness in this album that all the rest of you seem to love so much. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's a decent record, and the title track is one of the most confusingly desolate yet wonderfully beautiful songs I've heard in my comparatively short life. And it really says something for the song that all the guitar wannabes at my university play it ALL THE DAMNED TIME and I'm still not sick of it. But the rest of the album is just....okay, I suppose. "Welcome To the Machine" has some pretty darned cool lyrics, but the melody is awfully bland. Same with "Have a Cigar." And the Syd tribute....I don't know. I really do feel incredibly guilty for not seeing this song in the same light that the rest of the world does, but to me it seems like it's trying with all its might to be really damned cool, but not quite making it. So in all, I put on the album, try really hard to love it ! even though I'm really just waiting for the title track, get elevated to a state of total bliss while that particular song is playing, and then space out until I realize that it's over. And here's my main problem with this album: THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE!!! I mean, come on, guys!! If you can write an astounding song like "Wish You Were Here," you've GOTTA surround it with more than three others!! I'd give it a 7, and that's mainly because of the title song, and some extra points for effort. But that's just me. Everybody should feel free to email me and tell me what a moron I am.

I just want to state for the record that I really really love that whooshy sound at the end of "Have a Cigar" and then the music gets all quiet and tinny so you think the speakers on your record player have blown and the only sound is what's coming straight out of the needle. Those crazy Floydsters. So maybe I'm not such a moron after all.

fatchants@nyc.rr.com
Very very strange album, especially on LSD.. clearly enough, the phrase "Wish you were here" is somewhat sarcastic, for if Syd were still there they would most likely not have had nearly the success they had with Dark Side of the Moon. YET.. AFTER peaking their career with that album, the grass wasn't as green on the other side, they still had the same problems they had before.. their closest friends had gotten crushed, everyone gave up.. Ever think of the TITLE of Live at Pompeii? that's the sentiment, like what good is success if you leave your friends behind in a graveyard. All this aside, Wish You Were Here is the perfect 1975 album.. whatever THAT means.. the production of 'Have a Cigar' is quite excellent tho

akenyon@ups.edu (Amanda Kenyon)
Okay, okay, okay. You guys were right. I've listened to the album much much more since I sent in my previous comment, and now I see what you all love so much about it. And I love it too. "SOYCD" took a while to really sink into my head, but now that it has it's so great. I'm still not real impressed with the lyrics, though. "Nobody knows where you are/How near or how far"? Good lord, that sounds like something out of a neurotic high school girl's diary. But the whole atmosphere of the song makes up for it, and when they all sing "Shine on, you crazy diamond," I wonder why the hell I ever thought this was a mediocre song. My opinion of the title track hasn't changed, except maybe I love it even more. And the other two have definitely grown on me. (Isn't that a disgusting phrase? Like they're tumors or something.) So raise my score to a nine, if you would be so kind. Check me out, I'm a poet and I didn't even know it. teehee.

And now that that's out of the way, I just thought I'd share with y'all the marvelous experience I had last night. Get all those dirty thoughts out of your head right now. My radio station (KZOK, 102.5, Seattle's BEST Classic Rock Station!) ran a 25th anniversary "celebration" of Wish You Were Here, hosted by Alan Parsons and featuring interviews with the band members. It was fascinating! I found out lots of neat stuff, like the fact that "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" started with those four guitar notes that Prindle loves so much. Dave Gilmour was just messing around on his guitar one day and those four notes came out, and he said "Neat!" (well, he probably didn't say that) and a song was born. Speaking of Mr. Gilmour, they also played a bit of an interview with him where he admitted that he's not that great a guitar player. He says that his left hand/right hand coordination isn't very good, so if he tries to do anything fast and complicated his timing gets all off and it sounds like shit. So he sticks to those slow, precise, cold solos we all know and love.

They also played a bit of an interview with Roger Waters where he described the day that Syd came to visit. He came in that day and met Dave in the studio, and there was this strange fat bald man in there too. "Who is that?" Roger whispers to Dave. "Hell if I know," Dave whispers back. The strange man doesn't say anything, just gets up occasionally to dance around the room or brush his teeth or other bizarre things. And then after about 45 minutes somebody realizes it's Syd, and that he's come in on the very day they're laying the vocal tracks for "Shine On You Crazy Diamond." Isn't that sad?

The whole two-hour program was chock full of nifty information like that, and also included KICKASS live versions of "Wish You Were Here" and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond." It's too bad you guys couldn't have all heard it.

jason_a@earthlink.net (Jason Adams)
Great album. On "Have A Cigar" and "Welcome To The Machine" they react to their new fame with the appropriate measure of disgust. On the title track and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" they wistfully look back on what they've left behind. This is the one I could listen to forever.

Jcjh20@aol.com
"Have A Cigar" and the title track are absolute classic songs. The title track is worth the price of admission, even though the whole album is awesome as a whole. 9/10.

gray0187@tc.umn.edu (Jon)
nothing much innovative for me to say on this one. Wright has a great little style going for him, where he plays these little half-melody solos instead of virtuoso-type things like your average wakeman or whoever would do. another floydian asset is their lack of hurried playing. a rock band whose musical attitude is "whats the rush? i want to sit down on a pile f money and catch my breath" is really a treasurable thing. nick mason, though. that guy gets slower and slwer with every damn floyd album. you notice this? piper he bashed away like CRAZY, and in this one he hits a high hat like oh, every ten minutes or so. Is he balancing plates on a pole? what the hell is he doing back there? by the time of animals i believe mason was really ead, and any noise he happened to make on the drums were cause by various gases escaping or some such thing. im just kidding. Masons genial laziness is kind of attractive when you notice every pop/rock song these days copies led zeppelin (and their ballads at that, ewwww) or a drum machine. I'm not kidding. Listen to that strokes drummer, man. he's no COOL human drum machine like Jaki Leibezeit, he's a drum machine that sounds liek it's permanently set to Clash! probably the white strupes have the same thing going on, where they just have basically the bass drum and snare and thats it. boom, chik, boom boom chik at the standard punk speed and so on, or the more reckless boom, chik boom, boom chik for vareity. Anyway, more people should imitate Mason. hit the bass drum and the high hat. hit a crash when a cool chord comes back and learn to yawn and trun magazine pages quiet so the mikes dont pick itup. now thats cool. or be a multihanded hindu god like leibezeit. your call. almost every song here has something to offer. 8/10

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
Great follow up, overrated and underrated at the same time. Overrated in the sense DSOTM is (overplayed etc.), and underrated in that it followed an absolute monster of a record. Shine On is one of the defining Floyd tracks (next to Echoes) and the title track is beautiful. 9/10.

bigbaddog88@msn.com (Robert Attaway)
This is Pink Floyd's underrated album. It has all the musical working as Dark Side Of The Moon, and all the sorrow of The Wall. I love to listen to this album sometime. I feel sorry for Syd though. Man that sucks, I alright known about it, that he messed up his life like that. Alwell, peace.

Wadedh14@aol.com
Whelp, they followed up their best album with.....a great one. Not as good as Dark Side, maybe not even as good as Animals, but hey, that's a helluva title anyway. "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" is a truly mesmerizing piece of music, yes indeed. The ending synth cadenza irks me in the slightest bit, but only because it reminds me of the fluffy, fluttery midsection of "Come Sail Away"....ew. Not the Super Marioland bit, either, the part just before it. Anyway...yeah, "Shine On", other than that little ending fluff, is a soaring gem. "Welcome to the Machine" has an unbelievably awesome beginning and ending: "Doodoodoodoodoobzzzzzschwckwowwowwowwowwowwowwow..." then the elevator sound turns into a note! It's great; it then drives the song into existence. Then it ends as the intensity comes to an absolute peak, then: "thaboom....dwoooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOO!OO!OO!OO!OO!oooooooooothaboom. [People talking]...[Water droplet]." (Colourful, ain't I?) Then comes "Have a Cigar", which is sung by Roy Harper, actually. I always thought it was Roger. That one also has a great ending. The guitar solo is just searing away, then WOOOOSH!!!!!!! I just blew my speakers out...oh wait, there's still something coming out of the record needle. Man, isn't that great? The title track is a great one; I can't really say anything else about it...it's fun to play on the ol'e 12-string, that's for sure! An overall extremely-high 8/10.

Hey, by the way, a little message to m.angellotti@mciworld.com: You don't like Pink Floyd's slow stuff? Stick to "Sheep". What's that? You don't like depressing lyrics? Stick to Syd Barret's compositions. Too childish and psychedelic for you? Then copy "One of These Days" onto your mp3 player and shut the hell up. Man, think about what you're saying sometimes, idiot.

spinaltomek@hotmail.com
most beautiful album pink floyd recorded. it´s all about syd and it´s a really nice tribut to his sad end in psychotic loneliness. "crazy diamond", you can´t put it better. that guy WAS quite creative, not very clever as far as i see it, but he had a good sense of humor and with a little growth he could have recorded real classics. now, there are a few not very good but okay recordings of songs where you can guess that he was a genius. you feel it. unfortunately he didn´t have a chance to prove it to rock´n´roll history and roger and david took his place, more or less.

the nicer it is that they made this album with songs about syd ("shine on you crazy diamond" and "wish you were here", two of the loveliest tunes with the saddest lyrics in rock history) and how the music industry contributes to the madness of artists ("welcome to the machine" and "have a cigar") well that´s my interpretation.
but if you read the lyrics and look at syd´s and the bands history, it´s the most obvious one. a guy, so fascinated and swallowed by the glamouros music business that he (in combination with LSD) got crazy and useless, now living in his own world still believing he is a big rock star.
dramatic story. and a good album about it. i don´t like welcome to the machine so much. the song is okay, but it doesn´t really fit. all the others are beautiful and fit together perfectly. really warm and nice.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
Wonderful album! Much warmer and more authentic than "Dark Side". The only part I think is a mistake is the Rick Wright piece at the end of the "Shine On" suite. It's nice enough, but it's the only part of the whole that doesn't seem to fit. Otherwise, every goddamn second of this album is perfectly placed and spot-on, lyrically and musically. "Welcome to the Machine" is the most perfect combination of beautiful/ugly I've ever heard, and the lyrics fit that dichotomy to a TEE.

halbert@utc.msstate.edu
What I like about this album is that the Floyd's songs on this one don't sound like holdovers from Dark Side."Have a Cigar" with blues/folk singer Roy Harper on vocals, sounds so nice withRick Wright's keyboards dancing in the background, and the ending with Gilmour's. guitar solo fading with the "swoosh" vacuum sound as it transforms into a car radio sound, is great to say the least ,and the intro to"Wish You Were Here" is truly original considering there were no acoustic guitar on the previous Lp.The beginning of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" pops into my head every time I think of a Pink Floyd,especially David's guitar intro."Welcome to the Machine" runs a little too long to keep my attention,but it has it's bright moments. The artwork on this one may be the best of any of Floyd's.Overall,an excellent album.

bdoleac@nhrelocation.com
“Have A Cigar” fucking rules. Ominous as hell.

Add your thoughts?

Animals - Columbia 1977.
Rating = 9

Their punk-era album. Although Roger Waters has since referred to punk rock as "rubbish," prompting me to wonder if he's ever actually sat down and listened to those three piles of horse waste he calls "solo albums," this is nevertheless the most bitter, hateful, and angry record that the band ever recorded. Orwellian themes. He (starting with The Dark Side Of The Moon, Roger wrote all the lyrics; I guess I should have mentioned that earlier) trashes the "dogs" of society for being dupes and hurting others just so they won't feel the wrath of the "pigs," who (as Charles "Dumbass" Manson would be happy to point out) are the scum-sucking rich capitalists who prey on the "sheep," who are the folks that Roger identifies with, even though he thinks they're kinda wimpy.

Themes aside, the music on this record is really cool. "Pigs On The Wing" opens the album with a simple acoustic riff reminiscent of the stuff on side one of Meddle, "Dogs" is a seventeen-minute opus that deserves to be that long (a super acoustic melody starts it off, then in come the other instruments - it gets slower, it gets faster, both Dave and Roger sing, there are cool dog noises and a voice that keeps saying "stone" until you no longer believe it's actually saying "stone," the drums are smashing, and basically the whole thing reeks wonderful aromas of creativity in the late '70s), "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" sounds just like "Have A Cigar," but it's got a spooky Amityville Horror-esque keyboard line and Roger says "fucked-up" but they play it on the radio anyway, and "Sheep" is cool cuz Roger drags out the last word of each line until it merges with the keyboard and you can't tell one from the other until finally a guitar chord smashes it apart, plus that "stone" thing from "Dogs" makes a guest appearance during the cool shimmery scary middle part, then the end has a fantastic unexpected guitar break that fades away as the pretty "Pigs On The Wing" resurfaces to close the album on a positive note. This is an extremely impressive record that sounds not a lick like the last two [except, of course, "Pigs (Three Different Ones)," which sounds just like "Have A Cigar"]. And it has a pig on the cover! And, on occasion, pigs are a-okay by me.

Reader Comments

cgarwood@netropolis.net (Calvin B. Garwood)
Well done on this review! Everyone should be required to hear this album. (BTW, before you trash Roger's solo work, give Amused To Death a try - I found myself putting my CD player on repeat for days at a time with that one).

strider@redrose.net (David Straub)
Anyone who thinks the Floyd were only so-so instrumentalists (you know you're out there) has obviously not heard this amazing record. Again, like on Pompeii, even Monsieur Mason plays well! Check also Gilmour's soloing all over "Dogs" and Roger's artrock/funk/whatever-the-hell- he-does bass playing on "Pigs (3DO)". Sorry to have to say that Rick is sort of out of place on this LOUD, not very subtle album. Try this on long scenic car trips, or in good headphones while, ummm, "altered".

Don.Conway@britcoun.org
As far as I'm concerned Pink Floyd stopped working after this album. Although the name continued to be used by a group producing music. Still it was great while it lasted, and thankfully a lot of their music was recorded to be enjoyed over and over again. In particular the following album The wall really is piss poor in comparison to earlier work.

mprohner@digiconn.com
Thanks for cluing me into the dogs-pigs-sheep connection. Clueless me, I always knew the album was extremely political, perhaps the fact that it WAS obscured to me HOW political. Or, perhaps that, again, I'm so young, that accounts for my not understanding that subtle concept.

I think 'Pigs (3do)' sounds alot like 'Have a Cigar,' with a certain guitar riff that sounds alot like something from Dark Side of the Moon. Not sure which song I'd name, but maybe 'Breathe.'

The rest is truly masterful, despite the fact that I find loud political statements intimidating.

tabasco@worldnet.att.net (BOB's)
When I first saw the cover I was totally impressed and inspired with the flying pigs, and the factory. At the same time I bought this album on August 4, 1997, I was totally into factories and farm animals. But I had a choice either to get this or Atom Heart Mother. I was dying to get both so I got this first, I listened to it and I was totally in for a treat. A great opening with "Pigs On the Wing Part 1", Roger does the vocals and harmonies, and Dave does the acoustic guitar. Second track, personally one of my favorites called "Dogs". This 17 minute track should have been voted Number 1 Floyd song ever before "Echoes", "Sheep", "Money", "Time". etc, etc, etc. I love dogs, both the track and the animal. Too bad I don't have one but I used to. Just like you guys said with the stone part, you hardly recognize that they say it. I can't believe it, I bought the album because of this song, and I hated it. This is the song I listen to the least. Damn It, that sucks. "Sheep", BAH, BAH, BAH, HARMLESSLY PASSING YOUR TIME IN THE GRASSLAND, YOU BETTER WATCH OUT THERE MAY BE DOGS ABOUT. WOWWWWWW. Spectacular performance. Enclosing my review I give this album a fat ass pig 10. Oh Yeah, and a week later I got Atom Heart Mother. And I liked it. My friend asked me why does that album have a cow on it. I can't give an answer.

gt909lb@prism.gatech.edu (Andrew Goldthorp)
This album always seems to divide Floyd fans. I'm somewhere in between. There's no way this one deserves 9 of 10. Ridiculous....as good as Dark Side of the Moon? Get real...The songs are well written, but way too long time wise. And really this one is nothing than a 40 minute Roger Waters bitch session. A little too repetitive at times. A good album, but not a great one.

arnoldnicholas@hotmail.com
By far one of Floyd's better albums. The hard driving beat of "Dogs" complements the softer tone of "Pigs on the Wing" perfectly. Even though it was the beginning of the end for the band, it shows Pink Floyd at its best. You really need to check out Amused to Death to get a better perspective on Waters' solo career.

matt81@nassau.cv.net
Nobody in the world will ever agree with me on this...but I think Animals is the Pink Floyd album that deserves the Prindle 10. Here's my Floyd story: I bought Dark Side after hearing so much good things about it, and thought it was boring as hell. Eventually I grew to like it quite a bit...but it still is a chore for me to sit through. Then, I decided to try some other Floyd stuff which I hoped I would better. I got The Wall, which I loved, but I thought it was too long and depressing. Then came Wish You Were Here, which I was really impressed with, but it was still too slow and gloomy for me to listen to often. Hoping to find a Floyd album that I actually would want to listen to regularly, I bought Animals, and found exactly that. It seemed that all the Floyd stuff I loved was all over it, and all the stuff I hated was kept to a minimum. The perfect Floyd experience. I love every song on it, and I listen to it VERY often. The Orwellian themes are cool, and the music is extremely well done.

megaman684@aol.com (Vincent Hedrick)
This record kicks ass. Not as good as dark side of the moon or wish you were here but it still kicks ass. "Dogs" and "Sheep" are probably the best songs on the album.

cliffnorth@localaccess.com (TAD)
Yeah, isn't the ending of "Sheep" fucking BRILLIANT? Ya know, Roger was a hell of a lot more fun when he was ANGRY than when he was all depressed over what a fucking goddamn tragedy the world is. This is an angry record, all right, but it's still better than The Final Cut... at least there's some LIFE here, not just resignation 2 how bad everything supposedly is.... -- & Wish You Were Here? U nailed itt.. Gorgeous, painful. Youch. I don't play it much, but overall I prefer it over Dark Side. Yeah, the title track's a classic. Yeah, "Shine On" is brilliant, definitely their epitaph 4 Syd. I don't play "Welcome" or "Have a Cigar" much, just sorta bounce right over them.

Dammit, these guys had TALENT. What the hell happened? Course, nobody could go on cranking-out albums like this every couple of yrs, U'd just go nuts....

By the way, supposedly the Floyds' original plan on Wish was 2 go in the studio & try 2 create a "non-musical" album using percussion & who knows what else. They even had a name 4 it -- "Nothing," in 24 parts. Wonder what ever happened to THOSE tapes?

starostin@geocities.com (George Starostin)
MUCH better than DSOTM. That one deserved a 6, in my opinion. Animals I'd easily give a 7,5. Why? Simple. This album rocks! You're right about Waters sounding more interesting when he's aggressive. Even some of Dave's solos seem interesting, sp. on 'Dogs'. Of course, all of this stuff is terribly derivative - like, you know, these solos look like they've been ripped off of 'All Things Must Pass' or somewhere like that, and the keyboard intro to 'Sheep' is an unashamed copying of Manzarek's 'Riders On The Storm' keyboard solo. But the general melodies are good, both 'Dogs' and 'Sheep' are very nice. 'Pigs (3 dif. ones)' - a little more sloppy, but still interesting. This is an album I'd be interested in keeping. It's somewhat less bombastic than the usual stuff - maybe it's because Waters is exploiting ssoomebody other's themes rather than creating his own.

(By the way, about themes: I could come up with a philosophical concept ten times better and deeper than The Wall in a couple of hours. That much for Waters' concepts. I don't know if I could so easily design something like Tommy, though. Just because you get the concept of The Wall and don't get Tommy doesn't mean the first one is good and the second one isn't).

terry@launchnet.com (Terry Haggin)
Put it this way, Animals was the CD OJ had in the ol' white Bronco was he was driving over to Bundy. This one could make Ghandi go postal. Rog with rabies. A foaming at the mouth spew of poison. Too much for me. I had nearly every Floyd gem until I picked up the new Animals remaster but even the great sound can't stimulate me to put it on the platter more than once.

The only people I remember who liked this one were the ROTC's and the Pledge Master of my college fraternity. Can you say, "Neidermier?"

Rumor has it that Hussein plays this album on huge loud speakers while the Iraquies stare at pictures of Barbara Bush's bed buddy, Georgie Porgie and the ever hated Nancy Raygun.

Toss this one in as a 5 at best. How could you give it a nine, Kaczynski?

pkg3r@virginia.edu (Patrick Goodwin)
Matt81, my friend, you are right on the nose when it comes to Animals. I was never as impressed with DSOTM as i expected, it can be difficult to sit through and parts of it get on my nerves, in particular the extended clock and bongo-like intro to Time. Animals is something that I would never take off my CD player if it weren't for having a roommate, who surely would explode at the thought of hearing anything that much (his loss). Good comments to start it off, Mark. I mean, how can you NOT get lost in Dave's solos in Dogs? Wonderfully brutal lyrics "So have a good drown as you go down, all alone, dragged down by the stone".... Hypnotic keyboard, gorgeous bassline, and gritty guitar riffs bring in Pigs (3DO), oh thats addicting baby! A powerful solo at the end as well. And i love the setting established by the keyboard as you go into Sheep, with the peaceful herd grazing in the background, unaware that the dogs are about... all wrapped up with a pretty bow on top by the lovely ditty Pigs on the Wing. Alls I gots to say is - HA HA, CHARADE YOU ARE!

stoo@imsa.edu (John McFerrin)
About the comment that this album doesn't deserve a 9 cos it's not as good as dark side...

You're right, it's not as good as dark side, but you gotta remember that the leap from 9 to 10 is a lot farther than the leap from 8 to 9. Consequently, if the group is really friggin good, a la Floyd, there can be several nines, some of which are awesome, some of which are just great.

This is why both Close to the Edge and On the Threshold of a Dream can both receive 9's, even though Edge is a good deal better than dream.

squirrel_police@hotmail.com
Another great album, but a definate step down in quality from the last two albums. I'd only give it an eight, or maybe a 7.5. The music is still great, but the concept just isn't as interesting, and the lyrics sound a bit more forced. It figures, seeing as how the Orwellian concept was tacked on at the last moment. "Dogs" and "Sheep" were originally meant to be on Wish You Were Here, under the titles "You Got To Be Crazy" and "Raving and Drooling," respectively, but I'm glad they got cut out in favor of the shorter numbers on that album. They're good songs, mind you, just not masterpieces, like "Welcome" and "WYWH". Anyway, the best song here is definately "Pigs On The Wing", which is actually one song cut in half. Great lyrics, and they add sympathy for the main character, who, as I see it, is a dog who broke away from the pack and is running free. Hence his fear of "POTW." I don't really see this song as a love song, I see it more as from one friend to another...apropos the line in Dogs: "When you believe that everyone's expendable, and no one has a real friend..."

"Dogs" is a good song, but for some reason I just don't like the opening chord sequence, or the solo. No matter, for "Pigs" is great, probably PF's most rocking song, with a good Rog vocal performance and some great hooks. And it's not much like "Money", either.

"Sheep" is a good, rocking song, but it seems kind of, I dunno, monotonic. The melody isn't very good. The lyrics are good though. The last few lines really cut to the heart of the matter: they show that it isn't really a happy ending at all. The bloodthirsty crazed sheep conquered the Dogs, and promptly took their place. "Stay out of the road if you want to get old..." as long as there is an Establishment, an Authority, in society, there will always be tyranny. After all, sheep only follow their leader. That's why our narrator chose to break free from the cruel bonds of society, Dog or Sheep, and run free in the hills, perhaps with other runaway dogs. As long as they keep an eye for "POTW."

Of course, the theme isn't meant to be taken completely literally, but I still think that's a good summation. I read the Animals book (haven't seen the movie), and besides the animal names, the album theme doesn't really owe much to it. the book was a specific attack on communism; the album is more of a generalized rant against organized society.

richbunnell@home.com
I agree! Waters' best concept (and one which really clicked with me hearing this album only a few weeks after reading "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair), and the songs aren't anything to slouch at either. You said "One Of These Days" was the only kickbutt rocker they did after Syd left the band? What about "Sheep"!?!?!?!? And "Dogs" is a better 17-minute epic than "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" could ever hope to be, though it's a lot funnier hearing Bart Simpson trick an entire church into singing that one. I guess the "Pigs On The Wing" intro and outro are a little dull, but they're each only a little over a minute long so it's no biggie. 9/10! Maybe a 10 after I hear it a few more times.

RichardMelchior@aol.com
Why this record isn't spoken of in the same breath as Dark Side of the Moon or The Wall truly mystifies me. Why it isn't spoken of in the same breath as freakin' Sgt. Pepper's mystifies me even more.

Best of all, it scares the living hell out of me. That goes way back to Sunday School, when we were shown a video of music we WEREN''T supposed to listen to. There was Hell's Bells, Don't Fear The Reaper, Anarchy In The U.K., and Sheep, with its infamous "subliminal" (although the lyrics are printed clearly in the liner notes) message in which England's most cheerful foursome of moptops appear to say nasty things about God (although I don't think they were talking about the Big Guy - Pink Floyd's music always seems to get taken out of context - Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2 for example). Incidentally, the tunes the video said were OK to listen to were crap like Chicago's She's The Inspiration, some crap from Footloose and other disposable treacle from the mid-'80s. ALL of the "bad" songs found their way into my collection. None of the "good" songs did.

cybercafe@v-wave.com (cybercafe)
Animals finds Roger Waters claiming his steak as one of the finest songwriters ever. The music surges and sighs according to plan. And the less equivical lyrics deliver a harder punch, But the lyric content diminishes the album to a set for established fans only. Not the best album to try if you are looking to get into the Floyd, But it is still a very good work.

imoss@northernlight.com (Ian Moss)
"Sheep" used to be my favorite song on this album, but since then it has been superseded by "Pigs (Three Different Ones)." Never was too big on "Dogs." Another 9 I agree--an underrated album to be sure. Actually, I think this may have been the first album I owned that managed to convince me that maybe songs more than 10 minutes long weren't such a bad idea after all. And look at me now, listening to stuff like Thick As a Brick (43:50).

Belac111@aol.com
Great album. Starts out slow and soft with with "Pigs On The Wing(Part One)", get's a bit thicker with "Dogs" and then again on "Pigs", climaxes on the awesome "Sheep". "Pigs On The Wing(Part Two)" is the cool down. Anyway, as angry as "Sheep" is, most of this stuff really isn't as dark and bitter as many people make it out to be(Ok, well the lyrics are). Sure, it's a bit more agressive than other Floyd, but it's not Napalm Death or anything.

I give it a 9.

jwbowman@naxs.com (Shor Bowman)
Perhaps the most underrated Pink Floyd album--well, probably THE most underrated, because anyone who underrates Ummagumma and More might be able to make a point. But this album is just some great rock music. It's true that Richard Wright takes the backseat here--he wasn't needed! He'd pulled so much synth crap on Dark Side of the Moon and TONS on Wish You Were Here that David stepped forward and took over with the guitar. In my opinion, Animals was the album that made Pink Floyd a ROCK band for sure. It's funny--Meddle was rock. But Obscured By Clouds, Dark Side, and Wish You Were Here--well, I'm not sure if you can REALLY call them rock. Too much synth, too musically pretensious and esoteric. But this is just raw rock, pure rock. Bout time. All songs are great--my favorite is definitely Pigs (Three Different Ones), man that is groovy!

fatchants@nyc.rr.com
Animals is in some strange way, the most awesome Floyd album in my opinion. Nothing but the band, no dinner-party saxophones, background female vocals (tho great Gig in the Sky is a masterpiece..). Just Pink Floyd. Brilliantly conceived lyrically, EXCELLENT guitar work, some o Dave's best (rhythm guitars on Pigs are quite unusual, is he using a pick? fingerpicks? hitting the strings with a drumstick?). In all, I think it is most comprehensive of all their albums except maybe Dark Side, which is the only album with no acoustic guitars... Some of the most memorable emotional spaces of my childhood were carved by this album.

soul_crusher77@hotmail.com (Mike K.)
about the non-musical/household items album that TAD brought up... "Nothing (Parts 1-24)" was actually one of the many working titles for "Echoes" and not the title of the unreleased album. It never really got a title and didn't progress that far. The band basically ended up getting 2 or 3 songs done, then they decided the whole idea was kind of silly and gave up. Part of one of the songs can be heard towards the beginning of "shine on you crazy diamond" though, those wind chime-like sounds in the background are actually part of a song they did using wine glasses.

getrealgeezer@hotmail.com
Will people please stop referring to the building on the cover as a factory - folks it's a power station on the Thames iin London.It has actually been out of use since the early eighties but is a government listed building so can't be pulled down.It is also the largest brick built structure in Europe.What on the earth this has got to do with music or the concept of Animals i don't have a clue.Interestingly during the press opening after some photos were taken the pig broke away and was reported to have been tracked by the British aviation authority,warning planes of a flying pig.It eventually came down in Kent some 60 miles away.

katsman7@hotmail.com
Animals is one of the greatest efforts by Pink Floyd along with Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and, of course, The Wall.

The music and lyrics in Animals are excellent (all done by Waters). Inspired (a little) from George Orwell's "Animal Farm". Amazing Book. The opening track is a mini-ballad called "Pigs On The Wing (part 1)" [to be continued with part 2, after "Sheep"], but I never understood its lyrics. Please someone send me an e-mail about the subject of the song. Impressive song, but very short. Afterwards, there is "Dogs" which (in my opinion) the best Pink Floyd song ever made. I'm not talking about its length (17:04). This is secondary for me. Guitar/Keyboards/Vocals at their best. Sit and listen to the very beginning of "Dogs". Haunting (or nocturnal?). Guitar is very well done in this song, especially in the slow parts. Roger's vocals have a little crying and complaining tone. THE song of Pink Floyd. The next song is "Pigs (three different ones)" which is very great lyrically (and musically). I like the disorted/robotized voice and the pig voices. Not so good as "Dogs", but close. The next song is "Sheep", an interesting song, but (I think) overrated. It's as good as the previous song, but not as good as "Dogs". The psalm in the middle of the song is interesting, so are the Sheep's voices. Then, there goes "Pigs On The Wing (part 2)", not to say a lot about it (because it's similar to part 1, but with different lyrics and chords). Animals is (along with Dark Side Of The Moon) my favourite Pink Floyd album and it always will be. Pink Floyd are the masters of progressive rock, but with a psychedelic/crazy feeling. That's why they're differend from the other progressive artists/bands (Genesis, Yes, The Alan Parsons Project - to name a few). Animals is stellar. At least 9/10.

ajkenyon81@yahoo.com (Amanda Kenyon)
It's okay, I s'pose. I'll have to listen to it a few more times before I can really form an opinion. I really like "Pigs On the Wing," and "Sheep" is definitely cool (I love that voice-into-guitar effect) but the rest hasn't really made an impression on me yet. Now watch, I'll be writing back in a month to rave about it, just like I did with WYWH.

Jcjh20@aol.com
Terrific stuff here. Not only is it musically great, but the lyrics are really thoughtful and interesting, as well as the concept, and i realized that i was really gonna like this before even listening to it. Both "Pigs on the Wings" are really beautiful despite what most people say. Definate 9.

fedefer@fibertel.com.ar (Federico Fernández)
OK. THIS is my favourite Pink Floyd album and I'll tell you why it's better than DSOTM and The Wall. See if I can convinvce you...

1- EVERY moment here is flawless. No matter how I tried, I couldn't find an embarrasing, weak or boring spot in here. Yes: it has got only five songs but all of them are pretty long and outstanding centerpieces though (Even Pigs On The Wing works phenomenally as opener & closer offering a laid-down calm contrast to the maniac storm that there is in the middle). I don't know, I find EACH and EVERY note fascinating. On the other hand DSOTM had "On The Run" which is pure bore and The Wall had things like Another Brick In The Wall part 3, Vera, Bring The Boys Back Home that I don't enjoy that much. (OK that's me but those pieces are arguably inferior to anything displayed in Animals)

2- Gilmour is in top form. Heard the soling in Dogs? Or the closing ones in Pigs and Sheep? No words... oh yes, those songs really ROCK!!!!

3- Waters is in top form. The best lyrics on a Pink Floyd record and those vocals on Pigs are awesome; they just embodie anger in a harsh and evil way that I just can help feeling intimidated by them.

4- The Dark and bitter atmosphere. I like the dark and bitter moods and this album is a top one in that sense. I know, the lyrics are bleak, buy apart from that; the MUSIC is what really sets the mood. The acoustic introduccion to Dogs with those tensioned chords and the electric hammerings in "eyes closed" and "you've got to strike" simply blow my head. The stone...stone...stone...stone...stone pasage in Dogs is CREEPY and the wild laughs after "fell on his neck with a scream" in Sheep just scares the soul outta me.

I don't know. I think this album is so powerful and raw, while Dark Side and WYWH where mainly contemplative and somewhat lightweighted...

This one deserves a 10. Really underrated.

gray0187@tc.umn.edu (Jon)
I don't get this much. To me everything is still working more or less: Mason is now in some sort of drummer's coma, Wright is still doing some stuff (coolass synths in dogs! none of that ELO synth-sound! (showdown is pretty cool though, my roommates and I woul sing that on the way back home from work, which was catering, serving rich people and moving around heavy ass trays. Their amount of wasted food at the World Hunger Banquet was really ironically ridiculous, I kid you not)). Waters' lyrics are neat, Gilmour can play guitar ver well, but wa-a-a-ait a minute here... STOMPING LIZARD FEET! HERE IT COMES! ya, this is where they start turning a little green and scaly, cast hungry eyes on tokyo, and get sponsored by VW. They sound real dinosaury here. There is no classic Floydian buildup, there are no cool sections of pure chording around, there is no awe-inspiring suck-like-no-one-else, and there is too much Waters singing! Ack! Turn him off! He has good lyrics and ideas, but for the love of god, I cant listen to him singing for this long. Dave is always a breath of fresh air when he comes in to sing. These songs all sound very polished and good still, and they pave the way for the wall (the last gasp of good playing from these guys), but the musicality (a word? methinks not) is of Waters solo albums, MOTLR and DB. Synth dominated, with cleanish (but somehow at the same time wussily distorted) self-assured and glossily empty guitarwork, catatonic drums, no cool chord sequences, too much damn singing (especially by waters) and a general "we are serious. have some folk bookends. here now is the guitar solo, right where it always is expected, and there forever shall it be." attitude that was absent on some other efforts. I mean, waters spilling bile on other people is kind of a cheat. When he reveals a part of himself, he does much better. So I say, 8/10 with a bullet. All the songs are good, but some things I loved about the older Floyd are fading away. Oh wait, I take that back. Both Pigs on the wing things I don't care much for. Why do people like them? I guess I'll never know.

sweating101@yahoo.com (Nick Sergakis)
A great Pink Floyd album. Pigs on the Wing (parts 1&2), is just amazing. Dogs is great, and Pigs (Three different ones), is the best song on the album. SHeep sounds a tiny bit discoish, but hey it's an awesome album, I recommend it. 9/10

mmcdonald7@cogeco.ca
In my opinion,PF ende after Animals.Roger Waters bombastic ego ruined them.The record is great in it's own identity which is what PF were the masters of,creating a record each time they did a new one into it's own "identity".Dogs can easily be compared to as other people have suggested to Echoes,STCFTHOTS,etc,etc...Iknow that the songs on this all have some sort of a political meaning but what you didn't notice is at the beginning of each song is a stage set for the solo work, instrumentally for each member of the band with the exception of Nick Masons percussion work,he fit the mold for the bands purpose but was never that great of a percussionist.My point is this,Dogs has a lengthy accoustical guitar peice at the beginning which is a beautiful chord sequence,Pigs has that punchy bass run to open the song,hence Roger Waters,don't think i need to note this as all Floyd fans know who plays what and in ending this comment,Richard Wrights jazz/blues opening to Sheep which is the only time i have heard him use this effect or sound per say on any song by PF.Finally,i would give this a 8/10

robadobb_2@msn.com (Rob Raymer)
this record is brilliant. one dimensional cuz its one of the great concept albums. waters is in his prime as a lyricist. dogs is easily one of the best songs of all time. pink floyd without him is not pink floyd, its a bunch of guys playing to packed houses off the strength of a legendary name

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
Why is this so underrated? Why is it oft forgotten? This is my favourite PF album ever, and, IMO, the best Floyd offering ever. 10/10, say no more.

spinaltomek@hotmail.com
the masterpiece of pink floyd, the band. whereas the wall is the masterpiece of pink floyd, the roger waters ego trip. and almost everything after the final cut is the masterpiece of pink floyd, the crappy bunch of old man who forgot to quit the music buisness when they were good.

the band never played so well together. it´s not as experimental as other albums, but musically, this was a BAND. early pink floyd: syd barrett background combo (with some great results though! especially the early singles), then some confused jamming and experimentation which got really interesting during dark side of the moon and WYWH.

and here: animals, not one bad song and "pigs" is one of the best rock songs ever. i can´t see why it is so overlooked in the review as a copy of "have a cigar". sure it sounds a little similiar, but it´s a whole different thing. listen how mr waters and mr mason play together after the keyboard break: that´s a rhythmn section, my friend! with feeling, simpleness, but skills! oh and that guitar. the perfect example of how you use a pause in music to create a dynamic background music. it´s so cool. so layed back, but still you can hear that these guys pracitsed for years (and every once in a while released a compilation of songs they called albums, but nothing apart from Darkside and WYWH deserves to be called album in my opinion). but they still don´t overdo it.

gto@sympatico.ca
I would also have that this may be the greatest recording ever by Floyd.not one single stinker.Pigs ending guitar work gives me shivers whenever I hear it.10/10

halbert@utc.msstate.edu
This album helped me get through the height of the disco era.The opening track "Pigs on the Wing" starts out simply with Roger singing with acoustic guitar backing him up.The next cut "Dogs" moves smoothly with one of my favorite lines "You've got to be crazy" opening the song and the repeated word "dogs" in the background while Rick plays his atmospheric synthesizer as the song winds down before the final verses pick back up."Pigs(three different ones)", is one of the more harder rock songs by Pink Floyd and it incorporates David's use of the "talkbox" effect made famous by Peter Frampton on the song"Do You Feel Like We Do" and Joe Walsh on his song"Rocky Mountain Way".Rick tickles the ivories of his electric piano at the beginning of "Sheep" in a jazzy sort of way before Nick's drums come barrelling through to send the song into its upbeat mode.I love the way that Roger's vocals carry until rick's synthesizer blends perfectly inand David's thunderous guitar comes crashing down and then Roger sings"you better watch out,there might be dogs about"while David plays a little ditty to finish off the verse,followed by a grand finale that fades into the sound of birds chirping outside.The album closes with "Pigs on the Wing"(part 2) and then it's over.Like I said earlier, this is the hardest edged album of the 1970's so far for Pink Floyd and it also has a George Orwell "Animal Farm" theme rather than the Syd Barrett insanity inspired theme of the previous two albums,which makes it rather refreshing.

_c3994783@wanadoo.nl
This album is kinda cool despite the fact that it is the typical Floyd trick to put a few long stretches of music on an album and let critics call it brilliant.. While on most records i think the critics have sucked pooh-farty outta syd barretts asshole and stared into their lava-lamps for too long, this album the long compositions actually work! Because they're not boring your ass off and trying to be instrumental pieces-de-resistence, they're just dark pieces of the George Orwell puzzle and fit together neatly! PF is by far not my most favorite band, and people who only swear by them are usually obnoxious sweaty geeks that still read Tolkien every night weeping like little queers.. but once and a while they had their momentum (as also with piper, dark side and meddle). And this album is definitely one of them. A lot more than the totally over-the-top pile of bollocks and fillers that came after this one, sorry Mark.

munsey3@comcast.net
I was not a huge Floyd fan after DSOTM. But listening to Animals tonight, sumtin' just made me think that Roger Waters was, animal-wise, maybe just a bit wiser than we may give him credit for and describing things he had actually seen back in the day. I sez this because back in my college days (in Wyoming) I lived in an apartment that was more-or-less rural, out on the outskirts of town -- nice view of the prairie and the Interstate -- and I remember one lazy Saturday afternoon sitting in my living room, drinking Ringes beer from Norway, staring out the window, watching a couple of mindless Sheep, who had somehow escaped their confines, grazing on the prairie. And I gotta say I wondered if that was a optimal place for the Sheep to be, Sheep not being real aware of their surroundings as a rule. And then out of the blue packs of Dogs are charging said Sheep and attacking said Sheep and pretty much ripping them to shreds ON THE SPOT. Not sure what my point is, but this is a great addition to any Floyd collection. This is the 3rd of a classic 3. Prindle, remind me to explain my 3 and out theory to you.... Those barking dogs kinda freak me out, gotta say...

bigbaddog88@msn.com
Well, I just got this album and Really like it. I now have all of the Floyd's "four great album" and incase you didn't know what they are it is: Dark side of the Moon, Wish you Were Here, *Animals*, and the Wall. Funny story, I found out that all four of these are concept albums, so I thought that maybe if you play all of them back to back, you would hear this great story. So for one day, I sat down and listen to all four albums. And you know what I found out, that I wasted eight hours of my life listening to Pink Floyd, and I don't regret it. Their music is just that cool to me, and that show one of two things, that I have great love for music or I'm a dumbass with too much time on my hands. Owell, back to the review:

I little problems with this album, very well made with the idea firmly in place of what they want to do. The one problem that I had with this album was that the songs were a little to long on some parts, and you look at your cd player and think to yourself, "God damn, will you get on with it?" Then the guy under the bed went, "Yes, get on with it." I hate him. Anywho, the album does goes more towards hard rock then punk because the guitars are played like guitars and the bass isn't playing one note for the whole song. I think a 9 is a good score for the album.

Funny thing, I was surfing the internet when I found a site talking about Satan in music, and they gave a list of bands who Satan is in. So I looked and I found the usually: Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Britney Spears; that when I saw something funny, they had Pink Floyd on there because of that little rhyme in Sheep, where it goes, "Our father...etc." I laughed for hours that them. I wrote a letter to them, laughing at them. Still laughing over it. So yea, I'm done.

maniac.nqn@gmail.com
Hi Mark. Again I wish to comment on one of your reviews. So...

I think Animals is definitely their best album. The lyrics, the music, the sound, everything in its right place. I can't find one boring second here. I really like the cover as well, hehe. That one should've got the 10 stars...or dots...or whatever those things are...

The rest is excellent as well, Wish You Were Here is my second favourite, but I can say I really like all their albums. Ok, not the Gilmour-led atrocities. But before that, there's not many bad things to say about them. Probably the greatest band ever...

I guess that's all. Oh, another thing, not related to the Floyd at all. Why haven't you done any reviews about bands like Oasis, or Red hot Chili Peppers? Hehe, I think those are good bands. Perhaps you don't actually like them, but it would be fun to read anyway.

Greetings!

Add your thoughts?

* The Wall - Columbia 1979. *
Rating = 10

UPDATE 2007: Before you read my original review (written at age 24), let me add this at age 34: At this point in my life, The Wall sounds like an album for young teenagers. Unlike all other Pink Floyd albums, it is so overblown and full of self-pity that it's really hard to take seriously at my advanced age. However, I discovered it at just the right time in my emotional development (age 13) that it became one of the most important albums of my life. I still really, really love it (hence the ten), but if I had discovered it for the first time at age 30 or so, I would have laughed it off the planet! Now here's my original review:

Jeez. Where do I begin? This is a double album that tells the story of a boy named Pink Floyd whose father dies in the war when he is a baby, leaving him under the overprotective eye of his doting mother, and at the whim of the cruel "teachers" that make up the British educational system. Pink grows up to be a rock and roll star who keeps getting more and more depressed and isolated until he forces his wife into the arms of another man. Then Pink is entirely alone and all his old fears creep up on him as he goes slowly insane; finally, he becomes a neo-nazi tyrant figure who leads his followers to beat up queers, coons, reds, and jews. At the end, he is forced to tear down his emotional wall and show how he really feels. Hmmm?

Presumably, this album is Roger's way of forcing himself to tear down his own wall (apparently, this album was initially inspired by an incident during the Animals tour when Roger spat upon an overzealous fan, then became horrified and disgusted by his behavior); I say "presumably" because who the hell can tell? Even with the lyrics sheet and a full-length movie, this is still an extremely complex and confusing record. What exactly is happening at the end? Is the trial real or in his mind? Aah.... whatever. It's great. Stretching the ol' imagination. And musically, it's disturbing as heck. The first album is filled to the rim with brim of spooky, echoey guitars behind everything.... ahh, man. Here's where I'm gonna lose it. There are just so many little parts of this album that I love! I'm just gonna start throwing them out. You can put them in complete sentences if you so desire. OK?

The melody to "In The Flesh" and the way that the final triumphant note is replaced by a baby crying; the end of "The Thin Ice" when the drums go "tiddabump, tiddabump, tiddabump," and then the whole band plays the final triumphant note that should have been at the end of "In The Flesh"; then it fades away as the spooky, echoey guitar of "Another Brick In The Wall Part One" comes in; the scary echoed guitar solo at the end of this song, and the way it fades behind the helicopter noise, the way "The Happiest Days Of Our Lives" ends in a blood-curdling scream whose conclusion is buried beneath the disco riff of "Another Brick In The Wall Part Two"; the way the teacher's voices and phone ringing end with a horrible stress-filled sigh right before "Mother" starts - AND THAT'S JUST SIDE ONE!!!! There are three more sides of this startlingly on-the-money production!

Side two chronicles the "losing the wife" scenario in an entirely disturbing manner. He treats her like garbage, but she's cheating on him! Who do you root for here? And side three is amazing; the lead character is alone, playing his piano and singing nonsense about "thirteen channels of shit on the TV to choose from" as he asks in vain, "Is There Anybody Out There?" You, the listener, can actually hear his brain decaying. There's no way Roger could have faked this so well; clearly, he had experienced something like this - either a nervous breakdown or some sort of deep depression. The album unfortunately ends kinda dumb ("Waiting For The Worms" and "The Trial" are carnival-esque, I'm sure for a reason, but I've yet to figure out what the reason is, so they just irritate me), but is redeemed by the mournful, barely audible "Outside The Wall" that closes it for good.

The hits were "Another Brick In The Wall Part Two" (which distinguishes itself in my memory by actually having a memorable guitar solo), the echo-guitar classic "Run Like Hell," the disgusting yet beautiful "Comfortably Numb," and the (probably purposely) unforgivably stupid cockrock anthem "Young Lust." Decent hits, but much better in context, at least after you've heard the album ten or twelve times and you start to understand what's going on. Incidentally, by this point, Roger hated the band and the band hated Roger, but he, being chief songwriter and all, had the power, so he forced Rick Wright out of the band right after the album was completed. He says Rick hadn't contributed anything since Wish You Were Here; Rick says Roger trashed every idea he put forth, so he just stopped trying. Whoever you believe, this is one gosh darn poop of an album. And you can listen to it without having to hang out with Roger Waters, so that's an added bonus.

Oh! And a guy at work told me that, at the end of the album, you can hear a really quiet voice say, "Isn't this where...," then when you put side one back on the turntable, you can hear it say, "...we came in?" Oh, that Roger.

Reader Comments

dave@mgagray.com (David Aurand)
Again, I am anything BUT a Pink Floyd fan...just never "appreciated" any of their Dark Side.... music or anything before or after The Wall. But, this and the accompanying movie are something I do respect and admire. I certainly appreciated the album more AFTER seeing the movie fifty or sixty times...but I even enjoyed it before then. Personally, I like the song (and the part of the movie) "Goodbye Blue Sky".......totally intense.....plus the visuals in the movie with the flowers transforming into two people screwing........the birds turning into warplanes then tombstone crosses......wild shit........but, my favorite part is the little kid saying (in that Brit accent) "Look mummy,.... up in the sky......"

eiw@express.indexp.co.in (Pravin)
If you think that The Wall was the only thing that happened on the face of our fucked up planet, than you are RIGHT. Nice to know that you hate Dave Gilmour just as much as I do. May you live long and Dave rot in hell. In fact let him end up in Iron Maiden's dungeons.

cgarwood@netropolis.net (Calvin B. Garwood)
Yea yea, I know this is supposed to be their best album ever; my problem is, for all its sincerity and pointy-headedness, it is not melodic at all (which is Roger's problem, for which Dave Gilmour is a perfect complement-we need to get those two kids back together, because the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts).

strider@redrose.net (David Straub)
The movie, after literally countless viewings, still can move me to tears. The album is weaker without the film, but still quite great.

Olias@webtv.net (Justin Strohm)
Play the beginning of "Empty Spaces" backwards starting from where the first words come in. Listen closely and you'll hear, "You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to old Pink, care of the funny farm, Chalfonte." Pretty cool, huh.

rhimes@surf.metro.net.au
The Wall is nothing compared to Piper and UmmaGumma. What's the matter with Waters? He can't sing! THIS SUCKS!

break7@localnet.com (May-Day)
The plot and compositional techniques are way too close to The Who's Tommy to be a coincidence. It's just a rip-off of a classic and TRULY ground-breaking record. But Roger Waters waited a decade to try it so no one seemed to notice. But, hey, Pink Floyd plays on it so it's still great. It's just not a tenth as innovative or creative as it's made out to be.

The guy who said Syd Barrett is the father of guitar feedback obviously doesn't know a whole lot about the history of rock. Pete Townshend, Ray Davies and Jeff Beck all beat him to it. Townshend's claim to the discovery of feedback is the most well-documented by outside sources. As far as innovative feedback on record, The Who's "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" from mid-1965. 'Nuff said.

fyodor@mixcom.com (Ted Zimmer)
The wall sux!!!!! except for "comfortably numb".

mprohner@digiconn.com
Moving, but not worth the ten albums. I agree with one reader that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Roger wrote great songs, Dave played great guitar. Neither is very interesting without the other.

As for the concept and plot, I suspect Roger may have discovered LSD. (or rediscovered). If he did, this would have been a VERY bad point in his life for it, and much of this album has the potential to tell this story (whether or not it's ripped off from someone else - it doesn't matter anyway, coincidences DO happen, especially one like this regarding the life of a musician (the same thing sorta tends to happen among popular performers, you know...).

And, I think I have to go out on a limb here and say that most of the last side of the album has got to be in Pink's head. The nazi dictator figures, all of the rhetoric, the bounds and jail cells, the worms, and especially the trial. I figure a carnival musical theme to the trial and most of this last part of the album coincide in the head of someone who's obviously having a very bad trip.

4pg6carneym@vmsb.csd.mu.edu (Matt Carney)
I love your review of this album. It is excellent all the way through. The lyrics have never been topped except for John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band. If you think about it I believe that Plastic Ono Band greatly influenced Roger Waters to make the Wall. He wanted Dark Side of the moon to sound like Plastic Ono Band, but Gilmour won and had it sound trippy, but this one Roger won and it paid off. "Goodbye Blue Sky", "In The Flesh", "Stop", "Happiest Days of Our Lives", AND ALMOST ALL THE TRACKS ARE JUST GREAT. TRULY THE fLOYD'S BEST ALBUM (SORRY Syd, but It is still a little better than yours). I just love it.

I also have a comment to that Pete Townshend fan. I love the Who but I thought that I WOULD let you know that feedback was discovered by John Lennon (like almost everything else in rock was) and it was first used in the song "I feel Fine". Back in 1964. Pete Townshend might have used it a bit more, but John Lennon and George Harrrison first used it.

break7@localnet.com (Tim Eimiller)
The Beatles were the first to use it on record but they didn't discover it. Pete Townshend did when he stacked his amplifiers and learned how to induce it in 1963. The Yardbirds and the Kinks followed suit and by 1964 all three bands featured it prominently in their stage acts. The Who would have put it on record first if they had had a record contract at the time.

The Beatles just tacked onto the beginning of "I Feel Fine" a single string feeding back. The most boring use of feedback I've ever heard. They were followers that time, and not very clever ones. So, now we've had someone claim Syd Barrett discovered it and another that John Lennon did. Why don't you people read some unbiased rock history books? Then you'll get the truth.

jhurtt@comp.uark.edu (Jeremy Hurtt)
Nope. Sorry, I just cannot relate this album to Dark Side of the Moon or Wish You Were Here. Sure, it's trendier to say that The Wall is the greatest album on earth, but I just can't do it. Try WYWH or DSOTM and you'll see. This is a good album though. I give it a 7, Wish You Were Here an 8, and Dark Side of the Moon a 10.

arnoldnicholas@hotmail.com
The Wall deals with Waters' father's death at the Battle of Anzio during WWII. The songs and their titles all represent his feelings about growing up fatherless in post-war England. Pink's ensuing fall into insanity is most likely a reference to Syd Barrett and his battles with insanity. All in all, on messed up little album.

robertk@jove.acs.unt.edu (Robert Linus Koehl)
I think that for Floyd, this album was to Darkside what Topographic was to Close to the Edge for Yes. Its an expanded artsy concept thing that's even harder to follow, and you still love every minute of it. "Comfortably Numb" and "Run Like Hell" are fantastic songs. I swear I get chills every time I hear that second verse of "Comfortably Numb" where that voice says "there'll be no more AHHHHHHH but you might feel a little sick." "Run Like Hell" has that unforgettable guitar riff. But the big hit, the one that people automatically think of when they hear the words "Pink Floyd" is "Another Brick in the Wall". That has to be their single biggest number. I like the trial sequence, but unfortunately by the time you get around to the trial sequence, you've completely lost the storyline. The thing I DONT like about this album is that it's a complete Roger Watersfest. The other guys dont seem to get that much input. It's kinda like the Who's Quadrophenia, where Pete Townsend was controlling EVERYTHING. Yuck! I like it so much better now that the three remaining gents contribute equally.

stephlyl5@geocities.com (Stephanie Svendsen)
OK. Up until The Wall, I agreed with your reviews. Don't get me wrong, it was a great album. But to rate it higher than DSOTM or Wish You Were Here?? And this Gilmour thing kills me. Why are you so hateful towards him? So they are not quite as good without Water's harsh voice and depressing lyrics about the faults of humanity. Gilmour, as I once read, is the master of melody. He was and is STILL a brilliant musician. I agree with whoever it was up there that wrote he WAS Pink Floyd. I think his new music sounds similar to old Floyd, but I don't agree that it sounds phony, or however you put it. By the way, did anyone ever tell you that Rogers was (is) an asshole anyway?

tabasco@worldnet.att.com
A very very weird cd. "In the Flesh" on the first disk was like a theme to welcome you to the cd. So i came on in. Then "Thin Ice" was a sad song about Roger's father dying in the war. "Another Brick in the Wall Pt 1" was also sad about Roger's father leaving his family. Than a helicopter arrives than it goes right into "The Happiest Days of Our Lives". Talking about how teachers hurt students in school. True very true. Than comes the great melody of the cd, "Another Brick in the wall pt 2". I hear this song on Q104.3 all the time. All my friends heard this song. They love it. Then comes the song about Mother's called "Mother". It's about a Mother who takes care of her kid and kid asks her for advice and the mother shelters the kid a lot. "Good Bye Blue Sky" opens with a calm acoustic guitar than at like 0:09 it sounds angry and furious when you least expect it. I saw the video in the movie and it starts out with a pretty bird flying in the sky all of a sudden it goes into a cartoon. It turns into a demon bird in the mad guitar part. Gilmour is pretty good at sing "look mummy aero plane up in the sky". "Empty Spaces" is like an opening to "Young Lust" but it isn't. Than at the end of the song it goes right into "Young Lust" and in this song it talks about sex, damn in the movie i loved the video when the girls get naked it was great hoo hoo nah shouldn't of said that okay back to the review, at the end of that come "One Of My turns", Ther's a clip of the movie than Waters starts singing. Then when the drums kick in in the part of the movie THE MAN IS FUCKING BREAKING EVERYTHING IN THE APARTMENT and he throws the tv out the window. WOW!!! "Don't Leave Me Now", is kinda quiet and it helps you relax and drift away. All of sudden YOU HERE A CRACK. It's "Another Brick In The Wall Part III". The glass breaking is a WAKE UP CALL. Shit, what a very rude awakening. Roger Waters sounds very aggresive and mad in the song like he's having a breakdown. Only a 2 minute track but good man very good. The last track of the album only 48 seconds is Goodbye Cruel World. End of disk 1. Then pop disk 2 in, then Gilmours opening guitar of "Hey You". When i heard it on the radio, it seemed pretty long but it's only on for 5 minutes. Jeez. "Is There Any Body Out There" sucks, "Nobody Home" was good Roger telling how much life sucks. 13 channels of shit on tv, I'd hate to be that person. "Vera" sucks. "Bring The Boys Back Home" is the sound of a marching band, pretty cool this album had everything AND I MEAN FUCKING EVERYTHING. It even has 2 crappy songs. Than my favorite and probably one of the most popular ones on the whole album. "Comfortably Numb". I like the video part in The Wall Movie. The boy brings a rat home, he's really screwed up in the head. A little pin pricks bring you ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh you may feel a little sick. Another track I love. Also hear it on Q104.3. "The Show Must Go On" is another good one not popular that's just letting you know the album isn't over. Not yet. "In the Flesh Part 2" Rocks also. Roger is really fucking ass pissed off. He's criticizing black people, Jews, queers, and the way people dress. SAYING THEY SHOULD BE SHOT, think what your saying Roger. Damn. Very obnoxius. Don't Mind My Spelling ok. "Run Like Hell", brings a lot of hard rock and a little metal into Gilmours guitar. Run, Run, Run, Run, Run. Roger also sounds pissed in this song. Boy oh boy, by the way I'm really sorry about your father Roger if you are reading this. My extreme sympathy. Your cool Roger and I understand what you were goin through when you made the movie and cd. Take care Roger. Ok back to the review. "Waiting For the Worms" no review don't listen to it that much. I know at the end they say Stop. That's the next song. Short clip but rather well in the keyboards. "The Trial" is when the man prosecutes himself and evrybody thinks he's a mad man. Then the judge orders them to tear down the wall. Than Your Outside and Waters is kind of like saying good bye thank you for listening to the cd. Enclosing this cool, fun scary weird cd. I give it a 17 because there are 2 disks.

megaman684@aol.com (Vincent Hedrick)
This one is their best one behind Dark Side and Wish You Were Here. This album is awesome. "Goodbye Blue Sky" kicks ass. So does "Mother" and "Hey You".

ronbevault@prodigy.net (Keith Jones)
A happy, cheerful, upbeat album is what most pop groups release, but not Pink Floyd. This is the most disturbing album I have ever heard. Skip the radio-friendly hits such as "Another Brick in the Wall pt.II" and "Comfortably Numb"(oh that's not about drug use. Yeah right) and you have a perfect album. And the movie complaments the album soooo well(especially the animation). I actully feel depressed when listening to certain songs on this album.

cliffnorth@localaccess.com (TAD)
Actually, I think "The Trial" is pretty funny. I was at 1st horrified by "One of My Turns," & still have 2 B in a rather odd mood 2 play it, but I admire its vividness -- that 4-in-the-morning feeling, sitting in front of the TV starin at old movies and drinkin a bottle of Jack Daniels with yr left hand while yr right hand is clenched tight 2 the neck of yr shotgun-shaped guitar, etc. Ghod knows it's Xtreme, the strain in Roger's voice when he tries 2 croak out: "I ... can ... feeeeeel ... one of my turns comin on...."

The 2nd "In the Flesh?" is also pretty funny -- check out the attitude-change. Ya know, none of these mid-to-late-70s Floyd albums R actually what U'd call "music 4 pleasure" -- they're all TOUGH 2 listen 2 -- DARK SIDE, WISH, ANIMALS, THE WALL, FINAL CUT -- it makes sense that 1 of them got turned in2 a movie. It's like these guys needed more space 4 what they were tryin 2 do.

Oh, & it helps immensely that there R tracks as strong as "Comfortably Numb" & "Run Like Hell" on this album. When U've got subject-matter that's this heavy, U need something comparatively "normal" 2 help break things up a bit....

terry@launchnet.com (Terry Haggin)
The best 6 months of my life was between Nov. 1979 and April of 1980. Hearing Pink Floyd on KMET and Jim Ladd night after night from 10:00 till 2 then hearing that Floyd was playing the Wall live down the street at the LA Sports Arena was heaven,

Getting my tickets, peeling the still-wet 3 foot poster off the side of the Sports Arena wall and stuffing it under my jacket, sitting with my three best friends watching the Wall be built brick by brick until Gilmour screams out "Comfortably Numb". What an amazing time to love music. 1979 was the greatest year in the history of rock and roll. Think of how many great albums came out between June 1979 and June 1980, Gaucho, Damn the Torpedoes, Tusk, The Clash, Breakfast in America, Remain in Light, Live in Budokan, Miss You, plus just missed Empty Glass, Orlandos De Amour, X, The Pretenders, the Surf Punks, The River, and on and on and on and on. Wow, thoz were the dayz my friendz.

Now all those wonderz are classuckz. Man, now I feel old and depressed so keep me away from Animals or I might just pull a dahlmer on you all. And I haven't even gotten to the songs yet .

Why bother, just put on side three... turn the headphones up and the lights out... "Has Locoh arrived? No, but we've got to be going soon" "All down the front of my satin shirt." Wow! All I had to say was "Wow" then and 20 years later it is still that way.

starostin@geocities.com (George Starostin)
When I first got this, I was expecting to hate it. I've seen the movie before and right after the 20th minute or so I turned it off and gave the tape away to a friend. The bombastic, overblown, utterly pretentious and, let's face it, not very intelligent concept made me despise it utterly. But then I hear the album and... guess what? I actually have a good LAUGH! It is so frickin' overblown that its gravity and seriousness almost pop out of the album cover! Hah! I hear the first heavy chords of 'In The Flesh?' and I think 'well, this is going to be a jolly amusing 'monumental' album! Heigh-ho!' Just don't take it seriously. Anybody who goes saying that this is one of the most deep and philosophical creations in rock simply shows he's undereducated. The whole concept is as simple as a doornail. 'Nuff said. And, moreover, in the 'neo-nazi' part it also heavily relies on overused and absolutely banal cliches. 'Concept', my ass. I've seen better concepts you-know-where...

Now, about the music. It might be strange, but I often regard disc 1 and disc 2 as absolutely different albums. Disc 1 is dominated by crappy, but entertaining and memorable disco (all the 'another bricks in the wall') and (sometimes) exciting acoustic stuff. Strangely, though, everything looks derivative once again. Don't know why, but songs like 'Mother' remind me of Elton John. Why? Still have to figure out. And YES it's again distinguishable mainly because of the solid production and thousands of special effects - all these phones, voices out of nowhere, small kids' noises, TVs thrown out of the windows ensure that you don't get bored. Which you could otherwise - the melodies are not that strong. But Disc 2 hasn't got any at all! Most of the time it's either carnival music, like you said, or boring lazy introspective piano stuff. Now 'Comfortably Numb' CERTAINLY reminds me of Elton John: cool, charming, gentle waves of music slowly putting you off to drifting away until you suddenly wake up and find out there is no melody - just the atmosphere. And about 90% of Disc 2 is just totally dispensable.

The emotion and sincerity? Dunno. I like side 2 of disc 1 (the wife story) in that respect: Waters truly sings his heart out. The other stuff is so-so in that respect... Just so-so. Poor Roger. I wish he'd never released anything like this. Trying to compete with Pete Townshend as the most serious conceptual writer in rock music? No way. Ha! A 10 would be a really big lot for this album. The first disc gets a 7, the second gets a 4. Altogether that comes to 5,5. Eh?

bougopgs@eckerd.edu (Gregory S. Bougopoulos)
When I first heard this I thought it was great. An album with such songs as "Another Brick On the Wall", "Young Lust", "Run Like Hell" and "Comfortably Numb", and a album that told a story with some great music struck me. However, I listened to it again, and again, and one more time, and I saw through it. The four songs above are the best on the album, an album that doesn't keep interest because it relies on the story to carry it. The story, unfortunately, isn't that interesting where it would mean one could listen to it without problems over and over again. This gets a 6.

floppyj@worldnet.att.net (Holly and Michael Brauer)
I was glad to see all the comments on "Goodbye Blue Sky," especially the brilliant animation by Gerald Scarfe in the video. This is such a dark yet beautiful song!

I use it in the classroom every year to give my 8th grade social studies students an interesting lesson during our World War II studies. First, I put the lyrics on the board, and tell them it is a poem by a man whose father died in the war. After they write down their thoughts about the poem, I ask them to describe the type of music they would set it to. Then I play the song on CD. The kids' responses are always interesting. Of course, when I show them the video, they want to see it over and over again. The symbolism is infinite!

One other quick note. I was listening to The Wall on headphones not long ago, and noticed a subtle bassoon and flute at the end of "Is There Anybody Out There?" I've always thought the music PERFECTLY describes the emotion at this point in the album, but the instrumental contrast here is especially poignant.

jtcable@tir.com (H.V.C.)
I was waiting for this whole page to load up so I could see you slam Division Bell. The Wall was made only a few albums earlier... amazing. So as I scrolled up, I was hoping for a good review. As soon as I saw the ten mark, a semi-silent voice in my head said "YES!" I loved and still love this album and movie so much, I won't bother going into detail about it. EVERY DAMN TRACK ON THIS ALBUM, AND THE MOVIE, ARE GREAT!! Even the ones that seemed ok at first are really musically wonderful. I only have one other PF album, Dark Side of The Moon. I guess I'm gonna have to listen to you for my other album purchases (other than Ballbreaker, which I already have anyway). I desperately want to hate The Velvet Underground, since there's this gay goth kid on the Internet that I hate who loves VU, but thinks that Back In Black sucked.

There's only one thing I'm gonna say about The Wall. Another Brick In The Wall part 2 is the least best (I won't say worst) of the three songs.

This is not just an album. It's a state of mind, a life, and a hundred novels put to two discs.

John.King.4@uni.massey.ac.nz
This record, I'm afraid to say, is overrated. But only a little bit, I would hate to sound negative towards it. It is still fucking good but dosen't compare to the three albums before it, simply for one reason - music. I'm in a band myself and write the songs so I know how important lyrics are, but in the end, it is the music which you remember (Bob Dylan would be an exception to this argument). I can appreciate how Waters intended to make this a lyrics-orientated album as it is a very good conceptual acheivement, but the quality of the music seen from '71 - '77 is not there, wholely due to Roger's almost complete domination. For instance, when he lets Gilmour contribute music, we get "Comfortably Numb", arguably the standout track on the album. Gilmour was spitting tacks in an interview later on about this song in that on the back cover of the lyrics leaflet it states that music for "CN" is by Waters and Gilmour when in fact Gilmour did it solely himself.

But enough bitching about Roger. This album is very different to previous albums in not just the layout (26 songs) but also in the style. There are classic guitar based songs - "CN" , "Hey You", "Run Like Hell" ; mournful ballads - "Mother", "Nobody Home" and then many short fill in kind of songs - "Happiest Days...", "Vera" , "Stop" which are pretty weird but fit the atmosphere of the album. Also when looking at albums like this you need to look at the overall feel of it after you've finished listening to it. For instance, Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin is not as consistently good as IV but the wide range of styles and length give it a more epic and satisfying feel, IMO.

The third best Pink floyd album, behind WYWH and Dark Side

BlackhillLtd@aol.com (Mark Brown)
Chalfont was (is?) the funny farm, a real hospital.

ayoungno1@hotmail.com ( Alex R. )
After listening to this album over and over again, I must say that this is one of the greatest records ever made. I don' t know how Dave and Roger pulled this one off. Ok, Ok, I know that Roger did most of the work and it was his idea, but without Gilmour's input, this album wouldn't of been as good. Damn!!! I love this album. I agree with you 100%, side 3 is amazing!!. " Comfortably Numb " is perhaps one of the greatest songs that I've ever heard, Gilmour kicked ass on that one. This album should be in everyone's rock collection.

jtcable@tir.com (Josh Cable)
I'd swear that... just kidding.

Anyway, my first review of Wall wasn't even a real review.

It's amazing to find out that there are others out there that have also been moved to tears, frequently, by the INCREDIBLE emotional power captured within this album. Both album and movie have indeed shaken me. I got misty during several portions of the movie, not only from the frightfully intence lyrics and music, but also from some of the acting. Seeing "Pink" in the bathroom, next to the toilet bowl near the end of the film, quietly to himself. Whispering "stop" in complete desperation. God... powerful, amazing. Godalmighty. This movie is dizzyingly incredible. Amazing. Did I mention powerful?

And this album is also a key in my "Women Don't Rock" argument. I don't see the Pretenders putting out stuff like this. I don't see any women putting out anything that even approaches this, musically and lyrically. I'm sure that they do have the capability, but they AREN'T. They're just clinging to their "empowered female artists and 'Women in rock'" which are none of the above. Tori Amos (or rather tori amos) isn't intense. Songs about rape are not instantly intense or relevant, so basing a career off it is pretty sad. Hell, Sammy Hagar's been making pro-rape songs since 1975, because he fucking SUCKS.

Uh, anyway. The Wall. Yes, I guess it's supposed to be "overrated" by Rolling Stone, I don't give a fucking goddamn FUCK. If Rolling Stone suspects that an album will be making money, you're goddamn right they'll overrate it. When Nirvana came out, they slammed them. Then, changed their mind when Nirvana became a "musical force." Apparently, someone informed every radio station and MTV to start playing Nirvana, but they forgot to tell RS that Nirvana was so good. :(

I personally don't care if someone hates The Wall. They're dumb, why should I care if their dumb ass doesn't like something that's obviously good. If they *like* The Wall though... that's a different story.

cybercafe@v-wave.com (cybercafe)
The Wall is an Album / Stage show / Movie all rolled into one. The universality of the plot is transferable to all three medium with superb results. The story is made in the grand tradition of rock, involving love, loss, drugs, Insanity and arguably the best music recorded to date.

imoss@northernlight.com (Ian Moss)
Ugh. This was the second Pink Floyd album that I purchased (after Dark Side), because everyone said it was really good and I should check it out. This was when I was maybe 13-14 or so. Anyway, before I got the album, I rented the film, and like George S., turned it off after about 20 minutes (right before the naked girls in "Young Lust," as I later found out. Ah well). But I turned it off because it fucking depressed the hell out of me!!! I was seriously shaken by that movie with its melodramatic themes and seemingly endless flow of sheer pain. So anyway, later that year I bought the album in the hopes that I could enjoy the music without having to think about the images so much. But much to my chagrin, I discovered that the first 20 minutes is the LEAST depressing part of the whole album! I mean, with stuff like "Don't Leave Me Now," "Nobody Home," and the other acoustic Roger-is-crazy/Roger-is-an-asshole songs, I was tearing my hair out. The hits constitute most of the songs that are worth listening to (and even that perennial favorite, "Comfortably Numb," bores me now). As I got older, I've been able to appreciate this album a little more, but not much more. Sides 1 and 4 are still the highlights for me; everything in between is rather expendable. I give it a 7.

richbunnell@home.com
This is a pretty good album for a double one, and I'm willing to forgive the weaker, slow-moving fillerish songs because the classics are just simply utterly spectacular (though I'm not as impressed by "Comfortably Numb" as some people) and because the story is awesome and actually somewhat easy to follow compared to other "story" albums (Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, anyone?). I couldn't give it a 10 and can't imagine giving it that high of a grade in my entire life, but an 8 would fit nicely. Sorry, but "more [band] is better [band]" only works with the Beatles, not Floyd.

Belac111@aol.com
Well, I may not be too qualified to comment on this album being that I don't own it, and have never listened to it all the way through(actually, I don't do that very often anyway, but this just seems like the type of album that you would need to listen to completely). I have heard pretty much everything on it atleast once though, so I guess that's good enough. But yeah, it's a good album, sometimes very sad and emotional, and other times darkly humorous. I'd have to listen to it some more to give it a rating, but it's good.

jwbowman@naxs.com (Shor Bowman)
I'm not sure which is the most overrated Pink Floyd album, The Wall or Wish You Were Here. Probably this one. There are some good songs, and overall some good music. But there is way too much filler, and if the Floyd puts out a movie, you can be sure that it's going to be chuck-full of needless intellectual masturbation. And so it was, even though really the movie is pretty good and very visually exciting without a doubt. The album, for me, however, got old very fast, and I was VERY disappointed that the entire "Empty Spaces" was not present on the CD. After listening to "Comfortably Numb" a few times, this album lost its magic. Sad, but true. I rarely listen to it anymore and would gladly trade the CD for the film.

jason_a@earthlink.net (Jason Adams)
Would be better if both its length and arrogance were cut in half. As it stands, the great showtune "The Trial" is my favorite track, followed by the brilliant "Outside The Wall" So really I could do without much of the rest. "Goodbye Blue Sky", "Mother", "Young Lust", and "Comfotably Numb" can stay. That's all.

Nick.Walford@nettec.net
this record is so good it gets 11 out of 10. no, make that 12. no, even better, let's go all the way to 13. being a massive floyd fan, and having spent many drug-enhanced hours listening to and watching their various outpourings, I've got the film and the record completely tied together in my head. when I hear the songs, I'm seeing the relevant scene from the film, and it's awesome every time. seriously, EVERY TIME. unbelievable. I'd even go so far as to to say that this album transcends the rock genre. it's more than a record, it's more than a film, it's more than the two combined. listen to it on headphones in a darkened room, and be ready to cry.

ajkenyon81@yahoo.com (Amanda Kenyon)
I've actually never listened to the album all the way through (and I dare to call myself a Floyd fan - more on that later) but I really, really, REALLY like the movie. And I'll be the first to admit that I didn't expect to; I thought it was going to be overblown and pretentious and a complete waste of time. And I was SO wrong. The storyline, the cinematography, the animated bits, the bitter social commentary (I LOVE the part with the schoolchildren marching blindly into the meatgrinder - one of the most terribly accurate images I've ever seen), the disjointed plot line, it's all fabulous. Love it. And I've never even done drugs!

MATTHEW_B_PARISI@fleet.com
this has nothing to do with The Wall (which I think is a pretty mediocre double album that could have been a pretty good 40-minute album if they cut the fat and ditched the concept), but the comments made concerning who was the first guitarist to use feedback. Come on, guys. John Lennon??? It was Link Wray, the American rock instrumental madman who Pete Townshend idolized and patterned his sound after early in his career.

Jcjh20@aol.com
I absolutely agree with the 10 for this album! I love the sincerity of the performance of these songs. The beautiful ballads like "Hey You", "Mother", "Dont Leave Me Now" (You can really hear him fall apart on this song. How could he fake this indeed!) are absolutely heartwrenching and songs like "Run Like Hell", "In The Flesh" (both of em), "Another Brick In The Wall" etc. rock wholeheartedly! Theres some songs here and there that can be called "filler", but thats expected from a thematic, conceptual 2 disc long album such as this. Maybe anyone else would think im overrating this, but i think its a awesomely fantastic, deservedly classic album that i happen to like the most out of all of Pink Floyd's records.

gray0187@tc.umn.edu (Jon)
Pretty good. I just cant listen to it. Too much waters singing!!! I really cant stand his voice. he sonds like hes being simultaneously tickled and having his ears pulled off. Sort of a nasally pained, laughing yelpy wail. YUCK! Some cool stuff goes on here, though. The concept is as good as any other (sorry george, but rock opera concepts are always cheap and tawdry), and suits the music. The main problem is some songs feel out of place in the theme (Comfortably Numb, Young Lust, On the Run) and others are slaves of it. I don't like this so much. I like the concept of a concept album more than the reality of it, if you get me. If people threw together a bunch of crap and later said, ah, we meant this, I liuke that. If they set out that way to begin with, it bothers me. One lies in the freedom of the listener, the other in the purposed domination of the artist. I HATE when artists pull that shit, because it affects the experience no matter what. You can FEEL concept handprints all over some of these tracks. I hate that. Ok, so what are the abd ones and the good ones? i really don't know. I like parts of things, cheifly "one of my turns" "dont leave me now" and "another brick" has a cool solo. the bad ones? i honestly dont know. i start to think this or that song is terrible, but then i worry about the ever present concept and have to reconsider. vera lynn could be axed. so coul that bring the boys crap. i dont know though. I dont have much to say about this album, but everyone should own it, i think. I give it....... strokes huiman drum machine roll: boom, chik, boom boom chik... a 7/10. It's really pretty good, but I just can't reconcile that feeling of a concept.

gbird@unm.edu
I can't believe that only one person made the conection between The Wall and the downfall of Syd Barrett. The Wall is a story aobut a rock star who had too much acid and began to distance himself from everyone. The part in the movie where Pink is sitting in his hotel room with a cigeratte between his fingers that has ashed almost all the way down was how Roger Water found Syd on day. Roger even had to give Syd a rescue shot to get him on stage, just like during the song "Comfotably Numb". To understand this album you need to do a little research on Syd Barrett and the early Pink Floyd. Syd was the insperation for much of the music during the Waters era including Darkside of the Moon

JCRider87@aol.com (Joe Cronin)
'The Happiest Days of Our Lives / Another Brick in the Wall' is a classic. 'Hey You' is better than 99% of anything any other group even dreamt of. 'Comfortably Numb', at least the music, should be the theme to our National Anthem. An incredible album light years ahead of anything else...then, I read some of the reader reviews, especially the first one by David Aurand who wrote "but, my favorite part is the little kid saying (in that Brit accent) "Look mummy,.... up in the sky......" Wow, David, great review. How could we all have missed that tremendous moment in music history. Without that little kid "The Wall" would fall apart. Comfortably Numb? Who gives a shit about that as long as we can hear that little kid talking to his mummy! I've got 3 little kids here. I am going to make recordings of them talking to their mummy and slap it on a double album so the real music fans like you will buy millions of copies. Songs I have already recorded are "Look mummy, there's a birdie in the tree" and "Look mummy, there's a booger in my nose" and "Look mummy, there's a moron whose favorite part of The Wall is that little British kid". Thanks, Dave. You should be very proud of your review. Look for my album soon, "Music For Morons".

bigbaddog88@msn.com (Robert Attaway)
I like the album and the movie. With the album, you hear what's happen with the guy and why he is this way, you know the trial and everything. But with the movie, you see the truth is that about him and the wall.

Well that didn't make any cents so here is something that will. With the album you hear more about the madness in his mind. With the movie, you see the madness take form and take over him.

In the end, the album has all of the songs, but the movie has all but two song (But you do get to hear "what shall we do" unless you get the soundtrack) and most of them are cut. So, get both of them.

justdig@gmail.com
Not all of the wall is completely real. The neo-nazi scene, for instance, I'm 95% sure is just a fantasy of his. I mean, come on, the guy goes from being barely able to move in a car to being a neo-nazi with nothing in between, and has loads of followers? Doesn't make sense. Cliches in that scene were probably meant to be there, because in a man's fucked up imagination, they probably happen.

thepublicimage79@hotmail.com
It's been literally years since I've listened to Pink Floyd's "The Wall;" I haven't listened to it since junior year of high school, in fact. But I suddenly had a desire to listen to this again a couple of days ago, and I've been thinking about it, and where it stands in Pink Floyd's canon. My decision is that it is a flawed classic: the second disc is shockingly weak, and there is simply far too much story-driving filler here without much musical merit. While Roger Waters may believe that this is his ultimate masterpiece, I believe that he let himself go too far - there was certainly no need for that awful movie...well, never mind that, we're talking about the album alone, and a lot of things that eventuallly made the, ahem, final cut here were simply unnecessary. He could have edited the concept down, made it far more depressing, and not tried to make it universal. This could have been an unbelievable single album.

For one, I think Roger believes this is the best Pink Floyd album simply because he finally had full control over a Pink Floyd album - while it was obvious Waters was increasingly coming to the fore with each Pink Floyd album, I don't know if anyone really expected Waters to outright take over the band. The jump in authority from "Animals" to "The Wall" is really rather extraordinary; Rick Wright's role is minimized, and there are a number of session players on the album filling in for him, and, on occasion, Nick Mason (future Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro plays on "Mother" and possibly "One Of My Turns"). The astounding number of backing vocalists on the album is also weird - I mean, Waters and Gilmour couldn't have just harmonized enough themselves? I'll give it up for Toni Tennille, though, of the Captain and Tennille, for the infamous, and brilliantly stereotypical, "groupie" monologue on the beginning of "One Of My Turns." Gilmour also often plays bass, though Waters certainly plays bass, and some guitar, on the album as well. Mostly, Roger is giving dictation and holding the spotlight. This approach has its' advantages, but if no one's checking you, your artistry can soon give way to indulgence, which is what happened here - on the second disc.

The first disc, however, is brilliant, if not the flawless album that George Starostin would have you believe (he maintains that the first disc could have been Floyd's best album ever, but that the second disc is absolutely atrocious; a view which I don't completely share, but one where I find a lot to agree with). It starts with some soft strange clarinet music, then gives way to one of the single greatest arena rock riffs ever written: the astounding "In The Flesh?," which is actual hard rock, and, in a rarity for Pink Floyd's dabblings in that area, rocks thunderously well. It's a huge, uncharacteristic opening, but it's utterly spectacular, and really gives "The Wall" a sense of amazing scope. From there, we move throughout the story of Pink's inner life, from his birth ("The Thin Ice"), the beginnings and development of his emotional isolation in early childhood (the "Another Brick Pt. 1/Happiest Days/Another Brick Pt. 2" section), his mother's suffocating overprotection ("Mother"), his reminiscences about World War II and their consequences (the gorgeous, dislocated "Goodbye Blue Sky"), his increasingly unhinged need to isolate himself emotionally and the hit single that destroys that for him ("Empty Spaces" and "Young Lust" - I have always seen "Young Lust" as the parodic "hit single" that the character Pink Floyd becomes famous with, as well as exposing his cheating on his wife). Then, after he finds out his wife is cheating on him through the phone call at the end of "Young Lust," he truly starts to lose his mind, sitting completely still and silent while a groupie oohs and aaahs over his stuff, nearly catatonic, and then eventually exploding in a furious and violent rage, smashing the shit out of everything in the room while the groupie just stands there screaming ("One Of My Turns"). He then goes back into catatonic despair, smashes up more stuff, and then sinks back into catatonia again, fully walled off from the world. That's how disc 1 ends, and it's a classic. There are so many great songs here that it makes it hard to put the next disc on.

Because Disc 2 is really where the problems start. "Hey You" starts things off, again, extremely well: it's a truly desperate ballad, with beautiful Gilmour and Waters guitar parts and a Gilmour fretless bass lead, and the sense of isolation is overwhelming. But most of side three is wasted on Pink's increasing insanity, and it's all in his head - which means a lot of atmospheric filler that's supposed to represent madness and random memories. Riiiiight. Oh sure, there's "Nobody Home," which is another achingly beautiful ballad, with one of the few Rick Wright keyboard parts on the album (the piano is distinctively Wright). That one's a real keeper, with a great Waters vocal as well. But then we've got to wade through "Vera," which could have been a great song if it had actually been completed, and "Bring The Boys Back Home," which is just shit. "Comfortably Numb" is an absolute classic, though, and ends side three on a high note, with the doctor injecting Pink with some drug to get him up for the show.

Side four is even patchier than side three was; now we're asked to believe that Pink goes to the show, hits the stage, and then starts thinking...he's at a Fascist rally and that he's a Fascist leader? What the fuck? Then he starts raving out commands to start "weed[ing] out the weaklings," and thinks he's leading the crowd to go kill people, until he then decides he wants to leave the show, and then goes through a Trial in his head in which he is commanded to tear down the wall. This is pure bullshit, and musically it's a joke. The one part of side four that I really love is the reprise of "In The Flesh," and even that's just revisiting side one again, except with faux-Nazi lyrics. I do also like "The Trial"; Roger does sound genuinely insane on the track, with all of the creepy different voices and all, and the twisted orchestral backing sounds like a musical in hell. But this is supposed to be an emotional statement? No way. All in all, the second disc is a truly shocking disappointment: that makes three great songs, another version of a great song that sounds practically identical, and a fascinating, scary, but ultimately ridiculous song. The rest is pretty much ready for the trash bin. Yeah, that includes "Is Anybody Out There?," which is just low voices, a bunch of atmospheric noises (some lifted directly from the "whale" section of "Echoes," for Christ's sake!), and a nice, but ultimately meaningless acoustic guitar part. Bullshit. Well, "Run Like Hell" is okay, I guess, but I think it's completely overrated; as it is, it's not a classic. Maybe they could have recycled it for "The Final Cut" with different lyrics. It'd be a better rocker than that bullshit "Not Now John" song, anyway.

Here's how you make "The Wall" a brilliant single disc album; a long single disc album, but nevertheless brilliant. Take almost all of the first disc, aside from "Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 3," which also adds nothing to the album, and keep most of the original sequencing. Actually, here:

1 In The Flesh?
2 The Thin Ice
3 Another Brick In The Wall, Part I
4 The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
5 Another Brick In The Wall, Part II
6 Mother
7 Goodbye Blue Sky
8 Empty Spaces
9 Young Lust
10 Hey You
11 One Of My Turns
12 Nobody Home
13 Don't Leave Me Now
14 Comfortably Numb
15 Goodbye Cruel World

You'd require a little editing from other songs here to make it flow, but surprisingly little. "Hey You" fits well after "Young Lust" as is; there's the click of the phone, then "Hey You" comes in. That could fit as a cry for help after Pink finds out his wife's cheating on him, but "the wall was too high" for him to say anything. Then the phone dialtone comes in and "One Of My Turns" can then go as is, as he's about to cheat with the groupie, but then goes apeshit instead. "Nobody Home" could have a little more "outside" noise from the end of "Is There Anybody Out There?" to make it flow a little better in the beginning, but there's nothing you need in order to flow straight into "Don't Leave Me Now," because it ends on the exact same note that "Don't Leave Me Now" begins with. Maybe assorted noises could be edited into the end of "Don't Leave Me Now" (like the "Time to go!" and the "Is there anybody out there?" from "Bring The Boys Back Home") to flow into "Comfortably Numb." Then crossfade "Comfortably Numb" with the ending noises from "Another Brick In The Wall, Part III" that, in turn, crossfade into "Goodbye Cruel World" and there you are, with a different and far more depressing storyline. Now, the end runs as is: Pink finds out his wife's cheating, nearly cheats, loses his mind instead, bemoans his loss, gets shot up with drugs by a doctor, and dies from the dosage. "Goodbye Cruel World" is practically a drug suicide note anyway, so there's not much left to the imagination.

So, I stand by my rating of B: this is a flawed classic, but bloated from self-indulgence. But, still something every fan of rock music should hear.

tad033@hotmail.com
Mark: 27 yrs later, after 2 much thot, and re: an earlier commenter's review of DARK SIDE, is it possible that THIS is the most overrated album of all time? Sure there's some immortally GREAT stuff on it, but (as yr earlier commenter said) drop out the theatrical structure & amazing production & whadda ya got? Ya got 1/2adozen great songs & THAT'S IT on a 2-CD (originally 2-LP) set. Hey, I LOVE "The Trial," "In the Flesh?' "Run Like Hell," "Comfortably Numb," "One of My Turns" & mayB 1 or 2 others (NOT "Another Brick in the Wall" tho) -- but what about all that other "connective" stuff that fills up the rest of the 80 minutes? Kinda gristle-y. Not an album U play 4 fun, or even 4 bullshit Ntertainment. Dserves mayB an 8 out of 10, don'tcha think? I'll B watching 4 the fallout over this. (& I'm certainly open 2 other nominees 4 Most Overrated -- PET SOUNDS? No way....) Gotten NE death threats lately? (I thot England was the only country where U could get killed in arguments over musical taste....)

7headedchicken@gmail.com
I'm really with you on this one. This is such a great album that it's hard to say anything critical about it, but I do agree with you that the carnivalesqueness of the last part is a bit off-putting. But the real problem I have is with the message at the end. Not that people aren't entitled to express their own opinions in art, oh no no no, we actually need more of that. I just happen to disagree with the idea that the best way to break down a person's obviously justifiable wall is to bang your heart against it, force them to go on trial and become naked before everyone. That sounds mean. I'd say it needs to be done with love, understanding, and patience. Now, that being said, there are some great lyrics on this album, and I happen to agree with the rest of the album's message wholeheartedly. The production is better than on Dark Side and the music is beatifully written and executed. Not to mention unique. If Pink Floyd were ever progressive, it was here. Just look at the grooves of the record - very resemblent of a classical record. (That could be due to the Beethovhen-like dynamics.) I've never called this their best album, but it does contain some of their best ever songs: any poor soul who hasn't heard "Another Brick In the Wall" and "Hey You" should hope to do so immediately. And don't get me wrong, I love Roger Waters' lyrics. It could even be that I'm misunderstanding the overall message. Perhaps the little "this is where we came in" thing at the end/beginning is meant to imply that if you come to this conclusion after reaching the previous profound realizations, then you will just end up back where you started. Who knows. Guess we'll have to ask Roger. And while we're at it, might as well ask Gilmour what dimension he visited to birth such originally timeless solos.

Add your thoughts?

The Wall Rehearsals - bootleg.
Rating = 9

Oh, you gotta hunt this one down - it's hilarious! It's the gang preparing for one of the Wall concerts. What do the Floyd sound like when they think nobody's listening? Like this! With Roger whining about a bad mix or lack of sufficient sound effects every few seconds, and Dave playing along like a trooper. I have a lot more to say about this, but my fingers hurt from squeezing pus out of my pimples all night.

Come on man, I'm just kidding. Buttock pimples are a special form of acne that should be cherished and not popped. No, never pop it. Worship it, taste it and love it, but NEVER pop a buttock pimple.

The best part of this CD is right at the beginning of the loud part of "One of my Turns," when Roger sings the stirring lines, "RUN TO THE BEDROOM! IN THE SUIT.... I need more drums in these cams... AXE!" Ooh! I also love the bit in "Hey You" where the band suddenly stops playing and this hilarious dialogue takes place:

Roger: (sing-songy voice dripping with sarcasm) Dave? Why did you stop playing?
Dave: (sing-songy voice dripping with sarcasm) I didn't. Nick did.
Roger: (sing-songy voice dripping with sarcasm) Why did Nick stop playing?
Dave: (in pissed off, serious tone of voice) I don't know. ASK HIM.
Roger: (in even more pissed off tone of voice) All right. LET'S CARRY ON.

Ha! Buy it, you frig!

Is it true that "frig" is a term for female masturbation? If so, it's no wonder Mrs. Freels got so mad at me that one time!

Add your thoughts?

The Final Cut - Columbia 1983.
Rating = 9

Not a Pink Floyd album; rather, a Roger Waters solo album that says "Pink Floyd" on it cuz David Gilmour plays a boring guitar solo in every song. But dang, what a fantastic Roger Waters solo album! It's about the Falklands War in particular, and the effects of war on a man and his family in general. Yeah, bad sentence. Ignore; continue reading.

I'm not much of a "lyric" guy by trade, but these words are so sorrowful, personal, and right on the money emotionally that they're impossible to ignore. Plus his voice is really high in the mix, but we'll disregard that for now. Examples, you ask? From "The Hero's Return": "Sweetheart sweetheart, are you fast asleep? Good. / 'Cos that's the only time that I can really speak to you." From "Paranoid Eyes": "You believed in their stories of fame, fortune, and glory / Now you're lost in a haze of alcohol-soft middle age / The pie in the sky turned out to be miles too high / And you hide hide hide behind brown and mild eyes." From "The Final Cut": "Through the fish-eyed lens of tear-stained eyes / I can barely define this moment in space and time / And far from flying high in clear blue skies / I'm spiraling down to the hole in the ground where I hide." And that's just a teensy iota of what you'll hear on this baby - "A Requiem For The Post-War Dream." The war to end all wars ended nothing. Wars will continue, soldiers will fall for lies of heroism and end up frightened shells of their former selves, and in the end, none of it will matter because, as Roger sings in "Two Suns In The Sunset" (one is a nuclear explosion), "Ashes and diamonds / Foe and friend / We were all equal in the end."

This is a beautiful album. Mostly played on piano (but not by Rick Wright; he got fired, remember?) with tons of sound effects and pointless snatches of Gilmour guitar piled on top, the emphasis is clearly on the words. Good thing they're good. Real good. Both the title track and "Paranoid Eyes" make me cry every time I hear them. It should have been huge, but... well, it didn't ROCK, I guess. "Not Now John" tries to be a rocker (so it blows), but the rest is untoppable. It would have been a fine good-bye from one of the greatest musical groups of all time, but I guess ol' Dave just didn't wanna quit.

Reader Comments

odie@cts.com (Edward J. O'Shea)
Simply speaking, "two suns in the sunset" is one of the few songs I've listened to enough times to memorize the words and still consistently send chills up my spine every time!

bcarney@iworksys.com (Bryan Carney)
Your words regarding The Final Cut gave me back the respect for you that I lost reading your Who reviews.

mprohner@digiconn.com
Being someone who has listened to the album several times, surely you can recognize in your review at least once that a good majority (or at least half) of the music sounds like either blatent ripoff from The Wall or recycled music. Or, it could be evidence of a band that had stopped moving forward (like most bands today, who follow their albums with albums that sound virtually the same).

I almost want to say that this album is a continuation of The Wall using out-takes or removed ideas from the same album. As if the music was written at the same time, and the lyrics were changed later to what Roger was feeling at the time of its release. Like an excuse for a soapbox to shout from. By now, if you haven't found one, you want an example... gladly.

Listen to 'The Final Cut'. Now listen to 'Comfortably Numb.' See what I mean? How about 'The Hero's Return..' Listen to 'Another Brick in the Wall, part 2' or 'Run Like Hell' (or half the rest of The Wall that rolls along at comparable speed). See what I mean? Another thing... Listen to about half the songs on The Final Cut, then listen to the organs in 'In the Flesh.'

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't knock the album... but it's certainly only worth half the rating you gave it. It's not much a creative work, at all. However, it does remain one of my most often listened-to Floyd albums (even over The Wall.)

hawkins@alphalink.com.au (Alan Hawkins)
One of Roger Waters' best ever solo records!!!! Why on earth is "Pink Floyd" printed on the cover though????

dante@kingcon.com (Robert M. Montgomery)
To address the last commentary first, this was as much a Pink Floyd album as any other if for no other reason than a legal obligation to a record contract. As the liner notes point out, this was "a requiem for the post war dream by Roger Waters," performed by Pink Floyd (David, Nick and Rog' only... by this time Rick had left the group, the reason for which is irrelevant) with many studio additions, including Michael Kamen on piano. They were still a rock group, even if they were spending little time in the studio together; if you believe the interviews with both David and Rog' on the recording process.

On lyrical front, this is some of Rog's finest lyrical work, period. I am a staunch Rog' supporter for his work (the David vs. Rog' argument is anal and boring after 14 years, so I don't bother), and this is some of his most creative, intelligent and touching work. The use of socio-political references is brilliant in context with the smaller issues involved. His ability to connect the worldly and the mundane daily toils of life is fantastic and made more incredible by his elevation of the entire premise to inspiring levels. In my heart of hearts, this is my favorite album to listen to anywhere.

Musically, this is standard fare later PF sounding material. For Rog' the music had become nothing more than a vehicle for his words. When the music works, the lyrics are awe inspiring, and when it's not so good (but still better than 90% of any of the crap out there now), the lyrics save it from fading into the background. I've heard arguments for years about the strength of the band's musical talent, and there are valid points both ways, but it's important to remember that the PF sound is just that: a complete sound. It must be taken as such, for a realistic understanding. Judging David's solos on TFC against those on, say, The Wall, is ridiculous, in that there was at least three years difference between those albums and his growth as a player only suffers when judged next to Rog's growth as a writer and poet. Yes, I said poet. However, since poetry is so subjective, I only judge that by my own standards (that of a guy with a Bachelor's in Literature).

This will always be my favorite album. I respect the brilliance of Dark Side, as sterile as I find it after what seems like a billion listens, and Wish You Were Here, which remains a perennial favorite for me. However, there is a spark--a flame, even-- of the lyrical fire that was developing within Rog' that is simply not yet developed prior to this album. The Wall? Sure, he's fired up and screaming, but it only hints at the gift he possess. I love The Wall (movie and album), and think it's incredible as a complete work (as an aside, I like the Who also, but Tommy pales in comparison to this, plot and all; especially with poor Elton John in that dreadful movie version), but The Final Cut is more acceptable and real.

One more thing, as a solo artist, Rog' has been much maligned over the years, wrongfully so. As melodramatic as Pros and Cons can be (it feels like the lyrical and musical sibling of TFC to me), and as goofy 80s Radio KAOS can come across as, they are both fantastic albums lyrically and intellectually. Amused to Death is the finest album of the group, of course, and stands as his greatest complete work in my mind. Those of you whine about his solo albums (I'd wager the subtlies and lyrical references are lost on your lot), try listening to a Nick Mason solo album some time... it's the proof that Rog' was writing most of them material after Syd's dubious departure.

DANMOORE@Prodigy.net
This is the only Floyd album I can't get into. It is too boring and most of the songs I can't tell apart. "The Hero's Return" is the only exciting song on the album. Pink Floyd would not have been as big without Dave, who was the band's melodic genius.

arnoldnicholas@hotmail.com
Again, Waters dealing with the death of his father. "Tell me true/ Tell me why/ Was Jesus crucified/ Is it for this that daddy died?" is the opening verse of the album. The Final Cut works on many different levels. A cry out against his father's death and a cry out against the larger problem of what he saw as tyrants in the post-war world. "The Fletcher Memorial Home" for example calls for the "final solution" to be applied to the worlds leaders who mire the world in eternal conflict. (Fletcher, by the way, was Roger's father's name).

robertk@jove.acs.unt.edu (Robert Linus Koehl)
I have to say it again . . . I CANT STAND ROGER WATERS AND I THINK THEY'RE MUCH BETTER OFF WITHOUT HIM!!!!!!!!!!!! If it weren't for Mike Kaman this album would have REALLY sucked. I don't care much for this album. The music is good, but without Wright, it's not Pink Floyd. It also contains the only Gilmour playing that I actually DONT like. By the way, Water's solo career redefined the word CRAP. His DOA album was perfectly titled. As if you couldn't tell by now, I don't care much for Waters.

megaman684@aol.com (Vincent Hedrick)
Compared to The Wall,Animals, Wish You Were Here, and Dark Side of the Moon, I think this one is the weakest. The only tracks I liked were the first 3 vor 4, the rest of the album sucked. It shouldn't have got that high of a rating. Its not even a pink floyd record.

Letson@aol.com (Pete Williams)
I have to agree with the irreverent Mr Prindle that this is indeed Roger's finest lyrical moment. While I have no interest whatsoever in any of the Roger v. Dave arguments and can't say that I really enjoy any of either's solo work, I think that this was an excellent effort by the two. I enjoy quite a bit of the guitar on the record. I don't think Dave's a hack, I think he just does his thing, over and over. As for the misguided gentleman that sees this record as some sort of scrap heap from The Wall, I totally disagree. The lyrics are so complete on their own I just see it as a further developing of Roger's feelings about Eric Fletcher Waters. It takes some serious guts to lay out the sort of thing that Roger does on this record and the emotional intensity is not matched in any other work that he has done, with or without the group. To think that the focus got any sharper than the writing on The Wall is amazing. In fact, when it was time to sell things from my collection all the Floyd went except for this one. It's not that those other records are bad or irrelevant it's just that The Final Cut is the one I always go to. I've heard The Wall and Darkside enough to live without them for awhile, I'll never do without The Final Cut, it means that much to me.

prblack@netins.net
Anyone who has listened to this album, and is not moved to tears by Roger screaming 'Hold on to the Dream' is simply not human. In my opinion Pink Floyd peaked from Dark Side of the Moon to The Final Cut. Without Roger, its just doesn't do it for me.

dunciad@bc.sympatico.ca (Animal)
and you left out the repeated "no one kills the children anymore" from "A Gunner's Dream." No bombast, no venom, no anger, no fury could have condemned war as vehemently as this simple, tragic statement. this is the only line in the history of recorded music that makes me weep. the rest of the album may be only a shadow of The Wall, but that one song elevates it above anything else Floyd did.

cliffnorth@localaccess.com (TAD)
Yes, the title track is gorgeous & moving -- perfect, really. The whole album is beautifully produced by James Guthrie and Bob Ezrin (who both had a hand in THE WALL -- & Ezrin helped punch-up Kiss & Alice Cooper in the past). & I think "Not Now John"'s purposeful obscenity is purty fuckin funny. But 40 minutes of this really drags. I know it meant a lot to Roger, but it was clearly time 2 quit.

Not sure about the "hugeness" issue. ROLLING STONE gave this album a RAVE review when it came out, calling it "the capstone of progressive rock," or words 2 that effect, & seems 2 me FINAL CUT made it 2 about Number 2 on the national charts & etc. Course after DARK SIDE & THE WALL, Number 2 is not that big a deal, eh...?

terry@launchnet.com (Terry Haggin)
I forgot to review this one. How could I do that? What was better in 1983? Huh! I'll tell you what, nothin' It was the years best work or was Henley's 3 album done here? Don't remember.

Anyways, I loved it, it is an excellent, amazing, personal, surprising, brilliant work of art. Art I said. That wasn't a typo. My contension is that this album is sound art. An aural Picasso. Maybe even more so than the Wall. Too bad it is based on Britian's epic struggle against that beef-etn, cholestrol-veined terror Argentina. Not exactly a universal theme like the insanity of man in Dark Side. (To solve that little problem I just substitute Argentina with France in my mind and it makes it an even better album for me. Those frog-eatin, hairy armpitted, ooooh la las know what being conquered means after all.)

But it must have meant something to RW. From the first to the last, I got the feeling that it was pure Roger Prozac. I would think that if you asked him, Mr. Waters would say this was the best work he ever did. Just ask him , I heard he loves to talk to his ever lovin' fandom.

Back to the grooves... Here the special effects really seem to fit in with the songs rather than distract you from them. The "Gunners Dream" and "Paranoid eyes' are especially great. In fact, let's just go down the list one by one: I'll even use that cool no capitals font that the Floyd used...

the final cut

the post war dream: great lyrics and opening but he slams the japanese which I personally didn't care for. it's not their fault they work harder and smarter than the lazy, warm-beer swilling brits do. a 9 for the open... now on to

your possible pasts: only alright, with some sappy-swirley keyboards. kind of drags here so a 5...

one of the few: a 10+. here the album starts really cooking. totally amazing, brilliant special effects with the clock ticking into a ear-drum shattering guitar smash, called,

the hero's return: one of the best floyd songs ever. here roger's "desperate memories" lie, another 10.

the gunners dream: another gem, just listen to it and you will have to agree with me. esp, the part where he says, "a place to stay, enough to eat" through until the end it is mr. pessimistic at his peak. 10.

paranoid eyes: one of the great headphone songs ever. plus it always makes you want to cry at the thought of "soft middle age". however i still lift weights 3 times a week so there rog, stick it. 10 again.

get your filthy hands of my desert: short and so what, 8

the fletcher memorial home: he hits the nail right on the head here, a bitter dead-on tirade against the bloated, blind politicians of america, england and argentina. all the same. this one is so accurate it is pitiful and hilarious at the same time. a 9.

southhampton dock: every veteran would love it. and it must have been very painful for roger to do because of his own dad and all. a 9.

the final cut: comfortably numb 2 but not as great. i like it but not as much as many of the others. an 8.

not now john: one word. boring. oh 2 words.. why? a 5. this album's 'money' song.

now the end... to the albums greatest song in my humble opinion, the superb, 2 suns in the sunset. one of the top 3 floyd songs ever and the perfect ending to the album. it captures perfect the power of the album and makes you think of the horror of nuclear war better than any other song, book, poem or anything except an old war video. it can be summed up in one line..

"the wire that holds the cork, that keeps the anger in, gives way, and suddenly, its day again." this line is too brilliant for the word brilliant. the greatest floyd lyric in any song. plus the great sax solo until it fades out into nothing. 10++++

all in all this album gets a 9.5, the only semi flaws are 'your possible pasts' and 'not now john' but i can listen to it all the way through over and over with out getting tired. did i say i love this one yet? well i do. pick it up, let it spin, and you will see it is one of the forgotten gems of the floyd era. most floydians think the dream ended at the Wall but i think it ended here. From 1982 on, floyd has been a disgrace to its legacy. Hey Gilmour, listen to Money again, it might teach you something. How much you got anyway? You greedy blankety black. quit!

stoo@imsa.edu (John McFerrin)
I did these for the Moodies already, now here are my Floyd ratings. Similar to yours, just a point off here and there

Piper: 9
Saucerful of Secrets: 8
More: 7
Ummagumma: 9
Relics: 9
Atom Heart Mother: 8
Meddle: 8 (San Tropez and Seamus: bleh)
Obscured by Clouds: 8 (Nothing really great, but nothing awful; similiar to The Present)
Dark Side of the Moon: 10 (I'm sorry, but everything on it rules)
Wish You Were Here: 9
Animals: 9 (This came close to taking the 10)
The Wall: 8 (I love it, and I know that most people think of this when they think of Pink Floyd, but too often, it seems to sag a bit with filler)
The Final Cut: 8 (I wanted to give it a 9, but Not Now John drags it down)

Oh, btw, a neat little synchronicity that nobody here has mentioned; I've tried it for myself, so I know that it works. Program Meddle to play Echoes, One of These Days, Pillow of Winds, Fearless, in that order, on endless repeat. While watching Fantasia, start the CD as the conductor is fading to red and the animation begins. Is very cool

jtcable@tir.com (Josh Cable)
This really was supposed to be their last album. It should have been. Instead of planning the ressurection of Pink Floyd, Dave should have focused on more of the music. Sad to say, a lot of the tunage on this one is really not quite memorable. It all just kinda falls into the background. There are certain moments in every song where the music really helps, but it's mostly not as great as all the rest of their past stuff. And the fact that this is such a powerful lyrics album only puts the music into more contrast.

Actually, this does indeed sound like someone stole a few notes and riffs and such from the Wall. And could you blame them? The band was on its deathbed. The title alone says it all, "The Final Cut." Too bad it wasn't.

And I guess you could say that the idea for the album came from the Wall, but it only seems to me that it was a continuation of a larger theme from the Wall (and, technically, Wish You Were Here, seeing as how the title track from it somewhat alludes to the same subject of Fletcher Waters). The whole idea being of course, that Roger has a nice little plan for the world leaders that indeed "mire our world in eternal conflict." And also goes into detail about how the loss from a pointless war/battle can easily destroy someone's life, and goes into amazing detail at the trials and tribulations of an everyday life. It really surpasses anything else made about the subject of war. Ever.

The best part of the album is easily the lyrics, I don't care what any poofy Styx-loving Swediefag says about Michael Ga(y)man. Roger is the star of this album, like The Wall. He's the only reason why this albume exists. Sorta. Well, this probably would have been a solo album anyways.

Uh, anyway. Good album. Maybe lacking musically, but not by much. To me, this really was their final album. Pink Floyd without Roger Waters is a fucking joke. Literally. Pink Floyd without Roger Waters. What the fuck are they thinking? Roger Waters, the guy who practically invented DSOTM, WYWH, Wall, and this, almost single-handedly. What the fuck?

Oops, almost forgot. Not Now John is ok. I, in my mind, think it was intentionally made to come off as a corperate rocker type thing. Scads of backup singers, some wierd echoy effect. Just like Young Lust. But as a song itself, it does a good job of expanding the story, and is pretty funny in a few parts ("Oi, where's the fucking bar John!?"). I really don't think it drags anything down. But that's me.

cybercafe@v-wave.com (cybercafe)
The final cut was assembled out of odds and ends left over from The Wall. The plot reflects the origins of the majority of material. (the protagonist is the School teacher from the wall who returns from wwII to a society not able to reabsorb the emotionally scarred vet.) Your possible pasts, The gunners dream and the title track are highlights. This album is really Roger Waters supported by David Gilmour.

imoss@northernlight.com (Ian Moss)
I think my mom picked this up at a yard sale or something and I listened to it once through...didn't make much of an impression on me. Interestingly, though, "Not Now John" was the only song that stuck in my memory at all.

Nick.Walford@nettec.net
this is another amazing album, and sorely underrated by many. the opening of 'southampton dock' brings me to tears every time I hear it - it portrays the sense of loss so strongly. I agree about 'not now john' though, it doesn't rock like it should and sounds kinda forced.

can you say, 'get your filthy hands off my desert!'

sillydor@optonline.net (Steven Silodor)
I am unsure why so many people identify with The Final Cut but have difficulty appreciating Pros and Cons. As I explained in my posting on Music Babble, Mark, Pros and Cons chronicles "the Blues" of a lonesome traveler on the road of dreams who is trying to find a significant other with whom he can feel completely secure. As cybercafe above points out, The Final Cut literally is musical left-overs from The Wall, which is why David Gilmour was not fond of the project. I would not call either of them particularly musically creative. You, however, really like The Final Cut. Perhaps, you and other guys like to identify with the war veteran looking back on U.S., U.K. and his own affairs in despair, yet attempting to attain some integrity. Picture the old soldier graduating beyond his "Paranoid Eyes" to realize the universal pain and struggle we all go through in our attempt to be loving as reflected in "Every Strangers' Eyes" from the Pros and Cons. It is difficult sometimes to swim in Roger's currents of self-absorption and self-pity, but one is rewarded, hopefully, by "a moment of clarity" into these emotionally unifying experiences.

I hope that you can mature beyond your narrow experiential foci and see with greater clarity and integrity how the artistic achievement of all of Roger's works can reach its listeners.

Jcjh20@aol.com
I like this album a lot. The lyrics are great of course, but i also love the music. Very pretty, and evokative and goes along with the lyrics very well. I love the title track, and "Fletcher Memorial Home" the most. I agree with the 9.

jbhippie@hotmail.com (James Hippie)
In spite of my ridiculous name (a cruel trick played on me by my parents at birth that probably more than anything pushed me into punk rock) most people are surprised when I admit to being a huge Pink Floyd fan. Yeah, there was a year or so in high school when I took way too many drugs and passed the time trying to decode the subtle nuances of The Wall while my girlfriend screamed from under the bed, a nylon surfer wallet jammed tightly under her tongue while in the throes of some kind of lysergic-induced hell because she thought Roger Waters was speaking directly to her. I love all of their albums, from the Renaissance Faire psychedelia of Piper At The Gates Of Dawn to the psych 101 bombast of the aforementioned The Wall and everything in between, but I was still completely astounded that so many people not only defend The Final Cut but actually maintain that they enjoy it! The Final Cut is the worst elements of The Wall writ large - shrill, tuneless chest-beating from a songwriter disappearing in a fetid cloud of pomposity up his own ass. I'm sure that the songs on The Final Cut meant a great deal to Roger Waters, but it is painfully obvious that by the time they recorded this album his sense of objectivity regarding his music had completely abandoned him. He had already driven poor drug-addled Rick Wright out of the band using CIA mind control techniques involving carefully doctored videotapes purporting to show Roger buggering Dave Gilmore and Nick Mason, and the next logical step would have involved liquidating Gilmore and Mason themselves and replacing them with a sound effects record. Hey, I think the post-Waters Floyd is a fucking embarrassment (the only reason it exists is to give drunk college freshmen a place to get to second-base with dimwitted Women's Studies majors when the Dave Matthews Band isn't in town), but can you imagine how much worse it would have been if he had stayed with the group? Were you really looking forward to a Roger Waters spoken-word opus about the Peloponnesian War, or a musical version of Margaret Mead's Coming Of Age In Samoa with a libretto by Jim Steinman? Actually, I might like to see that last one myself. . . .

The Final Cut is a painfully bleak and depressing ending to one of the more interesting and consistently inventive bands ever. Take the pins out of your Dave Gilmore voodoo doll and go back and listen to one of their good albums, like Animals or Wish You Were Here. Or take seven hits of that good Ronald Reagan acid while listening to Radio K.A.O.S. and tell yourself that Roger Waters and Jim Ladd really understand you. Doesn't really matter what you do, 'cause we all know that eventually the original Pink Floyd will reunite for a lucrative tour and pay per view special which will rake in more money than the annual GNP of most Third-World countries, allowing Roger Waters to rise to the throne as King of Europe as described in the Book of Revelations, and then we'll all be fucked!

spinaltomek@hotmail.com
ah...not for me...very much in the mood of pink floyd, but this time roger didn´t care about hiding behind a big metaphoric story, he just makes it totally clear that this is his therapy for his trauma of growing up without a father.
there are a lot of ideas, and good ones as well, but the format of the wall with all the stops and just a very few real songs, a lot of noise in between doesn´t work so well. maybe the words are great, but the music isn´t so much. at times it is really good and you think like: "oh wow, this sounds cool, i hope they gonna hit the cymbals NOW and start to rock for a climax"....but they don´t. and by the way, they: how is this? for me this doesn´t sound like a band album. although nick and david play here and they do a good job, you can hear that they are annoyed with rogers ego trip. they just don´t pull off so much creativity as they did on the last four albums. they just don´t care and you can here it.
and the stuff the guest musicians contributed is just standard saxophone solos and loveless keyboard shit. mr wright was good, you know? not a very very good player, technically, but he knew what worked good, and that´s why you are a famous musician.
and yea, the whole stopping thing annoys me. they just fade out when it starts to be interesting. so what? why record songs without climax. and they are not long enough to stick in your head. it´s more like "left overs from the wall tunes with more obvious lyrics DEMOS".
you don´t need it. it´s interesting for the band´s history (everything after this is a colossal waste of money), and maybe the lyrics are good, but who cares?
not me, i´m a foreigner, fuck lyrics. good night

steve.robey@mindspring.com
The Final Cut is a masterful work of lyric writing, but I'd like to focus on my favorite track, "Paranoid Eyes", for a moment. It's hard to describe how affecting this song is... but I'll try. Ever gone through a period when you're so incurably sad about the world in general that no matter how hard you try to escape the dark cloud above your head, you just can't shake it? It's truly a case of you against the world... even your best friends seem like strangers to you somehow. That's the sense I get from the protagonist of this song - he "puts on his brave face" and goes down to the pub to forget his worries, but ends up "laughing too loud" (a nice phrase depicting his thinly disguised nervousness and anxiety) as he hides "behind petrified eyes." I've felt that way before and it's a truly helpless feeling.

I notice a similar sentiment in Pink's character in "Nobody Home" from The Wall. Except by this time, he'd almost completely lost touch with reality (much more so than the guy in The Final Cut) and idly wastes time plonking on the piano and watching TV. All the while there's an all-engulfing sadness underneath that keeps him completely inaccessible to the outside world. Will the Final Cut character end up like this? In the title track, he comes very close to committing suicide, and then (skipping over Not Now John, as I usually do) hits an eerily dispassionate sense of resignation in "Two Suns in the Sunset", as he sighs that immortal couplet which closes the album: "Ashes and diamonds / Foe and friend / We were all equal in the end." Beautiful, yet sad.

bredfield@rochester.rr.com
It’s tough for me to say what is the best Pink Floyd or Roger Waters effort, they all have their own meaning to me. For some reason if I am feeling down, I like to listen to the Final Cut. I will never forget around 85 when I realized that the Fletcher memorial was for his father Eric Fletcher Waters. The album is a masterpiece and a great accompanying piece to the Wall.

Roger’s solo albums are actually my favorite material. I am married now, but anytime I had a relationship issue, I used to put on the Pro’s and Con’s of hitchhiking. “F’ it then, take the kids back town, maybe I’ll see you around…” The whole story is just very well written. The final lyrics always make my eyes water, “but then, I had a little bit of luck, you were awake, I couldn’t take another moment alone”. It is another excellent concept album!! Not to mention Eric Clapton on guitar. I have a couple of shows from the tour, he played the whole album start to finish.

Radio Kaos also has an excellent concept. Read the liner notes. “Can you see the whites of their headlights, are they coming yet.” I only have one show from this tour. Sounds good, radio concept show.

The long awaited Amused to Death did not disappoint at all. I was the only person in line at a local record store the morning it came out. They opened the gate, I asked if they had the new Roger Waters, and the girl said, “Who?”. Once again excellent concept, including the album art. Hmm… What do think he is trying to say. Anyway, powerful songs/lyrics. Jeff Beck on guitar. Wow… He never toured. He has played a song or two on every tour since 2000.

Unfortunately Roger’s voice has deteriorated. He cannot hit the notes any more. I assume all those screams and wails are what killed his voice anyway. Dave G still sounds good, but as you can tell, I am a Roger fan. There should be a new album in the next year or two. From what I have read, it is an add-on to Pro’s and Con’s.


tomplotkin@sbcglobal.net
Wow. Roger Water's prophesy that Maggie Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were going to blow up the world in a nuclear war was so on the money, the guy was a regular Nostradamus. I;m glad he was the only survivor of that Holocaust, and we're all dead now. Seriously, leave it to a gazillionaire Marxist who's never worked a day in his life and is utterly cut off from reality to come up with such tripe. I really don't want to hear social commentary from someone who by all accounts is one of the most personally hateful human beings who ever picked up a bass. Ditto for the John Lennon of "Imagine," my least favorite pop song ever. "Imagine no possessions," my butt. The guy owned one of the swankiest and most readily identifiable pieces of property in NYC (an apartment in the Dakota), and look what it did for him. If Lennon had lived in a bathroom on Avenue D, as Johnny Thiunders probably did contemporaneously, Chapman would likely never have found him and he'd still be alive; but no, John had to have the coolest, most expensive address in the city...He should have taken up his own advice about the no possessions. I rest my case.

Add your thoughts?

A Momentary Lapse Of Reason - Columbia 1987.
Rating = 4

Roger Waters disbanded Pink Floyd immediately after completion of The Final Cut, but dumb ol' Dave Gilmour decided he wanted to keep the name! (After all, why would anybody buy a "David Gilmour" album?) After a heated court battle, Dave won, grabbed Nick Mason (and later, Rick Wright), and sat down to try to write a bunch of songs that resembled Pink Floyd. Unfortunately, without Roger around to say, "Hey! This sounds like The Alan Parsons Project!," the results were alarmingly dull.

Song-for-song? Okay! "Signs of Life" starts it off by trying to recreate the moody sound-effect-laden feel from the beginning of The Dark Side Of The Moon; it's okay, but stupid. Then "Learning To Fly" comes in; it's a little dull, but at least memorable. I still kinda like it. "The Dogs Of War," on the other hand, is the absolute worst song ever written by anybody who was never a member of the Eagles. It's supposed to be a tough rip-off of "One Of These Days," but it's played on a stupid violiny keyboard and it doesn't go anywhere! Then there's "One Slip," which, aside from the "Time" rip-off at the beginning, is actually a truly catchy pop song. In fact, were it on a Gilmour solo album, I would point to its title on the sleeve and remark, "Now that's a good pop song!" As it is, I just say, "Ewwww! That last song, "The Dogs Of War," really sucked!" "On The Turning Away" was a hit, but it's dull as auto racing - especially the nine-hour guitar solo at the end.

Then side two is just atrocious. My brother says that half of it sounds like Kenny G., and the remainder like the background music of a "Hunter" episode. I can't argue. "Yet Another Movie" and "Sorrow" have a combined total of about one chord, "A New Machine" is an unfathomably moronic "futuristic-voice-through-a-machine" segue, and "Terminal Frost," regardless of the pleasant piano line, does sound a crap of a lot like Kenny G. (Hey! Look at that! "Crap" and "Kenny G." in the same sentence! Just like old times!). So there you go. "Learning To Fly," "One Slip," and the pleasant piano line in "Terminal Frost" - the rest is garbage. Especially the lyrics: "The babbling that I brook?" "Dogs of war and men of hate / With no cause, we don't discriminate?" Bleah.

To be fair, however, I should point out that Roger Waters's first solo album, The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking, may very well be the worst album I've ever owned. Substituting sound effects and Eric Crapton guest solos for actual melodies, he spouts out some moronic drivel about marital infidelity as you sit speechless in front of your stereo wondering, "How in the world did this lameass write The Final Cut less than a year ago?" If I still owned Pros And Cons, I'd review it here and give it a 1. His second album, Radio KAOS, isn't quite as atrocious, but it's still undeniably poorly-thought-out. I'd give it a 4, I think. And I never heard his live re-recording of The Wall (dumb idea) or Amused To Death, but rumor has it that they're not terribly innovative. If you've heard 'em, let me know!

Reader Comments

leonard@lyco.lycoming.edu (Brian Leonard)
Mark (and anyone else...), I HIGHLY recommend that you go to your friendly local video shop (VisArt?) and rent Roger Waters' The Wall Live at the Berlin Wall. It is an absolutely perfect visualization of the album (unlike the Bob Geldof film), with great guest spots (the only time I haven't minded Bryan Adams), incredible direction (just when you're thinking, "I'd like to see...", the video cuts or zooms to the shot you're thinking of), and a genuinely moving ending (with an additional song--from Radio K.A.O.S., I think). I don't know if it's worth buying the audio recording--but you've gotta see the video!

anyone@tiptoe.fhda.edu
Amused To Death is a GREAT album. Excellent - Buy it! It sucks a lot the 1st few times, but then grows on you. rog has gone back to the anti-war theme. Brilliantly, of course.

monkey37@localnet.com (Scott Moore)
I hated this the first time I listened to it. It has a cast of many brilliant, talented artists, but somehow magically managed to put out only a mediocre album, even with a trunk of talent to pull from that was bigger than Roseanne's waist-line. "One Slip," "The Turning Away," and "Learning To Fly" are good songs. I like the intro song, but it sounds like it was mixed in the basement of a 7-eleven, using a slushy machine, a blender, and some gray tape. "Terminal Frost" is good, but still the album could have been SO MUCH BETTER. After a few zillion listens, this is a good relaxation album, with good riffs and section. It can be as annoying at times as Kerry Trug on helium, but there are good parts in every song, even though it is virtually impossible to trace the talent to the artist(s) responsible for it.

DougS@aol.com
God they suck now.....

mprohner@digiconn.com
I think if they had taken their time, this album would have been as good as Division Bell (not that that's saying much, but if it had happened maybe Division Bell would have been better).

Here's my take on the whole situation: Everyone gets older, bands get older as their members do. They get older, they mature, they change. Sad fact of life, but I think almost every band around today that's been around as long as Floyd is not writing new material that is anywhere near as good as their older material. It's a simple trend. I even think that if Roger joined the band today, and they released an album in a year or two, we probably wouldn't see too much of a change. Then again, we could be optimistic and cross our fingers, rub a lamp, and wish for Roger and Floyd to kiss and make up and be friends again, and wish for another great album on par with Wish you Were Here or Animals, and still have some change to work with in case they fuck up after THAT. Too bad, though.

Roger's Amused to Death album is about a six in my book. I can't follow the whole thing like I do most Floyd albums, but what I do like I tend to like quite a lot.

hawkins@alphalink.com.au (Alan Hawkins)
Whilst looking at the liner notes of A momentary lapse of reason you might notice that this record was recorded by NINETEEN different musicians at EIGHT different studios in Los Angeles and London!!!!!! "Too many cooks spoiling the broth" perhaps???....no, more like,"What were these cooks doing in the kitchen in the first place???!!!!!" ( 3 out of 10.)

arnoldnicholas@hotmail.com
Granted post-Waters Floyd isn't at anywhere near the level of DSotM, Animals or The Final Cut but you still have to give Gilmour and company some credit. They have still produced music that, while not as thought provoking or intellectual as before the split, still combines excellent guitar riffs, eerie aural images and meaningful lyrics.

robertk@jove.acs.unt.edu (Robert Linus Koehl)
Well . . . um . . . er . . . I'm glad Roger is gone. I'm glad that the other three guys are happy and making music that THEY enjoy. Nobody likes a control freak. So I'm glad that the other three guys chose to continue when Roger's head got so big that he thought he could just declare that they would simply make music no more. When this album came out, I was about 11 years old, and I still remember how everyone went crazy over it. I love "Learning to Fly" and "Sorrow." They are unforgettable numbers. The rest of the album is good. It's not awe-inspiring like early Floyd or Division Bell, but it's still good. Four points? Eh . . . I'd have given it six. Oh, and Delicate Sound of Thunder was mind numbing indeed. Definitely a second rate concert. Just buy PULSE instead. It's much better. video is cool too. Momentary Lapse wasnt exactly Floyd at their best, but hey, better things were about to come.

Division Bell came and showed us all that Gilmour Floyd is every bit as good as Waters Floyd, possibly even better. By the way, stay FAR away from Roger's live remake of the Wall. It will absolutely destroy that album for you.

Burney2061@aol.com
A four compared to other Pink Floyd? Maybe. Compared to music in general? No way, it wold be a bit higher. I like listening to this when the fellas are over and we are playing cards, nicely relaxing... Also, The Wall live is total horse shit.

Gleeman555@aol.com
It's alright. 6 out of 10. And Mark I would HIGHLY recomend the Roger Waters album AMUSED TO DEATH. It is genius! (no I can't explain the others but..)

charles.chamberlain@pwgsc.gc.ca (Chuck Chamberlain)
I found the album OK - but a definite decline with the loss of Roger. To me, Floyds just ain't the same.

stoo@imsa.edu (John McFerrin)
Guh. I like the first half, sort of. I mean, Learning to Fly is kinda cool, and One Slip is terrific, and I even like On the Turning Away. Even if it is kinda dull, for once the dullness actually seems to work. However, Dogs of War is horrid beyond words. Without it, the first half would get a 7, maybe even an 8, but as is, gets a low 6.

Then we have the second half. The worst half of any album I've ever heard. I mean, wretched does not begin to describe it. A New Machine SUCKS. And the lyrics are AWFUL. The second half gets a 1, maybe a 1.5 for the piano line in TF. That comes out to about a 3.75. What a horrendous album.

cybercafe@v-wave.com (cybercafe)
A momentary Lapse of Reason is a Public Healing Session for the two official members of the band as well as an errant Rick Wright. This one is a David Gilmour Solo effort in all but name. Not the best, but has a helluva high point (that being Sorrow)

lblake@utpress.utoronto.ca (Laura Blake)
Mark to dismiss Amused To Death is not listening to one of the top three concept albuma of all time. Dark side of the moon,The wall and Amused to death, in the top five of all time.

Jcjh20@aol.com
I agree with the rating. Some pretty good, enjoyable songs ("Learning To Fly", "On The Turning Away", "One Slip"), but overall i couldnt get into this one at all. It's definatly better then Division Bell at least, though.

z_pal@hotmail.com
Am I the only one who loves this album? For me Lapse of Reason is definitely one of Pink Floyd's best records. The songs posess typical Floydian atmospheres (Yet Another Movie is pure Bladerunner) and Phenomenal solos. Each one of them's unique, interseting and there's a fine flow to the record as a whole. Ok, sure it's not the original four. It's basically Nick, Dave and 18 hired musicians, but that is irrelevant. Compared to Darkside of The Moon this album is even darker. 9/10

Wadedh14@aol.com
No, z_pal, you're not the only one who loves this album.

I like "Signs of Life" a lot; it's kinda eerie and happy-sounding at the same time. "Learning to Fly" is very much good, with some great guitar work. Four words: "The Dogs of War". My dear friend made me a copy of this CD, and this is one of the ones I wanted to hear the most...mainly because you [Mark] and pretty much everyone else TRASHED it! And guess what?!! I love it. This song is the most sinister (and ominous)-sounding song on here. It "doesn't go anywhere"? Please. It has more chords than "One of These Days" (which, I'll admit, it does sound like). I guess it figures that I like it and you all hate it -- I love "Keep Talking" from the next album, but everyone trashes that one, too. Ih. Okay. "One Slip" is good indeed. And so is "On the Turning Away"...the guitar solo has a fine length to it. "Yet Another Movie" starts off a little...umm, frivolous, but it gets way better. "Round and Around" is about 50 seconds long, but I still like it. "A New Machine" (Parts 1 and 2) is creepy beyond words. Man, do I love the sound of that voice. "Terminal Frost" is cool (ha ha, no pun intended), and "Sorrow" is tear-worthy.

Please, Mark, listen to this one just a few more times. Maybe it'll grow on you. If not, then there's nothing more I can do. Sorry Dave-Floyd-haters, 7/10. Good night.

By the way, does anyone agree that Dave sounds just a liiiiiiiitle bit like Roger on "The Dogs of War"? Hmmmm, maybe it's the thing his voice is going through. I dunno. It's still great.

sirmustapha@ig.com.br (Fernando)
Alas! This album stinks! Man, I mean... what was Dave thinking? He WANTED to sound like classic Floyd, but he just can't do it without Rick Wright and Roger Waters: Rick was the soul of the band, and Roger was the brains! (I know that's a lame analogy, but it's true) David has always been a competent guitar player, but he could be a bit show-offy at times. And here, he's TOTALLY show-offy. He just can't do it. And the songs? Heh, Learning To Fly is quite pleasant, One Slip - I agree with you - is a great pop tune, On The Turning Away is good enough, and Terminal Frost is rather good with that cold piano. But the rest? Sorrow and Yet Another Movie are - gasp - BORING, something that Floyd should never, EVER be. A New Machine is totally lame, Signs Of Life is totally meaningless, and... Dogs Of War! The horriblest Floyd song of all times! It makes Not Now John sound like an absolute masterpiece in comparison. That "scary" mood it tries to set sounds totally pathetic (imagine the Moody Blues trying to make a King Crimson jam and trying to look menacing), and Dave fails miserably in trying to out-Waters Waters. But I disagree when you say it goes nowhere. It goes somewhere: to the trashbin! But Learning To Fly and One Slip are good. I agree with the 4.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
Dave knew when he put this together that there would be millions of Floyd fans like myself that would be so damn happy to see another Floyd album on the market, we'd all love it regardless of whether it sucked or not. And, for a while, I loved this album. "Sounds like the Floyd of old!" I thought. "Jeepers!" said others. "Signs of Life is so progressive! Dogs of War is such a deep political commentary! On the Turning Away is the next Comfortably Numb!" we all said in unison. God, what dumbasses we were in the 80s.

To be fair, we all know that Dave had the best intentions when putting this together. But his solo career was floundering (he put a lot of effort into About Face, but it just didn't sell), and he felt (rightly, in my view) that he and Nick had at least as much legal claim to the Pink Floyd name as Roger did, so why not "revive" the band without Rog, and make the best Floyd album they can? Trouble is, Floyd was very much a collaborative effort (primarily Dave and Roger towards the end, despite Roger's monopoly on the writing credits), and without Roger, the resulting product was "all gravy and no meat" (to paraphrase Roger himself, though he was much less sympathetic than I). So basically, in my view, all the financial resources, backup musicians, and guest lyricists in the world couldn't provide Dave with enough to produce something truly worthy of the Pink Floyd name. All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Now, back to my rant.

Tellingly, within about a year after buying this album, I found I'd stopped listening to it. I didn't have any hostile feelings yet, I just preferred listening to the classic stuff (such as "Take Up Thy Stethescope and Walk"). Then "Delicate Sound of Farting" came out and my ire was beginning to rumble to the surface... what's with all those cheesy wannabe musicians on stage? And those background girls who rock back and forth going "ooh! ooh!" for about 20 minutes during "Money"? Uncomfortable memories of late-period Roxy Music and Dire Straits video concerts came rushing back to me! CAN'T LET GO! THAT AINNNN'T... WORKIN'!

Then Division Bell came, and I didn't even buy it. My dad got it though, and liked it for a short while. Then came the CONCERT! Yay! They came, they played, they sounded good.... and then it was over. The crowd was going nuts. I, however, was quiet and reflective. I turned to my friend and said, "I miss Roger." And indeed I did. I knew then and there that it would never be the same again, and so my love affair with Pink Floyd ended right there. *(Dramatic sad love-theme music swells to crescendo, credits roll)*

Add your thoughts?

Live: Delicate Sound of Thunder - Columbia 1988.
Rating = 8

Dave Gilmour shines in his blues-influenced solos! What a bunch of tasty licks! Overrate, underrate, it's all horseshit. Me you and everyone we knew. Who believe do sharin' what was true. I enjoy this music. Raise that last 4 to a 52 million, and Division Bell? Hundred trillion! No! Make that 4! This double album is Dave's version of the band doing live tunes. They do a great job with all of them (might as well - there's a million people on stage) except "Money," which they turn into a big fucking joke, and "The Dogs Of War" which on nearly any scale at all is just not a good song. No great shakes, but the sound is really good!

Reader Comments

AmusedToDeathCA@aol.com
Two words that don't make this album horseshit: Rachel Fury (even if "Comfortably Numb" is dubbed over).

GaliotoD@northjersey.com
What IS this album? I do not know.
I know what it is not. This album is not anything.
It is not good, but it is not bad.
It is not exciting, but is is not boring.
When I'm listening to it, it is not unpleasant; yet when I'm not listening to it, it is not missed.
It does not seem necessary, but paradoxically, it does not seem unnecessary.
I could go on, but suffice to say, with all the contradictions surrounding what it is not, and no clear idea of what it actually is, I must conclude that this album does not actually exist.
Or maybe it does.

Add your thoughts?

The Division Bell - Columbia 1994.
Rating = 4

This second Dave Floyd album isn't any better than the first. It's got a couple of great pop songs that would have made fine additions to a Gilmour solo album ("Take It Back" and "Poles Apart"), plus a pleasantly cold track called "Wearing The Inside Out" that boasts the first Richard Wright vocals in a Floyd song since, man, Dark Side, maybe??? Howe'er, the rest of the album is, as you'd expect, a bunch of sound effects and rip-offs of past Floyd successes. Starting with "Cluster One" ("Shine On You Crazy Diamond") and heading on through "What Do You Want From Me" ("Have A Cigar"), "Marooned" ("Us And Them"), "Keep Talking" ("Sorrow" plus pig noises from "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" and female back-up singers from "Not Now John"), and "Lost For Words" ("Wish You Were Here") before coming to a close with the ridiculously overdramatic "High Hopes" ("Live To Tell" by Madonna), this CD does not a whit to support the notion that they made a wise decision to carry on the family name. Old Floyd took you places you'd never been; new Floyd makes you wish you were in another room.

As you might suspect, I didn't come within ten yards of the double-live Pulse CD with the stupid blinking red light, but a nice guy named Keith Davis tells me that it's really great. His review is below. Good night, America and her daughters of liberty!

Reader Comments

a-bruceh@microsoft.com (Bruce Hazen)
Don't listen to this guy, please folks...Division Bell is the best Floyd since the mid-70's, a brilliant re-capturing of their human side since Rog threw it all away circa The Wall.

CCSKATHY@IMPERIUM.NET (Kathy Bradley)
PINK FLOYD DOES NOT SUCK!!!!!!!! ANYONE THAT SAYS THAT DOESN'T KNOW CRAP!!!!! IM ONLY 14 YEARS OLD AND I KNOW ENOUGH TO SAY THAT THEY'RE THE BEST BAND THAT I'VE EVER HEARD. OR WILL EVER HEAR!!!!!

Olias@webtv.net (Justin Strohm)
The Division Bell IMHO is great; I'm only fifteen and I know that Floyd still kicks ass. I wouldn't go so far as to say they're the best though. Listen to Yes!

mprohner@digiconn.com
I wish I could say I was much older than the adolescents who have dominated the reader commentary on this one, but I myself am only 21. Still, I believe I can offer a mature and intelligent argument to what has been said about this album.

I can agree that 'What do you want from me?' sounds an awful lot like 'Have a Cigar,' but I strongly disagree with the rest of the comparisons. I hate to see a person take the maturing sound of a band (not that this isn't a good thing for floyd so far) and the loss of one of its most important parts, and turn around and listen (and later review) a decent album with such bitterness. This review strikes me of something Roger Waters would write (and his recent album sounds almost like Division Bell).

I do not disagree with the rating of Momentary Lapse of Reason. I also can understand the bitterness that might have been generated at taking this album as the resurrection of Floyd in '87. I don't think it justifies such harsh judgement of Division Bell though.

I would rate this one with a 6. It's good, but not as good as The Final Cut, which is much better a thematic piece. However, since The Final Cut is basically a ripoff from The Wall, I would rate these two albums the same.

I also agree with the reader who states that this record is one of the most intimate emotional glimpses at Floyd since Wish You Were Here. The Wall is very emotional, but is focused and filtered on specifics, and pruned to fit the context of its plot. This is limiting to a band and its product, in the end. Now that they are free of this, one would hope to find an easier flowing Floyd, but alas, time has cought up with them. The lyrics to the song of the same name now apply strongly.

Let us remember that aging influences everyone, not excluding musicians. It's a sad sad fact of life, because the people who are left behind the wheel of this Juggernaut have an incredible talent that it seems they're no longer reaching for. It is said that this is what they want, this is the music they want to make... so be it, it's their decision. The music isn't as horrible as it's made out to be, but it will never be 70's Floyd - ever. That group of people no longer exists.

rsuarez@bellsouth.net (Randy Suarez)
I've heard it said that bad bands steal while good bands borrow. Alas a great deal of Division Bell sounds like old Floyd re-hashed. But unlike Lapse there seems to be a concept this time around. Listened to in its entirety it seems like an open letter from the band to Roger Waters, especially on "Lost For Words" (which borrows heavily from "Wish You Were Here", but that also was an open letter from the band to Syd). Go figure. It deserves a 6/10 for effort and because there's some fine guitar work and crisp sound. It just isn't Floyd (not without Waters anyway). Shrug.

jimk@cais.com (Craig Allen)
Okay, I just can't let this one go. Four stars? This is easily the best Floyd album since Meddle and certainly DESTROYS the overblown and pretentious The Wall. TDB is absolutely brilliant. Every single track. The songwriting and production are immaculate. I'm not one to go for bands who change a lot and keep going (like Kiss and the certain-to-be-crappy Gary Cherone era Van Halen) but modern Pink Floyd is wonderful even without Roger Waters. Anyone who can't appreciate TDB hasn't really LISTENED to it and/or is prejudiced by their blind devotion to Roger Waters.

97s0929@njc.edu.sg (Rahul Joshi)
How can you ever say that this record sucks? It's got some of the best solos ("high hopes", "coming back to life"). The vocals by Gilmour are absolutely BRILLIANT, the composition is amazing, and it gives this dreamy, out-of-this-world feeling that all the previous PF albums lacked. Gilmour sounds like a man where Waters would have sounded WEAK (like he did in The Wall). Definitely a 10/10.

Stucco8@aol.com
I think that your reviews are totally predictable and biased. Dave's a great musician and he's got a great sense for music. I admit that their new albums havn't been as good as earlier stuff. But anyone with an open mind can see that they aren't nearly as bad as you say they are. By the way, I thought you overated Final Cut and the Wall.

hawkins@alphalink.com.au (Alan Hawkins)
How come there's no review for A collection of great dance songs(1981)???? Was this Floyd compilation released in America?? I'm Australian so I wouldn't know. If not, don't worry, you're not missing out on much!

I actually forced myself to like The Division Bell when I first got it - I mean, what's there to like about this overlong, dreary and totally uninspired lump of crap??? this isn't Pink Floyd - this is Dave "dumb corporate idiot" Gilmour at his worst!!!!

The only reason A momentary lapse of reason was mildly enjoyable was because half the musicians in the city of Los Angeles were hired to play on it!!! this record, on the other hand - actually has Mason playing the drums and Wright playing the keyboards!! gee, how nice - and don't these has-beens sound like crap?!!! I'd rather listen to a coverband pretending to be Pink Floyd than this!!

The highlights you ask?? well that intro, "Cluster one" is pretty good - especially at the very start where they have the sound effect of a hundred stick insects mating (well that's what it sounds like!!) and "Marooned" starts off great - though it goes absolutely nowhere during it's four minutes or so, has Gilmour forgotten how to change a chord or does he like the word "Monotone"???

"High hopes" is a good track, though I agree the lyrics are way too dramatic, Roger Waters knew (and still knows) how to create an atmosphere - Gilmour just fakes the mood!!!

The rest of this album sucks bigtime!!! if you're a new Floyd convert - DON'T BUY THIS!!!! buy the rest of their albums first - then get The Division Bell and have a good laugh (or cry) at what a bunch of talentless morons Gilmour, Mason (actually, he never had talent) and Wright have become, safe in the knowledge that Roger Waters is at least still passionate about what he does.

DANMOORE@Prodigy.net
Most of you guys are too harsh on these new albums. I think they are pretty darn good. And now you all hate Dave. In my mind he was Pink Floyd. Even Rick Had a better sense of melody than Roger. Roger had a cool voice, but couldn't create a good melodic piece to save his life. I bought Amused to Death just to see what it was like, and I don't think I will buy another Roger solo album after hearing that crap.

arnoldnicholas@hotmail.com
C'mon guys, the Division Bell, while not nearly on par with Waters led Floyd, is still better than nine-tenths of the crap out there. It also has the added sense of intrigue because of the Publius Enigma. Parts of the album appear to be directed at Waters anyway, "So I open the door to my enemies/ And ask could we wipe the slate clean/ They tell me to please go and fuck myself/ I guess you just can't win". Don't know what this proves, probably nothing.

robertk@jove.acs.unt.edu (Robert Linus Koehl)
Whoa there. That cant be another four. This album is miles ahead of Momentary Lapse. In fact, I think it's better than most of the Roger Waters Floyd releases. For that matter, I think it's easilly as good as Darkside and The Wall. The intro is great. "Keep Talking" and "High Hopes" are every bit as good as the classics. "Great Day For Freedom" and "What Do You Want From Me" are also cool. Best of all is the Mike Kaman orchestration. I love that evil carnival ride thing on "Poles Apart." This album is the best thing they've done since The Wall. I'd have given it a nine personally.

jully@gold.com.br (Juliana Fulgencio Henriques)
It's always the same old story, "they were good in the early days but now they suck". Yes, Asia, ELP, Pink Floyd, I always read the same reviews and I'm getting tired of it, very tired.

Burney2061@aol.com
TDB is a very tidy album, a little sleepy......zzzzzzzzzzzzz Oh yes, what was I saying? I dig this album but you have to stayyyyyyyyy.................... Oh, sorry, where was I?, oh yes, with it because it (you know where this is going, music to sleep by) isssssssss...................

stoo@imsa.edu (John McFerrin)
Ok, Mark, it is very rare when I don't agree with one of your ratings. Our ratings were all similar for Waters-era Floyd, and we both agreed that MLOR was absolutely awful. But...

I _like_ The Division Bell. The first four tracks are all wonderful. Yes, Cluster One sounds like SOYCD in a lot of ways, but I still really like it. Great Day For Freedom doesn't do crap for me, and Keep Talking is dumb beyond belief, but More had two awful tracks, some mediocre ones, and a bunch of good ones, and that got a 7. And this easily deserves a rating equal to that of More, or even Octave.

Badmoon510@aol.com (Pat)
I personally haven't heard all of this album but I just have to say that Floyd lived off of Syd's inspiration. Once that died so did the life that was Pink Floyd. And I assure that it died well before the 90s.

jtcable@tir.com (Justin Cable)
I don't have this album. And I never will, if I have anything to do with it. Here's why. When I was in Jr. High (that's about 4 years ago), kids were wearing Division Bell shirts. These kids who had been exposed to about as much Floyd as Another Brick in the Wall part 2 over and over again (the worst of the three parts) and Money over and over again were now wearing Division Bell shirts in school after Pulse had come out. Now these kids listen and finance bands like Korn and all of Korn's rip offs. I don't care what ANYONE says, Division Bell is a far cry from original or thought provoking (like Floyd used to be). It's the album that kids wore shirts of 4 years ago. Fuck that "noise."

Notice that there are suddenly a TON of 15 year olds and such who claim to LOVE this album. Listen here kiddies, the album sucks, BECAUSE YOU LIKE IT.

And yea, the guy's pretty nice. So let's hope he never finds us.

akenyon@ups.edu (Amanda J. Kenyon)
Okay, first of all I'm going to be rude for a second and point out to the adolescents at the top that when you say "I'm only fourteen," you negate every point you try to make after that, especially when you write it in all caps with several thousand exclamation points. Although the second one did use a semicolon, so he gets props for that. Anyhow, this album really is not all that great. Doesn't even sound like Floyd, in my opinion. Too....I don't know.....not trippy enough. Boring, for the most part. I don't think I've even really managed to pay attention to the whole thing all the way through. It just doesn't hold my attention.

cybercafe@v-wave.com (cybercafe)
The Division Bell traces the band back to the process used to make Wish You Were Here, with stunning results. The first true Floyd album in 15 years, documenting the fall out of the past 10 years in the tempestous life of being in the largest music act on the planet. What do you Want From Me?, High Hopes and Poles Apart are true modern day classics.

jtcable@home.com (Josh Cable)
Sad to see that someone in a cyber cafe sent a script or a bot to do a good review of DB, since DB doesn't deserve a good review. But I gotta hand it to that bot, that's about 50 Rolling Stone buzz phrases crammed into one run-on sentence there. And great job picking completely random songs to give the coveted title of "modern day classics."

Some inaccuracies tho. Apparently the bot was programmed for a wholly different band. Probably The Rolling Stones, or maybe The Who. What "process" was used to make this album anyway? And how is it even similar to the so called process that was used for WYWH? Sorry, but I just don't see it. Perhaps they were talking about Voodoo Lounge.

hebaker@uniserve.com (Gillian Baker)
good lord, am i sick of hearing people tear apart the division bell for the wrong reasons.

it's ridiculous the way some people have jumped on the roger vs dave bandwagon. if their messy, childish little press war had never happened, no way would there be these two camps of fans, hiding behind their bunkers of solo albums and shouting "dave is a fat pig!" "roger is a pretentious, overblown asshole!". no, then it would be about the music, rather than the personalities. wasn't that the floyd's aim in the first place? this incessant bashing of david gilmour, who was an integral part of the floyd most people love, just wouldn't exist if people weren't mimicing roger's mudslinging post-floyd days. if it's truly about the music, dis the songs, not the people!

in any case, i can see how the oldschool floyd fans were given pause by this album. it and Lapse are certainly... departures from the floyd norm (if one can even pinpoint a floyd "norm"). and while i like Lapse, i do listen to it like a david gilmour album, not pink floyd. but i really think the division bell is great music, and great FLOYD music at that. the lyrics are, by and large, emotionally touching in a way no other floyd is for me... because rather than being wrapped up in complicated metaphors and concepts, they reach out and grab you right away... "what do you want from me?" "where were you when i was burned and broken?" "i feel like i'm drowning" "now life devalues day by day"...

hey, why hasn't anyone talked about "a great day for freedom"? damn, that's a beautiful song!

anyway, i do have a point. love it or hate it, but by god, do it for the right reasons! i love it, personally, and give it an 8 out of ten... by no means the best, but not the swill some would have you believe. and hating the floyd's new music does not mean you have to hate everything david gilmour has ever done... trust me.

slind@mail1.stofanet.dk (Søren Lindstrøm)
The criticism that The Division Bell has been subjected to during the last few years, says more of the reviewers that the album. Anyone with even the slightest sense for good music, will recognise this album as yet another brilliant Pink Floyd album. Too bad that the reviewer on this page is ranking the albums while he's yelling: "ROGER WATER, ROGER WATER, ROGER WATERS!!! Instead of shutting up and listening to the music. I'll agree that A Momentary Lapse of Reason is far from the standard expected of Pink Floyd, but The Division Bell is a fantastic piece of music poetry. Just too bad that so many people claim to know what good music is - when their musical horizon are as big as their personal likes and dislikes of the artists.

For those of you, who won't listen to the nonsense the main reviewer of this page is babbling about, should do the following. Go buy the album, pick up the score (this will certainly make you appreciate the complexity of the music), and the go LISTEN to the album. A small hint: Note how the theme - Communication - is flowing all through the album both the music and the lyric......and by the way stop shouting Roger Waters!

jtcable@home.com (Josh Cable)
Pink Floyd is nothing without Roger Waters. Proven by the simple fact that no real human being has even bothered to take them seriously since The Final Cut.

Fuck these sellouts.

nblardony@surfshop.net.ph
I bought this immediately on its first release and I immediately sold it to the bargain bin because it is directionless, plainlly terrible. Then after several years and being dry of new Pink floyd material I decided to give it a second try and saw one in another used Cd store (not the one I sold this too). I listened to it and it just cant get into me and to my surprise it was my division bell cd I sold to many years before since I saw a white out mark on the beach picture. I remember, it was my duaghter with a white out who played around the booklet which I left lying around after my disappointment with the disc. The only change was that I sold it clean without any scratches and when I got hold of it again, evidence of mishandling or simply they bought it and decided to throw it back the sale bin.

I kept it maybe its fate or something.... but in the list of my suckiest albums.

z_pal@hotmail.com
The Division Bell was my first Floyd record. I loved it. Although nowdays I hardly listen to Floyd I must still say that TDB is a great album. Nice, calm, enjoyable to listen to. After Marooned is does get a bit too mellow or boring, the energy is back with Take it Back. I think Momentairy Lapse was a stronger record than this, The Division Bell was a more natural group effort. I love the variety. Tastes change and it's a chemical thing. For example, I never liked The Final Cut (Even sold the CD) It was basically a Waters solo album. Now a couple of years later, I think it's brilliant. Too bad my favourite When The Tigers Broke Free wasn't on it.

janpooh@telusplanet.net (Janice D'Eath)
The Division Bell in my opinion is yet another one of Floyds highpoints Gilmour was in total control and he wrote an album even better than AMLOR For giving this album a 4 I question everything else you have written, why would this album be under a 7 I dont like Keep Talking to much and Im not big on What do You Want From Me, but Coming Back To Life High Hopes, Loss for Words and a Great Day for Freedom showcase Gilmours talent, oh and by the way music doesnt have to always be completly energetic to be rocking, anyone who thinks that will never understand anything about the greatest music ever written, In my opinion The Division Bell is an 8, A Far cry from mediocore but far below superb, those are my thoughts not your, Peace.

fedefer@fibertel.com.ar (Federico Fernández)
If I had to say something good about this album is that at least it is QUITE better than the horrible beyond words A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, which by the way, it's not saying much.

There are some pleasant melodies (Coming back to life, Lost for words) and some good atmospheres (Cluster one) in this record, but esencially there is NOTHING NEW TO BE MAD ABOUT here; it is just an attempt to recreate the long-gone glories of the past and THEY FAIL. The songs are all in the same plain and BORING mood; the arrangements are souless, formulaic, dull, tiresome, overblown, emotionless, undistinctive, and most of the songs (Marooned, Keep Talking, Wearing The Inside Out) are plain crap. David can't manage to pull up A SINGLE catchy and imaginative solo (like the ones he used to deliver in, for example, "Animals"). And for chrissake that this sucker does NOT ROCK. It is just stupid and average Symphonic pop that last for more than an hour.

I hate it. Not as much as I hate it's studio predecessor, but still. This record hasn't got nothing fresh or amazing about it.

gray0187@tc.umn.edu (Jon)
Everything Prindle says is true, but... hearing Richard Wright's voice for that one song on here was one of my most cathartic music moments. It sounds so strange, little unnoticed Rick Wright's uninteristing voice cutting through and getting in my head, but I suddenly realized how much I missed his input after Animals, or even after WYWH. His songs had always been secondary to the great Floyd canon of hits, but I've suddenly come to realize I love every little number he sang leads on, especially Matilda Mother and Paintbox, the low part of the harmony in Echoes. Fabulous stuff. Not to mention his minimalist but beautiful little solo before Gilmour's equally good clangy echo-fest at the climax of Echoes. But yes, Keep Talking is really idiotic.

slb23@shaw.ca (S.B.)
"The Division Bell" is a step up from "A Momentary Lapse of Reason", but NOT up to par with the 70's Floyd releases. The quality of the music is better, but the lyrics aren't much better than the last album. The funny thing (ha ha funny) is that David Gilmour gets some "lyrical help" from some other people.

There are some great songs, good ones, bad ones, and some overblown ones.

1. "Cluster One": good.
2. "What do you want from Me" good, but overblown and sounding too much like the demented bastard child of "Have a Cigar" and "Not Now John".
3. "Poles Apart": good vocal and music melody. But what the hell is with that circus stuff in the middle?! plus the song is too long for it's own good.
4. "Marooned" a semi-worthwhile instrumental.
5. "A Great Day For Freedom": how about a great day for writing a better song! Ha! Slow and boring. The guitar solo at the end is pointless and boring.
6. "Wearing the Inside Out": one of the worst Rick Wright vocals (and songs) EVER! Plus those annoying back-up singers make it even worse.
7. "Take It Back": a great song. Okay lyrics. Dave sounds surprisingly young (vocally) in this song. All in all the song is refreshingly up-beat compared to the rest of the album.
8. "Coming Back To Life": my favourite song on the album. Great guitar solo at the begining (although the one on Pulse was better).
9. "Keep Talking": moronic, pointless and goes nowhere.
10. "Lost For Words": lyrically, a jab at Waters. Musically, a country-fied "Wish You Were Here".
11. "High Hopes": the most (musically) overblown song on the album!! The lyrics aren't bad, but the guitar solo is uninspired.
Cool telephone conversation at the very end, though.

Overall, 5/10 stars.

Wadedh14@aol.com
Meh, you're all idiots.

"Cluster One" I like a lot. Same CONCEPT at the beginning as "Shine On", but they sound nothing alike. The only comparison I'll agree with was when I was listening to the radio and heard "Have a Cigar" and thought at first it was "What Do You Want from Me". Then I said "Psh! They never play Division Bell stuff on the radio!" and slapped myself. "Poles Apart" is great. The noise in the middle is obviously a Barret tribute in my opinion. "Marooned" is INCREDIBLY great. "Us and Them"? What the hell? Check your sanity level, Mark. "A Great Day for Freedom" is a good song and with some pretty moving lyrics. "Wearing the Inside Out" is.....ehhhhh........okay. I'll listen to it every now and then, though. "Take it Back" is surprisingly fast for a Floyd song, but that takes nothing away from it and it's great. "Coming Back to Life" I like a lot. Why does everyone hate "Keep Talking"? This was the first song I heard from this album, and it's great. Man, is it ever...and where are these alleged pig noises?!! "Lost for Words" is also good, and I can see how you may think it sounds like "Wish You Were Here", but fuck off anyway. "High Hopes" is wonderful. I've never heard "Live to Tell", so I can't compare or contrast, but I can say I love this album and I hope they make another just as good sometime soon! Probably a 9/10.

noose@telus.net
old floyde sounded frightfully like bad beatles ripp offs,
I personaly rate MLOR and DB a huge 10
if the floyde was back togeather today with Roger Im sure it would sound like a slightly darker MLOR album..they .cant sound like the 60`s forever

Wadedh14@aol.com
Yep. Nope. I was a pissed off little boy when I wrote that. I'm much more objective now. This is around 7.7-8/10. My opinion of it has not changed, mind you. My view was just so skewed then. Sorry. It's real good though; I still think that much.

S Fall
Christ, it's dull.

Add your thoughts?

(Amanda Kenyon Reviews) Us and Them: The Symphonic Music of Pink Floyd - Point Music 1995.
Rating = 8

I know you're all shocked into a heart attack at such a high rating on a SYMPHONIC Pink Floyd album, but hear me out. It's actually REALLY well done. I was extremely surprised myself. The premise is this: Some guy (I don't remember his name) decided to transcribe some Pink Floyd songs into an orchestral format. He mainly tried to keep the same atmosphere as the original composition had (I read the liner notes) but took some artistic liberty and added his own interpretations here and there. I know you're all still sitting there in speechless outrage at my audacity in actually LIKING this, so keep reading and I'll tell you why it's so good.

For one thing, Floyd's music translates beautifully into this format. "Comfortably Numb," the most beautiful track on the album, is the perfect example of why this is so. (Beware, I'm about to go into music-major nerdspeak, so watch your step.) This particular song, as I'm sure many of you have noticed, doesn't really have much of a melody; it's based mainly on chord structures. Since this is exactly how symphonic music operates, it works perfectly. The mood and atmosphere of each piece is also fabulous, with brilliant instrumentation. "Time" is dark and stormy, "Brain Damage" quiet and introspective, "Comfortably Numb," as I said before, is simply a beautiful orchestral piece, dramatic and striking and very original. If I were completely unfamiliar with Pink Floyd and I were listening to this purely as an orchestral album, I would be completely blown away by the beauty and originality of the compositions. As it is, it's just a brilliant rewriting of some of Floyd's classics. The track listing is taken entirely from Dark Side and The Wall (did you expect anything different?) but the liner notes show that the composer is familiar with all sides of Floyd. Basically he went with those tracks because those are the ones most people will know and remember. And another major selling point for me is that the cover art (done by a former roommate of Syd Barrett!) is just beautiful.

Bottom line is this: If you're openminded and interested in exploring other interpretations of our beloved Pink Floyd, or if you're a fan of symphonic music, or if you're just curious, give it a shot! I was VERY pleasantly surprised. Be warned, though, it seems to me like there will be no in between on this one; you'll either love it or hate it. I've given you my own opinion.

Reader Comments

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
I'm in between. I neither love nor hate it. But it's certainly an impressive enough wall of sound, and it's nice to see somebody giving the horribly underrated Brain Damage some attention after all these years - and to see Roger Dean finally doing a Pink Floyd sleeve (if you can call this a Pink Floyd album). Better than George Michael's symphonic record, in any case.

xnvol2006@aol.com
The some guy in question is in fact Killing Joke's mastermaniac Jaz Coleman. This was one of a series of three "classical" interpretations of famous rock bands he created. The others were for Led Zeppelin and the Doors.

Add your thoughts?

Pulse - Columbia 1995
Rating = 8

This is one of those times when I really wish I gave out such grades as "7.5." Pulse literally SCREAMS "7.5" (in blinking red light form): it features 75% of the classic Pink Floyd line-up, 75% of the songs are from classic Pink Floyd albums, and 75% of it isn't so boring and melodramatic you want to throw a shoe at the stage. Unfortunately, the fools who invented mathematics insisted that .5's be rounded upward, so here I am looking like an asshole giving Pulse an EIGHT of all unlikely accolades. Hey! Stop throwing rotten eggs at me!

Oh wait! I'm sorry - you were throwing helpful bags of sulphur so that I could make my own homemade batteries and gunpowder, not to mention the vulcanization of natural rubber and bleaching of dried fruits. Thank you! Here, listen to my side. First of all, it's not like the album (which, incidentally, is a double-live CD packaged with an incessantly blinking red light for their epileptic fans) would sound all that different had Roger been there. Sure, we would have been spared the five inferior Division Bell and two posterior Momentary Lapse songs, but only one or two of the other 17 tracks really suffer from the lack of his caustic delivery. And whoever the hell they have playing bass on here plays "Money" correctly - what else do you need in a Pink Floyd bassist? It's the SONGS you're there for, and they sound great! Aside from the seven Nu-Floyd tracks, they play four Wallies, two Wishies, one Piper (!!!) and Darky in its entirety. Its ENTIRETY, you understand. I guess that was the real selling point of the tour and record, come to think of it. Hey, it's been a few years; leave my poor memory alone. At any rate, they play the songs fine. As well they should, since they have every musician in America onstage helping them out!

So what you probably want to hear about are key differentiators between these live versions and their original studio counterparts. I can provide that for you, vaguely. First of all, maybe I'm nutso but I could swear that David Gilmour accidentally leaves an extra pause between the third and fourth 'chiming notes' of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" the first time through, then repeats his mistake a second time to make it seem like he'd done it on purpose. Listen for yourself and tell me what you think! "Astronomy Domine" obviously sounds different from the original version, what with David Gilmour and Syd Barrett being two different gentlemen, but it still works and is really neat to hear in concert 28 years after its release, performed by wrinkly old bags. "On The Run" features a re-recording of Waters' neat synth line, but it's played incorrectly, deleting a few key notes and botching the electronic melody to such a degree that the song turns out as boring as "Keep Talking" and "A Great Day For Freedom" (two absolutely HIDEOUS Division Bell songs that they perform on here). But check this out! They have some new modern-day woman singing "The Great Gig In The Sky" and she's like a billion times easier on the ears than that screaming original whore! Also, "Money" still has "woo-woo"s after each recitation of its title because nobody had the big balls to tell David Gilmour it sounded dumb as shit on Delicate Sound Of Thunder. That's my opinion.

Oh! One other thing! That's my opinion.

If you're a Pink Floyd collector, you should take the time to find a cheap copy of this because the mix is studio-quality and it's a perfectly good run-through of many of their best songs (and a few of their worst -- "High Hopes"? "Coming Back To Life"? And who the hell decided that the epic-length insomnia tablet "Sorrow" should be a concert staple?! Give that man a cement dick massage!). But if you're only a lukewarm fan, leave that blinking package on the shelf and spend your money on an atomic bomb. Then drop it on Bono and say, "Hey! Your instructions worked!"

Reader Comments

Keith Davis
10 points.

This is an absolutely magnificent 2-cd set. This "live" cd set showcases the best of Pink Floyd. Until, I heard Pulse the first time, I was a little bit skeptical. After all, Pink Floyd had re- leased the live album Delicate Sound Of Thunder back in 1988. I had to wonder, what was so special about Pulse? Here is what I have found. Pulse is infinitely better than DSOT, for several reasons:

1. The cover artwork by Storm Thorgerson is superb; indeed, it is very Escheresque.

2. What a great song selection!!!

An abbreviated version of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond." The songs off of the Division Bell all sound better: "What Do You Want From Me?," "Keep Talking," "Coming Back To Life," "A Great Day For Freedom" and last, but not least, a real masterpiece--"High Hopes." Two great songs from The Wall: "Hey You" and "Comfortably Numb." A better version of "Astronomy Domine," "Learning To Fly," "Wish You Were Here" and a live rendition of Dark Side Of The Moon. In fact, this version of "The Great Gig In The Sky" is much better than the studio version.

3. What a great book, full of excellent photography documenting the bands live shows. Neat artwork on the cd's themselves.

4. Minuses, and these are really not that terrible!!

The inclusion of "Sorrow" and "Run Like Hell"; I would have preferred, instead: "Terminal Frost" and "On The Turning Away," or "One Slip."

Overall, quite a superb live cd; the band plays the songs very pro- fessionally and with energy. Deserving a 10/10!

This contrasts to Delicate Sound Of Thunder for several reasons: no inclusion of "The Dogs Of War," nor "Yet Another Movie" and "Round and Around," although the last two are passable, that first one is totally atrocious!!! The redeeming qualities that DSOT has are: its cover artwork, specifically the "Magritte/Daliesque" photographs on the man with the "lightbulb coat" and the other man surrounded by birds, and the photographs of the Baobab trees on the reverse side. The booklet also has nice photographs. This live cd deserves an 8/10 only!!!!

Here are my ratings of Pink Floyd cds, now owned or previously owned.

The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn 9/10
A Saucerful Of Secrets 6/10
More 7/10
Atom Heart Mother 9/10
Meddle 9/10
Dark Side Of The Moon 9/10
Wish You Were Here 9/10
Animals 8/10
The Wall 9/10
The Final Cut 7/10
A Momentary Lapse Of Reason 7/10
Delicate Sound Of Thunder 8/10
The Division Bell 7/10
Pulse 10/10

jeffs1@pacbell.net
Keith,

Shocked SPEECHLESS by the 10 for Pulse. Perhaps that silly little blinky light hypnotized you? Choosing a non-Roger Waters Pink Floyd disc as the classic is like choosing a RIngo Starr solo album for greatest Beatles performance. Sorry for the sloppy typing-- I'm simply aghast.

P.S. I guess Radio K.A.O.S. is also a 10?

thutley@e-z.net (Thomas Hutley)
I'm sure Keith is a very nice guy, but he's too willing to hand out the gold stars. Pulse is a slow, boring, cumbersome double-live CD of songs you either 1)Have heard live before WITHOUT the assistance of 30 to 40 extra musicians trying to make it sound the way it used to but failing miserably, or 2)songs off of their most recent CD that you couldn't be paid enough money to warrent hearing live even if David Gilmour was your mother, and I'm going out on a limb here saying that he's probably not. So basically you're paying $30 to hear a full-lenth live version of Dark Side that is uninspired, uninteresting, and un-good. But wait, there's more! You get every minute of good music off of Division Bell! Unfortunately, it's not all on ONE SONG!! "Diamond" sucks. "Hey You" is crap. I think I was sleeping while "Another Brick" was playing so who knows, maybe it was good. I doubt it, though. In fact, if I had a farm, I'd bet it. Is there anything good even on this thing? Well, yeah, I guess. I think the last three songs weren't too shabby. "Wish You Were Here" was done alright. "Run Like Hell" is always a fan favorite, and Delicate Sound of Thunder already proved that "Comfortably Numb" can never be screwed up... unless of course you didn't like that live version on Thunder. In that case, only two of the last three songs are good. So, you're paying out the nose for a drizzle of good music and a poor excuse of a nite-light. And now it doesn't even come with a nite-light, so what the heck!

Now I know what you're saying: Jeez, this guy must be anti-Pink or something. On the contrary, I think Pink is marvelous! Classic Pink is terrific! I even enjoy some of their more recent STUDIO stuff! What I don't like is live Pink. Especially Waterless live Pink. It just lacks that same, certain fluidity it used to have. I feel like I'm eating dry pancakes when I listen to this. I want more WATER! This is one of those rare instances where you BEG for Memorex. Live just doesn't cut. The only way I'd listen to Pink live is to actually go to the concert and WATCH them live. And since they haven't changed their stage set for over five years now, and since you can't hardly pick the true members of Floyd from all the back-ups and roadies, I'd venture to say I don't even want to watch them live either. The music was great when it was done in the studio. I'm quite content to settle for that...

reviewme@n2h2.com
There is no question that A Momentary Lapse of Reason and the live disaster that followed, the Delicate Sound of Dave Wanting More Money are a mockery of Pink Floyd. The pulse video does have fantastic visuals and and an impressive performance of Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety.

robertk@jove.acs.unt.edu (Robert Linus Koehl)
I dont know what most of you are talking about with this "light" thing. My copy of Pulse doesnt have any blinking light to speak of. What it DOES have is one of the best freakin concerts I've ever heard. That intro with "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" is absolutely beautifull. "High Hopes" is awe inspiring. In fact, all of the Division Bell and Momentary Lapse songs on this album are better than the originals. And the version of Dark Side of The Moon on this disc is easily as good as the original. I agree wholeheartedly with the rating of 10. The music is perfect.

Oh, one thing though. You know how sometimes cd releases of an album have an extra track or two that aren't on the cassette releases? Check it out. The CASSETTE release of Pulse has an extra song that isn't on the CD!!!! Tape one includes "One of These Days" which isn't on my cd copy of Pulse. You've got to admire the nerve of this band doing something like that.

sweetdog@robinson.sun-valley.nv.us
People should realize that hard rock and drugs were an intrical part of Americana just as much as The Beatles' Elton John' and other Brits without PINK We would not have had much going for us . Yes do shine on.

Stryker120@aol.com
I think Pulse is an excellent CD. I do agree that almost all post-Waters stuff is almost terrible to my ears, but I thought Pulse was really refreshing. And I didn't buy it for the damn light which keeps me awake at night and I have to hide it somwhere. The DSotM part of the album in my opinion is the equal of the studio. Especially in "On the Run." And the encore pieces are great. "Run Like Hell" is the perfect ending the album, and just leaves you sort of wanting to turn off the CD player, because you feel like life is complete. The other CD I will admit is a little slow, and doesn't do "Another Brick" much justice. And "Shine" is too abridged. Otherwise I think it is an excellent buy.

zvi@softhome.net (Alligator)
I like them and respect them but not the group that has this name after Waters left, that's not Pink Floyd, just some guys with bunch of others trying to do the same things ( I wouldn't say they succeed in their efforts ).

The Wall - 10 I like the movie better than the album, just for listening purpose of course the album is better but in common movie is more exciting, effective.

Dark Side Of The Moon - 9

Wish you were here - 9

Animals - 9

The Final Cut - 8

emrobert@mail.e-mg.co.za
Yep. This is not the best Floyd I've ever heard. In fact, in my humble and overtly opinionated opinion, this is the lamest most sorry piece of plastic crap ever to carry the name Pink Floyd. Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE Floyd. Real Floyd. Ummagumma Floyd. Wish You Were Here Floyd. Dark Side Of The Moon Floyd, Atom Heart Mother Floyd. And the greatest ever, Animals Floyd. I don't like False..uuhh...Pulse. Yep. Very, very, very lame. Very, very, very shit.

Cop2141@aol.com
After reading(scanning) the reviews of the Floyd's albums...I'm friggin' sick! Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however until you realize that without the insightful, moving,poetic lyrics; Floyd would not stand apart from any other band. Roger was the special element. Gilmore does play a great guitar, BUT many others play wonderfully too! I LOVE all of the Floyd's work, prior to 1987. I like the later stuff, but it doesn't MOVE me!!! Roger's solo works are thought provoking at the very least. Amused to Death is as good(better) than any Floyd album IMHO. Recorded in Q-sound it actually will come from behind you if you sit in the middle of the speakers, it is friggin AMAZING!!! Enjoy the Floyd(or don't) ROGER is DA MAN!!!!

ranger@oztech.com (Payne)
Pink Floyd is a dated rip off of Nirvana, without the cool videos. The Backstreet Boys rule! Pink Floyd was buried with the excellent revolution of 80's hair metal- Ratt, Cinderella etc.

harleygal4@webtv.net (Karen Dunham)
~~I've read many opinions,,,,,I've always been able to find "floyd" comforting under my own "normal air" and Drug free "self"

~~The enhancement of my own mind needs no interference with chemicals, just spinning dics of "floyds" are enough to feed my needs for comfort.

~~Syd's downfall opened the door for David Gilmour, however I am amazed at so many fans, who fail to realize the strong friendship between the two!!!

bechet.roger@wanadoo.fr
Je voudrais juste souligner dans PULSE la parfaite osmose entre son et lumière et le travail monstrueux qu'a dû coûter ce concert ; il en ressort le plus beau spectacle jamais offert à nos yeux et oreilles jusqu'à ce jour, mélangeant à la fois le toucher exceptionnel de GILMOUR et les explosions de Watts hallucinantes de "Run like hell". Une performance qui ne peut laisser personne indifférent de part sa beauté ; les spécialistes de lumière et de"BIG CONCERT" en stade y verront sans nul doute la supériorité écrasante des PINK FLOYD sur la technique (ce qui a toujours été le cas de POMPEI à aujourd'hui...) et la supériorité incontestable sur des tournées mondiales comme celles des ROLLING STONES ou U2 !!!

bye!!

melawler@mail2.tcd.ie
I.M.H.O. Pulse is to Dark Side of the Moon what The Berlin Wall is to The Wall. For anyone who hasn't heard The Wall Live in Berlin, it has some moments where it exceeds the original (ITAOT?, ES), some that equal the original and, unfortunately, even more that are relatively unlistenable.

Similarities exist, such as the versions of ABITWII which are completely different to the original recording. Pulse AD is excellent as is the experience of a continuous live playing of Dark Side. Roger's singing is excellent on TBW.

The crowd that turned up to the Berlin Wall influenced the gig for the better. They elevate some of the tunes by their reaction and Roger, who clearly has respect for them, reciprocates. The young Italian crowd, determined to practice their English, frankly ruin some of the Pulse recordings (listen to WYWH).

I'm not going to give a rating because there is nobody out there who cares anyway.

ajkenyon81@yahoo.com (Amanda Kenyon)
If I had to describe my feelings toward this album in one word, that word would be "No." I don't own it, but my boyfriend (the poor misguided fool whose favorite Floyd album is The Division Bell) has it, and so I've heard it several times. The live version of "Crazy Diamond" is nice, but the rest of it is just boring. Especially the newer ones - I still cannot figure out why they left out the guitar riff in "Learning to Fly" - that was the song's only redeeming qualittyy. And there should be a law written specifically to prohibit David Gilmour from playing "Astronomy Domine" anymore. It just doesn't work without Syd's special brand of insanity. If I never hear this album again, I will not feel any sense of loss.

crazydiamond@comcast.net (Alex Murray)
Keith - Why anybody would give it a 10 is beyond me. This is nearly the same as DSoT, because the 9-piece band had to keep in sync with the film on the huge screen. God, Gilmour, that was Roger Waters' idea! He's gone now, so you should have started jamming again! The version of Astronomy Domine kicks ass, though.

drazy@gatecity.com
I'm not sure if Keith's 10 is for real, after all, I'm a retard and fell for Prindle's claim that there was originally racist cover art for XTC's Black Sea album. I'm thinking that Keith's reader comment for Pulse could be a joke, or at the very least, I hope it is. If it's for real, man Keith, you've got some issues to deal with...

mr_chatchinois@yahoo.fr
Let's face it : this album is a terrible bore. Some albums are overproduced, this show is overPLAYED ; why the hell are there so many useless musicians on stage ? What are they good for ? Nothing at all, of course.

The songs sound like they're played by fat old men (not to be confused with Fat Old Sun, the lame Kinks rip-off, mind you) who don't care at all about being exciting or interesting. The songs themselves give the impression of being totally asleep ! Dark Side of The Moon is poorly played, the solos are too long, the singing is too lame, it's impossible not to fall asleep when you hear the introduction of Shine On. Bo-ring !

The only good number is Astronomy Domine, which is somewhat exciting, and short.

Have you seen their performance for the Live 8 ? THAT was good ; high energy, with a top notch Roger Waters (by the way, his solo career is terrible - and so is Pulse). Comfortably Numb, dedicated to Syd, was heart-breaking (and I don't even like the song that much).

evil_gao@yahoo.com
I like how my Pulse (bought the day it came out) still faintly blinks. It's kinda like a meter of my life. Bright and full-flashing during my fun-loving college days when purchased. Today it's just a sad flicker in a pathetic life.

The album is decent and the artwork is cool.

jkonrath@rumored.com (Jon)
First time commenter, long time reader:

It is true that not all copies of Pulse have the blinky light. I think it depends on where you buy it or how old it is or something. Initially, they all had it, and then after a certain period, they got "downsized", but there are still lit copies out there.

If you have a copy of Pulse that has gone dark, you can carefully pull out an inner cardboard piece to reveal the tiny circuit board with the light on it, along with a battery. It's a stock size (I think AA or AAA) and easy to replace. I still turn mine backward on the shelf though, because the blinking bugged the hell out of me.

I'd go with about a 7.5 on this one, too. I used to love Pink Floyd, but I guess I got past it, and I'm never in the mood to sit down to two whole CDs of it. Guess I'm old. I would give this album slight bonus points for being one of the only pre-recorded MiniDiscs I own, which is neat in a sort of kitschy sort of way.

Add your thoughts?

Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980-81 - Columbia 2000.
Rating = 9

It sounds just like the studio album. Buy one or the other. I don't give a fuck.

Reader Comments

JCaulfield@justice.gov.za (John Caulfield)
Having been a fan of Pink Floyd since the mid seventies, I feel compelled to respond to some of the drivel that has been posted here. Why people feel it necessary to comment on albums which they have not even listened to all the way through will never cease to astonish me.

To the brain surgeon who claims that The Wall "sucks" and that Ummagumma "rules" or words to that effect (I don't feel the urge to scroll back) bear the following in mind. Both Waters and Guilmour have admitted that the second disc of Ummagumma was quite simply a case of going into the studio and "waffling around". Guilmour had, at that stage never really written any music and simply patched a lot of noises together. Wright attacked his piano with flat hands and Mason ... well, need I say anymore about Mason's contribution. Call it avant garde experimentation if you will, but the simple truth is that no-one would buy this mess if it was released by Joe Soap. People only buy this album because of mistique of Pink Floyd.

The Wall is criticised for being all concept, sound effects and no music - this is quite simply absolute nonsense. The Wall probably has more melodic ideas than any other Floyd album - don't forget it has many short pieces, each of which has a distinct melody and each of which could have been developed into a 23 minute epic a la Echoes if they had needed to fill an album and were running short of melodies. In my opinion there is no filler on this album and side three is probably the best side of any record in the history of rock. Hey you, Is there anybody out there?, Nobody at Home, Vera, Boys, and Comfortably Numb. If you don't like this, you don't like music. It really is as simple as that.

Have the teeny boppers who criticise Vera have any idea what the song is about? Get your grannies to play you Hits from the Blitz by Vera Linn and check out how brilliantly this is parodied. The lyrics "Vera, what has become of you, does anybody else in here feel the way I do" and the melody that accompanies it, is absolutely heart wrenching. If you don't get it, fine - but then go and listen to Britney and stop clogging up a site dedicated to real music.

Part of Pink Floyd's attraction, in any event, has always been its "packaging" musical, conceptual and physical. Let's face it, how many people bought Ummagumma and Atom Heart Mother because of their startling cover photography, wierd titles and wierd song titles? Would Dark side of the Moon have been the hit that it was / is had it been entitled "Glitch" and been blessed with a cover photograph as abysmal as that on Piper? Probably not. This was particurly true in the "good ole days" of the lp, when the cover art was large enough to be visually effective.

On the Waters v Guilmour debate, the following needs to be said : as with the Beatles, the band was greater than the sum of the individual members. I am well aware that this sounds corny, trite and boring, and am also well aware that Waters and Guilmour, like Lennon and Mc Cartney wrote many of their songs "on there own". The point is, however, is that while they were together, Guilmour could spur Waters on to come up with a better melody, or could contribute a guitar riff which would save an otherwise weak tune. He could also provide good melodies on occasions (Comfortably Numb) and his singing would provide a much needed contrast to Water's voice which can get very monotonous. If nothing else, Guilmour could act as an editor and refuse to entertain Water's self indulgent side.

That Waters needed Guilmour is proved by one startling truth which all but the most rabid Water's fans and the author of this site agree on and that is: If The Final Cut is Water's first solo album, it is also his best by far. Why is this so? For the simple reason that Guilmour was contributing guitar in the Floyd style which suited the music. I also believe that Guilmour had a hand in some of the melodies - though no doubt Waters would deny this. Come Pros and Cons and there are virtually no melodies at all and Clapton's guitar simply does not fit the bill. This is not to put Clapton down. It simply indicates that he had no idea what to do with this unmelodic drivel ... A guitar solo has to have a melody as a starting point. It does not exist in a vacuum. In my opinion all of Water's solo albums are lyrically good but musically abysmal. Even from a lyrical point of view Water's solo albums do not stand up the The Wall and The Final Cut. Too much of the same themes.

Guilmour, on the other hand needed the lyrical ideas, the concepts and the structure which Waters provided. I personally enjoy a number of the tracks on The Division Bell, but as whole the album does not have the cohesion of any of the Floyd albums from Atom Heart Mother through to The Final Cut. Many of the songs don't develop, musically or lyrically. These guys needed each other to be Pink Floyd. Guilmour's solo albums are also abysmal.

With regards to the other members of the band, Barret's first solo album The Madcap Laughs is brilliant and both Wet Dream and Broken China by Wright are a lot more listenable than either Waters' or Guilmour's solo efforts - although Broken China is really a soundtrack to an imaginary film.

I firmly believe that Wright was an underrated member of the band. He had some great melodic ideas and if Waters had been less of a control freak and had been more willing to assimilate the ideas of both Guilmour and Wright, the Floyd would have been the better for it.

The essential PF albums in chronological order are : The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Atom Heart Mother, Meddle, Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall. Each one of these albums is very different and therefore I must agree with the view that Pink Floyd, up to and including The Wall, never specifically or deliberately attempted to recreate their sound - to make an album that sounded "like Pink Floyd". And this is precisely what Guilmour has tried to do with the two dehydrated "Floyd" albums. This is so obvious that only a Britney fan could fail to appreciate it. However, in the greater scheme of things people have done worse things than try to sound like Pink Floyd. I know of bands who try to sound like Neil Diamond and Abba...

Hit me baby one more time / Put another nickle in ...

Before you flame me - I know I'm a pompous arsehole.

janpooh@telusplanet.net (Janice D'Eath)
Wow. Wow. Wow. 10/10. Wow.

browningub40@peoplepc.com
I just want to let you know that i really think your review on this cd is pretty good. I couldn't have summed up this album in as few words as you did.But the thing i have a problem with is why release an album if it is performed the exact same way it was on record in the first place? There's no point obviously. So why even buy it.

Add your thoughts?

Building the Wall - Roaring Mouse Records 2001.
Rating = 9

Let's cuit to the chase. I hate alcohol. It tastes terrible and always gives me a headache afterwardsa. However, it takes me out of my head enough to tdo thinkgs that anxiety normally prevents me from doing. Things are great great. The hole idea of let me.... I'm very very afraid of my wife and dog dying. VERY afraid. I dwell on this fear constantly. Because I know, at some point, they will die. I can only hope that I die first. But I don't WANT to die. I want us all to live forever. Although I guess it would get a bit tiresome. So I'm sitting on my chair of wheely fun-ness when my best friend, god, in the whole fucking world, Keith Turasky calls me up and he says like he wants me to imagine his surprise when he strolled into Zia Records there in Tucson, and believe me, I've BEEN to Zia in Tucson so I know first-hand what a surprising place it can be. So anyway, he apparently discovered a bootleg that purported to contain Roger Waters' original home-studio demos for The Wall---what a find!

Excuse me whle I turn up Genesis' Foxtrot. I alwyas turn CDs on at 40 and albums on at 30, but if she is here and there's a possibility that we may talk, I lower it to 44 and 34. If she is trying to sleep, 46 and 36. She's trying to sleep right now, but 36 was just too QUIET! I don't care how drunk I am - I'm smart enough to know one thing. That thing is this. You fucking sarcastic piece of shit bastards who make fun of true feeings as if they are worthless and stupid -- you are a piece of shit. We are ALL finite. Knowing this should make us all cherish the time we have togerther. Tell the idiot asshole moron religioius idiots who ceep killing each other in Israel and Palestine. I figure enventually they'll kill each other off and then us normal people can go oever and take over theeir stupidass shit land.

So then Keit says to me that in term of historical value, it's hard to top this disc, because it is exactly what it claims to be. Every song on The Wall is, accccording to Keith, here except "Nobody Home" (too bad, 'cause it's one of Keith's favorites apparently), though the creepy "What Shall We Do Now" is included (a version of which made it into the movie but not the album). I'm paraphrasing, of course. One would have to be a professional dictator to dictate every single word spoken by Mr. Keith Turausky, an important man who knows rock and roll when he hears it and, when he doesn't, makes it known. For example, he called me a "butt-lipped fuck dog janitor old dead-fucking child molester" because I gave Everclear a good review. I don't think Everclear are a GREAT band. But I would have to be a liar to tell you that their albums don't please me in spite of my own insistence that they are about as important as Pink's "I'm Coming Out So You'd Better Get The Party Started." Pink apparently went by the name Pink even before she colored her hair pink, which makes me think she named herself after her vagina, and that "Wrinkly" just wouldn't have registered with the kids as much.

So anyway, my best firend TKeith Turasshole says that keeping track of what changed and what stayed the same from the demo to the (heh-heh, in his words) final cut is a record geek's wet dream. I personally wouldn't have used the term "wet dream" because it's gross to think about nocturnal emissions, though, since you asked, I remember my very first one. I had never masturbated before, so I felt REALLY weird and guilty. Washed out and hid my undies and went downstairs to wtch the brilliant Nicholas Cage movie Valley G8irol on my parents' Piece-Of_shit-Tube. Hang on - "Supper's Ready"!

I'm back, Jack Black, so quit making shitty movies, mac. So Keith Turasky wanted to give examples.

Examples? "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" is performed in basically the same style as "Part 1" (i.e. no disco beat, no funky guitars, no schoolboys), according to Keith and, according to Keith, features the, according to Keith, alternate, according to Keith, lyric "we don't need no crowd control" (it's also missing the "hey, teacher!" refrain, Accord to your teeth or they'll ROT). Skipping back a track, "The Happiest Days of Our Lives" concerns a single, specific teacher as opposed to the lot of 'em, though the ending rant isn't quite as buoyantly vitriolic. Tihs is what Keith says. I yself wou.d rather talk about how my dog ate a pair of my wife's THONG PANTIES this mornign. So we had to make him throw up. And he threw up and up adn up adn upa ndup and up and up and up and up andu pa ndu pad npuda nudap j-da npuda .

And though Keith's comments on these tracks may make them sound like disappointments, the variations really do render the final product more interesting, or so the best man at my next wedding claims.

Keith then shoved his hand into a passing 12-year-old boy's panties and said "some other radical differences include the doctor's part in "Comfortably Numb," which is even sleazier and has surprisingly few lyrics in common with the finished song." As the little boy ran off to fiend a policeman, "Keith," as illegal immigrant Jose Killyourfuckingwife calls himself, said that on that track and the others partially credited to Gilmour on The Wall, it's clear that Gilmour is singing and playing guitar, thus corroborating the man's claims that Waters took a bit too much credit for those pieces. It's also worth pointing out, accorind got Keith, whose name rhymes with "Best Guy Ever" that "Young Lust" and "Run Like Hell" show up here in instrumental form, pretty much identical to how they would appear on the album (Karaoke fans rejoice!).

My head hurts. I HATE ALCOHOL SO MUCH WHY DOES IT ALWYAS GIVE ME A HEADACHE? COKE DOESN"T AND ITS MADE OF THE SMAE sutfff!

Kieth says one of this bootleg's absolute highlights is "One of My Turns," which is, in my (Keith's) opinion, vastly superior to the album version. As the song begins, Keith starts screaming about how Waters uses his tape recorder to apparently speed up his own voice in order to play the part of Pink's lady friend, and that's pretty creepy in itself, accoridng to Keith, because he lives in Tucson, land of strip malls and guano. . (Waters even has a bit of fun with it, having her comment "Gee, this little tape recorder is really neat!" at one point.) The girl's increasingly worried comments to Pink run throughout whole the first section of the song ("Gee, you don't talk very much, do you? You English boys are so quiet."), culminating in "You don't look very well at all!" right before Pink goes off the deep end. The subsequent shift into maniacal-Waters-mode is far more gripping than the album version, mostly because the music sounds a great deal less like Jackson Browne. Waters' voice also careens higher and further out of control, lending a more authentic touch to the simulated madness. This is all Keith's claim though, and I don't trust the guy any further than David Spade is ausuch a prick of a character. He's no Harvey Korman.

Keith said Speaking of which… it's been suggested before, but after listening to these demos, it seems clearer than ever that The Wall is, at base, Roger Waters Keith said telling the story of Syd Barrett. Oh sure, Waters' dad is the one who died in the War (though Syd's dad died when Syd was 14!), Waters was the one convinced by schoolteachers that he'd never amount to anything, and Waters was the one who got abusive Keith said toward his fans. But listening to Waters sing these tracks (and, obviously, he sings more of them Keith said here than on the finished album), it's impossible for me to believe he wasn't looking to poor ol' Syd as a Keith said major inspiration for both Keith said the lyrical content and the madcap delivery. The loopy "What Shall We Do Now," in Keith said particular, with its creepy returning suggestion to "contract dKeith said isease," sounds like Keith said prime meltdown Syd-akin to, say, "Rats" or "Keith said Wolfpack."

But enough about Keith. Regardless of his perspiration, this disc is ultimately a testament to Waters' genus edition of Trivial Pursuit. You know what Martin Teller said? He said that I don't have enough ego and that I am constatnly seeking others' approval. Unforutnately this is in fact the case. Do any of you have any idea how I could develop some self-respect? I like my music and SOME of my writing (not this review, obviously) so much, but when other people don't, I get so mupset and immediately assume that they're right. But people are just life-death orgaisms and there's absolutely no reason for me to give a shim what any of them thinkce[pt my bosses of course who pay me (I GOT A ELEVEN THOUSAND DOLLAR TAX REFUND THIS YEAR BECUASE IO DRAGGED MY NEW WIFE INTO A LOWER TAX BRAKCET! Nobody helps people fail like I do. I can't get a raise or a promostion, presumably because I'm so stupid and worthless. Ha! hja! Ha! Howeveer, my company of one hundred and sixty five people went BELLY UP and now only ten of us are left, and I'M one of the ten.. Since you asked, I used to hae crusheds on Tiffany Holcombe, Nicole Jallouk , Courntey Howson, Missy Smith, Kathy Lidke or something like that, Gina Bennett, some Jewish girl in College, there were so many - NAAMA that was her name. Girls that yoiu have crushes on are usualllllly so boring though. Keep that in mind. CRUSH GIRLS ARE BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORING.

I love This album, and if oiu don't you're a fool. so ya thought ya might liie to bo to the show? to feel the warm thrill of confusion that space cadet glow? tell me, is something alluding you sunshine? pink isn't well he stayed back at the hoteal. Hey look, we're all dead at the ned of the day - don't make fun of people who share their feelings - you're only preventing yourself from feeling like a part of humanity. Social Darwinists are not good people, nor are homeless people, quite frankly, the bunch of drug-addicted insane bearded smelly people. I have a hadache,. Please stop my headache. Oh! I said this already. This is wsomething you already know. SUPPER'S ready! Genesis is playing this song in my living room - they reunited for me, and Phil Collins finally admitted that all he's capable of is drumming, NOT SINGING. Except "True Colors," of course because that was a brilliant move and he made the song SO much betterw with his shitty bald short nasally hypocrite voice of richness. There are a few songs on here I don't recognize and it's net to hear all these early versions. If you see this and you like thie actual album BUY IT! In Caps! It's so gsood! Good like it should! why? why do you have to tear me apart? if you dont like me, just don't read my writing. I KNOW this review sucks. You're lucky i'm still awake, after drinking half a pitcher of mmargarita and fucking that bitch i call my bride. If you dont .lk,elike me, you are more than welcome to visit Wilson and Allroy. But if you like silliness and real FEELINGS, stay here. I'm goofy and here is my real \feeling: it's al ltoo temporary. all i do is worry about my wife and dg dying. all the goddmaned tiemm. ALL the TIME. I am payijng back loans that I never withdrew. San Frncisco is gorosss. But I love YES. Buy every Yes abvlum. And a band that ounds a lot like Yes, tghe Fucking Piles O Styx of ?Mr. Roboto? shame. Those guys are the worst. WORST1 Can i have a lot of money just because Im drunk? drunk? THIS ISn?T HOW I MNORmALLY WRITE! I?M DRUNK AND CNNOT OPE M&Y EYES111 CNAT OL:EN MUY EYES1111Keith said >I give it a 9. Roger Waters was a genius back in the day. Buy THE WQLL. it's so good.

Hey! Martin Short shoved his finger up my ass!

TH EEND F ANOTHER GREAT SCTV SKIT.

Reader Comments

Keith Turausky
8/10

Imagine my surprise when I strolled into Zia Records here in Tucson and discovered a bootleg that purported to contain Roger Waters' original home-studio demos for The Wall---what a find!

In terms of historical value, it's hard to top this disc, because it is exactly what it claims to be. Every song on The Wall is here except "Nobody Home" (too bad, 'cause it's one of my favorites), though the creepy "What Shall We Do Now" is included (a version of which made it into the movie but not the album).

Keeping track of what changed and what stayed the same from the demo to the (heh-heh) final cut is a record geek's wet dream. Examples? "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" is performed in basically the same style as "Part 1" (i.e. no disco beat, no funky guitars, no schoolboys) and features the alternate lyric "we don't need no crowd control" (it's also missing the "hey, teacher!" refrain). Skipping back a track, "The Happiest Days of Our Lives" concerns a single, specific teacher as opposed to the lot of 'em, though the ending rant isn't quite as buoyantly vitriolic. And though my comments on these tracks may make them sound like disappointments, the variations really do render the final product more interesting.

Some other radical differences include the doctor's part in "Comfortably Numb," which is even sleazier and has surprisingly few lyrics in common with the finished song. On that track and the others partially credited to Gilmour on The Wall, it's clear that Gilmour is singing and playing guitar, thus corroborating the man's claims that Waters took a bit too much credit for those pieces. It's also worth pointing out that "Young Lust" and "Run Like Hell" show up here in instrumental form, pretty much identical to how they would appear on the album (Karaoke fans rejoice!).

One of this bootleg's absolute highlights is "One of My Turns," which is, in my opinion, vastly superior to the album version. As the song begins, Waters uses his tape recorder to apparently speed up his own voice in order to play the part of Pink's lady friend, and that's pretty creepy in itself. (Waters even has a bit of fun with it, having her comment "Gee, this little tape recorder is really neat!" at one point.) The girl's increasingly worried comments to Pink run throughout whole the first section of the song ("Gee, you don't talk very much, do you? You English boys are so quiet."), culminating in "You don't look very well at all!" right before Pink goes off the deep end. The subsequent shift into maniacal-Waters-mode is far more gripping than the album version, mostly because the music sounds a great deal less like Jackson Browne. Waters' voice also careens higher and further out of control, lending a more authentic touch to the simulated madness.

Speaking of which… it's been suggested before, but after listening to these demos, it seems clearer than ever that The Wall is, at base, Roger Waters telling the story of Syd Barrett. Oh sure, Waters' dad is the one who died in the War (though Syd's dad died when Syd was 14!), Waters was the one convinced by schoolteachers that he'd never amount to anything, and Waters was the one who got abusive toward his fans. But listening to Waters sing these tracks (and, obviously, he sings more of them here than on the finished album), it's impossible for me to believe he wasn't looking to poor ol' Syd as a major inspiration for both the lyrical content and the madcap delivery. The loopy "What Shall We Do Now," in particular, with its creepy returning suggestion to "contract disease," sounds like prime meltdown Syd-akin to, say, "Rats" or "Wolfpack."

But enough about Syd. Regardless of its inspiration, this disc is ultimately a testament to Waters' genius. I suspect this was not the beginning of *The Wall* so much as the next-to-final draft---most of the demos are cross-faded together as the finished songs would be, the running order is largely intact, and many of the samples and talking bits are there, if in slightly different forms. But it's still clearly a work in progress, and it's truly amazing to hear these songs---many of which are now so firmly embedded in our collective musical consciousness---in a rudimentary form originally intended for an extremely limited audience.

Oh, and the best part? Lose all those pointless Gilmour solos and you can fit the whole thing on one 29-track, 73-minute CD!

soul_crusher77@hotmail.com (Mike K.)
here's something I have in the pink floyd world that hasn't been discussed here.

pink floyd and friends - interstellar overdrive. this is very much on the sketchy side of qualifying as an actual pink floyd cd, as despite the title they only show up twice on the thing, but I want to talk about it anyway for some reason. I'm not entirely sure of the facts, but I believe like 5 of these songs were originally released as some kind of mini-soundtrack to a movie called "tonight let's all make love in london" that I don't know anything about, which was later reissued by a small low budget record company of some kind with a bunch of extra tracks that may or may not have anything to do with the film at all to make it just long enough to qualify as an album, repackaged, and misleadingly titled with no reference to the movie whatsoever. In other words, um, ripoff cd.. But if it's cheap enough (and it probably will be), get it anyway for the pink floyd content, a pretty neat extended 20 minute version of the title track but without the murky reverby effect that made it so scary sounding, and an outtake called "nick's boogie", which is a similarly minded noise jam which, though nowhere near as good, is pretty interesting and contains some neat tribal-ish drumming and more opportunities for Syd Barrett to make crazy noises come ouf his guitar for like 20 minutes. I can't tell you much about the rest of the album because I mostly skip to the 2 floyd songs, but the couple times I did listen to it, it came off as kind of surreal. Although Allan Ginsberg's spoken word thing that starts up the cd actually makes a neat intro to interstellar overdrive, the two floyd songs completely clash with the rest of the album, which mostly sports a mellow pot smoking acoustic guitar kind of vibe in complete contrast to the taking hits of acid insane distortion vibe of those two numbers. There's just something bizarre about hearing two hellishly noisy pink floyd jams on the same cd with early fleetwood mac, and the moody blues. I've seen something called "live in london 66-67" which appears to have the exact same 2 pink floyd songs from the movie and nothing else, but surprisingly it's actually more ecpensive, I suppose because the cd has a video of an early performance of "interstellar overdrive" on it. So you could get that, but if you're cheap like I am and don't care about no interactive feature crap, try to seek this out, and you too can be the proud owner of a cd that has that "angel of the morning" song that Shaggy ripped off on it. Or not.

RustyHandle@aol.com
hmm.. . well haven't heard it... but i can tell you that according to a uh.... rolling stone? spin? well whatever one of those music rags... (all the same to me) pink did get her name from her vagina... she uh showed it to some guy in a car and he started yelling 'oh my god it's pink!".... now dont take this as any sign that i'd endorse this whore in any way... she's entirely worthless pop trash... i dont care if that 4 non blondes bitch does like her... they both suck... i just that it was interesting... that you mentioned that... hmm.... oh well

duskwater@yahoo.co.uk (Robert Edmonds)
Well I think she's great. Doing the washing-up in the kitchen of 43e South Street (I had the house myself, it was the end of the lease) to the strains of Don't Let Me Ge Me last June is one of those curious happy memories that will stick with me... forever probably, now I've written it down.

I did have an excellent bootleg of The Wall film soundtrack, which I far preferred to the actual album at the time. But then some vile ned stole my luggage from Dundee bus station and I never saw it, or its like, ever again. That was Saturday, December 12th 1998 - final contact with my probably-not-very-rare-but-treasured-nonetheless Floyd bootleg. I remember the day because I had drunk two bottles of Aftershock the night before, and on the Saturday I was meant to go home from university. I threw up more than I ever imagined possible, injured my head and face quite badly by falling over on the pavement, missed my bus the following morning, had most of my possessions stolen by some whey-faced little schemie bastard, and ended up sleeping on a park bench in Central Birmingham, which is one of the more moronic things I've ever done. The fact that I was meant to be sharing the coach journey with a (BOOOO etc RING) girl I had a major crush on made the Day of Disaster even more infuriating. AND Manchester United, on that same day of December 12th 1998, threw away a two-goal lead at White Hart Lane, by allowing Sol Campbell, one of the biggest cloggers ever to disgrace the Premier League, to score TWICE in the last minute. Maddening, I tell you. But the season did admittedly turn out rather well in the end.

By the way, synchronising the last twenty-odd minutes of 2001: A Space Odyssey with 'Echoes' really does work. I warn you that Gilmour's guitar climax, disappointingly, does not coincide with the smashing of the glass that gets knocked off the table, but it almost does. And most of the other changes (main theme-jam-monster noises-reprise) pair up scarily well with the various shifts in scenery and pyschedelic visual effects. The rest of the film is spectacularly dull, IMn-sHO, but that last movement... try it. You will not be disappointed. And the remarkable thing is that Stanley Kubrick died that very same winter - [March 7th 1999, Google informs me, although I thought it was earlier than that, Ed] - I had to translate his obituary for a first-year German exam

Pink Floyd are officially dead and buried now, I believe.Gilmour has said that they will not record again, and every right-thinking music fan has breathed an almighty sigh of relief. A shame they/he had to inflict those two woeful albums on us, but all the same.

Goodbye..

jsalgado@uiuc.edu
What are your non-Keith opinions on the Building the Wall bootleg, supposing we filter out all the alcohol in it? Reason being I downloaded this RoIO off of a Pink Floyd site yesterday and find it kind of interesting.

rwdgrwnmfan@yahoo.com
I was rolling on the floor laughing reading about Keith and the Wall demos! I've only heard the demo for 'The Thin Ice' and I thought it sounded realIy different. I really want to find this cd and I'm especially curious about 'Outside the Wall', which is actually my favorite Pink Floyd song. I can't find the movie version anywhere to download and I wonder if the version on here is similar.

I noticed you mentioned 'Foxtrot' in this review, are you going to review Genesis albums in the future? (You probably get asked that all the time.) Anyway, I love your site to death. By the way, I noticed you mentioned Roger Waters in your review, are you going to review 'Amused To Death' in the future? (You probably get asked that all the time.)

Add your thoughts?

(Amanda Kenyon Reviews) Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd - EMI 2001.
Rating = 9

I like it very much! Very interesting Hipgnotic multi-points-of view cover, fantabulous song selection, and nice pictures in the liner notes. It covers absolutely everything the Floyd has done to date (with the total exclusion of Atom Heart Mother) in a completely non-chronological order, so you have stuff like "Jugband Blues" merging into "High Hopes" merging into "Bike." It's a neat effect. I can't for the life of me figure out why "Marooned" (a useless and pointless "song" lasting maybe four seconds) or "Keep Talking" (another truly shitty Division Bell ditty) are on here, and I personally would have preferred the inclusion of "Have a Cigar" instead of "Welcome to the Incredibly Boring Machine," but you can't have everything. And I also would have really liked to see "Vegetable Man" and "Apples and Oranges" and other such songs which I STILL HAVE NOT HEARD (if you have these songs and are willing to share them, email ajkenyon81@yahoo.com RIGHT NOW), but I understand that the other Floyds will not let this happen as long as they live. It does include "When the Tigers Broke Free," which, as far as I know, was only available as a single before now. Overall, though, it's definitely one of the better "Best Of" collections I've seen for any band, and highly recommendable to everyone in the world.

Reader Comments

soul_crusher77@hotmail.com (Mike K.)
I have no idea why I bought this considering I already have half the stuff, partially to get non-album stuff like arnold layne and when the tigers broke free and partially just out of curiousity as to how they pull the thing off. To those who don't know, it's basically a compilation of songs as selected by all members of pink floyd (except syd, but that's to be expected) from their entire career. Not only is it pretty surprising that the whole band actually agreed on anything at all, but the minute I heard the concept I thought it wouldn't fly because they've had 3 eras that couldn't sound any more different from each other. the Barrett era stuff in particular seemed like it would stick out like a sore codfish. But the band actually did do a pretty good job of fitting things together all things considered. Sometimes they'll play the contrasts to their advantage (the innocent (albeit moderately acid tinged) childhood fantasy of "see emily play" suddenly leaping into the world war II sound effects and childhood nightmare of "the happiest days of our lives"), sometimes they'll show a common theme (gilmour/water's epitaph for syd barrett's legacy in "wish you were here" followed by his own in "jugband blues"), and sometimes they'll stick things together that fit a similar mood (or at least end with a sound effect that happens to fit with another sound effect the next song starts with). And while "high hopes" and "bike" still don't sound like they belong on the same album, these strategies work pretty well. Also, the couple epic songs that got editted sound fine too. And neat artwork, I like that you can look through the front and inside cover parts and do a Highights-esque search for the things from various other albums' artwork. But one thing that this album won't do is make me rush out and buy the Gilmour albums anytime soon, although "high hopes" and "learning to fly" are fairly decent songs, and "marooned", while nothing special on it's own, does sound pretty cool going into "great gig in the sky", "keep talking" has put me off getting any of the gilmour material till I get pretty much everything else. those backing vocals, the hideously 80's sounding for something recorded in 1994 drum machine and synth drowning effect, the really awkardly applied Hawking samples, everything. Maybe Waters was having a bit of revenge letting Gilmour put that on there. Oh, I almost forgot, no best of cd review is complete without the part where you whine about all the things that didn't get on the cd, so here goes: No "interstellar overdrive"? no "run like hell"? No "Dogs"? nothing from atom heart mother or ummagumma at all? "when the tigers broke free" and not "oh what shall we do now?", the much cooler other song in the wall movie that wasn't on the album? "keep talking" and not um, anything else but "keep talking"? eh, you can't fit everything I guess.

Jcjh20@aol.com
I agree with the 9. Excellent collection of Pink Floyd's whole career. They picked a great representative of each album (except id probably prefer either an edited version of "Interstellar Overdrive" or "Lucifer Sam" over "Bike" from Piper At The Gates Of Dawn) and they surprizingly didnt neglect the Syd Barrett-era which i thought was great. I also liked how they merged both "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" parts into one track, which i actually prefer to hear over the 2 seperate tracks on Wish You Were Here now. "Fletcher Memorial Home" was a nice pick from The Final Cut as well, which got me interested in the album. I dont blame them for putting crappy post-Waters era Pink Floyd songs on here, but they shoulda picked better songs (i do like "Learning To Fly" and "High Hopes" though). I absolutely recommend this for anyone whom wants to get into Pink Floyd, either to just hear some songs or even for people whom only heard Dark Side Of The Moon, The Wall and/or Wish You Were Here or any of the main well known Pink Floyd albums.

bluecheesicle@yahoo.com
Pink Floyd sucks. It's crap "progressive rock" for people that don't really like rock and roll in the first place. Everything they have ever done sounds like pretensious elevator music, their earlier "Syd" stuff sounds like a bunch of elitist English asshole hippies screwing around in the studio with too many effects at their disposal, too much free time on their hands and too much LSD ingested. Everyone that I have ever known that is a big Pink Floyd fan is also a condescending pen clicking/glasses adjusting audiophile head case as well. You'll never convince me otherwise or change my opinion about bands like Floyd, Yes or Emerson Lake and Palmer. It's all self-indulgent tripe for suburban bongbrains who think that their fecal matter smells like strawberries.

ktotheatothei@comcast.net
Pink Floyde is deffinetly one of the least musically challenging bands to gain mass popularity. Stupid psychodelic peace crap music. Not art at all, just shite.

michaelwfhowe@hotmail.com (Mike)
hi Mark,

It's really sad that Syd Barrett has died, obviously from the point of view that he has family that care about him, but also from the point of view that he never recorded any more music (as far as we know) and I guess we all liked the mysterious possibility that he might one day release another record or get together with the rest of Pink Floyd. But more than that I feel that maybe he didn't know how many people around the world loved his work. Anyhow, even as a part time PF fan it made me very sad to read the news.

Useles fact - when I was young, I went on a school trip to north Devon, and on the beach where we were looking for small animals, there was a HUGE expanse of old fashioned beds laid out row after row. We weren't allowed to go and have a look, but that's the picture that ended up on the Momentary Lapse... cover (I think it was that one?)

Thanks for sticking your neck out and giving Pulse a positive review - am I allowed to say that this LP reminds me of Radiohead but I prefer Pink Floyd? Maybe now.

Add your thoughts?


Other Pink Floyd Web Sites

*You can get yer bottom dollar Pink Floyd CDs here at this fine establishment.

*More Floyd for youse? Seek out A Fleeting Glimpse!!!

*Less Floyd for youse? Avoid The Pink Floyd Hyperbase!!!

Or do the honest thing and return this page to where you found it - on the Mark Prindle Record Review Guide.