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Friday, January 27, 2012

Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother (1970)

Atom Heart Mother is the fifth studio album by English progressive rock band Pink Floyd, released in 1970 by Harvest and EMI Records in the United Kingdom and Harvest and Capitol in the United States. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London, England, and reached number one in the United Kingdom, and number 55 in the United States charts, and went gold in the U.S. in March 1994. A re-mastered CD was released in 1994 in the UK, and in 1995 in the US. The album cover appears in Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange. The piece is a progression from Pink Floyd's earlier instrumental pieces such as "A Saucerful of Secrets" and even earlier, "Interstellar Overdrive". The "Atom Heart Mother" suite takes up all of side one, and is split into six parts, featuring a full brass section and choir which take most of the lead melody lines, while Pink Floyd mainly provide the backing tracks; a reverse of the 1960s pop music practice of using orchestration as the background, and putting the rock band in front. However, there is one section where a bluesy electric guitar solo by David Gilmour takes the lead. Critical reaction to the suite has always been mixed, and all band members have expressed negativity toward it in recent times. But they appear to have been enthusiastic about the suite in the early 1970s, taking a full brass section and choir on tour just for the purpose of performing this piece; a move which caused the tour to lose money. A later arrangement without brass or choir, and pared down from 25 minutes to 15 by omitting the "collage" sections and closing reprise of the main theme, remained in their live repertoire into 1972, performed in concerts that also previewed The Dark Side of the Moon. June 2008 saw Ron Geesin perform "Atom Heart Mother" with Italian tribute band Mun Floyd over two nights as part of the Chelsea Festival. Geesin introduced it with a history and slide show. The performances featured full choir, brass and noted cellist Caroline Dale, who has worked with David Gilmour. The second night saw Gilmour join Geesin on stage for the performance. The song was extended to over 35 minutes and received many excellent reviews. Side two opens with three five-minute songs: one by each of the band's three resident songwriters, and closes with a suite with sound effects primarily conceived by Nick Mason, but credited to the whole group (and based mostly on musical ideas by Gilmour). Therefore, this album's concept is similar to their previous Ummagumma album, in that it features the full band in the first half, and focuses on individual members in the second half. Roger Waters contributes a folk ballad called "If" which he would play frequently at live shows in support of his Radio K.A.O.S. album, more than a decade later. This is followed by Rick Wright's brass-heavy "Summer '68", a critique of the "rock 'n' roll" lifestyle that would soon become characteristic of Pink Floyd. Next is David Gilmour's "Fat Old Sun", for which a 15 minute extended arrangement spent two years as a key part of the band's live set, and is a staple of Gilmour's various solo tours. The final track, "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast", is divided into three segments, each with its own descriptive title, joined by dialogue and sound effects of then-roadie Alan Stiles preparing, discussing, and eating breakfast. A slightly re-worked version was performed onstage only once on 22 December 1970 at Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield, England with the band members pausing between pieces to eat and drink their breakfast. - Wikipedia

David Gilmour – Guitars, Bass Guitar, Drums, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals 
Nick Mason – Drums, Percussion, Tape Editing, Tape Collage 
Roger Waters – Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Tape Effects, Tape Collage, Vocal 
Richard Wright – Hammond Organ, Piano, Mellotron, Farfisa Compact Duo Organ, Orchestration, Vocal 

1. Atom Heart Mother (23:44)
2. If (4:31)
3. Summer '68 (5:29)
4. Fat Old Sun (5:22)
5. Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast (13:00)

1 comments:

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