Friday, 30 December 2011

Tales from the turntable, part 3: Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother

To me Pink Floyd's been one of the greatest bands on earth. One thing I definitely regret is that I didn't go to see them performing at Lahti in 1989. And when the 1994 Helsinki gig was cancelled it meant that I missed my chances. Bugger! And I wasn't even near London in 2005 when they performed with Roger Waters. That 20 minutes was one of the wonders in the music business. Thank God it was shown on TV. Incredible. I really got into Floyd's music in 1986 and since then Atom Heart Mother has been one of my favourite albums by them but I also love such albums like Animals, Wish You Were Here, The Final Cut or The Wall. I was glad to see Roger Waters performing that marvelous double album at Helsinki in Spring 2011. Awsome experience.

Everybody knows The Wall or Dark Side Of The Moon so I picked Atom Heart Mother from the shelf instead. Record was released on 10th October 1970 with a code SHVL 781. The gatefolded sleeve has photos of cows on the pasture. Cover was designed by a group called Hipgnosis and they are responsible for most of the Pink Floyd album covers.

The long almost 24 minute title track Atom Heart Mother on the opening side is brilliant. I know that the members of PF (except Richard Wright I think) dislike this album but so what? To me this is a classic album. The track starts with a fade-in low humming and then added with horns and the rest of the band. Then comes cannons and horses and a motorcycle. Fantastic. The track is divided into six parts: a) Father's Shout, b) Breast Milky, c) Mother Fore, d) Funky Dung, e) Mind Your Throats, Please and f) Remergence. Lots of great moments of Wright's organs, Gilmour's guitars, Waters' bass and Mason's drums. Also nice choir bits doing the vocal parts nevertheless there aren't any clear lyrics just some odd language. Very eerie. The only lyrics I think are said in the latter part of the track: "Silence in the studio". This whole tune is like entering some magical fantasy world. The tune ends with a pompous choir singing and at the same time the band is playing the main theme.

B-side is more conventional. Well, you can hardly call all those B-side songs conventional. First comes Roger Waters' acoustic and beautiful song: "If". Then Richard Wright's "Summer '68" and then David Gilmour's "Fat Old Sun". All of them are semi-acoustic, mellow and laidback songs. Fat Old Sun starts with church bells ringing and that reminds me of the best post-Waters Pink Floyd song: "High Hopes". The album ends with Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast which is a 13 minute collection of instrumental songs and making breakfast. Yes, you read it correctly: making breakfast. The man who makes the breakfast is Alan Stiles, who was their roadie back in 1970. The song is divided into three parts: 1. Rise And Shine, 2. Sunny Side Up and 3. Morning Glory. The LP ends with a sound of water dripping from the tap. It lasts until the very final groove of the vinyl so that the last audible sound is that water when the needle jumps up. If your record player don't do that then the sound will be there indefinitely.

Brilliant album. Will always love this, like the other PF albums as well...

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