Kelly is still at work until lmeaning HRH and I have some “quiet” (yeah, right!) time with the stereo and mommy’s awesome lasagna, beginning with one of her birthday records from her Uncle Keith, the uh-mazing ‘Atom Heart Mother‘ album by Pink Floyd.
I’ve always held off on purchasing this on vinyl as I still have a version on CD but HRH, bless her little record snobby self, refuses to listen to anything on CD so this acquisition to her collection was an awesome one. Oh, and this is another perfect LOUD! album as this was the Floyd’s first album to be specially mixed for four-channel quadraphonic sound as well as conventional two-channel stereo.
Nice one, Uncle Keith!
Appearing after the sprawling, unfocused double-album set ‘Ummagumma‘, this album boasts more focus, even a concept, yet that doesn’t mean it’s more accessible. If anything, this is the most impenetrable album Pink Floyd released while on Harvest, which also makes it one of the most interesting of the era. Still, it may be an acquired taste even for fans, especially since it kicks off with a side-long, 23-minute extended orchestral piece that may not seem to head anywhere, but is often intriguing, more in what it suggests than what it achieves. And special note: Stanley Kubrick originally wanted to use this track in ‘A Clockwork Orange’.
I also received a rather questionable raised eyebrow from HRH when she was perusing over the album sleeve notes, due to the segment ‘Breast Milky‘.
What’ya gonna do?
Then, on Side Two, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, and Rick Wright have a song apiece, winding up with the group composition ‘Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast‘ wrapping it up. Of these, Waters begins developing the voice that made him the group’s lead songwriter during their classic era with ‘If‘, while Wright has an appealingly mannered, very English psychedelic fantasia take on a Beach Boys inspired ‘Summer 68‘, and Gilmour’s ‘Fat Old Sun‘ meanders quietly before ending with a guitar workout that leaves no impression.
‘Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast‘, the 12-minute opus that ends the album, does the same thing as Side One, floating for several minutes before ending on a drawn-out jam that finally gets the piece moving. So, there are interesting moments scattered throughout the record, and the work that initially seems so impenetrable winds up being ‘Atom Heart Mother‘s strongest moment. That it lasts an entire side illustrates that Pink Floyd was getting better with the larger picture instead of the details, since the second side just winds up falling off the tracks, no matter how many good moments there are. This lack of focus means Atom Heart Mother will largely be for cultists, but its unevenness means there’s also a lot to cherish here.
And it has cows on it and HRH likes cows.
So there ya go.