Put that joint DOWN!
The Lineup Card
Syd Barrett (guitars/vocals) until 1967
Roger Waters (bass, vocals, etc.) until 1984
Rick Wright (keyboards) until late 70's...returned mid 1990's
Nick Mason (drums)
David Gilmour (guitar, vocals) since 1967
It's hard not to like Pink Floyd and it's hard not to hate Pink Floyd as well. Pink Floyd is the unthinkingman's art rock band. If you happen to be a narrow-minded, die hard, dyed-in-the-wool, tongue-halfway-up-Roger-Water's-rectum Floyd fan, I really suggest you leave now, put on The Wall yet again and beat your sister to a pulp or whatever you guys do for fun. You probably won't appreciate most of what I'm a gonna say here.
Taking the first point, about liking Floyd, I don't know off the top of my head what other band could be considered as visual and cerebral as Pink Floyd was in their mid-70's heyday, yet was also able to back up their gimmicks with, well, if not fresh then at least palatable musical ideas. They were accessible yet inventive, and more professional than a swimming pool full of anal-retentive accounting majors, and we all know they sold more plastic to budding heads than all the other psychedelic bands combined. The total amount of weed smoked to Pink Floyd records must, is amassed in one huge stack of THC-godhead, weigh at least as much as John Ashcroft's sexual repression. Their simpleton worldview on later albums really appeals to folks who like to keep their thinking to a minimum. There ain't a lot of 'rough edges' like King Crimson or the Bee Gees, so most of the time albums go down easy if you aren't listening too hard. For those of us who need a bit more insanity in our music, the early mid-60's Syd Barrett Pink Floyd can be held up as definitely one of the earliest and most enduring symbols of fucked-up bass-ackwards psychedelic funsieness in all of rock music, and Syd Barrett as its pretty boy drug martyr. And after he left, the band was able to put forward a pretty decent attempt at cosmic rock for an album. In almost all of their epochs (save the latest one), from blot-by-numbers psyche madness to space rockers to folkies to arena-packing album rock kings they were always at least able to put forward one album that's worth putting in a collection, which is more than you can say about most bands with a 30 year history....so in that much their popularity is justified.
But Pink Floyd has definite and crippling limitations as well, especially when you begin comparing them with some of their contemporaries. And though Syd's Floyd has its own problems, the following section is only for the Gilmour-era Floyd, and particularly the hugely popular '73-'83 Roger-dictated epoch. First, they are very far from being proficient on their instruments, at times even approaching out-and-out hackhood. David Gilmour is the only one able to hold his own at all, and he is usually so calculated and dispassionate on his solos its rather like listening to some sort of human Midi program than a rock guitarist. He, by far, is the Anti-Keith Richards. The other three are no great shakes at best and unable to play at worst. And since they're often unable to carry a passage by their musical prowess alone, and can't get by on good ol' rockin' (and ooohh...the times they try to do that...*shudder*), they're left having to create melodies and emotional passages, which they're only able to do sporadically. They mostly like to put together long, repetitive and monotonous, yet pleasantly harmonic background music. Why background? Because almost without an exception, it's BORING. Really, really boring. So few jaw dropping, stop-what-you're-doing-and-listen sections (that aren't based on some sort of special effect, anyway) that I wonder why I even try to care. Secondly, Pink Floyd's 'message' is often unpleasantly cynical, insincere, and adolescently simplistic. World Bad! Greed Bad! Mother Bad! The early band didn't have much of a message at all (other than that boring the shit out of you is, like, far out man), but after the development of Roger Waters as the band's conceptual and operational Saddam Hussein, the message began to get so overbearing that, finally, the band itself was no longer able to contain Roger's ego and it imploded. The latter-day cash cow Pink Gilmour is again sans-message, unless you count the most banal Down With People philosophizing as some sort of message. It's often hard to believe this band was able to make something as heartfelt as Wish You Were Here when you're trying to hash your way through The Division Bell, and hard to believe they were so intent on breaking down the 'walls' between artist and audience when they were always one of the least populist bands out there. (Can you imagine the Live At Pompeii Pink Floyd signing autographs and slapping fives with fans after a gig? I see them negotiating a half point on their Bentley financing rate, if you ask me.) It's like Waters & Co. like the idea of connecting with an audience more than the process of such, and as a consequence turn to the usual rah-rah button pushing you'll find on their live albums. Ooh! Lights! Ooh! Big Dirigibles! Oooh! Lookit that film in the background! Oooh! Hear that 100% mapped-out market analyzed 'heart-wrenching' guitar solo! God, I'm lucky they did have a time when they just bashed it out until you fell asleep. At least then I didn't feel like I was being manipulated quite so much.
In the end, the Pink Floyd catalogue is a risky investment but with some decent sides. Many albums contain real shitty sections, and very few are great from beginning to end. But then again, very few are rotten from beginning to end either. It is a mistake, and one that a lot of people make, to believe that Pink Floyd were the be-all and end-all of psychedelic and cerebral rock music. There's a whole 'nother world out there for you to discover, young heads! But Pink Floyd are still the most revered, and as such we must give them at least some respect.
Far out, man...far out. Pink Floyd's debut would have placed them on the Big Picture Placemat Menu of Rock Notoriety (get 'em Smothered! Covered! Play a Patsy Cline song on the jukebox!) even if they'd suddenly turned turtle after this release and started making cocktail jazz music from then on. The only album they made with Little Lysergic Lupe Lu Syd Barrett as their leader, Piper is a strong contender for Best Early Psychedelic Album...but maybe not the final winner. Count it as one of the chicks who gets the big bouquet and fights off rageful tears as she sees Jimi Hendrix grab the crown even though she suffered through 6 months of bulimia to get this far. In fact, the album is about as consistent as a turd in a hot tub. The Syd-era Pink is nothing like the massive-hit 70's version, for one thing. They really hadn't learned to play their instruments yet, and after looking at a guitar tab of one of Syd's songs it dawned on me that this guy knew next to nothing about his instrument. Didn't know how to play scales. Didn't probably know more than a handful of chords. Obviously couldn't play along with stuff on the radio. Didn't even know how to make the coolest sounds come out of it. But somehow the man made that guitar work for him and was somehow able to realise the music in his head. His chaotic slashing has more than a little accidental melody under the surface, and he had an impeccable pop sense under all that druggy marshmallow covering. One only need listen to the early single 'Arnold Layne' (not found here, unfortunately) to see that.
But, all the same, Syd's mind was buried under about an inch and a half of Fairy Juice, and that's why he preferred writing either twisted children's songs or spacey trips to the outer rings of Saturn than silly songs about crossdressing. The opening piece on Piper, 'Astronomy Domine', is still one of the bands best-ever and most realized creations. The cosmic slashing and bashing feels as if it can fly apart and send broken sprockets straight for your solar plexus at any moment...but it holds together. Somehow the ship holds together and safely gets us out of the range of the solar flares. I mean, the band spent like 5 years attempting to write another one of these, and though they came close several times nothing quite matches the shattering open-chord crashes and descending 'ahhhhhs' of the 'Domine'.
As for the best of the wacky
And the 'other' space rock song on here, the 'epic' 'Interstellar Overdrive' is cool, but c'mon...that sounds like the first song my college joke band ever wrote together. Even down to how it was obviously recorded direct-to-four track real hot so the guitars would get all overdriven like that. Those even sound like how I played solos back in 1995, and I had never even heard this album back then. Our drummer was better, but I'll give 'em that Roger is a better bass player than Joe McNulty was. Sheeit, man, I mean I feel like an ass comparing the Flamin' Schnanuses to Barret-era Pink Floyd, but the proof is in the pudding, you know? And the self-indulgent noisy slop is in 'Interstellar Overdrive'....call it 'Astonomy Domine' without the focus. And without an end.
The rest of the album is better than the worst moments of 'Power Touch' and 'Try To Walk With An Stethoscope in Your Colon' but worse than the first two songs. 'The Gnome' and 'Scarecrow' do little for me, 'Chapter 24' is allright but overstays its welcome real quick. Quoting books in rock songs is always a bad idea, and doing it over and over is grounds for detention, mister. 'Bike' is as silly as killing a homeless drifter on your way home from soccer practice but its still funny...'he's getting rather old but he's a good mouse' always kills 'em down at the Lodge, doncha know? And you know what? Each one has at least some semblance of a melody going on. Thanks Mr. Barrett. You can go on home now. I hear there's some juicy steak on the stove and some good TV shows about ready to start...
Capn's Final Word: Times of unbearable annoyance, times of rocking brilliance, and it all comes off like a walk through the mind of an over-sugared kindergartner on paint fumes.
nazar Your Rating: B
Any Short Comments?: Piper has moments of great brilliance that are ruined by pointless noise making. I really like all of it until Interstellar Overdrive. That song (if you can call it that) is a 9 minute noisefest that should not have seen the light of day. I'd rather have something like Arnold Layne instead, y'know. The ending of Bike is just some bells ringing and gnome laughing, which is retarded. The rest is ok, but not as great as it's sometimes made out to be.
Mike Your Rating: A
Any Short Comments?: Much better than you give it credit for, but I probably think that because I haven't burned out on it yet. Definitely, it's flawed, but I think it's a great LP. It's hard to think of another classic LP, though, with such a questionable first side.
"Astronomy Domine," "Lucifer Sam," and "Matilda Mother" are all really something. No complaints for me there, other than I think "Matilda Mother" should have been placed somewhere else on the LP. "Flaming" is really weird, though, and I sometimes think it would fit better on "A Saucerful Of Secrets." It just sounds really creepy to me, and I think that it would fit better on the overall darker tone on that album. "Pow R. Toc H." (Power Tokage - Syd was a world-class herbal cowboy at this point along with everything else) and "Take Thy Stethoscope And Walk" are horrible jams that sound like sperm whales farting. The second side rules mercilessly, from "Interstellar Overdrive" onwards.
My ideal Piper LP would be:
1 Astronomy Domine
2 Lucifer Sam
3 Arnold Layne
4 Candy and a Currant Bun (Arnold Layne B-side, and in that same vein,
except with crazy guitar)
5 See Emily Play
6 Interstellar Overdrive
7 The Gnome
8 Matilda Mother
9 Chapter 24
10 The Scarecrow
A Saucerful Of Secrets - Atlantic 1968
Syd cracked himself up on LSD throughout the year of 1967 (not that LSD makes everyone who takes it nuts, it only amplifies tendencies that are already pre-existing. And it's pretty obvious Syd had more than one crack in his eggshell long before he took his first sugarcube) and by the time of the second album was unable to do much of anything. I remember reading a story about how Floyd went on some live TV program like Top of the Pops or something and, instead of lip synching (or actually singing...did they always lip synch on TV music shows? Not on Ed Sullivan they didn't. I dunno about the others.) he just stood there and looked vacantly into the camera lens and not even touching his guitar neither. For 3 minutes. Live, on nationwide television. Creeep-y, even for 1967. That's when they knew it was all said and done for poor ol' Syd Barrett and sent him home to momma. They replaced him with his astrological opposite, David Gilmour, a guitarist for which the word 'chaos' does not exist. Syd used to play these neat simple two-finger chord leads, New Man Dave plays actual melody lines like Clapton or the guy in Chicago does, with bends and vibrato and all that Italian sausage. But the rest of the band is happy to carry on playing along more-or-less in the same spacey-rock vibe of Piper here on Saucerful, and can't help but improve somewhat on the old sound.
First thing you'll notice here is that the singing is
a lot more soothing and, you know, adult than on Piper. Secondly
that they're all playing together as an ensemble more than before rather than a
collection of various parts thrown together in a bowl with two eggs and a shot
of horse jizz. Take Rick Wright's 'Remember A Day', with its
Its a bummer, then, that the album has to stick the totally out-of-place 'Corporal Clegg' right in the middle of our voyage. Now Roger's second composition is better than his first, I'll give him that (that wah-wahed Mrs. Clegg part is great) but not by much. And must I tolerate another kazoo part from yet another 60's drug band? Fucking drugs make you do the stupidest things. Listen, I know Roger was deeply affected by the death of his father in WWII, and I can appreciate that. But Jesus, man...right in the middle of this album, this...this...military march parody? You've got a lot to learn, boy.
Stop the presses and flog the pressmaster 'cos we've also got a new development here, the Pink Floyd sensitive folk-rock tune. Joining all the other freaks who like a bit of a break from the craziness now and then, 'See Saw' is the first exercise in the near tuneless Floyd-ian fuzzy-headedness that would later come to a head on Atom Heart Mother and Meddle. Oh, its not bad...perfectly enjoyable actually, but nothing to tip your milkman for. Syd's take on this sort of song (and his only writing contribution to Saucer, and his last ever collaboration on a Pink album), 'Jugband Blues', sounds like a few Sgt. Pepper outtakes mashed together, but with Syd making precious little sense in his rambling vocal delivery sections. It's like watching a car wreck...fascinating and not wholly unentertaining but still somehow bothersome to your sense of social consciousness.
Capn's Final Word: The space rock part of the album is great stuff, but ruined by the unwelcome intrusion of 'Clegg'. The other parts are barely fair. Lacks the peaks of Piper but is a more consistently mind-blowing ride.
Any Short Comments?: My thoughts concerning this record is that they were unsure of what to do given Syds absence from the world of the sane. Rick Wright does a couple of Syd parodies that lack Syds inventiveness but aren't all that bad. Roger writes 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun' of course and points the way forwards. 'Corporal Clegg' was Roger trying to be Syd. He soon stopped trying! The title track is largely tuneless but even that gave them encouragement to attempt similar ( and better ) things in the future. This album is an underrated gem, for me. No, its not perfect. So, an 'A-' from me.
Now I like French art films as much as the next Johnny
Beer Bong (meaning that I'd rather felch a puddin' pop outta Bill Cosby's arsehole
than watch one, but I'll consider it if the boob count is considerable) but sho 'nuff those Pinkies loved doing soundtracks for the
damn things. Probably has something to do with their being left out of the
What's totally hilarious about this record is, that at the same time Roger was writing these sorts of pensive acoustic ditties that anyone can write and make palatable, David Gilmour was indulging his cock in some rock made for such a phallic instrument. This sort of gizz-rocking may not have been totally passe in 1968 (it was barely invented, actually), but now, in these halcyon days of System Of A Down and Creed, 'The Nile Song' and 'Ibiza Bar' sound like such musical antiques that its hard not to stifle a giggle at them. Sure, space rock is still cool and psychedelia never really did go out of style, but this sort of 'stand up on the amp and make the girls moan with pleasure' masturbatory rocking style is about as stylish as a set of Hypercolor parachute pants.
As for the rest, well, the soundtrack music had to go somewhere, and here you go. You have some fairly passable blues playing by Gilmour on 'More Blues', a horrid organ based piece of space rock trash 'Quicksilver', and a few other bits and pieces of more standard Floyd-sounding music. I don't hear much from anyone other than Gilmour and Waters any more....what happened to good ol Ricky Wright putting his 'Remember A Day' on an album? Poor boy probably already forgot how to play his instrument. Nahh...that didn't happen until 1972 or so. Oh well...Ummagumma would give everyone their due chances.
Capn's Final Word: This album is too much lame folk rock, stupid cock rock, and soundtrack filler. There are some moments, though, and enough of them to make me at least count this as a real Pink album.
Mike Your Rating:
Any Short Comments?: This is actually one of my favorite Pink Floyd albums, probably because I haven't burned out on it yet like I did with Floyd's monster '70's AOR albums in early high school (now those were the days...I was a huge Floydian in 9th grade...). But I really like "Cymbaline" and the instrumentals aren't very wanky at all, and mostly do their job of being hypnotic and, to me at least, damned cool. You do have to be in the mood for "Quicksilver," and that one foresees some ambient Krautrock (it kinda reminds me of some Ash Ra Tempel stuff). I like it. Yeah, "The Nile Song" and "Ibiza Bar" are awful, despite the nice titles of both. Hey, personal taste. "Animals" is still my favorite Floyd album, though.
Another soundtrack, another drug movie (this one was
more popular, though), another bunch of Pink Floyd soundtrack music. And this
time it's just soundtrack music. And less interesting than on More, but
more interesting than Les Nesman. 'Heart Beat, Pig
Meat' is notable because it introduces the vocal samples that later made Dark
Side Of The Moon the best spoken word album since Andrew Dice Clay's I
Shat On My Audience Because I Used To Be Called 'Pussy Lips' Back In Grade
School LP. Some surprises: The cute country-rock '
Capn's Final Word: '
Schizoid. A double album by Floyd, the first being a live presentation of their entire goofy Space Cowboy stage act, the second being a bunch of solo sections by each of the egotistical assholes....err.....I mean band members. Some folks count this among their favorite Pink Floyd releases, but then some folks like George W. Bush too. Were there really that many kids going to special ed back in grade school? Dang. Enough to elect a president. Boggles the mind, much like the old board game Boggle may have done.
The live album is a mixed collection of the many different sides of Pink Floyd, giving us such various and sundry luminaries as 'Saucerful of Secrets', 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun', 'Astronomy Domine', the new 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene' and much more. If you count some silence between songs as 'much more'. Show me a live record with four songs on it and I'll show you a good opportunity to study the insides of your eyelids. I mean, if you're only putting four songs on a space rock album, you're probably too busy cutting lines on the Hammond organ to attempt to make 'Astronomy Domine' come in anywhere close to its original running time. Dig it: later early Pink Floyd's live show was repetitive and boring! Yes! Repetitive and boring! The Same Thing over and over and over and over and over. Repetition of the same chords. Boring revisitation of the same themes. I hear reappearances of certain notes and duplication of...okay. You get the idea. 'Careful' is pretty fucking cool, though, at least in the big, scary middle part with the whispers and the cathartic scr-...I'm not gonna tell ya what happens there in the middle of 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene', but suffice it to say you might YELL your head off when you hear it. You could ROAR with delight or even SHRIEK with surprise. But make sure you're not in some dark HOLLER reading Saul BELLOW novels with C. Thomas HOWL under the SCREECH owl tree. Got that?
So if you feel some relief when the live album finishes (and you will, you will...) you're not going to make it through the...umm compositions on the studio album. Each band member gets their solo spot where they can do whatever they like, and you know what? They like to bore the shit out of us with toonless noodling and crappy experimentation! 'Yay, mommy, can I PLEASE have another fucking sound effect collage?' 'Yes, son, but only if you stop playing with Mr. Happy in the bathtub!' The opening 'Syphillis', Rick Wright's 'contribution' starts out okay, but quickly devolves into awful horror movie screeches and gratuitous piano abuse. 'Part Three' and 'Part Four' is a continuation of the already-dull-enough 'Quicksilver' off More. It just keeps dragging its rotting, stinking corpse all around the parking lot even though you thought you already snapped it's neck.
Roger's 'Grantchester Meadows' is more of the same stuff he packed More with, but even more normal this time. Nary an ominous organ chord to be found. But, ooh, watch those seconds of your precious life tick by as you wait for 7 minutes of this meandering limp-wrister to finally peter itself out and lead into the animal-noise orgy 'Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathering Together And Attempting To Create The Longest And Most Sophomoric Song Title In The History Of Modern Man' which most folks who don't worship comic books or Japanimation need only hear once in their lifetimes. Those who do worship comic books or Japanime (why can't they ever get all of a drink of water in their mouth? What's with all the kiddie porn and screaming?) will probably also play nicely with Nick Mason's distracted lo-cal drum soloing on 'The Grand Vizier's Garden Party'. Ohhh, will the bullshit ever stop on this thing? Well Dave's part ain't all that bad, and he keeps each section of 'The Narrow Way' a nice 3 or 4 minutes so we're not absolutely bored Tootie like on 'Grantchester', but c'mon, none of this stuff is exactly burning down the Synagogue, you know?
Capn's Final Word: I think it's quite obvious that these guys need to play together to be anything other than a bunch of self indulgent jellyfish. A good half of this album is dull and repetitive (if interesting), and the other half is just plain unlistenable. I find very little of value in it. Sigh...let the hate mail roll in.
Your Rating: A
Any Short Comments?: Take what Capn marvin says about this album with a dollop of something tasty. The live version of a Saucerful of secrets has a depth that can not be experienced the first few "listens" This combined with jammin versions of Careful with that axe and Astronomy domine make this live recording truly amazing. The live versions of these songs make the originals sound like they were simply blueprints for these final masterpieces. Also if you have the studio album just hit track skip when the noises start and you can skip all that avante garde crap without missing toons. This makes it much easier to listen to.
Any Short Comments?: C rating? :|. omg this album is a master piece. Careful with that axe eugene is just unreal ... a true clasic :p
Your Rating: C
Any Short Comments?: C is about the halfway mark, right? Well, I guess it should be C+, since I like Grantchester Meadows.
Live: Great. Fantastic. Weirdo live improvs that go into nutty trance-out modal space grooves. You won't regret it. Floyd was not boring live, as this more than adequately shows. A Saucerful of Secrets has a marvelously foreboding bass intro, Careful With That Axe Eugene gets its definitive outing here (great organ playing throughout the live LP), Set The Controls is turned into the bizarro space jam it was always meant to be, and Astronomy Domine has totally different drums and sounds like almost a different song. My rating is: A. Close to A+. Definitely the best live stuff Floyd ever legitimately released.
Studio: Yecch. Awful. Grantchester Meadows is nice enough, but even that gets boring over the course of seven minutes. Rick Wright's stuff is ok, at first, but just degenerates into hideous avant-garde fuckery. I liked "Quicksilver," and Part Four of Sysyphus is indeed kinda similar, but it sucks instead of being a groovy pot-haze trance session. I would have slept if the air around me hadn't been compressed by the sheer weight of pretension pouring out of the speakers. Waters has Grantchester Meadows, which is ok if overlong, and the repulsive Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Having an Orgy Under the Influence of Various Hallucinogenic Substances Harvested From Syd Barrett's Brainstem, which huffs dog balls. Gilmour's "The Narrow Way" Pt. 1 is cute enough if completely insubstantial, Pt. 2 makes no use of a menacing riff, and Pt. 3 is limp-wristed singer/songwriter drool. Shockingly, you're not listening to assorted tracks from A Momentary Lapse Of Reason. Nick Mason's psychedelic drum solo is as moronic as you'd expect, though the flute solos that bookend it are nice enough. My rating is D. Close to D-. I got this album burned and used the second disc to kill squirrels.
So the halfway rating for the whole shebang is C+, or C, it doesn't matter. I can't do math and the studio half is a unloved puddle of liquid zebu droppings mixed with tape loops documenting several species of small furry band members masturbating all over a poster of John Cage. Too bad Roger stole the hand lotion, I heard Rick had to use a vibrator. The live half is like playing Fillmore West while tripping balls with a beyond-amazing psychedelic modal acid heavy space jam mind death band, nuking everyone else off the stage, and then balling Grace Slick afterwards. Wooooeeee!
Hrm, one of the Floyd albums I never got around to buying as a teenager, mostly because I heard the words 'classical suite' and my mind just shut down. Actually, my mind shut down on just about anything that didn't include the words 'trippy', 'Led Zeppelin', or 'breast', but that's another man's sac. And I'm Pleased To Meet Me new Pink Floyd record, one that really, truly ain't half bad. Ain't really half good neither, but at least it's fairly efficient in it's shitty time wasting, unlike that Ummagumma gramma killer that kept chomping away at the rim of life for 100 full minutes.
But Gosh, that 23 minute first side isn't bad at all!
A first, really, for a song that long not by Yes or the Live Dead. There ain't a part I don't like in the first, oh, 10 minutes or
so. You got a halfway decent opening theme, a plasticky-but-enjoyable
Gilmour slide solo, a 'heavenly chorus' section that goes on a tad long (but
improves when the rhythm section comes back in again) and a part where Gilmour
gets his calculator back out again and 'crunches' some 'numbers' if you Sue
Case Logic for Screwing Up My $10000 CD Collection, and I think you do. Round
about 13 minutes through it begins to get out the Patented Pink Floyd Suck Gun
and starts shootin' away this way and that. They get
out of the Pickup Truck Of Interestingness and start
Side 2 is more of that late 60's Pink Floyd stuff they usually make short songs out of. Roger's folk rock 'If' is another one of his better songs, real 'sincere' and sounding more than a bit like the theme song for some fat teenage kid living life without much attention from the opposite sex (hey! Like I was before I scored a really horny girlfriend!). Rick Wright's 'Summer '68', about screwing chicks you don't really know very well, sounds like a reiteration of 'Atom Heart Mother' and fails to keep me interested. 'Fat Old Sun' is simply bullshit. and the closing 'Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast' is a put on from beginning to end. Maybe this was their idea of a joke, but I'll take Monty Python over some Valium-influenced acoustic non-melodies and eating noises. And, you know what? I'm not even sure this may be their idea of a joke. Oh, some parts aren't that bad, but c'mon. I'm getting tired of saying that. The song blows.
Capn's Final Word: The inconsistents strike again. Now their almost entirely unable to make something that doesn't begin to suck halfway through. So you've got a lot of puffed-up songs that start out fairly well and then denigrate into a load of bloated Lizard corpses.
Now, after sitting through such tripe as Ummagumma and Atom Heart Mother, one
may begin to doubt whether mid-period Floyd was worth all the trouble, and I
like to believe that Pink Floyd themselves started to wonder the same thing.
During the Meddle sessions, the band put together this collection of old
singes, album cuts, and whatnot, an album that showed that, yes, Pink did, at
one time, not suck all kinds of ass, from Irish to Bangladese.
And for those of us not lucky enough to live in
Capn's Final Word: What, you gonna buy the 10 disc box set or something? Just get this one and add 'Arnold' and 'Emily' to your collection.
Floyd take a fairly substantial step away from their recent amateurishness on Meddle. In fact, the whole band was changing from a flat, faceless classical/avant garde rock band to a flat, faceless arena rock band. But a professional and listenable arena rock band. Just listen to the opening 'One Of These Days', an update of such things as 'Astronomy Domine' and 'Set The Controls' for these wild new 70's days. Hear Gilmour's new ultra-slick, sustained-all-to-frig guitar tone? He will continue to use this tone until the current day of 1995. I've heard some opinions describing this guitar tone as being really emotive and wrenching, but all I hear is session musician-esque perfection. Dave's been practicing and he wants us to know.
The rest of side A is yet MORE of that same folk-rock stuff we've been force fed since late 1968. Boy, I wish Roger'd just released a solo album of all his acoustic songs some time in 1969 and cleared is system of it for good. As it is, he at least gives us listenable examples (no 'Grantchester Meadows' here). For example, I find 'Pillow of Winds' to be at least as pretty as any of his other folk songs, if a minute or two too long (and what Pink Floyd song isn't, exactly? Other than 'Another Brick In the Wall Part 3' and maybe 'Astronomy Domine', anyway.) And 'Fearless' is just groovy, laid back psychedelic country music not a whole lot different than something off the Grateful Dead's Wake Of The Flood album. And shit, I love the stupid fucking 'San Tropez' and dog-blues 'Seamus' too. Aaaawwoooo! This stuff is awesome, and you sure can't find it on any Genesis record. NEVER again would Pink Floyd hint at having even the slightest bit of a sense of humor, and it wasn't like they were Don Rickles to begin with. Nah, I don't wanna hear it all the time, but once in a long while (and more often than any of AHM or Umm, for sure).
Side B is, umm, well, to be perfectly honest it's one song. The name of the song is 'Echoes'. It's more than a bit 'Atom Heart'-y, but with more muscular production and a little bit more rocking power. If you're a big fan of Gilmour's new mannequin guitar technique you might fall in love, other than the middle part where he imitates a bird being tortured to death by year olds armed with a car battery and two jumper cables, which just coughs up blood on my speakers. The ending part is okay. As a whole, it never did impress me as much as I read it was supposed to do. Actually, that's the problem with this album as well. They just seem so...damned...dislocated on most of it. I mean, its nice they aren't screaming or playing with godawful noises as much as before, but I sure could have hoped for something that doesn't feel so damned cold. Listen, I could really care less for Pink Floyd lyrics at their best, but on the early stuff I really don't care to pay attention at all. Now that the music is just as chillingly applied, I feel like running for cover by the time 'Echoes' runs out.
Capn's Final Word: Goes like this: Slick but rocking, fruity but pretty, stupid but funny, interesting but cold.
Jakeass email@example.com Your Rating: B+
Any Short Comments?: "One Of These Days" is awesome, and almost spooky
in it's repetitive mechanical rocking-ness, but then Nick Mason's robot
voice comes in and sends it right over the top. It's HILARIOUS! It
sounds like they wanted to start off by making somebody frying on acid
feel really uneasy, followed by making them crack the fuck up when they
hear that part. AND it's about a radio DJ that used to talk shit about
Floyd on the air! Cool.
"A Pillow Of Winds" similarly makes a smooth-ass transition from "sweet
little lullaby song" to "dark atomespheric song of acoustic weirdness"
and back seamlessly, without even changing the arrangements very much.
Dave even keeps the slide guitar going throughout! I likes it a lot,
although some of the lyrics are laughably ridiculous("Sleepy time when I
lie/With my love by my side"?? This is the same band that did THE WALL
8 years later?)
"Fearless" is a song I either furiously love or actively loathe
depending on what mood I'm in. If it's a good one, it's one of my favorite
songs in the world. If it's shitty, it makes me want to throw the cd out
the window and run it over with a lawnmower. And who the fuck's idea
was it to put that stupid-ass Liverpool football team in at the end?
THAT's supposed to make you feel better about the challenges you face in
life? Whatever. The song itself is ok.
"San Tropez" sucks if you attempt to take it seriously. From a comedic
standpoint though, it's floggin' brilliant, and succeeds on every
level. I mean, the fucking song begins with the line "As I reach for a
peach"! I don't know, I just hope they made it that stupid on purpose.
"Seamus" is also impossible to take seriously, but that doesn't mean
it's bad. Just too boring. I mean, have you EVER heard a blues song
played that SLOW? The dog does much to redeem the track, however.
for some reason, all four members of the band are credited with writing
it. I guess that just adds to the joke.
"Echoes" starts off VERY nicely, with great melodies, orchestral
instrumentwork, and pretentious-yet-cool-sounding lyrics, but suddenly Dave
starts soloing and the whole thing reverts to a boring pile of wank.
Then the wankingess fades out and we're subjected to a bunch of stupid
sea animal noises. If you're stoned(like me), then it'll prove to be
quite entertaining and interesting(because being stoned makes you stupid);
but if you're sober, you probably fell asleep back during that
"wanking" part, so you aren't missing much. Oh, and then of course the
noise comes back. I don't know about you, but when that "ping!" is
suddenly followed up by a second, lower-note "ping!" that echoes
maniacally all over the damn place, my brain is just Weeee! Acid
FUN! And the buildup to the last verse is really fucking cool.
Finally, after the majestic splendor of the last verse, the song somehow
manages to take fucking forever to end already, goddammit. I think!
I agree with Mark Prindle when he says that it's basically a great
5-minute song dragged on and on for eternity. If they'd deleted the
boring parts and/or replaced them with something more listenable, it'd
probably be the best Floyd song ever. But then Meddle probably wouldn't
have equalled the running time of a normal LP.
This is the lightest, least scariest, most anti-depressant Floyd album
there is. It's also one of the iffiest. Tread with caution, young
Another oft-overlooked soundtrack album, now in the new ultra-clear Pink Floyd style, meaning that those mechanical drum and synth patterns sound really really clear as they bore you off to sleep. Floyd, I'm afraid never quite lost the ability to bore on every album they made after Saucerful, this one is no excrement, ooh, I mean exception. No, it is excrement. Sheeit. this ain't no 'Lost Floyd Classic'! I hear a bunch of half-assed instrumental tunes with little-or-nothing done on each one (but wait, doesn't that describe most Pink Floyd? Basing overlong songs on way too few ideas, way-too-slow-tempos, and way too sleepy atmosphere?) Fuck the shit out of 'Burning Bridges', the dullest fucking Floyd non-instrumental in some time, fuck 'The Gold It's In The...' for sounding like early 70's Fleetwood Mac, fuck 'Wot's...Uh The Deal' for sounding just as monkeyfucking, teethgrittingly boring as 'Burning Bridges' (ooh, but excuuuuuse me, its got a crescendo in it, so just out that right up there with fucking Abbey Road, then, why doncha?), fuck 'Mudmen' for sounding like 'Time' nodding out on China White, and fuck all those idiotic Pink Floyd nuts for keeping this shit in print so I have to review it.
Oh, but 'Childhood's End' is fine for something that sounds like a work tape for Dark Side, the country/ominous ambient combination 'Free Four' is pretty great (and is that more humor on there?...Roger, I underestimated ye, my boy). And really, if you like dull music, and I mean like 4 am PBS sort of boring, this may be the disc for you. For anyone who cares at all about excitement not based on 'texture', steer clear.
Capn's Final Word: Actually, its obscured by a bunch of slow, shitty tunes and enough organ to choke Tori Spelling.
Ah goddamn it, I'm not going to review Dark Side tonight, I'm not. It's already and I've been fucking typing since about 9, but, awww shit I guess I'll knock this big fucking bastard out before some sack time. My wife's in the hospital with our new baby, see, so I may as well use this time to write as many reviews as I can before they come back home and proceed to steal all my free time with dubious ways of spending time like 'parenting' and 'giving attention'. Sheesh. Don't they know how important it is to write a bunch of half-assed and unnecessarily profane rock reviews for no financial gain and only for the enjoyment of myself and about 6 or 7 people I'll never meet and probably wouldn't want to? There's priorities in this life!
Anyway, that's the message Roger Waters wants us to get on Dark Side Of The Moon, that there's priorities in this life. Like how 'Money' shouldn't be one, or how spending 'Time' wisely should be. Actually, I don't much care for Roger's new preachiness, and often on this record he sounds like the old guy at the country store admonishing all the young kids for pissing their lives away on things like baseball cards and drinking Night Train (have you ever actually drunk Night Train? It's vile, but I went through a phase in 1997 where I actually enjoyed the stuff until my girlfriend, now my wife, refused to sleep with me even the day after I had drunk it because I still smelled so awful. Hey!). Roger often overlooks what people actually go through in their lives in favor of what he likes to believe all us unwashed masses are like, apparently viewing himself as some sort of expert in Life instead of a egomaniac bass player in a formerly fun psychedelic rock band. It is, unfortunately, precisely this patronizing view of his audience that he would continue to show until the slow death rattle of his career finally ended. Now, I'm not claiming that his lyrics aren't quite an improvement over earlier efforts, they're nothing if they don't sound cool, and 'Money' and 'Brain Damage' are even sorta clever. But I'll be goddamned if I'm gonna look at this lyric sheet and not wish I could fucking punch Roger in the nuts for being such an asshole.
But musically, man, this shit is frigging cool. I mean, there's only four songs on it, most of them are lightweight, and the rest is a bunch of connective tissue, but still, it's hard to imagine these guys had stuff this focused waiting to come out. Very few sections suffer from the ol' disease of Too Long Too Slow Too Boring, and only the howl-fest of 'The Great Gig In The Sky' can really be considered below the dog's nuts. Oh, I could shave off some of 'Us And Them', but that's about it. They pull out sexy saxophone, the guitar solos are compact, some of the beats are even funky! They can do something anthemic when needed (the closing 'Brain Damage/Eclipse' is a mastery of simple, uncomplicated, tunemaking) the dynamics ebb and flow, and all the parts seem in their places. And I love the shit out of the instrumental sections like 'Any Colour You Like'...they never kept it together like this before. Wow.
And of course, there's the sound. I'm not even talking about all the snazzy sound effects and vocal samples, just the clarity of sound. This is simply an album someone can climb through and walk around in. It think Alan Parsons was the engineer, and boy does he deserve some sort of God prize for the production of this record. Breathtaking every time. Just listen to the drums on 'Any Colour'...I know precisely what Nick Mason's kit looks like. Just blows me away.
Now if this album weren't such a damn cliche for teenage freakhood and if it weren't so goddamn elitist, I wouldn't have a problem giving it an unqualified A+, but Jesus H. Christ I don't like the feeling I get from these lyrics, like I've been a bad, bad, person all my life and all the world's problems are placed right at my doorstep, and all of this from a person as fucking irritating as goddamn Roger Waters.
Capn's Final Word: Excellent album. Fuck you, Roger.
James S Your Rating: A+
Any Short Comments?: This is the best recording of poetry/music of the 20th century. It sums up mankind's struggle nicely in a relatively short amount of time. Indeed, it will be remembered centuries from now as a classic in reflection, while the popular music of almost all contemporary performers will be remembered, if at all, as fodder.
Kake Your Rating: B+
Any Short Comments?: A good album, but one which one begins to bore me after a while. Its hardly a view of our world, its more of Roger Waters paranoia, about "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse", which
hardly relate to the experiences of an ordinary mortal. Sure the other tracks are absolute classics, the brilliant "Time", with the clock chiming start and brilliant singing, the sarcastic (again!!) "Money"
and the positively overwhelming "Us and Them", my favourite track on here. For more of the same, grab "The Wall" and let the rantings and ravings continue. And yeah Ryan, fuck Roger Waters.
Nathan Harper Your Rating: A+ Any Short Comments?: He, you don't like Floyd much, do ya? Well, I can understand that. Most Floyd fans talk about how underrated their non-dark side and the
Wall work is, but to tell you the truth, those are the only two I really listen to very much. Animals just bores me. But back to this album. This is BY FAR their
best album. I just really can't think of an album that really creates "colors" like this, only Jimi Hendrix came close. I could tell you exactly what colors each song reminds me of, but I'll spare you this time. Besides, I already sound like I'm stoned. So don't listen to the elitists, just because this one had a
bunch of radio hits doesn't automatically make it inferior to their other work.
Jim H.S. firstname.lastname@example.org Your Rating: A Any Short Comments?: Well, there I was, listening to stuff like, oh, can't remember them all now, you know, really, but Faust, Soft Machine were there, still playing volumes 2 & 3, IV, So Far, and some other stuff like MacArthur Park I guess. Who knows? Well, about twenty years later ... yup, it must have been the mid 90's ... I caved in and bought the DSOTM CD at a cheap second hand store just for the sake of it. I'd heard Meddle way back, forced upon me, but never inclined to actually put my hand in pocket to get it. If I'd really fastened into DSOTM in the 70's,
I'd probably come up with the (groan) most important poetry/music bullshit of the 20th century. I'm glad I waited for so long. Now I can just climb in and dig the sounds.
Sure, the lyrics are there, but they don't get in the way so much after so long. Hell, there aren't many that should. And neither Pink nor Floyd in their prime could match the ZimmerDylan.
But then, I don't really like the whole getinyourfaceandspellitoneletteratatime social commentary thing. Oh, except the Last Poets. But I digress. This is a great album, overall. And, for me at least, prob'ly one of Mr. Floyd's best, after Piper of course. nazar email@example.com Your Rating: A Any Short Comments?: This album is pretty good, with its ups and downs. I especially like Time though.
Gregg Brown Your Rating: A-
Any Short Comments?: Sorry, have to to disagree with you about Great Gig. I find it to be the most moving, beautiful moment on the record, besides maybe the sax solo in "Us and Them". Maybe I'm biased because the rest of the album has become so classic-rock-isized that you can't go ten seconds without hearing the "hits" on the radio, but great gig has more passion and emotion than the rest of the record, probably cause Roger didn't write it. And sumptuous sounding it is, like the rest of the album.
Wish You Were Here - Capitol 1975
After the massive gut-purging success of Dark Side, of course everyone wanted to know what could possibly be coughed up for the followup. I sure bet there weren't too many stalwarts out there banking on a Syd Barrett tribute album containing a more-than-side-long suite split into two sections that frame the other three songs. Some folks really liken this thing to DS, but I don't really get that. For one thing, this one is a lot more musical than the Prismatic Monster ever was, and the sound effects are kept to a minimum here. And lordy, like I said, musically it's in the bag. The first half of the 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' suite is probably some of the better Pink Floyd extended gobbing they'd ever done, but then again I've nodded off in a stupor in most of the other ones I've heard, so maybe that isn't so. I haven't, however, ever nodded off on this one. Since Meddle, they've really improved on those extended musical bits...they're now packed with interesting ideas, and though Gilmour still sounds like he's acting passionate much more than he feels passionate, and wouldn't know how to improvise a note if a gun was held to his nuts, I'm becoming more and more drawn to the guy's playing as I go through the Pink catalogue. Oh, the first part is just two minutes or so of some whooshy synth pads and some of David Gilmour's musical calculus, but the second part impresses me. When his guitar starts ripping out that louder part at about , I'm riveted like a B-17.
And thank the good lord Roger allows us some of his better lyrics on here, both in listenability and in meaning. The guy obviously cared a lot about Syd, and (if at least on 'Shine' and 'Wish') he uses that sincerity to his advantage, creating an impression of 'reality' I never got from Roger's lyrics before or since. This is like a real guy with real concerns and dreams for his friend, not some elitist asshole peddling his tracts or some whiny fool crudely bemoaning such 'evils' as 'modern life' and 'mother'. I really like it. I simply wish 'Welcome to the Machine' weren't so damned obvious with those misguided Voices Of God and music that feels like sticking your wet private part against frozen metal. Cold, dig? Colder'n a witch's teat in a brass bra lying face down in a snowdrift, even. And I know that 'Have A Cigar' is a joke on the way record company stuffed-suits talk, but we only have 4 songs on here...do we really need one to be packed with irony?
I do wonder what exactly Roger's point is here, though. On 'Shine On' and 'Wish You Were Here', he's penned sincere letters of concern, encouragement, and love to a friend, but when he turns to the task of blaming those he feels responsible for his friend's condition, he falls flat on his nose. C'mon, record companies? The show-biz machine? Is this really what made Syd crack up and spend his life blankly watching TV at his mother's house? What about all those fucking psychedelics you all used, Roger? Maybe, if you feel you need someone to blame, you might look first at the naive recklessness of a bunch of idiotic young art school students who allowed their somewhat fragile compatriot to load himself to the fucking eyeballs with acid every day of his life until he could no longer put two words (much less two melodies) together. How 'bout that, Rog? But I guess that album has already been written, the much superior release of the same year, Neil Young's Tonight's The Night.
Anyway, about the rest of the songs, I really must join the chorus of opinion and proclaim 'Welcome To The Machine' and 'Have A Cigar' as pretty disgusting music, really repulsive. It's not that they're particularly badly played or written, it's just that they're poisonous, you know? Luckily we've got the 'Angie' copy 'Wish You Were Here', which is at least mighty catchy, if also mighty simplistic for a pseudo-prog band. Oh, that vocal melody line is pretty grand, though. And the final twelve minutes of 'Shine On' aren't nearly as good as the first, but that don't make it bad. In fact the slide solos around 3-4 minutes through are an improvement on 'One Of These Days', and it's rarely even boring until the final 3 minutes, which is just a bunch of important-sounding toodly ambient synth wanking that has little to do with the subject. I even love the funky part. Funky butt. Butt funking! Ass Reaming!
You know what would have been interesting? If the Floyd had attempted to write some songs in the ol' '67 style on here, just to see if they could still do it. Eh...not a chance.
Capn's Final Word: Ohhh, gosh, it's fine. I could be harder on this album rating-wise, but I really enjoy 'Shine On' a lot, and that's like 20 full minutes of cool stuff.
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firstname.lastname@example.org Your Rating: A+
Any Short Comments?: b+ !i think it should get an A at least.i like this more than dsotm.by the way i would like it if you reviewed PORCUPINE TREE.It's a progressive rock/metal band and if you want a place to start you can start with IN ABSENTIA.I don't know whether you know about the band or not,it's pretty obscure. you like Hard rock better than Pink Floyd but the you like ABBA too!you are the first person i have seen who likes led zeppelin and ABBA.
(Capn's Response: What, am I the only one who sees the obvious connection between 'Voulez Vous' and 'Achilles Last Stand'? Has there been something put in the drinking water I'm not aware of?)
Your Rating: A
Any Short Comments?: well, after lisening for all pink floyd albums 3 bilion times... Wish You Were Here is the only one I can lisen for another 3 bilion times. by the way, great site, keep it up!
kharim abdul sharrar
Your Rating: A+
Any Short Comments?: Ehhh... not bad, all the tunes are good, some better than others, but still really good. Get this one.
Animals - Capitol 1977
The second entry in Water's string of concept albums (the only kind he ever wrote after '75. Oh, and to set the record straight, Dark Side isn't a concept album. What exactly is the concept? Madness? Bullshit. My asscrack hair has more of a concept than Dark Side Of The Moon does.), Animals borrows itself whole from Orwell's Animal Farm. However, unlike the book, actually doesn't drag on too long or attempt to stretch its concept to fit each and every little nook and cranny of its satirical subject. Here, it's actually quite simple. The 'Dogs' are the social enforcers: the ambitious businessmen, the lawyers, the cops, the soldiers (I wonder if teachers would be placed here too? We have quite a bit of power, you know...its sort of scary at times. Especially when I'm looking down a comely college girl's blouse.) The 'Pigs' are the leaders and bureaucrats, and the 'Sheep' are, assumedly, most of the rest of us, kept down in the mud by the Dogs at the behest of the Pigs. Okay, okay, I read the book.
But what's interesting lyrically is that Roger actually identifies with the Dogs on their song, sounding positively sympathetic while describing the fate of an elder who has begun to lose his killer instinct. Pigs is an excuse for an attack on the contemporary British government, with lines about some ratchety old bat named Whitehouse (who no doubt wanted to subsidize English unk rock bands or something) And, finally, the Sheep part is a fairly horrifying depiction of a bloody revolution by the little dumb fuzzy ones, sounding not a bit as populist as one might expect. The line 'Have ya heard the news? The dogs are dead!' is chilling...I suppose taken as a whole its more than a smooch depressing (I remember the first time I put this on with my friends back when I was 14, they said 'Well that's a bummer album. Life sucks. Let's steal more of your mom's Virginia Slims and try to sneak into the strip joint again.') but maybe once in awhile you may feel the urge to bleat a bit at the injustice of social classes and put it on.
Of course, you might just wish to put it on for its musical merit, which, for once, its got coming out of its ears in great globby, waxy masses. These songs are long, each one over 10 minutes, but two of them ('Dogs' and 'Sheep') are damned interesting every minute, and the third one ('Pigs (Three Different Ones))' doesn't commit too many crimes. David Gilmour makes a game attempt to vary his sound strategy a little bit. Oh, he's still calculated out to the 5th significant figure, but he abandons his usual 'triumphant' lines for darker, grittier, and (as you may predict) more enjoyable ones! David can only stroke my 'raise your fist and yell' button so many times before I begin to react negatively like a Baptist in a back seat. Sure the songs are mostly slow and not the most complicated things on God's blue earth (not green! It's blue! Look at a picture!) but what Pink Floyd ever was? Consistently entertaining, that's it. And rocking. 'Sheep' is fairly ass-to-the-breeze from snout to tail, and that's a third of the compositions raht dere! And the Lord's Prayer part in that same song is just great.
The missteps here are, first, the overall depressive nature of the album as mentioned above, and some of the sound effects are annoying as fuck. If I never hear another pig grunt in my life, I'll gladly join the David Hasselhoff mailing list and read EVERY POST ON THERE for the next 5 YEARS, even though most of it's in GERMAN. And the way Roger sings 'Pigs' grates a bit. Me and my buds used to be sure he was singing 'You fucked up ho bag', but did people say 'ho' in the mid 70's? Maybe only on Funkadelic albums. I'm sure he does say 'fucked up' though, which is cool digits with me, man. And the opening and closing snippets 'Pigs On The Wing' are sort of asinine, and again I'm left befuddled like Elmer. What is he saying? Is he saying if we didn't care for one another, our world would look like this? But our world DOES look like this! And look how much 'caring' helps the situation. If we didn't care for one another, we wouldn't ever divide ourselves into protective classes at all! One of the main problems with human nature (in a social profit/loss sense, that is) is that we DO associate ourselves into groups where we 'care' more for those closest and most similar to ourselves than those in the periphery. If we were able to care for each other equally, classes would disappear, but so would love and family. And if we didn't care for each other at all, we'd be like fucking sharks or something, only coming into contact when it was physically necessary, like to fuck. We wouldn't have to worry about 'dogs' and 'pigs' and 'sheep' anymore.
Capn's Final Word: There. Anyway, after poking holes in Roger's philosophical balloon yet once again, I'm left with a very accomplished Pink Floyd album. Good for a sociological sulk session.
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J. R. Gregory Your Rating: A
Any Short Comments?: If You're not shure if he says Fucked up or Hoes why don't you read the sleeve? I give an A to the pigs side only.
Siberian_khatru7@yahoo.com Your Rating: A+
Any Short Comments?: a great album. PF at there best.
Sam Your Rating: A
Any Short Comments?: Pink Floyd's finest hour, IMO... I've heard most of their albums and this really stands out. Dogs is the best song they EVER did, utter brilliance. Pigs isn't as good, but Sheep just rocks out, which PF don't often do. More guitar-orientated and angry than anything they ever did. Fantastic album cover too...
Your Rating: A
Any Short Comments?: Best album they ever did.
Nothing is quite like the 17-minute venom of "Dogs." Their best song. Man, I love this one.
I just found the Butthole Surfers references in the reviews. Umm...hey, why don't you review them? They're certainly weird enough for a good listen.
The Wall - Capitol 1979.
This double album cum-shot is Roger Water's biggest, most 'important', and last work of any real consequence (but not goodness) he's ever done. Like Wish You Were Here, he sounds like he really wants to get this album off his chest, and judging by his court settlement following his departure from Pink, he really feels this is his magnum opus. And wouldn't you know it, it's not only a 'concept album', but a full-blown 'rock opera' complete with characters (our rock star hero, Pink, his momma, his wife, his psychoses) a whole life story, 'scenery setting', entries into the main character's fantasy world, and even vocal passages that act as dialogue, or at the very least as narration. The story, in case you're not familiar, is the description of one man's journey from disappointed boyhood (villain: his overbearing mother, school) to adulthood as a rock star (villains: his wife, show-biz types), and his descent into schizophrenia, paranoid self-aggrandizement, and catatonic isolation. Okay, so the catatonic isolation of a rock star part obviously comes from Syd Barrett, and I'm willing to bet most of the kid parts are Roger's. Like yet another allusion to the death of Water's father in the war. I'm not all that interested in the story, except for maybe the part where the 'rock star' Pink hasn't quite gone completely nuts yet ('One Of My Turns', 'Another Brick In The Wall Part 3'), and the second part, taking part almost totally in Pink's head, is just repellent. That trial part makes me wanna puke. And since whatever melody that ever may have breezed by this album is far gone and forgotten by that point, there's just nothing that makes me want to force myself to sit through it. At least Ummagumma Floyd was either simply boring and musically annoying, now you get to add a nice heaping helping of lyrical pain as well. Thanks for attempting to improve yourself, guys.
There's also a further level of the story, not quite so obvious from the record album (but more so from the original live stage production), of how a band becomes 'walled off' from its audience, which is the part I just don't get at all. Pete Townsend tried to write 'Lifehouse' about the same sort of things, but I can surely see Pete fretting about losing touch with the social group of 'kids' that spawned his band, but Pink Floyd? C'mon. These guys verily stink of huge black limousines and private jets. Floyd is about as in touch with their audience as their accountants are.
And, though I hate to criticize events in Roger's life that obviously hurt him very much, I just can't buy villains like 'Mother' and 'School' and 'Modern Life' as the basis for such a huge story. Yet again, Roger is distilling complex human problems and emotions down into three or four easily digestable 'concepts' around which he'll base an album. Dark Side featured such baddies as 'Money' and 'Time', Wish You Were Here had 'showbiz' (again), Animals had 'Dogs' and 'Pigs', and now this. I'm a man who has a bad tendency to generalize things in life, but not as bad as the disease that Roger's got. After listening to this album, the much more astute observation and communicative ability of someone like Bob Dylan comes into full relief. Bob's emotions are fully formed, his criticisms, comments, and critiques are intricate and real, and for CHRIST's sake, he DOESN'T MAKE DOUBLE CONCEPT ALBUMS BASED ON THEM!
And the thing is, at least on The Wall, if you don't buy the story for itself, and don't buy the social criticism, and don't buy the sulky, bitchy vibe, there's not much left for you. Musically, they've gone from simple, long, and boring to REALLY simple, slick, and boring. The melodies are nearly nonexistent on most of the album. Gilmour's playing, just as it got interesting on Animals, retreats into the same manipulative predictability of before, but now even more so. And Rick Wright, who hasn't done anything remotely interesting since 'Any Colour You Like' on Dark Side, anyway, isn't even on here. Roger plays everything. Like Dark Side, the non-verbal strength of this album is based almost completely on it's gimmicks and sound effects. Take away the production values and all those neat samples and you're left with nearly nothing. If this album had been produced like their pre-'73 albums, no one would care one bit.
And that second record...oh please save me from ever having to listen to that again. I used to put myself through it when I was young and stupid, but now I really feel sick in parts of it.
Well, the thing isn't totally rotten, however. I actually really like parts of it. Most of the first disc is decent, and some songs are great, like the third version of 'Another Brick In The Wall', 'In the Flesh' and 'Hey You' (which sounds like something off Obscured By Clouds, but better), and I can't help but enjoy 'Comfortably Numb', adult contemporary piffle or not. Even total manipulation sometimes moves a man, especially on the angelic chorus part about the big balloon hands (wtf?). And that solo (which I dislike) must have the most compression and sustain ever created by God on it. Bummer it was wasted.
Feel free to add a little bit to the rating if you're easily impressed by sound effects.
Capn's Final Word: But come on, this album is one big bag of hot air that desperately needs 'just a little pinprick'...I like it much less than Atom Heart Mother.
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David Elliott Your Rating: A
Any Short Comments?: Let me tell you a
story. It's a good story. It's a story about a complete and utter bastard. His
name is Roger Waters. Remember him? He is the bass player for masturbatory
poster boys "Pink Floyd". He is an icon to several generations of
pained, pretentious teenagers - who think that The Wall "is about
THEM", and who feel that Roger "knows EXACTLY what they're going
through". Indeed, they believe that Animals is "fucking amazing - a
heavy political statement". This is generally before they slip into their
Nikes and jog down to McDonalds for a tasty hamburger with the other
"pigs". Roger toured
Any Short Comments?: it was good i love the song mother
Any Short Comments?: I first heard these songs on the movie (which I loved, probably because I was stoned) and I think the remixes in the movie are better than the album. I was kind of disappointed that you didn't mention "Goodbye Blue Sky" in your review.
I love that song. I agree with you,though,about how Roger Walters should stop the ego fest and write music more people can actually relate to instead of music a bunch od dissillusioned, angsty teens think they relate too.
email@example.com Your Rating: A
Any Short Comments?: I can see where you're coming from on this one, and I completely agree that Roger Waters is a stupid, pretentious prick. I really get a kick out of this album though...is it wrong that enjoy 'The Trial'? I'm not even stoned when I listen to it either, I'm completely straight-edge! There must be something wrong with me...
Any Short Comments?: Rick Wright IS on the album. He shines on Nobody Home, Stop, and In The Flesh. Give him a LITTLE more credit.
Your Rating: C
Any Short Comments?: I read your review and it's good to see that someone can actually see past all the production and undertsand that *musicallly*, the Wall is pretty shallow most of the time. But I still like Comfortably Numb very much.
Divyang firstname.lastname@example.org Your Rating: A+
Any Short Comments?: Yep,that's right .A+ all the way.I don't give a damn about Water's personality.Nor a single,solitary damn about the concept.All I hear is the music and I have heard this one about 500 times back when this and Wish You Were Here were the only thing I had,damn it.I had never heard your Beatles(I like them a lot),Rolling Stones(only heard their latest and Satisfaction and it bored the shit out of me) or anything for that matter,my vision completely unhampered by anything anybody ever said.I love the hell out of Pink Floyd and it's not only nostalgia or something crappy like that.A B- to album with Run LIke HEll,Comfortably Numb,Brick in the wall,Don't leave me now(yes,yes,i like that song),Vera,Anybody Home,Goodbye Blue Sky......and the rest of them.Only "The Trial" is boring.And if that is the criteria for awarding it a B- when The White Album which has it's share of filler gets a A+(just like what seems every album those 4 ever made did) then you need to! take a second look. I am not some "Roger is a god" guy.Final Cut sucks ass just like everything they ever did after The Wall.
Is There Anybody Out There? - Capitol 1999
A moneygrubbing, gratuitous live document from the 'legendary' '80-81 Floyd shows supporting The Wall, which was an impressively ambitious stage project involving building a huge white wall between the audience and band as the band played the entire album front to back, then blowing it all up at the end. I guess that ending part was supposed to show that the space between audience and artist was somehow obliterated and that all the folks in the haul were invited backstage for a cup of tea and a nice chat after the show. Whatever.
What you get from this album is the entire Wall performed live almost exactly as you heard it on the record: same tempos, same notes, same sound effects, same ass dildo, and even exactly the same solos (some maybe a little extended for egos' sake). See, they had to keep it in time with all of the visual and aural effects going on, didn't they? The disclaimer 'almost' refers to worse singing, worse sound (and a really bad mix), more spare instrumentation, and a couple of less-than-noteworthy additional tunes that didn't make it on the record. That's all you get. I'm a little impressed they were able to play this whole thing live like this, but that's all. All the old Wall criticisms still stand. Why someone other than a true Floyd worshipper would need to own this is beyond my realm of comprehension, but then so is why someone would want to listen to the entire rock opera more than once or twice at all. Eh, maybe I'm not the right person to ask on this, but I would KILL for a '72-era live Floyd album, and would quite enjoy one from any of the '67-'71 era bands. I guess it fits in with the band's chronic lack of imagination to release such a predictable, boring, and worthless bit of packaging and self-congratulation.
Capn's Final Word: But come on, this album is one big bag of hot air that desperately needs 'just a little pinprick'...I like it much less than the first disc of Ummagumma.
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The Final Cut - Capitol 1983
Roger's anti-war feelings come out full force on The Final Cut, the last album he ever put together under the Pink Floyd name, and for most folks, the very last thing of any worth the band produced. I wish to put my own funkybutt opinion on the table and say that Animals is the very last thing of any worth that the band produced, but that's just me. The Final Cut takes the musical doziness already in evidence on the Wall and advances it to the point of deep coma. There is so little music on this album that there's no wonder it was done nearly single-handedly by Waters, save some of the usual guitar solo window-dressing (by far, Gilmour is at his most annoying and meaningless on here) and you know, Nick's 'Learn Trap Set In Five Minutes' drum 'playing'. The music is so simplified, there's an average of one note a second, and only one going on at one time. Not the best sort of medium for melody spores to grow, but Roger nipples that whole idea in the bud by just not trying to put any on here. That's one solution! Got a cold? Kill yourself! No more cold! Got a lack of melodic ideas? Don't play any instruments!
I say Roger has now begun relying so much on his production quality, sound effects, and concepts so totally that he's stopped trying to do anything else. He forgot that he was a 'musician', not a 'lecturer' or 'poet'. Well, he's not much of any of them when it comes down to ass taxes, and though his poetry is not so bad on here (and his concept is fair for once) he sure as hell ain't no Family Circus kid. Ooh, that Billy. Now, reading the lyric sheet is okay, but listening to nothing but Roger's increasingly whiny voice for 40 minutes ain't my idea of a good time (See his solo career for more of the same! Or don't!). These aren't songs, they're spoken word sessions where the vocalist likes to crack his voice on all the words and scream inexplicably from time to time.
Jesus, I hate reviewing albums I don't like. Especially when there's a string of them. I simply can't be funny being so goddamned negative. I should just say something witty like 'Hey, I just bought a Andrew Lloyd Webber outtake CD mislabled as a Pink Floyd record!' and leave it alone, but no. I feel I need to explain myself, and when that happens I just can't be funny. Plus, Pink Floyd, even the best of it, just seems to sap all the good humor out of me. Fucking Floyd. Before I started these reviews I thought this would be interesting. Boy has my opinion of them changed when I listened more closely.
Capn's Final Word: Now unable to entertain me whatsoever. Photocopy the lyric sheet.
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Your Rating: B
Any Short Comments?: This deserves a better mark than the one you gave to it.
This isn't really a Pink Floyd album,it's Waters's solo effort with a little help from David Gilmour.
The album is full of emotions.Roger really put himself into it. The fact that it doesn't sound like Floyd doesn't make it bad.
For those who are just getting into Floyd I must tell them not to get this before u have all the classic seventies albums.
shniggens email@example.com Your Rating: B+
Any Short Comments?: Great concept album. Roger Waters has the facility to make political statements without being overly preachy or pretentious. Lots of feeling in this record, both from Waters and Gilmour. I disagree with your assesment of Gilmour . . . he is a shining example of a musician that knows what NOT to play. Many a guitarist could learn a thing or two from him. This album has in large quantity a quality that is missing in so much music today . . . DYNAMICS. Waters achieved his masterpiece here. I think this is what he wanted to achieve with The Wall. However, it's not a Pink Floyd effort, so no A rating.
A Momentary Lapse Of Reason - Capitol 1987
Ohhh yeahh, baby, HIT ME IN MY
See now, after The Final Cunt, smart man songwriter and melody king Roger Waters jumped ship for a really awful solo career, leaving the other guys sorta, well, up shit creek because what is a Pink Floyd member supposed to do without Roger Waters around to tell them? Well, go to court and fight Roger for the Pink Floyd name, for one. (Does anyone else think that fucking Syd Barrett should've dragged his demented myocardial ass into the court and demanded the fucking band name be retired? That would've ruled!) Anyhow, David won the court battle, grabbed Nick Mason (ooh, better ensure a quality product!) and released his third solo album.
Anyway, this thing sounds a lot in parts like Floyd albums gone by, but in a bad way. Like how the intro 'Signs Of Life' is EXACTLY like the opening section of 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond', you know, the part where nothing is happening? Yeah, baby! Fade that shit out before anything happens...wouldn't want anyone to think there's gonna be music on this thing, do we? Oh, there's a tad bit on 'Learning To Fly', easily one of the better songs here, but that ain't much. We're deeply in Invisible Touch territory here, except slower (like it would ever be any other way) and without much of a beat. But enjoy, 'cos that's all, Johnny Carson! 'One Slip' is also fairly impressive in a 'lets rock the FUCK outta this stadium, or at least until the old folks turn down their hearing aids!' It also bears resemblance to a Phil Collins song, but at this point that's a real complement. And, hey, 'Sorrow' ain't so bad, kinda like the rabbit in the corner of the pet shop display that all the other rabbits keep pissing on. Stinky, and you wouldn't want to take it home to your loved ones, but cute in a disgusting way.
The rest of the album is pure trash. 'The Dogs Of War', another single off here, tries dreadfully to cross 'The Nile Song' with 'One Of These Days' but with backup singers and dog barking ripped off from Animals. Whooey! Who farted that one out? Sounds like David is trying to pass a stone on the vocals. I heard he popped an artery in his neck and drowned Rick Wright in his blood, but no one noticed. Especially not lost somewhere in the middle of the 3 or 4 hundred session musicians all standing around. Who would notice one more old wrinkled British dude gagging on a fat man's blood? 'On The Turning Away' tries its hand at Waters-esque social commentary but ends up just sounding fake and dumb (Yeah, Mr. Rich Rock Star. How many homeless folks do YOU cook Thanksgiving dinner for? I bet the guy doesn't even swerve his Jaguar to miss them when they're crossing the street in front of him. Two points! Three if you successfully break the Thunderbird bottle! Five if their out-of-control shopping cart hits a second one!) and that music really, seriously goes blah blah blah blah in straight rhythm. 'Yet Another Movie' and the ending 'suite' is just unlistenable. Annoying vocal fade in/outs and Yanni New Age? No thanks. I'll be over here washing my brain out with Black Flag records, thanks.
Capn's Final Word: Hey, its really not any worse than The Final Cut, meaning that there's actual music on here (if no lyrics), but they need to realize that eating yourself is not really a good way of saving grocery money.
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Delicate Sound Of Thunder - Capitol 1988.
Live abum from the '87-'88 Pink Floyd 'reunion' tour, DSOT is godawful. Poorly played, awfully sung, mixed by someone listening to a different album, and the songs are always the most obvious choices. Except I obviously wouldn't have included most of MLOR on here in a desparate attempt to sell more records. I didn't like live Ummagumma that much, what makes you think I'm gonna like this one? Pink Floyd truly sucks ass now.
Capn's Final Word: Whore-Rib-All.
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The Division Bell - Capitol 1994
Hrm. I can certainly say it's better than Momentary, and the number of passages on here where I say, 'that's pleasant....that's not annoying!' come with a certain amount of frequency, but again David Gilmour proves he is incapable of writing a song. While Momentary had half the population of Los Angeles come and provide studio help, here we have got the Real Old Dude Reunion Band itself. Ooh, Rick Wright isn't as awful as he used to be, even. He even sings on the John Tesh-penned 'Wearing The Inside Out'. He ain't bad, but Nick Mason sure is! Always can rely on that Mr. Mason to play the simplest, least funky possible drum figure possible...must be some sort of strange psychological disorder. No wonder the fool needs a second drummer on stage with him to keep those ever-so-difficult Pink Floyd rhythms in check. "60 bpm? Fuck Me! I need another drummer to help me out! I'm Old, dammit! Fucking bring me my piles ointment so I can get down on that drum throne and play some more high hat!"
Oh, it's got its moments ('What Do You Want From Me?', 'Take It Back'...it was real nice for U2 to loan them 'Where The Streets Have No Name' and all...) but its got a good measure of doo doo as well. And you sure get a lot of loooong songs here, as well. So the doo doo is long, just like it used to be on Ummagumma. And Dave plays some more of his pretty but dumb-as-a-post guitar figures, but I can swear I've heard some of this before (like the opening to 'Coming Back To Life'). And the words...well, they're David Gilmour words, and he's still pissed at Roger, apparently. I suggest drinking excessively. It may serve to help you GET THE FUCK OVER IT! So while my ears are stroked into submission by these soothing New Age sounds rather than pounded to a pulp by 80's production, they're also bored into a coma and left for dead on the loading dock of a Dollar General. Hey, it really is just like Real Pink Floyd (copyright 1969)!
Capn's Final Word: This album is better doody than was on Moments From the Laps Of Raisins but it's still doody. Doody is as doody does, lordy lordy be.
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Pulse - Capitol 1995.
Whatever charges may be leveled at David Gilmour, never let it be suggested that the guy doesn't have a sense of humor. Like how they'll release a huge, expensive live release following each and every studio outing now, even though they never released a single stand-alone live album in the previous twenty years of the bands' existence before the Waters' departure. Pack it full of the same crowd-pleaser songs as before, but make sure to peddle the new album...but you better play as close to the originals so the crowd don't feel like you're trying to be original or anything. Fuck original! Play 'Run Like Hell' in that cock-rock hair-blowing-in-the-wind-machine way again! And to play all of Dark Side Of The Moon on it too! WOW! Well, someone's playing Dark Side Of The Moon, anyway. See, each band member is doubled by some faceless studio musician up there on stage, so Who's Pink indeed? *chortle chortle!* Oh, but you can rest assured that's really Dave on the ol' lead guitar up in there. Ain't no one else plays as arena rock studio perfect as that guy. You know what? I'm absolutely convinced none of the real Pink Floyd guys are playing on 'Astronomy Domine'...for one thing, check out how all the music is coming out of only one speaker, and that guitar is so totally not in the middle of the stereo mix, where Dave's guitar is the entire rest of the time. Dave can't play like Syd, never could (would take 'balls' to do that), so what to do? Pay some other guy to do it. El Aim! Can I hear a 'LAME?' I knew you could do it. The vocals are cool though. I wonder who they paid to sound like that. How much does a guy make imitating Syd Barrett on stage like that, anyway? Probably not enough to afford to buy a $30+ double live CD of no appreciable value, I'd be willing to guess.
And to put a bunch of the same tunes that were on the last live rip off, played in EXACTLY the same way, with EXACTLY the same solos? Hee HEEEE! Oh my god yer a funny motherfucker, Dave! And you know just what to do with the packaging, doncha...slap a drippy 'trippy' cover on it like an update of Saucerful of Secrets, put a stupid blinking light on it, and name it PULSE!
Oh, hold my drink, I'm laughing so much I think I'm going to puke!
Capn's Final Word: *RETCH!*
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Your Rating: B
Any Short Comments?: No, that's not a studio hack being paid to sound like Syd Barrett on "Astronomy Domine," it's just Rick Wright sounding, well, like Rick Wright. Not surprising, considering that he sung the original version on "Piper" (together with Barrett, but Wright's voice seemed a bit more prominent).
Of course, on the Ummagumma version, there was no Barrett around any more to sing it with him, so Wright sang it by himself, just like he does on "Pulse." I guess I can understand why you might have assumed that Barrett sang it on "Piper," but it obviously wasn't Barrett singing it on Ummagumma, so I'm a bit confused as to why you would think it was a studio hack somehow managing to sound like Barrett when it's really Rick Wright just sounding like himself.
Also, Dave Gilmour can't play like Syd Barrett? Who told you that? He sounds a heck of a lot like Syd Barrett on "Saucerful" and "Ummagumma," so you think he'd still be able to pull it off in a pinch. In my experience, on Saucerful, on which both guitarists played, most people can't tell Barrett's parts apart from Gilmour's, anyway. That's why they hired Gilmour--he was a buddy of Barrett's who could do a good imitation of him.
Any Short Comments?: You said Dave can't play like Syd...did you realise Dave is the person who taught Syd the guitar?!! Before Pink Floyd even existed. They were childhood friends, didn't ya know. Yeah, it's true. Them and Roger (when Roger's name was George, and Syd's was Roger. Dave was still named Daved though. Well...David.)
(Capn's Response: Gilmour can't sound like Syd because he has a tenth of the energy, a hundreth of the balls, and a thousandth of the originality that ol' Syd had. Gilmour's a hack. Syd was inspired, no matter who taught whom.)
blah Your Rating: A
Any Short Comments?: blahaha one-tenth of the energy. Maybe if you had one-tenth of the energy as anyone on this planet your article would of atleast (A) Been Funny, or (B) Accurate.
(Capn's Response: Awww...I'm sorry! Maybe I would've done better had you had the guts to (A) put your fucking name on your letter instead of pussing out, or (B) sent me a picture of your mom's snapper like I told you to.)
Your Rating: D
Any Short Comments?: Shit sandwich.
live shit sandwich.
Syd Barrett's probably giggling right now in his Cambridge house at this horrendously stupid live album.
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