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Pink Floyd - A Saucerful of Secrets CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.67 | 1821 ratings

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4 stars With A Saucerful of Secrets, the disintegrating mind of Syd Barrett necessitated the addition of David Gilmour, longtime friend of both Barrett and Waters. The initial idea was that of a five man Floyd where Syd would write and the other four would perform on stage. Clearly a good idea, but one that simply wasn't viable given Barrett's degree of mental incapacitation. As such, Barrett's contributions to this record are limited to Jugband Blues, the very lyrics of which, in psychotic but intuitive brilliance derides his bandmates and fans with the incisive "It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here, and I'm most obliged to you for making it clear that I'm not here." Then, later in the same song, providing us a bit more insight into his state of mind at the time he sings "and I wonder who could be writing this song...". Despite advancing psychosis, the song is brilliant and a fitting swansong to this exceptional talent. In their wisdom, the band and recording company chose to end the record with Jugband Blues--- it truly represented an end. The rest of this album primarily contains contributions of material by Rogers Waters and by Richard Wright. The Waters contributions of Let There Be More Light and Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun and the band's collaborative A Saucerful of Secrets title track began to take the band into the direction of long experimental jams and space prog. Wright's contributions, Remember a Day and See Saw are ballads with a psychedelic feel. Waters' writing, though still in its formative stages already shows an incisive edge as demonstrated in Corporal Clegg where his obsession with the effects war on soldiers and their family's is already brought to fore, only to resurface again in The Final Cut many years later. The eery organ play on Let There Be More Light , A Saucerful of Secrets and Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun and the spaceship effects on Saucerful of Secrets alone make the recording worth the price of admission. Interestingly, David Gilmour's guitar on most of this recording plays a subdued role. I still love the bass and cymbal intro on Let There Be More Light. Again, this album is probably better classified as psychedelic rather than as true progressive rock. It remains an excellent snapshot of this remarkable band in transition. A Saucerful of Secrets was very ahead of what most if not all contemporaries were doing at the time and I suppose from that perspective, this record could be considered "progressive". Individual tracks on this recording rate a 5 or close to it. However, as a collective effort, while important from an historical perspective, and excellent overall, it isn't quite a masterpiece.


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