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

A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.67 | 1712 ratings

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Walkscore
3 stars Innovative and Experimental.

While mixed in quality, Saucerful is a key album in the development of rock music. While this might also be true for a number of historical classics, Saucerful is different for being so experimental and off-the-wall. After Syd Barrett left (or was kicked out) of the band, Floyd had a few tunes lying around and sought to use them for their next album. These included Rick Wright's pieces "Remember a Day" and "See Saw", as well as one they had already (thankfully) recorded with Syd, "Jugband Blues". But they didn't have enough material. So, they experimented in the studio. The result produced not only some great new tunes (the wonderful opener "Let there be More Light" and "Corporal Clegg" included), but two of Floyd's now-iconic early compositions, "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" and the title track "Saucerful of Secrets". The latter is my favourite on this album. It takes sounds that even now might not be considered 'music' and mixes them into a wonderful collage of sound that moves one from chaos, through ordered chaos, to beauty. Even today, I don't think there is really any piece like it, and certainly I have not heard of any contemporary bands recording music like this. This song in particular opened up so many new musical possibilities - it made it possible to improvise beyond keys or time signatures (even more than did Ornette Coleman in jazz), and to use musique concrete to fashion a new kind of sound. While I am sure that other musicians would (and did) come to similar discoveries on their own, without even hearing this album, it is this piece that best captures the spirit of modernity at this point in musical history. Of course, the title track is only one among many, and the rest of the pieces are mixed, and the whole album has to be considered in its totality. And even Saucerful, and Set the Controls, are found in better versions on later live albums (such as Ummagumma). So, as an objective rating, I can only give this album 6.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to mid 3 PA stars. But for me that title track is so essential.

Walkscore | 3/5 |

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