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Pink Floyd - Ummagumma CD (album) cover

UMMAGUMMA

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.47 | 1148 ratings

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HammerOfPink
5 stars I know I shouldn't be rating this a 5, but 4.5 technically rounds up to five.

The first disk gets a 5, the second gets a 4, so it averages out to that. Plus, I think UmmaGumma deserves a little more than what it has.

Personally, UmmaGumma is a very fun album to listen to, as it is extremely experimental. Now, the first disk comprises of 4 live songs, Astronomy Domine, Careful With That Axe, Eugene, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, and A Saucerful of Secrets. These are 4 of the greatest Pink Floyd song ever. Each is extended from what they originally were to about twice the length, with the exception of A Saucerful of Secrets (However, there HAVE been bootlegs where it is extended up to around 20 minutes or more).

When played live and improvised upon, the songs certainly sound a lot more epic. In the finale of A Saucerful of Secrets, rather than just chanting vocals, they add in the rest of the instruments (as they have always traditionally done).

So that's the first disk. The second disk, personally, I give it a 4, but that's just me, and I understand that people might be a little frightened by it. It's EXTREMELY avant garde, to a new level, where it's hardly rock music anymore. The prog and experimental influences became so great that they drowned out the original rock genre that they used to have. I personally love it, and when people say that it's weird, and just a bunch of noise, I explain to them that music like this is like a Picaso painting... it looks totally weird and bizarre, but if you are open minded, you can truly see the art in it.

Sysyphus begins with a haunting organ followed by a quiet piano solo that slowly builds up into its avant garde-ness by adding strange noises and percussion. During part 3, the strange noises and percussion is all that is left, along with bizarre, howling animal noises making you feel like you're running through a wild jungle of some sort... then it suddenly ceases... and you're left with a quite organ melody along with the sounds of birds chirping and rivers running... then suddenly the organ becomes loud again, and the original haunting melody is played, much slower, until it ends. This is Richard Wright's contribution to UmmaGumma

Roger Waters wrote Grantchester Meadows and Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict. Grantchester meadows is a nice and quiet ballad... much like If, and Fat Old Sun. Not very progressive in my opinion, just a quiet acoustic song, but it's peaceful nonetheless... and randomly ends with the sound of someone trying to swat a fly.

Several Species is very bizarre, and can only be described as the perfect song to scare away campers... Roger Waters recorded spoken phrases and sped them up, increasing the pitch. This is a very experimental song as all that it is, is sped up voices. The voices are made to sound like chirping, chattering animal sounds like birds, squirrels, raccoons, etc. Halfway in, a Scottish Pict can be heard going on a rant with his animal buddies in his cave. Playing this loudly to campers in the forest can certainly scare them away. And it also works on the black rappers too, as my father once was annoyed at the rap music in the courtyard below, so he stuck his speakers out and played this song, and when he looked back, they were all gone.

David Gilmour's section is the Narrow Way. This is the only song on this album that is slightly rock n' roll sounding, but it still sounds bizarre. A quiet acoustic section leads into an electric guitar section with strange sound effects, followed by a ballad type song at the end, featuring David Gilmour on vocals. This and Sysyphus are the best songs on the album.

The Grand Vizier's Garden Party is Nick Mason having fun in a room full of drums. It begins and ends with a flute solo, and has Nick Performing basically a huge drum solo. People usually can't appreciate this, but I love it, it's a piece of art, and I can easily listen to it for pleasure.

So yes, this album is AMAZING, however, it's EXTREMELY avant garde, and experimental to the point of being extremely bizarre. Many people label this as just noise so I suggest that you listen to it for yourself before deciding whether to buy it or not. Because you might be disappointed if you don't see the art in it, for you have just paid 20 dollars for screeching animals, weird sound effects, and clanging percussion. But anyone who understands Pink Floyd can easily see the Masterpiece in it.

HammerOfPink | 5/5 |

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