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Pink Floyd - Ummagumma CD (album) cover

UMMAGUMMA

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.48 | 1211 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Atoms
4 stars This is where Pink Floyd starts for me, before Ummagumma, Pink Floyd was a band that was dependent on Barrett, one way or another. But from now on, the band would be Pink Floyd and nothing else. This is also the only Pink Floyd album where all members writes their own songs and no one overshadows anyone. And the reason for that? It's because this is not really a Pink Floyd album, it's rather 4 solo pieces by each band member.

And then there's that live vinyl, it's perfect, I can't say anything else about it. If I only was reviewing that, this would be a high 5-star album, however, now there's the studio vinyl too, which by the way is also good, but not as good as the live vinyl. I don't think I will be saying so much more about the live vinyl, since I have already reviewed the songs on my other PF reviews. And yes, the live versions of the songs are better than the studio versions.

The studio vinyl starts with Rick's piece, which is my favorite on this album. It's a four piece song, where Rick plays all the instruments, from the drums to Mellotron to the bass guitar. This has alot of resemblances to contemporary classical music, the song is really written and performed is that sense, and if I'm not mistaken, Rick was the one that liked this album even after 30 years, and there might a good reason to that, since this is the only song here which seems insipired and willing to progress. This is in my opinion the highlight of avant-prog, some may argue that this is not avant-garde enough, but for me, it's just perfect, nothing has been sacrificed for the concept and the music is always in the focus (which alot of Avant composers fail to achieve).

Roger is the next one up, and he has written one amazing song (in the similiar style as More) and one song which, while not very musical, is enjoyable. The first song, which is called Grantchester Meadows and is the only song on the album with almost the whole band playing. This is the second best song on the album and is propably one of the best acoustic songs Roger ever wrote, and it's propably one of the few songs he still likes from the early era of PF. This is the least experimental song on the album, and this is what the studio side needed, since there had to be a relaxing break somewhere, for the fan who was not interested in 10 minute long instrumental pieces.

Now, take away the vocals and the instrument from Grantchester Meadows, and now you have Roger's next song (which I wont write by it's name, to save my fingers from collapsing). Alright, rather than removing the instruments, replace them with the sounds you heard. Because alot of stuff is actually happening in this song. This is in my opinion a good song, but not in the same way as the previous song, this is just a very well performed and interesting song, I would love to hear someone play this live, I understand that this is a very hard song to perform live, but with some work it could work.

The next song, which is written by David. Seems to be the favorite here on PA, and I understand where that is coming from, because I really enjoy this song, and from time to time this can even be the song I enjoy the most from the album, but as I said before, this song is a bit too uninspired to be my favorite, while Rick exactly knew what he was aiming for in his song, this song just feels like a jam. And I can clearly understand that, David has even said himself that he has no idea what he should do, but in the end he managed to write something, and he managed to do it well. You may have noticed that I have barely analysed the instrumentation of this album, and that is just because this is not an album you can really look at from that direction, since the sounds fly in from all different kind of directions and angles, must be a real drag for the RIO/Avant specialists to review albums.

And lastly there's Nick's piece, and this is the only song where Nick has been only one credited for a song, even if Ron Geesin helped him, with the Flute solo, he didn't recieve any credit, just like for Atom Heart Mother, however, he seemed pretty neutral to that choice. This song consist of the flute solo and afterwards a 7 minute drum solo, and then a reprise of the flute, I don't like the flute solo at all, but the drums are actually really interesting, even if Nick has never been known as a good drummer, he could make the drum solo enjoyable with some studio techniques.

As I said before, the live vinyl is without any doubt a 5-star work and the studio not nearly as good, I have a bit of a problem with this albums rating, since I feel that the studio side is a very high 4, so, if a mathematician would give this album a rating he would give it a low 5, but I can't really give it that, since it doesn't feel right, so I will give a special rating.

A 4-star album with potential the become a 5. Just wait, I will have rewritten this review in a few months!

Atoms | 4/5 |

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