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

A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.63 | 1214 ratings

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Cluster One
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The importance of the loss of Syd Barrett on the PINK FLOYD sound can not be overemphasized. It was infinitely more serious than their later loss of Waters in the 1980's. After all, to their fans at the time Syd was PINK FLOYD!

Whereas 'Piper' was entirely Syd-dominated with slight glimpses of Rick and Roger's vocal and writing influences, 'A Saucerfulof Secrets' (ASoS) is a hodge podge of: 4 different vocalists (everyone but Nick Mason sings), multiple lyricists/song writers (Waters is credited with 3 songs, Wright with 2, and Barrett with 1) and a very unnecessary and indulgent percussive experiment on the eponymous track ('ASoS'). In actuality, much better (live) versions of the song 'ASoS' appear on 'Ummagumma' and 'Live at Pompeii' with Gilmour's rendition of 'Celestial Voices' sounding absolutely "heavenly".

These factors make this album distracting at times (is that Dr. Strange on the album cover?) and more a collection of different musical visions, rather than a cohesive work. I mean, there is space rock, psychedelia, whimsical tunes, blatant prog, Mason's over-indulgent drum solo and even the proverbial brass band in 'Jugband Blues' on this album. Add to all this, a very hesitant (for good reason) replacement in Dave Gilmour and well, it takes its toll.

This album does have its strong points though:

1) Space Rock. 'Let There Be More Light', 'Remember a Day', and 'Set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun' are definitive offerings of what was to be become PINK FLOYD's early signature sound, progressive space rock.

2) Rick Wright. FLOYD in later years would come to be dominated and synonymous with Dave Gilmour and Roger Waters. But in the early days, Rick Wright was a full participating member of the band and easily as influential a songwriter as Waters. He writes a strong piece of music in 'Remember A Day', arguably his best.

3) Syd's Swan Song. It is not on 'Wish You Were Here's' melancholic 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' where we sense Syd's ghost the most, but rather in his own fittingly haunting lyrics of this album's 'Jugband Blues' : "It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here and I'm almost obliged to you for making it clear that I'm not here"

'ASoS' is good prog, and a great (the best?) example of the 'space rock' genre. It is however extremely disjointed compared to its predecessor 'Piper at the Gates of Dawn', and is very unapproachable for the average listener. If you are not a fan of prog or space rock, this album should be devalued even further to 2/5 stars.

Cluster One | 3/5 |

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