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

A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.67 | 1709 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars A Secretful Of Saucers

After the departure of Barrett, first helped out by The Nice's David O'List, then by David Gilmour, most everyone would not bet on the group's survival, including the group's management who dropped them (in favour of Barrett, what a mistake!!), and conscious that their record label would follow, Floyd issued their second album Saucerful, less than one year after Piper and definitely kept the short Barrett song format as a majority of the album. This album came with one of the first and superbly psychedelic artwork of Hypgnosis.

Wright and Waters picked up the songwriting task, with Wright penning two, the ambitious mellotron-filled See-Saw and Remember A Day (a holdover from Piper), while Waters writes the rest of the album, except for the collegial title track. Then, of course, there is the awful but anti-militarist Corporal Clegg, (sung by Mason (!) and Gilmour), the horrible Jugband Blues, both quite sub-par and least but not last, the album-opening Be More Light, with its promising intro?

Among the major highlights of this album (and setting the group's future musical direction) is Controls To The Heart Of The Sun (dating from pre-Piper days), one that continues in the line of Interstellar Overdrive, but despite its title, Waters' slow and soft recitation (his only vocal intervention in the present album) of some Asian poetry, it is not space/sci-fi related. This track is an invitation to a psych travel or trip with its Indian modal inprovs, this track will remain in the live sets until DSOTM days. The other highlight is the 12-mins four-part title track, the first really ambitious Floyd oeuvre. The smooth opening movement soon transforms into an oppressive atmosphere, leading to the more-difficult second movement where Mason's repeated drums rolls are the centre of the other three colleagues' gradually more cacophonous crescendoing improvisations. The return to calm is gloomy with Wright's sombre organ taking over, alone at first, but soon joined by mellotrons and heavenly choirs, leading to a grandiose celestial finale.

Aside a minimal Barrett input (Jugband Blues) into this second album, Saucerful is definitely a transitional album, where Floyd measured their talents at writing pop songs ala Barrett and decided to fly on their own uncertain wings for an uncertain voyage and an undetermined destination. While Saucerful is really uneven, prefer it to Piper, mainly because it is a decisive step to their future endeavours

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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