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Pink Floyd - Obscured By Clouds CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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4 stars Supposed to be made for a film soundtrack I think. Not as experimental as previous or post efforts just a nice collection of relatively short tunes in a style which Pink Floyd never really did again. A decent but more strightforward album.
Report this review (#8508)
Posted Friday, January 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars Through valleys and clouds

Unlike the first soundtrack (More) they provided for filmmaker Barbet Shroeder, the music is much more "à propos" with the images but not that much with the storyline. The storyline is about a French bored housewife in vacation in Papua New-Guinea getting hooked up with a bunch of hippies, out for escape to the paradisiacal valley (hence the title La Vallée), yet unknown to white-man knowledge and unmarked on any map, because always obscured by clouds (hence the other title), and a quest for rare bird feathers. Some of the New Guinea landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful; the story line is relatively interesting and the finale a bit abrupt and certainly unexpected.

However, if the movie is more interesting than More, the music although quite fine, is rather less interesting (especially considering the previous Echoes and the up-coming Dark Side) and it is still not put to excellent use by Barbet Shroeder. The French cineaste is however closely linked to Eric Rohmer who is renowned around the world for making boring psychological movies without clear storylines and full improvisation. Rest assured, this is not the case in Shroeder's movies but they share a lot of characteristics among which a minimalist approach and unusual camera angles and rather overlong scenes. As for the music, we are a bit dismayed by the all-too average songwriting, but also the conventional song format of most tracks, thus making a great departure from Floyd's most unconventional and most-often creative writing & playing approach. Sonically-speaking I find that this OBC album sounds quite similar to Gilmour debut solo album.

As for the tracks included here, some are excellent and probably more modern-sounding than many of their later albums, but the typical song format is the rule here, rather than the exception. Just the two tracks holding Guinea indigenous chants gain so much more to be seen with the movie images. It is a safe bet that if this movie had been made by an American moviemaker and made one decade later, this would've been a major box-office success. Most likely with the fad of Original Movie Soundtrack, the same thing could be said of the album. Not one of their better works, but neither is it unworthy of a listen for the album nor the movie a screening, quite the contrary.

Report this review (#8506)
Posted Tuesday, February 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars An effective collection of rock songs, slower numbers and atmospheric instrumentals, this is a surprisingly satisfying work from a fine band just prior to their DARK SIDE era. No real frills here, and Gilmour's guitar work is sublime throughout.
Report this review (#8513)
Posted Thursday, March 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars The most underrated album, in the vein of ALAN PARSONS, mixing the typical "FLOYDian sound" with some elements of a soundtrack, in a more progressive vein... a bit discontinuous in some circumstances. This album is worth checking out at least!!
Report this review (#8514)
Posted Saturday, April 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
1 stars Hi there, I believe only Pink Floyd obsessed can like this album by far the worst of their discography. Just an amass of bysongs put together: at the time they could compose enough material for even 3 records more in the lapse of a week. Something for collectors only, unessential to any PF discography.
Report this review (#8518)
Posted Wednesday, April 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album has many boring songs! The worst of the FLOYD albums. The accoustic songs are better and more catchy than the more psychedelic instrumental ones. They sound a bit like the ones on "Meddle". Gilmour's guitar sound is not as flashy as we are used to hear. Hard to believe that "Dark Side Of The Moon" was made in the same year! It's like the GENESIS' progress from their first album to "Trespass"!
Report this review (#8520)
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars To me, I thought this album was a bit of a letdown after "Meddle". Here they do a soundtrack album, to a French film called "La Vallée" (sp?). Still in 1972, PINK FLOYD wasn't a household name, and the music on this album seems to have that anonymous sound that's perfect for an art film soundtrack. Most of the songs tend to be ballads, and sound pretty harmless. There are still good songs here, like Water's "Free Four" and WIGHT's wonderful ballad "Stay". There's "Absolutely Curtains" which is an instrumental cut, rather atmospheric, relying on organ and synthesizer. I would love this cut much better if it didn't end with what sounds like a bunch of drunks singing. Listening to this album, it's hard to believe that the following year, they'll release an album that would pull them out of obscurity and have them fill arenas and stadiums regularly. I, of course, am referring to "Dark Side of the Moon".

To me, I find most of "Obscured by Clouds" to be too much on the "play it safe" side, but at least it isn't bad, but of course, if you want to explore their early material, go for any non-soundtrack album first before coming here.

Report this review (#8512)
Posted Thursday, May 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Music for a film never to be seen

As this was written as music for an obscure(!) film, it is unfair to judge "Obscured by clouds" against the other studio output of Pink Floyd. That said, the album is actually very good. I have not actually seen the film (has anyone?), but the music does stand up well in its own right.

For me, "Free Four" (as in one-two-free-four) is the best track. It is heavy in the "Nile song" mode, but more melodic. Not exactly a prog track, indeed not really a prog album, but well composed and infectious.

The tracks s a whole are good, but apart from "Free four", none of them are really particularly memorable. Many simply ramble along in an almost ambient way, with soft vocals, and pleasant, if unchallenging playing.

"Obscured by clouds" should be seen for what it is, music which was written to accompany a film. On that basis, it is competent, pretty commercial, and relaxing. Just don't buy it expecting another "Dark side of the moon" or even "Ummagumma".

Report this review (#8530)
Posted Sunday, May 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of the most underrated albums I know. Forget the fact that this was a film soundtrack: it stands completely on its own. This album was put together quickly; all I can say is: perhaps more albums should be put together quickly!

This is unmistakably PINK FLOYD, but with a slightly rougher edge to it than "Dark Side Of The Moon" (a slightly rougher edge that I happen to like very much). If you are a wine drinker, this album is a Shiraz whereas "Dark Side Of The Moon" is a Cabernet Sauvignon. To really enjoy this album, break open a bottle of the former, play the album loud on a good hi-fi and turn the lights down low. Great tunes, good lyrics, and fabulous instruments (including synth and PINK FLOYD's trademark guitar playing). It oozes class.

The instrumental title track starts like a tug boat coming out of the night and then the thump of drums, bass and synth gets into your bones as guitar kicks in. Great track.

'When You're In' is an even shorter instrumental with a simple melody, again with thumpy drum, bass and that twangy guitar over the top that is so effective.

'Burning Bridges' is a very laid-back song (think slowly rowing down a river). Some groovy, mellow guitar.

'The Gold It's In The...' rocks! It's a foot tapper with a good beat and some great guitar. The singing is a little bit strained but you'll probably be too busy playing air-guitar to notice.

'Wot's...Uh The Deal' is a soft, melodious ballad with a good tune to which I can't help humming: think lying by a log fire on a cold night.

The instrumental 'Mudmen' is sooo laid back, with a very slow tempo and some dreamy guitar. Dare I say it, this is music for making love.

The song 'Childhood's End' starts with organ, then a fast heart-pumping throb, and guitar then builds over it to create a foot tapper: good tune, good organ, good guitar. You'll probably be playing air-guitar to this one too.

The song 'Free Four' (say "one, two, three, four" in a London accent) is another foot tapper which vibrates into your bones. It has some good echoing guitar and the lyrics are interestingly black: " is a short warm moment, death is a long cold rest...".

'Stay' is another ballad that is very laid-back and is such a beautiful track. I would have said this is another track for making love, but the lyrics are about a one-night stand and might not go down too well with the lady! Very good lyrics though ("Stay, and help me to end the day, and if you don't mind we'll break a bottle of wine"; "Midnight blue, burning gold, a yellow moon is growing cold").

And so to the final track 'Absolutely Curtains', which is the only unusual track on the album: a laid-back instrumental with the film's New Guinea tribe singing towards the end of the track.

Do yourself a favour and buy this album.

Report this review (#8534)
Posted Saturday, June 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Obscured by Clouds is in fact a little bit underrated. I think it's because the music is non- spectecular. It's not the refined sound architecture of Dark Side or Wish You Were Here and it's not the exciting experimental music of Piper, Saucerful, Ummagumma or Echoes. Nonetheless there is the floydian atmospere intro such as the title track which was a knockout as a live version on their 1973 shows - yes the Floyd discovered it a little bit later as an excellent track for showcasing their great improvisational talents for example dave gilmours guitar soloing and rick wrights organ playing. Burning Bridges is the typical Wright soft rock keyboard style with the familiar wrightian colourful chord changes whereas Mudmen is Gilmours tasteful instrumental remake of the same composition. One of the highlights is WoT's Uh The Deal. It's a beautiful Floyd-Style ballad with a fine heartfelt vocal melody. Very romantic. I myself worked out a solo performance just for guitar and vocal. The chromatic bass line inspired me to a classical guitar interlude. I guess that's from the fine atmosphere of this song. Anyway it's not the best Floyd album. But it shows their songwriting talents far better than all the polished following albums. It's pur Pink!
Report this review (#8535)
Posted Tuesday, June 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Obscured By Clouds bridges the gap between Meddle and Dark Side of the Moon and is a patchwork album which may have been to raise funds for Dark Side or just to give some material for the film La Vallee. It is obvious that pink floyd we're concentrating on putting forward their most amazing materials for this soundtrack album and so you can expect it to be a little under par compared to the rest of their work. This album is probably the first "stinker" of their career but it's still better than anything after the wall.

The album uses the newly invented synthesiser and the first two short and similar instrumentals play with this. These are nothing special but ok intro's. Burning Bridges is an ok piece but still nothing flashy. The only decent tunes here are "The Gold, It's in the...", "Wot's... Uh The Deal" because they show off good vocals and pacey guitar, piano and drum work. "Mudmen" is also a treat as it is a good solo.

The rest of the tracks are ok but the ending instrumental track is pretty dismal to be fair. Not much here to keep you interested but for what pink floyd were trying to achieve here, it just about settles in the 3 star catagory. Ok. Nothing amazing yet nothing thats going to make you throw the album down the toilet in disgust. I would recommend that you have this cd in your pink floyd collection but please get the others first which you know are masterpieces.

Report this review (#8536)
Posted Saturday, July 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars An excellent album by anyone's standards. More than essential for any Floyd fan, an awakening experience for anyone who truly cares about what music is supposed to sound like. "Mudmen", "Childhood's End", "the gold it's in the...", "wot's...uh the deal", "burning bridges", "free four", and "stay" are just unbelievably great songs. I have them all, but Obscured By Clouds holds more good memories for me and has to top the list as the Floyd's best despite the fact of how quickly it was made. I got all of my friends into this one, and none of them are hard core Floyd fans.
Report this review (#8537)
Posted Tuesday, July 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is one of the most dissapointing Pink Floyd albums.

Some interesting things pop in and out of the songs at times, and shows where ideas would lead for Pink Floyd's opus on Dark Side of the Moon, but it's really below average, and easily one of their worst 70's periods albums. I can only assume because this was a soundtrack, might have gone well with the film, but not as a listening experience of it's own, which is upsetting as there were many very fun 70's soundtracks.

Get Meddle for more of this style of thing, done massively better. However, if you are just trying to fill out your Pink Floyd catalouge, this won't kill you.

Report this review (#8538)
Posted Tuesday, July 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
James Lee
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Deservedly unappreciated, this obscure corner of the PINK FLOYD discography nevertheless displays some surprisingly different sonic directions and belongs more to the future than the past of the band. Starting with the synth on the opening track (a very minimalist "Dogs of War" sound) and a newfound spiky aggression in the second instrumental, almost every song on the album has something in common with future releases. "Mudmen", especially, is a pretty clear precursor to the sound of later works. Only briefly does the past tradition of the band's loose acoustic-based works appear, in the sleepy but pleasant "Burning Bridges" and the deceptively comfortable-sounding "Wot's... Uh the Deal" (sort of an early stab at the concept behind "Dogs"). The lyrics throughout the album are notably more pointed and protesting, although frequently still abstract or general in scope. "Free Four" is the one truly memorable song in this collection, with a bouncy drive and the most direct Waters vocals so far- he addresses warfare, fame, aging, time, death...all in four minutes. "Gold It's in the..." is a stylistic left-turn, a straight- ahead rocker that some other band could well be proud of, but it's just not very FLOYD- sounding- or all that impressive, except for its uniqueness among the band's work. "Childhood's End" features some of the same funky brittle guitars that "Pigs" will put to better use. "Stay" is quite mediocre, with Wright simply rehashing the lyric idea behind his previous "Summer '68" with a less adventurous arrangement- although the "Stir it Up"- type guitar solo is nice. Finally, the initally interesting "Absolutely Curtains" has a little "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" in it, and even a bit of "Fearless" in the sampled conclusion...possibly this bit makes more sense to those who have seen the film.

Okay, this ranks pretty low on the must-hear PINK FLOYD album list. If you've absolutely got to have everything they did, there are a few worthwhile moments here. It's also quite interesting to see what the band did when there was less pressure to compose a cohesive work- this is rather like a B-sides compilation in that regard. I'd like to give this album three stars- it's PINK FLOYD, after all, and "Free Four" and "Wot's... Uh the Deal" are better songs than (for instance) "San Tropez" and "Seamus", but ultimately it is less a truly good album than a collection of curiosities.

Report this review (#8493)
Posted Saturday, August 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars I'm the kind of person whose favourite albums are those that when he first listens to them, he doesn't really like it and think that it's boring; but will, in turn, listen to it many more times until he understands the music and can really appreciate it and connect with it. I don't know how many "kinds of people" there are like that, but that's what I do, and what this album is to me.

My favorite tracks on this album are "Obscured by Clouds", "Wots...uh the Deal", "Mudmen", "Childhood's End", and "Absolutely Curtains", pretty much in that order (although I really love all of these songs). "Absolutely Curtains" really stands out to me as the album's best, as it is the most different and spacy, and really fits into my type of genre. I even love the ending, where the New Guineau natives (or so I'm assuming) sing a song in their native language and style. I really think this album is great, but the reason I gave it only three stars is because, firstof all, it did take me probably a total of 8 or 9 times of listening to the entire album before I could really enjoy it (as I said earlier), so it probably wouldn't appeal to that much to other people, especially people that aren't floyd fans (but I wouldn't be expecting them to buy this album anyway). Secondly, the more rocking tunes in the album, namely "When You're In" (a follow up to "obscured by clouds"), "The Gold it's in The...", and "Free Four" just, musically, aren't what I appreciate Pink Floyd for. I want to give this album four stars; but for review purposes, I leave the bar at three.

Report this review (#8494)
Posted Friday, September 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I wish Pink Floyd did more soundtrack releases. More was an excellent album and so is OBC. It seems like they relax a little on them and the results are outstanding. OBC definitely a highly underrated gem from PF.The highlights include ' Burning Bridges' ' Wots...uh the deal'' Childhood's end' and ' Stay' but ' Absolutely Curtains' the final piece being virtually instrumental shows us snippets of WYWH and the bigger things to come. No PF collection would be right without Obscured by Clouds also known as La Valee from the filmscore.
Report this review (#8495)
Posted Sunday, September 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Obscured by other Pink Floyd releases, I think that this one turned out better than the "More" soundtrack released in 1969. Both that one and this one was soundtracks for european cult movies, though they both turned out as "less successful" than all other PF releases (the movies even worse). A couple of really great tunes here, nicely performed and arranged despite a few sucky tracks at the end. Still, it mostly stands out as a fan product of sorts, but is a warm welcome to your collection if you enjoy albums like "Atom heart mother" and "Meddle".
Report this review (#8501)
Posted Saturday, December 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars THIS, this is the Pink Floyd I just love. Classic rock fans will LOVE this album. This isn't soft stuff. This is electric guitar with overdrive and some pretty fancy solos. It sounds like Dark Side of the Moon but with a bit of a harder twist to it, more electric guitar, a little bit less keyboards & synths. Childhood's End in particular sounds like a Time instrumental, most of the album has the upbeat vibe of Money. I'm a big classic rock guy, I love Led Zeppelin, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, and if you like those bands as well as Floyd, this is THE album for you. Most of the other albums by them that I've heard are soft and gorgeous, but this one is rock & roll. Must have for any Pink Floyd fan, as this is a side of them you rarely see, and to have an album of their greatest real rock gems is definitely worth the price of admission. 5 stars, this is essential.
Report this review (#8502)
Posted Saturday, December 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Certainly an inconsistent album, but "Wot's...Uh The Deal" and "Free Four" are among my favorite Pink Floyd songs, musically and lyrically. Other highlights include "Stay" and "Childhood's End". One expects filler on a soundtrack album, so listeners should not judge this release too harshly. Incidentally, I saw the film in a theater back in the 70's, and I can assure you that it's not worth seeing. The songs on the album were whittled down to 10-second snippets heard, for example, on a car radio or as a transition between scenes. The "payoff" that audiences were expecting throughout the entire movie (What will they discover when they finally reach their destination, The Valley?) was a resounding thud that left audience members shouting "WHAT?!?". The Mudmen were pretty cool, though.
Report this review (#8503)
Posted Tuesday, January 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Obsured by Clouds is relatively unknown by many Pink Floyd fans. I've heard a number of people wrongly state that Meddle is the predessor to the Dark Side, which is a shame because ObC is such noteworthy predessor to the big one. Cooked up in about a week ObC doesn't suffer from a lack of studio polish or trickery (sound effects) implemented on most other Floyd albums. Although this album lacks a classic Floydian epic in the guise of Echoes or Shine On, ObC offers a number of execellent songs. 'Childhood's End', 'Free Four', and 'It's Gold' just plain rock mostly thanks to Gilmour's dazzling guitar playing. It's also worthy to note that Free Four is Waters first scathing attack on war, and the music industry, an indignation he would expand upon on later albums. Burning Bridges, Stay, and 'Wot's the Deal are fine ballads with a lyrical edge to them. Wot's the Deal is in particular quite beautiful and probably my favorite song on the album. Mudmen is a descent instrumential by Wright and Gilmour; however, it pales in comparision to most of the other instrumental pieces they've collaborated on through the years. The album's low point however is Absolutely Curtains a disappointing end to an otherwise excellent album. It opens with some soothing keyboard by Wright; however instead of seguing to a Gilmour guitar solo as one would hope for the Wright's keyboards unfortunately lead to some mundane tribal singing which probably was tacked on because the album was a sound track for a movie. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this neglected treasure to anyone whether you're a Floyd fan, a progressive music man, or a rockin roller.
Report this review (#8504)
Posted Thursday, January 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not bad...this is a soundtrack which if I'm not wrong was recorded during the DSOTM's sessions, and if you liked that album then you need to give this one a try. There are some good songs here: "Wot's... Uh the Deal" is the best one, and close to being a classic, while "Mudmen" and the title track aren't that bad either. The rest are just "above- average", excepting Absolutely Curtains, which has those chants I don't like and is the weakest song.
Report this review (#8505)
Posted Saturday, January 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Call me stupid but i like this album, it doesnt makes me feel bored, something that Dark Side of The moon gets to do in my mind. I love the first instrumentals, Bridges burning, Woh the deal is beautiful. The only bad thing of the album is that the end is not a great final for a Pink Floyd album. Obscured by clouds is maybe a little popy but it is still a good album that has the same quality for me as the tracks in the middle of Meddle (yes, those one between one of these days and echoes!)
Report this review (#8524)
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a CD that can hold its own with many of PINK FLOYD's greats--do not pass it up simply because it is a "non-concept" album. It is, in fact, the last non-concept album that PINK FLOYD would produce until A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Therefore, what the listener ought to focus upon is the power of the music. This disc really does a nice job of forecasting some of the beautiful music that will later appear on The Dark Side of the Moon. The entire CD is underrated--and that is why I have chosen to open this review with ObC's most underrated track.

That, in my opinion, is "Absolutely Curtains". To be honest, it is beyond my understanding why this song seems to bother so many people. It's quite heartwrenchingly played by RICK WRIGHT...there's something mournful and mysterious about it that his fans would recognize from his solo song "Interlude" (from Broken China)--that same feeling of standing frozen upon the edge of something that's about to happen, not quite knowing exactly what it is. I know the song is credited to the entire band--but its execution is largely down to WRIGHT: the song, aside from percussion and tape effects, consists entirely of a synth (VCS3?), Farfisa and Hammond organs, Rhodes and acoustic pianos. While PINK FLOYD obviously did not know what was to come, it's quite chilling to listen to this song bearing in mind that they did in fact stand upon the edge of an era that, while filled with great promise, would also result in great pain. This is the very side of the music that, over time, was forced out of the music and only regained in later years. As for the chanting, I personally find it mesmerising.

Another historical rarity on this album, for which it should be treasured, is the appearance of the powerful WRIGHT-WATERS songwriting team--something seen only on this album and Dark Side of the Moon. Had ROGER WATERS had more respect for his opposite, this could have gone even further, as these tracks prove how perfectly they complemented each other. Look at "Burning Bridges", the best of these songs: here you have a gorgeous, memorable, and innovative tune, along with enchanting (not overbearing...not yet!) lyrics. I should also point out that the mixing is the boldest for WRIGHT's vocals to ever appear in a PINK FLOYD album before the song "Wearing the Inside Out", making it quite a treat on the ears. "Mudmen", the instrumental companion track to "Burning Bridges", adds to WRIGHT's gorgeous chord sequence some guitar work that might remind the listener of "Time" although with a backing more like "Us and Them". There is no doubt that both DAVID GILMOUR and RICK WRIGHT were now ready for The Dark Side of the Moon. (A bit of trivia--someone pointed out that the time signature is changed between "Burning Bridges" and "Mudmen", a very interesting subtle sign of musical innovation.)

Perhaps the most chilling of all the predictors on this album is the lyrics to "Free Four", put on a backdrop of music that is entirely too happy for the subject matter (intentional sarcasm on WATERS' part, I believe, similar to "Corporal Clegg" on A Saucerful of Secrets). The lyrics, in a way, are a precursor to every theme that WATERS will dwell on in future works, particularly The Wall. His fans will probably see this as a welcome introduction to his more serious approach to music--others may see this song as hailing the future destruction of the band.

"When You're In"/"Obscured By Clouds" is a quick rock instrumental opening that shows WRIGHT's Hammond technique in fine form. "The Gold, It's In the..." is perhaps the album's weak point--a track that sounds less like PINK FLOYD and more like the Doobie Brothers: basically a simple rock tune, but still enjoyable enough. "Wot's uh the Deal" is a very pleasant "Pillow of Winds"-like tune with interesting lyrics, nice vocals by DAVID GILMOUR...not THE best of the album, but soothing and likeable. "Childhood's End" is written solely by GILMOUR, and while musically (except in the intro) doesn't really deviate from standard rock, it's lyrically one of his better outings, just under "Sorrow" and "High Hopes". "Stay" is the other WRIGHT-WATERS outing, and my suspicion based on the ordering of credits is that the lyrics, similar in theme to "Summer '68" (describing the emptiness of a one-night stand) were mostly written by WRIGHT himself. My personal guess based on intuition is that the chorus is written by WATERS--the rest is WRIGHT, and his vocals are very pleasant to listen to.

Overall, this is a disc that all PINK FLOYD fans should make sure to pick up, both for its own intrinsic qualities and for the almost prophetic way in which it indicates the future direction of the band.

Report this review (#8525)
Posted Monday, January 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I have always loved this album, so i find it hard to believe that it has been left out of many Pink Floyd discography lists.

It was made in what i believe to be Pink Floyd's best years (70-75), and is worthy of standing next to the great albums of that time. In fact, i think it is more regular than many of them.

Wright does some of what is his most memorable work to me, and there are also some very powerful guitars by Guilmour.

Also... contrary to what most believe here, i can see union between the songs of this album, a musical theme that echoes through every piece, however different they are from each other. So Obscured by Clouds, to me, IS a concept album, at least musically, which is what really matters.

Report this review (#8526)
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is either a love it or hate it album. I must be one of the first group, and one of the few people who saw the film. The film was one of those French art house movies about a trek to a hidden valley in Borneo, PNG, or Indonesia (I forget which) and the soundtrack was the best thing about it. It must have really impressed me at the time because I went straight out and bought it. Even today I find it worth listening to.
Report this review (#8542)
Posted Tuesday, February 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Hmm . I've just bought a wonderful prog book "INSIDE OUT - A Personal History of Pink Floyd" written by Nick Mason, the band's drummer. I thought it's an expensive book - Poundsterling-wise, it is GBP 30! - but when I read through the book with massive photographs (mostly full color) and high-quality paper and hard cover plus insightful stories by the band's founding member then my investment is worthwile! Ahem, I'm just trying to find an excuse, actually, on why I had to spend that much of money for a book. But it's a prog book man; so it's worth the investment. Yeah.., it is .!! For those who love this band, you MUST purchase this book! The paper back edition will be released April 2005 - according to But I think, you MUST buy the hard cover version man; it's so great!!! I could not afford sleeping last night enjoying page-by-page stories and pictures in the book. Excellent reference. Don't call yourself a Floyder if you don't own this copy! Ooops . I have no financial interest with the publisher or amazon man; I'm just expressing my delighted feeling having the book that I always carry with me wherever I go; even though it's so heavy. Never mind! Progger don't mind about this, right?

OK OK OK . let's talk about this album. The reason I pick this album for review is basically inspired by the purchase of Inside Out book. With the book on my hands - even it's now beside my laptop while I'm writing this review - and it provides some sort of enlightenment for writing a review. (Oh man .. what a great cover! I'm proud having the book with me .). As far as I know, "Obscured by Clouds" (OBC) album has rarely been discussed by proggers; but I think it deserves excellent review as it is a psychedelic music at its best!

OBC was made during the band lavish efforts making The Dark Side of The Moon album in 1972. As Mason mentioned in the book that the recording for DSOTM piece spread through 1972 as it was constantly interrupted not only by the band's touring commitment but by a whole host of other projects: the OBC film track . (page 163 - 164). After the success of "More", the band agreed to do another sound track for Barbet Schroeder film called "La Velle". The band travelled over to France to record the music.

The soundtrack opens with title track "Obscured by Clouds" which basically an instrumental track in spacey mood exploring great keyboard and stunning guitar melody. It's an excellent track and it sets fantastic atmosphere for the whole album. It flows to second track "When You're In" that starts with a dynamic drumming by Mason in an instrumental music with guitar as the lead, augmented with guitar work. The first two tracks sound like an integrated music.

"Burning Bridges" is a mellow track with a blues influence and catchy melody. The vocal line is very nice, accompanied with a nice organ as rhythm section. The guitar solo demonstrates blues influence. "Gold It's in the... " is in similar vein but performed in a happier mood.

Oh man .. the track "Wot's... Uh the Deal" was truly my childhood's favorite as it BLEW me away with its killing acoustic guitar and great vocal melody! It's still my favorite until now. This is what I call an all-time favorite. Great guitar, great vocals, and great piano! The harmony of vocal and acoustic guitar is superb!! This track can create tears in my eyes . so touching .it's killing ...

"Mudmen (Instrumental)" is another wonderful instrumental track with nice melody, stunning piano, organ and guitar solo. "Childhood's End" is another happy mood track with excellent composition. I love the guitar solo work. "Free Four" is a ballad with acoustic guitar as main rhythm section. "Stay" has an atmospheric guitar work at intro, followed with a medium tempo music and acoustic guitar plus piano & drums."Absolutely Curtains" is another instrumental music with some soundscape of traditional singing by native people, in Papua New Guinea. Keep on progging!

Yours progressively,

GW - Indonesia

Report this review (#8543)
Posted Wednesday, February 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is my favorite album of all time! I own every single Pink Floyd album (at the youthful age of 15), and I must honestly say that this is the band's greatest work ever. There are basically three reasons why Obscured By Clouds stands out from the rest:

1. The influence of Richard Wright, whom I believe is the best vocalist in the group.

2. 1970 - 1975 was the climactic period for Pink Floyd's musical greatness.

3. This album beautifully combines the band's signature psychedelic sound with many progressive elements to create some incredible tracks like "Burning Bridges", "Mudmen", and "Stay".

"Wot's . . . Uh The Deal" may not sound like anything else the band has put out, but I consider it to be one of my favorite songs. It has a perfect melody and is easy to sing along to as you play it on guitar.

If you like Pink Floyd, or even progressive/psychedelic music in general, you must get this album.

Report this review (#8544)
Posted Saturday, February 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cluster One
3 stars 'Obscured By Clouds' is often seen as a 'take it or leave it' album from FLOYD. While definitely not of the same stature as 'Dark Side', 'WYWH', 'Animals' or 'The Wall', there is much on this original soundtrack offering to enjoy. Many of the hardcore FLOYD faithful swear by this album.

When I first heard this album, I had no idea it was actually a soundtrack album. To me, soundtacks were often synonomous with 'instrumentals'. 'OBC' has plenty of quality songs (half of the album's track have vocals) to complement the many instrumentals found on it. It does take a while to grow on you though, as none of the tracks are 'radio friendly' (maybe "Free Four" is) and all will be virtually unknown to non-FLOYD fans.

But don't discount excellent pieces like "Wot's...Uh the Deal" and "The Gold It's In The..." as well as the often-played-live instrumental combo of "Obscured By Clouds/When You're In".

Most importantly 'OBC' has one of the best tracks ever written by Dave Gilmour in "Childhood's End". With an intro slightly similar to "Time" (I believe I hear Nick's roto-tom), and dark lyrics and tone foreshadowing "Dogs", "Childhood's End" is FLOYD at its creative best. One of my Top 5 songs by FLOYD.

'Obscured By Clouds' gives us our last glimpse of the Floyd before they released 'Dark Side' and became the monster rock band that we now know. The band sound comfortable, and confident. 'OBC' belongs in any experienced prog rock collection, but is not recommended for 'newer' fans of the genre. As a prog rock album it deserves 3/5 stars; if you are a FLOYD fan, then boost this rating up to 4/5 stars.

Report this review (#8545)
Posted Monday, February 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars PINK FLOYD's 2nd movie soundtrack built for the movie "The Valley" is a pure work of art. "Obscured By Clouds" is very reminiscent of Meddle-era FLOYD with their establishing winding blues prog rock and Gilmour's soaring guitars and soft gentle yet affirmative voice. "Wots... Un The Deal", "Mudmen" and "Childhood End" are 3 superb tracks that make this album simply killer. Over the years this album has remained a favourite in the Unger household and in 1995 I upgraded to the EMI re-mastered version which has enhanced this sound even more than my previous LP version.
Report this review (#8547)
Posted Friday, March 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of my favorite albums by the Floyd! I don't see these tunes as throwaways at all, excluding perhaps ABSOLUTELY CURTAINS. This album was thrown together very quickly, but this work comes from what was probably the Floyd's peak era as a productive (and democratic) BAND, 1971-1973. This means Rick Wright gets more stage time than on perhaps any other album: his signature is all over STAY, MUDMEN, BURNING BRIDGES, & ABSOLUTELY CURTAINS. David Gilmour shows his stuff throughout for perhaps the first time ever; WOTS...UH THE DEAL, WHEN YOU'RE IN, THE GOLD IT'S IN THE..., and CHILDHOOD'S END show his voice and/or guitar licks in top form. And Waters gives us a very telling glimpse into the future with FREE FOUR; definitely a "lost" Floyd classic! The only bad things I can say about this album are that the final track seems very un-fleshed out and tacked-on, and the sound quality is not good at all. It's very muddy in some places, especially the first verse of BURNING BRIDGES. I don't know if it was meant to sound like that or not, but it annoys me. If you are a Floyd fan, give this album a spin and see if you fall into the "love it" or "hate it" category.
Report this review (#8548)
Posted Saturday, April 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars If you like Anne Murray or Olivia Newton-john, you will probably like this album. This is the most "middle of the road" Pink Floyd album. I find the music and songs very boring. You can liken this album Pink Floyd's " Red Rose Speedway", a poor Wings album. Meddle and DSOTM are much better.
Report this review (#8549)
Posted Sunday, April 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This has to be one of the most underrated albums ever!! In my opinion this album is great! it's very rythmic and the songs flow perfectly into each other... Even though it's a soundtrack to a movie - it's still excellent It features great instrumentals like: Obscured by cloudes, When your in, Mudmen and Absolutly curtains along with the great stupendeous acoustic song "Wot's... uh the deal?" which is my personal favourite floyd song ever... and the gorgeous "The gold it's in the..." which also is a very great song...
Report this review (#8550)
Posted Thursday, April 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is masterpiece.Obsecured by clouds is pink floyds best work along with dark side of the moon, wish you were here, animals and wall. I think songs on this album are melodious while listening to this album i see different side of pink floyd.obsecured by clouds is the best instrumenal song ever.Stay is beautiful song , childhood end, burning bridges ,absolutely curtains are one of my favt there is no bad song on this album.THIS ALBUM IS MOST FOR ALL THE PINK FLOYD FANS . HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Report this review (#8555)
Posted Thursday, May 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Obscured by clouds is oftent ''obsured'' by all the great albums in the Floyd catalogue, but this is a great album. Of course it is a soudntrack, so it has to be more into moods, atomsphere and time. But isn't what makes great Floydian moments? The album starts with the mood-setting eponymous song, an instrumental one. We can hear some usual work on the guitar from Gilmour, wich is not that bad. The song then fades into ''When You're in'', including a good riff by gilmour backed by some good job from mr Rick Wright on Keyboards. Nick Mason stays true to himslef, with his great use of the cymbals. The mood stays mostly the same the whole album, but hey, that's normal! It's a movie soudntrack! Highlights include ''Wot's...Uh the deal'' and ''Childhood's end'', one of the best song David Gilmour ever wrote. We can compare it to the song ''time'' on Dark Side of the Moon, but with lyrics maybe as beautiful. This album is packed between two masterpieces, Meddle and DSOTM, and really, couldn't be bad. While the most underrated album in the floyd catalogue is definitely Atom Heart Mother, Obscured by Clouds finishes a close second.
Report this review (#8556)
Posted Saturday, May 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Well, a soundtrack is a soundtrack, and a masterpiece this isn't. Floyd probably got well payed for this, and got their name further known around certain areas, but this is not the Floyd we know and love. Ok, it does sound like them, as they have a distinctive sound, but none of the tunes on here are impressive. Most of them sound half finished, which is a curse of soundtracks, but at least none of them have the unmusical ramblings of Ummagumma or Atom Heart. Nevertheless, the music here is even less melodic. This album isn't patchy, it is consistently poor. This was the first one I bought by Floyd, and I was so disappointed with it. One to avoid unless you are a big fan. Floyd haters will use this as ammunition against them. No better, no worse than their earlier soundtrack, 'More'. Collectors only.
Report this review (#8557)
Posted Saturday, May 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Progressively talking, weak, but with a beautiful atmosphere. From what I heard about the movie La Valee, the soundtrack must be far better! This album works as a whole, not with separated tracks: It has a mellow feel to it that keeps you holding all the way through. "Almost Curtains" is one of the most atmospheric songs ever written by the Floyd, and it's just a little bunch of simple keyboard lines! That's the thing with OBS: beauty on simplicity. Of course that Prog Music it's the exact opposite of that, but it's nice to hear some simpler music once in a while...

- Guilherme Baldin

Report this review (#36345)
Posted Sunday, June 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Pity that Floyd never took commisions again. Might have brought a little more joy to their apparently cumbersome creative processes. You know what ? This is actually a whole album of single-hits. That cannot be said about other Floyd-albums of that period. I am one of those who - in those days - provided myself with Dark Side of the Moon on day of release, to go home and say "aaargh saxsolo negative naive schizopomp who do they think they are kidding ?". Apparently everyone else. But this is the basic reason why I hold this - the follow-up record in high esteem. It restituted a favourite band in my eyes. Back to "More", back to the "hey, what are we gonna mess around with today" innovative band trying to handle being hailed as the "new Beatles". "Dark Side .." was no victory, but a surrender. Of course the bleak shadow from "Dark Side ..." never disappeared again from Floyd, and is also present on "Obscured by Clouds", but it is not an insisting concept to the record. Pink Floyd was a band who was at their best when they hardly knew what to do. And this slight prolonging of the divinely fumbling More-Meddle-period of five-star-records was more than welcome.
Report this review (#37965)
Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars A superb concept album. The concept here is the western man's quintessential dilemma: to embark on the adventure or to live an ordinary life. The risks are great, isolation or death are possibilities but what if you choose not to go? And, as fate would have it, this is the album just prior to the Floyd embarking on their journey into superstardom with Dark Side. Somehow this makes the album resonate all the more. Of course it's the Floyd so we do get to go on the journey and it's not to a happy ending. But what an ending! Absolutely Curtains is one of their finest and most ominous moments, Wright's sizzling keyboards fading out to otherworldy tribal chanting from New Guinea. On the way the Floyd effortlessly pull together some of their best tunes, especially from a song- writing angle. It's very 1972 too. You can hear echoes of the Byrds and much acoustic instrumentation is in evidence, especially for this most exerimental of bands. For me this album captures that beautiful big but very soft sound of the Pink Floyd live.

Of course the scenario is laid down by the movie (which this reviewer bought on the strength of the album) but the album communicates the story better than the screenplay. It's hard to believe that the Floyd didn't actually go on a big tropical adventure to write the record, so convincing is its atmosphere. The film looks nice in parts but the Floyd are somewhat brutalised by being played over car stereos or tent-side transistor radios. An ignominious treatment for the best band in the world. It works well to listen to the album on your stereo while watching the movie.

For me, this and Wish You Were Here are their best albums, both are postcards sent from someone who is lost and confused. Both albums have the imprimatur of Richard Wright all over them. Those strange (in rock's narrow canon) jazzy chord progressions which touch the music with such deep melancholy are in evidence here too, even though the album was quickly put together.

A must-have, especially for true Floyd fans, because there simply is no other album quite like this one; warm, compassionate, nostalgic and mysterious all at once. And, once again, beautifully summed up in the Hipgnosis visuals on the cover; one of their best too.

Report this review (#40400)
Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Obscured by Clouds is by far the best of the soundtrack albums done by the Floyd, despite its musical simplicity. It is not as experimental as More neither tough to listen as Zabriskie Point, but it contains amazing songs that would be very accessible to the mainstream audience and - surprisingly - would also probably appeal people who are also interested in more complex music who may want a break from the more crafted works. In a nutshell, it is an album "for everyone" to appreciate.

This is the most rock oriented FLOYDIAN work, which is shown mostly on songs like the upbeat "The Gold It's in the..." and "Childhood's End", which contains David Gilmour's arguably best lyrics - showing that the guy CAN write. The first two instrumentals, the title track and "When You're In" work as one unique song introducing the album. Both are awesome and the first has a really dark feel, while the other is heavier and more drum based. "Burning Bridges" and "Mudmen" are the two sisters that make this album even greater, with the same keyboard rhythm through them being the absence of vocals in the latter the main difference. On "Burning Bridges" we have one of the best harmonies found in both Dave's and Rick's vocals, they surely fit well together singing the same song. A great vocal work at the best song from the album. "Free Four" is my least favorite song from here, a typical Waters' number containing a very annoying "clap clap" fuzzy feel through it that just doesn't work for me. "Stay" is another great contribution from Mr. Wright, a nice ballad that leads to the grossly underrated "Absolutely Curtains", which in my humble opinion is one of their best instrumental tracks. The only real flaw here are the voices at the end, which are quite ridiculous comparing to the level of this song. "Wots uh the deal?" is a beautiful and simple song and one of the band's most unique gems.

This album is sometimes forgotten because it is an OST, but its brilliance is unquestionable. The FLOYD soon is reaching their most successful album in terms of sales DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, which has a similar feel as this one. Actually, OBC seems like an embryo of Dark Side, because both albums share many similarities between them.

Report this review (#41125)
Posted Sunday, July 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Unjustly overlooked "soundtrack" album.

"Obscured by Clouds" shared the destiny of the previous Barbet Schroeder soundtrack - "More", and generally was not considered a "real" PINK FLOYD album. This was further stressed by its release between the two masterpieces, "Meddle" and "Dark Side of the Moon". In fact, when looking in retrospect, this is a very good album, albeit not what a usual PF fan would expect. Unlikely the "classic" FLOYD albums, this is rather a collection of songs, some of which are surely their strongest work, like notable Wright's vocal and songwriting contribution in "Burning Bridges" and "Stay", along with some excellent instrumentals - "Obscured by Clouds" and "When You're In" with powerful Gilmour's guitar solos creating an electrified psychedelic atmosphere. The only weak moment is Gilmour's mediocre attempt at straight hard rock "The Gold It's In The..." leaving no impression at all. Another Gilmour's hard rocker, "Childhood's End" is much better, while the odd and jolly rhytm of Waters' "Free Four" is contrasted by his melancholic lyrics - "the memories of a man in his old age/are the deeds of a man in his prime". Usually considered to be for FLOYD fans only, "Obscured by Clouds" is more than that - not so popular as their classic albums, but in any case it is a work filled with many excellent songwriting and strong and effective performance. The joy of a listener thus only gets bigger.

Report this review (#46352)
Posted Sunday, September 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
Marc Baum
2 stars First: I am a huge Pink Floyd fan, got all their albums and think it's the greatest band that this world ever spit out. But I never was really excited about their soundtracks "More" (worst Pink Floyd release ever, with exception of the fantastic "Nile Song" on it) and "Obscured By Clouds". The record sounds very symplistic and also a bit uninspired, even the guitar work of David Gilmour is as always great, but the whole think lacks in originality and memorable essence, which was always an quintessential trademark of Pink Floyd. Ok, the record has it's moments but boreness is the feeling that overcomes me when I listen it full length. The cover art is the ugliest ever on a Floyd release, so the overall album thumbs down IMO, even it's not bad. For die-hard Floyd fans only, even I am not impressed! Maybe I should watch the movie to make up my mind for this.

Pink Floyd - "Obscured By Clouds" rating: 5/10 points = 52 % on MPV scale = 2/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Collectors/fans only

Report this review (#47417)
Posted Tuesday, September 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Considered to be a 'filler' album in between Meddle and The Dark Side of the Moon, Obscured by Clouds is often forgotten in the grand discography of Pink Floyd. Though it is not one of heir best albums, it is far from one of their worst.

The opening intrumentals, Obscured by Clouds and When You're In, are a grea opening for the album. Powerfull and thriving, they evoke the memory of One of These Days from the previous album Meddle.

It almost seems to have become routine for Pink Floyd to add a very slow song early on in their albums to somewhat stop the excitement of the listener and remind him or her that they're there to make them relax. Burning Bridges is that song for this album. A slow piano-guitar combo, the song once again suceeds in slowing down the album to snail- like speeds.

This slowness, however, is completely eradicated by the following song, The Gold It's In the... can be summmarized as a 3 minute song with a 2 minute guitar solo. Fast and powerfull, the song pick the pace of the album back up to full.

BUT... the album slowns down again with Wot's Uh the Deal. Not that I'm complaining, as Rick Wright rules this song with his piano. Not one but TWO solos proves he was nearing the top of his game, which would be prominently displayed on Wish You Were Here and Animals.

Mudmen is basically just an instrumental version of Burning Bridges, though quite a thing to bring back an old song and replay it in a different way... I wonder if they would do this again?

Just as More had the 1-2 punch of Green is the Colour and Cymbaline, Obscured by Clouds has the 1-2 punch of Childhood's End and Free Four. The first, a David Gilmour guitar freak-out, the second, and upbeat Roger Waters psych- out.

Stay and Absolutely Curtains are decent tracks, yet very forgettable. This album is a decent addtiton the Floyd collection, yet it is nothing compared to the five next albums.

Report this review (#55760)
Posted Wednesday, November 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Obscured by Clouds" is a movie soundtrack and was recorded over the course of two weeks while the band was in France in 1972. This is a collection of (almost) conventional short songs. Nevertheless, the Pink Floyd don't compromise their art in any way. The songs are inventive in their structures, melodies, lyrics, chord progression and production. The band put as much emotion into their music as ever and the songs could never be called commercial or forced.

1. Obscured by Clouds - featuring some spooky slide guitar, with a good synthesizer. 3/5

2. When You're In - sounds much like a continuation of previous track... 3/5

3. Burning Bridges - is sung by David Gilmour and Richard Wright. This song is perfect to go with this album. 3.5/5

4. Gold It's in the... - is short song, but some real good solo guitar from David Gilmour. 3/5

5. Wot's... Uh the Deal - is a variation between rock & roll, and country music. Very good acoustic guitar. 4.5/5

6. Mudmen - a killer Gilmour-Wright instrumental. Superb! 5/5

7. Childhood's End - is a good tune. 3.5/5

8. Free Four - is the only song sung by Roger Waters. It has some of that weird synthesizer from the track "Obscured By Clouds". 3/5

9. Stay - is a very good song, sung By Rick Wright.Features some great wah-guitar from Gilmour 4.5/5

10. Absolutely Curtains - 2.5/5

Final Note : These 10 songs really do a wonderful job together to create an atmosphere which can be felt, as is the purpose of any soundtrack album. Each song is a well-crafted and terrifically executed piece of music capable of standing on its own. You hear what makes each member of Pink Floyd an essential member, and that there was a time when Rick Wright was definitely the most important member and make the diference. Definitely worth a listen!

3+3+3.5+3+4.5+5+3.5+3+4.5+2.5 = 35,5

35,5 : 10 = 3,55

Excellent addition to any prog music collection

Curiosity: Who hope to find a film called "Obscured By Clouds" nothing will find. The film of Barbet Schoreder about French hippies going for New Guiné it is intitled "La Valée".

Report this review (#55948)
Posted Friday, November 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars This album composes the soundtrack for the film "La Valée" which I did not see (in fact the movie was never released commercially in Brazil), consequently my evaluation refers only to the songs individually not knowing how they fit to the moving actions.

Well, this work is crushed among some of the most important and remarkable PF's works and so it is sometimes forgotten and also it sounds strange due to a certain poppish bias quite different from previous current album like "Atom Heart Mother" or "Meddle" or even the yet to come "Dark Side of the Moon".

There are really some interesting songs like the soft 'Wot's uh the deal' (a hit here in Brazil, with its vocals Beatles-mode), the instrumental tracks and also the folky 'Free four'. Vocals and guitar in 'Stay' are the most Floydesque points of the album. I should recommend "Obscured by Clouds" for a prog newbie needing a low-impact work.

Rating: good, but non-essential. Total: 3 stars.

Report this review (#60854)
Posted Monday, December 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album can be best described as a mix of Meddle and A Momentary Lapse of Reason with some Dark Side of the Moon influences, and suprisingly they mix quite well. You can tell that the production was a little rushed (once again, they only had a week) and a little sloppy, but overall that can be forgiven. This is 1.5 stars better than More, which was, in my opinion, pretty bad, with 4-5 good tracks. I give this 3.5 stars because it is definetly better than "good but non-essential" but worse than "an excelent addition." It was their second OST for a Barbet Schroeder film, and in 1972, a good 4 or 5 years after their first, More. An interesting thing about this album is that Floyd are experimenting with shorter songs, as low as two and three minute ones.

Obscured by Clouds: This is not all easy to explain in words, but I will try. Starts out with a lone synth, and then in comes drumming which constantly echoes. An endless guitar drone enters, and multi-tracked over this comes more guitar. The main impression is a dark, noisy, slightly 80s- like song with lots of sounds overlapping each other. It is neither good or bad, just sort of average. Instrumental.

When You're in: A similar track to the previous, but with better drumming, less noisyness, some piano added and overall a better sound. It is fairly short and repetitive, but makes up for that in its catchiness. Instrumental.

Burning Bridges: Excellent! I find it sounds a bit like Procol Harum's A Whiter Shade of Pale, but with softer singing and music. It's organ based. Floyd rarely have duets, I mean real ones where two singers are actually singing at the same time, but this one does, between Rick and Dave. It's quite a nice effect.

The Gold it's in The...: It's like a much improved Nile Song! A little softer, but it has similar guitar and a similar sound. The drumming is also similar. Dave sings on this one. It's sort of a more optimistic song, and pretty catchy. When the singing ends a Money-esque guitar solo begins, which must be one of the longest guitar solos of this Floyd period. The guitar work is impressive, but not as clean as it could be, perhaps because of the rushed production.

Wot's Uh The Deal: A much softer, melancholy song, but very good. Dave is singing again, with some help from either himself multi-tracked or another singer. This is more of a piano and acoustic-guitar based song. Rick even has a few solos which are pretty good, but which will obviously not even touch, say, Keith Emerson's piano. The drumming is as good as the most of the rest of the album, which is quite good.

Mudmen: Picks up the theme from Burning Bridges but with piano instead of organ (at least at first, there is some organ too later). Slower paced and a little looser, more of a instrumental jam. A few times Nick comes in with some harsh drumming and then the song explodes into louder organ and guitar. Good song.

Childhood's End: A song completely by Gilmour, which is pretty rare. He wrote the lyrics too, which are ok but weaker than Water's of course. Starts out really softly with a synth but fades into a really cool jam with some Time-esque drumming. The song is based mostly on a loud burst of organ, which is followed of Dave's singing. The music is good, with excellent drumming and a catchy tune. Unsuprisingly it becomes another guitar solo, but not for too long.

Free Four: AWFUL! AWFUL! AWFUL!!! An incredibly weak Waters song. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Waters, but this song is really bad. It's this pop-like, cheerful (in the music, not the lyrics-the lyrics are fairly gloomy) song, and engulfed in clapping. And I really hate clapping in songs, except if it's breifly for two seconds. The guitar drone from the first song is back, which only adds to the song's annoying quality. Water's vocals are improving, better than San Tropez, that's for sure (on Meddle). It goes on way too long.

Stay: After the last song anything would sound good, but this is already a really good wright/waters collaboration. Wright's mellow voice fits the song very well, and I think it's one of the best songs he has ever written. He hasn't written many for Floyd, but Summer 68 (I think that's what it was called) on Atom Heart Mother and the one he did for the Division Bell (1994, post-waters), are all fairly good songs he wrote. This is similar to Wot's Uh The Deal, but with no acoustic guitar and more of a focus on piano. Good drumming too, and nice lyrics.

Absolutely Curtains: A Saucerful of Secrets-like track, but definetly better. Mostly instrumental but with some form of chanting by Indians or something towards the end. As is said, it's that sort of track, so don't expect a great jam or anything, it's just an atmospheric peice, that, as Waters would say "Could mean just about anything" as in, you can envision any sort of picture to go with the song. The chanting later on is rather odd, and goes on a little too long.

So, this isn't essential Floyd but pretty damn close! In fact, it's a must for any hardcore Floyd fan and a possibility for a casual fan too. The only sub-par (below the usual quality for Floyd) songs are Free Four and Absolutely Curtains, and perhaps the first track too. It also shows some interesting changes from the usual such as: duets, shorter songs, wierd collaborations (such as Wright, Waters), a different sound, and the fact that this was recorded within one week for a film( like More).

Report this review (#66852)
Posted Thursday, January 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.4. Nearly four, but it just isn't good enough.

One of their least progressive and most rocking records, but still has the renowned Floyd ambiance. Great use of piano and lovely atmospheres produced in the fashionable Floyd style - mainly melancholy in the vocals. All musicians are up to scratch but there just isn't much energy or enthusiasm expressed in the music. To be honest, this is more of a 'radio station album' or to be used as background music for guests in my opinion, as it has a general relaxing tone throughout.

'When You're In' and 'Burning Bridges' are the highlights of the record, and 'Absolutely Curtains' is really the only track with Floyd's 'dark side', present on DSOTM and Meddle. In my opinion, this is good but not essential. .And the cover art isn't much to look at either.

Report this review (#75947)
Posted Sunday, April 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Another movie soundtrack, this one better than "More" as it flows nicely, but still not a whole lot better.

This album show more direction as there seems to be a common musical theme amongst all the songs while still keeping each song different from the last.

"Obscured by Clouds" opens the album a nice instrumental which brings in drums at the end, opening up another, heavier version of the title track "When You'[re in"

"Fearless" is a classic PF song, slightly ironic as the lyrics abotu death and growing old are played amongest a catchy, upbeat tune

"Childhood's End" sounds quite a bit like "Time", but this song was first, so I can't criticize. Still an excellent piece

"Wots...The Deal" not sure what that means, but a nice, soothing tune

"the Gold is in the..." in the what? I don't know, but it's a decent song, some cool riffs

"Mudmen" and "Absolutley Curtains" are a bit dull, both instrumentals, though the latter has some annoying vocals that go on for too long

This album is not a nescessary piece or even as part of thier transition (As Meddle and DSOTM) came repectivly before and after it. A good album. Three stars.

Report this review (#79122)
Posted Tuesday, May 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a soundtrack album for a film called "The Valley", which I have not seen yet (the same is with the "More" film), but I prefer this album in comparison to "More". The songs are better, and some of them have some "mystery" ("Mudmen"), but the best songs are "Free Four", a somewhat humorous song, and "Stay", a ballad composed by Wright and Waters. After this album, it seems that Pink Floyd stopped composing soundtrack music for films for a long time, but they also performed some of their songs for a Ballet in France before the release of their most praised (and maybe their best) album called "Dark Side of the Moon" in 1973.
Report this review (#81846)
Posted Friday, June 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars In the Valley in the Shadow of the Dark Side of the Moon

The last album released by Pink Floyd before their groundbreaking masterpiece 'Dark Side of the Moon' remains one of the band's most overlooked works, and perhaps with good reason. 'Obscured by Clouds' was composed for the obscure French film La Vallée, which translated as 'The Valley,' as if you needed me to tell you that. IMDB tells us that La Vallée is directed by Barbet Schroeder, whoever that is, and is a documentary of sorts about some hipp. I mean, sexually liberated young people seeking enlightenment in the rainforest. I admire Pink Floyd's strange artistic ethics that saw them turn down Stanley Kubrick's request to use their existing music in 'A Clockwork Orange,' but that allows them to compose a whole album of music for a hopelessly obscure French art film.

However noble the band's intentions, no collection of original Pink Floyd material is going to remain particularly rare or obscure, and Obscured by Clouds is readily available in most good music shops online or on the planet Earth, despite being something of a collector's-only CD in terms of its appeal. Even in 1972 the band was hardly unknown, having achieved #1 on the album charts with 'Atom Heart Mother' and proving increasingly popular at live shows. Obscured by Clouds is notably different from the band's other work, following more of a traditional hard rock style in contrast to the more epic and progressive pieces the band are more famous for, and sounding less original and impressive as a result.

It's alleged that Obscured by Clouds took the band one week to write and record. I assume this is true to an extent, but it's likely that a lot of it represents ideas that had been circulating for a while, evidenced by the close similarity of some songs to material that would end up on Dark Side of the Moon in a far more refined form. The production job does sound pretty rushed, and as orgasmic as some of David Gilmour's guitar solos are, much of the instrumentation could be pretty interchangeable amongst tracks. A lot of the variation comes from mundane changes, like slow versus fast songs and the occasional instrumental. Aside from this, the album follows one type of sound throughout, which isn't a bad thing considering it's all intended to link thematically to a film. The album stands alone in the Pink Floyd discography, while also forming an interesting if shaky bridge between two important eras of the band's sound.

This album is dominated by guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour, but Gilmour is aided greatly by Richard Wright's keyboards and Hammond organ backing. As the music follows a classic rock style and ditches a lot of the avant-garde stuff, Wright's duties primarily involve supplementing whatever the guitar, bass and drums are doing, but he nevertheless takes many opportunities to enhance what would otherwise be substandard songs into interesting ditties worthy of a listener's attention. This is most notable in the opening and closing instrumentals 'Obscured by Clouds' and 'Absolutely Curtains.' The first begins with deep, throbbing synth that lasts throughout, providing a real bass line for Gilmour's solos to soar over to improve on Roger Waters' bass guitar, which is hardly noticeable throughout the album. 'Absolutely Curtains' is similarly synth- led, but at a higher pitch this time, incredibly atmospheric and reminiscent of the band's later masterpiece 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond.' The song 'Free Four' would sound stupidly optimistic without Wright's intermittent bursts of dark keyboard, and elsewhere in the album he contributes piano melodies and understated Hammond organ.

With more freedom than he would be permitted on the more stringently structured releases the band would produce hereafter, David Gilmour really lets his guitar skills shine. He doesn't achieve anything innovative here, as Obscured by Clouds unfortunately tends to look backwards for inspiration rather than forwards for progression, but it's great to hear all those chilled out solos, somehow reminiscent of lying on the sand and watching the sun set on tropical beaches I've never even been to. Almost every song has one of these solos, slow and mellow as was the seventies way (I guess. I wasn't there), but the slower songs feature especially relaxed contributions. 'Burning Bridges' and the inexplicably titled 'Wot's . Uh the Deal' follow the style of the short acoustic songs on the albums 'Atom Heart Mother' and 'Meddle,' but without the acoustic guitars. Gilmour's vocals are light and soothing, one of the few remnants here of the band's psychedelic era, and the lengthy solos in each are freely interrupted by additional verses as if they themselves substitute for vocals.

Also pointlessly titled, 'Gold it's in the.' follows more of a blues-rock sound, complete with catchy chorus and hard riffs, but like many songs on here ends up either repeating itself or inserting a guitar solo in place of a vocal reprise. 'Free Four' is similar in tempo and vocal style, but the daft opening and bouncy riff detract from its credibility, and confuse the issue of whether this is indeed a parody or just a disappointment. This same aesthetic issue would surface later in the band's career with 'The Wall.' More interesting songs come in tracks 6 and 7 in the middle of the album, both of which contain hints of things to come on the album that would follow, and are among the best here: the instrumental 'Mudmen' has a great atmosphere, and the strange sound effects sound a lot like 'The Travel Sequence' that would feature on the band's subsequent live show 'Eclipse,' later to be re-done and recorded as Dark Side's 'On the Run.'

Similarly, 'Childhood's End' is an obvious precursor to 'Time,' Alan Parsons' chiming clocks replaced by some cool spacey keyboards that still proceed to the fast-ticking drum beat and country-style vocals. The original version of 'Time' was slower than what ended up on the album, a can be heard on 1972 live bootlegs, and there are many similarities here. although it's not as good. Even the lyrics deal with a similar theme of growing old and burning out: 'life is a short warm moment, death is a long cold rest.'

I'm not sure how the band went about recording these songs: whether they had footage of the film to hand, or were trusted to do their own thing and come up with something fittingly appropriate. Collected here, it's not clear how and why any of the music would be relevant, and it's also annoyingly edited in places, presumably to keep within the standard forty minutes. The nice guitar-led instrumental 'When You're In' fades out just as it starts to get even more interesting, yet the slower songs seem to last for far longer than necessary. Even as a stand-alone album this is nicely arranged, the penultimate song 'Stay' offering a nicely subdued piano ballad and 'Absolutely Curtains' (an appropriate title for once) leading out with some tribal chants.

It's interesting that the band's detractors often dismiss their more well-known, lengthier works as sounding like film scores, when there's very little on this album that I can even conceive working well as part of any soundtrack. The music's far too obtrusive and catchy to sit well alongside La Vallée's alleged 'commentary on the human condition,' and apparently the combined end result was indeed disappointing. That's what I've read anyway, I wouldn't know, I haven't watched it have I? Sounds like a load of boring rubbish about hipp. nature lovers. The album's pretty fun though.

Obscured by Clouds sold poorly, but that can't have been a major disappointment to the band, as they already had a 'canonical' studio album ('Meddle') and a compilation ('Relics') out that year, both of which were more warmly received. The music isn't inherently off-putting, but doesn't represent the band's strength very well aside from Gilmour's ability to produce nice guitar solos, which would be heard better on 'Animals' anyway. This album is by no means essential, unlike Dark Side of the Moon which I should hope you own already, and which is far too intimidating to consider reviewing on here. Not like this mediocre thing. I reiterate that the album's pretty fun though, and I enjoy listening to it occasionally.

Soundtrack excuse or no, the music here only sounds tenuously like Pink Floyd, and despite the added vibrance of the live recording, the final product sounds dull, rushed and lazy even compared to their earlier, more interesting film scores for 'More' and 'Zabriskie Point.' At least the improvisation is more restrained and palatable than the band's early days of playing at the UFO club, when 'Interstellar Overdrive' would be extended to about half an hour for the whacked-out hippie beatniks. Dang, I used the H word.

Report this review (#84354)
Posted Thursday, July 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is their third soundtrack, and by far the best one. Actually, it doesn't start so well, with Obscured by Clouds and When You're In, two instrumentals that have good guitar and keyboards riffs, but they just don't evolve, like you expect in a progressive song. All we hear is a musical phrase of twenty or thirty seconds repeated note by note for 3 minutes, in each song. It's a good soundtrack to a movie, but not very interesting to listen to. Burning Bridges is a kind song, with a good melody, but not very catchy. With The Gold It's in the... the album really starts to get interesting. It's a rock'n'roll song, with exciting vocals and an amazing guitar solo that recalls Eric Clapton. It's the kind of song you wouldn't expect from Pink Floyd, but they really rock here! Wot's... uh the Deal has one of the best melodies I've ever heard, the and guitar is very agreeable, and the piano and guitar solos are short but very beautiful and well played. This song is a masterpiece. Mudmen is the other masterpiece of the album. It's instrumental, and it has some parts "stolen" from Burning Bridges, they just changed the time from 3 /4 to 4/4 and created very wise instrumental arrangements. All the band members are awesome here, even the bass is very melodic and well played. Rick Wright is good in the piano and in the organ, and makes a good dialogue between them. David Gilmour presents us with an astonishing guitar work, giving more emotion and dramaticity to the solos in burning bridges. After the calm guitar in the middle, he can change the mood of the song to a beautiful angry in a masterful way. Childhood's End has a poor melody, but the arrangement is good, and the instrumental parts too. By this time the band used to play live this song, and the versions, some with 18 minutes are more interesting. Free Four is a typical song by Roger Waters. Great lyrics, but he doesn't sing them very well. The atmosphere is sad and happy at the same time, and David Gilmour plays guitar very well, although he doesn't have enough time to show all he can do here. Stay is a beautiful song, with an unusual guitar sound by Gilmour. It accompanies the voice with catchy melodies, witch is not very common in Floyd. When the guitar solo comes, we see that Gilmour is also a master in this guitar style. The voice melody of this song was composed by Wright, and it's one of his quintessential melodies. It seems to be simple, but it's very complex, and Wright sings it in a style that matches perfectly with it. Absolutely Curtains begins as a progressive epic, but then it turns into an absolutely boring and meaningless song. The film probably needed another song, to a scene, and they didn't have creativity to create anything decent, so they created this song. The last part, when we listen to an African typical song, is even more boring, so I never listen to this song, I play the Stop after the end of Stay.

It is a very irregular album, but as it has some precious songs that any prog lover will like, I rate it with 4 stars, it's excellent in any prog discography.

Report this review (#85068)
Posted Saturday, July 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Team
2 stars This is a hard one to pin down. It was made as a soundtrack, but is very close to a studio concept. It always leaves me a bit baffled. There are no truly bad songs here, but a few make me wonder if Floyd actually wrote them. Namely "The Gold It's in the...," "Wot's... Uh the Deal," and "Stay." It seems to be going along quite well until track number four. My head always pops up, with a look of confusion. I actually like "Free Four." I am a fan of a fun palette cleanser thrown into the mix (that means I also enjoy "San Tropez" and "Seamus"). "Absolutely Curtains" doesn't really consist of much, and gets downright annoying in the end.

The rest of the tracks are quality Pink. Perhaps not at the same level of the albums creating its bookends, but still good. It is an album worth listening to, and even owning. However, I would not call it necessary.

H.T. Riekels

Report this review (#87845)
Posted Monday, August 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Recorded in just a couple of week-long sessions at Chateau d'Herouville (France) in February and March 1972 - shortly after already debuting their new masterpiece Dark Side Of The Moon in January! But this was one the band's sidelines - film scores. They could knock these off in their sleep, drawing on vast reserves of studio experimentation, left-overs and ideas. And there is no comparison to Dark Side, as the sound here bears greatest resemblance to Meddle, its studio predecessor. It is a charming album, many ideas remained as unfulfilled instrumental passages and the production is much more rugged than the polished Dark Side that followed. Musically, it is a mish-mash of styles, from heavy rock to pastoral, but it is never short of entertaining. Personal favourite is the warped Free Four with its jaunty beat and bitter lyrics. Highly recommended.
Report this review (#107972)
Posted Friday, January 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars The Floyd full second soundtrack after "More". Like for the first one, I have not see the movie, so that I cannot make any link between music and pictures.

The opener and title track has some psyche flavour (early Floyd period). Monotonous, emotionless. Nothing fancy and rather boring. The following "When You're In" is quite repetitive and useless. "Burning Bridges" and "Wot's ... Uh the Deal" are ballads with little to no interest, really. "The Gold it's in the .." is another weak track. Nothing to be remembered. So far, it is really a very boring experience.

The first song which sounds alright is "Mudmen" : finally a beautiful Floyd instrumental ! Very good guitar from Dave and great keyboards from Richard. "Childhood's End" has some "Time" flavour (to say the least). Another good song. Hey man. That's two in a row !

I guess the worse (difficult to describe) is reached with "Free Four" but we remain at the same level with "Stay".

"Absolutely Curtains" is more interesting during the first four minutes. Reminds me of "Echoes". After that, we'll get some tribe chant which will not bring this track to a higher level.

I will rate this album two stars, because I am reluctant to give the one star rating. FYI, I discovered the Floyd in 1971, have all their official releases and about forty boots; so yes : you can call me a fan.

I could not (and I NEVER will) enter in their "experimental" pieces. Again, if this one has to be considered as a five star masterpiece, I wonder how many stars I would grant to DSOTM and WYWH (but that's another story).

Report this review (#108089)
Posted Friday, January 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars PINK FLOYD had just started working on "Dark Side Of The Moon" the follow-up to "Meddle" when they got the call from Barbet Schroeder to do another soundtrack recording for him. They had already done "More" for an earlier film he did. You have to remember that FLOYD hadn't hit the big-time yet and since they were active, professional musicians they said yes. Off to France they went for a 2 week recording session.The time constraints actually stimulated them rather than paralysing them. While Roger Waters would be the main writer during these sessions it really comes across as a Gilmour record because he's the main singer and his guitar is all over it. This was a soundtrack for a French movie about a woman who along with a group of people travel into the remote interior of New Guineau in search of a valley that is marked on the map simply as "Obscured By Clouds".The locals believe it is the home of their gods. She is in search of rare artifacts for her Paris boutique.

The first two tracks are instrumentals, the first having a heavy sound and some good guitar while the second is more aggressive with some organ and a native feel to it. "Burning Bridges" is a good song with some great organ and relaxed vocals creating a dreamy,spacey soundscape. The dual vocals (Gilmour / Wright) are a nice touch. "The Gold It's In The..." features some beautiful guitar from Gilmour. "Wot's...Uh The Deal" is an acoustic tune with some nice piano melodies.

"Mudmen" is by far my favourite song on this record. I'm surprised this isn't on any of their compilation albums, it's that good ! With slow paced drums and organ creating a great sound the guitar comes soaring in and out, it's gorgeous ! "Childhood End" is good with some floating organ early on as the sound builds with percussion, guitar then vocals being added. "Free Four" reminds me too much of T.REX. "Stay" is a great ballad. Very uplifting. The final song is an instrumental called "Absolutely Curtains" with lots of organ and some natives singing to end the song.

I like this record a lot, and even the movie related pictures inside are kind of cool. For "Mudmen" alone I would buy this album.

Report this review (#110075)
Posted Wednesday, January 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is a very humble effort by Floyd, especially when compared to their follow-up mega-hit Dark Side of the Moon. As a soundtrack, this album delivers some decent songs, but it's not very memorable. Instead of playing their signature psychedelic music, some of these songs are bare-bones rock 'n' roll, led by Gilmour's excellent guitar work. Does it have its moments? times. Is it worth your hard-earned money? No, not really. You can skip this one.
Report this review (#110939)
Posted Wednesday, February 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Like "More" this it is a Soundtrack disc in which the band unlike first if they had more freedom in the composition and creation of the material, there am "the Vallée" that is the film of which it is its sound track, in the this evolution of the band even is more than remarkable in comparison with its first work, in this created atmospheres they are sublime, the band already is more than remarkable in its instrumentations and here there are several of which to feel nevertheless than more happy, because they are very good, this if I feel it forced for that they please of PINK FLOYD because she is one skillful piece.
Report this review (#111571)
Posted Saturday, February 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars In the middle of '72 as Pink Floyd was constructing what can justifiably be considered one of the very best rock albums ever they received an invitation to spend a short two weeks at a chateau in France recording a movie soundtrack. Keep in mind the fact that, by all reliable accounts, the purposeful path they had taken on their current project was inherently slow, deliberately precise and knee-deep in minutiae. Therefore it's no stretch to imagine that a break from the confines of Abbey Road studios to do a project that had a prescribed beginning and end was an alluring offer. The result is no more and no less than what it claims to be. Independent film music.

The director probably asked for a couple of trippy soundscapes to start things off so you get "Obscured by Clouds" where the innovative VCS 3 Synthesizer establishes a cool droning foundation beneath a throbbing pulse that brings to one's imagination some kind of gigantic, humming machine. "When You're In" is a basic rock and roll riff that the group jams on for just over two minutes. "Burning Bridges" features peaceful, casual harmony vocals over a very typical Floyd-ish chord progression. "The Gold It's In The." is a hip rocker that's reminiscent of early Who or even Nazz, Todd Rundgren's Philly band before he went solo. The guitar lead shows that David Gilmour was continuing to cultivate his own individual style. "Wots. Uh the Deal" is an acoustic guitar-driven song that sounds like it may have been favorably influenced by the southern California country/rock movement that was really picking up steam about that time. There's some very nice piano and slide guitar work here. "Mudmen" is an instrumental where Richard Wright gets to shine a bit. It's a cosmic ditty with a lot of excellent synthesizer and organ. Unfortunately Nick Mason's listless drums drag a little here and there, tending to retard the momentum. "Childhood's End" is another good tune that further reveals Gilmour to be an artist that was growing both as a vocalist and as a composer. "Free Four" has always been a favorite of mine. Roger Waters' song creates an easy, loping pace that belies the darker, satirical lyric content about aging and death. The recurring ominous synthesizer gives the song a depth and character not found on all that many recordings from the early 70s. It's the best tune on the album. "Stay" reminds me of the spirit of Elton John's early stuff but the fact that the singer is describing a one-night stand keeps it from becoming overly romantic or mushy. "Absolute Curtains," another instrumental piece, utilizes atmospheric and dense keyboard sounds to create a mysterious, spacious mood before a tribal chorus sung by Papua New Guinea natives takes over to bring things to a curious end.

When you think about how incredibly good "Dark Side of the Moon" turned out to be you have to come to the conclusion that this little continental working vacation was a great idea. Since they were spending so much time painstakingly piecing and splicing parts together back home it was most likely a therapeutic relief to just go be a band again. There wasn't any pressure to create a chart-topping monster with this collection of tunes so there's a feeling of simplicity and ease running throughout this album that I find quite refreshing.

Report this review (#113782)
Posted Tuesday, February 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Released in 1972, Pink Floyd's "Obscured by Clouds" finds itself nestling in between 1971's "Meddle" and the legendary "Dark Side of the Moon" from 1973. As such, it is often overshadowed, and easily the most overlooked album of their 1970s output.

Serving as a soundtrack to the French film "La Vallée", the album reflects many of the themes from the film, namely travel and exploration. The music is often a laid-back and relaxed affair, and lyrically there are few great moments. Nontheless there are some excellent songs to be found. "Free Four" is rather upbeat for a Waters' composition, although unusually, the lyrics deal with life and death. Making an upbeat song about death must be no easy task, but here it works quite well. "The Gold it's in the..." is another upbeat song with some excellent guitar work by Gilmour. Although short but sweet, it does evoke a great sense of exploration. On the other end of the scale, "Childhood's End" is a slower and more sombre song, creating a brilliant atmosphere. Gilmour provides the last lyrics he would write until after Waters' departure from the band. Another highlight; "Wot's.. Uh the Deal" is a nice and relaxed acoustic song has always been a favourite of mine, managing to sound melancholic while not being depressing.

While certainly not a masterpiece, this is a good solid effort from the Floyd, with hints at the directions they would be taking in future. One problem is that some songs can be rather forgettable, and the chanting at the end of "Absolutely Curtains" may start to grate after a while. Nevertheles there are some fine songs amongst the collection on this oft- forgotten album. Definitely worth picking up for Floyd fans, but for everyone else it's not so essential.

Report this review (#125617)
Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars The soundtrack for an abscure movie, Obscured By Clouds is an easily overlooked piece of Floyd history. There's not a whole lot to say about this mediocre album. Despite the psychedelic artwork and song titles, the music is some of Floyd's most straight- forward. "Burning Bridges" and "Childhod's end" are quite god, but the rest of the album is uninspiring. The band does a Ummagumma like "each member gets to write something rather than the group working as a whole" and, once again, it shows. I believe the obscuring clouds were actually marijuana smoke, because this was a real misstep, even if it is just a soundtrack.

Grade: D-

Report this review (#130305)
Posted Thursday, July 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Although OBSCURED BY CLOUDS is a totally unspectacular album, I've always found it more lovable than the over-familiar million-sellers that were to follow it. It doesn't feature songs as dramatic as "Time" or "Dogs", or guitar solos as pristine as the ones on "Shine On You Crazy Diamond pt.1", but it also lacks the cynicism of the Floyd's later albums. To this day, I haven't got a clue what kind of film it's supposed to be the soundtrack of (if you look at the pictures in the CD booklet, LA VALLEE may have been a hippy precursor to THE EMERALD FOREST) but most of the tunes sound like gentle love songs. "Burning Bridges" and "Stay" are particularly lovely. If you enjoy the vocal bits of "Echoes", I don't see why you wouldn't like these tracks as well. "Wot's... uh the deal" is similar, and in addition it's blessed with one of Rick Wright's typically subtle and unforgettable piano solos.

The rockers on OBSCURED BY CLOUDS are fascinating, because they sound like a general rehearsal for DARK SIDE OF THE MOON. If you're a Floyd fan and you long to know from what seeds that more famous album sprung, then this soundtrack will be an essential buy.

The instrumentals which open and close the album are less mysterious than the ones on MORE, but they've never irritated me. "Mudmen", which closed the first side of the original LP, is a short piece of symphonic (sonata-like, in fact) prog, similar in spirit to Focus's slower pieces.

All in all, I find OBSCURED BY CLOUDS impossible to dislike, and I'd recommend it to anyone.

Report this review (#130934)
Posted Tuesday, July 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Do not listen to this one in the morning, because you might fall asleep, and continue to sleep all day... I really wonder if anyone can make album that is more sleapy than this one, guitars are soft, keyboards are melancholic, drums are so simple and minimalistic, and singing is quiet and slow. There are some influences of bands like Beatles and similair. Album is highly psychedelic but does not have too many interesting musical themes to offer. Pink Floyd masterpieces will come after this record, they were stil searching for pure musical creativity. Good album, anyway.
Report this review (#131049)
Posted Wednesday, August 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Technically, Obscured by Clouds should be viewed as a film soundtrack rather than a full-fledged studio album. It was written for Barbet Schroeder's La Vallée. So the immediate reaction for me is comparing it with the other soundtrack the band did for Schroeder's More. Although I have never seen this movie, what I find striking is that the material on this album seems to follow no storyline and in fact would probably hold up on its own as a studio release of unrelated songs. The songs are about as good as the material on More, sometimes much better.

Although I find Obscured by Clouds an enjoyable listen, I must admit that it pales in comparison to other albums in Pink Floyd's catalogue. The reason for this is that it's just a bunch of songs thrown together, some well done, some quite forgettable, whereas in preceding albums the group had created more interesting material, sometimes in "epic format," and in future albums the songs are tied together in some amazing conceptualization. What you finally end up with on Obscured by Clouds are unrelated short pieces reminiscent of the shorter material from Meddle and Atom Heart Mother, but not as interesting. Even though this sounds negative, I still enjoyed the album, but play it much less than other Pink Floyd albums.

Three starts for a good but unessential release. Start with their other masterpieces before obtaining this.

Report this review (#133054)
Posted Tuesday, August 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A sountrack for the ages. (The album cover? Yeah; it's a guy in a tree, of course.)

Although the Floyd would have many better moments, this one is a moment far too often overlooked. Another deteriorating factor for the album is that is very overshadowed by previous release "Meddle" and next release, the masterpiece "Dark Side of the Moon". This album may not have any 20-minute masterpieces, hit singles, accompanying movies [Edit: any Pink Floyd written movies, this is a movie soundtrack after all] or the like, but this is still a great album. Home to 4 instumentals, and a nice ongoing theme this album still maintains the very prog-Floyd feeling. Some songs are better than others, but in the end this is an album that deserves a place with the other Pink Floyd masterpieces.

Songs on this album begin to take total structures, and this album starts to feel that total Dark Side theme. Songs such as the jaunty sounding FREE FOUR, for example, take on the themes of death as does the later Dark Side of the Moon, while inrumentals such as the title track or MUDMEN can be used as intro-outros as do many of the tracks on Dark Side. At some points of the album you really can tell the Floyd were moving in a new direction, and it's a good thing that they had a soundtrack to experiment with this on before the full blown album.

Dark Side comparisons aside, this album aslo has it's own sound that is unique to the Pink Floyd collection, with 10 tracks floyd gets to experiment on the song based side of things. Songs such as the increadible BURNING BRIDGES proove that the Floyd can hold their own in a song based world, as does the forgotten masterpiece STAY. and though some tracks are a bit slower, WOT'S UH... THE DEAL for example, the album never loses the audience, and include some more hard hitting Floyd such as THE GOLD IT'S IN THE... or the previously meantioned FREE FOUR. Holding it's own sound, this album definately sounds great from any angle.

For being experimental and finding thier sound with this overlooked masterpiece I award the Floyd 4.5 stars. Recommended for all.

Report this review (#137301)
Posted Saturday, September 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars When I bought Shine On, the Floyd box set, many years back, I thought I had just about all the Floyd I would ever need. After a while a couple friends turned me onto Obscured by Clouds, and I'm very glad they did. This is Floyd at a different angle than I'm used to: raw, relatively unpolished, and working under tight deadlines. Of course, they still managed to come up with many quality tunes, though nothing cohesive, and little that is originally progressive.

Obscured by Clouds, When You're In. This two are spacey rockers that are a great way to kick off the album. Simplistic, yes, but powerful nonetheless, and I think they have aged well.

Burning Brides, Wot's...Uh the Deal. Two mellow tunes with some raw harmonies. The former is quite forgettable, but the latter is a keeper, with nice vocals and guitar from Gilmour.

The Gold It's in the... Raw Floyd as you will rarely find them. Fairly generic rock, but I do enjoy hearing Gilmour cutting loose on the guitar here.

Mudmen. A slow, yet powerful instrumental. Wright and Gilmour really play off each other here to great effect. This is one that I never get tired of.

Childhood's End. The highlight of the album. A spacey drone builds to the entrance of the song proper. Here Floyd lay down the sound that would suit them well for the next few albums. Nice lyrics, vocals, guitar, and tune. The only true collaborative effort on the album.

Free Four. The bouncy tune is a wonderful contrast to Waters' snarky, sarcastic lyrics. This is back when Waters really had some impressive vocal tone and range. A far cry from his eighties output, but still reminiscent.

Stay. This mellow Wright piece shows that he could make valuable contributions, especially with Gilmour's expert additions.

Absolutely Curtains. Absolutely boring. Maybe a blast from Floyd's psychadelic past, but the chanting has never done it for me.

Looking back, it's really astonishing how close in time this album was to Dark Side, because the sound is so different. If nothing else, some good tunes, enough rocking bits, and an interesting glimpse into a different period of Floyd to make this worth buying.

Report this review (#137814)
Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Overlooked......Underrated......Underappreciated.......A Prog. gem in the Ruff.......... These may be cliches that describes this album for me. Released in 1972, Obscured was a soundtrack sanwiched between Meddle and the God like Dark Side of the Moon. For this reason, I have always felt that this was their gem in their catoluge. Atomspheric instrumentals open the first two tracks of the album. Stay, sung by underrated Richard Wright would have been a hit single if released; but we know how the radio views prog. Anyway, great album IMO. Love to listen to it on a snowy night.........
Report this review (#137850)
Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Music for a hazy day.

This is the tragically under-appreciated PF stoner classic. I realize the Floyd bristle at being labeled a drug band and I don't mean to imply that they are. But the bands feelings aside I grew up with people in a time where Floyd were the band of choice for people lighting up and this album was a definite favorite. It's extremely pleasant music that is easy to digest and features many wonderful moments. Reacquainting with it for this review I am reminded how special it is. Obscured is the last album of the pre-Dark Side era before they would explode into the upper stratosphere of rock stardom and release their most acclaimed Waters classics. It's an album thrown together rather fast and sounds much more like a group effort than they would down the road a bit. But regardless of how little they toiled over this baby it turned out to be a very special one in the hearts of many of the Floyd fans in my life.

The title track is an ominous sounding instrumental. Gilmour grabs the reigns very quickly and never looks back-this album is much more David than it is Roger and it's very melodic. Dave kicks out some very nice slide work here. "when you're in" is a fairly conventional rocker with good drum work but otherwise not too noteworthy. "burning bridges" is a Floyd classic that is SO perfect. It's all about the vibe with this one, Dave's sublime vocals and the harmonies along with beautiful guitar work. "the gold it's in the.." is another real rocker that Dave just belts out, one of the rare times you'll hear this band play like a garage band. "wot's uh the deal" is the second stunner after "burning bridges." Dave plays acoustic and sings so beautifully and Richard embellishes with gorgeous piano. It's difficult to describe but the vibe here is of lost youth and melancholic nostalgia. "mudmen" is the third total classic on OBC. Slow, dreamy, with lush keys and spine tingling acid guitar. Captivating stuff. I agree that "childhood's end" does sound like a demo from DSOTM, it has a bit of the future Floyd feel to it. More great guitar and organ. "free four" is Roger's only vocal if I'm not mistaken and ironically it's the lamest track on the album. It's a catchy little pop number but completely out of feel with the THC mood of this material. "stay" is the fourth magical track in my eyes with Richard's delightfully underused vocal talent, lovely keyboard chords, and more of Dave's rich guitar. "absolutely curtains" is the fifth great song on OBC, a spacey instrumental that will remind you of 70s Oldfield or something similar and represents a last nod to their psychedelic past. It closes with the rhythmic chanting of the tribespeople from the film and it fits the album perfectly.

If you love dreamy, trippy, melodic Floyd don't miss this easy to love gem. The booklet for the remastered CD contains lyrics and gorgeous stills from the film La Vallee.

Report this review (#140693)
Posted Wednesday, September 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars PINK FLOYD spent about a week making this soundtrack, and most of a year - the same year - making 'Dark Side of the Moon'. The difference? Attention to detail. Certainly not the quality of the songs.

The songs on 'Obscured by Clouds' are classic PINK FLOYD without any of the studio trappings. A definite step up from the first side of 'Meddle', all this album lacks is time and cohesiveness. A month or more in studio, where samples and segues could have gussified the music, would have made this an excellent if not essential album. It is important to remember that this album was written and recorded in the midst of the 'Dark Side' sessions, and in my opinion is almost 'Dark Side' unplugged - a freer, more exuberant FLOYD showing that, at heart, they are a rock band. It is a very important document in the band's history.

The first two tracks are all about NICK MASON. His languid, understated style is showcased here. His ability to play at the 'back' of the beat, is obvious on the title track, and then he ramps it up for the second half of the twinset, 'When You're In'. GILMOUR offers some rather unsubtle guitar, but his best licks had already been reserved for DSOTM. Or had they? The solo in 'The Gold It's in The ...' sears the speakers, and is a level above anything he'd put on record to this point. It lacks the full majestic intensity of his later work, but flows along nicely. This solo alone makes the album worth the money, as does the excellent swapping of lead vocals on 'Burning Bridges'. The gains in confidence of all three vocalists are clear to see here, and are of course reflected on DSOTM. 'Wots ... Uh The Deal' is similar to 'Pillow of Winds' from 'Meddle', but is a better composition, involving guitar and piano and a far superior vocal. 'Mudmen' is a stirring instrumental, and I could well imagine it taking the place of 'The Great Gig' on DSOTM. If you listen to this in the context of DSOTM it is obvious that this excellent track is a creature of those sessions.

Side two fires a one-two GILMOUR-WATERS punch: Both 'Childhood's End' and 'Free Four' rock hard, and with embellishment could have been singles - actually, 'Free Four' was. Certainly some production work on the guitars would have been welcome. Listen to GILMOUR's vocal, in particular, and compare it with his rather tepid work on 'Meddle': here is a man growing in confidence. 'Stay' is a wonderful track, the inverse of WRIGHT's 'Summer 68' from 'Atom Heart Mother'. The final track is the most disliked among fans, and the most like a movie soundtrack: myself, I think it's genius, if a little psychedelic - the only touch of it on the album. WRIGHT's keyboards are melancholy, spacey and filled with depth.

My final thought. To me 'Obscured by Clouds' represents PINK FLOYD at their most balanced. No one person dominates the songwriting or ideas process, and GILMOUR and WATERS balance each other perfectly. Three vocalists feature, WATERS relegated to one song as is proper; he has a terrible, adenoid-laden voice. Multiple songwriters are called on, alone and together. When the BEATLES were at their most potent they had three composers and three vocalists, and the balance between LENNON and MCCARTNEY kept the former's bitterness in abeyance and the latter's sugary excesses in check (mostly). Exactly the same process was taking place in the PINK FLOYD camp - WATERS akin to LENNON, and GILMOUR to MCCARTNEY - and the resultant balance gave them wide creativity and a varied sound. The fruits of this balance would be heard around the world within months of the release of this album.

Far from the late 60s, when the band didn't have a musical idea to rub together, by 1972 they were so productive they could come up with this excellent album in a week. This album is worth your time.

Report this review (#149809)
Posted Saturday, November 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars My opinion regarding the limitations of soundtrack albums is documented in my review of the Pink Floyd album "More". That nothwithstanding, "Obscured by Clouds" is neither Pink Floyd's shining moment nor its worst failure. There is a substantial amount of good music on this recording which generally has been unjustifiably maligned. What the project suffers from mostly is a general lack of cohesiveness of the entire package, but taken individually, the pieces on this recording contain many fine moments. Play by Gilmour and Wright are excellent. Waters, Gilmour and Wright all contribute to songwriting on this project and the individual efforts as well as the collaborative ones of the band as a whole (with Mason) are, for the most part, solid. But, as solid as it is, none of it is really spectacular. It's a pleasant listen and comes out of by beat up pile of vinyl about once or twice per year for a change of pace. It rates about 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Report this review (#151733)
Posted Monday, November 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars A fairly poor album, with only burning bridges and childhoods end being good at all, but with them being so good they earn a star each. I dont have much to say on this except for, how did they make an album as bad as this and then go to make an album as good as meddle? i dont understand. most bands have a steady upward trend, but floyd messes around for a while, then skyrockets into the masterpiece realm and stays their for most of their remaining career.
Report this review (#154514)
Posted Thursday, December 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
3 stars This album is one that 'clicks' with some listeners, and doesn't 'click' with others....Floyd fans can't go wrong here, although prog-heads do have much better to choose from - I dearly love most of the songs here, but there is a certain 'spark' that is missing. There is nothing particularly wrong with the songs here, it's just they come across as fairly average, as opposed to their more experimental moments.. That said, a finer point worthy of mention ; Waters and Wright utilise the VCS3 synthesizer on some tracks, of which they will go on and perfect for their next, ground-breaking achievement (not that they're the only band to do so, though). Opening tracks, 'Obscured by Clouds' and 'When You're In' are 2 instrumental pieces which hold incidental promise, great synth/keyboard work, and also fine guitaring from David Gilmour, but never actually go beyond the norm. 'Burning Bridges' is a mellow, dreamy tune that is well arranged and features some lush vocal harmonies between Gilmour and Wright. 'The Gold, It's In The...' is more in tune with 'Hard Rock', not a foot astray here, but fairly straight-ahead 'rock', it doesn't support their usual, 'ground-breaking pioneers' reputation. 'Wot's...uh The Deal' is soft, acoustic pop number, pleasant, but one can't help but feel the band members are capable of so much more. 'Mudmen' is a superb instrumental piece which is more true-to-form. Tasteful keyboards from Wright, and some searing guitars from Gilmour.

Side 2 of the LP licks off with 'Childhood's End' - it is a very strong composition, with an almost ambient, organ-driven opening leading into a funky groove for the rest of the song - a very good track for sure. 'Free Four' is a popular Waters composition, nothing wrong with it, but fairly ordinary within prog territory. 'Stay' is a pretty ballad, beautiful melody and vocals, but again nothing spectacular. Album finale, 'Absolutely Curtains', is fully superb - Rick Wright puts his Farfisa and Hammond organs to good use, and also a Fender Rhodes, to create a wonderfully mysterious listening experience - at least for the first instrumental half, the last section being dominated by chanting from a local 'New Guinea' tribe, still, pre-dating 'World' music by incorporating such an indigenous recording within a 'Rock' context, which not many musicians were doing so... Not as exciting as the psychedelic escapades displayed on the 'More Soundtrack', but still worthy of investigation. 3.5 points for this 'very good' album.

Report this review (#155192)
Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm probably insane, but I give a full-star rate to this album. Because I really adore it. I love the Barbet Schreder movie ('La Vallée') too, also.

Yes, it's a simple album, there aren't great tracks here, no classics. Very simple, basic tracks. No innovations. But let's listen to Wot's...Uh The Deal, Mudmen, Free Four, Burning Bridges or Childhood's End. These tracks are simple, basic, but totally nice, easy-listening music. This is a relaxating album, maybe the most relaxating Pink Floyd album. You can listen to this album, and just relax, it's perfect for that.

And, secondary, I love it.

Report this review (#164818)
Posted Monday, March 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars I totally love this record, mostly because it was one of the first Floyd albums I ever owned, and it came to me at the time when I was first going out with my future wife. Essentially, as so, it is the only PF album I have ever got my wife to like. This is maybe because it is one of PF's most approachable records, with some very lovely melodies and tunes. This record means so much to me, and I must have played it 100 times or more, and have never tired of it. Free Four in particular means loads - I'm very sentimental about this track as it was an anthem for myself and my wife in our youth. Every so often even now we burst out with the memories of a man in his old age are the deeds of a man in his prime There are no bad tracks, and Childhood's End is one of Gilmour's best Floyd contributions. There is nothing too complex (all quite simple really) and it is not all pretentious (something PF are accused of sometimes).

What is amazing is that they knocked this out in just two weeks from start to finish (including writing) as they were under pressure from Barbet Scroeder for the soundtrack for his film. I would love to have been a fly on the wall to see how they did it!

What is also amazing is that within a year Dark Side of the Moon was released. I would say you can hear some of the thoughts for Dark Side buried in this album

In terms of this website and Progressive rock I cannot say it's a masterpiece (although nearly), but for just raw Pink Floyd, not being pretentious and producing beautiful melodies it's one of their best and I would have given 5 stars in any other website review.

Highly recommended - especially if trying to introduce Pink Floyd to the ladies! (no offence meant - honest)

Report this review (#173180)
Posted Saturday, June 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Very underated album in my oppinion. This is a great album, don't let the low overall rating sway you.

This album is really listenable, it flows well from the first track to the last, granted it's poppier than the other PF albums of this era, but it's smooth, and easy. I absolutely love Childhood's end, an awesome track that is a precursor for DSOTM. It's dub-like, like similar to time. I also really enjoy Wots, uh the deal Mudmen and Stay all very different tracks, but not something you should skip over. I consider this album to be a tier two PF album, not as good as Animals, WYWH, DSOTM, or Meddle, but better than the early stuff.

Report this review (#177132)
Posted Thursday, July 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is an album that the casual fan may not know. That is unfortunate as it is a last look at Floyd before the DSotM. There are some hints as to what is to come, and there is plenty to enjoy here. OBC has lots of Richard Wright and David Gilmour, and they deliver. RW's Stay is an excellent song with a surprise in that what one originally believes is a love song turns out to be a song about a one-niter. DG's Childhoods End has lyrics that would make Roger Waters proud. There are several instrumentals here and all of them range from good to excellent (Mudmen being my fav). Waters foreshadows future topics with Free Four which deals with getting on with ones life and also with death.

Obscured by Clouds is a soundtrack to the movie La Vallee. It contains many individual tracks that do not make a concept album as future albums do, nor does it have the pristine production as the classic Floyd albums. What it does have is a band stretching and playing (especially Wright who gets more prominence then usual with both vocals and the keys) w/o all of the extras. An underrated gem!

4 stars!

Report this review (#178987)
Posted Wednesday, August 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Simply Magical for some Proggers , and good (but not essential for the others ) . it seems that there's no more stars in your pockets my fellows proggers . So , i've got few extra stars from my drawer made in the early 70's to give this album ( Obscured by Clouds 1972 ) the right ratings . Some people told me , do not check all reviews before you post your own review . Until certain limits it was OK with me , i did check all reviews that i felt one way or another involved with , after posting my review . But there was the essential rating of Progarchives that i cannot skip by any means , it's siting above under the cover , and i must take it into consideration . Using my own judgement about rating & reviewing any particular album is a must , but when i've discovered , before posting my review that from the first review till the last some members rated this album with two or three stars , it means IMHO , that something is wrong . As i'm not wrong , i always feel satisfied in rating those albums by myself , and maybe in later stages , a new generation of progger will give these masterpieces the appropriate ratings . But still , i'm quiet sure that i'm throwing the right rating for Obscured by Clouds , i wasn't planning to do so , but fortunatelly i really love this site ........................... Tracks Toni -- N.B = if this album contains only the first two songs ( 5.36 minutes) in add to mudmen & childhood , my rating will be the same . a 5 stars without hesitation . And , i hope that this review will not be deleted from your site , if you feels concerned about our opinion in progressive .
Report this review (#180719)
Posted Sunday, August 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars A lot of definitions could be right if we talk about Obscured by Clouds by Pink Floyd! Firstly I would say it's twin album to the previous release - Meddle - it terms of style of the music! The album is another very good soundtrack after the dramatic More. I think the album contains some songs of the volumetric space rock, especially the first and the last songs. The album can be described as mixture of progressive rock, space rock, psychedelic rock. Moreover, the album is the biggest example of blues rock and the first one of electronic music by Pink Floyd. The stylistic variety of the album contribute to the presence of very different songs like Burning Bridges, Wot's... Uh the Deal, Childhood's End, Free Four and Stay! These songs are completely different in comparison between each other and this is the charming moment of the album.4 stars!
Report this review (#185245)
Posted Friday, October 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
1 stars Listening to this album it is hard to believe it was made in 1972. This album would have been more appropriate in 1968. While the previous album, Meddle, had constituted a step away from psychadelia, here Pink Floyd fully reverted to their old psychedelic style. In my opinion this music has nothing to do with progressive rock.

Also, I think that the songs on this album are not memorable at all, and some are even outright boring. The sonic quality of the recording is also not up to par with Meddle and Atom Heart Mother and certainly not with Dark Side Of The Moon and Wish You Were Here.

This album sounds more like it was made by a decent amateur band in the late 60's than by a big professional band in the early 70's.

This one is only for completionists.

Report this review (#187124)
Posted Monday, October 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is an underrated album. I give it 4 stars, it's a good edition to any progressive collection. In truth, it's not really that progressive, but it is in the sense that it's not like traditional rock and roll. The first two songs are 2 parts of one, and have been played together live in extended jams for around 14-16 minutes, on several bootlegs. The Gold It's In The... is a standard, cheerful sounding rock song, there are also some bluesy sounding influences as well. Stay is a nice calming song, and Childhood's end is a David Gilmour classic. There's some really great stuff on here, it really brings you into the mood of the movie. After all, it IS a soundtrack album.

I like this album a lot, not a SUPER MASTERPIECE, but it is good.

Report this review (#197424)
Posted Monday, January 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Pink Floyd could have entitled this album, A Collection of Great Dance Songs; that's what one gets here. It's excellent rock music, but that's the extent of it. It was recorded for La Vallée, a French film directed by Barbet Schroeder. David Gilmour stands out more so than the other members, taking on most of the lead vocals and having his guitar take a prominent place both as a rhythm and lead instrument. For fans of classic rock or Pink Floyd in general, this is sweet album to have in a collection.

"Obscured by Clouds" A drone and a simple rhythm back up Gilmour's slide guitar.

"When You're In" If one did not know otherwise, one could be fooled into believing one was hearing Led Zeppelin; Robert Plant's voice would not have been out of place on this brief instrumental.

"Burning Bridges" Gilmour shares lead vocals with the late Richard Wright, who I always thought was sorely underused. The two sing so well together. The instrumentation is good. It is by far my favorite track on the album, one that, in my opinion, stands shoulder to shoulder with cuts off their most beloved albums, including their subsequent one.

"The Gold It's in The." This is a simple, Gilmour-driven rock song. Given its basic chord progression and appeal, it's a wonder this one wasn't a classic rock hit; it's comparable to The Who and, again, Led Zeppelin. Gilmour delivers a good guitar solo at the end.

"Wot's.Uh the Deal" This acoustic-rock number has a pleasant melody and a lovely piano solo followed by Gilmour's slide once more.

"Mudmen" This instrumental is the epitome of "chill music." It relaxes me every time I hear it, and I think compositionally ranks close to "Any Colour You Like" (even if it is inferior to it overall). Waters has some particularly inspired bass parts, but Wright's keys working with Gilmour's guitar places this well within the realms of progressive rock.

"Childhood's End" The atmospheric opening gives way to a moderate-paced rock song chocked full of crispy electric guitar and Wright's organ. Gilmour performs an uncomplicated guitar solo.

"Free Four" Waters takes the lead vocals on this acoustic romp than reminds me a bit of "San Tropez." Contrasting with the easygoing acoustic music is Gilmour's ripping guitar leads.

"Stay" Once more, the listener is treated to Wright's subdued vocals and pleasant piano. Like many of the songs on the album, it's very simple, but the guitar is fun.

"Absolutely Curtains" The final track is an expansive and wonderful instrumental. The instrumentation is sparse, but makes great use of Wright's keyboard work, and includes a chant by the Magupa tribe.

Report this review (#202418)
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars I've constantly heard people saying that Pink Floyd is soundtrackish music.Anyone who says that obviously happen to find the band highly overrated.Honestly I couldn't care less to this kind of commentary,but something is undeniable:Pink Floyd has an instantly recognizable style that sets them apart from the progressive rock movement.And the most important element of this style is almost surreal and surely ironic:simplicity.

Yes,the band can write 20 minute instrumental tour de forces,but a good share of their success was not granted by thechnical sophistication.It's more about innovation and the music itself,wherever that leads.

Here we have Floyd's soundtrack for some hippie movie,and as much as one can possibly look for it,there's hardly any evidence of prog in the album.So I'll do my best to review it as a simple rock n' roll workout,having in mind that the band was never restricted to such rotulations.

And I'll say in advance,this is a soundtrack.It would be the perfect album to be heard in background while you're distracted with something else.Then again,it threatens to become slightly heavier and more complex at times,so you can take it as a bit uncertain at times.Some parts do require your attention,while others don't.

During the first minutes,one can take a good guess and figure out this is going to be a great album.Obsucred By Cloud's/When You're In is an amazing introduction.Starts as a misterious bass pulsing section which sustains a crying distorted guitar,and after a few minutes of this,the band kicks in in a very cool jam.And you get that feeling:'alright,this is Pink Floyd,indeed'.A piece of music to which anyone can aprecciate,not too demanding,but surely not 'soundtrackish'.But after that brief start,the music follows a different direction.

Undecise tracks such as the decent Burning Bridges(a mid-tempo ballad which one could take at first as a transitional song)and Free Four grant the album an 'O.K.' tag,but nothing too special.The instrumental Mudmen is a vehicle for whatever's happening in the screen at that point,but to a listener it's maybe just plain boring.There are more rocking moments,indeed,and good songs they are.

The big mistery lies in the closing track,Absolutely Curtains.It's basically some sort of recorded ritual by a group of natives(holding an obvious relation to the film),but it's quiter intriguing,and may I say,sinister.

After all,this is a good collection of simple Pink Floyd tunes,some more rocking,others less,none of the progressive,and all of them undecided(this is probably the album's main fault).Obscured by Clouds is also the band's most rewarding soundtrack recording,given the fact that it's simplicity makes it very pleasent to be heard at times,wether you're paying attention to it or not.

Report this review (#204756)
Posted Sunday, March 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Obscured By Clouds" is the 7th full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act Pink Floyd. The album was released through Harvest Records in June 1972. "Obscured By Clouds" is a soundtrack to the French film "La Vallée" ( "The Valley") by Barbet Schroeder. The album was recorded over two periods of one week each (23.-29. ofFebruary and 23.-27. of March 1972) at the Château d'Hérouville, Hérouville, Île-de-France in France. The band was already in the process of writing material for "The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)" but accepted the offer to go to France and record the soundtrack. They were shown scenes from the film and then made music to fit the atmosphere of the scenes.

"Obscured By Clouds" features 10 tracks. 4 instrumentals and 6 tracks with vocals. Stylistically the music is semi-progressive rock with a few nods towards psychadelic rock. I would label "Obscured By Clouds" one of the least progressive album releases by Pink Floyd. The lack of any long tracks and the fact that most tracks are easily accessible vers/chorus structured, except for some of the instrumentals, which are a bit more adventurous. While the experimentation might not be in the high seat on this particular album the energy and the excellent playing/singing certainly are. There are some pretty energetic and quite catchy tracks on the album like "Gold It's in the..." (check out that ripping guitar solo) and "Free Four" but also some beautiful mellow tracks like "Burning Bridges" and "Wot's... Uh the Deal". The instrumental "Mudmen" deserves a mention too. Great track with a beautiful theme. The only track on the album that´s not that interesting is the ambient closing track "Absolutely Curtains", which is the only track on the album that reminds me of what I would characterize as conventional soundtrack music.

The band members are all well playing and there´s an infectious enthusiastic atmosphere about the project, like the band really needed and enjoyed the break from their more regular work schedule. The production is surprisingly good when you think about the short time the band had to record and finish the album.

Compared to the "More (1969)" soundtrack album "Obscured By Clouds" is a more entertaining and more well written album. Maybe because it´s actually not that obvious that the album is in fact a soundtrack. This could just as well have been a regular studio album as there really aren´t that many repetitive and ambient moments on the album, which is something you´ll typically find on soundtracks. "Obscured By Clouds" is the album by Pink Floyd you should chose to listen to if you would like to hear them a bit more relaxed and spontanious than what is the case on most of their more structured, well planned and detailed studio albums. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

Report this review (#237885)
Posted Monday, September 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Pink Floyd - Obscured by Clouds (1972)

I'll start with a few statements. - This is a record recorded and writtin in two weeks as a soundtrack for the movie La Vaillée. - It is not really progressive, but it is an atmospherice, melodic rock album with enough variety. - I think it's BETTER THEN DARK SIDE OF THE MOON (send private massages to kingfriso to nail me down! Keep 'em coming!)

Why make such a nice piece of music for just a movie.. This record deserves more then that. The only tracks I don't like so much are Free Four (which is a bit too simple and country-like) and Asolutely Curtains (which has a nice atmospheric beginning, but the native song at the end is out of place here).

The instrumental tracks Obscured by Clouds and Mudmen are great! Finally a progressive rock band that takes the time to build some tension. Not very complicated, but well played. Not to be missed by any Floyd fan.

This albums has some of the best ´just´ songs of Pink Floyd. There is one sufficient word to discribe them: gentle. The melodies are often piecefull and the vocals are warm. This makes it a great album to start or end your day with. These songs deserve more attention by all Floydians.

Conclusion. Two tracks I don't like so much and a lot of timeless songs and two great instrumental tracks. A piecefull album that I like, and that doesn't happen to often. I will give three stars for this act of ellegance, but I warn all of you: Don't skip on this one! It is good!

Report this review (#242133)
Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
2 stars This album sits really awkward amidst all the excellence that surrounds it. Floyd never reaches their normal standard here. Actually, only the first two instrumentals are accomplished pieces that equal the level of their previous soundtrack More.

A songs The Gold is only amazing for the fact that it actually appears on a Floyd album. It would have been less surprising if it had been on a ZZ Top album. Also a track like Stay would have fitted better on any random rock band's album from 1972. For Floyd it is quite awkward to say the least.

Burning Bridges sounds so dull in fact that I will consider it for treating my next occurrence of insomnia. The instrumental version of it, Mudmen, is a lot more attractive. Nice keyboards and slide guitar here. Childhood's End is the only real song on this album that I can more or less enjoy. Absolutely Curtains isn't bad but probably a leftover from More. The plaintive ending section of it is one of the most charming parts of the entire album, finally some real emotion I'd say.

A mishmash of half-baked ideas and sloppy song writing. 2.5 stars.

Report this review (#252181)
Posted Sunday, November 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars "Obscured by clouds" from a certain point of view is like a rich man dressed in rags, or to say it in other words: not a concept album,but a soundtrack for "La vallèe" movie, ok, interesting song writing, perfect, raw and unconvincing production, bad. The album contains some very very good moments like the unusual rock "The gold is in the..." which sounds more like The Who than Pink Floyd , the touching "Wot's...uh the deal", played again during Gilmour last world tour in 2006 and the suggestive "Stay", written by Wright. Too bad that the production low level spoils up what could have been a much better number :"Mudmen". Some point in common with "St. Tropez" and "Fearless" on the track "Free Four", in which Waters sings about Floyd recurring themes: weight of success, death, loss of his father, all subjects which later would have been developed in other ways giving birth to masterpieces as "Wish You Were Here" and "The Wall". Very useless and boring the "ethnic" chants in the end of "Absolutely Curtains"

In the end the album is average, a less complex work by Pink Floyd, than the usual, anyhow inspired, with highs and lows, suffering from the approximate production level and by being blown away by their next release: nothing less that "Dark Side Of The Moon".

Song writing : 4 stars

Production: 2 stars

Results 3 stars.

Report this review (#262449)
Posted Monday, January 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars It's hard to classify a soundtrack album, due to the fact that it stands alone as music that is used in the background to make the film or video in question more enjoyable. A soundtrack without the visual effect is quite meaningless. Unless the soundtrack is good.

This album was actually really good. I thoroughly enjoyed it and consider it as a very under looked Pink Floyd album. The songs had a very mature style to them and, it being a soundtrack and the album before Dark Side, the songs were catchy and memorable.

I haven't seen the movie La Valée, but to be honest, I kind of want to now I've heard the soundtrack.

1. Obscured By Clouds - A great intro and it introduces the in coming themes.

2. When You're In - Another instrumental which is very ambient and atmospheric. The main theme is presented (Mudmen presents the theme even more beautifully).

3. Burning Bridges - Again, the main theme is presented, but in a more lyrical fashion. This song also has great vocals from Dave & Rick.

4. The Gold It's In The? - A great title for the song. Slightly more eccentric.

5. Wot's?Uh The Deal? - Again, another great title for a song. Great use of contrapuntal vocals.

6. Mudmen - The best song on the album. Incredibly beautiful and haunting. The perfect song for a soundtrack. The theme is presented in the best way possible basically.

7. Childhood's End - A more vocal direction for Dave. Apparently, this was his last lyrical contribution to Pink Floyd until about 10 years later on Momentary Lapse Of Reason.

8. Free 4 - A quite jaunty and folky direction for Pink Floyd. Quite venomous lyrics as well for such a joyous sounding song.

9. Stay - A more drone style type song. Very adagio with some nice instrumentation. The lyrics are also about sex, apparently.

10. Absolute Curtains - A great ending to the album. I like the tribal chanting at the end of the song.

CONCLUSION: A good album that could easily be seen in the glory years of Pink Floyd. Very under looked in my opinion.

Report this review (#270592)
Posted Tuesday, March 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars I got this album while I was waiting for "Dark Side of the Moon" to come out. This recording was the first listening experience I had with "Pink Floyd."

I have to say that it didn't impress me a whole lot. Let's face it, after you hear people like Jimmy Page and Ritchie Blackmore play the guitar, David Gilmore just doesn't quite get it. Still, this album does have some tasty stuff on it.

I like the first two songs, "Obscured by Clouds" and "When Your In," but they don't do too much and you are kind of waiting for the songs to end, even though they aren't that long. This record is a sound track to a movie called "The Valley" I think. At any rate, these two songs are powerful and ear pleasing.

I didn't really care for "Absolutely Curtains" much because of the last part.

"Stay," on the other hand, was a very cool tune. It is good and catchy. It sticks with you after you've heard it.

The Floyd use kind of the same format on "Dark Side" as they do here. "Mudmen" is a reprise of "Burning Bridges." This is also a very good tune. Gilmore does play very moody stuff. It is highly enjoyable regardless of speed.

This is a good recording, but I can't say it is essential by any means. I give it 3 stars.

Report this review (#278738)
Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Pink Floyd - Obscured By Clouds - 1972

Humble, rugged, and energetic? This is supposed to be Pink Floyd?

Best Song : Wots....Uh, The Deal?

Damn right, this is Pink Floyd. And ya know what? This li'l soundtrack, here, is a lost gem. I have no problems saying that. It's a lost gem for so many reasons, I gotta go through them, one by one. First off, this ain't no ordinary soundtrack, in that, the film's plot has relatively little bearing, if any, on the songs, themselves. No, this stands out as a singular, disconnected Pink Floyd studio album, nestled neatly between the progressive soundtrack sprawl of Meddle, and the timeless atmospheric rock of Dark Side. One needs not have even so much as heard of the film to fully enjoy Obscured By Clouds. The only real connection with the movie I can see is the last track what has the chanting that goes on for too long, making it possibly the worst song on here.

Secondly, this is one of the only Pink Floyd albums after Meddle where the boys attack like a real, standard rock band. This, for what you might assume, has very little in the way of excess frills and gimmicky baggage. It's mostly humble, lush rock with that atmospheric edge, which makes the songs feel like a hardy workin' man's band, but retaining that signature Floyd style that we all love (or hate). So, in all, a real quirky find in their catalog. Some of the songs sound like studio outtakes from Meddle or Dark Side, while others feel like poppy B-sides to their Syd era, without the acid trips. So, it ends up being more diverse than what came after, even if some of the diversity is lent through a few less than engaging melodies or overlong musical approaches.

You'll still find the occasional trademarked Gilmour "screeching" solo, and Wright offers plenty of vast melody on piano. The word I can most correlate these tunes with is subtle. Nothing ever tries to break out to be more than what it was intended to be, like with certain aspects to Atom Heart Mother, or even Echoes, as much as I love that song. In fact, some of these songs, especially the modestly beautiful Wots...Uh, The Deal, are breathtaking. Mudmen is a lost Floyd classic in its own right, with the winding keyboard melodies leading into a furious guitar jam, straight from the soul of David's guitar, and it acts as a mighty precursor to a vast majority of work from everything Pink Floyd did afterward. It stands as possibly the second strongest track.

Not that they remain in one mood mindset, though. Some of the songs are pure rocking pop tunes, the likes of Free Four, which channels all the spirit from their past, and sets it to a jolly, almost throw-away rocker vibe, with quirky synth shots at the end of each verse. It's all good fun, I say, and it again, adds to the diversity of the record. The Gold It's In The... is another example of ear-catching, upbeat hard rocking. No, it might not have personality as distinct or memorable as say... Time, but it's a grand, energetic song.

As diverse, modest, energetic, and oft times, breathtaking as this album is, it does suffer from being a little too generic at times, and the atmosphere and personality is just not as memorable as these guys are capable of achieving. That, and the final song is just unnecessary. I mean, it's a capable enough closer until the chanting begins, then it just wrecks itself all sorts of awful. Still, regardless of the few flaws the album has, it's a classic Pink Floyd release, and needs to be heard by anyone with even a passing interest in the band's 1971-1979 output.

Rating: 12/15

Report this review (#285954)
Posted Friday, June 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars An unsung hero of the Pink Floyd discography this album stands alone better than they had done before it. You do not have to watch the film to appreciate this fine album, or even think of it as a soundtrack because the songwriting, musicianship and lyrics are perfect from start too finish.

The heavier songs The Gold It's In The... and When You're In are not typical floyd but Gilmour's guitars on the tracks are perfect and rare gems for anybody who is a fan of his guitar work. The album really is a prelude to the Darkside of The Moon you really can hear throughout these guys finally clicking together as we had briefly glimpsed on Meddle we see them in full flow on this album.

This album is also one of the finest performances Richard Wright ever gave, his vocals on Burning Bridges and Stay and his amazing keyboards on Mudmen and mystical use of the VCS3 synthesiser on the title track add so much atmosphere to the album and showing how much Rick Wright is a defining part of Floyd and was really beginning to re-establish himself in the band.

Overall this album features every aspect of Floyds music we had seen on the first albums and every aspect we would see in the next few albums, hard rock songs, ballads, a country/folk influenced Roger Waters song (similar to San Tropez from Meddle) in Free Four and the highlight of the album, a classic prog song in Childhoods End, which really is a forgotten classic of not just Pink Floyd but all progressive music.

Report this review (#289982)
Posted Monday, July 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars The second and last soundtrack made by Pink Floyd for Barbet Schroeder arrives between two of their fundamental albums: Meddle and The Dark Side of the Moon. If we add to this fact that the album doesn't have a concept because the songs, with the exception of Absolutely Curtains, don't have much to do with the movie, we can have an idea of why this finished to be the most obscure Pink Floyd album. Not only for its title.

Short songs, then. Probably the most "pop oriented" of their whole career and strangely one of their less selling album. The sound is midway between the A side of meddle and the B side of Atom Heart Mother but what really matters in this album is regarding the lyrics. Waters is the author of most of them, and Burning Bridges is one of the few collaborations between he and Wright, "Stay" is a sort of follow-up to "Summer 68" and "Free Four" anticipates the concept of Dark Side of the Moon: life, growing old, death and time.

It's amazing how arguments of this kind can stay in a four minutes rock song based on major chords and a quite happy melodic line. There's room for a Gilmour's solo, too.

"Wot's Oh The Deal" and "Stay" are good ballads and "Absoutely Curtains" has still some of that "Space Rock" that the Pink Floyd were about to discontinue by going to more terrestrial ambients. Regardless the title, the Dark Side of the Moon is totally about the human condition, There's very few space, unless we think that the lunatics are aliens (and of course they are not).

This album represents the way that Pink Floyd could have taken if they hadn't made Dark Side. A broken branch in their evolution tree. A must for all the Pink Floyd fans. A 3-stars album for everybody else.

Report this review (#350467)
Posted Sunday, December 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Obscured by Clouds is one of the most unjustly overlooked Pink Floyd albums. It was written as a soundtrack just like the equally great "More". Its instrumentals, the title track; "When You're In;" "Absolutely Curtains" and especially "Mudmen," are some of the finest wavy, lavalamp psychedelica I have ever heard.

It was all recorded during two, one-week sessions, between which a tour of Japan was sandwiched. It still seems to work well as a cohesive whole, in spite of the short recording time. The ballad, "Burning Bridges" is a highlight which was written by Roger Waters and Rick Wright. It has a certain quality, a sound, that seems to be a harbinger of "Dark Side Of The Moon." Another cut, with the unlikely title of "Wot's...Uh, The Deal," is also a terrific song, which is somewhat wistful and introspective. It's right up there with any of Floyd's best songs.

Another Waters-Wright composition is the somewhat melancholy "Stay," which has a sense of quiet intensity about it. Then there's the rollicking "Free Four," which is tremendously upbeat, especially when you consider the dark content of the lyrics; it's one of the first instances in which Roger Waters musically deals with the death of his father, which would become a recurring theme later on, especially in "The Wall," and on "The Final Cut."

Though this is one of the lesser-known pieces of the Pink Floyd canon, "Obscured By Clouds" is, nevertheless, a remarkable album in it's own right; and it definitely must be included in any Pink Floyd collection. It is particularly enjoyable listening to this while relaxing at home. 4 stars.

Report this review (#414978)
Posted Saturday, March 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Another decent but inessential soundtrack release from Pink Floyd, this first post-Meddle album was recorded at around the same time as the group were putting together The Dark Side of the Moon, and I did get the feeling listening to it that the boys were holding back their best ideas for the "proper" album. Gilmour lays down a few decent solos, the rhythms are atmospheric, the keyboards are decently performed, but few songs really stand out - except when they're clunkers like the limp ballad Stay and Free Four, an uninspired attempt at a rocker. Still, it's a perfectly pleasant album and I think I prefer it to More - I just wouldn't go out of my way to listen to it. Three stars.
Report this review (#494715)
Posted Tuesday, August 2, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Oh, yes, a definite five. High five! Not a single sucker on the album. The record is mostly about grooves and marriage of tone with melody, as well as adequate jamming and songwriting. This is an album for which I really look forward to writing a good review, even more than for "Meddle". Long live Pink Floyd.

The spirit of experimentalism is still there. The dark and sparse opener starts with different A-note drones that define the mood of the track. Then Dave Gilmour comes along and adds even more to that mood. The even gloomier closer, 'Absolutely Curtains', is a bit of a different animal, with a few surprises of its own. It features more drones, Rick Wright's keys that sound menacing on one occasion (thanks to the drummer), an awesome explosive moment (somewhat reminiscent of 'On the Run'), and tribal chanting that adds more weirdness to the track. That piece is just beautifully built.

There are also some happy and more accessible moments on the album. 'When You Are In' is a very moderate jam with an electric guitar part that is really simple to play. It also has a slow and relentless rhythm that the band threatens to be executing for minutes and minutes. There are no prog-rock excesses and no punky whining, just souls that stay at home in the music. 'The Gold It's in the ?' is even cooler than that. The influence of Led Zeppelin is really felt on this track, and the rhythm guitar parts prove this point. Plus, the song is very adventurous. It doesn't need to be really long; the lyrics will just suffice.

'Free Four' is yet another case of Roger Waters still not being able to get over the passing of his dad. "You are the angel of death and I'm a dead man's son." I think his lyrics are better on 'Corporal Clegg' than here. Nonetheless, I like this song mostly because the grim lyrics are set against a happy and groovy folk tune. Also, Dave focuses here on melody and its sound, which in turn would define his playing style in the future. All of that also goes for 'Childhood's End', which opens with an organ possessing this amazing tone. That organ is backed up with something that sounds like brass, which makes the texture even richer and darker. The rest is muted pass picking (reminiscent of 'Time'), some grooviness, and simple, i.e. adequate, songwriting again. If you want to learn how to write a good song, turn to the Floydsters.

The rest of the album is deeply introspective, the very slices that make the pie so delicious. I'm not sure which one is my biggest favorite. The combination of the economical and moody guitar style, the shimmering organ sound, the imaginative lyrics, and the harmony of Dave and Rick's voices finally pays the highest on 'Burning Bridges'. The instrumental 'Mudmen' comes very close. Also, if you want to hear a very warm and other times chilly ballad (supposedly a love song), here we have 'Wot's ? Uh the Deal'. I love the acoustic guitar ostinato, one of the first things I learned to play on the guitar. The way the music flows from one chord to another just feels so right, and it probably can't be any righter. I must also mention the enamoring vocal harmony and the lead vocal permeating the song, which are real gems. And once again the thin songwriting philosophy benefits a song; I can actually enjoy every single detail in the music. I feel like that's the way to go for me as a musician. Then, to close the deal, you have yet another easily built song that relies on tone and melody more than anything else, Rick's enthralling 'Stay', one of the first things I learned to play on the piano.

This record is not revolutionary. It doesn't need a revolution. It has the very things that make it an overlooked classic. There are some upbeat and energetic tracks on this album. However, it looks like the Floyd won the place of the kings of melody and sound, which are probably the very same things that won them the reputation of space-rockers rather than ambient-pop-folk-rock musicians. In my mind, the two are not the exact same thing.

Ratings/comments (if you have to ask):

1. 'Obscured by Clouds' - ****

2. 'When You Are In' - ***

3. 'Burning Bridges' - *****

4. 'The Gold It's In the ?' - ****

5. 'Wot's ? Uh The Deal' - *****

6. 'Mudmen [Instrumental]' - *****

7. 'Childhood's End' - ****

8. 'Free Four' - ****

9. 'Stay' - ****

10. 'Absolutely Curtains' - ****

Stamp: "I like it."

Report this review (#613979)
Posted Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars If I am not mistaken, this is a soundtrack to a movie about....... something. Maybe an art noir flick about a fly staring at a wasp for 72 hours while two naked women are dancing fully clothed down the streets. Or maybe not. The result is this soundtrack and album.

The music here reminds me a lot about a mix of Alan Parsons, Beatles, David Gilmour's solo stuff and the first glimpses of Pink Floyd.

The music is a bit disjointed and very different from what I regard as Pink Floydian music. Very middle era Beatles music. The quality is pretty decent, but nothing more. There are a couple of good songs, but that is it. This is a Pink Floyd album best left undisturbed in a record shop.

2 stars

Report this review (#624674)
Posted Wednesday, February 1, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Maybe Obscured By Clouds is the best Pink Floyd album. I know I've cited it as my favorite before - as has Nick Mason, going by what I've heard, and even though it's missing the slow developing extended epic that's usually present on their best efforts, these are some of the best songs Pink Floyd's ever released. Recorded very close to the time of Dark Side of the Moon ("Childhood's End" is very much a post-embryonic version of "Time" both musically and lyrically), it has a very similar sound and feel, except it's not as heavy, and there are spaces between all the tracks (especially the 9 seconds of silence between tracks 2 and 3!) The opening two instrumentals, "Obscured By Clouds" and "When You're In" make a nice pair (pun intended), with the former being an ambient precursor to the latter's made for smoking a joint funk jam, with extremely well recorded snare fills. "Burning Bridges" is perfect space out music, with a super laid back feel in 3/4, very creative chord changes, adoring guitar leads, and more of those hypnotic harmonies from Gilmour and Wright. "The Gold It's In the..." and "Free Four" are decidedly more roughly played and produced than their later rockers, but I think they're better songs, the latter having lyrics that are quite humorous and intelligent. The instrumental "Mudmen" is one of the best examples of their laid-back, soaring sound, with some really trippy synths from Wright, some truly wrenching and emotional soloing from Gilmour, and more perfect snare fills from Mason. We also get another great Wright song in "Stay", and the closing instrumental finishes out with one of the first occurances of world music on a rock album, the vocals being sung by one of the actual tribes from the area where La Vallee was filmed. As of this writing, I haven't seen the film, but I think the soundtrack works even better as standalone album than More did, which was already great. Even if you only have a passing intrest in Pink Floyd, please do not overlook Obscured By Clouds.
Report this review (#701266)
Posted Friday, March 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars "Obscured By Clouds" is the last studio Pink Floyd on my list to review and for good reason. I was never taken with the approach to become a soundtrack artist to a film that nobody has ever heard of. Though Pink Floyd has made the film famous by default the music is not really anything special. The 1972 film is a French snorefest called "La Vallée", directed by Barbet Schroeder.

The music comes down to a psychedelic slice of short pieces with some moments but all rather forgettable. The opening title track is like 'Careful with that Axe Eugene', with some psych guitar and a moderate pace over droning synth. Effective but sounds like Zabriskie Point for good reason.

'When You're In' has a wonderful guitar riff but is too short for comfort. 'Burning Bridges' has tons of organ phrases and a steady pace. Some vocals by Gilmour help to add flavour. 'The Gold It's In The...' has a catchy hook and some interesting singing, though very poppy for the 70s.

'Wot's...Uh The Deal' is a gentle ballad with soft harmonies and Gilmour lulling us off to sleep acoustically driven and sacharinne sugar sweet. 'Mudmen' is an instrumental designed to fall asleep to. A cure for insomnia but well played of course by the band. Wright's piano and vibes are superb and it exists as a fitting tribute to his virtuosity. 'Childhood's End' is heralded by organ and then throbbing bass and guitar. The lyrics are well executed by Gilmour and his guitar soars beautifully. One of my favourites on this album.

'Free Four' features reverberated guitar, droning synths and darkened lyrics, "life is a short warm moment, death is a long cold rest, get your chance to try, in a twinkiling of an eye". The song is another highlight with whimsical melodies and one heck of a brilliant guitar break.

'Stay' is a ballad with gorgeous atmospherics, and a romantic theme about finding a girl for a one night stand. Multi tracked vocals are noteable and a wah-wah guitar over emotional piano.

'Absolutely Curtains' is lifted from the film as an instrumental with a profound New Guinea tribal chant at the end to finish the album on a hyper strange note.

Overall, "Obscured By Clouds" is better than the other soundtrack, the poor "More", but only marginally of interest to non Floyd fans. It has enough going for it to make it worth seeking out but it is not up at the top of the must get album lists for 1972, a very strong year for Prog.

Report this review (#752755)
Posted Sunday, May 13, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars I view Obscured By Clouds as Pink Floyd's transitional album from their more psychedelic and experimental music to the symphonic sound that dominates their later albums. The album has a hint of Dark Side of the Moon coming through, but it isn't quite their both instrumentally and production-wise. Compositionally there are some good moments, but most of the songs are decent at best.

The album opens with the title track which is an instrumental. This is ok; it has some nice guitar work but is otherwise uninteresting.

'When You're In' is one of the two "rockers" of the album. It is definitely one of the heavier songs of Pink Floyd's discography, but it works, in part to Nick Mason's crazy drumming. 'Burning Bridges' is a slower song that is mostly uninteresting except from a nice guitar solo from Gilmour.

'Wot's? Uh the Deal' is an acoustically based song with a rather uplifting mood. Most of it is just verse-chorus, so the tasteful solos from Wright and Gilmour truly make this a nice song.

'Mudmen' has an interesting atmosphere dominated by keyboards. Gilmour offers perhaps the most intense and dramatic solo of the album despite severely limiting the notes he plays.

Childhood's End has a slow start with some keyboard work, but never really offers anything exciting, except for the solo, again.

Free Four is the other heavier song of the album and reminds me slightly of 'Spirit in the Sky.' It's not really prog, but out of that context it's a decent rocker.

Stay is the highlight of the album, built around Wright's piano chords with touches of Gilmour's wah-wah guitar tone. The atmosphere is beautiful and invokes a slightly melancholic and nostalgic mood.

The album ends with 'Absolutely Curtains,' which has a nice atmosphere with keyboards, but really isn't that interesting.

Overall, this is kind of a road bump in an otherwise amazing series of albums. But again, it's transitional and also a film score, so I can't discredit them that harshly.


Report this review (#771364)
Posted Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars "Obscured By Clouds" is an interesting album, as it marks Pink Floyd's departure from their early era. It is quite an unremarkable album, but it still manages to hold it's place among the Pink Floyd discography. This release stands out among the band's other releases as it has a rather bubbly psychedelic sound somewhat similar to "A Saucer Full of Secrets", but it contains the bluesy edge of "More". I agree with the general verdict on this album within this site; the album is nothing special, but it is still a decent listen.

Pink Floyd never made a bad album in my opinion. Each of their albums have their own unique qualities, and this includes OBC. While the album has some pretty boring tracks, there are enough classic tracks to make the album a worthwhile experience. The greatest songs on the record are "Stay", "Wots...Uh the Deal" and "Burning Bridges". "Stay" is an excellent ballad that is instantly recognisable as being written by Rick Wright. This track has a slightly "early Genesis" feel to it, particularly in the brief instrumental section after the chorus. "Wots...Uh the Deal" is a classic David Gilmour track that he played in his Royal Albert Hall concert. My possible favourite track on the album is "Burning Bridges". This track is probably the most proggy track on the album, moving in waves of sound.

While this album may not be the greatest in Pink Floyd's unblemished discography, it is worth a listen for fans of early Pink Floyd.

Report this review (#934502)
Posted Saturday, March 23, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars Trapped in the Meddle and Obscured by the Dark Side of the Moon.

Stoner Rock. If that helps to prepare yourself for an un-prog soundtrack by a top Prog band. I kind of think that "Obscured by Clouds", 1972, must have disappointed all the emerging Floyd followers. It should have been like suddenly realizing that such a daring and unorthodox Prog band started to play this kind of 60'S Stoner/Folk Rock (better dead than greatful!!).

Funny considering that nowadays Gilmour's well rated solo releases, never fell that far from this tree. But anyway this is one of Pink Floyd's less prog efforts, nevertheless composition wise, there are some nice things going for it. The keyword is "simplicity" by not sounding simple.

Anyway, this release got it tough from the start by appearinging in 1972, one of the best years in Prog history in all its branches and after their highly psychedelic and appreciated "Meddle" 1971 and before the super famous TDSOM, 1973.

Stoner Rock if that helps.

***3 PA stars.

Report this review (#993519)
Posted Monday, July 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars Floyd's second film score placed so hilariously between their peaking efforts is actually a wonderful collection of songs. Taking a break from the psychedelic revolutionary music that you may have come to expect from the Floyd at this point in their discography, "Obscured By Clouds" is a more accessible entry. In place of the inevitable psych-ward accepting freak out jam sessions and side-long epics we have melodic, catchy tunes. Make no mistake, this is still Pink Floyd in all their song-writing glory, but there is no denying the restraint they exercised when recording this album. The creeping swell of emotion that is the style of Floyd can be recognized on the opening number and self-titled song,"Obscured by Clouds". Not a bad beat to groove to, and luckily for us, they did not open with their best track. I cannot say which songs you will like more than others, but my favorites and the ones I show my friends include the tracks "When You're In", "Childhood's End", and "Stay". Those are my personal favorite because, hey, they're catchy songs.

This would be an album that I would recommend listening to on a long car ride, maybe in the background. I would not sit down and listen to it as seriously as Floyd's other more highly rated albums, but I wouldn't rule out of my collection among Pink Floyd's discography. It's much more accepting when you find out it's the score for a movie.

Report this review (#1145745)
Posted Monday, March 10, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of the most underrated gems I have ever seen.

Out of all the Pink Floyd album out there, 1972's Obscured by Clouds has to be my favorite. Although I doubt that many other people share this opinion, I suppose in my little world of me, my thoughts are all that counts. So just to make clear, I am not here to be a preachy hipster and tell you to fall in love with this album. That would just be inane, and I know nobody wants that. Yet, I have an urge to share my thoughts on it with the progressive community.

Obscured By Clouds is the second of the two solely Pink Floyd-recorded soundtracks. The band was known to perform on other soundtracks, such as Zabriskie Point, The Comittee, and other, more obscure and less known filmscores. But the major, well know releases by the band were More (1969), and this album. The music was made for the 1972 film "La Vallée", written and directed by Barbet Schroeder. Schroeder, a well known Iranian director who's career was based in French cinema during the 60's, was the same man who directed the 1969 film More, which Pink Floyd also recorded a soundtrack for. The soundtrack for La Vallée, an album that they titled Obscured by Clouds, was indeed recorded as the soundtrack to the film, however when they had finished recording, the band promptly fell out with Imperia Films and were prompted to release the album as their own. Thus, the album was released in the year 1972, which was a year in between two well known masterpieces, Meddle (1971), and Dark Side of the Moon (1973). Due to this, the album was largely forgotten by the general public. After people had reveled in the majesty of the trifecta of Pink Floyd hit albums, Obscured By Clouds started to be slowly noticed. Critics were inclined to shrug it off as well, and the album again faded back into Obscure-ity (I'm sorry, I had to).

As for me, my friend actually found this album at a music store nearby to where I lived. Knowing that I sought the entire Pink Floyd chronology, he so kindly bought it for about five dollars and brought it over. After thanking him vigorously, I slotted the album into my computer and gave it a listen. Mind you, this was one first new listens to the band I had in over a year, and I was incredibly excited to give it a listen. At first listen, the album didn't appeal to me as much as I thought it would. I had always been a lover of the under appreciated, and that was probably why A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) was my favorite album by the band for a long time. But this sadly did not strike a chord with me like I expected it to. In fact, I was bored extremely quickly and put the case among my other albums. It sat there for an ungodly amount of time, perhaps two months or so, until I pulled it back out to give it another listen. Then, something that rarely happens with me happened with this album. On my second listen, I loved the album. In the period of time that the album was sitting in my shelf, I was researching more and more on the band in order to grasp everything I needed to know about them. I had already gained Dark Side well before this, and thoroughly enjoyed it. But during my 'studies', I found that this album came out a year before Dark Side. This was actually surprising to me, and I had come to know that usually albums that preceded masterpieces were highly influential to the band's sound. Knowing this, I came at the album with a totally different mentality, and I liked the album much more than I did at first listen.

Unlike the 1970's hit of Meddle, OBC's sound is extremely different. True, the former did propel Pink Floyd into a whole new era, but it was OBC's job to reinforce that sound. It did it very successfully. I can easily say I enjoy this more than Meddle, although I don't think that it is bad in any sense. Everything about this album is right; there is a healthy amount of tracks, a simple yet cool album cover (an unfocused picture of a man sitting in a tree, who would have guessed?), and not to mention some really fine songs. Out of the tracks, there are probably only a few that I enjoy a ton more over the others. Not to say that any of them are bad, but most of them do get sort of the same feeling out of me.

The two rockiest of the tracks, 'When You're In' and 'The Gold It's In The...', are both simple, fantastic little ditties by Gilmour. In fact, I have listened to the latter so much that it could very well become my favorite Pink Floyd song. Very Zeppelin like, especially taking into account the time of this album's release. 'Mudmen' is a nice instrumental, something that you could take a snooze to. Listening through the album may not give it the same effect, because it comes right after 'Wots...Uh the Deal', another really slow acoustic track. 'Childhood's End' is probably my second highest pick for this album. There is so much Dark side influence on it that if you'd put this next to 'Time', and I didn't know the two albums, I would swear they were from the same release. The song is really nice, and could be said that it fore-ran the whole release by giving the band the vibe it needed. 'Stay' is a Wright masterpiece. Although lyrically not as strong as one might expect, this love ballad is certainly something to listen to. So, although many people think this is non-essential, I would say otherwise. This album is really great for those fans wanting to thoroughly understand and enjoy the Pink Floyd experience.

I highly recommend this album.

Report this review (#1290547)
Posted Sunday, October 12, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Free Four Childhood's End

Another very musical film score, this album contains music that, while shorter and simpler, fits well with the styles on Meddle and Dark Side. Floyd is one of the only bands that can write a song with only one chord and still make it sound great. Careful with the Axe is one such song, and the title track "Obscured by Clouds" on this album here is another. With only minimal variation on a single chord, they construct a composition that works not only fine on this album (if not very memorable) but also works well in a live setting. I have a bootleg from a concert here in Toronto in 1973, where they opened with a long version of Obscured by Clouds, and it is simply awesome! (too bad they didn't release more live albums from their archives - we are stuck with poorer-quality bootlegs). This whole album contains similarly pleasant and musical short tunes, some with words and some that are instrumental. The best tune is Waters' "Free Four". My version of the vinyl album actually is missing this tune (clearly a mistaken print that should not have been let out of the factory), and so I had to go searching for it. But Gilmour's "Childhood's End" is a close second. Those two excellent Floyd tracks were (apparently) never played live - a real shame. Other tunes, like "Stay" and "Wot's..the deal", have some nice vocals, but those and the instrumentals are all pretty tame. But the album is unpretentious and for the most part sufficiently musical. I give this album 7.0 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 3 PA stars.

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Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | Review Permalink

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